The good news is that the legislature seems to be getting the message that people don’t like the cameras and they have created 2 bills that seem to address the problems. The bad news is that the bills do nothing to protect the people and actually give more protection to the cities that are already abusing the power that their citizens have entrusted them with. Both of these bills have made it out of committee and look like they stand a very good chance of passing.
Every legislator has been sent a copy of the message below from BanCams.Com. Call your legislators (their aids will answer) and ask them to print a copy of the email and make sure the legislators read it! It’s critically important to tell your legislator that we OPPOSE these bills. These bills are being sold as bills that respond to our complaints, don’t let your legislator be fooled. Call, email or fax your legislator today and tell them to vote NO on SHB 1279 & SSB 5188. If you don’t inform them that these bills are bad who will?
Why BanCams.Com Opposes HB 1279 & SB 5188
Both bills create the appearance of addressing citizens’ concerns. The bills do not address the reality of why photo-enforcement is unsafe, unjust or how the programs are widely abused. Citizens expecting much needed reforms will instead find redundant provisions that have long been exploited or ignored, or sections that are written in such a way that they can be liberally interpreted.
Other than expanding photo-enforcement to the most confusing and poorly engineered 5 and 6 way intersections, the proposed legislation does very little, despite the misguided claims of bill sponsors Rep. Connie Ladenburg and Sen. Randi Becker.
Citizens have been begging for protection from the unholy corporate-government alliances that employ the faulty and dangerous camera programs. Both bills put the profit driven alliance in charge of creating their own “in house” analysis to determine where cameras will be installed. All of this occurs without oversight or the guidance of an independent traffic engineer.
It also puts the corporate-government alliance in charge of reporting the effectiveness of their own predatory programs with language that allows them to cherry pick data used in determining their own effectiveness.
HB 1279 ensures that police departments have the ability to receive the lion’s share of the proceeds. As a result, we will continue to see police officers abandoning their role as public servants and heading to Olympia to fight against citizens and act as lobbyists and traffic engineers. Department funding shouldn’t rely on maintaining poorly designed intersections and roadways in lieu of life saving engineering improvements. Profit based traffic enforcement is unhealthy for our communities and compromises public trust in law enforcement.
Both bills are the product of corporate-government alliances that have already ignored established legislative intent or demonstrated a desire to use photo-enforcement as a way to fill budget shortfalls.
Expertly written to accomplish nothing, these bills were obviously drafted by lobbyists and corporate lawyers representing the traffic camera vendors. Rather than addressing honest concerns brought forth by a packed public hearing of unanimous citizen opposition, both bills seek to neutralize outraged citizens by creating the illusion of reform, guaranteed to accomplish nothing.