Letters to the Editor

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FIFE: Is commerce welcome in city?

Letter by James M. Braden, Fox Island on June 20, 2011 at 11:21 am with 9 Comments »
June 20, 2011 2:29 pm

The installation of cameras to catch motorists running a red light is indeed an aid to the safety of pedestrians as well as other motorists. But is using the camera as a means to raise revenue a proper act by a city?

The intersection of 54th Avenue and 20th Street has such a camera (good), but it is being used to ply money from those driving into Fife from I-5 for fuel or shopping. Fife is fining those who drift across the white line (no crosswalk and too far back to see cross traffic) while the light is red.

Observing the site yields great numbers doing so, including law officers, and a stop at the courthouse confirms an “awful lot” of tickets being mailed out with the statement: “This infraction will not be placed on your driving record and will be processed as a parking violation” – a curious statement considering the $124 ticket reads that it is for “running a red light.”

In these economic times, creative income sourcing is understandable, but city management should examine the whole economic picture with questions like: “What impact will this have on commerce in our town?” and, “Will this action create an even greater divide between the public and government bureaucracy?”

Know that I am now avoiding that town.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. klthompson says:

    While I have often found reasons to visit Fife businesses while on my way to somewhere else I find that I must reassess that practice. While I have not received a citation from Fife I find that the easiest way to avoid the prospect is to avoid the area completely. Sorry about that Fife, but you reap what you sow.

  2. Actually, I find it easy to avoid getting a ticket in Fife! It’s almost impossible to get off the freeway to shop. The line of cars is backed up so far onto the freeway, it’s easy to by pass the potential ticket.

  3. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Boycott of Fife is the only way they will wake up. Do not buy from anyone in Fife and that more than applies to the indian outfits.

    IT’s all about revenue for them. Friends don’t let friend shop in Fife except for Fife Flowers.

    I can shop with him because I do it on the phone.

  4. I don’t go to Fife for anything for all the reasons listed. Red light cameras should be for those who run the light THROUGH the intersection, not for those who are turning right on a red light. Unless the accident reports indicate otherwise, of course.

  5. blakeshouse says:

    In this state with the climate that now exists and the idiots who make up the electorate I am surprised that Fife is the only municipality being called out on this. Maybe Fife is being used as a test case to see the kind of reaction brought on by this obvious THEFT from citizens, before it is brought to a neighborhood near you

  6. jjohnson67 says:

    Mr. Braden, make sure you don’t shop in Puyallup, Tacoma, Lakewood, Federal Way, and most other cities because they, too, have cameras.

    It would be a lot easier to just make a complete stop before the big white line in the road, the proceed ahead to check for oncoming traffic before turning on red.

    It’s simple, but so many people make it into a complicated issue. Check the DOL driving instruction manual. It clearly states that this is the law, not something that Fife made up.

    As you letter stated, the traffic is backed up getting into Fife. I don’t think Fife is going to miss you.

  7. redneckbuck says:

    I have stopped shopping in Fife after getting a photo ticket, that I fought but paid anyway. I shop Cabelas in Lacey now instead of the fife outdoor store.

  8. redneckbuck says:

    Little jj, Fife is going down and there is nothing you can do about it.

  9. jj, it is also the law to not drive while on the phone, or to park on the side of the street facing the wrong direction. Neither are enforced to the same degree as the right turn on red rule in Fife. Fife’s choice seems to be to raise revenue because it is easy to set up cameras for that purpose. No cop needs to be present as in the case of the cell phone or the wrong side parking.
    I would also question the safety aspect of the cameras for the right turn on red situation. Prove otherwise and I will agree that it is a fair policy.
    Fife has a great BBQ place on 20th I hear, but I am not going.

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