Study finds red light cameras cut fatal crashes

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/01/smile-study-says-red-li...

Quote:

Red light cameras are helping drivers remember that red means stop and are saving lives, according to a new study out Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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as usual

Jgermann, you are as usual trying to explain, that even if through all those years RLC weren't improving safety on said intersection, but were bringing handsome profit, everything is OK. Simply because city need to make money, they are excused from taking care of proper traffic engineering. So according to you fact, that they were short on cash explains everything and we have to forget about it? Somehow it makes me think, that you may have some stocks of ATS or Redflexs and you worrying about their value? wink Or you are member of one of those “Concern citizens for RLC independent organization” who got their bills paid by ATS or Redflex? This will explain your blind crusade in favor of RLC.

Municipalities are not businesses. They are not created to make profit. They have their sources of revenue, and it's mostly taxes from their members. And they never should be allowed to go into creative law making. Like with RLC. But they do, as waste of funds is just norm. If you want big scale look at Chicago or New York. Or Los Angeles. Or San Franciso. Or...

But thanks to people like you they are getting away with making new “lawbreakers”. You say: I personally see no problems with a municipality installing Automated Traffic Enforcement for "revenue" if the data also shows that "safety" would improve. Except that data shown no safety improvement from RLC. And that's what this case shows. But until some pissed of citizen brought this up in court or media city wasn't concerned that safety didn't improve. As long as bucks were flowing into city coffers nobody was asking questions why there is no improvement in safety. And all that was need to really improve safety there was just retiming traffic lights.

Remember, that at first RLC were to catch “straight through” runners to eliminate t-bone collisions? But then (when revenue weren't what expected) suddenly they were to catch even more evil right-on-red turners. Those evil people weren't responsible for meaningful amount of dangerous accident but they were just like gold rain on RLC and municipalities. But every time that revenue dropped significantly municipalities were fast like wind to remove RLCs. And lost revenue was main argument when courts ordered some cities to end RLC programs. Right now revenue from RLCs is often included into city budget. So much for safety concern. Now they are planning to use those cameras to catch unbuckled drivers, missing stickers etc. What this have to do with safety?

So sorry, but your desperate explanations that black isn't really black sound for me like just pure rant of RLC fanatic. In all discussions you are trying to prove, that RLC are for safety (even when data doesn't show it, except maybe this “scientific study” from Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety) even if there is more safety improvement from proper reengineering of intersections and eliminating RLCs. So I'm not going to waste more time trying to explain to you, that “funds needs” of city are not enough argument for RLC, as they aren't proved themselves to improve safety.

part 1 of reply

grzesja wrote:

Jgermann, you are as usual trying to explain, that even if through all those years RLC weren't improving safety on said intersection, but were bringing handsome profit, everything is OK.

grzesja, do either of us know what the safety statistics were at said intersection in recent years?

Recall that my analysis of the article said that the original implementation seemed to be for revenue. Do we know what it has been since? From the article, I could not tell - but I did make the apparent revenue driven statement.

I am by profession a statistician - I want to see if the numbers will lead us to a conclusion. So, no, I am not in a blind crusade in favor of RLC. My feeling is that many are in a "blind" crusade against them. "Blind" because they do not follow the numbers to wherever they lead.

part 2 of reply

grzesja wrote:

Jgermann,
...
Municipalities are not businesses. They are not created to make profit. They have their sources of revenue, and it's mostly taxes from their members. And they never should be allowed to go into creative law making. Like with RLC. But they do, as waste of funds is just norm. If you want big scale look at Chicago or New York. Or Los Angeles. Or San Franciso. Or...

But thanks to people like you they are getting away with making new “lawbreakers”. You say: I personally see no problems with a municipality installing Automated Traffic Enforcement for "revenue" if the data also shows that "safety" would improve. Except that data shown no safety improvement from RLC. And that's what this case shows. But until some pissed of citizen brought this up in court or media city wasn't concerned that safety didn't improve. As long as bucks were flowing into city coffers nobody was asking questions why there is no improvement in safety. And all that was need to really improve safety there was just retiming traffic lights.

