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Thread: Red-light Cameras

  1. #1
    gail
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    Red-light Cameras

    Nevada is once again considering to activate fines for Red-light runners, the cameras are already in place, but each year the bill goes down in defeat. Here is my letter to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

    As a kid games I used to play games with my friends. I think about one of those games when I read about the support of Red-light Cameras (RLC). I?m not sure if the game had a name or not, but all my friends delighted in playing it. We would try to appear nonchalant while snapping our fingers. ?What are you doing?? Someone would ask, ?Keeping elephants away,? would be the reply. We all would be hoping to play the trick on someone new, or that the person would join into our game and say ?There aren?t any elephants within miles of here. Then the gleeful reply, ?Effective, isn?t it??

    Red-light Cameras will be for state and the company managing them, they will be a colossal money-maker. For the supporters of RLC they will only be a ?feel-good solution. Because, in actual fact, RLC will not stop the hardened Red-light runner, nor the distracted Red-light runner, nor the person believing that they have an emergency so severe that they would be willing to take the risk of running a Red-light. In fact, the RLC will have a woefully negative effect of causing rear-enders, because some people will start stopping on yellow lights.

    In other words, RLC would not only NOT stop red-light running, but would create conditions for more accidents, not less.

    What would be more effective and less nerve-wracking than RLC for all motorists and would be fuel effective to boot, would be better timing between traffic lights, and to lengthen the time of yellow lights. Most of us have no desire to put ourselves into harm?s way by running Red-lights.

    Let?s not play the ?feel-good? game of snapping our fingers of the RLC game.



  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    I agree with you, but consider red light cameras (and speed cameras) almost inevitable. There's to much money (and "safety" bleating) involved to keep it contained for long... .


  3. #3
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>I agree with you, but consider red light cameras (and speed cameras) almost inevitable. There's to much money (and "safety" bleating) involved to keep it contained for long... . <<

    If you have ever been hit or came very close to being hit by a red light runner, your attitude would change about the cameras. I have reviewed some of the pictures taken by some of the rrecently installed cameras here in Houston and agree that more of them need to be installed. So far, there's not been any rear end accidents. You can't say that the cameras cause the accidents either. A rear ender is caused by a driver who is following too close or not paying attention to driving!

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I agree with you, but consider red light cameras (and speed cameras) almost inevitable. There's to much money (and "safety" bleating) involved to keep it contained for long... . <<

    If you have ever been hit or came very close to being hit by a red light runner, your attitude would change about the cameras. I have reviewed some of the pictures taken by some of the rrecently installed cameras here in Houston and agree that more of them need to be installed. So far, there's not been any rear end accidents. You can't say that the cameras cause the accidents either. A rear ender is caused by a driver who is following too close or not paying attention to driving!
    I hate red light runners, too - but there's no question the cameras have been used to generate revenue by decreasing signal intervals - so as to capture more "runners." Several studies have found that bysimply increasing the yellow interval, you can reduce red light running significantly.

    As for the rest - deliberate red light runners - I'd rather have cops at intersections for this purpose (which involves a genuine threat to public safety) than hassling people for driving faster than under-posted speed limits!

  5. #5
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>I hate red light runners, too - but there's no question the cameras have been used to generate revenue by decreasing signal intervals - so as to capture more "runners." Several studies have found that bysimply increasing the yellow interval, you can reduce red light running significantly. <<

    Sutdies can be slanted to find anything they want, but when I drive through a yellow light I always look in the rear view mirror to see how many more cars keep coming-- Usually there are one or 2 who run the red-- you could make the yellow light 30 seconds long and there'd still be some asshole who will run the red and try to kill someone.
    Nothing in Houston has been said about a time change for the yellow. No one has complained about thet.
    The cameras are great for sorting out who's at fault when there is an accident.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I hate red light runners, too - but there's no question the cameras have been used to generate revenue by decreasing signal intervals - so as to capture more "runners." Several studies have found that bysimply increasing the yellow interval, you can reduce red light running significantly. <<

    Sutdies can be slanted to find anything they want, but when I drive through a yellow light I always look in the rear view mirror to see how many more cars keep coming-- Usually there are one or 2 who run the red-- you could make the yellow light 30 seconds long and there'd still be some asshole who will run the red and try to kill someone.
    Nothing in Houston has been said about a time change for the yellow. No one has complained about thet.
    The cameras are great for sorting out who's at fault when there is an accident.
    I know, but this is not one of "those" cases. The cameras have been set up as revenue-getters, with private companies splitting the money - and signals deliberately timed so as to maximize revenue. There have been court cases - and the cameras repudiated as a result.

