August 1. 2014- Real charges started Oct 1, 2014 -
They are up for review as to whether they should be continued in
September 2015. The issue will appear Sept 2 at the
Susquehanna Road and Old York Road;
Old York Road and Old Welsh Road;
Fitzwatertown Road and
We have asked to have the
statistics regarding both finances and types of crashes,
fatalities etc and a comparison of this years statistics with a
five or more year look back to see normal fluctuations without
the cameras . The police website has linked only one page
of statistics that are very difficult to extrapolate information
from . Possibly at tonights meeting (-2-15 there will be a power
point - but as of this writing the information is not available
for citizens to come prepared to the meeting. The police
have been asked to change that.
Review 1 Yr -
Originally it was said that
in August 2015 the Commissioner would
decide if they will continue. That was not done in August which
then bumped us up against the contract renewal deadline by
moving it out a month .
Central Reporting for
Although this has been talked about there is
no clear path at the moment for
reports from those who feel victimized by the cameras . We have
asked for a place where
problems can be publicly seen ( keeping full anonymity of the
driver who is making the complaint.
This is the most important part of the evaluation system - and
if it is not transparent there will
be little trust that the reporting of problems and complaints
will be fair . Citizens have been directed
address their concerns to the police at
email@example.com . I invite anyone to also
report them here and I will
publish anonymously any that I get .
Here are some of
the cogent points that lead us to request the cameras be
History & the first ordinance
YOU CAN HELP so this should be on the website - but won't
be unless some of you start
take the time to call and ask for :
separate page for "Red Light Cameras" easily found on the
website - 267-536-1000
2) All the links to the updated documents as they change
There is no way that
the rest of us can know when our links are outdated -
so this is very imnportant to getting good information
If anyone has obtained the statistics
from these intersections prior to the
cameras and as used to decide on the placement of the cameras
- please let me know. Both accident and ticketing stats
are relevant . I did a Right To Know and have volumes of data -
but this needs to be distilled into a useable form .
Question: do we have enough safeguards in place
for the public to really see who the
violators are (ie what evel of infraction they incurred) and to
know that a record will be kept for public viewing of the
violations that were protested . Are the comments of the
"payee" going to be gathered with each returned payment -- which
might be one of the best ways of measuring the effect this has
on the drivers impacted.
out of Boston is the company that won the contract.
They will put 4 cameras at 2 intersections and 2 cameras at the
other intersection at approx $4,200 per month per camera
payable to Gatso
. The 10
cameras at $42,000 per month x 12 months is $504,000 per
year to Gatso . ( We have yet to learn what % of that is
profit.) Another way to look at it is : take
an intersection with 4 cameras which costs $16,800 per month
. That's $560 per day --- 5-6 tickets must be served
every day to make that basic expense ---and we haven't paid Abington
Police for their role yet . These tickets will be
earned regardless of whether the driver was
actually driving dangerously
which often can only be determined by someone on site or after a
discussion. The 5-6 tickets per day are day in and day out year
round. The agreement with Gatso can be seen by scrolling way
Public Safety documents from Sept 2013
Who is impacted
As one resident testified, he watched at
the Willow Grove intersection in 2013 dozens of citizens
driving safely would have been awarded the $100 fine just for
rolling past the line.
Also at the September meeting, horrendous crashes were
shown of cars speeding
captured …yes….on the very expensive cameras
which, please note, did nothing to stop them.
The cameras also are charged
with being responsible for causing accidents when people see
them and throw on the brakes and get rear-ended .
Sure, insurance companies love the cameras.
They show very clearly who is at fault
at virtually no cost to the insurance companies
--- what's not to like ....... but at the expense
instead of safer
drivers at those very intersections - who pay for what the
insurance companies save.
INFO & DISCUSSION ABOUT RED LIGHT CAMERAS
some are in favor,
many are opposed for many reasons .....
good summary of the concerns
Also: Please watch the intelligent assessment offered by
the Tampa Police chief who is
against red light cameras "
: This has been a huge concern with the advent of cameras
eveywhere. Things that do good can also be used in ways
that are not. The cameras were not supposed to be the kind
that "look into the car" --- but as we all know, our
phones are also not "supposed to be " listening
devices and school cameras are not "supposed to be "
monitoring students at home. But these things have
happened anyway. And it is up to us to determine where and when
we figure out how to find the proper balance. If we don't
work together to do this, "they" will find the "balance" for us
--- and it won't lean in our direction as regular citizens have
begun to notice.
ALTERNATIVES There are
many alternatives to the cameras. Longer yellow lights have
apparently proven to be effective and I saw first hand the
case of a dangerous intersection where the length of the
yellow light was actually the problem . If they are set too
short, they can be a cause of the dangerous
intersection. Even at intersections that make patrol cars
difficult, the prence of police foot patrols, with a car nearby
can be a good deterrent.
FUNDS Monitoring the funds is also
not an easy thing - and administrative and other costs would
need to be included and we have many projects now that take much
more than they bring in in ways that aren't evident, making
calculation impossible. And this sets up a
scenario that is less than desirable.
