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please reconsider red light camera decision

From: domainremoved <Heyward>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:33:20 -0700

Dear Council Members,

I'm writing to request that you reconsider your decision to eliminate the red light cameras from Menlo Park. I was a member of the Menlo Park Council when the cameras were initially installed. I supported their installation and believe that the arguments in their favor then still apply today.

Crossing a busy street in Menlo Park is hazardous, regardless of whether one is on foot, a bike, or in a car. Menlo Park and other the Bay Area cities have had far too many serious accidents and fatalities at intersections. I recall at least three deaths at Menlo Park intersections during my time on the Council. The frequency of these incidents is likely to increase as additional density and development add more vehicles to our roads.

Unfortunately Menlo Park and other cities have limited strategies with which to address traffic problems. Traffic enforcement is generally not a high priority for local police departments, including Menlo Park, where the the City has only two officers assigned to its traffic division. Speed enforcement is almost non-existent due to California's antiquated "speed trap" law. The only real tools that cities have are red-light cameras.

The benefits of red-light cameras are well known: they work 24/7, don't call in sick, and are remarkably accurate and effective. They have a mitigating effect on driver behavior. Quite simply, they work.

The controversies around Redflex and the revenue generated by the cameras are secondary to the camera's safety benefits. I would support keeping them even if they did not generate any revenue.

I do think that the $480 fine is too high and that a lower fine, particularly for right-turn-on-red violations, would be fairer and still provide a strong disincentive to drivers. I'm happy to serve on a community task force to review options for improving the fairness and effectiveness of the cameras.

Menlo Park's red light cameras have been making our city's safer for over 12 years. I urge you to reconsider your decision to eliminate them.


Heyward Robinson
Former Mayor and Council Member

Received on Mon Apr 15 2019 - 16:28:35 PDT

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