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Install red-light cameras

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Letter to the Editor
Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1 wishes to express its support for installing red-light cameras in the City of Pittsburgh.

The damage and devastation caused by automobile collisions is an ever-present risk. Too often, the cause is associated with driving through red lights. The real tragedy is that many of these crashes are preventable.

There is substantial evidence from studies in other cities that proves reduction in the number of crashes. In Philadelphia, which has a camera program similar to the one Pittsburgh is considering, the rate of right-angle crashes has decreased by a third in intersections with cameras, and overall collisions decreased by 24 percent. According to a state report, red-light violations dropped by 48 percent after one year of having the cameras in Philadelphia.

Additionally, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study showed traffic cameras in 14 large cities saved 159 lives and cut the rate of fatalities associated with running red lights by 24 percent over five years.

By law, any and all revenue from the cameras will go toward projects and investments to make our roadways, bike paths and pedestrian walkways safer; 100 percent of that revenue comes from people who break the law by running red lights. It's a win-win for the city.

Just as seatbelts and airbags keep motorists safe and texting bans help drivers stay alert, this initiative could save lives at dangerous intersections.

Anthony Weinmann

The writer is president of Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1.

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