Sound off: Red light cameras in Bremerton

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What are people saying about the 6-year-old red light camera system in Bremerton? Here’s some quotes from our elected officials and prominent city leaders on what they think of it:

Mayor Patty Lent 

“I’m willing to pull the cameras when they become nonproductive for us. It can’t cost us more than we’re bringing in. We aren’t going to pay for something that’s not revenue neutral. And I think we’ve already changed (driver’s) habits.”

Police Chief Steve Strachan

“I’m not pro- or anti- photo enforcement. I view it as a policy decision by our elected officials. But I do recognize that big multilane intersections are difficult to enforce any other way. But there’s other ways to (conduct enforcement) as well.”

Municipal Court Judge James Docter 

“Do I think the red light cameras work? Yes, I think people learn and they serve their purpose. But the more fundamental question is, what are you trying to stop?”

Council President Greg Wheeler 

“I’m in favor of using technology for police enforcement. This isn’t surveillance. This is only a picture being taken for an infraction. I believe it frees up a police officer to patrol other areas.”

Councilman Mike Sullivan 

“If this can generate a positive cash flow, I’m all for it. We’re not violating people’s privacy — this is not a case of big brother watching you. It forces people to slow down and pay attention to traffic controls.”

Councilwoman Leslie Daugs 

“I have mixed feelings. I don’t like them if they’re used as revenue generating system, and sending the money out of state. But they can be beneficial in traffic enforcement.”

Councilman Jerry McDonald 

“If it’s going to save lives that’s good, but I’m not convinced that it does that much. And if we’re going to be participating, we ought to get more than 20 percent of the dollars (in ticket revenue).”

Councilman Dino Davis 

“In theory, I’m not in favor of this style of policing. From people I’ve spoken to, it’s a reason people avoid our town. I believe that in order to effectively police, we need to be connected. I’m not in favor of taking out human element.”

Councilman Roy Runyon

“We can’t have a traffic cop sit there twenty-four/seven. The key is ‘is it making the city safer?’

Councilman Eric Younger 

“When they were first implemented I didn’t like them, and I would often times brake when I should’ve gone through them. But after all these years I’ve gotten used to them. I need to see the data but my gut feeling is they’re preventing collisions.”

To see a video of what other local residents think of the cameras, click here.

5 thoughts on “Sound off: Red light cameras in Bremerton

  1. Wheeler’s statement, ” This isn’t surveillance” is wrong and misleading. It is has been proven that Redflex is recording 24/7/365 and that they store the data. There was an article here in the Kitsap Sun about the police seeking a warrant to access the Redflex footage. Which is against the law. They violated the law and as far as I know got off free. This was brought to Wheeler’s attention. Why he chose to ignore it baffles me but now that this is all coming to light maybe he will finally address this important issue.

  2. If traffic tickets aren’t about revenue, then why doesn’t the State assign points to traffic violations instead of monetary fines (this is what DoD does for base traffic violations)? With a point system, poor and rich drivers feel the pain of violations in proportion to their wallets.

    If red light cameras are so hated, then the voters of Bremerton could propose a city initiative to ban them. Better yet, a proposition to unincorporated the city and have the County provide government.

  3. Councilman Mike Sullivan, If this isn’t “big brother” then what is? Wake up and take a good look at your business partnership with a company that profits off of red light running. These Redflex cams are recording 24/7/365 and that data is stored by a foreign company. The BPD and Redflex have the ability to monitor those cams in real time and not just when someone crosses the Redflex sensors in the road. State law requires a traffic ticket to be served in person by the officer but these automated infractions are robo signed in Arizona days after the “violation” occurred. These Redflex tickets are robo signed and in one case that I know of it is a fact the officer was not even at work the day It was robo signed in Arizona “under the penalty of PERJURY” These automated infraction cams are sold to the people as being about SAFETY but of course the City Council, the Police Chief , and city engineer ignore the only proven method of reducing red-light running which is to simply increase yellow time by 1/2 second. It is pretty obvious your business partnership with Redflex is about PROFIT.

  4. Not to mention the “presumption of guilt” that your court operates these Redflex cases under. “The only way you can get out of a Redflex Inc ticket is incriminate the actual driver”

  5. Although I voted to try them out when I was on Council, I don’t believe the original premise of reduce traffic accidents using a signal was correct. The real reason for the accidents (as the data indicates) was people using cell phones and texting while driving and when these laws went into effect traffic accidents decreased dramatically. The other false premise was that the stop signal would control intersection misbehavior when the real problems were and are that the wheaton way, warren ave system has more through traffic than it should and the whole traffic circulation through town is chaotic and excessive for the actual residents of the community. This a long term problem of the county encouraging growth in Silverdale to Bremerton area with no practical solution to get those folks to Hwy 3 except through Bremerton. It needs a long range solution but if Bremerton resists the state determination to funnel more traffic through the surface streets of Bremerton then the state dot will eventually help with resolving the problem they are currently avoiding.

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