OT: Red Light Camera Ticket

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
-snip-

LA is just giving up- http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3544.asp
But NYC is making a mint; http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-08-22/local/29933585_1_red-light-cameras-red-lights-truck-driver
[Well, $52 million last year]
Jim
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Well after being T-boned in the middle of an intersection because someone decided to run the red light, I am all for these cameras in the hope that some people will think twice about running them. My car was totaled and I had multiple injuries because some young kid was late for a meeting.
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and you think a camera would have stopped him?
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On 11/01/2011 05:06 PM, rlz wrote:

While that's a regrettable occurrence, I beg you to think about your opinion. Keep in mind that in many cases red light cameras are set up at intersections which have shorter yellow intervals than that called for by ITE guidelines, a "gotcha" trap that decreases safety but raises revenue. Also, if someone "runs" a red light at a camera controlled intersection they receive no points on their license, but a ticket from a police officer is a much bigger deal.
More reading on RLCs here:
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras /
http://www.highwayrobbery.net/TickRedCamWebsiteArmeysSiteHome.html
and especially
http://www.highwayrobbery.net/TickRedCamArmeysfinalreport.pdf
Don't get me wrong, I'm completely against people who run red lights deliberately and unsafe driving in general - but red light cameras especially as they are usually implemented are just downright offensive and go against all principles of safety and justice.
nate
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On 11/1/2011 3:01 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

even further, the contracts the camera operator signs with the city frequently state that the city isn't allowed to lengthen the yellow light times or the city can be sued.
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On 11/01/2011 06:07 PM, chaniarts wrote:

That's one thing that they do right here in VA... there were some studies a while back that showed that proper yellow light timing was key, and RLC's were outlawed for a while. They've been brought back, but with some wording in the legislation that makes them much more palatable.
http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/police/photored/page76921.aspx
(yes, I know that's an Arlington county site, but that is actually a state code. it's just the first hit that came up when I searched.)
Virginia State Code 15.2-968.1. Use of photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals.
of special interest is section K:
K. Before the implementation of a traffic light signal violation monitoring system at an intersection, the locality shall complete an engineering safety analysis that addresses signal timing and other location-specific safety features. The length of the yellow phase shall be established based on the recommended methodology of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. All traffic light signal violation monitoring systems shall provide a minimum 0.5-second grace period between the time the signal turns red and the time the first violation is recorded. If recommended by the engineering safety analysis, the locality shall make reasonable location-specific safety improvements, including signs and pavement markings.
I'm frankly surprised that any cameras are profitable given those restrictions, but then again, NoVA drivers are almost as awful as Maryland drivers...
nate
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On 11/01/2011 06:51 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

As an aside, I've seen more violations than not of Section M
M. Any locality that uses a traffic light signal violation monitoring system to enforce traffic light signals shall place conspicuous signs within 500 feet of the intersection approach at which a traffic light signal violation monitoring system is used. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that such signs were in place at the time of the commission of the traffic light signal violation.
either that or my GPS database is lying to me, although I've seen cameras at most/all of the intersections where it warbles at me. Maybe some traffic cameras are being counted as red light cameras? who knows. In any case, be careful out there.
I'm a big fan of Section K though. The desire to implement RLC's and the requirements of Section K might actually prompt the authorities to do what they should have been doing all along, that is, to make the light timings compliant, which can only make things safer. So in this one isolated instance, RLCs might actually be doing more good than harm!
nate
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I also suspect some of these RLCs are installed due the RLC comapanies subsidizing the bill for new intersection construction. My last town of residence had at least 3 very dangerous intersections with stop signs, only. Suddenly there was new construction and new LED stop light signals. No surprise they where heavily monitored, with what appeared to be at least 4 video cameras, one for for every lane. Safe, but beware.
nb
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wrote:

