Good Red-Light Camera


Good Red-Light Camera




            “We are here to address the matter of Mr. Anderson contesting a red-light violation ticket,” the judge said. “Officer Roberts, please present your case.”

            “Your Honor, on the date in question, I observed Mr. Anderson’s vehicle enter the intersection after the light had turned red,” Officer Roberts said.

            “Thank you, Officer Roberts. Mr. Anderson, you may now present your defense.”

            “I believe there has been a misunderstanding,” I said. “As I approached the intersection, the light was green. I would never intentionally run a red light. However, the yellow light turned red as I was about to enter the intersection. I couldn’t stop safely without potentially causing an accident, so I proceeded through the intersection.”

            “Officer Roberts, did you observe any factors that might have contributed to Mr. Anderson’s decision to continue through the intersection,” the judge asked.

            “Your Honor, while I understand Mr. Anderson’s concern for safety, I must emphasize that a driver should be prepared to stop when approaching a yellow light.”

            “Mr. Anderson, did you believe stopping when the light turned yellow was unsafe?”

            “Your Honor, I felt that stopping abruptly would have been unsafe, considering the speed limit and the fact that the road was slightly wet from recent rain. I made the judgment call to proceed cautiously through the intersection rather than slam on the brakes and risk a potential rear-end collision.”

            “Officer Roberts, considering Mr. Anderson’s concern for safety and the circumstances described, do you believe there might have been a valid reason for his actions,” the judge asked.

            “Your Honor, while I understand his concerns, the law still requires drivers to stop when they can do so safely. However, I can see that there was a judgment call involved.”

            “Mr. Anderson, is there anything else you want to enter to support your case?”

            “Yes, Your Honor,” I replied. “In my defense, I would like to add that the intersection had red light running cameras. These cameras did not register my incident as a traffic violation, and according to the empirical evidence supporting the infallibility of these cameras, I must conclude that this whole incident was a mistake of human error.”

            “That is a unique way of phrasing it,” The judge said. “I must admit I have not had a comparison of man versus machine in a case before. Officer Roberts, would you like to respond to Mr. Anderson’s accusation?”

            “Yes, thank you, Your Honor,” Officer Roberts said. “I acknowledge that there might be a discrepancy between my observation and the camera’s failure to record the violation. However, my initial assessment is that Mr. Anderson’s vehicle entered the intersection after the light turned red.”

            “Is there anything else you want to add, Mr. Anderson?”

            “Yes, Your Honor,” I said. “I would like to mention that the sole duty of the red-light camera is to record red-light running violations, whereas the police officer is responsible for red-light runners, speeders, and other criminal activity, forcing him or her to multi-multi task which could distract them into making a simple, human mistake.”

            “Officer Roberts, could you be mistaken?”

            “Your Honor, anything is possible,” Officer Roberts replied.

            “Thank you,” the judge said. “Given the conflicting evidence and consideration of the camera footage showing no violation, I am inclined to dismiss the ticket. The court is adjourned.”




J.B. Preston



J.B. Preston is a minimalist who writes poetry, literary, and speculative fiction. He has worked as a bartender and librarian but now focuses his time on writing and traveling. His work has appeared in The WestWard Quarterly (Summer 2022) and Ariel Chart (January 2023). 

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