Judge Throws Out Red Light Camera Tickets As Program Declared Illegal And Void

from the revenue,-not-safety dept

Yet again, we find out about a story of a city putting in place red light cameras, and using them not to increase public safety (per the official claim of the city) but to drive revenue -- even by shortening the length of yellow lights to under the legal limit, thereby increasing both ticket revenue and accidents. Luckily, this time, in Santa Ana, California, a judge has declared the whole program illegal and declared all of those who received the tickets under the program as "not guilty" (found via Jeff Nolan). There were a few reasons for this. First, the city broke the law in not clearly announcing which traffic lights would have the cameras with 30 days' notice. In fact, the city actually moved the cameras around with no notice in an attempt to maximize revenue. The city claimed that it gave notice... by stating at a city council meeting that they'd be moving the cameras around, but without indicating where. Also, the city had promised that the lights would have a minimum yellow light of 4.4 seconds, but 17 of 18 lights checked had yellow lights that were less than 4.0 seconds, which makes a huge difference. The judge also specifically ruled that the people who got tickets this way were "not guilty" rather than just dismissing their cases, to avoid having their cases somehow reinstated.


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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 7:53am

    5th Clear thinking judge this year.

    Hopefully there'll be more like him.

     

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    orly, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 8:40am

    5 clear minded judges, 5 dead celebrities. Clearly there is an alternative judicial fuel source that we haven't previously considered!

     

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    John Mc (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    not so clear

    As a pedestrian I see more of the other side of this issue than drivers (althoguh I do drive from time to time.

    I'm tired of almost dying every time I walk around town. Drivers ignoring stop lines and cruising into crosswalks before stopping. Drivers making right turns on red, but looking left WHILE MOVING to look for other cars while pedestrians are legally crossing from the driver's right side.

    And, of course, drivers (yes plural) running red lights. The problem is so 'accepted' now that intersections now have a three second delay after a light turns red before opposing light and crosswalks go green, to allow for 'red light runners' to clear the intersections.

    In most states a yellow light means 'stop' (unless you cannot stop). So running a yellow light and even a 'just turned' red light is 'acceptable', people are stretching that to now running stale red lights. Or they are just inattentive and cruise through an intersection because the driver in front of them did (while running a red light) and the second driver was looking at the car in front of them rather than the traffic signal.

    So it comes down to cameras at red lights Peds want them because we're tired of close calls at every intersection. Drivers hate them because every driver thinks they 'just made it' and never ever deserve a ticket. This city shortening the yellow light time is sleezy and should not have been done. Cameras are supposed to record how long the light was red when the car ran the light, so they will supposedly not ticket the 'just missed' people. I really have no idea why people need to be notified that they should obey the law in this intersection and don't bother in the others.

    There are a lot of privacy/big brother issues when cameras give tickets. But this isn't like going 35 in a 30mph zone. If you've run the red light, chances are you just missed hitting me...

     

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    SteelWolf (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    John, the problem is when they deliberately make things worse in order to get more revenue from tickets.

    You can argue for putting in red light cameras to enforce the rules, but it becomes unacceptable when they deliberately make the yellow lights shorter, so people have a harder time stopping and end up "accidently" running the light. That makes things more dangerous for everybody involved, including pedestrians.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    Re: not so clear

    As a driver and pedestrian, I see more of the other side of this issue than pedestrians. See how I changed your wording?

    In chicago where I frequent, for example, pedestrians are DELIBERATELY blind of cars, in fact the only thing worse is bikers (who do not follow any signals, be it red or green).

    the only pedestrians who acknowledge cars are the ones that look at them and realize they are there. Plenty do this accidentally, but many don't. When a car has a green pedestrians are not supposed to cross. Meanwhile, guess who is more likely to get tickets for not following the light properly? Is it pedestrians, or cars? Oh right, it's cars.

    Red light cameras don't affect pedestrian safety. Sad but true, it's really about more than that.

