Letters to the Editor

Disturbed by red light cameras | Federal Way letters, March 17

Disturbed by report on cameras

“Red light photo enforcement was a money maker for Federal Way in its first three months of operation.” (Mirror, March 14). The program earned the city nearly $160,000 during that time.

There is something about this report that disturbs me. It reminds me of the cigarette tax. Cigarettes kill people, so let us put on a tax so that people will smoke less and we can save lives. Those taxes are now so high that they are a major source of revenue for many governmental groups. People who gain from these taxes secretly hope that more and more people continue to smoke.

I think it is safe to say that our city fathers are already planning on how many more cameras can be placed around the city. Soon it will reach the point where it will be impossible to crawl out of our homes without a camera watching our every move.

Frankly, I wish the city had told us how many lives were saved by these cameras rather than proudly telling us that they took in $160,000.

Leo J. Thoennes, Federal Way

Tickets and red light cameras

The red light camera cash-cow article (March 14) was most interesting.

Perhaps your article could have included stats on how many accidents (because of cameras) were prevented at these intersections? This information may not be readily available from the city/police department. Better still – probably too much information for us local deep pocket citizens to understand. Were we to originally understand that cameras prevent accidents?

My friend received a ticket for not running any stop lights at these intersections. She was forced to pay $124 anyway. The ticket was actually for making a “right turn rolling California stop” at 320th Street and Highway 99. The video showed her applying the brake lights, but rolling the intersection. The law says make a full stop or “bingo,” pay the ticket. How creative is this? How many accidents are caused because of rolling stops at these intersections? Is it possible that all careful people making rolling right turns deserve a ticket anyway?

Our police chief states that tickets are on the decline because of cameras. He does not mention the percentage or physical numbers of reduced accidents. Nor does he report how many rear-end accidents are caused from people jamming on the brakes in order to avoid “ticket row.” Sure, tickets are now on the decline. This is because most all we local folks now see the cameras. This is even though the “photo enforced” signs were even installed higher than the stop lights. Pity the poor strangers in town!

According to a March 2 article in USA Today, AAA (Auto Company of America) is now alerting drivers to cameras and speed traps in many states and listing these states and locations on maps. AAA reports that city and state controlled “cash-cow” camera monitoring is getting out of hand.

Arizona currently receives around $4 million annually for photo enforcement, the article said. Redflex, the management company for the cameras, made $435,000. Arizona aims to have 60 stationary cameras and 40 mobile cameras this year. Did you catch that – “40 mobile cameras” stationed in cars on the sides of roads! Yes, the citizens of Federal way — please stay tuned for more to come from our money hungry city fathers.

Neil Corbin, Federal Way

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