Hole poked in "red light camera" silliness

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by rbell, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.nbc-2.com/Global/story.asp?S=12265823

    The story: A math tutor timed the yellow lights at the red lights where cameras were installed near Ft. Myers, FL.

    As I would have expected...the yellow lights were significantly too short.

    This was rumored to be true near my hometown...when the rumors got rampant, suddenly the yellow lights "became" much longer.

    Face it: Cities are cash-strapped...and much of this red light, speeding, etc., is nothing more than revenue enhancement.

    I'm a careful driver (no ticket in years). And if I break the law, then I'll deserve the punishment. But rigging a traffic light so that the yellow light is too short (thus catching more folks...and ultimately becoming a safety hazard)? Low blow. But expected.

    Anyhow...the fella that argued the fine timed the lights, showed the evidence, got off, and has cast a shadow on the whole "red-light camera" program.
     
  2. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    In seattle on 30 mph streets the lights have a 3 second amber.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Red light cameras are the way things are gonna be. Helps reduce accidents and that is a pretty hard and fast fact.

    Though I wouldn't be sad if some civic disobedience led one to use them for long range rifle practice. ;)
     
  4. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Prove it.




    I really wish that this were true.
    The camera's do not prevent accidents or injury and death: They only increase the driver's anxiety that he must stop before the light turns red and he gets ticketed. They are primarily a revenue catcher.
     
  5. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    So you say, but I don't believe you. I have set at intersection after intersection and watched drivers run red lights. I hope they all get tickets. Camera or not, don't run red lights and you won't get a ticket.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    I agree, but if you are approaching the light, turns yellow, then 3 seconds later turns red, you do not have time to safely stop. That is the issue.

    DI Salty
    (driver instructor)
     
  7. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bingo...the yellow has been shortened to increase the number of tickets.

    Hey, if someone really runs a redlight, nail 'em. (legitimately)

    But if you're "rigging the system," then the jokes' on the city.
     
  8. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    On a 30 MPH streets with 2 lanes in each directions, how many seconds warning do you need to decide if you should stop or continue through the intersection?
     
  9. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    At 30 MPH you will travel about 35 ft per second.

    The trick is; when you are about 150 feet from a traffic signal -(when it is green) cover the brake with your foot (not applying the brake - just cover) - if the light turns yellow you can safely stop. If it stays green, go back to the gas pedal - don't gun it, just a normal acceleration.
    Any more info and under union rules, I must start charging! :smilewinkgrin:

    DI Salty
     
  10. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Several other tricks include....
    When approaching a signaled intersection on a US hwy in rural or sparsely populated or pop-up commercial zones... don't assume all lights are tripped by entering traffic..... Observing the light from afar... consider if the green is a 'stale' green, then it is likely to turn yellow to red on approach. ....Follow Salty's advice (see above).

    If you are approaching a light controlled intersection and traffic is following too close behind you.... and may be watching you instead of the signals... hence they are following you.... don't assume that they will have time to stop if you wait to the last minute. If they are too close, you can't run fast enough to keep them off your tail...... but you can slow down early to give them time to respond earlier if you find you have to stop ....instead of encouraging a meeting greeting into your back seat. The only margin you have control of is the margin of safety infront: If a driver properly times his stops.... provided the yellow light gives the right amount of caution for a safe and proper stop.... one can slow to time their stop short of the stop line.... which is for the Bumper of the vehicle.... not the front wheels.... in which case, the driver of the first car stopping has some lee way to roll forward to give up his own safety marging to a late stopper behind him, preventing or reducing a rear end collision.... without having to enter the cross walk or the busy intersection.

    However.... In some studies.... done by consumer safety studies independent of the industry camera sponsors and marketing..... have shown significant results disputing .... the cameras MAY reduce the number of collisions within intersections.... which typically are high casualty/death type collisions, when they do occur, BUT if adjustments aren't made to the yellow lights to give proper warning for traffic and speed to make safe stops without emergency type braking or sudden stops.... then the increase in rear end accidents DO INCREASE.... and many result in serious casualties and fatalities... even to persons wearing proper restraints.

    A person who gets a ticket for a camera spotted red light run.... does not get immediate notification so that he can challenge it: The automatic assumption is that it is a totally objective citation.... and that there are no mechanical or technological malfunctions or unjust settings of timing.... and guilt is automatically assumed. When he gets notification weeks or even months later... it is far too long for him to know or recreate the situation or present a reasonable defense.

