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Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:27 PM

What do you guys think about red light cameras?

I see that a couple of counties are trying to ban their use. I'll be watching Murietta closely to see how that vote goes. My guess is that they will vote to get rid of them. Looks like Newport Beach has something on their ballots, too.

What do you guys think? Good, bad? Fair, unfair?

48 replies, 5371 views

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Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply What do you guys think about red light cameras? (Original post)
IndyJones Aug 2012 OP
msongs Aug 2012 #1
IndyJones Aug 2012 #5
frylock Aug 2012 #6
JayhawkSD Aug 2012 #33
bemildred Aug 2012 #35
madinmaryland Aug 2012 #2
IndyJones Aug 2012 #7
Big Orange Jeff Aug 2012 #34
SheilaT Aug 2012 #3
frylock Aug 2012 #8
IndyJones Aug 2012 #12
SheilaT Aug 2012 #22
Atman Aug 2012 #26
frylock Aug 2012 #36
SheilaT Aug 2012 #38
frylock Aug 2012 #39
SheilaT Aug 2012 #45
frylock Aug 2012 #46
SheilaT Aug 2012 #47
frylock Aug 2012 #48
tridim Aug 2012 #28
Happyhippychick Aug 2012 #30
cloudbase Aug 2012 #4
Downwinder Aug 2012 #9
IndyJones Aug 2012 #11
hollysmom Aug 2012 #18
IndyJones Aug 2012 #19
Downwinder Aug 2012 #24
Atman Aug 2012 #27
Bob Sacamano Aug 2012 #10
BlueJazz Aug 2012 #13
IndyJones Aug 2012 #14
hollysmom Aug 2012 #15
missingfink Aug 2012 #16
IndyJones Aug 2012 #17
frylock Aug 2012 #40
mindwalker_i Aug 2012 #20
IndyJones Aug 2012 #21
guyton Aug 2012 #23
Auggie Aug 2012 #25
Atman Aug 2012 #29
Auggie Aug 2012 #37
Atman Aug 2012 #41
no_hypocrisy Aug 2012 #31
Atman Aug 2012 #42
Riley18 Aug 2012 #32
Kablooie Aug 2012 #43
IndyJones Aug 2012 #44

Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:30 PM

1. their only purpose is to generate cash for cities and other government agencies nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:40 PM

5. It is interesting you say that because it is believed that the entity/person paying the legal fees

to oppose is the guy/company that owns the cameras. They refuse to deny they are, so makes it appear that they are.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Murrieta_Ban_on_Red-Light_Enforcement_Cameras_(November_2012)
Although Flynn is the plaintiff, he acknowledged to local reporters that he is not paying the legal fees for the lawsuit. Charles Bell, Jr., is the attorney who filed the lawsuit. He has declined to say who is paying him. Some residents in Murrieta believe that American Traffic Solutions is paying the legal fees. They are the company that maintains the four red-light cameras in Murrieta. They declined to say whether they are paying the legal fees.

I'm thinking of trying to get something similar on our local ballots if the Murietta and Newport Beach ones pass.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:40 PM

6. their only purpose is to generate cash for the companies that manufacture and maintain them

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Response to frylock (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:01 AM

33. indeed

because preventing peoplefrom running red lights is such a massive waste of time and money.

Some time ago I was in the emergency room with a lung problem and was where I could hear the ER crew talking to the EMTs in a first response team. The latter was describing the injuries sustained by a mototcycle rider in a collision with a car; his helmet was split in half and air had beed moving in and out through his skull fractures with each breath, but he was no longer breathing. They wanted to pronounce him dead and the doctors said to do so.

The next day I read the paper. The motorcycle was going through an intersection on green and a car ran the red light at high speed because he was late for work and hit the guy on the motorcycle. Killed him.

But taking steps to prevent people from running red lights is just stupid and unncessary.

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Response to frylock (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:08 AM

35. Correct.

Cities install them, and then a while later, they stop using them because it gets too expensive to collect and the public gets REALLY annoyed.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:30 PM

2. They are a corporate fucking scam. The corporations make far more money off of these fucking things

than the towns/cities do. FUCK THEM.

Yes, we have these fucking things here in Maryland.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:44 PM

7. How would I go about collecting data to show that?

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:01 AM

34. Although I hate it when people run a red light in front of me, I have two big problems with the cams

First, they send you a ticket in the mail, even if you weren't the driver. The burden of proof is then on the defendant, which is unconstitutional. According to our judicial system, the burden of proof is on the state. I'm surprised no one has challenged this.

