Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LETTERS & COMMENTS: Post your opinions about Redmond light cameras here.

OPINIONS:  1900 red light camera violations have been reported between February 1 and March 1.  Redmond Police start writing $124 fines for red-light camera violations on March 3. 

You're invited to post your Letters and Opinions about Redmond's red light cameras here. All you have to do is write to redmondblog@gmail.com , or leave your name with a comment under any entry to post on this page.  Anonymous are posted as a Comment. 

LETTER:  I pass through the Union Hill/Avondale intersection three times a day/five days a week, and have nearly always seen the [red light camera] flash while I'm passing through. As with the previous two commenters, I have rarely seen any activity there that would have caught the attention of a police officer. It appears that 1,900 number is largely bloated by activity for which no police officer would have handed out a citation.

I'm deeply concerned by how this is going to play out starting Thursday.

Douglas Burchard
Rose Hill neighborhood
March 1, *Ref: 

Read More Letters and Comments >>

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If the goal is to modify behavior of folks travelling through the light, consider me a success. I now approach the intersection at slower speeds, even on a green and if necessary, slam on brakes anytime the light turns yellow to avoid the possibility that I might get an infraction for turning right on a red (or even a yellow). I sure hope everyone behind me is paying attention.

According to the Redmond City web site: http://redmond.gov/cms/one.aspx?objectId=32889&contextId=169 ; “Red light cameras only photograph a vehicle if it enters the intersection after the light turns red.” That sure seems counter to some of the discussion on the blog about when they’ve seen a flash (or even received a citation) and it sure seems counter to the FAQ page here: http://redmond.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=32896  that says: “A red light running violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection or fails to stop at the crosswalk or stop line after the traffic signal has turned red. Motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red, waiting to turn for example, are not considered red light violators.”

Since there is 24x7 video of activity (plus a clip of video of the ‘infraction’) – can the city post a “sample” of what’s clearly an infraction and what’s not when the camera flashes that we can have free access to review?

Anonymous, 3/8
 
LETTER:  I've seen the flash go off many times at the Union Hill/Avondale intersection when no one had done anything wrong. I'm wondering how many of these "infractions" are real.

BY Steve & Roylene Otteson, 3/1 Ref:  KIRO

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COMMENT:  It would be nice to near from the city or the police department on what they consider infractions and what they consider ' warnings'. I passed through the 40th intersection this morning and saw the flash as I went through a yellow light. I assume that I actually did have a part of my vehicle in the intersection when the light turned red but I have no idea if I were going to be ticketed or not. It was not blatant like I have seen at the intersection. When you start across the intersection with the light already red, its pretty obvious. But I am sure with a funding source like these cameras the leniency won't be liberal. Unless the city court is flooded with drivers that contest the ticket. Should be interesting.
 --By Anonymous, 3/1  Ref:  KIRO

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LETTER:  I go through this intersection every day. I have recently been paying close attention to when the camera flashes. I have seen it flash on numerous occasions when there is no red light running. This article in the Redmond Reporter on Friday backs the dysfunction of the red light traffic cams at Union Hill: http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/red/opinion/letters/116866488.html

By H Young, 3/2
Ref:   (KIRO)  Redmond red light traffic cams catch 1,900 violations

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COMMENT:  I'm assuming that this can program has been implemented b/c there have been an extraordinary number of collisions at these intersections. I didn't realize that. Can someone direct me to where I can find that data.  By Anonymous, 3/2  Ref:  KIRO
[You might try sshovlin@redmond.gov  She's the police commander managing this project. B.Y.]

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COMMENT:  Just about every time that I have sat at the light waiting to get on to 520 I have seen the light flash for no reason at all, including when people make legal right turns. Why have they only placed the cameras on the two sides of the intersection with designated right turn lanes? They say it is because those are the two sides that have been observed for the most violations, but I have seen just as many red light runners from the other directions.  By Anonymous, 3/2  KIRO

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LETTER:  Let's not forget that neighboring communities have these cameras too, so pretty soon we'll be tracked all over the Eastside. The safety argument is disingenuous, because the equipment suppliers tout the revenue as the main benefit. And, it's been reported that some cities (e.g. Dallas, TX) are uninstalling the cameras, because drivers have caught on and fine revenue as consequently gone down! I would think some legal eagles might look into the equal protection implications here. Why does a driver who is nailed by a cop get a violation that goes on hi driving record, while a driver who is nailed by a camera only gets an infraction that is not reported? As for a car committing a moving violation--so goes the logic about holding the owner, rather than a driver, responsible, that's just insane. I support state legislation to prohibit local jurisdictions from installing these little monsters.
-- By Franz W. Gregory, 3/2  Ref:  KIRO

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EMAIL FROM REDMOND POLICE:  Beginning tomorrow, notice of infractions will include a unique PIN that will allow the person receiving the citation to view video footage online.
 -- Jim Bove, City of Redmond Public Information Officer, 3/2

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LETTER:  I got my friendly warning in the mail yesterday. I was stunned to find out that my "crime" was that I had made a right hand turn on red even though it supposedly is legal to do so. I certainly would like to know just how long I am supposed to sit there at a complete stop before I am allowed to continue on with my right hand turn?
-- By Carla H., 3/2  Ref:  KIRO on Redmond red light traffic cams catch 1,900 violation

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COMMENT:  About two-years ago in Southern California I saw a TV news propram. that the City of Los Angeles had misconstrued traffic-accident statistics; they said traffic accidents were reduced dramatically after red-light traffic cams were installed. Upon an independent review by a legal team - through freedom of information act- the following was discovered:

1) overall, traffic accidents increased
2) City of Los Angeles made a fortune off red-light traffic cams
3) shortly after, a law suit was initiated against the City of Los Angeles to remove the red-light traffic cams because their real purpose was not about traffic accidents
4) not very much later, many (if not most) municipalities began to uninstall red-light traffic cams--I'm speculating now--to avoid similar law suits
5) also speculating: the cost to install and uninstall these red-light traffic cams exceeded any net gain in revenue to the municipalities.
 -- By Anonymous, 3/2  Ref:  KIRO facebook

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EMAIL FROM REDMOND POLICE:  If you are found to be in violation you will receive a notice in the mail and have plenty of time to weigh your options and decide how to resolve the citation. It is important to remember that just because a camera flashes doesn’t automatically mean there was a violation.
 -- Jim Bove, Redmond Police Public Information Officer, 3/2

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They should put a camera out to catch those who make an illegal right on red at the intersection of 520 and NE 40th St. (coming off of 520). I have had people honk at me for not making an illegal right turn on red!
  - By Anonymous, 3/4

(I will post your Letter or Comment here. B.Y.)

3 comments:

Franz W. Gregory said...

Let's not forget that neighboring communities have these cameras too, so pretty soon we'll be tracked all over the Eastside. The safety argument is disingenuous, because the equipment suppliers tout the revenue as the main benefit. And, it's been reported that some cities (e.g. Dallas, TX) are uninstalling the cameras, because drivers have caught on and fine revenue as consequently gone down!
I would think some legal eagles might look into the equal protection implications here. Why does a driver who is nailed by a cop get a violation that goes on hi driving record, while a driver who is nailed by a camera only gets an infraction that is not reported?
As for a car committing a moving violation--so goes the logic about holding the owner, rather than a driver, responsible, that's just insane. I support state legislation to prohibit local jurisdictions from installing these little monsters.

Anonymous said...

They should put a camera out to catch those who make an illegal right on red at the intersection of 520 and NE 40th St. (coming off of 520). I have had people honk at me for not making an illegal right turn on red!

Anonymous said...

"red light camera paintball" is fun

 
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