WHO IS DECIDING ?
We understand ( per the Sept
2012 meeting) that Abington will be
sent the information on the violators and Abington officers
will then have the option to ticket or not to ticket. If
we pay a company to determine who the violators are, then ALL
should be ticketed unless there is an
easy process for ALL to
appeal. Again, we set up a situation for unequal treatment and
no oversight .
CLEAR STATISTICS are already a problem in
Abington. Just watch the changing numbers on the Baederwood
Intersection as the Wawa makes application to go in . A
whole host of different numbers were assigned to the crashes
there ( 52 per Pendot/ 39 per Abington/ 47 per the
applicant's lawyer) Oversight is difficult - tools for oversight
are being denied.
COST OF THE CAMERAS - in ine article the cost of
the cameras was noted at 31,000 per month . In
this article it suggests in the city that might work,
but the suburbs might not be quite the same. Phila cameras
generated 13.7 million of which a little more than half went to
Penn Dot - Each camera has to generate more than
300 violations per month to cover its costs, according an AAA
MidAtlantic report .
19 intersections with cameras throughout Philadelphia issued
141,000 violations ----garnering $13.7 million from drivers ets
last year, according to the Philadelphia Parking
Authority. The legislation
that would allow about a dozen municipalities in the
Philadelphia suburbs to use red light cameras.
was passed last June and any excess $ would go to Penn Dot
to fund traffic safety initiatives statewide.
SCAMS Some scammers have figured out how to "mail you a
citation" - and you send your money before they skip town
for their next scam location .
THEY CAN CAUSE ACCIDENTS
In New Jersey - they are presenting
statistics that contend
more accidents occurred from the use of the red light cameras
writer, on behalf of AAA , noted that in New Jersey the
cameras had been suspended in 21 of the 25 municipalities
& class action suits by motorists had been filed contending
they were illegally fined because the amber light not
calibrated correctly. The same thing is happening in other and
AAA concluded that although there may be benefits there is also
the potential for abuse - and AAA does not blindly accept the
success of the cameras.
This article also notes the cost of
Phila cameras as over $31,000 per intersection permonth per
a Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee report . So
they's need to write around 10 tickets a day to support
just that cost.
One of the most
disconcerting things about the cameras may be that there was (
is there still ? ) legislation that
prevents proper oversight .
one article, it was stated that data on
the number of citations issued has not been available
because "The law says we're not allowed to discuss
anything related to the red-light cameras" --- According
to a provision in the Pennsylvania statute, photographs, written
records, reports, names, addresses and violation
statistics regarding the use of cameras at intersections "shall
not be deemed a public record." --even for
politicians who request it. How is it that they can put in
a law and then allow for no proper oversight? I can understand
the personal information - but the violation statistics should
be there for people to see the initial
MORE.... Per Nbc News 2-19-13, Red light cameras are allowed in 24 states,
banned in 9.
About 530 communities
nationwide have taken the cameras up citing that crashes
were cut by 24%. But
the questions being asked are whether the lights are set
correctly so crashes
could be cut just by having ample time to get through the
intersection rather than by charging people fines and
leaving open the possibility that
if lights are set poorly, even more $ can be
currently have intersections
where traffic or light adjustments alone would amend
the accident rate, yet we are not , apparently taking those
measures (ie: Susquehanna
and Highland -short yellow .
Baeder - amend the pattern, putting hilltop and noble
in a separate light sequence ).
camera in Arlington Virginia took in 2 1/2 million dollars
in just four years.
Drivers in Washington DC have received $18 million in
tickets in one year alone-- so the cameras have been a cash
cow for the local municipalities, a burden to drivers who
sometimes may be just
a tad over the white lineor waived through by construction
workers or forced into
an intersection by emergency vehicles. Some in these
scenarios have found
themselves unable to protest in any reasonable way. And
private companies who shared revenue were found not to be
calibrating the lights properly or paying off public
AVOIDING THEM IS A
POSSIBILITY FOR THE TECH SAAVY....so here's
a final interesting tidbit ............... "Trapster"
is an app that warns of red-light cameras and known
enforcement points. With nearly 20.5 million drivers
having turned to this app -- the info is coming straight from
ticketed drivers who are ready to warn other drivers...... So
tickets for some - avoided by others.
Early 2014 Activation expected with 60 day warning
Camera contract was awarded
Previously, the board chose to withdraw the ordinance that
had been proposed in order to change the intersections .
Originally proposed : were Susquehanna Rd & Old York , and
Fitzwatertown & Moreland. A third intersection, Susquehanna &
Highland has been dropped out of the proposal and Welsh and
Moreland has been put in .
Thursday, 4/10/13 at 8PM the Board will meet to Vote on the
ordinance. The meeting will take place at the Township Building.
residents are urged to come to the meeting for the public hearing
on Ordinance 2049, which may allow for the installation of red
light cameras at the following three intersections: 1) Old York
and Susquehanna Roads; 2) Old York and Old Welsh Roads; and 3)
Fitzwatertown and Moreland Roads.
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