Why are we spending so much time on red light & speed cameras?

 

I keep reading threads and posts about this municipality or that installing or uninstalling speed and/or red light cameras.

Personally, I do not download the red camera files, I do not speed- to much. I try not to run red lights or speed up for the yellow ones. I stop when I can safely do so and go through (with a prayer) when I can't or some idiot is following to closely!

I'm much more interested in what the traffic (and sometimes pedestrians/bicycles) are doing around me then worrying about a camera.

Are we focusing on the wrong things? Shouldn't our GPS make the driving easier (and safer). If so why should we worry about cameras?

--
Tom
Page 1>>

I agree

and I am one of those who usually comment - especially when one of our members tries to make an article say something that it doesn't.

Many people (like you) jump in and say something like "why don't we just follow the laws and then we won't be worried about automated traffic control?"

I agree with that position, but I do not want "disinformation" to go unchallanged. I hope I always balance the time I spend challanging disinformation with providing answers to questions posed by members about their GPS. I try at least.

Thanks for your comments

The discussion concerning

The discussion concerning Red light cameras is that Red light cameras are not install to prevent accidents, they are just there to increase revenues. We need to look at the big picture. Government agencies are mis-spending our money so they are looking at multiple ways to get money from the tax-payers so they can "try" to balance their budgets. Cameras are one source of income. The other thing that we need to focus on is that government is putting a strangle hold on tax-payers by adding more laws, adding more fees which lets us spend less, and do less. Before you know it they will be putting cameras at stop signs, in neighborhoods, etc. I don't know about you but I'm tire of wasteful spending, and all the added fees. I also know that we take home less money but pay more in fees.

Maybe, maybe not.....

gadget_man wrote:

The discussion concerning Red light cameras is that Red light cameras are not install to prevent accidents, they are just there to increase revenues.

In a scant few cases, the cameras have been abused so folks have a legitimate beef. In most places, however, they are operated properly and "get" you fair and square.......if you violate the law.

If you don't violate the law....and it is NOT that hard to obey the rules.....then you have nothing to worry about.

If you should screw up once every 5 years or so and they get you.......so what? Big deal.

I'm sorry but I think those who protest the loudest (except where they have personally been impacted by abuse) are individuals who just don't like conforming to the rules.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

KA1167

Right On !!!!!

My point is not about guilty

My point is not about guilty or not guilty at red light camera intersections(yes, if a person runs a red light they should get a ticket)it's about about "big brother" and corporations adding fees to fix their spending sprees. If you don't speak up we won't have enough left on our pay checks to support our families

It's all about safety for me

I download the files because I want to be aware of the locations of the red light cameras. I want to know where they are because I need to be more careful and aware of what others are doing at that intersection. People act differently at a RLC intersection. If you know what is coming, you can keep an eye out for the idiots. I know that if it is a RLC intersection, there is a good chance the guy in front of me is going to nail his brakes on the yellow.

--
R/Tim NUVI 660, ETREX Vista, Rhino 120, zumo 660, nuvi 3790

maybe, maybe not part 2

ka1167 wrote:
gadget_man wrote:

The discussion concerning Red light cameras is that Red light cameras are not install to prevent accidents, they are just there to increase revenues.

In a scant few cases, the cameras have been abused so folks have a legitimate beef. In most places, however, they are operated properly and "get" you fair and square.......if you violate the law.

If you don't violate the law....and it is NOT that hard to obey the rules.....then you have nothing to worry about.

If you should screw up once every 5 years or so and they get you.......so what? Big deal.

I'm sorry but I think those who protest the loudest (except where they have personally been impacted by abuse) are individuals who just don't like conforming to the rules.

We used to have RL cameras in my area until the local government and the public schools got in a fight over who got the money. They solved the dispute by shutting down the RL cameras and nobody got any money.

That being said, I received a RL ticket once. I was clearly stopped (the picture showed your speed too) and went in to argue my case. The official told me that being stopped was insufficient. He said that because my front tires were over the line (which marked the beginning of the intersection, I was technically in violation of the law because I had entered the intersection. But he forgave the RL ticket.

