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Carlos Sun  (Source: engineering.missouri.edu)
While the system has potential to be abused, Carlos Sun believes the benefits outweigh the potential disadvantages

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the use of red light cameras. Many drivers believe the system is used just to generate revenue, and has the potential to be abused. On the other hand, there are also red light camera advocates. But even advocacy can be abused, as American Traffic Solutions business executive Bill Kroske learned after being suspended for trolling internet sites to promote his company's red light camera products.

All abuse aside, a new study from the University of Missouri has found that red light cameras do prevent injuries and accidents, making them a valuable tool for road safety.

Carlos Sun, study leader and an associate professor of civil engineering in the University of Missouri College of Engineering, has researched a collection of studies that provide red light camera statistics and information, and found that red light cameras can do more good than harm.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, running red lights accounts for 883 fatalities and 165,000 injuries annually, and that one-third of all traffic fatalities involves speeding.

But Sun has found that red light cameras are cutting these numbers down, and that the devices are creating a "spillover effect," meaning that drivers are not only abiding by traffic laws at lights with cameras, but are also beginning to do the same with lights that do not have cameras. 

"A red light camera is not a panacea for traffic problems; it is a very effective tool for safe and efficient transportation," said Sun. "Just like any other tool, it should be used responsibly in the proper situation. The decision to use automated traffic enforcement tools requires a balancing act, but we shouldn't take away an effective tool just because of the potential for abuse."

While Sun believes red light cameras are a useful solution for traffic accidents, he also believes that the potential for abuse is still there, but can be resolved through the legal system. The fact that third party vendors install and operate the cameras in some cases could cause concern amongst drivers, such as when Kroske posed as a normal citizen promoting his company's products to benefit himself rather than the public. 

Sun suggests that state legislators develop laws that regulate privacy, jurisdiction and operation of the red light cameras. Sun also notes that schemes to generate revenue are very unlikely.

"There are many parties from separate branches of the government involved in the operation of an intersection," said Sun. "If people wanted to create a scheme to make money, it would have to involve many people who all have a charge to do their duty well. The irony of red light camera enforcement is that if people obeyed the law, the revenue wouldn't be generated."



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What about...
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 1:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
The people who now slam on their brakes if they are about to run a red light, causing the cars behind them to rear-end each other because they panicked?




RE: What about...
By therealnickdanger on 6/8/2011 1:12:20 PM , Rating: 5
A:
Rear end collisions are significantly less harmful than angle (t-bone) crashes.


RE: What about...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 1:21:46 PM , Rating: 1
Yellow lights don't mean 'stop'. A yellow light means quite simply to clear the intersection. If you have a choice between just running a yellow light turning red, or trying to stop and ending up in the middle of the intersection, you should run the yellow light EVERY TIME. There is NO CHANCE of a angle or head on collision in this case because the other lane has a three second delay before their light turns green, you are well clear by then.


RE: What about...
By Flunk on 6/8/2011 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes yellow means stop, unless you can't. It's written in the driving manuals the DMV prints up as well as in traffic law. It's not a matter of best case scenarios. When it goes yellow you have to decide, can I stop before I go over that line without the guy behind me slamming into my car. If the answer is yes, you must stop.

If you drive as outlined by the law red light cameras will never catch you because you have to actually enter the intersection on a red, which won't happen if you stop on yellow.


RE: What about...
By Etsp on 6/8/2011 2:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
RE: What about...
By Schrag4 on 6/8/2011 3:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
Every driving manual I've seen from the DMV says Yellow means "clear the intersection." If yellow meant stop then people waiting to turn left would be required to stay in the intersection after it turned yellow and then red.


RE: What about...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 3:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! I was reading his post was just baffled. Maybe he lives in China or something, but I've never heard that yellow mean's "stop". RED means stop. Yellow means make the best choice to clear the intersection.


RE: What about...
By Schrag4 on 6/8/2011 3:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
This applies for more than just people waiting to turn left.

quote:
If you drive as outlined by the law red light cameras will never catch you because you have to actually enter the intersection on a red, which won't happen if you stop on yellow.


So if I'm going 40 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, approach an intersection, and when I'm 30 feet away it turns yellow, I should stop? I'd have to lock the brakes up and I'd probably still end up in the intersection. I'd be driving "as outlined by the law" but the red-light camera would still catch me in the intersection.

If, however, in that scenario I continued on at 40 MPH and cleared the intersection (as the law is REALLY written), I'd be through well before it turned red, without putting anyone in danger.