    You should try to pay more attention to the concept of "look before you leap" or you know, looking both ways before crossing? haven't you heard of that as a kid? or did you just assume the millisecond the light is red for the perpendicular direction that you should automatically be safe to walk, without checking if there are cars going by?

     

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    John Mc (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    easy sparky

    Easy Designerfx. I didn't call all drivers bad, so don't call all pedestrians bad. If traffic has a RED light and I have a clear walk signal, and then a car races through the intersection at 40 mph to blow through the stale red light, it's certainly not the pedestrians fault.

    The larger question - which, if any, is more likely to get a driver to change their behavior - a human officer with a ticket on the spot, or a camera which punishes you days/weeks later??


    Steelwolf - my opening statement was more addressing the fact that most print and TV reports on red light cameras discuss only drivers and tickets - never pedestrian safety. Even this article (while only just a news update) only talked about cars and fairness to drivers - no mention of ped safety...

     

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    NullOp, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:08am

    Safety

    Who in Hell ever argued the cameras would increase the public safety. To me, and I think a lot of others, the game is revenue, revenue, revenue. This is ALWAYS true. When a city/town approves new appartment complexes or annexes land, it not to provide better housing its to increase the tax base. We are all being milked by these people we elected. Actually I've urged people to stop voting as it only encourages them but that's another issue. The city governments will almost always act in an illegal manner when it serves their purpose. Duh!

     

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    Haapi, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Cameras could be made to work for safety.

    In Minnesota, the cameras were effective in improving safety, but the law was thrown out because "the camera couldn't prove it was the owner driving the vehicle". What crap. Nothing ever proved it was me leaving my car to get a parking ticket either.

    A statute that prevented "revenue roulette" by stating the parameters in which cameras can be used, regulated by the same folks that declare your gas pumps to be accurate, might be acceptable. I, too, agree that running red lights has become way too common.

    Also, a statute could be written such that it takes 'n' (n > 1) camera offenses before it becomes "points" on your record. That would take some of the subjectivity out of the debate.

     

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    AC's long lost brother, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Re: Cameras could be made to work for safety.

    I moved to the Philadelphia area from Seattle and still I follow the seattle news. the law in Seattle was clearly written so that if a camera issues the ticket, it is NOT a moving violation, but considered a parking violation. that means no points and it can only affect insurance if you fail to pay the fine. The battle they are fighting right now is wheter the fine ($124) is too high as the law also states that since it was not issued by an officer, it can only be fined as a parking offense.

    My personal view is that putting timer at the light that indicates how long it will be legal to pass through the intersection would help tremendously for safety. I have always held that if a department has a line item in their budget for tickets, then they will do whatever they can to beat that revenue goal. Studies have also shown that departments who rely on ticket revenue spend more time devising ways to increase revenue than they do protecting the public they purport to serve...

     

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    EdT, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:28am

    cameras at red lights

    so, why is a municipality required to announce where a camera to be located... it's a violation to "run" a red light... everyone, me included, is sick-and-tired of drivers running red lights, not yellow's; agree, the yellow light time should be standardized

     

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    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: easy sparky

    my opening statement was more addressing the fact that most print and TV reports on red light cameras discuss only drivers and tickets - never pedestrian safety. Even this article (while only just a news update) only talked about cars and fairness to drivers - no mention of ped safety...

    That's because traffic camera's have absolutely nothing to do with safety, pedestrian or otherwise. That's the whole point here.

     

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    EdT, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    running a red light

    blah, blah, blah... a car runs a red light, the registered owner gets a ticket... use cameras at every red light, if needed... no one has posted anything about the violent accidents due to running a red light which cost tons of $$$ for police, EMT's, hospital cost, missed work, etc... oh geez, everyone will have med insurance, so, who cares... I DO...

