Today the Highline Times posted an article about SeaTac’s three Automatic Ticketing Machines, located at S.188th St & Pacific Hwy, Orilla Rd S & Military Rd, and S. 200th St. & Pacific Hwy.  The article is about how much money the machines have been bringing the city. It mentions that SeaTac hasn’t actually conducted any studies about the safety benefits of the cameras, but they have guessed. That’s good enough, right?

Although the police department has not attempted to officially determine how the installation of the red light cameras has affected the number of accidents at the intersections where they are placed,

Graddon said, “We believe anecdotally that the number of accidents has decreased,” noting that it would make sense for the number of accidents caused by cars running red lights would decrease when the number of red light violations decreased.

“It’s logical to assume that more people are paying attention to the lights.”

Just because they are issuing less “red light violations” doesn’t mean they are making anything safer. Not stopping exactly on the white line or not completely stopping on a right turn aren’t a huge safety concern. But that’s what they are issuing most of the tickets for… about 80% of them.

Studies of the actual accidents at the intersections, is what is necessary to evaluate safety, not assumptions and guesses. It just goes to show what is really motivating the city to use these ticket machines.