Re: Crashes on the rise (email to the editor, March 10)
In his email, Tony Pittman incorrectly cites short-term statistics when critiquing a long-term policy. Although a rise in accidents has occurred with the introduction of red light cameras, this is expected as drivers adjust to the cameras. It is similar to a new policy at work — in the short-term, incidents are expected to occur as people react to the new policy. In the long-term, however, incidents are expected to decrease as people adjust their behavior to the new policy.
With the red light cameras, a short-term rise in accidents suggests that drivers are reacting to the new cameras and is not indicative of long-term results. I would sooner use a decrease in revenue to conclude that the red light cameras are effective. After all, the red light cameras are used to change driver behavior, which is a long-term goal.
Assessing this long-term goal is best done through long-term statistics, not flawed short-term statistics that are not controlled. The red light cameras are a long-term policy that must continue.
Lindsey Wilson, Tampa
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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says that 22 red light cameras at 10 intersections will be discontinued if they fail to be profitable. Will other law enforcement methods be discontinued if the enforcement method is not showing a profit? Or does this statement mean that the original motive for the introduction of the traffic light cameras was to make money for the city?
David Cox, St. Petersburg
Restraint on Ukraine
I call on President Obama to change his views on Russian intervention in Ukraine 180 degrees. The United States has for hundreds of years intervened in any country where we don't like what is going on. The list includes Nicaragua, Haiti (numerous times), Grenada, Panama, Mexico (the punitive expedition), Canada (just wanted to swipe some territory), Russia (in 1919), China (paid others to invade in 1946), Cuba (of course), Iran (we threw out the democratically elected leader to install a dictator), and who knows how many regime changes in South Vietnam.
There are probably others not listed here. So how can we blame Russia for doing the same thing we have been doing all along? I hope all right-thinking Americans will join me in urging our government to support this approach.
Tom Horsley, Tampa
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