     

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    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: cameras at red lights

    everyone, me included, is sick-and-tired of drivers running red lights, not yellow's;

    Really? Because I'm not included in this group because I NEVER see anyone run red lights. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've seen someone run a red in my life. Where is it you people live that you make it out to seem like 50% of the drivers are running red lights?!

     

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    Jrosen (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Kudos

    To the judge for actually having a brain with at least a few ounces of common sense, and two brain-cells to rub together.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:44am

    John Mc,

    Crosswalk indicators do not turn White (Go) until the parallel light has turned green. How do people running red lights then endanger you as a pedestrian? You shouldn't be in the crosswalk of a street where the lights are ever green or yellow.

    Try again...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: not so clear

    "In chicago where I frequent, for example, pedestrians are DELIBERATELY blind of cars, in fact the only thing worse is bikers (who do not follow any signals, be it red or green)."

    I'm going to go ahead and assume you're not including Chicago cabs in that equation, becaue HOLY SHIT are they psycho. Also, most of the bikers you see acting like cock-gobblers are the messengers, otherwise known as the bike equivalent of taxis.

    As to the rest of your point, spot on. There is apparently something wrong with Chicago's populace in that they clearly never were taught how to WALK. It's stunning how people just blindly go about getting from point A to B in whatever way they deem necessary. Jay walking in front of cars? No big deal. Having an entire sidewalk FILLED with people all going west and leaving no room for those going east? Fuck those west-going fucks, I've got to get to the El Dammit.

    I've often thought about starting a blog called "New Rules For Chicago" in which me and a few others declare ourselves kings and make a series of decrees that are essentilly just rants about the stupid shit we see people do.

    But then I realized: who the hell would want to listen to me just blast random people?

     

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    Sheinen, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    As a motorcyclist I have a more legitimate view on this than anyone else - ok thats bollox, but it does give me a slightly different perspective.

    My journey to work is fraught with traffic lights. I mean there are 3 sets in a 1.5mile stretch! The one thing I can note from the multiple thousands of times I've gone through these is that it doesn't matter who you are, pedestrian, car driver, biker, cyclist, squirrel, you don't give a shit.

    The general Public, that means you and me, are completely fucking stupid but insist on blaming everyone else, pedestrians step out when they shouldn't, cars run red's, bikers stop in the middle of the walkway, cyclists don't even look...

    If the police is going to use the general thick-headedness of the public against them it's their own dumbass thought for refusing to admit responsibility for anything they do!

    Now I'm off to do the 90mph I have to to get through all of these lights before they each turn a 5 minute ride in to a 15 minute one, and it's all your fault!

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: running a red light

    "blah, blah, blah"

    My, what an apt way to begin a bullshit post.

    "a car runs a red light, the registered owner gets a ticket"

    ...yeah, and?

    "use cameras at every red light, if needed"

    Agreed. Fortunately, based on every measurable statistic, they're not needed. So we agree, there should be no red light cameras.

    "no one has posted anything about the violent accidents due to running a red light which cost tons of $$$ for police, EMT's, hospital cost, missed work, etc"

    Well, that's because red light cameras, when operated properly, have never been shown to keep any of that from happening. And when the city decreases yellow light time, it actually makes the cameras a HAZARD, increasing the liklihood of the problems you just mentioned. Or haven't you been paying attention?

    "oh geez, everyone will have med insurance, so, who cares... I DO"

    Well, that's kind of a separate issue, but suffice it to say that Obama's health plan is NOT going to pass as is. Nationalized healthcare ain't gonna happen. Nor should it, IMHO.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: cameras at red lights

    I live and work near Boston, MA, and I always see two "types" of red light running. People who run a "just turned" red light, and people who make a right turn on red when it's posted that they are not allowed.

    I can't say I've ever seen someone just blow through a red light that hasn't just turned red, but I've seen *a lot* of the two former types..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re: easy sparky

    There are plenty of reports showing that red light cameras increase accidents at intersections. I am not sure where any of your comments are going right now but I think you are confused.

