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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Red-light cameras: Are they protecting drivers or depriving rights?

Big Brother alive and well thanks to cameras

I wonder, does anyone believe Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr’s assertion [“Suit alleges red-light camera fines are excessive,” NWThursday, June 25] that red-light cameras were installed strictly as a deterrent against red-light runners?

The fact that red-light camera fines are the same as that of a police officer issuing a fine for the same infraction suggests not. State law says cities should fine car owners no more than what they can fine them for parking tickets. An average parking ticket is around $40. Carr uses the logic that half of the maximum fine for parking in a handicap zone –$250 — is reasonable.

While studies may have shown the number of people running red lights where cameras have been installed have declined, I’m curious how much the number of rear-end collisions increased from people slamming on the brakes to avoid running a stale yellow light?

Red-light cameras, and now more recently speed cameras, are nothing more than revenue-generating devices, depriving motorists from confronting their accusers at the scene of the alleged crime.

George Orwell’s nightmare vision of Big Brother watching over our every move is alive and well in 2009.

— Gene Davis, Lake Forest Park

Comments | More in Seattle Police Department, Transportation

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