I went back to check and the OP of this thread was
"Study finds red light cameras cut fatal crashes". when I read that study, I felt like it supported the safety aspect of Automated Traffic Enforcement.

I have never claimed that revenue considerations were not part of ATE. Still, I have read of a few instances where the revenue does not cover the cost and the city decided to stay with the program anyway (I will try to look up that article - I remember saving it)

I was interested in your statement about my views "making new 'lawbreakers'". It seems to me that, whenever someone runs a red light or drives faster that the speed limit, they are breaking the law. I hope I am not understanding you to imply that such people should not be considered "lawbreakers" because they have not been caught.

My reading of this one off issue is that one person decided to investigate, found there was a problem, brought it to the attention of the appropriate authority (which was not the city, by the way) and the situation was corrected. Your analysis makes it seem like a ground swell, but I just can't read it that way.

Where in the article did you find basis for your statement

Quote:

nobody was asking questions why there is no improvement in safety.

part 3 of reply

grzesja wrote:

Jgermann,
...
Remember, that at first RLC were to catch “straight through” runners to eliminate t-bone collisions? But then (when revenue weren't what expected) suddenly they were to catch even more evil right-on-red turners. Those evil people weren't responsible for meaningful amount of dangerous accident but they were just like gold rain on RLC and municipalities. But every time that revenue dropped significantly municipalities were fast like wind to remove RLCs. And lost revenue was main argument when courts ordered some cities to end RLC programs. Right now revenue from RLCs is often included into city budget. So much for safety concern. Now they are planning to use those cameras to catch unbuckled drivers, missing stickers etc. What this have to do with safety?

Why would a municipality NOT include both the costs and revenues of Automated Traffic improvement in the budget? What statistical inference relating to "safety" can one logically make if it is included?

Going on a bit of a tangent - why should a municipality issue parking tickets? There is no safety issue (excepting fire lanes for sure). For that matter, why is the "duration" of some meters only 10 minutes?

On the seat buckles, my answer would include the fact that my municipality has the regional hospital that take cases where insurance is not carried. Seat belts save lives (or so I have heard) and not wearing a seat belt costs someone (insurance company or charity hospital) money when accidents occur.

I have to go sing at an Assisted Living so I will add some more replies later.

Red light cameras

I know this has been beat to death but on a recent Top Gear episode where cameras were installed the accident freq. went up but in the towns and villages that did not have them accidents were nil or very low.

--
The Home of BLUMARU HOUNDS

funny

jgermann wrote:

I am by profession a statistician

that is a joke, right.

You' re right

blake7mstr wrote:
jgermann wrote:

I am by profession a statistician

that is a joke, right.

Yes, He more like lobbyist for redflex

--
Val - Nuvi 785t and Streetpilot C340

So does slowing down

We could reduce fatalities by lowering (and enforcing) the speed limit to 10 mph. That doesn't make it a good idea. In the vast majority of cases, traffic fatalities are caused by irresponsible and generally poor drivers. Even these poor drivers will be more careful (or take a different route) at certain intersections, but they are still bad drivers and will likely cause their wreck somewhere else.

Want to reduce fatalities. 1st offense DUI - Loss of license, no exception. No hardship license. 2nd offense - jail time. 3rd offense - LOTS of jail time.

Enforce seat belt and car seat laws. Cops see your kid bouncing around your car unrestrained - See DUI.

Get the drunks off the road and get people wearing seat belts, traffic fatalities would become front page news.

RLCs are all about revenue. I've seen the discussions folks. It's about the money. If the electeds gave a diddly about public safety they wouldn't be choking police and fire budgets.

Was that support?

foghorn.legghorn wrote:

We could reduce fatalities by lowering (and enforcing) the speed limit to 10 mph. That doesn't make it a good idea. In the vast majority of cases, traffic fatalities are caused by irresponsible and generally poor drivers. Even these poor drivers will be more careful (or take a different route) at certain intersections, but they are still bad drivers and will likely cause their wreck somewhere else.
...
RLCs are all about revenue. I've seen the discussions folks. It's about the money. If the electeds gave a diddly about public safety they wouldn't be choking police and fire budgets.

