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Thread: Red-light Cameras

  1. #21
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>Not necessarily, these devices can be retimed and designed to catch anyone they want to.<<

    Only the paranoid!

  2. #22
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>Not necessarily, these devices can be retimed and designed to catch anyone they want to.<<

    Only the paranoid!
    Jim,

    Swamprat makes several reasonable (and factual) points about the red light cameras; it's a fact, for example, that some localities have used them as "revenue enhancers" - deliberately reducing the yellow interval to increase the number of tickets that can be issued (and themoney taken in has been shared with privte corporations). This "incentive" is inherently corrupting and by no means an inducement to sound traffic safety engineering/laws/enforcement, etc. Red light cameras have been challenged legally for just these reasons - and courts have found the objections to have merit.

    When law enforcement becomes a for-profit enterprise, the results are rarely, if ever, good for the public... .

  3. #23
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>When law enforcement becomes a for-profit enterprise, the results are rarely, if ever, good for the public... . <<

    The time it becomes that is when there aren't enough cops to get the job done. Called outsourcing-- the way we do al things now!

  4. #24
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    "The time it becomes that is when there aren't enough cops to get the job done. "

    But as with "speeding" there's the issue of whether we're dealing with a real - vs. contrived - problem.

    People who drive excessively fast are the appropriate object of law enforcement; but the reality is most of the enforcement is directed at people who are merely driving faster than a posted limit that, more often than not, isn't realistic/doesn't conform to the 85th percentile rule, etc.

    Similarly, people who deliberately run red lights are dangerous - and should be targeted. However, red light cameras are often set up to increase the number of "violators" by timing the signal/camera so that the yellow interval is shorter than it ought to be. This doesn't make the intersection safer - but as with "speeding" tickets, it does increase the revenue stream.





  5. #25
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>People who drive excessively fast are the appropriate object of law enforcement; but the reality is most of the enforcement is directed at people who are merely driving faster than a posted limit that, more often than not, isn't realistic/doesn't conform to the 85th percentile rule, etc. <<

    How much faster than the posted limit do you call excessive? I usually am at 10 over most of the time and have yet to be ticketed for that.

    >>Similarly, people who deliberately run red lights are dangerous - and should be targeted. <<

    And the cameras would do the job as long as the yellow time is reasonable. Trouble is, no matter how long you make that yellow light, there will always be some jerk who will attempt to make it just after it turns red.

  6. #26
    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!
    Jim, Jim, Jim, haven't you been reading my posts? The ones titled 'Happened Again.' I have been rear-ended twice in less than a year. I was stopped at a red light both times. I didn't stop on a yellow light, or lolly-gag around when the light twinklied green. No cars behind me at all when I stop and I didn't even see any aproaching me. Neither driver were exceeding the speed limit, nor tail-gating. But in both cases the drivers were distracted; one while changing his iPod, and the other by a previous altercation with some teen age boys on the corner.

    Since neither of us either time was in the intersection, a RLC wouldn't have meant diddly. Weren't you the one who posted 'SH*T HAPPENS! ?

  7. #27
    gail
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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----
    Go back and read what I posted about Jim Baxter getting a RLC ticket from Germany when he wasn't even there.

  8. #28
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    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.

    Not as rare as you might believe - there was a big scandle in Washington about the company rigging the camaras to get more money. Al in Southern California where the Ricca act was brought against the City of Huntington Beach for their scam on RLC.

    Greed runs deep.

  9. #29
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>Not necessarily, these devices can be retimed and designed to catch anyone they want to.<<

    Only the paranoid!
    It isn't paranoia when they really are after you.

  10. #30
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>People who drive excessively fast are the appropriate object of law enforcement; but the reality is most of the enforcement is directed at people who are merely driving faster than a posted limit that, more often than not, isn't realistic/doesn't conform to the 85th percentile rule, etc. <<

    How much faster than the posted limit do you call excessive? I usually am at 10 over most of the time and have yet to be ticketed for that.