From that time on I saw many RL camera flashes as I would intentionally stop with my front tires just over the line. Never got another ticket after that one either.

--
nuvi 1690 with ecoRoute HD, SP2610 (retired), Edge 305, Forerunner 405

Come Drive in New York!

birchtree, come drive in New York. It is dog-eat-dog where if you stop at a light that just turned red, you risk being rear-ended at 60 miles per hour by an SUV.

Red light cameras are just a trouble making game-changer because some drivers know there is a RLC and others don't. That's the problem. We need to know when a RLC is coming up because it's big trouble and we need to watch out for the unexpected. We also change our route to avoid these intersections.

dobs108

Power issue

It gives too much power and control to the government over the people.

I've heard so many government entities say along the line of, "give us this power, but I'm sure we won't have to use it." I have yet to see a government body not use the power it has been given.

Case in point. If a citizen lies to the police, that's obstruction of justice. But if a police lies to the citizen, that's investigation. I'd rather not have double standards. One standard screws up just fine.

Bottom line. I don't trust the government and I don't trust the police. I'd like to be informed.

--
nüvi 750 & 760

Exactly

Exactly

--
Garmin Nuvi 255W

Well our state got smart and

Well our state got smart and turned them off now I hope we vote out the locals that are keeping and adding to them!

We the people

Does anyone remember way back a long time ago when we were taught in school that ours was a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people?"
That was when we had Statesmen. Now we have politicians. If we have bad laws on the books whos fault is it? Many people like to gripe but don't vote. If we will let these politicians know why we are voting them out of office it may send a message.
Many of these guys spend $250,000 to get a job that pays $75,000. Think about it.

--
Nuvi 1450 Newbe When you see a fork in the road, Take it!

Well, I do

19PapaBear44 wrote:

...Many people like to gripe but don't vote. ...

I keep voting but it keeps getting worse.

.... So I have to gripe!

This IS a DISCUSSION Forum

birchtree wrote:

Are we focusing on the wrong things? Shouldn't our GPS make the driving easier (and safer). If so why should we worry about cameras?

I actually agree with the original post - I find most of the topics dealing with red light and speed cameras to be repetative and dogmatic. I have not downloaded the red light or speed cameras because, personally, I don't need that information.

But this IS an Open Talk Discussion forum and red light and speed cameras are a popular topic. And just like open line talk radio shows, we have pretty well the same audience (including me razz ) calling in reinforcing the same point they have made over and over and over and over and over again!

Everyone is welcome to their opinion and everyone shoud have the ability to express that opinion in a civilized manner.

Of course, don't criticize Garmin on the forum because their GPS unnits track negative comments and report back to Big Brother! And people thought it was the Government watching them twisted

Two Problems

Two problems as I see it (and these have probably been said before):
1 - loss of your right to face your accuser.
2 - you pay even if you were not driving.
My two cents.

--
Bob: My toys: Nüvi 1390T, Droid X2, Nook Color (rooted), Motorola Xoom, Kindle 2, a Yo-Yo and a Slinky. Gotta have toys.

Red Light Cameras

In NYC where yellow turns to red very quickly, it is easy to get a red light summons if not careful. It is better to know where they are than to pay $50. Yes, I am one of those persons who tries not going through a red light, but because of the time between yellow and red, it is not always possible.

--
Alan-Garmin c340

Just another tool.

I see it as another tool to be utilized, while driving in an unfamiliar area.

It is harder to anticipate how other drives will react to light changes in RL intersections.

Clarification

rlallos wrote:

Two problems as I see it (and these have probably been said before):
1 - loss of your right to face your accuser.
2 - you pay even if you were not driving.
My two cents.

On your first point, I think you are confusing the photo (which is used as evidence) with the enforcement agency (who is the accuser). If you go to court on the ticket, your accuser will be the prosecution and the evidence used to prove the breach of the law will be the ticket and the interpretation of one or more expert witnesses (usually police officers and camera technicians).

