More Opinions On the Speed Camera Issue

Alex Lloyd Gross Delaware valley File photo of speed camera press conference

Roosevelt Boulevard Will Be Kept Dangerous for the Profits

Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, speed cameras are part of an enforcement-for-profit scheme embraced by Harrisburg that has nothing to do with safety: speed cameras exist only to raise money. Cameras can’t stop accidents, they can only take pictures. The reason the Boulevard is unsafe is because the city refuses to use best practices highway safety engineering to fix the problems.

Immediate and free steps that could be taken to make the Boulevard safer: 1. Synchronize the lights to 45 mph, ending speeding and red light running; 2. Put the crosswalks underground – no more pedestrian deaths. But it won’t happen because there is too much money to be made with the cameras. The city will keep the Boulevard dangerous because the profit motive of speed cameras encourages the government to ignore safe alternatives.

In Washington, DC after using speed cameras for more than a decade, traffic safety has not improved. After collecting $500,000,000.00 in ticket revenue, injury accidents have not
declined. The same will happen on the Boulevard. An independent audit of Maryland’s speed cameras showed the issuance of tickets that were flat out incorrect. The city comptroller pointed to an ongoing ticket error rate of 2.9%, which equaled nearly 25,000 fraudulent tickets being issued, yet the Baltimore speed camera program raked in over $7 million in revenue in four years.

The Inquirer reported the PPA was under investigation by the FBI, and has red-light cameras
that are 3% accurate. How can we possibly trust them with speed cameras?

Unbiased studies done by people and organizations with no financial interest in cameras show that cameras have no effect and even make highways more dangerous. A Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) study found no evidence that speed cameras had any positive impact on driver behavior and awareness. In a UK study, speed cameras were shown to increase injury
accidents. The most dangerous place to be on a British road is near a speed camera, because panic braking increases up to eleven-fold within 50 yards of a speed camera at 80 percent of the UK’s speed camera locations. Cameras will change driver behavior for the worse on the Boulevard.

The only “studies” showing speed cameras to be effective are from people and organizations who profit from camera enforcement, and those “studies” suffer from improper methodology.

This is being labeled a pilot project, but it is far from it. The goal is to blanket the entire state with speed cameras. After time passes, the cameras will be on every road in the state, an intention that has already been voiced in Harrisburg. A fine with no points is a ruse to sell the cameras, by making them a little less onerous.

Red light cameras on the Boulevard started as a “pilot program.” In spite of the Philadelphia Police Department finding that red light cameras increased accidents, the “pilot program” was renewed year after year, and finally made permanent. The Legislature even made red light cameras available state-wide. The camera promoters’ “studies” magically found the red light cameras to be a huge success. It should be noted that red light camera data is kept secret by state law, so no one can look at the actual performance of the cameras. It also should be noted that the Philadelphia Police Department does not get any revenue from the red light cameras.

Speed cameras will, magically, be found to be a great success by the camera promoters. So successful in fact, that we will be told THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE! WE MUST HAVE SPEED CAMERAS EVERYWHERE IMMEDIATELY!

Drivers know that speed cameras are a money grabbing racket.

Shame on the politicians and their pet special interests who are responsible for this unfair taxation
by citation.

Speed cameras should be banned, and the Boulevard re-engineered for safety, not left dangerous for camera profit.

Tom McCarey