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Proposed law could halve fines for right-turn-on-red violations

From: domainremoved <jcwconsult_at_>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2017 15:12:01 -0500

RE: http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2017/03/02/proposed-law-could-halve-fines-for-right-turn-on-red-violations

Quote from the start of the article:
Frank Viggiano of Palo Alto was recently slapped with a $490 fine when a red-light camera caught him turning right at a red light from El Camino Real onto Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park.

To the Honorable Menlo Park Officials:

I trust you know about the following NHTSA research.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did this Report to Congress to prove that mandating right on red turns at most trafficlights was a safe mandate to reduce congestion, save fuel, reduce airpollution, and reduce the pressure to build more lanes to handle growingtraffic volumes. The research did not differentiate between drivers who made afull stop and those that didn't. They found only six one-hundredths of onepercent (0.06% or 0.0006) of crashes with injuries or fatalities also involveda right on red turn - including those with or without a full stop. Thus almostevery $490 camera ticket for a slow rolling right on red turn or stopping justover a line goes to a safe driver who endangered absolutely no one.

WHY is thistrue? It is because drivers can see potential conflicts with the right of wayof a pedestrian, cyclist or another vehicle just as well at the 5 or 8 mphturning speed as they can from a full stop. Tennessee made right on red cameratickets illegal and they should be illegal everywhere.

These right on red camera tickets are agovernment-run for-profit racket, not a safety program. And whenever cities like Menlo Park enforce for profits instead of for safety, the rightful purpose of traffic enforcement has been changed to an improper one. This improper change breeds deserved disrespect from the public who can clearly see how profits have been substituted for the proper safety purpose for enforcement.

Menlo Park would be far ahead to join this group of 78 California cities that were reported to have dropped red light cameras, or prohibited them before any were installed. Anaheim, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Belmont, Berkeley, Burlingame, Cerritos, City of Orange, Compton, Corona, Costa Mesa, Cupertino, Davis, El Cajon, El Monte, Emeryville, Escondido, Fairfield, Fresno, Fullerton, Gardena, Glendale, Grand Terrace, Hayward, Highland, Indian Wells, Inglewood, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lancaster, Loma Linda, Long Beach, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Manteca, Marysville, Maywood, Modesto, Montclair, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Napa, Newport Beach, Oakland, Oceanside, Orange County, Paramount, Pasadena, Poway, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Redwood City, Riverside, Rocklin, Roseville, San Bernardino, San Carlos, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, San Rafael, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, South Gate, South San Francisco, Stockton, Union City, Upland, Victorville, Vista, Walnut, Westminster, Whittier, Yuba City, Yucaipa. Only 32 California communities are continuing the for profit red light camera programs, in a state that once had over 100 programs.

And please note that something like 75% of the ticket camera revenue goes to support state and county governments plus the for-profit camera companies in other states. Money circulates about six times a year per the federal reserve, so $100 spent on January 1st will produce about $600 in sales of goods and services by December 31st.

Consider what this means to the loss of economic activity for Menlo Park. $490 x ~75% = $367.50 x 6 = $2,205. Each $490 ticket paid generates well over $2,000 in sales of goods and services, almost none of which can occur in the Menlo Park economic area because the money is gone from the area permanently.

Is this wise governance for Menlo Park officials to do this much damage to your economy?

Respectfully submitted,

James C. Walker
Life Member, National Motorists Association
Board Member and Executive Director, National Motorists Association Foundation
2050 Camelot Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

BIO: Age 72, licensed for 56 years, over 1.1 million miles of driving experience in 26 major countries, a volunteer student of these issues for 50+ years. I work closely with the safety department of the Michigan State Police and testify frequently before state legislative committees on proposed legislation that affects traffic safety and other motorists issues.

Red light and speed cameras are illegal to use in Michigan. When bills were introduced in 2013 to allow them, the combined opposition and testimony in hearings from the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the ACLU, the Campaign for Liberty, Abate, the Mackinac Center think tank, the judges association, the National Motorists Association, skeptical editorials in both major Detroit newspapers, and others caused the bills to be withdrawn. Ticket cameras remain illegal to use in Michigan, and should be illegal in every location.
Received on Tue Mar 07 2017 - 12:14:42 PST

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