On your second point, many traffic laws are based on the owner of the vehicle being responsible for the operation of that vehicle, and payment of the resultant fines are the responsibility of the owner of that vehicle. For example, ever get a parking ticket when your spouse or child or friend parked the car in the wrong spot? The ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle and the owner must ensure that the fine is paid - even if the person who actually parked the car refuses to pay.

Redlight Cameras

Looks like Birchtree's desire to curb discussion of this subject merely increased it.

Light timing and other safety

The red light cameras are important to know about because if you aren't 100% familiar with an intersection, you don't know how the lights are timed. Often short yellows go along with red light cameras in my area and it is good to pay extra attention when you are nearing an intersection with a camera. Also, if an intersection has a camera, it is more likely that the person in front of you will slam the brakes on yellow - again a safety issue.

For the speed cameras, often going a bit over the speed limit is again the safer way to negotiate through traffic - one such example is passing a tractor trailer which often doesn't have good mirrors to spot a little car like mine. Passing big trucks quicker gives them less time to forget that you are there.

Even if you don't worry about the cameras, other drivers might and drive erratically as a result. More information about your surroundings is very much a good thing.

i never run a red, but i am

i never run a red,
but i am just curious where the stops are, so i like this file

Agree......sort of

gadget_man wrote:

it's about about "big brother" and corporations adding fees to fix their spending sprees.

I absolutely agree......about things like that where you are REQUIRED to fork out money.

THIS is not a good example of that.....because nobody is forced to run a red light or break the speed limit.....and those who don't pay NOTHING.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Because some of us are not

Because some of us are not "perfect" like some others who have posted here. Not everyone who runs a redlight (heaven forbid) or is speeding is not an "evil doer" on purpose. Redlight/Speed Camera POI's can help one to be more aware while they are driving.

Government entities install them to improve "safety" so they say, but are actually installed to increase their "revenues" due to budget shortfalls. This has been shown repeatedly and in a lot of cases they have stated so.

People get tired of getting their hard earned money taken piece meal every time they turn around by the government.

--
OK.....so where the heck am I?

point me to some links please

pkdmslf wrote:

Government entities install them to improve "safety" so they say, but are actually installed to increase their "revenues" due to budget shortfalls. This has been shown repeatedly and in a lot of cases they have stated so.

You make the statement that "[t]his has been shown repeatedly" and "in a lot of cases they have stated so". Assuming that you have been keeping track of sources that support the statements you make, would you please post some links for us to review?

pay up

...complaints are free, just pay the fine.

Just take a little drive

Just take a little drive through the Star Valley AZ speed trap just northeast of Payson AZ. This miserable little place capitalizes on the turns in the highway at both ends of town to set up sudden drops in the speed limit with speed cameras and minimally-compliant warning signage. At $180 a pop I think they make their entire town budget on one busy Sunday afternoon. This isn't about safety, it is about town revenue, and I'm thankful for my GPS warning.

safety

I don't speed and I don't run lights - I even full stop at stop sings at 4am when I'm the only car around. I find the information valuable because 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue 2) some people panic stop at these lights 3) some people don't and expect to charge through and thought you. So, having this knowledge helps me drive defensively.

--
___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

You are to be commended

rigel wrote:

I don't speed and I don't run lights - I even full stop at stop sings at 4am when I'm the only car around. I find the information valuable because 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue 2) some people panic stop at these lights 3) some people don't and expect to charge through and thought you. So, having this knowledge helps me drive defensively.

I agree with reasons 2 and 3 but not 1.

While I would be surprised if there have not been some cities that shortened yellow lights to generate revenue, I have not be able to find evidence of such. When I ask someone who has made the claim, I upset them - for instance I seem to have upset Thanos_of_MW by asking him for links he might have (see http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30075 ).

I am now comparing this claim for "shortening yellow light times" (SYLT) to the infamous "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs).

Makes one more aware

birchtree wrote:

I keep reading threads and posts about this municipality or that installing or uninstalling speed and/or red light cameras.