Dirty deals, done dirt cheap . . . Ikea paid for upgrades to the intersection of US 1 and the Beltway in MD. Their design includes a ramp into Ikea that occurs just before the ramp to Baltimore. Sit in the parking lot on any one day and you'll see a boatload of people entering the Ikea lot and then winding their way out of it when they realize that they didn't get on the ramp to Baltimore, but went to Ikea instead.
I've looked at the design from Google Earth and it seems like a quite deliberate effort to shepherd people into their store who really wanted to go north to Baltimore. All it would take is a simple "Ikea ONLY exit" sign but none has ever appeared that I've seen (of course, they probably are putting one up today just to make a liar out of me!)
Looking at all the Gatso cameras destroyed in England it's clear to me that these cameras are hi-tech versions of the Liberty County, GA sheriffs that sit right beyond the tree-covered speed limit sign that drops the speed limit precipitously for no other reason, apparently, than to catch speeders and make money. Want to fight the ticket? C'mon back down to Georgia in a few months for trial - a proposition that's so costly for travelers that people just pay the tickets and move on, even though the sign is not legible from the roadway.
When I got "hooked" many years ago, they took cash on the spot. Flash too much cash and you're taken into custody as a drug dealer. Maybe the cameras are an improvement. At least they can't shake you down for a bribe or try to confiscate your vacation money. Yet.
-- Bobby G.
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It's not new and it's not over. Smyrna TN, 1969. Not even one-horse! Listed on one travel map as one of the top five speed traps in America. Cut to the stretch between Salida and Buena Vista, CO, 2011. I've seen as many as 8 state troopers and local sheriff's cars on that stretch (about 15 mi) and watched, horrified, as one county mounty cut me off to get behind another vehicle, which has jes very slowly passed me on a dbl lane, going 56 mph in a 55 mph zone. I was doint 54! Good ol' raise-revenue speed traps are far from dead, even in this day and age.
nb
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yep, different year, different place but stuff like that happens all the time. A few years back it was New Rome, OH. Some real horror stories out of that place... Back in the day I would occasionally drive through Linndale, at least they didn't screw with you there, but you absolutely had to be on your best behavior there otherwise you'd get busted. I never got a ticket there - it's notorious - but I did get one very near by for a speed that I don't recall today but my speedometer was dead on the 55 mark because I knew the reputation of the area and had spotted the cruiser from far away... and it was a clear summer night with no other traffic on the road. Even got the safety lecture even though Officer Friendly must have kicked it up to 90+ to "catch" me and the car I was driving had all new suspension and tires and handled better than it did when it left the factory. Hah.
Long story short, I don't consider the police my friends, at least not the traffic ones. When I see far more serious violations pass without notice (esp. no headlights in rain/snow/after dark, lack of signal use, unsafe lane changes, etc.) but very few people in this country haven't ever received a speeding ticket, what can you think the agenda is?
nate
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How do you feel about those who run them obliviously?

Right. That's why you have so many tickets and motor around in mechanically unsound shitboxes.

You don't know that. You have no method to have learned it.
Armey's "report" was released in 2001 (it's dated wrt RLCs).
He himself seems to have abandoned it: "(all documents available at http:www.freedom.gov/auto)"
The IIHS immediately responded, in part: A basic problem with the report is that it challenges the entire profession of transportation engineers on the subject of traffic signal timing. It alleges not only that individual signals arent timed properly but also that the formulas widely used to time signals arent correct.
It alleges that the problem of red light running would disappear if only signals were timed properly in particular, if yellow signals were lengthened.
The report suggests that a conspiracy of traffic engineers has resolved to time signals incorrectly. Such allegations shouldnt be taken seriously because the Majority Leaders office isnt staffed with experts to make such engineering judgments. What should be heeded are the extensive findings of scientific studies by transportation professionals.
Yellow light signal timing is complex: There is no universal definition or agreement among traffic engineers concerning a properly timed signal (a phrase thats nevertheless used throughout the report). http://www.iihs.org/news/2001/iihs_news_052301.pdf
Your sources are nothing more than fountains of ignorance and bullshit that cater to ignorant, unsafe motorists with victim mentalities... many if not most people.
The IIHS represents and is funded by those who pay crash damages, insurance companies. Skin in the game suggests a reputable source: http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/rlr.html http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/rlr.html -----
- gpsman
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On 11/01/2011 08:51 PM, gpsman wrote:

I don't have the same animosity toward them, but do think they should be encouraged to leave the warmth and serenity of their colons and pay attention to what the hell they're doing. But studies have shown that they are by far the minority of RL violators, in that violations drop off sharply with time after the light turns red, the majority being either those caught by a short yellow or those that "push it..." (those being people who *should* be caught by the cameras, but let's set the timing correctly first.)

Unsupported assertion from an unsupportable douchebag.

Does the truth really change over time?

Probably because he's no longer Speaker of the House.

Hmm. Is the IIHS staffed by traffic engineers now? Or insurance industry shills?

It doesn't "allege" it, it states it. That conclusion is supported by the Virginia studies, which as far as I'm aware are the best done to date on the subject. You will note that the Virginia legislature, as a result of those studies, went so far as to write compliance with ITE guidelines into the code as a prerequisite for installing a RLC, and that should be model legislation for the rest of the country.

You mean like the ITE?

Bullshit. The ITE has published guidelines that are widely accepted (by real traffic engineers that is) and you'd have to look very hard to find a case where setting a yellow interval shorter than that recommended by the guidelines would be warranted or desirable. If nothing else, a consistent timing of yellow lights on similar roads with similar travel speeds would provide a consistent experience and condition motorists as to when they should stop and when they should proceed. Which should really be the goal, NOT artificially generating "violations" to raise revenue.

