Letters to the Editor

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CAMERAS: Put the fault where it belongs – on drivers

Letter by Emelyn S. McKay, University Place on Feb. 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm with 4 Comments »
February 3, 2011 12:48 pm

Re: “Traffic cams will be next, Eyman says” (TNT, 2-2).

The debate continues on cameras installed at potentially dangerous intersections.

“Once the city gets hooked on the money,” says Tim Eyman, “they have every incentive to maximize the number of violators.

So, the city made them do it? The camera’s foot is not on the accelerator. Let’s put the fault where it belongs.

Every fine is an unpleasant but effective reminder to slow down. And every dollar paid in a deserved fine may be one less in future taxes.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. You miss the point: the cameras, and their owners and operators, as well as the politicians that authorize them and provide oversight for their operation, the law enforcement personnel that recommend and oversee their use, and even the taxpayers that fund them, are not in place solely to enforce right laws. They are also in place because of venality, corruption, greed…the whole spectrum of human failings.

    The cameras take that spectrum of human failing and insulate it behind automated systems prone to poor or malicious design, wholesale or intermittent failures and errors, and misrepresentation of results.

    The cameras are an additional layer of possibility for injustice the already overwhelmed public does not deserve or need. Instead, let’s get the police to do the job we compensate them so handsomely for, and enforce the laws.

    We can certainly help the already overburdened police in that task, not by turning in our neighbors and friends for real or imagined minor infractions, but by exerting pressure as the body politic on legislators to repeal unjust laws, and to not enact new ones of the same ilk.

  2. By your logic, zapar, automated traffic signals fall under the same category as you’ve placed red light cameras. “They are also in place because of venality, corruption, greed…the whole spectrum of human failings.”

    Surely, the traffic flow in each intersection would be more efficiently served if there were a thinking police officer directing traffic instead of those corrupt traffic lights.

    By the way, we all know what some drivers will do when they think that they aren’t being watched. The camera never blinks.

    Traffic cams make believers out of otherwise negligent drivers.

  3. pazzo242 says:

    Red light cameras were originally designed to keep watch on “troubled” intersections. In such cities as Puyallup they are now being employed for most every intersection as a money grubbing technique. They no longer are just on the troubled intersections but everywhere. If they would have been set up and used as they were suppose to be I would say great. But they are now a revenue source and nothing more…just a indirect way of taxing you.

  4. Polago: The “also” in that logic (“They are also in place…”) applies to two different things: in the case of the traffic cameras, it applies to enforcement; in the case of red lights, it applies only to the precondition of the law, not enforcement. That is to say, the red lights are in place to define what the law is, the cameras are in place to enforce the law so defined. I’m sure you see the distinction, and probably did before you typed such a spurious response.

    So, what’s your interest in misrepresenting my logic?

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