Second, they set up a system in which private companies profit from the penalization of citizens. These companies install the cameras for nothing. They just sign a contract with the local municipality that sets up the sharing percentages of all fines collected. On the surface, that sounds fine, but they go too far. First, lest a local judge start dismissing a lot of disputed tickets, the contracts usually state that if the monthly take falls below a certain level, the local government has to pay the company for the shortcomings. Second, studies have been done that shows the duration of the yellow light decreases significantly after installation of the cameras.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:32 PM

3. I currently live in a city where the number of people who run red lights

is truly breathtaking. Apparently, the local consensus means that you have five to eight seconds after the light turns red to go through.

I only wish we had red light cameras here.

I've lived in several cities, and in various parts of the country, and while overall the drivers here are okay most of the time, the whole red-light thing is really scary.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:44 PM

8. they do nothing to improve or promote safe driving..

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Response to frylock (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:48 PM

12. Thank you for that info!

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Response to frylock (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 01:09 AM

22. Well, running red lights probably does even less

to improve or promote safe driving.

And the rear-end collisions would be caused by the cars who are hoping to go through the red light, even later than the car ahead. So the first car stops, as it's supposed to. Gosh. What a strange thing to do.

Let's see, I was taught that you aren't even supposed to enter the intersection once the light turns yellow. Be prepared to stop. In fact, stopping at the yellow light is actually the correct thing to do. No one in this city seems to have any notion that that's what they should do.

So maybe the cameras aren't the correct thing. Maybe just stationing cops who will then pull over and ticket the red-light runners would be sufficient.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:44 AM

26. Everyone know the yellow light means...

...floor it, it's about to turn red!

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:25 AM

36. the first car is slamming their brakes on yellow..

what a strange thing to do, indeed. you can read the studies, or you can continue to hold strong to your bias. it's completely up to you.

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Response to frylock (Reply #36)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 03:11 PM

38. Gee, is there any particular time limit on at what point the red light

means to come to a stop?

I'm seeing a lot of implicit defense of running red lights. And the car in back of me is supposed to likewise be paying attention to the color changes, and since all cars are equipped with brake lights, should notice when those come on.

I don't slam on my brakes, mainly because I'm generally not speeding as I approach a light. Not speeding. There's another charmingly old-fashioned concept apparently.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #38)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:25 PM

39. are we discussing behavioral science or red light camera scams?

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Response to frylock (Reply #39)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:40 PM

45. All I know is that a lot of people here seem to be defending running red lights.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #45)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 11:26 AM

46. no, people are protesting red light cameras..

your accusations of pro-red light runners smacks of republicans framing of the pro-choice debate as pro-abortion.

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Response to frylock (Reply #46)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 01:58 PM

47. Maybe, just maybe if people actually stopped for red lights

there would be no need for red light cameras. Certainly those who actually stop for a red light don't need to be concerned.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #47)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 05:57 PM

48. look, it's obvious that your of an authoritarian mindset..

you managed to beat the living shit outta that strawman you've erected, and no amount of stats or studies are going to convince you that red light cameras are nothing more than a money generating scam for the corporations that manufacture and maintain them, and for the politicians and lobbyists that are making bank. so by all means, feel safe and secure knowing that those red light cameras have eliminated all vehicle accidents at metered intersections.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:53 AM

28. Someone did that once when I was turning left

Ran smack into my passenger side door.. and I got blamed.

Apparently it's legal to run red lights and smash into cars if there is someone waiting to clear the intersection after the light has changed. Whodathunk?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:57 AM

30. You don't need cameras, you need a cop. It doesn't stop at lights, we have them for speeding too

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:37 PM

4. Houston voted to get rid of them. n/t

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:45 PM

9. They don't go after rental or Corporate vehicles.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:47 PM

11. Really? How do I go about proving that? That's really great info.

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Response to IndyJones (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:27 PM

18. rental cars can be identified by their plate numbers. n/t

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:28 PM

19. So if someone runs a red and is driving a rental car, they won't get a ticket?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #24)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:47 AM

27. Interesting, but old.

From 2007. I imagine that by now some of these "policies" have been dealt with. But interesting, nonetheless.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:46 PM

10. If they're done right, they're good.

What I mean by that is this, if they're timed properly with enough yellow light, and they also have the green right arrows (for say, when the other directions have both green left turns) they can be really good. The problem is that the people maintaining them shorten the yellow times and they are timed properly, or even legally. When this is the case, they're better off not there.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:49 PM

13. Unfair as hell. Raining like hell and you're driving a big rig?? Tough shit.

Even worse....You start to stop and notice a tractor-trailer behind you that can't stop..
...you catch the very 1/00 of a second of a red light. Tough Shit!..pay up MF!

Very unfair...you can explain things to a cop.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:50 PM

14. Excellent points!

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:53 PM

15. I am almost ready to have them at stop signs already.

It is like people just don't care. I guess if you are in a more urban area, you would see the accidents more.

I am a bit wary because it seems like the yellows are shorter, not sure if they give you a ticket if any part of your car is in the crossing box when it turns red.

