Friday, July 14, 2017

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In Response to Proposed Speed Cameras in Work Zone Bill

The following is a letter to the editor we received from Joe, in Wapwallopen, PA in response to Senator Argall's proposed SB 172, to add speed cameras to work zones.
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Magically, speed cameras came up when it is time to do the state budget. The state may authorize speed cameras in order to fund police. So this always was only about the money! This bill is SB 172, while a Philadelphia-limited bill is HB 1187. There is the need to setup the engineering and enforcement so that safe drivers violate the rules, and get tickets. Notice how these devices do not stop violations. Some studies show camera areas have more crashes.

Simply setting 85th percentile speed limits, doing night work, posting the zipper-merge technique, keeping two lanes open, removing conflicting signs, and not putting stop signs on acceleration ramps, would alleviate many problems.

A Minnesota study showed no benefit to speed cameras in work zones, while a UK study showed deaths increasing. The Maryland Drivers Alliance has an entire section on speed camera errors. An Ohio judge even called the cameras 3-card monte.

You will lose if you appeal a camera ticket, and you have no rights.

The state has a pattern here of pursuing red-light cameras, speed cameras, stop-arm cameras, municipal radar, etc.

In general, maximum safety on roads occurs when we have speed limits posted to the 85th percentile, longer yellow traffic lights, and stop signs only where needed.

Please contact your state representative, state senator, and the governor to oppose the above in Pennsylvania, and demand best-practice engineering. Tickets should only be issued by real police and be just points, no fines or surcharges.

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