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Old 03-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #29
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Recently the city council in our town was approached by one of the companies that produce and service the red light cameras. Being a small town with a lot of freedom advocates, most of the discussion took place very much in public forums.

They made no bones about it. The cameras and installs were free. They would split the revenue with the city. One stipulation was to reduce the yellow cycle time to the minimum (not only does this increase red light violations, but it increases rear-end collisions). This had nothing to do with safety, as the majority of our severe accidents are back county rollovers. This was all about making money. Heck, we only have 12 stoplights!

The city council, seeing the pitchforks and torches come out, wisely said "never mind".

If you want to reduce red-light accidents the solution is very simple and costs nothing but 1-2 seconds of your time. Once the yellow cycle is over hold "red all" for a 2-count. That gives plenty of time for the intersection to clear, as well as account for the guy that was looking at his gauges when the yellow turned, etc, etc, etc. With the intersection clearer, it also allows the first guys in line to better assess whether people approaching the intersection are going to stop or not.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #30
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In BC a few years ago the government threw out and then sold off the photo radar equipment. It did nothing to curb speeding and someone went to a lot of trouble to show how these cameras were being misused by the local municipalities. Going north out of Victoria one summer Friday afternoon there were three photo radar vans set up on the downhill side of the Malahat highway.

One person showed up at an all candidates meeting in Nanaimo BC, with photocopies of six separate tickets (one from each location of van) issued on that part of the highway for a total of 18 speeding tickets in a one and a half mile stretch of road. It was proven a tax grab that had nothing to do with safety.

All you self-righteous drivers out there should meet my buddy who lives in Cave Creek AZ. He was ticketed because he came to a stop at a green light caught in traffic ahead of him blocking the intersection. He couldn't proceed until the light had gone red and was ticketed as he tried to clear the intersection. Love those dumb know nothing cameras.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #31
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Sleazy Aspect to Camera Installation is a Show-stopper

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanDiemen23 View Post
One stipulation was to reduce the yellow cycle time to the minimum (not only does this increase red light violations, but it increases rear-end collisions). This had nothing to do with safety, as the majority of our severe accidents are back county rollovers. This was all about making money. Heck, we only have 12 stoplights!
Well, this one aspect would instantly reverse my position! I mean, in essence a municipality can train drivers to expect a certain yellow interval; then, by reducing the interval it stands to reason that a temporary windfall should result.

I'm lucky to have an attorney lying next to me, pitched the notion of dismissing tickets written after reduced-interval implementation on the basis of that effect, she said my idea had no merit. Nuts.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:20 PM   #32
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......................If you want to reduce red-light accidents the solution is very simple and costs nothing but 1-2 seconds of your time. Once the yellow cycle is over hold "red all" for a 2-count. That gives plenty of time for the intersection to clear, as well as account for the guy that was looking at his gauges when the yellow turned, etc, etc, etc. With the intersection clearer, it also allows the first guys in line to better assess whether people approaching the intersection are going to stop or not.
You had me laughing at that 2 second rule, and here is why:

Spent 3 years in Japan. The light system there was on a 4 second rule. The red was held for all for 4 seconds. Here is exactly what happens. Drivers learned the 4 second rule, so they watched for the red light to change in the opposite direction, and instead of waiting for their green they jumped forward. That did not reduce accidents, it increased them.

Do you think for a minute that drivers will sit there for 2 seconds? Having witnessed it, I say no.

So just tell them the cameras are there but don't change the timing.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:31 PM   #33
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I do not run red lights and am not 1 to floor it to go through yellows BUT
I do find myself letting off the gas just before the intersection because if the light changes from green to yellow I do not want to be ticketed. I do this because all of the red light cameras in my area are all Po Dunk/ Kangaroo court type municipalities. All of which are devious enough to have cut the yellow light time down when installing the cameras. I drive a car with EXCELLENT braking ability and can stop quicker than most cars and have (for now) very quick reaction times...I know this new way of approaching/stopping @ intersections due to these lights is going to cause me a rear end collision....What is best? a rear ender or a red light ticket? I'll take the ticket as I take great pride in my vehicles to keep them as now.
Many Chicago suburbs have been caught at reducing yellow light time...

