Editorial -Traffic cameras are here to stay

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Are traffic enforcement cameras a money grab or about safety? It depends on who you ask.

When we spoke with Director of Public Works Robert Lewis to clear some of the public confusion regarding these camera systems, he reiterated what Interim Police Chief James Buie and many others have said throughout this discussion – it is about safety.

This is where some of the public and our city leaders part ways on the topic. Lewis sat down with us to discuss the many concerns and shed more light on the topic, and for that, we thank him. The discussions have been ongoing for months, and at this point, it is time everyone comes to grips with the fact these cameras are here to stay. Not only do they deter people from breaking traffic laws, but they also allow Suffolk Police to reallocate manpower to other areas of concern throughout Suffolk, something many of you feel stronger about than whether or not someone was caught running a redlight or speeding through a construction zone. 

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We are likely not going to change everyone’s opinion. Still, we do feel as if these systems have been implemented in part for highway safety purposes and in a way to help offset the cost of needed safety improvements, such as the addition of a crosswalk between Kings Fork Middle and High School that the council has already given the green light to install.

We also hope the city quickly resolves some of the documented operational issues with some of the school zones so we can have more faith that they are trying to get it right and not hoping we aren’t paying attention. 

The overall message is to slow down, obey the traffic laws, and arrive safely at your destination.