Letter to Editor From Foote Family, Your Comments

One of the things CCA does best–we think–is to provide an open forum for your ideas, suggestions and thoughts about town issues. The discussion about having cameras on Route 1 has prompted a flood of emails into our inbox. We are trying to run them all–the comments range from pro to con for these cameras. We did receive a note from the Foote family sending us their recent Letter to the Editor they wrote below.

Dear Editor,

We were so pleased and heartened to see that the Town of Charlestown is now calling for traffic light cameras at intersections as an effective means of deterring drivers from running red lights and causing serious injury or death. After the tragic death of our son, Colin Foote, in May of 2010, we formed ColinsLaw.Org as a federally recognized non-profit organization with a singular mission – Saving Lives Through Safer Roads.

We have been diligently working with lawmakers, technology providers, and government agencies for more than a year to bring this NO COST red-light camera technology to the forefront and help make it a reality, especially in Charlestown.

We applaud the unanimous support of the Town Council to endorse the deployment of this technology in our town to protect the lives of our citizens and visitors. We will continue our work to make our roads safer not only in Charlestown, but across the State. If we are able to deter drivers from dangerously driving through red lights and putting themselves and others at risk, then we will consider the work of ColinsLaw.Org a success.


Robin and Maryann Foote

Here are some of your comments:

I commend the open dialogue on the issue of red light cameras. I like the idea, but instead of having them at red lights, why not install them at stop signs and randomly along route 1 and route 1A. Install signs that say you will be ticketed if you do not obey the speed and traffic signs. There will always be someone who runs a red light, whether on purpose or by accident. I don’t believe these cameras will prevent that. But if we placed them strategically around town, I think they could help more overall without the danger of people trying to stop or beat the light. And it would create revenue quite regularly, a nice bonus to the town. I don’t have a speeding problem so this issue doesn’t bother me. These cameras are however a great resource should an accident occur at the site of it’s installation. Big brother watching over us is a ridiculous argument. If you’re not doing anything wrong, these cameras shouldn’t bother you. They are in parking lots, stores, malls, banks, some schools, etc. I live in town near the Nordic Lodge and they have over the past year installed another stop sign near our home. Almost daily, I get someone who has run the stop sign, at full speed, purposefully/lazily, and almost hits us. It is a 3 way stop and only one of those directions usually stop. Our intersection alone would probably cover one town salary!!

I guessed the small bump over a traffic light was a camera, set to go off when a vehicle entered the intersection on a red light. The driver would receive a photo and a summons. It seemed a good preventive measure. As for “Big Brother” anxiety-it could also be interpreted as appropriate parental vigilence. We DO need looking-after, because of careless/reckless drivers assuming lax enforcement of safety regulations. Could the proposed cameras track progress of a vehicle being pursued by police-separate from the red-light function?

People have implied Charlestown residents don’t care about traffic fatalities. Last time I checked, drunk, drugged up, or sleep deprived people don’t stop at red lights because of cameras, they are too drunk to notice. People are right to be concerned about too short yellows, or getting ticketed for a right on red turn. If you do this you want to make sure to get a vendor that is sensitive to that. The vendor makes money and may not want to make it too easy to make the yellow. It’s fully reasonable that people are not perfectly informed about an issue. It’s okay to discuss things-that is why I like what CCA does as a community service-keep it up.

Regarding the comment that impaired drivers won’t see signs warning of red light cameras: You are probably correct, but if they get enough tickets because of the cameras, maybe that could get their license taken away before they kill someone.

Where do people get the idea that the yellow lights will be shorthened, sounds like a bunch of who shot John. The red light cameras are a great idea. If you don’t run the lights you don’t have to worry that your picture was taken.

I am against red light cameras. I would like to say that during the past hurricane power outage I was often driving on the section of Rt 1, where for several days lights did not work. From what I observed people were careful and respectful of one another. Lastly there are places, like the curve on West Beach Road near Old West Beach Road where speeding and reckless driving are a daily occurrence. People on their way to the breachway in the mornings fly down the road and around the corners. At the end of the day when they return they drive even faster-and some of them have been consuming alcohol. Contractors who flow in and out of Central Beach all day long almost always speed-some of them are driving heavy equipment. I have seen this on a daily basis for years. The speed limit is 25mph there. I have never seen a police car set a radar trap in that area-they do have a trap further toward Rt 1 once in a while in the summer. This is a matter of public safety-it’s real right now. I would expect there are numerous other places in Charlestown where the police could enforce speed limits and stop sign locations right now, without cameras. Local government already tinkers with our lives enough as it is. Our taxes are already insanely high and we get little for them. Cameras are just another form of taxation and control of our lives. When will this crap stop?

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