Personally, I do not download the red camera files, I do not speed- to much. I try not to run red lights or speed up for the yellow ones. I stop when I can safely do so and go through (with a prayer) when I can't or some idiot is following to closely!

I'm much more interested in what the traffic (and sometimes pedestrians/bicycles) are doing around me then worrying about a camera.

Are we focusing on the wrong things? Shouldn't our GPS make the driving easier (and safer). If so why should we worry about cameras?

Makes one more aware for the penalty of getting a fine (around $500 in SOCAL) if you get your photo taken while running a red light

--
I have seen the future and it is now!

Not upset anymore ;)

jgermann wrote:
rigel wrote:

I don't speed and I don't run lights - I even full stop at stop sings at 4am when I'm the only car around. I find the information valuable because 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue 2) some people panic stop at these lights 3) some people don't and expect to charge through and thought you. So, having this knowledge helps me drive defensively.

I agree with reasons 2 and 3 but not 1.

While I would be surprised if there have not been some cities that shortened yellow lights to generate revenue, I have not be able to find evidence of such. When I ask someone who has made the claim, I upset them - for instance I seem to have upset Thanos_of_MW by asking him for links he might have (see http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30075 ).

I am now comparing this claim for "shortening yellow light times" (SYLT) to the infamous "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs).

I read your other message so everything is OK. I still disagree, but I guess you'd have to "experience" a short light to be convinced. These aren't well publicized, unless there are many complaints to several news outlets.

I'm more in favor of speed cameras, since it is easy to spot who is speeding in a straight line in a highway (and mistakes are made too, they aren't perfect), but I believe there are too many ways to make mistakes more often with red light cameras.

One of the times I mentioned in the other post, I was in my boss' car (Porsche 911) with my boss driving. It was winter in NYC and those cars handle horribly in the snow. He was going very slow and stopped at the light. Car slipped into the pedestrian crossing. (SNAPSHOT). A few days later he got a ticket in the mail for running the light. I don't think that is right. A human cop would have ignored it.

--
Garmin nuvi 1300LM with 4GB SD card Garmin nuvi 200W with 4GB SD card Garmin nuvi 260W with 4GB SD card r.i.p.

Apparently 98% camera fines

Apparently 98% camera fines are for right turn rolling on red. Tickets are $100 a pop in Chicago area. I think these red light cameras are HUGE distraction and hazard in otherwise smooth traffic.

here are a couple more

What??? Is this thread a

What??? Is this thread a joke?

Checking my calendar to make sure it's not April 1st.

--
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/21626 - red light cameras do not work

Have you really tried to find evidence? Really?

jgermann wrote:
rigel wrote:

... 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue ...

While I would be surprised if there have not been some cities that shortened yellow lights to generate revenue, I have not be able to find evidence of such. When I ask someone who has made the claim, I upset them - for instance I seem to have upset Thanos_of_MW by asking him for links he might have (see http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30075 ).

I am now comparing this claim for "shortening yellow light times" (SYLT) to the infamous "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs).

It took me less than 5 seconds to find several stories about shortened yellow lights. This one is but one of them http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/22/2269.asp. Because I don't care about this topic much, it's not in my interests to continue the search just to weigh in. I'll allow others to find more--if they want.

I'm only responding because it seems that some who challenge a commonly held opinion (and they do seem to be opinions), always argue for "facts" or "proof." I just wonder how much proof is needed? One example? 100?

--
NEOhioGuy - Garmin 2639, MIO Knight Rider

Please continue...

spullis wrote:

Looks like Birchtree's desire to curb discussion of this subject merely increased it.

While I agree, I think it is best we call it like it is and have one discussion on the right issue rather than many discussions on the related/associated issues.

BTW one of the other posts suggest I drive in NYC - I have! To be fair to the others posting, I would advise that I have driven in all 48 continental states, ten provinces and plan on driving (yes driving) to Alaska and the Yukon next summer. I have also driven my own car in most (not all) of the major US and Canadian Cities, so I think I have a propser perspective on the red light and speed camera issue, IMHO.