An extension of your statement would seen to imply that having cameras at every intersection (so a different route would not be an option for poor drivers) would cause them to "be more careful".

RLCs may be about revenue but they also increase safety.

RLCs also allow police budgets which are being choked in many areas to be applied to the prevention of crime. I think most people would agree that if police department have to do with less funds, then the preference would be for the police to concentrate on crime prevention rather than traffic enforcement. The fact that RLCs generate revenue helps mitigate the problem, doesn't it?

.

jgermann wrote:

RLCs also allow police budgets which are being choked in many areas to be applied to the prevention of crime. I think most people would agree that if police department have to do with less funds, then the preference would be for the police to concentrate on crime prevention rather than traffic enforcement. The fact that RLCs generate revenue helps mitigate the problem, doesn't it?

Who says that those revenues flow to police departments?

And while crime prevention is 'nice', the fact is that you are more likely to have an accident than to be robbed at home - so if a police officer is stopping drunk drivers and distracted drivers, it has wider benefit than general 'crime prevention'.
And, just how is it that police DO crime 'prevention'. They patrol - and while patrolling they watch out for flagrant violaters and dangerous drivers.

Where there's an issue is where they are atsked with running apropriately named 'speed traps'.
It is proven that most people tend to drive at a safe speed for the road in question. So setting up arbitrarily low speed limits and then tasking police to operate 'traps' is no different than RLC and speed cams.

--
Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T

Reply 1 to bramfrank

bramfrank wrote:

Who says that those revenues flow to police departments?

I do not think I said that.

While I agree that it would be better if the revenues from Automated Traffic Enforcement flowed directly to certain places in city budgets, the fact that they are part of the overall budget puts less pressure on the police and fire departments.

Reply 2 to branfrank

bramfrank wrote:

And while crime prevention is 'nice', the fact is that you are more likely to have an accident than to be robbed at home - so if a police officer is stopping drunk drivers and distracted drivers, it has wider benefit than general 'crime prevention'.
And, just how is it that police DO crime 'prevention'. They patrol - and while patrolling they watch out for flagrant violaters and dangerous drivers.

I would assume that I am more likely to have an accident than be robbed at home but that is just interesting information and does not bear directly on what I was trying to say. I did not mean to imply that arresting Drunk Drivers was not part of crime prevention. Drunk Drivers kill just like crooks with firearms do.

I submit that having Automated Traffic Enforcement frees officers from being assigned to various dangerous intersections to watch for red light runners or speeders. I think that it would easier to spot drunk or distracted drivers while following them.

reply 3 to branfrank

bramfrank wrote:

Where there's an issue is where they are atsked with running apropriately named 'speed traps'.
It is proven that most people tend to drive at a safe speed for the road in question. So setting up arbitrarily low speed limits and then tasking police to operate 'traps' is no different than RLC and speed cams.

I do not know of any "proof" that most driver drive at a safe speed, so I am open to being educated if you can cite sources for such a statement.

Further, your statement is subject to "fuzzy logic". For example, if surveillance showed that 55% of drivers were driving at a safe speed for the road in question, THEN "most" of them are at a safe speed, I agree. But, the fact that 45% of them are not at the safe speed would be alarming --- but still your statement would still be true. On the other hand, if 99% were driving at a safe speed, that would be considered, by most people, to be safe. The "fuzzy" part revolves around what percentage would a reasonable person agree with your blanket statement. Is it 60% -- or 70% --- or 80%, or what?

Additionally what defines "safe"? Is it the absence of accidents? How many accidents could be allowed before the reasonable person would say that the speed limit was too high for the road in question. What about road conditions and weather? Are they to be taken into consideration?

I disagree with you that

Quote:

... setting up arbitrarily low speed limits and then tasking police to operate 'traps' is no different than RLC and speed cams.

