Posts Tagged ‘traffic cameras’

Vote YES on Bellingham Initiative No. 2011-01

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Some say that traffic cameras are about safety and other say they are about money.  Well at least for the Guide/Telegraph Road intersection near Bellis Fair Mall it is pretty clear now that it is all about the money.   A recent study by Gibson Traffic Consultants concluded the following:

Based on the 5-years of collision data obtained from WSDOT and the City of Bellingham; the collision data does not support the introduction of red-light cameras. Per the ITE collected statistics it only has the potential to reduce at angle red-light running collisions by a less than 1 per year but increase rear ends by an average of nearly 5 per year for this particular intersection.

With no fatalities or injuries related to the at angle collisions but 30 injuries related to rear end collisions it is anticipated that the proposed red-light camera would not reduce the collision/injury potential of the intersection and potentially increase the collision/injury potential at this particular location.

In this well traveled intersection, Red-Light Cameras are expected to increase the potential for injury, yet in an effort to raise revenue for the City of Bellingham, they are installing cameras in spite of making the intersection more dangerous.    You’d think that the City of Bellingham would have done this type of  study before they contracted to install red-light cameras, but they didn’t at this intersection, nor in any of the other areas slated for automated ticketing.

Indeed, the City of Bellingham has sold the safety of those who drive in and around their city in hopes of raising money to fill a budget shortfall.   The people of Bellingham have spoken in the form of petition, yet the Bellingham City Council and Mayor Pike ignored them and entered into a financial contract with ATS.

If you live in Bellingham then I urge you to vote YES on Initiative 2011-01.

Link to more information on the study and the problems with automated ticketing in Bellingham


Protect and Serve

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

With automated traffic cameras now patrolling roadways, Bellingham has reassigned their police force to patrol grocery and convenience stores keeping their fair city safe from bag ordinance violators.

Hasta la Bye Bye former Mayor Pike

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

When I heard the news that the Transportation Safety Coalition had turned in around 7,000 signatures for an initiative to let voters decide if they want traffic cameras in Bellingham, I knew we could start waving hasta la bye bye to Mayor Dan Pike.   Even with high kickout rates as signatures are verified, 7,000 is hopefully a lot more than the 3,880 needed and 7,000 is a referendum on Dan Pike and the current City Council of Bellingham.

When Dan Pike was Mayor of Bellingham he had a chance to hold an open forum and listen to peoples concerns about the cameras.  He didn’t.  As signatures mounted during the petition drive, he could have postponed signing the contract with ATS.  He didn’t.   Through the whole process he could have represented the interests of the people of Bellingham.  He didn’t.   Dan Pike may legally be the Mayor, but in reality, he isn’t.

From where I stand in Ferndale I see the people of Bellingham, left, right and in the middle looking for leadership in the next election, not in the current mayors office.  Hasta la bye bye.

Another thought or two on Red Light Cameras

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Habitual running of red lights and speeding through school zones is dangerous, no doubt. But if paying a traffic camera fine takes the place of traffic cops and judges, then the fines become just another sin tax. How many people really quit smoking because it cost too much?

And like other sin taxes, if people really quit running reds and speeding, or whatever the taxable sin might be, wouldn’t the tax revenue dry up?   The City of Bellingham has budgeted continuing income from the cameras so they must be expecting the red light running and speeding to continue for at least the foreseeable future.  So really, by not actually getting dangerous drivers off the road and merely deriving an income flow from them, isn’t the City just selling peoples safety to fill a budget line item?

People say that because these tickets will not be on your actual driving record, then you insurance rates won’t be effected by them.  Insurance companies already look at several factors that aren’t dings on a person’s driving record such as age, sex, marital status, credit rating and distance to and from their job.

Parking tickets represent a relatively benign act while the acts caught by automated traffic cameras generally represent a dangerous situation.  Call me a cynic, but I think that if a vehicle registered to me starts racking up red light camera tickets, my insurance company would find a way to cover their risk by increasing my premiums or canceling my policy.

I don’t want to blog I told you so, when somewhere down the line another life is taken at an intersection and we find the driver has a nice stack of red light fines on their “vehicles” record.