Study: Better Alternatives To Red Light Scameras — Increase Yellow Time

from the who-needs-facts? dept

Bob Dole writes “Sometimes technology creates problems in search of a solution. As regular readers know, yellow signal timing is closely related to red-light running. A recent study by the Texas Transportation Institute shows just how essential it can be. The researchers found that adding one second to the current ITE formula for yellow signal timing yielded a 40% reduction in crashes, but shortening the timing by one second caused violations to skyrocket 110%. A few years ago a congressman named Dick Armey compared the old, pre-camera timing formula to the current one and argued that engineers had jiggered the variables so that the new equation would yield one second less yellow time, making cameras more profitable. It worked — except it also made our roads far more dangerous. “

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Comments on “Study: Better Alternatives To Red Light Scameras — Increase Yellow Time”

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Joe Schmoe says:

No Subject Given

Not once in that article did Mr. Dixon touch on the fact that it is DRM that is holding back sales, not price.

I invite you all to join me in sending a response back to the editor (if you agree with me that is). I’ve sent mine…

They can drop the price to a penny per song and I still won’t be interested in music files that dictate when and on what ordained player I may listen to what I’ve payed for…

Beck says:

Key Point

I think this is a key point that I haven’t seen mentioned before:

The study also found that the vast majority of red light camera tickets are issued within the first second a light is red — in fact, the average ticket is issued when the light has been red for half a second or less. Yet right-angle crashes, which account for the majority of red-light related collisions, “with one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 seconds or more of red” (5-16). In other words, tickets are being issued primarily for split-second violations where collisions are not occurring.

Big Brother says:

Re: Key Point

Increase yellow time? Ridiculous! How would they make any money then? They need to Decrease yellow time so it becomes impossable to stop. Then they could ticket everyone and maximize the income from red-light cameras. Increasing the dwell time (all lights red) should hold the carnage down to acceptable levels. If you think these cameras are about safety or law enforcement, think again. Its (always) all about the money. And NO, I haven’t been ticketed by one of these.

Phibian says:

Re: Key Point

Here in Ottawa, we have red in all directions at intersections for a second or so. We also have one of the highest rates of red light runners – people have figured out that it is “relatively safe” to run the light. Which is fine, except that people don’t think “I should stop if I can safely” when they see the yellow light – they think “Can I make it through the intersection?”

Most of the time, they will get away with it. But it is dangerous and anti-social behaviour caused by thinking more about your own convenience than about those around you.

The fact of the matter is – no one has any business being in the intersection at all when the light is red. “split-second” violation or not – the fact is that you should be stopping when you see the yellow light. So if you actually are in the intersection when it is red, you’ve already had several seconds where you should’ve been stopping.

Red light cameras may be somewhat arbitrary, but they do seem to modify driver behaviour (we have one at a formerly dangerous intersection just up the road – it’s still not exactly safe, but the accident rate dropped and it is now possible to cross the street without taking your life into your hands)

And yes, I feel this way in part because a red light runner totalled my car (luckily not me).
I think far too many people think about how it was only a “split-second violation” and a collision didn’t occur so it isn’t actually serious. This is the same reason some people think that it is “okay” to drive while impaired.

You shouldn’t need to seriously injure someone (or worse) before gaining a little consideration for those around you.

David Ferguson says:

Red light running

I’m sorry to burst the bubble on such a grand study but if you lengthen then timing on the yellow light, it will in no way reduce red light running. Most red light runners will run the light anyway, and the added time on yellow will only confuse them when confronted with other yellow lights that are not as long.

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