    And again: Why not use cops for this purpose? There neveer seems to be one around for THAT. Why? They're too busy manning radar traps...

  7. #7
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>And again: Why not use cops for this purpose? There neveer seems to be one around for THAT. Why? They're too busy manning radar traps... <<

    There aren't that many cops around at any given time to man all the dangerous intersections. The cameras work and are hard to dispute.

  8. #8
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I agree with you, but consider red light cameras (and speed cameras) almost inevitable. There's to much money (and "safety" bleating) involved to keep it contained for long... . <<

    If you have ever been hit or came very close to being hit by a red light runner, your attitude would change about the cameras. I have reviewed some of the pictures taken by some of the rrecently installed cameras here in Houston and agree that more of them need to be installed. So far, there's not been any rear end accidents. You can't say that the cameras cause the accidents either. A rear ender is caused by a driver who is following too close or not paying attention to driving!
    Snap, Snap, Sanp!

  9. #9
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I hate red light runners, too - but there's no question the cameras have been used to generate revenue by decreasing signal intervals - so as to capture more "runners." Several studies have found that bysimply increasing the yellow interval, you can reduce red light running significantly. <<

    Sutdies can be slanted to find anything they want, but when I drive through a yellow light I always look in the rear view mirror to see how many more cars keep coming-- Usually there are one or 2 who run the red-- you could make the yellow light 30 seconds long and there'd still be some asshole who will run the red and try to kill someone.
    Nothing in Houston has been said about a time change for the yellow. No one has complained about thet.
    The cameras are great for sorting out who's at fault when there is an accident.
    If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right?

    The fact is, study after study - University of Virginia, Texas A&M, Ministery of transportation in Ontario, and countless others have shown that red light cameras have at best a neutral and at worst, a largely negative effect on red light collisions. The only ways to reduce intersection accidents are to 1. retime traffic lights and 2. increase yellow light intervals. As for the idea that these studies are self-serving: WRONG. Stuides in favor of cameras are done by the Insuranse Institute for Higher Premiums and other organizations that would benefit from their installation.

    I can't understand for the life of me why the general public would want to install a device that can bust them or their neighbor and put a mark on their drivers license and take money out of their bank accounts.It is true that I have never been hit by a red light runner, but I don't beleive that I would change my mind to believe that these Nazi devices are less repulsive than a swarm of gnats over a pile of crap.

    Driving involves an element of risk that cannot be reduced by enforcement, however pervasive. If it was, (formerly)Great Britian would have no accidents or fatalities anywhere since speed cameras and red light cameras abound in that country. There is no evidence to suggest that the fatality rate is any lower today because of them than it would otherwise be due to improvements in vehicles, etc.

    Cameras are a scourge along with the politicians who actively instal them.

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>And again: Why not use cops for this purpose? There neveer seems to be one around for THAT. Why? They're too busy manning radar traps... <<

    There aren't that many cops around at any given time to man all the dangerous intersections. The cameras work and are hard to dispute.
    Actually, the cameras don't necessarily work - unless you mean increasing the revenue stream for the corporation that holds the contract and the city, etc. For example, when the signals aren;t timed adequately, rear-end accidents increase as people slam on their brakes to avoid entering the intersection - and getting a ticket. Look into this if you doubt me.

  11. #11
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right?
    That's a *very* good point.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  12. #12
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right? <<

    Seems like you are reading stuff that was never said. A red light camera will catch the runner. If there is an accident, the runner that caused it is on record.
    The way some folks drive and cause accidents make it necessary to use "Nazi" as you call them, methods. If you are afraid of being caught on one of the cameras, stop running the red lights.

  13. #13
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right? <<

    Seems like you are reading stuff that was never said. A red light camera will catch the runner. If there is an accident, the runner that caused it is on record.
    The way some folks drive and cause accidents make it necessary to use "Nazi" as you call them, methods. If you are afraid of being caught on one of the cameras, stop running the red lights.
    Catch the runner? What in a net before it T-bone another vehicle?!?!?!?!

    If there is an accident, the runner that caused it is on record. Not necessarily. A vehicle that ran a Red light has been photographed. The vehicle could be stolen, or loaned out, or have mechanical failure. The photo shot could be grainy or if the timing is just slightly off - snap! You are in the photo shoot and not the Red-light runner. You are on Candid Camera! Numerous mishap along the way of the legal robbers to relieve each of us of our hard-earn money.