     

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    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: not so clear

    But then I realized: who the hell would want to listen to me just blast random people?

    I would

     

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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: not so clear

    I second this.

     

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    If you are dead John, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: easy sparky

    who cares if you had the right of way.

     

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    John Mc (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: cameras at red lights

    An intersection right by my office (which I cross to do work) I'd say 80% of red lights get run by someone dashing through at the last minute. Then again, this is MA. :)

     

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    DJ (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: easy sparky

    "then a car races through the intersection at 40 mph to blow through the stale red light, it's certainly not the pedestrians fault."

    If you started walking without looking, and that car hits you, they may get a ticket, but you're dead. Who lost?

     

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    DJ (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    More to the point, you shouldn't ever be in a crosswalk without first making sure that no one is about to run the light, thereby physically endangering you.

     

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    Joe, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: not so clear

    "In most states a yellow light means 'stop' (unless you cannot stop). "

    LMAO, yellow means "Caution" in EVERY state......

     

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    snowburn14, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: cameras at red lights

    " can count on one hand the amount of times I've seen someone run a red in my life. Where is it you people live that you make it out to seem like 50% of the drivers are running red lights?!"

    Take a half hour tour of downtown Boston during rush hour, and see how many hands it takes afterwards...

    I have to side with the pedestrians on this, for the most part - the shortening of the yellow light time is wrong no matter what side you're on, so that does need to be fixed. Otherwise though, I'd be glad to see cameras at EVERY intersection, or at least have everyone assume they were. For those who think it has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with revenue...how often do you think people would continue running red lights if it was costing them $5k a year in tickets and insurance premiums?

     

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    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: cameras at red lights

    Well that's three people in a row from Boston and/or MA. Guess that says a lot about people who choose to live there.

     

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    Lee, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: cameras at red lights

    Yep. People from Boston like to leave coments.

     

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    Ben, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: not so clear

    In San Francisco we have people who will actually jump/stumble/stagger DELIBERATELY in front of cars so that they can sue, sue, sue and so buy more rental property in the city!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re: easy sparky

    Traffic cameras simply highlight a problem with all traffic enforcement: citizens never stand a chance. Any police officer could ticket you for any number of moving violations, whether or not you committed them or not, and you'd stand no chance of escaping the fine. The law is always right.

    The difference is, politicians can only encourage officers to write bullshit tickets indirectly, whether by use of an unofficial "quota system", or simply an understanding that "officers who don't write tickets must not be doing their jobs properly." A camera system, on the other hand, obeys orders very well, and politicians can't resist the free spigot of dollars.

     

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    John Mc (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: not so clear

    LMAO, yellow means "Caution" in EVERY state...... Read your state manual. Massachusetts has the following.. "A steady yellow light means the traffic signal is changing from green to red. You must stop if it is safe to do so."

     

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    Lawless, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Safety

    You should live near the small town that I live next to. They decided a while back that they don't need police. As a result we have people cutting through parking lots, speeding like crazy, running stop signs. It's a real adventure crossing streets etc.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: running a red light

    No one has mentioned anything about the red light accidents because it's been shown that red light cameras do little to reduce accidents overall.

    When red light cameras get installed, there is a slight decrease in t-bone accidents from cross-traffic, but generally an increase in rear-end collisions when someone unsafely slams on the brakes at a yellow light to avoid a red-light camera induced ticket.

    And then when revenues fall from the cameras, politicians/police shorten the length of the yellow lights, thus resulting in an increase in red-light offenses.

    That's been the repeated pattern in Texas, North Carolina, now California, and a handful of other mid-west & western states.

    If you truly are concerned about reducing accidents, saving all that money you mentioned, then insist that they REMOVE every red-light camera, and institute a mandatory 3-second all-red time where all lights in the intersection are red to allow any lingering cars time to remove themselves from the intersection. If safety is priority #1, then traffic enforcement is a priority >1, and allowing law breakers time to get out of the way of cross-traffic would be a higher priority than giving them a ticket.

