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Red-light cameras are about revenue, not safety

Chief: Cameras not about money | Oct. 7, letter

Traffic cameras are not for safety

I love the comments from the Port Richey police chief claiming red-light cameras were not about the money. But let's be frank. Oh, yes, it is.

The crying mantra of the purveyors of this scam have been to stop dangerous red-light runners. Of course what is failed to be mentioned is that most of those crashes are plus five to eight seconds into the red light.

Most of the violations these systems write are for technical fouls like right turns on red. In Collier County, of the 505 citations, 500 were for right turns at one intersection. Lakeland is doing the same thing. And no doubt their constituents are not amused since they are considering offering rebates.

There is ample evidence of other towns using short amber lights where red-light cameras operate. Maybe the Florida Department of Transportation has the key, but when I timed Brooksville's red-light camera on a U.S. highway, I found it very interesting that the amber time was almost a half-second longer just one light away on the same U.S. highway with the same speed limit and number of lanes without a camera. And it wasn't the only short amber light at an intersection with a camera on a state road, either. I wonder who has those keys?

Longer amber lights do work and if forced here like in Georgia, where the law requires red-light camera intersections to have a longer yellow, you would see a number of towns get rid of it, unless they are like Collier, where most are right turns.

Red-light cameras are a numbers game, plain and simple. They have to write 10 to 15 citations per 12 hours to make it work! The ATS operation in Lubbock, Texas, proved this as well as a copy of a RedFlex e-mail to Sulton, Wash., declining to install red-light cameras because they couldn't make enough violations. Red-light cameras are not about stopping anything. It is about churning tickets!

But if the chief really believes the propaganda in his letter I will lay down a challenge. Give away all the red-light camera revenue. The city gets none of it. Ask the DOT to use 5.5-second amber lights with countdown timers so drivers know how much time they have to a cycle. And stop the right turn on red violations. Clearly, it is not about safety.

Time to ban these devices.

Stephen Donaldson, Dade City

Deputies told her to give up Oct. 8, article

Story gave man forum to criticize

Officer shoots a woman who he felt may have been armed. Investigation showed that no firearm was found at the scene, and an investigation is in progress, which is normal procedure.

The reporter interviewed a person who was able to state that the woman should not have been shot. The article mentioned that the man and his wife were having a dinner of neck bones, rice and corn when he heard a commotion. He looked out his window and saw crowds circling the scene, but did not see the shooting.

My problem with this story is that the person interviewed did not see the shooting, did not add any credible information to the situation, but was able to vent his dislike for the Sheriff's Office by comparing them to dangerous drug dealers.

My disgust for this individual cannot be described in just a few words, but I can assure him that even with his dislike for law enforcement, the officers will be there to help him when he calls.

Van E. Vergetis, Holiday

State needs safe gun storage law | Oct. 7, letter

Safe gun storage is not real issue

The issue of safe storage of firearms is one used by every antigun entity in the country. It is one of the key points used by antigun New York City Mayor Bloomberg by his so-called Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, which has hoodwinked so many naive mayors in Florida and around the country. A number of informed mayors have already resigned from MAIG.

Bloomberg's MAIG has lobbied Congress against the reciprocity of state right-to-carry permits, against much-needed reforms of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for regulating gun shows out of existence and for repealing the pro-gun Tiahrt Amendment. MAIG is nothing more than an antigun front group, created by the most antigun mayor in the country.

It's not surprising the letter writer would join forces with MAIG in his quest to legislate the Second Amendment out of existence. Safe storage laws have been used as tools in Canada and Great Britain to help undermine all gun rights. The suggestion that gun locks be used on all guns stored in automobiles borders on the absurd. A firearm kept there for the purpose of self-defense is useless with a trigger lock and has nothing to do with preventing stolen firearms.

The safe and proper storage of firearms to prevent unauthorized access is every gun owner's responsibility and is very strongly emphasized by the NRA. Police intervention in firearm storage is simply another step in a slippery slope toward the loss of our Second Amendment rights. Canada's and Great Britain's experience have clearly demonstrated that. Both have lost every right to keep and bear arms, as have the citizens of Bloomberg's New York City.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

Re: Cars blocking sidewalks

Apply sidewalk law to homes

My husband and I take walks and it irks me to no end when we are forced into the road because of cars parked in driveways.

It doesn't make sense to have a law in Pasco prohibiting blocking the sidewalk when it doesn't include sidewalks in front of private homes because homes here are built so close together. People are also parking on the grass median between the sidewalk and the road. This destroys the appeal of the homes in all areas, especially ones where owners have plunked down substantial sums of money to purchase a home.

When people have children who need cars, they do not care if you have a wheelchair, scooter or stroller. They are going to park the family cars wherever it is convenient. Their needs will always have priority over your needs — wheelchair or not.

If this law is not changed, thank the officials who have children who absolutely need to park in front of their homes.

Rose Kottakis, Trinity

Red-light cameras are about revenue, not safety 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 5:53pm]
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