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Red Light Cameras - Photo Enforcement Discussion of red light cameras/speed-on-green cameras photo enforcement and related technology.

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  #6 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2007-07-19
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  #7 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2007-07-20
Red Light Ray
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Originally Posted by thestaton View Post
thanks for this information. when I moved out of Dover, DE the cameras had been up for about a year, and I know a few friends who had gotten tickets. I've always heard the light is supposed to stay yellow for 1 second based on the set speedlimit. So if it's a 35MPH area the yellow should stay on for 3.5 seconds etc etc.

What I noticed after the cameras went up in Dover is the yellow lights where cut short by as much as 2 seconds.

I'll never forget this, I was setting at T.G.I. Fridays having a beer and relaxing when I heard a terrible, spine chilling noise. I went out side to see what had happened and sure enough someone had ran the redlight with one of these new cameras and T-Boned the hell out of another motorist. I remember watching in awe at how bad it was, and as the officers came to clear us away I remember telling him "Well atleast you got a picture"...

I personally see many places like where my girlfriend lives in ForrestHill, MD setting up redlight cameras, but they are sparring no expense and they are enabling them to track your speed. I see this as a down hill slide, because at any time they can just turn on the speed tracking.

I'm glad I've moved back to KY, I believe hell will freeze before we see any such automation around here.
I've noticed something else. When I did speed surveys at intersections with the highest number of accidents in Phoenix ("Red Light-Running Capital of the Nation for the 16th straight year--and proud of it") I noticed that they set the yellow duration for the absolute shortest allowed by law. 40 mph intersections were all at 3.89 seconds. Trouble is, when I did a speed survey, the 85th percentile speeds averaged 47-48 mph at the same intersections. Bottom line: every light of the 20 I checked was at least 1.2 seconds too short--even if set to minimum allowable. One intersection--a wide one with six lanes east-west on a steep dowhill grade and a slow-speed, two-lane side road crossing it, had its yellow set at 2.5 seconds. But traffic was blowing past downhill at 57 mph. Yellow should've been more like 6 seconds minimum.

Phoenix traffic engineers created the problem, installed cameras to solve it and ended up with a record number of violations and even more accidents. Then they whine about all the lawless red-light runners.
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  #8 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2007-07-20
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I wasn't even aware that a "formula" or general guideline existed, but now that you mentioned it, it seems very logical: one second of yellow per every 10mph of speed limit. Perhaps they should add an extra one second and a half to take into account the overs a little bit. For example, having a yellow to green transition of a 50mph speed zone last at least 6.5 seconds in duration.

If reducing accident rates as RLR has indicated can simply be accomplished by the re-timing of a redlight [or even a series of them to smooth the flow rates of traffic] then I must assume the same most apply to each phase or phase transition such as the red to opposing green.

Given your experience in Delaware with that t-bone accident you witnessed, logic only dictates that by extending that transition time, it would go a long way to actually reducing these sorts of collisions as well by actually improving the safety of these intersections for both vehicles and pedestrians, alike.

I would think the most safe intersections [requiring the least amount of enforcement manned or automated] would be the ones where all directions are presented with an extended red light (no traffic is moving in any direction) for a discreet amount of time after any yellow-to-red phase transition.

This suggested solution seems very simple, indeed and doesn't require a huge investment in machines and computer systems to create which threaten our individual liberties by producing accusing witnesses who are not made of flesh-and-blood.

A good friend of mine, who is connected with our industry, suggested [in response to the Veil Guy's recent blog entry about being falsely accused by a machine] that the rule-of-law has been reversed with these related automated enforcement systems. In these instances where a machine is the accusing witness, you are presumed guilty of the infraction ["crime"] even if you weren't actually driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged infraction.

In these cases, the burden is on the accused to prove his/her innocence and not on the prosecution (a machine!) to prove his/her guilt.

This is the very clearly an unconstitutional process. Our friends across the pond my be able to get away with such legislative/enforcement practices, but in a country that was founded on the principles of freedom from tyranny, I can not see how this attempted subversion of our established judicial process can stand for any given period of time.

[Coming] from someone who likes to drive/move fast; we need to slow down, a little bit, step-back and re-assess what kind of society we want to create for ourselves--one controlled by machine or the good will of humanity.

I've learn a truism in my life: sometimes, moving slow is moving fast.

There has to be a better [and simpler] way...And our expression of this discontentment is the exercise of our right to vote the supporters of such systems OUT of office whether it be at the local, state, or federal level.

It happened in 1994 [with the US Congress] when our second amendment came under siege, it can certainly happen again, if and when the time comes.

Please forgive me, if I am getting a bit too philosophical on this one, but I think we're merely scratching the surface of the far-reaching implications and consequences of the mis-guided deployment of automated/machine-based systems to act as police men and woman--to enforce our laws--and the perversion or thwarting of our societies' time-proven-and-established justice systems to enable these [new-fangled] systems to thrive.

I believe we to need strike a better and more healthy balance.

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  #9 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2008-04-24
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Believe it or not, but red light violations are very seldom handled here at our traffic school. When they do, they usually come from a California driver that's been ordered to take traffic school.

Thanks for the great information, on the forum- it helps site owners like me share knowledge with our students.

Chris, Online Traffic School, Online Defensive Driving and Online Driver Improvement - NationalDriver.com
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