    Red light cameras put traffic enforcement at a priority greater than safety, placing ticket revenue generation above accident prevention. So, by encouraging red light cameras, particularly at every intersection, you are saying your priorities are #1 traffic violation ticket generation, and #2 or greater is safety.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Safety

    "You should live near the small town that I live next to. They decided a while back that they don't need police. As a result we have people cutting through parking lots, speeding like crazy, running stop signs. It's a real adventure crossing streets etc."

    That is a very, VERY stupid town.

    More to the point, those that choose to live AROUND that town are equally stupid.

     

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Re: not so clear

    In most states a yellow light means 'stop' (unless you cannot stop).

    Texas Transportation Code ยง544.007. Traffic-control signals in general.

    (e) An operator of a vehicle facing a steady yellow signal is warned by that signal that:

    (1) movement authorized by a green signal is being terminated; or

    (2) a red signal is to be given.

    There's at least one state where a yellow light doesn't mean anything but a red light is about happen. It is not illegal to enter an intersection on yellow in Texas at all.

     

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: easy sparky

    Are you insane?

    Any police officer could ticket you for any number of moving violations, whether or not you committed them or not, and you'd stand no chance of escaping the fine.

    It's easy to get out of tickets if you aren't a jerk to the officer first, the prosecutor second, and the judge third. If you are an ass like you show in your post above then sure you don't stand a change but that's your own fault.

    First and foremost if the officer doesn't show up for court then you will automatically be found no guilty. Secondly if you can prove you didn't have a headlight out on your care (or any other random malfunction) at the time you were given a ticket for it then you will be found no guilty. Hell in Texas if your inspection is out you can just go get your car inspected within ten days of getting a ticket then you get found no guilty and pay a few dollars for the paperwork. I admit I don't know much about other stated but here in Houston, TX most judges work with you easily.

     

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    Jeff, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    I'm so amped. I drive through santa ana all the time to get to work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: easy sparky

    You seem to share the common misconception that attending court is some sort of major hassle for police officers that they would rather just blow off. On the contrary, officers get paid overtime for court appearances, and thus have an incentive to write more tickets.

    I didn't say anything about having a headlamp out or having an expired tag. I said moving violations. As a police officer I can pull you over, tell you that you were speeding (whether you were or not), write you a ticket, and you will almost certainly have to pay it. Refute that, please.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: easy sparky

    "As a police officer I can pull you over, tell you that you were speeding (whether you were or not), write you a ticket, and you will almost certainly have to pay it. Refute that, please."

    Ok, you've lost it. If by "refute that" you mean show you physical evidence that PROVES you wrong, well no, no one can do that. Nor, by the way, can YOU do so for YOUR point. It's sort of like if you said: God exhists, prove he doesn't.

    Now, on to why you're retarded.

    A. Anyone with half a decent defense lawyer can get their clients out of improper tickets ALL THE TIME. I've personally been one of those people. I had an idiotic donut-muncher who couldn't read my license write me a ticket, amongst others, for curfew violation when I was 19. It got tossed. Why? Because he was a moron and the ticket was improper.

    B. There are advocacy groups that exhist, particularly in the poorer neighborhoods, SOLELY to advocate against police abuse. They are THRILLED to saddle up one of their lawyers against police abusing their authority, and they REGULARLY win. For shitty but well-known examples, see Jesse Jackson and/or Al Sharpton.

    C. One of the regular comlaints out of the Police sty-...er, Department, is that criminals get off on tickets and arrests on technicalities: the street name wasn't spelled correctly, the wrong box was checked, etc.

    I could go on, but I'm tired of writing as to why you're stupid. Are you a police oinker? I can see you being one. Some of the Chicago cops I know are equally misinformed about their power. The real reason that these fucktards OFTEN get away with this shit is that people refuse to fight.