--
Tom

I agree

jonny5 wrote:

The red light cameras are important to know about because if you aren't 100% familiar with an intersection, you don't know how the lights are timed. Often short yellows go along with red light cameras in my area and it is good to pay extra attention when you are nearing an intersection with a camera. Also, if an intersection has a camera, it is more likely that the person in front of you will slam the brakes on yellow - again a safety issue.

For the speed cameras, often going a bit over the speed limit is again the safer way to negotiate through traffic - one such example is passing a tractor trailer which often doesn't have good mirrors to spot a little car like mine. Passing big trucks quicker gives them less time to forget that you are there.

Even if you don't worry about the cameras, other drivers might and drive erratically as a result. More information about your surroundings is very much a good thing.

--
Tom

best reply so far...

rigel wrote:

I don't speed and I don't run lights - I even full stop at stop sings at 4am when I'm the only car around. I find the information valuable because 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue 2) some people panic stop at these lights 3) some people don't and expect to charge through and thought you. So, having this knowledge helps me drive defensively.

I posed the original question to see what would develop. Since I posted the original question, I think I have the right to reply to various comments raised (like everyone else!) Suffice to say this replay makes the best sense to me so far! IMHO Keep it up>

--
Tom

not april 1....

nuvic320 wrote:

What??? Is this thread a joke?

Checking my calendar to make sure it's not April 1st.

I'm chuckling!

--
Tom

NYC Driving

Knowing there is a red light camera ahead allows me to slow down earlier so the driver 6 inches behind me does not rear end me when I have to stop quickly in the event the light turns red. Even better is when the idiot tailgating me decides to step on the gas and go around me running the red light and the camera takes a picture.

Maybe, Maybe Not..... Response

The truth is that the red light cameras are intrusive, and are a big brother monitoring tool.

The idea sounds logical from a enforcement perspective; but there have been, and are MANY abuses with this system.

The system is a revenue enhancement tool:

Illinois Strengthens Oversight Of Red Light Cameras | Gov Monitor
Jul 12, 2010 ... “It is important that we protect consumers by putting an end to abuse of red light cameras.

Mar 23, 2007 ... Red light cameras violate the 14th amendment in the area of equal protection.

Jun 2, 2010 ... Local: Harlingen gets rid of red light cameras |

Follow link: http://www.banthecams.org

Response to: "Point Me To Some Links Please"

About 185,000 results (0.20 seconds)

Search Results
Illinois Strengthens Oversight Of Red Light Cameras | Gov Monitor
Jul 12, 2010 ... “It is important that we protect consumers by putting an end to abuse of red light cameras. This new law is a step in the right direction by ...
www.thegovmonitor.com/.../illinois-strengthens-oversight-of-... - Cached

City hates red-light cameras; will voters agree? | city, cameras ...
Apr 14, 2010 ... city, cameras, anaheim, red, light, vote, cities, council, put, pringle. ... We were unable to report abuse at this time. ...
www.ocregister.com/articles/city-243949-cameras-anaheim.html - Cached

Harlingen gets rid of red light cameras | harlingen, rid, cameras ...
Jun 2, 2010 ... Local: Harlingen gets rid of red light cameras | harlingen, rid, cameras, gets, light, red. ... We were unable to report abuse at this time. ...
www.brownsvilleherald.com/.../harlingen-112796-rid-cameras.h... - Cached

Ban the Cams | Stop Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Abuse | Stop ...
Aug 9, 2010 ... Redlight Cameras and Speed cameras lead to abuse, and turn citizens into ... Like speed cameras and red-light cameras, Mr. O'Malley's ...
www.banthecams.org/ - Cached

Civil liberty vs red light cameras | Bottleneck Blog | Los Angeles ...
Mar 23, 2007 ... Red light cameras violate the 14th amendment in the area of equal protection. ... often use and abuse these cameras to generate revenue, ...
latimesblogs.latimes.com › Blogs › Bottleneck Blog - Cached - Similar

Revenue from red-light cameras welcomed | Ultimate Clear Lake
You don't have to like red-light cameras to like the money they can bring a city. .... away your money to the city, stop at red lights. reply · Report abuse ...
www.ultimateclearlake.com/2010/06/red-light-cameras - Cached

I don't think

red light cameras enhance safety at all, they may actually decrease safety on the monitored intersections, but they certainly bring hefty revenues to "local authorities" so they don't need to cut, or even watch, their spendings.