I'm not against the cameras but I do think it is a very asinine way to make revenue.. they should take all the local yokals that sit on the interstate highways hoping to right a ticket and put them at intersections and allow the highway patrol to do their jobs and if they must run the interstate highways....start righting tickets for improper lane usage(ie: slow traffic in passing lanes, drivers in passing lanes when no one is to their right etc etc)....there is a TON of revenue to be had by doing this and it would be a far more proper way of producing revenue
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #34
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You had me laughing at that 2 second rule, and here is why:

Spent 3 years in Japan. The light system there was on a 4 second rule. The red was held for all for 4 seconds. Here is exactly what happens. Drivers learned the 4 second rule, so they watched for the red light to change in the opposite direction, and instead of waiting for their green they jumped forward. That did not reduce accidents, it increased them.

Do you think for a minute that drivers will sit there for 2 seconds? Having witnessed it, I say no.

So just tell them the cameras are there but don't change the timing.
Okay - but now you have a non-refutable red-light violation, whether witnessed by cameras or a human - a full stop with an early jump. I've seen the red-all work fine in europe. Must be a cultural thing.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:24 AM   #35
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I also got a camera ticket but must say I get a chuckle out of comments claiming these cameras are an invasion of privacy. Heck, when using a public thoroughfare, a reasonable expectation of privacy does not exist. You want privacy, stay home.
My niece got a camera ticket for speeding and complained about an invasion of privacy. Yet she posts very private information on Facebook.
Silly.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #36
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I RARELY speed (usually I am 5-15mph UNDER the limit on freeways to save gas. Yeah, that probably was me you honked at, but I was in the slow lane... shoulda just gone around me!). Still, I was against the speed cameras from the day I first heard they were coming. It seems to me to be a bit of a violation of privacy. I figured that they would cause more accidents due to people slamming brakes, swerving because they were blinded by them at night, etc. Plus, a LOT of money was involved in getting them put up along the freeways in Phoenix.

In the first month they arrived, I personally witnessed a rear-ender on the freeway, due to the guy in front hitting his brakes to avoid the ticket and the person behind not slowing fast enough (there was smoke from the front guys tires BEFORE impact). I also witnessed a car swerve violently after being flashed at night, though he was able to keep control.

After a month or so, people got used to them and got into one of two routines: The smarter ones (less dumb?!?) kept their cruise set at 1-2mph under the trigger speed, which I believe was 11mph over the limit. The others would act like an inchworm, speeding up between cameras and slowing for the cameras. Obviously there were those who just abided by the laws (like me) and just watched all of this happening.

After a couple of months, I grew to like the cameras. They (mostly) kept people at a more consistent (and closer to my) speed. When they got rid of them, people IMMEDIATELY went back to their old ways. Part of me wishes they would bring them back, the other part still thinks they are a bit of an overstep of liberties...

As to the red light cameras: I will always be against these. It has been PROVEN (google it) that in many municipalities the yellow got shorter when the cameras were put up. In one case I read about, they shortened it multiple times as people got used to the new time... Since I haul a trailer at times, I know that it is harder to stop and, on lights that I would have normally stopped for in my Honda, I will roll through the yellow.

Another circumstance which makes me wonder: coming out of a gas station that is on the corner. You are accellerating through the light when it changes, and could not stop safely. Then it changes to red while you are in the intersection. This has happened to me a few times, which caused me to think of it. If there was a camera, would it have triggered?

For myself, I know it is only a matter of time where chosing the SAFE option (the yellow lights are there in case you HAVE to go through the light to be safe) will cause me to trigger a red light camera. Hopefully it will happen in Arizona, so I can be there to fight the ticket...



I respectfully disagree... I would wager that they use the cameras as an excuse that they don't need as many officers. With the economy the way it is, even the police departments are cutting costs.
I personally thought the fixed freeway speeding cameras were stupid. People, especially the local yokels, would learn where they were and speed between them. The portable ones are far more effective for deterring speeding.

I've yet to hear of a law enforcement agency that used having speed and redlight cameras as justification for cutting personnel.

While I never noticed yellow light intervals being cut in AZ, anywhere that is being done needs to have that specific issue addressed, not just condemn red light cameras in general.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:59 AM   #37
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If your are obeying the laws and speed limits...camera should not be an issue. Those that are usually caught are the first to sceam the loudest...
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:45 AM   #38
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Well, this one aspect would instantly reverse my position! I mean, in essence a municipality can train drivers to expect a certain yellow interval; then, by reducing the interval it stands to reason that a temporary windfall should result.
Sorry, that is a dumb idea, unless you mean a windfall in accidents and tickets.