    Bring that shit on, corrupt little piggies. This big bad wolf is on extremely friendly terms with several defense lawyers....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    I'm surprised that gang bangers haven't gratified all over the lenses of these cameras (not that I encourage it). I could imagine the city getting one of those high powered graffiti remover hoses and spraying one of those cameras and destroying it to pieces.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: easy sparky

    "I didn't say anything about having a headlamp out or having an expired tag. I said moving violations. As a police officer I can pull you over, tell you that you were speeding (whether you were or not), write you a ticket, and you will almost certainly have to pay it. Refute that, please."

    You almost sound like you've done this before.

     

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    spuffler, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: not so clear

    As for you being a pedestrian, you have to remember that just because a light turned yellow, that does not imply the driver was already looking at the light with his foot over the brake pedal. The driver might be watching the impatient pedestrian(s) to see if the peds are going to try to get a jump on their walk light.That means the driver is looking at the street corner, NOT the light.

    A] City administrators need to understand that if vehicle operators slam on the vehicle brakes to a full skid and come to a complete stop in the exact middle of the intersection, we can't just STAY right there until the next green light (and usually the middle of an intersection has zero visibility to the traffic lights); we also can't back up to that side of the intersection where we should have stopped because vehicle #2 is sitting there right now, so any cop seeing vehicles come skidding and screeching to a stop in the middle of an intersection will EXPECT the vehicle to move out of the way and not block traffic. Many states have laws regarding exactly this manner of impeding the flow of traffic.


    B] Pedestrians - do your part: press the walk button, wait for YOUR light, don't step off the curb, then back up then step off again, turn sideways, and begin to walk parallel to the flow of traffic that you are crossing. Just stand still so we know you won't trip over the curb. Also, have respect for the laws of physics that spell out how most vehicles traveling at 30 MPH simply cannot stop completely within the distance of many intersections, and the vehicles NEVER can stop at the stop line when the brakes are applied at that same stop line.


    As a vehicle operator, I've seen short yellow lights and despise them. I feel that ideally, each traffic light should be of a duration that assumes we are behind a tall truck and thus cannot see the lights 30 seconds ahead of time, then, the yellow duration should be 2 times the duration needed for a vehicle traveling at the posted velocity to cross from one stop line to the further stop line, and then MAYBE a tenth or two more because 30 posted is usually 35 on the speedometer. The object is safety for all parties, not just revenues, not just pedestrian rights.

    If a car is travelling so fast that the lights need to get beyond that amount of grace time, then get the radar guns out.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Robert Neighbors, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    Red Light

    To protect & serve. Yeah Right! Serve themselve`s, that`s who is being served. Why do you think back in the late 60`s, and 70`s, their nick name was PIG`S. Now you know why

     

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  46.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Safety

    > That is a very, VERY stupid town.

    I love this. In one post, you do everything you can to insult the police, calling them all "corrupt little piggies" and the like, then in this one, you say that the town which got rid of its cops is very stupid for doing so.

    You seem to be one of those types that hates the cops until you suddenly need one, then you can't do without them.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Jason, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 4:26pm

    Re: easy sparky

    John, pedestrian safety is a dead horse on this topic. Stats overwhelmingly show that cameras and camera based ticketing doesn't stop people from running red lights.

    Longer yellows, on the other hand, HAVE been shown to reduce this behavior. So what does this city do? Lengthen the time on yellow lights?

    No, eff the peds, it's not about the yellow. It's all about the green.

     

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  48.  
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    Thomas (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    not for safety

    red light cameras are all about making money on tickets, they have nothing to do with safety. If it was connected with safety, why would they shorten the yellow lights, which makes accidents more likely? they just see it as money, not safety. It's not about the cops, it's about the government that puts up the cameras.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Zacaryn, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re: not for safety

    Some of the worst things have happened with the best of intentions. This isn't the worst, but it's intentions do seam unclear. The issue is...