To put it another way, yellow means "use your brain to clear the intersection safely"


RE: What about...
By eggman on 6/9/2011 4:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
When I got mine they had a picture of my car with all four wheels behind the stop bar with the red light showing in the same picture. They also had a picture some fraction of a second later showing me in the intersection. The letter I got clearly said the reason for the citation was because all four wheels where behind the stop bar when the light was red and I continued on. The letter said I could contest but I knew was guilty, I was trying to get home before the awful Atlanta traffic.


RE: What about...
By Dark Legion on 7/6/2011 3:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
Both of you are basically saying the same thing. Here in Jersey the law is written the way he is saying actually, basically when a light turns orange you are supposed to stop if there is enough space and time to safely do so, but if you're about to go through, continue. Or as you say, use your brain to clear the intersection.


RE: What about...
By adiposity on 6/8/2011 3:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
The California DMV is online here:

http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/traff_lgts_sgns.htm#tr...

It says:

quote:
Solid Yellow– A yellow signal light means "CAUTION." The red signal is about to appear. When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously.


RE: What about...
By therealnickdanger on 6/8/2011 3:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Yellow doesn't only mean "clear the intersection", it is there give roadway users fair warning that a red light will appear. Stop safely if you can, proceed cautiously if you can't. When in doubt, consult the statutes of your given state.


RE: What about...
By Schrag4 on 6/8/2011 7:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stop safely if you can, proceed cautiously if you can't.


In other words, clear the intersection. Sheesh.


RE: What about...
By SandmanWN on 6/9/2011 12:25:29 AM , Rating: 2
I get your point, but for clarity you should never be in the intersection if you are making a left turn. I see this all the time. People try to pull into the middle of the intersection to see around opposing traffic. And I've see a great many of these morons get T-boned. You are supposed to stay behind the line until you can clear the intersection. If you can't see around, then wait for the turn signal.


RE: What about...
By LRonaldHubbs on 6/13/2011 7:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
Right, it means clear the intersection. It does not mean enter the intersection and then clear it. the former is what you are doing if you make a left on yellow. The latter is what you are doing if you run straight through a yellow light.


RE: What about...
By struzzin20 on 6/8/2011 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
There are large "stop bars" on the road here before a crosswalk or intersection. If the cars front tires are beyond this during a red light we would would not cite them. As there would not be enough time to stop esp. going 45-65 mph.


RE: What about...
By frobizzle on 6/9/2011 8:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
You have obviously never driven in Manhattan. The drivers there see the yellow light for the cross traffic and take that as their signal to go. I'm not saying this is a good thing but that's just the way it is in the Big Apple.
quote:
There is NO CHANCE of a angle or head on collision in this case because the other lane has a three second delay before their light turns green, you are well clear by then.

That's not true in many parts of the country.


RE: What about...
By nafhan on 6/8/2011 1:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
That also (technically*) means the drivers behind the brake slammer were either following to closely or not paying attention.

*I understand no one really drives like they are supposed to drive.


RE: What about...
By The Raven on 6/8/2011 2:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
or not paying attention...
...because they were reading yet another sign on the side of the road... "Photo Enforced" ;-)


RE: What about...
By mephit13 on 6/8/2011 1:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the people behind should expect higher insurance premiums as you're always at fault when you rear-end someone. You should never follow someone so closely that you can't stop if they stop suddenly.


Just about $$$$
By struzzin20 on 6/8/2011 2:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
I work in a small area as police officer and the top dog and council wanted red light and speed cams installed. Even tho it was a smaller area it was in a high traffic part of the city. They est. that there were 125,000 + cars that ran through our town.

I overheard a conversation about needing $$$ and this was the only reason they were going in. Its crazy that all these places think they can get a bunch of money targeting their own residents.

It ended up falling through after the residents got involved and other places in the area having them and abusing them. One person in a city was given 15 tickets in a month by the same camera. The city ended up saying it should have looked into it more and all tickets sent (by mail from the place controlling the cameras) were void and took the cams down.

FYI The city/village/township gets 60% and the company in charge of install, maintenance and sending the tickets get 40%.

Most red light camera tickets are $85.00

Also there is a great site that shows these cameras actually make it more dangerous.

http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/




RE: Just about $$$$
By Noliving on 6/8/2011 3:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
All your link shows is that rear end crashes increased, lets be honest here, your chances of being seriously injured or killed in a rear end crash is significantly less than a T bone crash/accident.