You should know...

NEOhioGuy wrote:
jgermann wrote:
rigel wrote:

... 1) some cities shorten yellow lights to create revenue ...

While I would be surprised if there have not been some cities that shortened yellow lights to generate revenue, I have not be able to find evidence of such. When I ask someone who has made the claim, I upset them - for instance I seem to have upset Thanos_of_MW by asking him for links he might have (see http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30075 ).

I am now comparing this claim for "shortening yellow light times" (SYLT) to the infamous "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs).

It took me less than 5 seconds to find several stories about shortened yellow lights. This one is but one of them http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/22/2269.asp. Because I don't care about this topic much, it's not in my interests to continue the search just to weigh in. I'll allow others to find more--if they want.

I'm only responding because it seems that some who challenge a commonly held opinion (and they do seem to be opinions), always argue for "facts" or "proof." I just wonder how much proof is needed? One example? 100?

You should know that Jgermann is not interested in this sort of informations. Only official government released statistics are acceptable to him. And they must prove that cameras improve safety not city budget. Eventually he can accept press releases from RL companies. Everything else he is treating as just plain, unconfirmed lie. Especially if it comes from www.thenewspaper.com wink
His attitude towards cameras (in his own words):
I wish the opponents of cameras would at least be able to admit tha safety is generally a result of the installation of cameras.

And there is nothing that can put dent in his believe because:
For Montgomery, the question is whether or not safety improves. If the county makes money, well OK. I expect ACS to make money, otherwise they would not be in business and have made the capital investment in the cameras.

And he bases his views on "impartial" sources. One he likes to present all the time, so it must be general truth.
My feeling about cameras is that they have been shown to improve safety. That is true where I live. Once again I provide that link.
http://www.chattanooga.gov/LegislativeTour.pdf

(all quotations from this tread: http://www.poi-factory.com/node/29990)

So only true statistics are those that he likes, everything negative about RL cameras is - at best - unconfirmed rumors.

Red Light Cameras As A Revenue Increaser For Municipalities

Although I agree with those that say that RLCs (Red Light Cameras) are good for safety at intersections and used to deter the unsafe driving habits of some, I have to agree with the multitude of many others that the PRIMARY reason for the use of these instruments are to increase the revenue of the municipalities that use them.
For the record, depending on the municipality that these instruments are located, the RLCs are installed by Private companies that bid to place them at highly traveled intersections. These Private companies pay for the installation, maintain and service the cameras, as well as collect the revenue from the violations that are produced as a result of them. The municipality then gets a "cut", usually about 25-50% of the fine that is collected as a result of such. There is no cost to the municipality for the electricity or the servicing of the units since this is done by the Private companies that have installed them.
For those of you that believe that it is a good thing and that it is better to have them than not, please consider that no matter what, this will not stop or change the driving habits of the majority of drivers, and the municipalities know this.It will actually possibly increase accidents since those that drive unsafely will try to speed through these intersections when knowing that these lights are about to change. It is again a way of collecting and "taxing" you, the citizen into forking over your hard earned money. Free up your minds and look at the big picture.

Zack

Ah the rub at last....

There is an old expressions about statistics and statisticians that I shan't repeat. Suffice, I wonder if our "reliable sources", and "informed readings" properly present the facts. Is it possible that in some places the cameras (red or speed) are designed to earn revenue (sort of like a driving tax) and in some places these same cameras may in fact imrpove safety? Seems to me that cameras can do both depending on the where and why.

