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Letters Dec. 1: Photo radar is a good idea; cyclists, you need to be visible; hotel capacity

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A cyclist equipped with lights rides along the Lochside Trail in Saanich. TIMES COLONIST

Fear those speeders, not photo radar

Re: “Photo radar system has many flaws,” letter, Nov. 29.

Perhaps some perspective will assuage the concerns regarding photo radar:

1. The ticket goes to the registered owner, not the driver: Well … good! No matter if I lent out my own car or am responsible for a company truck which my employee operates, I want to know if someone drives my vehicle unsafely.

What I do with this knowledge is my business. Whoever earns a ticket in my vehicle already knows they will never drive it again, at least not until after they dispose of the fine and satisfy me with their contrition.

2. Some government worker might make up fake tickets: Unlike back in the ’90s where police had a monopoly on tech-enabled roadside surveillance equipment, and given how many of today’s cars are equipped with cameras of their own (which automatically record vehicle speed) it won’t take long before the thoughtless klutz who engages in such a silly past-time is outed and published.

Nay, what I fear more than initiating a stern conversation with a friend or family member, more than making the city or police aware that their equipment is inaccurate, are the legion of awful drivers who exploit and abuse a near-total absence of traffic enforcement on our roads.

I question the judgement of anyone who is not also appalled by the prevailing state of driver behaviour, the absence of meaningful traffic enforcement on our roads and the public’s stubborn indifference toward each of these problems.

Doug Stacey

Esquimalt

A reminder for cyclists: Be seen on our streets

When a car hits a cyclist, the first words are often: “I didn’t see them!”

Cyclists, we all need flashing lights! With lots of lumens! And, run them day and night! Without such proper lighting, your dark clothing worn against the black pavement makes you invisible! Tiny, limp lights back and front might be legal but are not seen beyond a few feet.

It’s a huge mistake to jump on your bike and assume that you will be seen. Fogged windows, distractions, poor eyesight, lack of sleep, intoxication, and inexperience can all prevent drivers from being at the top of their game.

It takes the average driver 1.25 to 2 seconds to react to a bike that they suddenly see and depending on vehicle speed, the car can travel 50 to 75 feet before reacting. Yikes!

Nothing gets a driver’s attention more than bright, unobstructed flashing lights. That’s why emergency vehicles are covered in them.

And, throw some reflective material on body parts that move.

The message: Be seen. And from a distance. Daytime too! This goes for all the Tour de France wannabes out there. … If you can ride with the weight of a water bottle on board, you can endure two feather-light flashers.

Stand out!

Dave Secco

Cyclist for 63 years

Victoria

Bet taken: visitor numbers will drop

Re: “Hotels will gain visitors, Victoria will keep money,” Dec. 28.

In regard to the loss of short-term rentals, the writer states:”I’m willing to bet that the hotel industry is right: occupancy rates will increase, visitor numbers will not decrease, and Victoria will not lose hundreds of millions of dollars.”

He then asks if there are any takers for his “bet”?

Yes, I will take his bet, because he is in the unfortunate position of being wrong. Actual Victoria hotel occupancy rates, as published by Tourism Victoria, indicate occupancy in the key summer months in the 80-90 per cent range. That indicates hotels are already at near capacity.

The City of Victoria states that there are 1,600 legal non-conforming short-term rentals that they are happy to now make illegal. The loss of 1,600 formerly legal short-term rentals equates to a loss of 48,000 room nights per month, which hotels are clearly not capable of replacing.

That will indeed mean that hundreds of thousands of potential visitors will have no place to stay and that the hotels will be charging significantly more; simple supply and demand.

The logical extrapolation then, is that with hotels near capacity and significantly less (more expensive) places to stay, there will be a lot less visitors spending a lot less money.

Please donate my bet winnings to the Downtown Victoria Business Association. They will need it for their new “Stay for a Day” tourism campaign.

Michael Theil

Victoria

Eliminate confusion on Victoria streets

Sadly, the folks at Victoria City Hall do not seem to have a clue as to the dangers they have created on our streets. Expensive, nearly empty bike lanes have squeezed vehicle traffic causing backups and frustration among drivers.

Red lights are now more commonly being run as are dangerous moves by drivers trying to find a way through the mess.

Pedestrians treat our sidewalks like pathways through a national park, ignoring the timers and the big orange hand creating chaos as drivers take chances trying to make a legal right or left hand turn through a crosswalk occupied by people who really need to be ticketed.

It might take a death or serious injury to wake city hall up as to what they have done to the city.

Stephen Kishkan

Victoria

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