You have to take human reaction time into account (1/4th to 1/2second), the time for the driver to apply reasonable braking (not "lock-'em up braking"), and the distance it takes the WORST vehicles in the fleet to stop (that would include trucks and RVs). What a 25 year old can do with his new performance car with 10" wide tires to stop is irrelevant to the distance it takes for a fatigued driver of a beverage delivery truck and trailer, and BOTH must use the same intersection safely.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:55 AM   #39
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If your are obeying the laws and speed limits...camera should not be an issue. Those that are usually caught are the first to sceam the loudest...
Yep, and I am sure some folks are cool with throwing out the Bill of Rights because, "only someone doing something wrong needs them."

I AGREE that law breaker should be ticketed, and maybe even executed, but if you shorten the yellow light sufficiently, most people can be turned into law-breakers simply by virtue that not all legally qualified drivers (I am a retired military pilot, and once had great reaction times, but not everyone is the same, and not forever, or even every day), and different vehicle types take different distances to stop once a light turns yellow at a given speed.

At 30mph, a vehicle is going 44ft per second. Those numbers cannot be altered no how righteous a person is. It's PHYSICS. You cannot set the yellow to where I can just stop my light MB sports car in the set interval, and expect me to stop my Dodge Cummins pulling my 5er in the same distance.

(And to answer your claim, I have never had a red light, or speed camera ticket, EVER, though as I stated above my vehicles have had two while in the custody of auto repair shops with their employees driving my truck supposedly "testing" it)
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #40
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Yep, and I am sure some folks are cool with throwing out the Bill of Rights because, "only someone doing something wrong needs them."

I AGREE that law breaker should be ticketed, and maybe even executed, but if you shorten the yellow light sufficiently, most people can be turned into law-breakers simply by virtue that not all legally qualified drivers (I am a retired military pilot, and once had great reaction times, but not everyone is the same, and not forever, or even every day), and different vehicle types take different distances to stop once a light turns yellow at a given speed.

At 30mph, a vehicle is going 44ft per second. Those numbers cannot be altered no how righteous a person is. It's PHYSICS. You cannot set the yellow to where I can just stop my light MB sports car in the set interval, and expect me to stop my Dodge Cummins pulling my 5er in the same distance.

(And to answer your claim, I have never had a red light, or speed camera ticket, EVER, though as I stated above my vehicles have had two while in the custody of auto repair shops with their employees driving my truck supposedly "testing" it)
I agree. I hate people who run red lights but on the other side the towns are now cutting down the yellow time just to give more tickets. Here in Fl. they are down to around 4 seconds which is not enough to stop if you hit the light 100' - 200' when it starts to turn. The law says the yellow must be on for at least 7 seconds so if you get a ticket then time the light and bring it to court in a video. (I did and won)

Trying to make a panic stop is as dangerous as running the light. If you are on rt 41 in N. Ft. Myers there is a light that turns in 3 seconds and the cops sit there waiting. I have never driven by there and did not see someone pulled over. That isn't right.

And as far as cameras freeing up the cops to protect us, they long ago took off the "protect and serve" logo from their cars.....
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #41
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Huh?

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Okay - but now you have a non-refutable red-light violation, whether witnessed by cameras or a human - a full stop with an early jump. I've seen the red-all work fine in europe. Must be a cultural thing.

The idea of red light running in modern Japan is interesting, kinda bizarre.

I mean, they are rabid rule-followers, will stand endlessly waiting for a walk signal, even if there's not a car in sight.

Anyway, nowadays I don't think there could be a need for cameras there. In hundreds of trips (I go once every week and a half), I've never seen anyone break any traffic laws.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #42
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I have a friend from Denmark, and I observed him wait for over 10 minutes at a broken light with almost ZERO traffic in New Mexico one evening.

Rather than just go through the light when it was safe, he finally backed up, did a U-Turn and used a different block before detouring back to the original street we were on.

He said it is a civic duty to obey every law, regardless of circumstance. We are just generally not "wired" so rigidly here in the States.

When I lived in Alaska, a radio announcer once said, following reporting of a funny story about some dumb law, "Hell; this is ALASKA. Up here we make laws just so we can break 'em."

I don't know if this is changing, but we are more laid back than most places about laws. Americans like to see REASON and SPIRIT in a law, and not just words.
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