For you to make such a statement requires you to show that the speed cameras are set at "arbitrarily low speed limits" and I do not think that even thenewspaper.com or banthecams.com have ever made that claim.

subject field is required

bramfrank wrote:

Who says that those revenues flow to police departments?

jgermann wrote:

I do not think I said that.

jgermann wrote:

RLCs also allow police budgets which are being choked in many areas to be applied to the prevention of crime.

And to the people that think jgermann is affiliated with red light camera companies, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

Right on

twix wrote:
bramfrank wrote:

Who says that those revenues flow to police departments?

jgermann wrote:

I do not think I said that.

jgermann wrote:

RLCs also allow police budgets which are being choked in many areas to be applied to the prevention of crime.

And to the people that think jgermann is affiliated with red light camera companies, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

I agree with you twix a 100%.

--
Val - Nuvi 785t and Streetpilot C340

Paraphrasing

I am reminded of supposed advice from an old lawyer to a young lawyer in how to argue a case before a jury. The old lawyer said "if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have the law, pound the law; if you don't have either, pound the table."

Sounds like several people without facts or law are pounding the table.

self descibing

jgermann wrote:

I am reminded of supposed advice from an old lawyer to a young lawyer in how to argue a case before a jury. The old lawyer said "if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have the law, pound the law; if you don't have either, pound the table."

Sounds like several people without facts or law are pounding the table.

sounds familiar because it's you.

Reply to blake7mstr

Blake7mstr, your comment seems particularly out of place in this thread which is entitled "Study finds red light cameras cut fatal crashes".

This study (which I read but suspect you might not have) presented various "facts" to support its conclusion. I have made comments using the "facts" as I read them.

If someone reads the facts as presented and sees flaws in them, that would be a basis for further discussion. You are welcome to participate.

.

I think you just want to have the last word.

--
Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T

just my opinion

Its hard to decide what the "real"truth is with red light cameras.
But I do know for me personally when my GPS beeps I am more aware and consequently more cautious.

Real world vs fantasy

In most jurisdictions I'm aware of, the RLC's and other traffic enforcement revenues do NOT go directly to the police budgets, although they admittedly go to the jurisdiction's budget. That has no affect on the cops budgets though and would you really want it to? They don't say "you guys generated $x, so here's your cut".

Years ago during the first bogus oil crisis, gov't decided that a 55 mph speed limit would save the world. A totally fabricated argument. "Optimum" speeds can be engineered in at about any reasonable speed. But, it was forced upon us. Of course, speed enforcement revenue increased for a while. Then radar detectors were invented and perfected and the games began. It was good guys vs bad guys. Detector vs radar. Speed enforcement became nearly impossible and respect for speed limits vanished. It became what can you get away with. Even when the limit was raised, 70 can't be enforced. Citizens rebel against unjust laws shoved down their throats. It's part of our culture.

RLC POIs are just one part of the RLC rebellion. Technology will continue to develop and red light running will become like speed limits. Can I get away with it.

And, you can "trust" your politicians NOT to tweak the timing of the lights to increase RLC revenue. They would NEVER do that. They only care for us.

In my 25 yrs as a big city police officer, I'm guessing I've scraped a few more bodies off the pavement than most of you, enforced a few more traffic laws, and done a wee bit more prevention. People do run red lights. The bulk of the serious crashes involve DUI, DWHUA (Driving With Head Up ...), fleeing from police, or just pure reckless driving. In NONE of these cases would an RLC have made a lick of difference.

RLC's are a revenue source. PERIOD. There MAY be a reduction in crashes, but that's a side benefit if it happens at all. Similar reductions could be achieved through better light timing (especially between jurisdictions), longer yellows, increased enforcement by an actual police officer, more severe fines/penalties for those violations witnessed by cops or resulting in accidents. I'd support cameras at high accident intersections to be used IN THE EVENT of a crash, funded by stiff fines for those causing those crashes.

I think these warning lights are great as well. Some of our dangerous intersections, usually just off of or on an expressway will have a warning light 1/4 mile ahead that warns that the upcoming light will be red. There are also technologies available that could send a warning to approaching vehicles of a red or soon to be red light or emergency vehicle.

Studies and reality can be entirely different. Remember when smoking was healthy for instance?

