Yet Another Study Shows Red Light Cameras Cause More Accidents And Aren't Needed

from the it's-all-about-the-money dept

Over and over again, we've seen studies that have shown that red light cameras tend to increase, not decrease auto accidents, and certainly don't do much to improve safety. The Agitator points us to yet another study, this time from researchers at the University of South Florida, who again point out that red light cameras tend to increase the number of accidents. The research also points out that accidents from running red lights are rather rare, and it's hardly a problem that requires automation. As for the few studies that have shown better safety from red light cameras, every single one came from a group poised to make money off of the cameras -- and they certainly do make money. It's just unfortunate that it seems to come at the expense of more car accidents, all in the bogus name of public safety. Update: Of course, just after publishing this, I see a story on Engadget about how Dallas has found that red light cameras are effective in preventing red light violations (no word on rear end collisions from people slamming on the brakes however). Yet, here's the irony: because of that, the city gov't doesn't want to install any more, as it's cutting into revenue.


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  1.  
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    Dave Zawislak, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 12:45pm

    re:Update - I may be cynical but, ...

    I always thought the red light cameras were about revenue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    So you point out that red light cameras are only there to generate money and then you note how it actually reduces revenue?

    How does that work? Isn't that kind of like talking out of both sides of your mouth?

     

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    Rob, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 12:58pm

    Irony in Tampa

    The story gets better. USF, the university that conducted this study, is located in Tampa Florida. Last week when the results of this study hit the news is the same week that Tampa decided to start installing the red light cameras.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    So you point out that red light cameras are only there to generate money and then you note how it actually reduces revenue?

    If you read the post, you'd see that I added that second part later. But, you know, you've never been a big fan of facts.

    Besides, if you took the time to think about it, rather than using this as yet another excuse to trash us, you'd see that this actually does prove that it is all about revenue. Dallas installed them hoping to increase revenue, like other places found. Now that it's discovered it doesn't increase revenue, it's holding off the program.

    So despite your weak attempt at trashing us, a basic reading of the post (even with the update) doesn't change the point.

     

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    Bill Curnow, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Dallas may love Red Light Cameras, but here in Lubbock (just a tad West of Dallas) we ripped them out after only six months. The reason? The accident rate at RLC-equipped intersections skyrocketed. Oh, and turns out the great State of Texas forgot to impose penalties for failing to pay RLC-based tickets so very little revenue was actually raised.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re:

    That is a lot of hate, Mike.

     

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    Zaide, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    lol@post 2

    Post 2 was/is funny. Of course it's always been about revenue. The article did make it clear that as people stopped running read lights due to cameras, revenue decreased, and, in turn, the program was dropped. Regardless, it's things like this (camera reports 'n' whatnot) that show us what kind of country we "actually" live in.

     

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    Alimas, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Wow, usually your much more restrained.
    Get up on the wrong side of the blog today?

     

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    Noah Callaway, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    "So you point out that red light cameras are only there to generate money and then you note how it actually reduces revenue?"

    Anonymous, you have certainly caught Mike in a direct contradiction. Unless, of course, the city government decides to back off the program because the revenue they expected isn't there. Which is kind of what his update says.

    I haven't seen the story on Engadget, but what Mike wrote is at the very least internally consistent.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Logic is not a strong point of yours.

    For the most part, red light cameras are all about generating revenue. They are typically installed not at intersections that experience red-light accidents, but intersections that experience the highest amount of red-light violations. They are sold to public as improving safety, but are installed in locations that generate lots of revenue.

    Now, when a municipality finds that the red light cameras reduce accidents (who knows, maybe Dallas actually installed the cameras at the most dangerous intersections), they are thinking of removing them because they generate less revenue. So again, it's no about safety but about revenue.

     

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    AG (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:55pm

    The District of Columbia model

    I apologize that I have not read the study or articles cited in this post, but thought I would add another angle that I recall reading a few years ago about Washington D.C.'s early implementation of red light cameras.

