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LETTER: School bus cameras a fix to fabricated problem

York Dispatch
YorkDispatch

This is an open letter to state Rep. Seth Grove in response to his May. 13 letter to all House members:

Dear Mr. Grove and all Pennsylvania senators and representatives,

Drivers illegally passing school buses is not an understated problem in Pennsylvania. In the National Highway Traffi Safety Administrations's current 10 year report, passing cars cause an average of 27 percent of the under-age-19 pedestrian fatalities in School Transportation-Related Crashes, and at a rate of less than one fatality per 10 years, per state.

If stop arm cameras were able to prevent 50 percent of the fatalities by passing cars, it would take over 28 years to save one fatality in Pennsylvania. I don't think Pennsylvania needs a new law to save one life every 28 years, while at the same time funneling money to the stop-arm camera makers, their lobbyists and into Harrisburg, where it will surely be wasted.

Mr. Grove states that, "Data collected for the past four years shows an increase in Title 75 Section 3345 (a) violation occurrences ..." Mr. Grove's "data" is highly suspect: How many violations were there, and what is the actual size of the "increase"? And any traffic reporting from the school bus industry and the school districts is anecdotal at best, and fueled by an agenda other than highway safety. "It's for the children ..." is a lame argument used to pull at people's heartstrings to justify this type of needless legislation.

Camera enforcement technology is not proven nor safe. The facts of automated enforcement are that it exists solely to generate revenue, not promote safety, as proven by Pennsylvania's "pilot" red light camera program in Philadelphia, where the cameras have increased crashes, injuries and fatalities while removing tens of millions of dollars from the economy by unfairly taxing reasonable and prudent motorists, who are the victims of highway engineering malpractice by Harrisburg and PennDOT. To add insult to injury, red light cameras do not stop accidents. Stop-arm cameras would not stop accidents, either.

Fabricating a crisis and then proposing legislation to remedy the crisis, while ensuring profits for special interests and simultaneously burdening the people, is typical of the way Pennsylvania politicians do business.

There are so few school bus violations that what Mr. Grove is advocating is beyond ludicrous, and House Bill 1580 should be put in the shredder immediately. Thank you.

TOM McCAREY

Berwyn, Pa.