The IIHS has as much credibility as you do. It's a shill organization whose main goal is to increase revenue for insurance companies. The only thing that they do that is worth a shit is crash testing, and that is the only thing that they do that an intelligent person pays any attention to whatsoever.
I still haven't forgiven them for the "geico guns" or supporting the double nickel and neither should you.
I'm gonna laugh my ass off when you get your RLC ticket and suddenly change your tune. But of course you won't admit to it, lying weasel that you are.
Let's do a little gedankenexperiment, shall we? (assuming that you can actually think, that is.) Let's say you're traveling on a 55 MPH road and are traveling at the posted limit. You approach an at-grade intersection. The light turns yellow, then two seconds later turns red as you proceed on through. You get a ticket. Is that fair? Did you deserve the ticket? Why or why not?
nate
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Not to mention they're dumber'n a bag o' hammers:
"After news spread that paying a red light camera tickets in Los Angeles County, California is optional, the average number of people paying citations declined by nearly a third."
http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/front.asp?page=2
Thanks for the great link, Bob. I specially like the stories about the destruction of speed/rl cameras in Europe. People ARE fighting back. I think the planet has reached regulation saturation and the net has given people a tool to organize and so fight back. It's a trend we're likely to see continue and grow.
nb
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How many millions or billions of years has the earth existed? Sorry but the earth has survived and thrived for a very long time. Man, as stupid as he is, isn't going to destroy the planet or even its environment. We may very well make parts of the planet very uncomfortable for ourselves but that is about the limit of it. Long before we could destroy it a mass die off of the human population will occur either by war, famine, or disease. We are without a doubt our own worst enemy but this beautiful planet will survive despite our best efforts.
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wrote:

that
of
<<How many millions or billions of years has the earth existed? Sorry but the earth has survived and thrived for a very long time. Man, as stupid as he is, isn't going to destroy the planet or even its environment.>>
It's actually microbes that have had the greatest effect on the world, creating the oxygen we breathe now long, long ago. We'll probably come and go with our footprint erased in what would be seconds of "earth time." FWIW, the universe is now scheduled to end via the "Big Rip" when all matter is spread out into infinity. Mark your calendars for 50 billion years.
I believe that we could destroy our planet completely only because we seem inclined as a species to disassemble things and like big booms. I seem to recall the atom bomb scientists being worried that their chain reaction might not stop and could engulf the whole world. But they did it anyway! With that sort of can-do spirit, blowing up the earth could be within our reach.
I don't think we could permanently poison the earth, though. We'll just make it sick for a while, the Earth will kill us all, sweep us into the ocean where eventually something will turn us into food to start the next genetic successor on its way to "King of the Hill." I saw a Discovery Channel program that predicted the world will end with silvery, blood-drinking spiders living together as colonies and big, ugly birds that hunt in packs.
<<We may very well make parts of the planet very uncomfortable for ourselves but that is about the limit of it. Long before we could destroy it a mass die off of the human population will occur either by war, famine, or disease. We are without a doubt our own worst enemy but this beautiful planet will survive despite our best efforts.>>
I'm betting that in the next century the sun will burp up one gigantic coronal mass ejection that blows through our magnetic shields and fries precisely one half of the world in just a few short minutes. One side of the world will be protected by the earth itself. The other side will have the Earth's magnetic field and the atmosphere to protect it from a e of sun travelling at millions of miles an hour. I want to be on the night side when that happens, where the fireworks display would be unmatched..
-- Bobby G.
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That's how they make their money, by making the ticket less painful to pay than fight. (and by "they" I mean not only the jurisdiction but also the private contractors that actually operate the cameras.)
I'd still check the yellow interval. If it's grossly short you could report it to your local news organization and possibly get some class action thing together to get all tickets from that intersection refunded. (in a fair world, that's how it would work.)
nate
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It has always been my contention that the "powers that be" are protecting certain drivers/vehicles from getting tickets due to violating RLC. Imagine how safe fire engines/police cars and even state/city/local legislators/councilors have probably (statistically) violated the RLC and not received tickets. So it would be interesting for someone so motivated to request a copy of ALL pictures of all violators for a certain period and see if any of them got a free pass
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On Tue, 01 Nov 2011 17:00:30 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That was often the way with folk in England. If you knew the location of the cameras you'd adjust accordingly, but I've seen plenty of people only spot them at the last second and slam on the anchors.
cheers
Jules
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On 11/01/2011 05:12 PM, Jules Richardson wrote:

Living here in NoVA where there's not so many cameras, but is close by to DC and Maryland where there's an epidemic of the damned things, I invested the $25 in an annual subscription to a database of where all the red light and speed cameras are spotted that I load into my GPS unit. So when I'm driving, I leave the GPS running in map mode all the time even if I don't need directions. If it saves me from even one ticket a year it's more than paid for itself. The database is updated monthly, although I'm a little bad about downloading it and updating my GPS. I never got any tickets before I started doing that, but it can't hurt. (I know, anti-tiger rocks, etc.)
nate
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