    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that the persons who habitually run yellow/red lights are playing a very dangerous game of chicken with their lives and others... and don't even belong behind the controls of a WMD on the HWY. They need to be stopped! Period! But many or most of these same drivers already have other bad habits such as tail gaiting, aggressive driving, weaving between lanes to get the best or forward most position, failure to signal lane changes or turns, and failure to acknowledge the courteous yielding of room to other drivers signaling intentions or needs to merge or enter lanes: In short... if all rules of the road were enforced more evenly.... these would come under sufficient scrutiny because of their build up of violations and infractions that their license could be flagged for more serious consequences (various levels of limitations or suspensions) or remedial driver training programs.

    While many states allow automatic renewals of drivers licenses for periods of safe driving without tickets or citations.... with minor proficiencies such as eye exam required...... most states are now keeping a history of all citations and accidents on a driver's record.... and the laws between the states are even allowing these records to transfer with the individual when he moves from one state to another. One may not even know this until or unless he applies for a CDL or is employed in a driving position by a company responsible for insuring him on their records.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    0
    How exactly does a person confront his accuser in court, if his accuser is a sensor activated camera? How do you know it didn't just malfunction and snap a picture? Take someone's word for it?

    A pretty hard and fast fact?

    When I was a police officer about 25 years ago, we were told it was "impossible" for the traffic lights to show "green" in opposite directions.

    One day I came upon an accident at a major intersection where the lights were green in all directions at the same time. Not flashing, not cycling... just green in all directions.

    One of the people involved in the accident said to me, "I hope you see the same thing I see".

    What if the lights had cycled back to normal function by the time I arrived? The guy would have been given a ticket for running a red light, gone to court to hear a city employee say it was impossible for the lights to be green in all directions, and then been found guilty and paid a big fine.

    I'm not ready for machines to run our lives. Let a cop catch them, or have a private citizen file a complaint. Let's not turn our lives over to machines.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. billreber

    billreber
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of weeks ago, I ran a red light trying to avoid a rear-end collision. The party behind me visited and called my employer (I am a delivery driver) to report me for running a red light! He was an off-duty military policeman, and therefore had no authority to ticket me. When my supervisor heard my side of the story, he basically told me to "be careful" and dropped the matter. The district manager (who got the call-in report) told me the same, and dropped the matter, too.

    Had there been a red light camera at the intersection, I would probably have been ticketed because of a tailgater! And the tailgater would never have been caught on the camera. AND my job would have been in jeopardy!

    Don't run the lights, and don't get a ticket, but get into a collision, in which the tailgater gets a ticket. Run the light because of a tailgater, and get a ticket, and lose your job. I need my job. Guess which option I will choose in the future!

    And to think that this same tailgater is the one who called to report me! Some people just plain shouldn't have a driver license! Yep, even a military policeman! Personally, I think he was just mad because he didn't get through the intersection himself!

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  13. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you saying that if someone rear-ended you, which would make the accident their fault, you would lose your job?
     
  14. billreber

    billreber
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, Robert.

    Option 1 is I get rear-ended and the other party gets the ticket. Option 2 is I run the light, get a ticket, and lose my job.

    Which is better? To get rear-ended and probably injured, or to get a ticket and get fired? My choice? I need the job! At my age, I would most likely do better (in most cases) getting injured by being rear-ended, than to have to find another job. HOWEVER, see the last paragraph below.

    By the way, as a professional driver, I am aware that hundreds of decisions like this one must be made by every driver every day. I am also aware that many less-than-honest drivers are looking for a company vehicle, to try to have a collision with. Their logic is that most companies would rather make a settlement then go to court. I am dodging these drivers MUCH more than most people would like to know.

    I also realize that many drivers do not allow sufficient space between vehicles when driving. In the real-life case I described, the driver behind me was not allowing sufficient space to stop. He WOULD have plowed into my truck if I had stopped. His large heavy-duty pickup would have demolished my small company pickup. Major injury, or possible ticket for running a light? Your answer is?


    Bill :godisgood:
     
  15. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    As a driving instructor, my number one pet peeve is tailgaters.

