Letter to the Editor: Traffic camera article needs clarification

Monday, May 27, 2024

To the Editor:

Your May 26 piece, "Lake Forest Park City Council Increases Traffic Camera Fines", is interesting and well written. But there are two statements that I believe should be clarified.

My first comment is on this statement: "...although less than 4% of Lake Forest Park residents are Black, 12% of people who received a traffic ticket in the city were Black." Comparing those 2 statistics isn't meaningful and worse, is actually misleading. The percentage of Black residents who received tickets should be compared with the percentage of residents who are Black.

Second, this statement is incorrect: "The camera infraction recidivism rate is less than 90% which, according to the city, means that the cameras are effective in getting drivers to slow down." The recidivism rate (i.e., rate of getting more than 1 ticket) is less than 10%.

Gay Armsden
Lake Forest Park

Editor: Re the second statement, the article has been corrected.


Anonymous,  May 27, 2024 at 8:51 AM  

Who has an easier time paying for a ticket; New Lexus driver or used Toyota driver? These cameras are wrong on many levels. Redesign the road, etc but stop ripping off people.

Anonymous,  May 27, 2024 at 4:18 PM  

I agree with the author on the statistics for black residents. The originally article was misleading on this point. One would need to compare rates for residents vs. ticketed residents to start to make any point about potential racism.

Anonymous,  May 29, 2024 at 7:46 PM  

Even so, such statistics would at best suggest correlation but not causation.. in fact, the notion of racist traffic cameras is utterly absurd.

Anonymous,  May 31, 2024 at 8:18 AM  

The real issue is, nearly 15,000 tickets given out near Brookline for a total billing of $1.95 million less $9,5760 in camera rental gives LFP a gross profit of $1.85 million dollars!

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