Kitsap County has no plans for red light cameras

The in basket: Phil Shoemaker says he’s “just wondering if red light cameras are in the planning for intersections in Silverdale. Some of the main ones are becoming very hazardous: Silverdale Way and Ridgetop, Randall and Bucklin Hill. Also Kitsap Mall Boulevard and Randall Way. Seems like a good way for the county to benefit financially and keep our roads safer.

The out basket: I don’t share Phil’s appreciation of red light cameras, which seem mostly to capture California right turns (just slowing not stopping when the light is red) which does make things safer for pedestrians in crosswalks. But the cameras do little or nothing for truly dangerous through-traffic red light violations, which I find to be almost imaginary, anyway. I have spent a lot of time watching supposedly dangerous intersections and have yet to see a red light violation that nearly created a collision, let alone created one.

I don’t know if the county shares my gimlet-eyed assessment of the cameras, but I’m happy to report that Jeff Shea, the county traffic engineer, says simply, “We are not considering red light cameras in unincorporated Kitsap County at this time.”

As an aside, I wonder if Californians have a different term for California stops.


5 thoughts on “Kitsap County has no plans for red light cameras

  1. In California, if I can remember right, they call them rolling stops. But here in Washington, most drivers don’t even slow down enough for it to be called a California or rolling stop. I am not sure what intersections you are sitting at, but any time I have to go through Silverdale and have stopped at a red light and it has turned green, I have to wait sometimes for 3-4 cars to get through the red light before I can go.
    Me personally would be ok with the Red Light Cameras throughout Kitsap, especially in Silverdale. But it wont work well in Silverdale, because almost all the lights have a blinking yellow. But a good spot for the Cameras, would be along Hwy 303 all the way to the bridge.
    And before anyone says, ya you are ok with Red Light Cameras until you get a red Light Ticket, well I just got one for not paying attention and I went through a red light camera and got flashed. It is actually my second ticket in the last 10 years for red light violation. My fault and I aint bicthen about it. Drive Safe.

  2. I have lived the majority of my life in Northern California, specifically, in Berkeley, and we never use the term “California stops.” We call them “Hollywood stops.” I have no idea what Southern Californians call it.

  3. There was also a study that showed an increase of rear-end collisions at intersections with the cameras.

    1. Petra Hellthaler

      That is because that most people will fly through an intersection that does not have a camera, even though the light turns yellow or has even turned red. I can not count how many times a day I am sitting at a red light waiting for mine to turn green, only to have to wait several seconds for the cars running their red light on my green light to clear the intersection. So those drivers getting rear ended are the same people who run the red lights on non-camera lights and will slam on their brakes at a light that has a camera and the driver that runs into the back of the car is usually a driver that does the same thing at non camera lights. They run through red lights.

      If there was a red light camera on every intersection, then there would be less people running the red lights and less rear end accidents.

  4. My small town from another state was sold the red light camera idea by the company who leases and services them by saying it will increase safety and increase revenue. It did. In a fit of greed, the city shortened the yellow light times to catch more violators. Accidents increased along with the income for the city. Our legislator received so many complaints that a minimum time was made law for yellow lights. Guess what happened? Less accidents, lives saved, pedestrians protected and the money dried up. Wasn’t long before the small towns doing this dumped the red light cameras because they were costing money, not making it. Larger cities and counties still use them. The legislator had it right. The point was to save people. The law is for 3 to 6 second yellows depending on approach speed. Let’s try that before spending money. It’s free.

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