I would think that over time cameras would be more likely to "get" the tourist than the regular for the regulars would know the location of the cameras and the rules pertaining to the lights......hmmm

Now for the next confirmed rumour (like it?) I would suppose that in some localities only putting up the warning sign that a red light camera is in effect would have the desired impact. I wonder......

--
Tom

It is cool, isn't it?

pkdmslf wrote:

Read the posts that others post here from their local news and newspapers.

+ there's a cool online gadget that you can use to find stuff....it's called "google".

Last night, I was in the process of commenting on pkdmslf’s post of 8/10/2010 8:20pm and had spent perhaps 30 minutes or so on my reply. When I tried to submit my answer, I found that my internet connection had dropped, so I lost everything.

I had said “thanks” to pkmslf for providing the links - most of which I had seen. I had not seen the last link and was truly excited to have it.

What I have done is to compose this offline to make sure I can post it sometime. Looking at the thread, I am glad to have been forced into the delay based on the glee with which a number of people have taken me to task. Perhaps, I can redeem myself

Comments on the article
http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shorteni...
with links to thenewspaper.com articles

This article was put forward as proof that cities had lowered yellow light timings at red-light camera to generate more revenue.

My guess is that those who have provided me with the link to the National Motorist Association article above did not follow the links and actually read the other articles linked to. They only looked at the headlines and said to themselves “Oh boy, have we got jgermann now”.

Well, I hope that thoughtful readers of this thread will read my comments and - at the same time - do a shift-right click on the link and see if they draw other conclusions.

Chattanooga, Tennessee.
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/22/2269.asp

This is my own city, so it delighted me that this would be presented to me as “facts” which would support a contention that cities have lowered yellow light timings to generate more revenue.

“Last month, a motorist challenged his citation by insisting that the yellow light was too short and only remained lit for 3.0 seconds before changing to red and activating the camera. LaserCraft, the private vendor that runs the camera program in return for a cut of the profits, provided the judge with a computer database that asserted the yellow was 3.8 seconds at that location. Bean gave the motorist the benefit of the doubt and watched the video of the alleged violation while counting how long the light stayed yellow.

"It didn't seem to me that it was at four (seconds) because it would change right at three," Bean told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Bean then personally checked the intersection in question was timed at three seconds while other nearby locations had about four seconds of yellow warning. City traffic engineer John Van Winkle told Bean that "a mix up with the turn arrow" was responsible and that the bare minimum for the light should be 3.9 seconds. Judge Bean ordered 176 of the tickets issued within the first 0.9 seconds after the light turned red canceled.”

Fortunately for me, this article - with a headline of “Refunds for Photo Tickets on Short Yellow: Chattanooga, Tennessee Judge refunds 176 red light camera tickets issued at illegally short yellow light.” - illustrates the liberties that thenewspaper.com takes with articles it runs. Three seconds is not illegal (look at the articles below to note that 3 seconds is the minimum suggest timing) for a 30 MPH intersection.

Of all the cities mentioned in this article, Chattanooga is the only one where the situation concerned an existing red-light camera. The city engineer said that the yellow light should have been 3.9 seconds and that is the timing today.

Dallas, Texas
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/20/2068.asp

“Dallas likewise installed the cameras at locations with existing short yellow times. A total of twenty-one camera intersections in Dallas have yellow times below TxDOT's bare minimum recommended amount. The Texas Transportation Institute study also found that shorter yellows generate a 110 percent jump in the number of tickets, but at the cost of safety. Increasing the yellow one second above the recommended minimum cut crashes by 40 percent.”

Note that the complain was that cameras were installed “at locations with existing short yellow times”. While this, in my view, was not acceptable, it is NOT shortening yellow light timings to generate revenue.

Springfield ,Missouri
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/17/1759.asp

“The city of Springfield, Missouri prepared for the installation of a red light camera system by slashing the yellow warning time by one second at 105 state-owned intersection signals across the city. In a 2005 Texas Transportation Institute study, a one-second reduction in yellow time resulted in a 100% increase in the number of violations (Table 6-2). Each violation under Springfield's new system will bring a $100 fine to city coffers after ticketing begins on June 1.”