If these cameras increase rear end accidents and reduce T bone accidents I'm all for it.


By roastmules on 6/9/2011 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 3
In my area a lot of red light cams went in. Traffic was much better, people don't run the lights nor block the box. It shaved about 10 minutes off of my commute. There was a temporary ban on them. My commute went up by about 15 minutes as a hoarde of people started to run the lights and block the box.
Then the ban was lifted, the cams were re-enabled, and my commute went back down those 15 minutes.

People around here drive with a sense of entitlement to do whatever they want so that they feel like they beat everyone else. Problem is that the effect of this is that everyone spends more time on the road.

My location? Washington DC and metro.




It's all about the money
By Nutzo on 6/8/2011 1:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
Los Angles is shutting down it's red light program since it is losing money. This is being sold as a buget cutting measure.

If this was about safty, they would continue the program as it would be saving lives. Instead this further proves that it's all about the money!




By GatoRat on 6/8/2011 1:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
Vital: extremely important and necessary, or indispensable to the survival or continuing effectiveness of something

Useful: having value or benefit, or bringing an advantage




Correlation is not causation
By Solandri on 6/8/2011 2:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But Sun has found that red light cameras are cutting these numbers down, and that the devices are creating a "spillover effect," meaning that drivers are not only abiding by traffic laws at lights with cameras, but are also beginning to do the same with lights that do not have cameras.

It sounds like he simply correlated increasing red light camera use with decreased intersection accidents, and concluded the former caused the latter. The presence of a "spillover effect" actually weakens the hypothesis that red light cameras are improving safety.

Another explanation for the "spillover effect" is that drivers are being safer in general (e.g. maybe higher gas prices have caused people to cut down on the amount of driving they do, leading to fewer accidents overall). In other words, maybe the "spillover effect" is the real effect, and this prof is misinterpreting its correlation with red light camera use to mean the cameras caused the increased safety.




Correlation is not Causation
By Black1969ta on 6/8/2011 5:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But Sun has found that red light cameras are cutting these numbers down, and that the devices are creating a "spillover effect," meaning that drivers are not only abiding by traffic laws at lights with cameras, but are also beginning to do the same with lights that do not have cameras.

How does a lower violation rate at a red light intersection and other intersections prove that red light cameras have anything to with each other.
It would be just as easy to say that the poor economy caused people to be more cautious because they value their car more, since their money is tighter.




By pacojoe on 6/8/2011 5:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
Simple Solution
If the camera system can detect the car that is about to run the red light or will still be in the intersection when the other light turns green it will simply hold the light preventing the other traffic from coming. This will eliminate both rear ending accidents and the "t-bone" accidents.
There is no need for it to be the police.

On the money making side though
If I were a judge I would require there to be a full video of both the car and the signal light so I could see when the light changes and where the accused car was at when the light changes. This would also eliminate any type of yellow light fraud as the evidence would be right in front of the judge.




They Reduce Deaths....Really?
By tng on 6/9/2011 8:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, running red lights accounts for 883 fatalities and 165,000 injuries annually, and that one-third of all traffic fatalities involves speeding.

So by the numbers there are ~41K people who die annually on the roadways in the US, and 883 are at lights.

If you figure that not all of those deaths will be prevented by red light cameras and not all traffic lights in the country will have them, the reduction of deaths by the use cameras is statistically meaningless.

Nuff said.




By roastmules on 6/9/2011 11:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
I totally love them for this reason:

Payment is voluntary. I don't run red lights, so I don't pay. This helps communities with the bills.




I don't have a problem
By senbassador on 6/12/2011 4:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a problem with traffic on principle. No, they're NOT a violation of your constitutional rights, which is another rant for another day. What I have a problem with is the way they're implemented. Some cities have actually been caught shortening the yellow light intervals. Not to mention private companies who program these lights get a percentage of the revenue (instead of getting a flat rate), so they have an incentive to tweak the programs to nab more people. On top of all that, in certain cities, the way people drive, speeding across intersection, tailgating, etc, the cameras would cause many accidents by having people slam on their brakes. In THOSE cities, the cameras would cause more harm than good, even if overall causing more good than harm.

Here are a few of my solutions. Make a federal law that revenue generated from the cameras can only go to the state and federal government, not local governments. Also, the private companies that run these cameras should be getting a flat monthly rate, or at least get paid by the number of T-bone / head-on accidents they reduce.