    >>Similarly, people who deliberately run red lights are dangerous - and should be targeted. <<

    And the cameras would do the job as long as the yellow time is reasonable. Trouble is, no matter how long you make that yellow light, there will always be some jerk who will attempt to make it just after it turns red.
    Excessively fast is when a driver is weaving in and out of lanes, virtually running everyone off the road. Sometimes even leaving a string of accidents in their wake. No, not hitting anyone, but causing fear in other drivers where they serve or put on theire brakes.

    Fortunately, there are very few of these types of drivers, but because they so unnerve us, we remember them and feel that there are more on the road than they are. These vehicles are always going faster than the prevailing traffic. The speed of the prevailing traffic varies occurring to conditions. But 'Old-more-important-than-the-rest-of-us' drivers always drives too fast for conditions, may or may not be a Red-light runner though.

  11. #31
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>Jim, Jim, Jim, haven't you been reading my posts? The ones titled 'Happened Again.' I have been rear-ended twice in less than a year. I was stopped at a red light both times. I didn't stop on a yellow light, or lolly-gag around when the light twinklied green. No cars behind me at all when I stop and I didn't even see any aproaching me. Neither driver were exceeding the speed limit, nor tail-gating. But in both cases the drivers were distracted; one while changing his iPod, and the other by a previous altercation with some teen age boys on the corner.<<

    And most of the cause was your fault because you were there as a target---- Now, I suppose those will be used as a statistic against RLCs---

    >>Since neither of us either time was in the intersection, a RLC wouldn't have meant diddly. Weren't you the one who posted 'SH*T HAPPENS! ?<<

    Not me dear-- I never said that--- It never just happens-- someone has to have his derriere in postition for SH*T to happen!

  12. #32
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>Go back and read what I posted about Jim Baxter getting a RLC ticket from Germany when he wasn't even there.<<

    And how many times has this happened? I'll bet very few-- where'd they get a photo of his plate?

  13. #33
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>It isn't paranoia when they really are after you.<<

    But, they really are after YOU! ;D

  14. #34
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>But 'Old-more-important-than-the-rest-of-us' drivers always drives too fast for conditions, may or may not be a Red-light runner though.<<

    That person will more than likely push every part of whatever activity they do!

  15. #35
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    "How much faster than the posted limit do you call excessive? I usually am at 10 over most of the time and have yet to be ticketed for that."


    That's a separate question; the point I was making (and I think you'll agree with me) is that, to a great extent, "speeding" involves a technicality (driving faster than an arbitrary/under-posted statutory limit) rather than driving unsafely, etc.

    >>Similarly, people who deliberately run red lights are dangerous - and should be targeted. <<

    And the cameras would do the job as long as the yellow time is reasonable"

    But that's just the point - they aren't reasonably timed. Deliberately! To Increase the number of violators - and the cash flow. In addition, they eviscerate due process. You are assumed guilty until YOU prove your innocence (if that's even possible). This upends a very basic principle of our form of government. Regardless of the offense, you should have the right to confront your accuser in a court - and theburden of proof should be on the state, not you.


    Would you also favor speed cameras to spit out automated (and virtually impossible to contest ) tickets to everyone who was driving faster than the contrived/artifically low limits?

    What a money machine that would be...

    Of course, it would also be grossly unfair. As are red light cameras.

  16. #36
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    >>Would you also favor speed cameras to spit out automated (and virtually impossible to contest ) tickets to everyone who was driving faster than the contrived/artifically low limits?

    What a money machine that would be...

    Of course, it would also be grossly unfair. As are red light cameras.<<

    Switzerland has all that.
    If you run a red light and ar pictured doing it, why is that unfair? You can still take it to court if you wish. I think we have a few people here who just like to break the law and have no opposition to doing it.
    If I put up a camera that photographs someone robbing a bank is that also unfair?

  17. #37
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    "Switzerland has all that.
    If you run a red light and ar pictured doing it, why is that unfair? You can still take it to court if you wish. I think we have a few people here who just like to break the law and have no opposition to doing it.
    If I put up a camera that photographs someone robbing a bank is that also unfair?"

