Let’s at least try the radars in San Jose
Q: Can I borrow your magic wand to help slow traffic on Leigh Avenue at Hamilton Avenue?
I was involved in an accident which nearly totaled my car trying to get into Hamilton. Witnesses said the pickup truck that hit me was going over 60 mph. I live across from two schools on Leigh but the speeds are so high it’s a miracle no one is dead now. Two years ago, outside my house in Hamilton Place, two cars were hit so badly that they landed on my sidewalk.
Crossing the street is another thing. Leigh used to have two lanes in each direction, but now there are six lanes. What can I do to cross the street without running like crazy?
Mina Posada, San José
A: Lobby lawmakers in our states, who have stupidly failed to consider a pilot project to test speed cameras on the streets of San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles. A pilot project is not too demanding and should be tried. A highway regime would likely slow down speeders.
Q: The high speeds, fatalities, and fear of walking and cycling on our streets should be addressed. Radars are proven to make a huge difference.
A: Remember that a pedestrian struck by a driver traveling at 35 mph is at least three times more likely to die than if struck by a driver traveling at 25.
Q: As someone who has lived in the UK I know speed cameras and how horrible they are. The principle is that reduced speed saves lives, but that is an oversimplification.
Normally dangerous speeds, combined with other factors, are the real cause of death. Radars cannot regulate these other factors. I witness tailgating, sudden random lane changes, wild mergers that force drivers to lock the brakes and cross traffic to make a turn or exit. “Poorly designed roads also conflict fast and slow traffic, and many more.
Speed cameras are not the solution. It’s law enforcement, education, and engineering.
A: Why is it so hard to understand that speeding makes it much less likely to overcome other causes? Speed leaves little or no room for error. Currently, 159 communities have automated speed cameras across the country, a number that continues to grow.
In 2019, 9,478 fatalities – more than a quarter of all traffic accidents – occurred in speed-related crashes. Higher speeds make crashes more likely and crashes that happen more serious.
Any obvious problems, such as sight lines, signage, or signal timing, should be corrected before cameras are installed.
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