    So what do we do? First and foremost use your mirrors. You should be checking them every 3-5 seconds. Just a quick glance will do the trick. When you see someone tailgating, first tap the brake, if that doesn't work, I slow down just a bit. If they insist on being stupid, I will then just pull over and let them pass. Anotherwords, if someone is intent on being stupid, I want them in front of me, not behind me.
    Now, if it is not possible to pull over and you are coming to traffic signals, then just slow down a bit sooner - cautiously - as you approach the light.

    Safety experts, recommend that 3 seconds be maintained between vehicles while moving. When at a red light and you are behind someone you want to see that vehicles tires touching the ground.

    As I said before, my union contract requires me to send a bill - so who do I charge, Padre or Dr Bob? :smilewinkgrin:

    Salty
    PS Instead of these stupid seatbelt checkpoints, I would rather the cops watch for tailgaters. Contrary to popular belief, failure to wear a seat belt has never caused a collision.
     
  16. padredurand

    padredurand
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,384
    Likes Received:
    20
    Bill me!!! Collecting is another question....

    To stop or not to stop. That's easy. I ask myself, "Self, if you hit the brakes will you spill your coffee?" I hate sloshing coffee all over the dash.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    1. I justa senda mya taxia buddies all 10 of them :1_grouphug:

    2. You know it makes a difference if it is de-caf or full strenght :sleeping_2:
     
  18. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Salty et al., I read a study on why people seem to not notice slower traffic in front of them as they approach..... which is materially related to rear end collisions:
    It concluded that essentially, most people are unable to recognize a significant slowing of traffic in front.... even when seeing brake lights UNTIL the traffic in front has slowed by 8-10 miles or more BELOW the speed they are going: It is a perceptual thing which has to do with the human eye and the way it registers points and judges distance. Of course, if one adds in inattenttion or distraction to the mix.... which is not uncommon.... it does get worse.

    This is all the more reason for people to slow down and keep that safety margin in front while being aware of how the driver behind is responding to distance: Pile ups on roadways and at intersections don't occur because drivers were maintaining their distance.... They occur because someone was foolish enough to believe they were safe after stopping and creeping forward upon the bumper of the car in front, thus closing the gap, then some fool comes along and rear ends them into the vehicle in front.... which may rear end the vehicle in front of them.... and so things happen.

    As a professional driver (CDL, big rig) as well as a 'seasoned' middle age safe driver.... I've learned to that 3 second rule applies everywhere .....even in the 'bumper to bumper' traffic like on the beltline of Atlanta or Washington DC. with multilanes: (Forget NY city... its another animal.) Sure people will take advantage of YOUR 'safety zone' and jump in or across lanes.... but it is amazing how a few deep breaths and relaxing instead of getting 'the rush' mentalitly HELPS to keep one more alert and responsive to the changing and stop and go situation around them, rather than that gut tightening feeling of anxiety in that situation.... It usually only last briefly til one passes the bottleneck which caused it and things flow smoothly again. Also, a good driver doesn't just watch the car in front and do everything he does: A good driver watches... keeps his eyes shifting observing the whole picture in front and routine checks of sides and back: He might mentally do the silent 3 second count.... but he is also observant of cues in the environment that gaps are closing such as the broken lines in the road... other vehicles passing a slowing vehicle, etc.. One thing I try never to do..... once stopped, don't lift my foot from the brake pedal (except to quickly flash the driver behind) until ready to roll again. For some drivers.... its that brake light which they notice first that the vehicle in front is stopped or slowing.
     
    #18 windcatcher, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2010
  19. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    Windcatcher,
    As a professional truck driver what are the top 3 things that bug you about "regular everyday " drivers?

    Talking about trying to get ahead of others, I always say " Boy, its a good they he weaved around me, he got to the red light before me!

    Yes, keep that food on the Brake - after making sure your brake lights are not burnt out! :smilewinkgrin: :thumbsup:
     
  20. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    >How exactly does a person confront his accuser in court,

    It has been almost impossible since most of the traffic code has been "decriminalized." And if you did, since the required standard of guilt is no longer "beyond reasonable doubt," but the preponderance of evidence, unless the judge thinks the police officer or the camera is lying, you will be found guilty.

    Drive a junker - get rear ended by a newer car, a commercial veh, or government veh, get a new car.
     

Share This Page

Loading...