Once again this is a not a situation where a city with cameras shortens yellow light timings to generate revenue. This may be an example of a city taking unethical action, but the article does not state the actual timing of the 105 yellows being referenced, so we cannot make a judgment. indeed, the article later continues with a statement that “[t]he city defended its effort to the Springfield News-Leader by claiming it was "standardizing" and had increased the yellow time at 136 city-operated lights to meet national standards.” I would not expect thenewspaper.com to provide the timing on the 105 yellows reduced, but the fact that thenewspaper.com reports the statement that the yellow on 136 other lights were INCREASED to meet national standards makes me think that the 105 referenced yellows also met national standards.

Lubbock, Texas
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1621.asp

“On Thursday, the Lubbock, Texas city council voted to delay installation of red light cameras after a local television station exposed the city's short timing of yellow lights at eight of the twelve intersections where the devices were to be installed.”

and

“At 82nd and University, the 50 MPH speed limit suggests the need for a 5 second yellow, but it currently set at just 4.3 seconds. At 82nd and Frankford, the speed of traffic requires 4.5 seconds of yellow, but the public is only given 4.0. Milwaukee and 19th, a 55 MPH intersection, has a 4.4 second yellow when it should be 5.5. Parkway and Zenith has a 2.9 second yellow which is illegal under federal regulations mandating yellow times of no less than 3.0 seconds. Hart admitted the light should be 3.5 seconds.”

Once again, this is not a situation of a city installing cameras and then lowering yellow light timings to generate revenue. HOWEVER, this certainly seems to me to be a case of someone in Lubbock wanting to generate more revenue by not putting the yellow light timings - at both camera intersections as well as non-camera one - to at least the minimum timings.

Nashville, Tennessee
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/11/1122.asp

“Nashville resident Joe Savage obtained the data on every red light running ticket issued on Broadway since 2000. He contends that yellow lights are longer at intersections along Broadway until the areas where police are issuing tickets. At those locations, Savage clocked the yellow signal time at less than 3 seconds, in violation of both state law and federal regulations. The Nashville Scene confirmed his findings”

Note that this article starts by noting that it is not about red-light cameras but about police setting traps at intersections with short yellow light timings.

Union City, California
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/06/670.asp

“Authorities explain the yellow was too short long before the cameras were installed, but that no effective system was in place to verify the timing of the traffic signals despite their direct impact on safety.

Article Excerpt:
"It was not intentional. We're not going to let anything hurt the integrity and credibility of this program," [police Capt. Brian Foley] said. "At least it's better to find out now than a year from now."”

Once again, this is not a situation of a city installing cameras and then lowering yellow light timings to generate revenue. However, seems to me that every red-light camera has electronics that control all the timings - red, yellow and green.

I agree with this--

Deepstryke wrote:

I download the files because I want to be aware of the locations of the red light cameras. I want to know where they are because I need to be more careful and aware of what others are doing at that intersection. People act differently at a RLC intersection. If you know what is coming, you can keep an eye out for the idiots. I know that if it is a RLC intersection, there is a good chance the guy in front of me is going to nail his brakes on the yellow.

I totally agree with this post. It is nice to have in new areas. No surprise at upcoming intersections.

guy

--
guy-----C320>nuvi 200>Nuvi 255W

It's a money making enterprise!

It's ran by a private company, who take a cut of the proceeds.....

just to be aware

I myself like to be completly aware of my surroundings, I'm interested in what the traffic (and sometimes pedestrians/bicycles) are doing aroundme. But also want to know where the cameras are as well. It's just about using all the tools to be aware of whats down the road. I don't speed or run lights, but at the same time know where they are just like the pedestrians and bicycles.

Thanks for bring up this topic, it's a good one

--
Using Android Based GPS.The above post and my sig reflects my own opinions, expressed for the purpose of informing or inspiring, not commanding. Naturally, you are free to reject or embrace whatever you read.
Page 1>>