Bensalem Red Light Camera Program

 

To the Editor:

Re “Bensalem Red Light Camera Program

Bensalem’s red light cameras will be utterly despised by most of the residents and visitors. The public has become aware that almost all tickets given by red light cameras go to safe drivers who endangered no one, and the only real results are monetary.

Red light cameras increase accidents and injuries. Red light cameras are an enforcement-for-profit racket that has nothing to do with highway safety. Intersections that could be made safer with Best Practices Highway Safety Engineering will be kept dangerous to ensure camera profits.

PennDOT will refuse to allow Bensalem to add one second to the yellow light to improve safety by more than the cameras can achieve. WHY will they refuse? Because ARLE programs [https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/Bureaus/BOMO/Portal/ARLE_Info.pdf] are for-profit ways for PennDOT to accumulate funds they can pass out to communities they favor for whatever reasons.

But if the yellow intervals are lengthened by one second to reduce the violations 70% – 90%,  ARLE cameras would issue too few tickets for the total fines to pay the $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera costs and the program would lose money. Without profits, PennDOT and the camera companies will not be interested in the program.

Involving for-profit camera companies in any part of traffic enforcement guarantees that the real focus will be profits, not safety.

Bensalem will indeed profit from red light camera revenue. PennDOT will favor Bensalem with ARLE grants for not lengthening yellow light duration. In essence, Bensalem is trading greater safety for the money.

Tom McCarey

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