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Letter Writer urges a NO Vote on HB 1748



HB 1748 calls for speed cameras for traffic violations in highway work zones in order to gain a predictable flood of revenue into Harrisburg. The premise of HB 1748 is false: there is no epidemic of speeding and no crisis of highway workers being mowed down by crazed drivers run amok. The fact is that 25% of the PennDOT workers killed in work zone fatalities were due to passing civilian vehicles since 1970. Through 2014, that is 21 fatalities by passing vehicles in 45 years, or one about every 2.14 years.

Blatantly false and misleading data is provided by PennDOT, the camera makers and their lobbyists, and the rest of the automated enforcement vested interests. The true data show that 75% of the PennDOT workers killed were accidents with other workers or work machinery. If PennDOT actually wants a program to reduce the number of PennDOT workers killed, wouldn’t it make sense to go after the 64, or 75%, killed inside the work zones by other workers first? On top of that, speed cameras failed to produce any significant safety results in a Minnesota DOT work zone study.

“Traffic Camera Lobbyists Buy Victory in Maryland Legislature”
“Four photo ticketing firms spend $555,106 in campaign donations and lobbying for $9.8 million statewide speed camera payoff in Maryland.” I would bet the same process is being rolled out in Pennsylvania, because there is no need for speed cameras EXCEPT TO RAISE REVENUE!

The low amount ($40) of the fine in HB 1748 is to convince us lumpen masses to think work zone cameras are not for the money, but for safety. Setting up a “grant program” for the fines is a red flag: the backers of HB 1748 intend to create a slush fund to dole out patronage and get more WAM (Walking Around Money). It’s a government program, controlled by politically connected actors, and will result in a new, expensive, bureaucracy staffed by patronage hacks, family members and hangers-on, and it’s “mission” will morph and creep to the point that it will need more and more money, and need speed cameras to cover more than just work zones. So don’t go for the bait-and-switch, or the IT’S FOR SAFETY lie. It is only for the money, for the politicians and the vendors. There are free and effective ways to improve actual safety at work zones: best practices highway engineering.

The pro-automated-tax people are going after work zone safety in a poor way, one that is more likely to raise significant amounts of money than to actually improve safety. Reject speed cameras in Pennsylvania highway work zones. Re-engineer the work zones for safety instead. Tell your Senator and Representative to Vote NO on HB 1748.
Tom McCarey Member, National Motorists Association

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