The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.
Alton Loper was a Police Detective in Chester, PA serving in the Police force for 27 years. In that time he responded to more collisions than he could possibly count. He has been a long-time advocate of red-light safety cameras in Pennsylvania and wishes his city could utilize this life-saving technology. Safety Street got to talk to Detective Loper recently about his views on the value of red-light safety cameras.
What kind of collisions have you seen during your time as a police detective?
It would be easier for me to explain what kind of collisions I have not seen.
during my career as a police detective. I have seen almost every crash you can possibly imagine, from a driver being decapitated by a flying object from another vehicle, to little children struck on their bikes, to the total shut down of highways and streets, because of collision. I once witnessed a tanker truck crash that closed down a portion of I-95 for three months. The number of motorcycle collisions I’ve witnessed are too numerous to even mention. I’ve see too many fatalities to last a life time.
Do you support the use of red-light safety cameras? And if so, why?
Yes I support the use of red-light safety cameras, because they deter people
from running red lights. It is a proven fact, that if you are caught once, you are very cautious of every red light that you come upon afterwards. It changes the way a person drives going forward.
Do you view cameras as valid alternative to having a police officer sit and monitor an intersection?
Yes I do. Red-light safety cameras free up police manpower, since they don’t have to
assign any patrol cars to monitor the intersection or traffic light. In this day and age police have far more important things to do than sit at an intersection and monitor traffic light violators.
To learn more about Mr. Loper’s opinions on this topic, read his recent letter to the editor from the Delaware County Daily Times.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.