Letters to the Editor: 'Red-Light Cameras' Are a Cash-Grab

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Letters to the Editor

James Sikorski Jr. of Luzerne County writes regarding June 4's story, "$344K State Grant Will Fund City-Wide Safety, Traffic Improvements."

Sikorski is "Pennsylvania Advocate" for the "National Motorists Association," which describes itself as a "grassroots alliance of motorists joined together to protect our rights."

It should be noted that versions of this same letter have been sent to other publications around the state:

Sadly, the speed kills myth is alive and well in Pennsylvania. A real 25-state analysis was done of NHTSA data, which showed that 1.6 percent of crashes are caused by excessive speed. Barely above zero, then.

Nowhere does anyone ever put into a bill that speed limits must be posted at the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed. This is so that the ticket industry can thrive. Set the limits too low, ticket barely above them, get municipal radar and speed cameras, then watch the money flow in. Since this is still not enough, the state now wants more LIDAR and moving radar. You can expect more crashes, safe drivers cited, and lots of erroneous tickets with poor policies.

The mentioned devices flopped elsewhere and will here. The state wants money, whether from red-light cameras, speed cameras, stop-arm cameras, or municipal radar. Multiple media outlets stated that after red-light cameras were installed in Philadelphia, crashes went up, yet people still say they went down. Be careful who you listen to with traffic issues.

Maximum safety on roads occurs when we have speed limits posted to the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed, yellow traffic lights set to actual approach speeds with realistic perception and reaction times, and stop signs only where needed.

In the meantime, we ignore issues like distracted drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Please contact your state representative, state senator, and the governor to oppose the above in Pennsylvania and demand best-practice engineering. Tickets should also be only points, no fines or surcharges.

James Sikorski Jr.
State Advocate
National Motorists Association
Wapwallopen, Pa.


Editor's Note, added June 14, 2019: We received at least three emails with similar language to this one, and as I noted to Mr. Sikorski, this letter as received has very little to do with the story we published.

But I also thought it was worth sharing an opposing viewpoint on automatic red-light enforcement cameras, and I thank Mr. Sikorski for sharing it. --- Jason Togyer, Executive Director


Tube City Community Media is committed to printing viewpoints from residents of the McKeesport area and surrounding municipalities. Commentaries are accepted at the discretion of the editor and may be edited for content or length.

To submit a commentary for consideration, please write to P.O. Box 94, McKeesport 15134, or email tubecitytiger -at - gmail -dot- com. Include contact information and your real name. A pen name may be substituted with approval of the editor.

Originally published June 12, 2019.

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