.

Excellent commentary foghorn.

Agree with twix

foghorn.legghorn wrote:

Years ago during the first bogus oil crisis

that it was a good commentary, but what in the world was "bogus" about the 1973 oil crisis?

Excellent observation.

foghorn.legghorn wrote:

In most jurisdictions I'm aware of, the RLC's and other traffic enforcement revenues do NOT go directly to the police budgets, although they admittedly go to the jurisdiction's budget. That has no affect on the cops budgets though and would you really want it to? They don't say "you guys generated $x, so here's your cut".

Years ago during the first bogus oil crisis, gov't decided that a 55 mph speed limit would save the world. A totally fabricated argument. "Optimum" speeds can be engineered in at about any reasonable speed. But, it was forced upon us. Of course, speed enforcement revenue increased for a while. Then radar detectors were invented and perfected and the games began. It was good guys vs bad guys. Detector vs radar. Speed enforcement became nearly impossible and respect for speed limits vanished. It became what can you get away with. Even when the limit was raised, 70 can't be enforced. Citizens rebel against unjust laws shoved down their throats. It's part of our culture.

RLC POIs are just one part of the RLC rebellion. Technology will continue to develop and red light running will become like speed limits. Can I get away with it.

And, you can "trust" your politicians NOT to tweak the timing of the lights to increase RLC revenue. They would NEVER do that. They only care for us.

In my 25 yrs as a big city police officer, I'm guessing I've scraped a few more bodies off the pavement than most of you, enforced a few more traffic laws, and done a wee bit more prevention. People do run red lights. The bulk of the serious crashes involve DUI, DWHUA (Driving With Head Up ...), fleeing from police, or just pure reckless driving. In NONE of these cases would an RLC have made a lick of difference.

RLC's are a revenue source. PERIOD. There MAY be a reduction in crashes, but that's a side benefit if it happens at all. Similar reductions could be achieved through better light timing (especially between jurisdictions), longer yellows, increased enforcement by an actual police officer, more severe fines/penalties for those violations witnessed by cops or resulting in accidents. I'd support cameras at high accident intersections to be used IN THE EVENT of a crash, funded by stiff fines for those causing those crashes.

I think these warning lights are great as well. Some of our dangerous intersections, usually just off of or on an expressway will have a warning light 1/4 mile ahead that warns that the upcoming light will be red. There are also technologies available that could send a warning to approaching vehicles of a red or soon to be red light or emergency vehicle.

Studies and reality can be entirely different. Remember when smoking was healthy for instance?

Thank you foghorn, Finally an opinion from a police officer. RLC will not prevent an accident in an intersection regardless of the fine. Look at Drunk driving, people still drive drunk endangering other motorists. Stiffer penalties(suspension of driving privileges not fines) and jail time will strike fear on even potential first time offender. Driver education must be mandatory every time for every moving violation before we can renew out license.

--
Val - Nuvi 785t and Streetpilot C340

"Bogus" oil crisis

jgermann wrote:
foghorn.legghorn wrote:

Years ago during the first bogus oil crisis

that it was a good commentary, but what in the world was "bogus" about the 1973 oil crisis?

The embargo was real and resulting shortages. But, like today, we had domestic options we could have exercised, we just didn't. By bogus I was referring to the fear mongering "that we'd be out of oil by the turn of the century" the "never let a good crisis go to waste" response of our gov't, and rationing of gasoline. The "crisis" was used more to implement gov't controls/programs domestically more than achieve any resolutions to the middle east situation we continue to deal with today.

Perhaps I should have said "bogus response". I stand corrected.

Oil crisis

foghorn.legghorn, I understand your point. As is usual with politicians, there was a lot of fear mongering. Rather than deal with data and facts, sound bites are used. One thing I thought about Ross Perot was that he was shooting straight (McCain was that way once) but of course they were not elected.

Of course, my grandchildren may indeed see the time when we determine that we really are running out of oil - I am almost certain they will see wars fought over water.

As you imply, I hope that the politicians can actually start the process of resolving the many problems that confront us as we deal with "mother nature".

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