When the work is done, turn off the speed cameras
For at least 10 years, the District has usually hit the high notes of a well-implemented photo-enforcement program, so it’s especially unfortunate that it should lose public trust in a work-zone camera program that remains in place once the work is finished [“Speed cameras and resentment linger,” Metro, Dec. 3].
Lower speed limits, with well-marked, ubiquitous ticket cameras and double fines, do help make work zones safer for workers and road users, but once the work is done, drivers are justified in expecting normal road conditions to return. Otherwise, the program will be undermined as drivers suspect a cash-grab.
As District residents have seen, photo enforcement is a proven technology that can greatly enhance road safety when the integrity of the safety-grounded purpose is maintained. Unfortunately, many American communities jeopardize their programs by failing to adhere to recommended practices and principles of fairness, such as removing photo-enforcement cameras once the safety threat has been eliminated.
Too often, municipalities do not adopt clear-cut parameters for designing and managing programs, resulting in inconsistencies, excessive reliance on contractors and, ultimately, public distrust. This should not become the fate of the District’s long-standing, effective initiative.
The writer is executive director of the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running.
Leslie Blakey, Washington
| December 6, 2010; 8:21 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, traffic, transportation
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