By sticks435 on 6/10/2011 12:59:04 AM , Rating: 1
Trust me guys, MU engineers from Columbia don't know shit. Get a civil engineer from Rolla to do this test, and they would tear it apart in a heartbeat.




nope
By M4gery on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nany State Justification
By tastyratz on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nany State Justification
By drycrust3 on 6/8/2011 4:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also these red light cameras do not offer any SAFETY benefits,

Accidents are caused by people that break the road rules. Just as manufacturers seek to improve quality by lowering the variance within the components in a product, so the police should seek to lower the variance in driving styles. Speed cameras are probably better at doing this than red cameras, but both punish those who are the deviate away from the mean.
quote:
they offer financial and implication benefits.

So what? When you drive badly, even if you don't hit anyone, you are affecting other road users because they have to take action to avoid you. The cost of bad driving to society is much higher than what they collect in fines.
quote:
Nobody knowingly drives at full speed into traffic or thinks they should avoid that due to a camera.

Yeah, they do actually, that is why it works. I've seen a road with two speed cameras (one each side of the road) and everyone drove along it at a perfect 50 km/h (I'm not American).


RE: Nany State Justification
By 85 on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nany State Justification
By Spookster on 6/8/2011 6:41:44 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
How many people do you know or have you seen that just plow through red lights knowing they are red? no one that's right! People run them because they aren't paying attention weather it be a cell phone or whatever.


If you really believe what you just said then come to Cedar Rapids Iowa for a week and sit at some of the intersections here and watch the people running the red lights. Most do it on purpose and not because they weren't paying attention. The idiots here run red lights and stop signs all the time on purpose because there is little fear of getting punished. And they now have red light and speed cameras up and guess what it reduced the amount of people running red lights and amazingly rear end collisions did not go up as the anti-redlight crowd kept suggesting during their fearmongering.


RE: Nany State Justification
By ekv on 6/9/2011 3:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The idiots here run red lights and stop signs all the time on purpose because there is little fear of getting punished.
Don't you guys have patrolmen?


RE: Nany State Justification
By drycrust3 on 6/9/2011 3:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't you guys have patrolmen?

From personal experience, I much prefer a correctly set up automated system than an "impartial" police officer who has a quota to fill.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Samus on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Nany State Justification
By schrodog on 6/8/2011 1:55:34 PM , Rating: 5
I'm all about protecting contitutional rights, but I fail to see how a red light camera in a public place is a violation of your constitutional rights.

If a policeman were to sit at the traffic light and you were to run a red light and he pulls you over and gives you a ticket, would that be a violation of your constitutional rights?

What if he was parked at a distance and was using a pair of binoculars to monitor the intersection. What if he was monitoring the intersection from far away with a telescope?

The cameras are merely a tool to help enforce traffic laws from a central location without having to hire thousands of police officers to monitor every intersection. If there is no fear of punishment for violating the law, then many people will choose not to follow the law. You may choose to follow traffic laws, but there are plenty who don't (how many people do you see speeding each day?).

Red light cameras also benefit the victims of automobile accidents as they help to provide solid proof of who was at fault.

That being said, when fines generated from red light cameras are used to fund baseline budgets, then we have a problem. I also don't like it when red light traffic cameras have private property in their field of vision without the consent of the owner. That would be a violation of the consitution.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 2:08:40 PM , Rating: 3
It could also be argued that the fourth amendment applies in that we are protected from illegal search and seizure. The seizure of our property (money) is illegal in this case because the County is issuing "civil infractions" that we as citizens are not afforded proper legal recourse against. The bottom line is that the system is unfair and circumvents our 6th Amendment rights.

If, using your example, an officer pulled me over I would be issued a MOVING VIOLATION ticket. I would be permitted due process, even be able to face the officer (my accuser) in traffic court. Traffic cameras ROB us of this basic Constitutional right.

I think what it boils down to is that the County doesn't want us to have our day in court. That is why they have turned a traffic infraction into a "civil infraction". The County Commissioners are no court of law. They feel they do not have to meet any burden of proof. They just want our money. This is WRONG and illegal.


RE: Nany State Justification
By schrodog on 6/8/2011 2:32:55 PM , Rating: 3
I defintely agree with you on that. Tickets need to be issued instead of fines so we are afforded the opportunity to dispute a charge.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 3
Tickets wouldn't work either. Because in this case your "accuser" is a piece of machinery that can't offer testimony or represent itself.

