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March 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Red-light cameras endorsed by state Supreme Court

This is not a revenue source

The recent Washington state Supreme Court decision upholding red-light cameras, despite a local ballot initiative to prohibit them, brings up serious concerns about the role of governments and elected officials [“Ruling gives green light to red-light cameras,” page one, March 9].

The will of the people and consent of the governed are essential to a civil society, though disregarded by the courts, and by the City Council until they eventually repealed the cameras. What other ballot measure gets 71 percent of the vote?

Raising revenue by assessing fines creates a conflict of interest for the involved agency. This gives the authorities a motivation to assess more fines for lesser offenses including those that will be paid rather than fought just to be expedient, leaving the people feeling extorted.

Initiative 985 in 2008 specifically addressed red-light cameras as a revenue source rather than a means of enforcing the law and promoting safety.

This along with the revenue being the single largest issue addressed by ballot measures in this state sets clear precedent for voters of Mukilteo having the power to prohibit their municipal government from using this means of raising revenue.

— Brian Hunt, Kent

We need cameras to prevent accidents

I am in favor of the traffic cameras at major intersections. I have seen vehicles run red lights at other intersections.

With the advent of the cameras, I have not seen any, or if they do go through a red light caught by the camera they deserve it, the way an actual officer would cite them.

No doubt lives have been saved and damages prevented by the cameras.

As I have always advised in any possible criminal act, “If you don’t do the crime, you won’t do the time” or in this case, a fine.

Whether the people have the right of initiatives is moot in the traffic-camera case. The court issued the correct decision in retaining the traffic cameras for the good of the people. It is for public safety that these cameras exist. It has no doubt deterred many accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Why drivers and others do not want cameras only gives them more reason to break traffic laws, in this case by running through a red light, which we see every day in no-camera intersections.

This is a case where the court is protecting people despite themselves.

— Leonard Larson, Seattle

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