The Mercury News

Intersecti­on traffic cameras a good idea, but not everywhere


Q In the early '70s, Arlington, Texas, installed about 10 traffic camera stations at various intersecti­ons. They were easy to identify. Because the city only had two cameras, they moved them each day so you never knew where they were and had to stop at all locations, rather than risk getting a ticket. For the cost of two cameras, the city controlled 10 intersecti­ons. I wish cities here would do the same.

— Glen Wells, Antioch A A great idea, where it works. San Francisco once had fixed cameras in some stations, while other stations had no camera. Drivers did not know which intersecti­ons had working cameras. The success at stopping red light runners was mixed. The good thing is that more drivers paid attention to stopping at red lights. A few drivers fired shots at stations and took some cameras out of service. Q Catalytic converter theft is out of control.

Automakers sell them like hotcakes. Manufactur­ers are double dipping and making 40% on them. We at our company install catalytic converters all the time. They are $2,500 with a shield. The recycler sells the stolen material back to the CAT maker and the dealer resells it to the person who got ripped off. This is very unfair to vehicle owners. The manufactur­er should be taking some responsibi­lity about how the parts were engineered and placed on the car. They should make this a recall and, in good faith to the customer, add a shield.

— Mike Hennessy

A There are many others who agree with you.

Q To help foil catalytic converter thefts, etch the car's license number and VIN number on the catalytic converter. Do you know where this service is available?

— Joseph Gold

A Check with the repair shop you normally use. They should be able to do this, or direct you to someone who can.

Q The way I see to prevent catalytic converter theft is to secure them under the car. Etching the VIN number is a waste of time, because these people are thieves. They don't care what's written on the unit, and neither does the dealer buying these parts. If catalytic converters were harder to remove, thefts would stop. On one of my cameras, I watched two guys steal a neighbor's catalytic converter in less than four minutes, all while the car alarm was going off. They were driving away by the time the homeowner came out. These morons are stealing the low-hanging fruit (pun intended). If insurance companies were smart, they would pay to have these straps installed since that would be a lot cheaper than having to pay for a replacemen­t converter. — Mike Greenwood San Jose

A A good point.

Look for Gary Richards at mr. roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@ bayareanew­

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 ?? ARIC CRABB — STAFF FILE ?? A traffic camera is mounted above signal lights at an intersecti­on in San Jose.
ARIC CRABB — STAFF FILE A traffic camera is mounted above signal lights at an intersecti­on in San Jose.

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