Traffic lights are just a big legal quandary. Crap like this is what happens when people put greed before asking questions.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Bioniccrackmonk on 6/8/2011 11:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tickets wouldn't work either. Because in this case your "accuser" is a piece of machinery that can't offer testimony or represent itself.


Wrong. The accuser would be a photograph of the incident in question which would show the event taking place. Its either going to be you, or not. If not, case dismissed. If it is you, then you get the fine YOU DESERVE.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. I see numerous people weekly that run red lights, or attempt to make the "orange" light, because waiting a few extra minutes for the light to cycle back to green is beneath them.

I do agree that it should be ticketed as a moving violation as to protect our right to dispute the allegation. To completely dismiss traffic light cameras is unacceptable. You have no expectations to privacy on a public road owned/maintained by the government. If you want privacy, stay home and close all your blinds.

Where I live they have recently setup up almost 10 now in the last year. I have several friends that received a ticket from the cameras because they ran a red light, only 1 was a repeat offender. I have never received a ticket because I do not run red lights. It doesn't get any easier than this.


RE: Nany State Justification
By tastyratz on 6/9/2011 9:46:09 AM , Rating: 3
Facing the accuser (officer) gives you a measurable sense of accuracy. The red light camera does not.

Are you sure that camera took a photo at precisely the moment the light turned red?
how about a slight delay after to account for individuals who already began traveling during the yellow? Towns have been known to tweak the yellow to red light timing, are you sure the camera timing was not tweaked to raise revenue by a crooked town? Could you prove it?

Are there specific reasons as to why one might have been considered "running" a red light but they were unavoidable? What if you are taking a right and creep further than the line because you can not safely see around the big suv next to you? What if an ambulance was coming and you traveled further in to move out of the way?
Were you going 2 mph? 120mph? Can you tell from a still photo?

They are photo's, not video. They take a picture of a specific unverifiable moment in time, and they do not survey the circumstances of which something is happening. They also do not always verify the driver of the vehicle and have been known to mail tickets to innocent owners.


RE: Nany State Justification
By NaughtyGeek on 6/9/2011 12:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
I took a right on red at a red light camera intersection. I saw no signage stating that I was not permitted to do so. The picture taken did not show a sign stating that I could not do so. However, I was found "guilty" anyway because they know there's a sign there. That's bs. If an officer stopped me, he could show me the sign I missed or see that indeed that sign was visually blocked for some reason. Also, there is no proof provided that I am the individual driving the car. Again, an officer of the law can verify that. Your depending on inadequate technology to do the job a human should be doing therefore it is revenue generation, not law enforcement. Just plain wrong!


RE: Nany State Justification
By eggman on 6/9/2011 4:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
If you turned right on red without stopping and there was a stop bar you broke the law.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2011 4:41:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you turned right on red without stopping and there was a stop bar you broke the law.


If everyone who ever did that and other minor traffic infractions were pulled over or fined by cameras, there would be NO DRIVERS on the roads left. Laws are black and white, when it comes to real driving situations, there has to be some leeway made for decision making and varying situations. Any other viewpoint just isn't realistic.

Jaywalking is also illegal, technically, yet millions of times a day that law is broken. I suppose we should set up cameras with facial recognition and fine everyone who does this too?


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2011 4:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, he never said he rolled through a red. I think he meant he was stopped and turned right on a labeled "no right on red" intersection.

Big deal! Yeah what a law breaker he is....


By Bioniccrackmonk on 6/9/2011 11:33:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Facing the accuser (officer) gives you a measurable sense of accuracy. The red light camera does not.


No, it doesn't. It is your word versus the LEO and if the LEO wrote you the ticket in the first place, then they already believe you to be in violation of what they cited you for.

quote:
Are you sure that camera took a photo at precisely the moment the light turned red? how about a slight delay after to account for individuals who already began traveling during the yellow?


A yellow light indicates that a red light is about to occur and to slow down to prepare to stop. Not speedup as fast as possible in hopes of making it before the light changes, or as the light changes. There is a line painted on the road telling you where to stop, find it and use it.

quote:
Towns have been known to tweak the yellow to red light timing, are you sure the camera timing was not tweaked to raise revenue by a crooked town?


Source

quote:
Are there specific reasons as to why one might have been considered "running" a red light but they were unavoidable? What if you are taking a right and creep further than the line because you can not safely see around the big suv next to you? What if an ambulance was coming and you traveled further in to move out of the way? Were you going 2 mph? 120mph? Can you tell from a still photo?


