Proposal for red-light cameras draws wide views

YOUR COVER STORY on Monday, July 10, 2017, "Another Fine Mess Ahead," regarding Rep. John Taylor's bill to install speed cameras on the Roosevelt Boulevard, misses the larger more important story about safety on Philadelphia's roadways.

While the story attempted to sniff out a red light camera moneymaking scheme that didn't exist, it all but ignored the fact that Roosevelt Boulevard makes up half of 1 percent of all Philadelphia roads, but is responsible for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in the city.

Last May, a network of organizations dedicated to reducing deadly traffic crashes, the Vision Zero Alliance, joined LaTanya Byrd, the aunt of Samara Banks, who, along with three of her sons, was killed in 2013 at the hands of a drag racer on Roosevelt Boulevard as they were crossing. We support this bill for victims such as Banks and their family members, such as Byrd, who have been hard at work to bring an end to the era of Roosevelt Boulevard being Philadelphia's most-dangerous roadway.

Nobody - whether they walk, bike or drive - should be killed on the streets of the city simply for going about their daily lives. Philadelphia has begun an important design effort called "Route for Change" that is collecting community input on a new design for Roosevelt Boulevard, but it will take years to implement because of the cost. In the meantime, enforcement cameras that can slow motor vehicles down will save lives immediately.

Data from the red-light cameras, which is available on the Philadelphia Parking Authority's website, clearly show that program is working.

Taylor's bill is purposely written in a way that any leftover funds go for other important safety enhancements throughout Philadelphia and the commonwealth.

Speed cameras have a proven record of cutting down on severe and deadly crashes where they've been installed. We wish the Daily News had informed its readers about some of the enormous amount of research when preparing this story.

Bob Previdi, Policy Coordinator

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Pushing speed cameras and more red-light cameras is misguided. An Ohio judge called speed cameras three-card monty in the past.

Why are we relying upon poor engineering and predatory enforcement to issue "gotcha" tickets to safe drivers? There have been a lot of errors with cameras, and in many cases, people are forced to disobey laws, such as when stuck in the dilemma zone at an intersection. The Maryland Drivers Alliance has an entire section on speed camera errors.

Things such as making yellow lights longer and using stop signs only where needed would work wonders.

You also are automatically found guilty because of cameras, and you have no rights.

Please contact your state lawmakers and Gov. Wolf to oppose the cameras in Pennsylvania and to demand best-practice engineering.

James Sikorski Jr.

Pa. Advocate National Motorists Association, Wapwallopen, Pa.

If the city wants/needs added revenue, it's time to crack down on the out-of-control bikers. They think they own the roads and I guess if no one enforces rules they are supposed to follow, I guess they do.

Red light, what's that? Stop sign, hilarious. They ride on sidewalks, against traffic, nonbike lane streets, etc . . .

They mock pedestrians, motorists and even the police as they openly break the rules of the road because they know nothing is ever done. Yet, God forbid, a delivery truck/moving van or construction blocks a bike lane - they don't hesitate to complain.

It's time to put an end to this and start fining these lawbreakers. It will make them think twice about breaking the law . . . not to mention, the city streets and sidewalks will be much safer and the city itself can make some much-needed cash in the fines they will pay.

Joe "Jake" Dunphy

Philadelphia

Stats tell the story of racial crime

Regarding Helen Ubinas' "And we're off to the racists" column: While you're looking up underreported/overreported crime by race, please check actual crime statistics by race of perp and race of victim. Check prison population if you're after actual statistics.

Maybe you'll understand why people make the assumptions they do. Is it fair? No. But it is human nature. In Chicago, almost 2,000 shootings so far this year. Do you live under a rock?

Last week, it was Jenice Armstrong worrying about a noose; this week, it's Ubinas worrying about a couple of fools rushing to judgment. And every week it's Solomon Jones looking to drum up more racial discord. Meanwhile, blacks are dying in the streets at catastrophic rates.

Vincent J. Scarazza

Nottingham, Pa.