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March 13, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Red Light Camera protest

Letter to the Editor: Red Light Camera protest

Cities of Alameda County have issued 300,000 camera tickets carrying fines totaling over $100 million since the inception of camera programs. Currently six cities in the County employ red light cameras. Citations number about 60,000 per year.

Red Light Cameras are more about revenue than about safety. Camera towns ignore the effectiveness of extending yellow light times, a proven strategy to reduce red light running, because of its impact on revenue. An additional 7/10's of a second added to one yellow light in Fremont has reduced red light running at that approach by more than half. Income to the City of Fremont was reduced by $100,000 to $150,000 per year. Extending other yellow lights is being ignored for this reason. This is proof that revenue trumps safety.

More and more, cities are exploiting the fact that low speed illegal right turns on red carry the same fine as all other red light violations... fines increased recently from $480 to $530. Cities know that aggressive enforcement of right turn violations is the cash cow of these systems and necessary to pay for the cameras and turn a profit. No city has yet produced a safety study on effectiveness of this strategy. This is a second example where revenue trumps safety.

Photo Enforcement systems, which provide income to cities, are achieving the exact opposite of their intended result. There is NO incentive to reduce red light running; the incentive is to keep violations high.

Fifteen times around the country, the issue of photo enforcement has been put to a vote by the public; fifteen times photo enforcement has lost.

It is time to stop the nonsense.

The Red Light Camera Protest Group of Alameda County plans a demonstration at Noon, Saturday, March 17 at the corner of Mowry Avenue and Fremont Boulevard in Fremont. Join us!

Roger Jones

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