    Jim Baxter of National Motorists Association received a RLC ticket last year. From Germany. Guess what? He wasn't even in Germany at the time the of the photo shoot. It wasn't his vehicle, and the man behind the wheel wasn't Jim. I think he is still fighting that ticket -- check it out on the NMA web site.

    In the meantime - I'm still snapping my fingers - snap, snap, snap - - - Dang! Here comes that elephant again. ;D

  14. #14
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right? <<

    Seems like you are reading stuff that was never said. A red light camera will catch the runner. If there is an accident, the runner that caused it is on record.
    The way some folks drive and cause accidents make it necessary to use "Nazi" as you call them, methods. If you are afraid of being caught on one of the cameras, stop running the red lights.
    Always remember what Ben Franklin wrote: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. 1759

    You may be will to give up your liberty, I am not! - and I will fight you and your ilk who would do so all the way to the highest power of this land to preserve liberty.

  15. #15
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>Always remember what Ben Franklin wrote: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. 1759<<

    Ben Franklin had no car ---

    >>You may be will to give up your liberty, I am not! - and I will fight you and your ilk who would do so all the way to the highest power of this land to preserve liberty.<<

    Why not relax and drive safer instead of fighting all the time? You spout the same crap about something that probably will have little impact on your life and then tell the world that you support Bush, the biggest taker of your rights that ever was!

  16. #16
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>If cameras are photographing accidents, then they are not serving their purpose, right? <<

    Seems like you are reading stuff that was never said. A red light camera will catch the runner. If there is an accident, the runner that caused it is on record.
    The way some folks drive and cause accidents make it necessary to use "Nazi" as you call them, methods. If you are afraid of being caught on one of the cameras, stop running the red lights.
    I think that you are reading something that wasn't said. As a rule,I don't run red lights. I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't done it from time to time, but 99 percent of the time, I have stopped before the light turns red. MOst people do. I personally am not afraid of being caught by a camera, as if there is one present, I will slam on my brakes before it turns red. If I cause a rear end accident so be it. It won't be "my fault" as the person doing the hitting is ultimately responsible in this twisted system.

    What percentage of fatalities and accidents are these dangerous "runners" responsible for? The answer is 2.0 percent. That's right down there with defective equipment on a vehicle. Most states don't have state inspections/ That's because there is no cash (or safety) benefit to them. Cameras will be the same thng, except they will be literal ATM's for whoever installs them.

    These cameras are clearly not doing the job as advertised. Most red light violations occurr one second after the light turns red. If they lengthened the time, most red light violations wouldn't happen. In addition, accidents are reduced when proper engineering is applied. Proper engineering of interstections should be done instead of camera installations.


  17. #17
    mrblanche
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    I don't live my life by what Ben Franklin or Mark Twain said, no matter how pithy and apropos they may seem to be. The made some good observations, but usually didn't live up the ideal they had set. Just as an example, Franklin said that affairs with older married women were to be encouraged.

    However, the single worst thing that has been done with traffic lights is to put a delay on the green. Everyone knows it's there, so they feel safe in running the light.

    The guy who gave me my first driving test said that all stop signs and most stop lights should be replaced with yield signs. The first few months would be slaughter, but only the intelligent would survive. A little chlorine in the gene pool, you might say.

  18. #18
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>The guy who gave me my first driving test said that all stop signs and most stop lights should be replaced with yield signs. The first few months would be slaughter, but only the intelligent would survive. A little chlorine in the gene pool, you might say. <<

    A 4 way yield would be a lot of fun for a while!



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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>I think that you are reading something that wasn't said. As a rule,I don't run red lights<<

    If you are not a violator then you'll not be on candid camera----

  20. #20
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I think that you are reading something that wasn't said. As a rule,I don't run red lights<<

    If you are not a violator then you'll not be on candid camera----
    Not necessarily, these devices can be retimed and designed to catch anyone they want to. They don not necessarily have to be exactly in sequence iwth the red light. Admittedly that is probably rare, but still possible. They can be angled a way to avoid showing the traffic light entirely. Again, rare, but possible. Second thing, they can be set to go off if someone happens to be exceeding the speed limit, and the light can be timed to prematurely turn red if that is the case. That is very possible and dangerous. Catching the "speeder" is a lot less rare. Federal Highway estimates put 7/10 speed zones as underposted.

    These devices open a pandora's box in terms of fleecing common motorist. There is a better way to enforce red light running. Proper engineering of intersections and a visible patrol car for the truly dangerous intersections.


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