    People are stupid (all of the time or just some of the time, that's the only inconsistency), eventually ALL of us will or will have done a stupid thing (in my case that's plural, at least I'm honest). It is about revenue, but who (meaning the voters) would buy that!? The voters bought the "pitch" of how it's about safety, but the fact of the matter remains the same...

    Think about this: Why would any city (in America, excluding socialist nations of course) employ such a program without rendering compensation (i.e. money). It's just a bonus that it's a little safer than the old "wild, wild west" days of blowing red lights. Now, city's with red light camera programs, the people are more conscientious of their "wallet". It really is about money, but it doesn't hurt saving a few lives in the process, huh!?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    I already came up with a solution to the safety issue and I already refuted counter arguments.


    here

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090706/0218435453.shtml
    (Jul 7th, 2009 @ 10:19pm)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Ed, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    red light cams

    If it was really about safety all that would have to be done would to recalibrate the lights to allow for a 4 second transition delay from red one direction to green the other. How simple that would be and it would result in less accidents and would cost virtually nothing.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    enigmaforever, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Redflex cameras across the nation have had a strange virus which causes the traffic light they are at to shorten the time of the yellow usually to the 3 seconds required by federal law, but well below university study recommendations of 4.5. This does allow much more revenue for Redflex, and the cities, so when they say it is for safety, that is just a load of b.s.,.
    MPH Reaction Time Stopping Distance Total Distance
    40 mph 44 feet 81 feet 125 feet
    Where Redflex cameras have shorten the yellow will someday kill if in fact they have not already done so. This is a company that touts safety but in fact many of their actions show that they care a whole lot more about revenue than protecting citizens.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Safety

    I thought I was pretty clear. If not, let me try to wrap it up in a single sentence:

    Corrupt cops deserve to get shot on the job, honest cops are heroes.

    Got it? That's why I put qualifiers on to whom I'm directing my anger.

    I suggest reviewing the rules on English. It's a fun language, with lots of oddities. Qualifiers is probably where I'd suggest you start.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re:

    You know what makes me the most upset. That our corrupt mainstream media is so corrupt that they ONLY cover one side of the issue, they hardly ever cover the opposing sides and the facts and such. They would be quick to spit out anything that may suggest laws that channel money away from you is good for society (ie: under the pretext of safety) but they will completely ignore things like the fact that cities are lowering yellow light timespans which only increases accident rates and that there is substantial evidence that this is about revenue. Why aren't the people rebelling against this media and the government that grants our media exclusive authority over the bandwidth (and that grants cable companies monopolies so they exclusively choose who consumes the bandwidth). They are blocking the distribution of very important information to the general public and it's very sad because then the general public just gets brainwashed into lies. Why aren't we working to overturn this nonsense.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    (continuing off my last rant) I guess the problem is that the first step into getting people to submit to tyranny and lies is to keep them mostly ignorant and they are doing a great job at it. I don't watch mainstream media much but when I do it becomes very apparent that they are only presenting certain issues and that much of that even seems staged. They pretend to ask the tough questions but they leave out a lot of important arguments from certain sides in a way that favor rich and powerful entities. It's almost like they want to sell me their position while leaving out opposing positions. It's so sickening that I stop watching mainstream media because its purpose is not to inform us but to indoctrinate us. And it's our government that has made it easy to do by granting cable companies monopolies and by the FCC controlling the airwaves and restricting who gets to use what airwaves as if we delegated the authority for them to control the airwaves with the intent of them acting for private interests at public expense.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: not so clear

    Third.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: not so clear

    At 4 seconds or less, it is neither safe to stop (sudden stop causing the guy following you to rear-end you) nor to continue through (T-bone collision likely).

