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LETTER: Speed cameras, signs and lights need to be synced

'If the cameras cannot be programmed to reflect the lights, then perhaps they were a bad choice,' says letter writer
A new speed camera on Big Bay Point Road, just east of Huronia Road in Barrie.

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in regards to speed cameras that have been installed in Barrie. 

I read with interest the article dated Jan. 11 regarding the speed cameras heading to Ardagh and Essa roads next month.

Most interesting was the sideways response to my letter published Jan. 5 stating that the cameras are creating ‘unsafe’ safety zones because the highly visual yellow flashing lights are shut off and replaced with a sign, so lengthy, as to take the drivers eyes off the road for an unsafe period of time.

In BarrieToday’s article it quoted the city that along with the cameras in use sign will be a sign that “indicates how the speed limit can differ depending on the time of the year, the day, and the time of day.”

It continues to state that “the flashing lights warn of a 40-km/h zone have been replaced [by a sign] because the city says the provincial government doesn’t permit both flashing lights and speed limits that vary to be posted at the same time.”

Let me clarify that statement: The flashing lights indicate to slow down, and a sign indicates to slow down, but the time of day between the two are different. They are in conflict.

So, what the city is saying is that the flashing lights do not reflect the same times that the signs do. In my original letter, I pointed out that the amount of time a driver had ‘eyes off the road’ while reading and trying to interpret sign created a dangerous period.

Now, this creates an even more dangerous precedent because once the cameras are moved, the sign moved, and the flashing lights reinstated, some drivers will already be accustomed to the speeds indicated by the signs, which just changed again!

The lights and the sign need to be visible at the same time. Actually, we don’t need the sign if the lights/camera sync is fixed. To put it in simple terms, all information that a driver receives needs to be consistent, easy to interpret and fast, where lights are the safest, easiest and quickest method of communication, requiring only a glance and work from a very long distance.

Let me reiterate: I want all our roads, as well as our safety zones, to be safe. This inconsistency is creating unsafe safety zones, by presenting conflicting information at different times of the day/month/year. An inconsistency that will no doubt create a lot of money instead of keeping the roads, and children, safe.

I had thought that the cameras were a good start, however, if the cameras cannot be programmed to reflect the lights, then perhaps they were a bad choice.

Seaghan Hancocks