I already stated that the tickets issued should be the same as the ones issued by cops so you can dispute it in court. If you are running a red light due to an emergency vehicle, then the camera will catch that as well. Its not there to take just your picture. What does it matter if you are doing 2 mph or 120 mph, the camera isn't issuing you a speeding ticket, it is giving you a ticket for running a red light.

quote:
They take a picture of a specific unverifiable moment in time


The ones used here are date and time stamped. Its very specific of when the incident occurred.

quote:
they do not survey the circumstances of which something is happening


If multiple people are running the red then several pictures will be taken. Its not a one and done system.

quote:
They also do not always verify the driver of the vehicle and have been known to mail tickets to innocent owners.


Date and time stamped. Don't lend your car to people that are willing to blow through red lights, or "orange" lights. If your car is stolen, file a police report, and then take it to court.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2011 4:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have no expectations to privacy on a public road owned/maintained by the government. If you want privacy, stay home and close all your blinds.


Not once have I used the word "privacy" in this discussion.

The rest of your points are all wrong and misplaced.


RE: Nany State Justification
By senbassador on 6/12/2011 4:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
"Tickets wouldn't work either. Because in this case your "accuser" is a piece of machinery that can't offer testimony or represent itself."

So using that logic, if I go rob a warehouse at night, and a hidden camera catches me, my rights are being violated because a machine is testifying against me instead of a human being.

"Traffic lights are just a big legal quandary. Crap like this is what happens when people put greed before asking questions."

Ok, now you're just conflating two separate non-related issues. If it hadn't been for traffic cameras, we could easily go back to the olden days when a HUMAN cop would pull you over for running a yellow light, lie under oath in court saying that you ran a red light, and you lose by default because its your word against the cop's. Case closed. If you want to go after greed and corruption, the way to go about it is making sure that the local government doesn't get the lion share of the revenue instead of trying to fight the cameras.


RE: Nany State Justification
By cjohnson2136 on 6/9/2011 4:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
You can go to court after getting caught by a red light camera. My wife just recently ran one and has the option to go to court just like getting a ticket. The difference is if you run a red light and caught by a cop it is a moving violation with the possibility of points. If caught by a red light camera it is a civil matter against the owner of the car with no possibility of affecting your insurance. I would much rather be caught by a red light camera then a cop.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Stuka on 6/8/2011 4:18:45 PM , Rating: 3
The camera system issues you a citation to appear in court just as any officer would. Just as any other citation, you have the right to just pay it by sending a check in and admitting "responsibility", or you can appear in court at the appointed time to contest it. Nothing changes, only the way the infraction is observed.

I will give that these systems, absolutely should not be administered by private enterprise, but everything else about them is wholly legal, and wholly useful.


RE: Nany State Justification
By NaughtyGeek on 6/9/2011 12:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe where you live that's the case, but not in Philly. Here you have no right to counsel, no right to a trial by a jury of your peers, no rights period. It's made a civil penalty to avoid any messy legal requirements that would have to be met otherwise. They're not there for safety, they're there to generate revenue.


RE: Nany State Justification
By senbassador on 6/12/2011 4:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Maybe where you live that's the case, but not in Philly. Here you have no right to counsel, no right to a trial by a jury of your peers, no rights period."

You generally don't have a right to a jury trial ANYWHERE in the US unless you're facing 6 months or more in jail, or a really huge fine. Most misdemeanors get handled by judge rather than a jury.

Also, you generally don't have right to a (state paid) counsel unless you either could get jail time or the fine is over $500. Public defenders are overwhelmed with clients enough as it is.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Flunk on 6/8/2011 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 3
How does this violate your rights? They're only enforcing existing laws. It's just a substitute for hiring more cops. Think of it as a way for the government to save you money. You're not one of those big government pinkos are you?


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 2:04:28 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
How does this violate your rights?


Because they rob us of due process and the right to face our accusers. We're given NO legal recourse to dispute the charges, our only option is to shut up and pay the fine. There are a TON of legal issues these cameras bring up. Many states have already had judges rule them as illegal, including California.


RE: Nany State Justification
By schrodog on 6/8/2011 2:10:20 PM , Rating: 2
Then change the law to only issue tickets (like a cop would) and allow people to dispute the ticket in court.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 2:11:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Then change the law to only issue tickets (like a cop would) and allow people to dispute the ticket in court.


