Residents discuss speed cameras, safe injection sites and the importance of teaching teens roadway safety.
Speed cameras won’t help
With the recent grant money from the state for Vision Zero, there has been no breakdown of how the money will be used. If it is in line with past comments by people in the city, we all need to be very watchful.
City and state officials, in an effort to get people to stop driving and to raise money, have been pushing all sorts of silly ideas. Many speed camera areas had more crashes, there was no noticeable impact, lots of errors, tickets to safe drivers and traffic diversion. Enhancements like setting 85th percentile speed limits, using longer yellow lights and stop signs only where needed were left out of the conversation.
A 2012 analysis of NHTSA data from 25 states showed that speed caused 1.6 percent of crashes, so barely above zero. Perhaps the criminalization of average driving habits is being caused by poor engineering and predatory enforcement. Many media outlets reported that after red-light cameras went in, more crashes occurred in Philly. PennDOT also said the past few years have been the safest in the history of Pennsylvania.
With vulnerable road users, how many accidents are caused by these very people, who violate the law or do dumb things? We do not need red-light cameras or speed cameras, we need best-practice engineering.
Why is the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia a supposed expert on driving issues, while the National Motorists Association is never consulted on bicycling issues? It is odd that an anti-driving group is always consulted about driving issues. The NMA is not against bikes at all, and actually has a Streets That Work Program, which calls for bike lanes and sensible urban planning. Everyone could work together, which would be the smart thing to do, but that will never occur, sadly.
James Sikorski Jr.
PA Advocate National Motorists Association
End the tax abatement
People have been discussing the 10-year real estate tax abatement. The taxpayers of Philadelphia are giving the property owners about 1/7 the value of the property in the 10 years.
Example: Assessment value of $600,000 minus real estate tax abatement for each year of $8,100, or $81,000 total tax abatement.
Do these people who can afford these properties really need a gift of poorer taxpayers’ money?
Teach teens to drive
Here’s a stat that may surprise you: Did you know that the №1 killer of young people every single age from 16 to 23 is car crashes? It’s alarming, but the good news is that we can make a difference.
In a survey released by Allstate, more than four in 10 parents said they don’t regularly talk to their kids about roadway safety. And despite two-thirds thinking their teens are safe drivers, parents continue to have major concerns about things like distractions and speeding.
National Teen Driver Safety Week ended on Oct. 27. It was intended to offer a great opportunity to chat with teenagers about safe-driving behaviors.
Most importantly, remember that teens — and even those who can’t drive yet — model their behavior after their parents and the other adults in their lives.
Hopefully, National Teen Driver Safety Week was a conversation-starter about safe driving. Even better, resolve to make this a year-round discussion.
Allstate, 2020 Cottman Ave.
Injection sites not safe
That’s a fine list of people who will run the Safehouse safe injection site, but will they get their hands dirty or just take the credit for it if it succeeds? Where will they be during the first OD? Even better, where will they be when one of their patients leaves in a car and kills a family of five?
Every methadone clinic that open in the city has had a battle with neighbors and now the city just slides one in the back door.