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Oakland, California lengthens yellow times by one second, sees 52 percent violation drop, then shortens them to boost red light camera citations.

Officials in Oakland, California will meet Tuesday to decide whether to continue using red light cameras. City staff are recommending that the council's Public Safety Committee extend for another three years the agreement that expires September 30. Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australian company, began issuing automated citations on Oakland streets in 2008.

From October 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, the controversial program generated 14,425 citations worth $6.9 million. The city's cut of each $480 ticket is about $160 after the state and county governments take their share. Because Oakland has no systems to properly track what happens to the citations once Redflex drops them in the mail, staff can only estimate that the program generated $1.7 million in revenue for Oakland.

The city has been so focused on revenue that the police department officials who manage the contract with Redflex became irate when the transportation staff decided early on to add a second to the duration of yellow signal timing at the photo enforced intersections. The change produced immediate, positive results.

"As a result of an adjustment made in the yellow-light duration period at most of the red light camera enforcement system locations, revenues have decreased," an April 27, 2010 memo from the Oakland Police Department to the city administrator explained. "Prior to this adjustment and after the installation of the system, yellow lights were set at three to four seconds. This change in the yellow light timing has resulted in a reduction of approximately 40 citations per day. The Transportation Services Division (TSD) and OPD are continuing discussions of the impact of this change, and possible solutions."

The daily reduction of 40 violations represented the potential for millions in lost revenue -- a problem requiring a "solution." Excluding cameras that had not been fully operational prior to the timing change, the total number of violations immediately went down 56 percent with the longer yellows. This infuriated Oakland Police Lieutenant Anthony Banks Sr, who was in charge of managing the program vendor.

"What is the reason for the increase in the timing phase?" Banks fumed in a January 12, 2010 email to the Transportation Services Division manager Wlad Wlassowsky. "What needs to be done to have them changed back? This will obviously have an effect on the program that will require an explanation at the next report in April."

http://thenewspaper.com/news/39/3902.asp

Surprise!

This, more than anything else, proves the motive behind automated red light camera enforcement. Can you say "Profit Motive" kids?

but look at who

jackj180 wrote:

This, more than anything else, proves the motive behind automated red light camera enforcement. Can you say "Profit Motive" kids?

But look at WHO was complaining. It wasn't the politicians but those sworn "to protect and serve."

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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

The left out...

I notice they left out any mention of ACCIDENT RATES. Now THAT would be an interesting statistic to coorelate to yellow light timing.

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KD5XB in DM84

Regulation

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

Agreed

twix wrote:

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

Id agree. Then the feds could hire 16,000 more people to monitor the data.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

they did

spokybob wrote:
twix wrote:

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

Id agree. Then the feds could hire 16,000 more people to monitor the data.

They're part of Touch, Smear and Annoy.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

With friends like these...who needs enemies

What I find most disturbing is that the small increase in yellow light timing showed an immediate 40-60% drop in red light violations.

But the Oakland PD itself issued a memo looking for a SOLUTION to the DROP IN VIOLATIONS. And they actively petition for a rollback of the yellow light changes instituted by the traffic engineers.

Imagine...a police department looking for a solution to a drop in violations!

I guess that becomes the point when you embrace for-profit-enforcement.

Regulation

twix wrote:

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

I'm with you on this, we should hand over control of traffic light timing and placement of cameras to the feds. After all, they do such a great job with the Department of Education and regulating the economy.

be careful of what you ask for

jackj180 wrote:
twix wrote:

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

I'm with you on this, we should hand over control of traffic light timing and placement of cameras to the feds. After all, they do such a great job with the Department of Education and regulating the economy.

They'll put lights with short cycles and cameras on every corner and then call the "fee" a use tax.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

fine

jackj180 wrote:

I'm with you on this, we should hand over control of traffic light timing and placement of cameras to the feds. After all, they do such a great job with the Department of Education and regulating the economy.

"There should be a standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned."

Get rid of the word federal, is that better? Because that's my point. I don't know how it would be enacted, but I would say that's my biggest gripe about these moneymakers. There are no standards.

TSA..

Box Car wrote:

They're part of Touch, Smear and Annoy.

You're being way too nice when mentioning the (T)hieves (S)tealing (A)nything! evil

Nuvi1300WTGPS

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I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

Just ban them

twix wrote:

There should be a federal standard that every state has to abide by as far as red light cameras are concerned. It shouldn't be self-governed. The data collected from these intersections should be uniform, so we could get meaningful statistics from them. The criteria for how long the yellow light is, to where the cameras are placed should be regulated. Giving full control over how the cameras operate based on the number of violations goes directly against any principle of safety.

Just ban them everywhere. Problem solved. No need to worry about camera placement because there wouldn't be any.

Humm....

I wonder if Oakland, CA ever found a "solution" to their drop in red-light violations.....

I know how important it is to keep the violations UP - to show just how safe these cameras are.

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