    Also, the all-red pause is a safety feature to ALLOW for the times when it is NOT "safe to do so" and a car proceeds through the light. It's not the same as "accepting" that people are going to run reds deliberately.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    I agree with you!!! I am 39 yrs old and have never received a ticket. My husband called me at work today to inform me about the $100.00 ticket I got in the mail for not making a complete stop during a right turn, but instead a "pause". Come on people this is a COMPLETE money making scam and for those of you who feel this is truely for the safety for others- WAKE-UP!!!

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Shagata Ganai, Aug 16th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    Re: not so clear

    As a former cab driver with six years and ~250,000 miles, I can say I know your type. There used to be a commercial back in the day that said "You could be right. Dead right." Yup there sure are a lot of crappy drivers out there, but a pedestrian will lose every single confrontation. So chill, let the motorized asshats do their thing, and stay safe.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: easy sparky

    I have had a bit of experience with red light runners of late and can easily say that cameras are not the answer to the problem at all. Cameras won't stop people from blowing through red lights talking on the phone or arguing with the wife. Nor will they impact the drunk or drug addict.

    The reality is the problem is serious and getting far worst in the last couple of years. Thus I really think the only possible solution is behaviour modification, ideally immediately after the incident. Fortunately the cops have the perfect device for this in tazers. Everytime one of these idiots blows through a red light they need to be run downed and immediately tazered to within an inch of their life. If a few die then to hell with them. Either way you are effectively dealling with some of the most ignorant people in the community.


    Dave

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Drew, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Re: easy sparky

    I agree that there are bad drivers out there, but traffic cameras aren't the answer. They're a way to make revenue.

    And pedestrians have just as much responsibility crossing a road as drivers do. Everyone is at fault when an accident involving a pedestrian occurs.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    nd, Nov 13th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    I think I just got a ticket today in SF from a red light camera. I had a huge truck in front of me and couldn't see the signal. When I got to the intersection I was going 30 and it flipped red, I gunned it (I know dangerous) but I couldn't slam the brakes or else I'd guarantee an accident.

    Sucks...not really sure what to do about it. I am hoping the back camera will show the truck that was in front of me, but here I was trying to do the right thing and it all happens quite fast.

    Wish I had been pulled over by a cop so I could have another opinion as opposed to a blind judgment by a camera that can't comprehend circumstances.

    I'll probably try to traffic school option, but I do want to at least say sometimes people run reds for circumstances they can control only so much.

     

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  63.  
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    SanDiegoDriver, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Photo ticket in Poway for making right turn

    I just got two tickets for making right turn into an empty street. Yes, I slowed down without stopping at the intersecton, but this was a right turn that is still legal in California. The biggest thing that really pisses me off is the ABUSIVE amount of the fine for this minor infraction: $488! Why is this infraction so costly? Why is the amount the same as running the red light going straight thru the intersection? Why not put people in jail for jaywalking and giving them 2 year sentence for spitting on the side walk? Or how about taking away a house for littering on the street?? Isn't there some kind of "common sense" in how greedy these cities can be allowed to be before it becomes absurd??

    Cameras SUCK!

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Brentwood Driver, Feb 25th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    Re: Photo ticket in Poway for making right turn

    "but this was a right turn that is still legal in California"

    Are you trying to say it's legal in CA to make a right turn at a red light without stopping? You absolutely do have to stop completely behind the crosswalk before proceeding

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2010 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: cameras at red lights

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: running a red light

    YES

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    PowayDriver, May 21st, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Photo ticket in Poway for making right turn

    I just got busted in Poway - maybe in the same intersection for turning right on red. I DID stop completely, but it was in the crosswalk not behind it. I called the Sheriff's office at the number on the citation and the person on the other end treated me like a common criminal. I haven't had a traffic ticket in 20 years! I see people making rolling right turns every day and I get busted by a stupid camera for stopping in the crosswalk! If the fine is as high as you mention, I will either fight it or will refuse to do business in Poway until the money is "repaid".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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