    Well, here in America, the cameras are often set up extra-judicially - with "administration" (read: fine collection) handled by private contractors - and the due process aspect reversed (it's up to you to prove your innocence, rather than the other way around). Often, the camera just shoots the plate - not the driver. Or the photo is fuzzy/indeterminate.

    I'm a huge hater of deliberate red light runners; as a rider, I am well aware how lethal this can be. That said, I am opposed to cameras for all the reasons previously laid out. They're neither necessary, nor effective - and have a huge potential to be abused by revenue-hungry local governments.


  18. #38
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    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.

    I, too, am not a Red-light runner, and like you there has been an occasion or two where I have been caught in the intersection when the light turned red. there has even been an occasion or two where I had not judged my distance to the intersection correctly, and found myself sailing through an intersection on red. By that I mean that the light was red when I crossed the Stop Bar (translation: the large white line that vehicles are supposed to stop behind, but few do, at an intersection).

    However, 99% of the time I blame faulty timing of the traffic signal. The timing lies firmly at the doorstep of DOT. In traffic engineer lingo, there is an Area of Dilemma - in this space of time from when a motorist sees a yellow light, they quickly must determine their distance to the intersection, the speed they are traveling and decide whether they can stop or must continue traveling. We all know that a person traveling faster than the prevailing conditions, which is always too fast, regardless of the posted speed limit, e.g., wet or icy streets, heavy traffic, driving faster than the 90 percentile of traffic, etc. will probably not be able to stop, and may even rear-end a vehicle in front of them if they stop. But we are not talking about that person, we are talking about the average Joe and Jane, -you and me - driving down the street with the flow of traffic, and we see a yellow light, now we are in the Area of Dilemma, and if the timing of the yellow light is too fast, we will find ourselves sailing through a red light.

    Just a couple of week ago, I was waiting to turn left with a protected arrow, I was the third car in line, the posted speed limit was 45 mph, which I feel is generous for city driving with heavy traffic, and in gauging my own speed when there is little to no traffic, I find that I drive 42 mph, so NVDOT has used the 85th percentile to round out the number to the nearest higher number that would be 5 or 0, i.e., if the 85th percentile was driving 38 mph then the posted limit would be 40 mph, or like me, 42 mph rounded out to 45 mph. For the most part NVDOT has done well in posting the speed limit, there are areas that need improvement, but I would rate them better in this issue than many cities.

    Anyway, the green arrow came on, there were no vehicles in the intersection, neither of the cars in front of me delayed, I entered the intersection on the green arrow, and then the arrow turned yellow and immediately red, leaving me only half-way through the intersection. This was clearly a timing problem. To start with more than three vehicles should have had time to make their turn on a green light, and second the yellow limit was way off standard. The standard is one second for each 10 miles posted, e.g., if the posted speed limit was posted at 45 mph, as it was, the yellow light should have been timed at 4.5 seconds. The green light on a major artery should have much longer than it was.

    Of course it is irritating at short-timed lights causing people to lose time on their own light waiting for others to clear the intersection, causing others to believe that they too should have those extra 3-6 seconds that they were cheated out of, and so it goes around and around. Yet, if the traffic lights are timed correctly, it would cut-down; if not totally eliminate the encouragement to run Red-lights. RLC will not change DOT responsibility for safer highways.

  19. #39
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    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.
    I'll not even go there. He also said that air baths are healthy and I agree. ;D

  20. #40
    gail
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    Re: Red-light Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    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.
    For the most part I have no object to the Dead-Red interval, but you are right everyone knows about it, and it does often encourage people to continue going through the intersection.

    Las Vegas has some interesting Walk/Don't Walk devices which I like very much, once the hand appears there is a visual timer counting down until the light will turn yellow. I know that it was designed for pedestrians so that they would know how much time they have to clear the intersection, but I use them to know how much time I will have before the light turns yellow as well. I don't know how many motorists have snapped to this extra warning, but I sure love it.

    Is your city using these now?

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