Finally, the police have fought it for years because they could not fix the tickets for themselves and their friends. wonder if there is a work around now. I am pretty sure it is the same in all states where if you are stopped you can take out a card and the police let you go for any traffic violation. No one ever gave me one, but my cousin had them all the time.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:53 PM

16. And while the camera banners are at it.....

they should be taken out of banks and convenience stores also. These cameras are unfair to those who are breaking the law by running red lights as well as those holding up tellers and clerks. Police in squad cars should be at each intersection to nab the red light runners and each bank and convenience mart should have their own security.

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Response to missingfink (Reply #16)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:09 PM

17. Has a camera ever erroneously video taped a thief, later to discover the person was not a thief but

that the camera settings were somethow off?

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Response to missingfink (Reply #16)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:27 PM

40. or they can just increase the time a yellow light is displayed..

but then that would cheat someone like yourself from erecting that strawman.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 12:07 AM

20. I've been tempted to steal a car late at night

Drive through an assload of red lights with cameras (wearing a ski mask, of course), then fill up the tank and return it to where it was initially parked. Todd Palin would be a good on for that prank

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Response to mindwalker_i (Reply #20)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 01:07 AM

21. I wonder if anyone has pulled that on an ex!

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 02:50 AM

23. yellow lights

Don't have a reference handy, but I've read that extending the length of time that the yellow light is on by just a few seconds greatly reduces the number of red-light runners w/out the downsides of the traffic cams.

Re the traffic cams. I dislike any system (especially computerized) where you don't really have the ability to confront your accuser. We had a personal case where the policeman had no clue how to use his LIDAR (laser version of a radar gun) and it took us a couple of thousand dollars of legal fees to prove to the court that we weren't speeding. Ever since I've been tempted to have a "black box" running in our car to defend against erroneous/misused/bogus/uncalibrated computerized traffic systems.

And of course there's the little privacy issue of the new systems that can record and save license plate info and build up a decent database of where everyone has been driving. I wish I were making this up. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually read 1984 as anything other than a how-to manual.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:36 AM

25. A lawyer has told me that if the driver in the car is not recognizable in the photo,

or if the driver of the vehicle is not the registered owner of that vehicle, the registered owner cannot be held responsible for running the light. So if you own the car, and your wife/son/cousin runs the red light (and if it is clear in the picture it is not you), or if you can't be recognized as the driver, you can't be convicted. And you are under no burden to identify the driver. (California)

If (when) the states and the fed RAISE TAXES on the wealthy and if (when) tax loopholes for corporations ever end municipalities won't be so broke that they have to revert to this sort of thing.

BTW, our city has three cameras. Accidents have decreased at those intersections.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #25)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:56 AM

29. Not true

A colleague got a photo in the mail from his buddy. On a ski trip, his buddy tried to make it through but wound up running a red light. He received his ticket in the mail, along with the photo. Both the driver and my friend riding shotgun were clearly identifiable ...with my friend holding a can of Budweiser. Fortunately for them, the beer can wasn't as easily recognizable.

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Response to Atman (Reply #29)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:27 AM

37. My lawyer says otherwise

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Response to Auggie (Reply #37)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:40 PM

41. I saw the actual photo. It was crisp and clear.

Maybe your lawyer was drinking.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 09:02 AM

31. It's a set-up.

The red lights are timed to prematurely go from green to red in a fraction of the necessary time to clear an intersection. It's shooting fish in a barrel.

And if you're hip and decide to slam on the brakes when you see yellow, guess what? The driver behind you will be slamming into you as s/he might want to beat that yellow light regardless of your intention.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #31)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:48 PM

42. The person that rear-ends you almost always loses the insurance claim.

Insurance companies say there is NEVER any reason to be following so closely that you can't stop in time.

That said...I beat one in Mass. It was winter, icy roads. Stopped at an intersection on an uphill slope. The middle of the intersection was covered in black ice. The car in front of me took off, hit the ice, and obviously couldn't go any further. She just stopped moving, wheels spinning on the ice. I was behind her and accelerated at the same safe speed. But I never made it to the black ice, I was still on dry pavement as the car in front of me slid backward and we collided.

Massachusetts is one of the only states to have state-regulated insurance rates. I think NJ is the other. Anyway, I got a surcharge on my insurance in Mass, but I appealed and explained it pretty much as I just did above. It took six months to get a response from the state, but they found in my favor and overturned the surcharge and had the insurance company issue me a refund.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 09:23 AM

32. Scam.

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Response to IndyJones (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:07 PM

43. Terrible idea. When I go into a red light district I do not want to be photographed!

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #43)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:24 PM

44. I think we all learned a lesson from Hugh Grant's unfortunate event caught on camera.

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