Shouldn't that have been done FIRST?


RE: Nany State Justification
By schrodog on 6/8/2011 2:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but when has government ever gotten anything right the first time?


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 2:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not understanding your argument, but yes I agree, they didn't get it right.


RE: Nany State Justification
By adiposity on 6/8/2011 3:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because they rob us of due process and the right to face our accusers


The first part is the worst. You receive a ticket, told you are guilty, and expected to pay the fine. They don't even compare the photo to your DMV photo, to verify that it was you!

Police make mistakes all the time and people get arrested and charged. But until they PROVE the person did it, in court, they cannot institute a fine or punishment. But with these cameras, they can and do institute a fine, leaving you with the burden of proving your innocence within a certain time frame.

Granted, if a cop pulls you over, you probably have a 99% chance of having to pay the fine whether he's right or wrong. But at least you get your day in court, to watch the police state at work! :)


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 3:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Thank you sir, I salute you.

It's just common sense, really. Not sure why regular citizens are duped into going along with this crap...


RE: Nany State Justification
By Spookster on 6/8/2011 7:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
Here in Cedar Rapids Iowa every photo/video clip taken from the Red Light Camera and Speeding Cameras is reviewed by a police officer before a citation is issued and mailed. And if you wish to contest it you can contact the police department and they will schedule you in for a hearing and will have the photo/video evidence at your hearing so that you may dispute what is seen in it. But go ahead and continue your anti-redlight fear mongering by spreading false or misleading information.


RE: Nany State Justification
By adiposity on 6/8/2011 7:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here in Cedar Rapids Iowa every photo/video clip taken from the Red Light Camera and Speeding Cameras is reviewed by a police officer before a citation is issued and mailed. And if you wish to contest it you can contact the police department and they will schedule you in for a hearing and will have the photo/video evidence at your hearing so that you may dispute what is seen in it. But go ahead and continue your anti-redlight fear mongering by spreading false or misleading information.


Good for Cedar Rapids. I mean, at least you are checking the photo. That's something. And that's good that you can contest it. But it doesn't change the fact that you are presumed guilty until you take action.

Here in California, my father was issued a red-light photo ticket. He's 70. Turns out, I was the one that ran the light, when borrowing his car (ironically, the brakes failed, but that's another story). Before they would drop the charges against him, they required him to prove that it was me, and supply them with my California License ID.

Personally, I had no problem paying the ticket. I ran the light. I paid the fine, I did my traffic school. It's the only ticket I've ever gotten. But what is messed up is how much grief they put my father through, and basically required him to do police work for them before they would drop charges against him. That's flat-out unconstitutional.

When you assume guilt until proven innocent, you are violating the constitution. Red light cameras, in combination with the method of collecting fines and citing drivers, violate the constitution.

If they want to ticket offenders then they need to post officers there who can verify the identity of the person being ticketed. Or, they can treat them like parking tickets, where you bear responsibility for your car--whether driving or not. But what they are doing is wrong.


RE: Nany State Justification
By adiposity on 6/8/2011 7:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to mention, I was 28 at the time, and my father was 70. And, I take after my mother, I don't look like him. Only a moron would mistake one of us for the other, so I assume little if any effort was made to compare photos.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Spookster on 6/8/2011 8:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
They are very clear here that the citations will be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle not the driver. So it is not a question of comparing photos to see who was driving only a question of if a violation occured. It's up to the registered owner of the vehicle to recoup the amount of the fine from the person they allowed to drive their vehicle.


RE: Nany State Justification
By adiposity on 6/12/2011 1:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's up to the registered owner of the vehicle to recoup the amount of the fine from the person they allowed to drive their vehicle.


A little late, but...

What about the points on your license? Or do you not get those in Cedar Rapids?


RE: Nany State Justification
By senbassador on 6/12/2011 4:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Because they rob us of due process and the right to face our accusers. We're given NO legal recourse to dispute the charges, our only option is to shut up and pay the fine."

Hey man, I hear you, but this isn't any different than if a human cop lies or makes a mistake, and the local judge just rubber stamps a guilty verdict because its your word against the officer's. Its been like that for decades, way before traffic cameras were even invented. The system sucks, but cameras aren't the crux of the problem.


RE: Nany State Justification
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 6/8/2011 3:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't their a difference between what the U.S. constitution and individual state constitution say?

