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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A sign notifies drivers of a red-light camera

A sign notifies drivers of a red-light camera at Merrick Road and Millburn Avenue in Baldwin in 2014. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

As I have said many times, I have yet to see a red-light camera driving a car [“Red-light cameras are saving lives,” News, June 17].

Were we not all taught that we as drivers are responsible for where the front end of our car goes? Where is the sense of personal responsibility for operating a 3,000-pound motor vehicle?

Rear-end collisions are a function or combination of inattention, following too close or driving too fast for conditions — end of story.

If a car or pedestrian suddenly enters the intersection and a vehicle in front of you stops in time, but you hit it, would you blame the pedestrian or other driver? Boy I hope not.

If we all pay just a little more attention, accident numbers will fall further. For those who do not, maybe the fines will get your attention.

George Lasher, Commack

It took audacious hubris from Nassau County legislators to add a $100 surcharge to the standard $50 ticket while telling residents that red-light cameras are for safety. Each and every Nassau legislator who voted for approval of this surcharge should be voted out.

Then Nassau County Executive Laura Curran wanted even more money [“A stop sign for raising red-cam fees,” News column, June 14]!

Check the number of an interstate moving company!

Bonnie Rifkin, Woodmere

All these cameras are for is to bring in revenue for the counties. Besides the many accidents caused by people slamming on their brakes to avoid a ticket, you have drivers behind you who curse you out for stopping. And forget about respect for other drivers — that’s long gone.

If people and government are so concerned about safety, there is a simple solution: Stop right on red. Whoever thought this was a good idea years ago should have been smacked for not knowing how dangerous it is.

Bill Anderson, Holbrook

There should be a requirement that any location with red-light cameras should have some sort of countdown clock to let drivers know how much time they have before the light will change.

This should prevent drivers from having to make split-second decisions about whether to hit the brakes. This also would give drivers a chance to slow down when approaching camera intersections, which would reduce rear-end collisions.

If the cameras are really about safety, countdown clocks would make these intersections even safer.

Paul Fein, Oceanside

There are two kinds of red-light camera infractions. The first involves driving straight through an intersection, the most dangerous. The second kind involves not fully stopping when turning right on red, not very dangerous at all.

Most drivers stop, and then do a slow roll while looking to their left for traffic. Why should this driving practice be monitored by cameras if it is not dangerous? The reason is revenue, not safety.

Ralph Daino,Wantagh

Newsday reported statistics regarding red-light cameras, indicating an increase in collected fines but also increases in some types of accidents. Are we blaming cameras for speeding, tailgating, ignoring rules of the road, and the overall rude and inconsiderate driving that have become the norm?

Two years ago, I spent two weeks driving all over Southern California. Experienced drivers waited for each other at four-way stops and backed off to let others change lanes on busy freeways. That was the norm there, as it was when I worked out there 10 years earlier. (No one waved thank you, except me.)

Besides adding red-light cameras, my fervent desire is to have them placed at stop signs. Town, county and state debts could be paid off!

Arthur James, Massapequa Park

It is said that history is written by the victorious. The same argument can be made about statistics, as they are presented by those who gather, interpret and have a vested interest.

Quantitative analysis is most useful when all the factors are known and are employed at explaining the past, not predicting the future. Lives might or might not have been saved. In any case, the cost was an increase in rear-end collisions.

When municipalities factor revenue from red-light cameras into upcoming annual budgets and earmark them for specific expenses, it is clear safety isn’t the top priority. Safety doesn’t pay the bills, fines do.

Edward Weinert, Melville

I agree with a May 17 letter, “How to coexist with red-light cameras,” that suggested extending the yellow-light phase to giving drivers greater opportunity to safely navigate through a changing signal and avoid having a sudden-stop accident and/or expensive violations.

William F. Dennis, Long Beach