Dori: I want Kent leaders to take a polygraph test about red light cameras
I have a challenge to public officials in Kent. That is because they are now going to enforce their brand-new red light cameras.
In Kent, if you get a red light camera violation, that’s $136. City leaders told Q13 News that the point of having the cameras is to make streets safer.
I think they’re lying.
I’ll make public officials in Kent the same offer I made public officials in Lynnwood several years ago when they tried telling us that all the red light cameras there were just about safety. I believed then and I believe now that red light cameras are seen by politicians as nothing more than a gigantic source of revenue.
I know that in my town, where we have two schools and one red light camera, if the city does not produce enough in red light revenues, the camera company will pull the cam out and move it to a spot with higher revenues. But if you’re really all about safety, your goal should be zero in revenues. You don’t want anyone getting tickets because you don’t want anyone breaking traffic rules.
In Lynnwood, the city is desperately hungry for people to get red light camera tickets because the city has built its budget in a way that relies on this revenue.
A few years ago, I called them out on this. I called the Lynnwood politicians liars on-air.
A Lynnwood City Council member called me in a fury after I said that. I wish I still had this audio. “Do you really believe we care about money more than public safety?” he said.
I made him an offer. I told him to come in and take a polygraph test. He refused.
The answer is, I really did believe it then and really do believe it to this day. If you’re building your revenue model in big part around red light cameras, then yes, I do believe money means more to you than safety.
Kent is the same way. If any Kent public officials want to come in, take a polygraph test, and prove to me that these are more about public safety than money, let’s arrange that.
I simply do not believe politicians when they tell me that anything is about more than just money.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.