My understanding is that the US constitution and bill of rights only says what the Federal government can and can't do, and specifies what only the Federal government can do. The states can do whatever their state constitution says. I don't mean to sound rude, but it would be possible to move away from an oppressive state of the union, but not to move away from an oppressive US government.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 4:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well yes but states rights can't supersede the Bill of Rights or Constitution. For example a State can't pass a law that says you can be imprisoned or executed for any crime without a trial by jury. States can't do "whatever" they want.


By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 6/8/2011 4:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Article 6 paragraph 2 seems to say that you're correct.


By garagetinkerer on 6/8/2011 7:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
This!

This comes at a cost to exchequer. They could use all the public money for benefit of society, and this isn't it!

There's education, there's healthcare... May be if they didn't waste it on things like un-necessary wars, or this study for that matter :D


RE: Nany State Justification
By RjBass on 6/8/2011 11:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
This post deserves a 6.


RE: Nany State Justification
By frobizzle on 6/9/2011 8:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Banning Mr Sun from being in public because he fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down...

Wow! The Asian version of Steve Erkel! LOL!


RE: Nany State Justification
By Invane on 6/9/2011 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer makes some fair points. However, after reading through this thread, what I feel is the single largest reason these cameras should not be allowed in their current state has not even been mentioned.

These cameras are typically run by private for profit companies. You can bet your ass these companies have approximately 0 interest in your safety as long as you are alive to generate revenue for them.

While safety is how the cities and these companies justify putting up these cameras, you can damn well bet that this isn't the discussion that goes on while these guys determine whether to install cameras. They want to know how much money they're going to make off the system. How much money can they legally take from your wallet and call it safety?

This is abundantly clear when you start to see the private companies' contracts that include such things as not allowing the city to extend yellow lights. Here's one article (http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_17658793) where the residents are paying $476 PER INFRACTION for the red light camera. City says 'safety, safety, safety' while pocketing more than 300k profit each year. Lengthening yellow time in this instance reduced infractions by 62%.

Here's another (http://theexpiredmeter.com/2010/03/follow-the-mone... Only 6.5% of drivers enter the intersection more than 2s late. It also mentions that when GA passed a law extending yellows by 1s (1s!) that violations dropped 70%, collisions dropped 60%. Camera operating companies disagree that changing the length of the yellow light matters...but still put explicit requirements that lights are not lengthened in their contracts.

Here's a great article linking to 10 or so studies showing what these cameras really accomplish (http://www.schaumburgfreedom.com/public-safety/wha... Here's one summary in particular:

quote:
In 2005, The Washington Post found: “The analysis shows that the number of crashes at locations with cameras more than doubled, from 365 collisions in 1998 to 755 last year. Injury and fatal crashes climbed 81 percent, from 144 such wrecks to 262. Broadside crashes, also known as right-angle or T-bone collisions, rose 30 percent, from 81 to 106 during that time frame.”


Doesn't look like it's really doing much for your safety does it? Least it reduced those nasty t-bone crashes...wait, those increased too.

Arguing safety on this issue is smoke and mirrors over what is clearly the bottom line: money at the expense of your safety. They are NOT there to make you safer. There are clearly other methods that could be utilized to make you safer. However, none of the other methods have the nice little revenue stream into the pocket that red light cameras have.

Now, that argument aside, I wouldn't have a problem with red light cameras if they were actually installed, run, and monitored by a group not motivated by the revenue they generate. Until that happens, they are simply a questionably legal way to transfer more of your money to CEO's and politicians.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Belard on 6/9/2011 6:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
If you DON'T run through a red light, then the camera will NOT take a picture of your car doing an ILLEGAL act.

I've been busted, I didn't believe it. But I typed in the link and watched the video of MY car running the light. I paid the ticket - it was my fault.

Constitutional rights? I don't see you complaining about traffic cameras? These are also setup at intersections and highways in major cities. It allows the police to notice accidents quicker as well as possibly having the evidence to show the cause. These do not ticket you, they are simply cameras.


RE: Nany State Justification
By Rob94hawk on 6/26/2011 6:00:50 AM , Rating: 2
My wife blew a red light. Saw the video. It was blatant. She felt bad, admitted what she did, paid the fine, vowed to pay more attention.

It's called accountability. Most people don't understand what that means.

We have a red light camera on an intersection where the yellow was increased yet people still accelerate. Plenty of time to stop yet choose not too. So you conspiracy nuts can suck it!


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