The CDT’s Sunday editorial (“Safer Route 322 needed”) regarding U.S. Route 322 addresses a critical topic but, quite literally, doesn’t go far enough. It’s not just the road, but also drivers’ behavior.
Drivers going through red lights are a significant safety concern for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers at many signaled intersections.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly authorized camera use to identify drivers running red lights for several Pennsylvania communities, but not for municipalities like State College.
With State College Police Chief Tom King’s support, earlier this year about 400 local residents petitioned state Sen. Jake Corman and state Reps. Scott Conklin and Kerry Benninghoff to amend existing legislation to allow the cameras in State College. We’re grateful for their responsiveness.
Conklin drafted legislation to amend Title 75 to bring this tool to State College, and Corman indicated his support for this safety tool.
Last month, Benninghoff wrote to the petitioners, reviewing the cameras’ history and data. While not convinced that red-light cameras would stop accidents, he noted, the goal should be to change behavior of motorists and pedestrians.
National data indicate that red-light cameras are a powerful deterrent to red-light running, resulting in substantial decreases in accidents, injuries. With Pennsylvania’s legislation, they cannot be used as a local revenue source, no driver’s license points are assigned, and police officers evaluate evidence and issue all violations.
Many Centre County residents recognize the need to increase intersection safety. Let’s encourage our legislators to continue to pursue it for us.
The writer is vice president of the College Heights Association. He wrote his on behalf of the group.