Treat drivers properly
The recent AP story about traffic deaths, the federal infrastructure law, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania really missed the mark. PennDOT has said that the past decade has been the safest in history. Despite this, the state has been inflicting poor engineering and predatory ticketing upon us, which causes problems. The sources for quotes included people inside the revenue stream and car-haters.
One official mentioned speed cameras, so let’s look at automated enforcement in Pennsylvania. In Bensalem, the state voided a mountain of erroneous speed camera tickets and warnings. In Philadelphia, red-light cameras led to increased crashes, cameras that were 3 percent accurate, an FBI investigation and whistleblowers. Sounds like a failure to me. In order to enact camera laws in PA, there was little to no public notice for comments.
Ignored are engineering improvements like 85th percentile speed limits, longer yellow lights and limited stop sign use. There is too much money in ticketing people to correct any problems. Sadly, you may not be able to comply with the law in some situations, and that is how all this is profitable. Ever see an absurd speed limit, short yellow light or a school bus that has a super-short flashing yellow? How about a school bus on a busy arterial route that you cannot see?
So the state, municipalities and schools put in red-light cameras, speed cameras and stop-arm cameras for problems they actually caused. Now they want municipal police radar and other undesirable things, too.
Time to contact your state representative, state senator and the governor, and tell them to start treating drivers properly. As noted, the federal government has also jumped on the anti-driving bandwagon. With proper engineering, there is little need for enforcement. No money in that, though. Pedestrians and bicyclists also must obey the rules.
James Sikorski Jr.
PA Advocate National Motorists Association
Don’t impeach Krasner
I don’t want to sound ungrateful when western PA state representatives finally want to do something to help Philadelphia residents. But where were they when we needed their votes to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour? Or when there was a bill to fund our schools fully and fairly? Or when we tried to control gun violence by banning ghost guns? We Philly voters, including white folks like me, are all concerned about crime so we elected DA Larry Krasner twice because we want laws upheld that make everyone safe and that restore justice to black, brown and poor communities. We hear that crime is no better or worse in other cities all over the country – cities with either traditional OR progressive district attorneys. So thanks but no thanks! Impeaching DA Krasner is not the kind of help we need.
POWER Interfaith Live Free Campaign
Illegal immigration woes
In response to Mr. Podgorski’s opinion post on June 8, I think he gets his facts from Secretary Mayorkas’ now-scrapped Ministry of Truth. I checked Google and found good arguments for both sides on the federal tax disbursements of red and blue states. They only seem to agree that high-income blue states pay more federal taxes, but isn’t that what the Democrats want, the rich to pay more. Mr. Podgorski, I have no problem helping American citizens in blue or red states. Yes, Mr. Podgorski, immigration has been a problem for 25 years. But it was not what it is now under Trump. Let’s be honest. The Democrat goal is to make illegal citizens vote. You say your Democratic base hasn’t shrunk, then why have Democrat Chuck Schumer and others changed their stance on immigration. They can all be seen on video supporting Republican views on border security. Yes, I watch Fox News, and saw Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against Biden’s open-border policies, which is costing Indiana $549 million annually in health care costs alone.
That money alone from one state would help our military budget. Keep in mind, every state is now a border state. Mr. Podgorski, did your news tell you this? Or are they still talking Russian collusion and the laptop not being real? Is your news covering the Dinesh D’Souza documentary on the fraud in the presidential election? Final note. Stop trying to suppress the vote of black, yellow, brown, red and white with your immigration policies.
Sensible gun reform – now
Sensible gun reform is not a political issue; it is a moral issue. It is a moral imperative that demands our attention because of the existential threat that it poses to our society. Only one political party has consistently blocked sensible gun reform – Republicans. They are indirectly responsible for the slaughter of our innocent children. But instead of taking responsibility for their failure to protect American citizens, they blame everybody and everything but themselves. They say, “Don’t politicize this” or “It’s too soon to talk about reform” or “The media just loves mass shootings” or “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This is all utter nonsense. It’s all excuses and no solutions. They act offended by anyone who would be so bold to ask them “When will we address this issue?” – as if these Republicans were entitled to be offended when so many parents have lost so much – their families, their everything. This is not the American way of life. This is the American way of death.
More guns will not solve this problem. We have more guns than citizens. We have approximately 434 million guns in this country: 120 guns per 100 people. The next-closest country is Yemen, with 53 guns per 100 people. Saying more guns would solve the problem is like saying more gasoline will put out a fire. By the time the good guy with the gun figures out what is going on, the bad guy has done the damage. According to gunviolencearchive.org, there have been over 17,000 gun-related deaths and over 200 mass shootings this year already. That’s more than one mass shooting every single day this year. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which at least 4 people were shot. According to the CDC, last year over 45,000 people died from gun-related deaths. Many of them were children. We make more guns than cars.
The Onion, a satirical newspaper, recently ran every single article on recent mass shootings with the same headline, “No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” Except it’s not satire. It was totally preventable. We cannot react; we must work to prevent these incidents in the first place. And no one wants a school treated like a highly securitized prison. Eight out of 10 people support sensible gun reform. No one agrees on anything anymore, but we do apparently agree on this one thing; sensible gun reform is absolutely necessary. So when you start seeing the ads Mehmet Oz is already running, popping off various guns in his bid for the U.S. Senate, ask yourself a question. Do we need one more Republican who will be in the pocket of the NRA? Because the NRA owns the Republicans through and through. What kind of soul do we have as a nation if we can’t prevent this problem when we have accomplished so very much in our history? There is only one party that will work to pass sensible gun reform – the Democratic Party.
Michael A. Podgorski