    Apparently, the manufacturer of the red light cameras was happy to install them for the cash-strapped city at a discount in exchange for a percentage of the red-light ticket fees collected. Then someone (a city council member, perhaps?) pointed out that if the purpose of these devices is to reduce the amount of red-light running, why should the manufacturer get rewarded by their products' failing to do their job?

    Arguably a camera manufacturer that is being paid by the ticket would be more inclined to make the cameras harder to notice by drivers, or even cheat by somehow "catching" people who were not actually running the light. Come to think of it, why are these cameras always camouflaged? Shouldn't they be bright orange to make drivers more aware of their presence and less likely to run the light? (Yes, I am saying this with tongue in cheek. Revenue enhancement through "enforcement" of driving laws has been around as long as there have been cars and public roads, and I've got a few speeding tickets from small town cops to prove it.)

    I always thought the D.C. case was an interesting semi-paradox, or at least a great example of private industry profiting off of local law enforcement.

     

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    Darrall, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Anonymous Coward

    The making money is referring to making money off the sale of equipment.

     

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    The OTHER side of the story, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    While there certainly will be an increase in MINOR rear end collisions, the goal for RLC's is to dramatically reduce the catestrophic side impact/head on collisions at red lights. If people would just STOP at a red light, then we would have nothing to worry about. But they don't, and get mad when they've been busted. The simple way to avoid a RLC ticket? STOP. It's that simple folks.

     

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    matt, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: the other side from someone who doesn't think

    You know, some people are already in an intersection when it is green, so it already turns red.

    So if you want people stopping at a GREEN light at an intersection due to red light cameras (and the enormous traffic buildup that ensues/accident risk created from traffic/enraged drivers) be my guest. I'd rather that people stop believing that somehow ticketing people for more garbage is more safe...its like douple plus ungood logic.

     

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    The OTHER side of the story, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

    Re: The District of Columbia model

    In California, there are more signs than you can shake a stick at warning of RLC intersections. Every camera system that is sold today comes with the ability for offenders to watch their violation via web based video. Again, there's all kind of hystaria about City's doing it to make money, but you can have the last laugh and deny City's their revenue by just STOPPING at a red light...pretty simple huh?

     

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    The OTHER side of the story, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: the other side from someone who doesn't th

    It is against the law in California to block an intersection regardless of whether the light is green when you enter it or not, and I suspect it's the same across the Country. So your argument fails. If the intersection is blocked, you are supposed to wait at the limit line until you can proceed all the way through the interesection.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    lmao...

    So, some jackass is following too close, slams into another jackass who can't tell the difference between a yellow and a red, and it's the *cameras* fault?

    OMFG!!

    What will they come up with next? Has it really gotten this bad? Can no-one take responsibility for their own actions any more? What the hell happened to personal responsibility and integrity?

     

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  18.  
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    CowHerd, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    Keep the cameras up. There's a slight chance it will cut some flotsam from the gene-pool.

    Any idiot that can't break for a yellow, or has to slam for a red shouldn't be on the roads anyway. They teach you what to do based on the colors of the lights in Driver's Ed, people.

    It's really not that hard.

    *laughing*

    Definitely worth it. Put more up. Keep 'em coming. At the very least it should provide entertainment during lunch breaks.

     

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  19.  
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    Senottor Tubes™, Crater of LAw, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:23pm

    What do you people have against web cams in the red light district?

    Oops, wrong forum again. :-/

     

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  20.  
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    Trevlac, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re:

    That was completely warranted. I hate people who can't understand subtle differences either.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 2:34pm

    Red Ink Cameras

    Ever notice that red-light camera pilot programs seem to coincide with budgetary shortfalls due to poor fiscal planning? Note too that despite huge revenues from these programs, taxes elsewhere aren't reduced and services aren't increased. Hmmmm...

     

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  22.  
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    Clueby4, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:02pm

    Revenue Enhancement

    The lights have nothing to do with safety, there sole purpose is revenue.

    If you think, and I'm being generous with the word think, otherwise then I regret to inform you that you are extremely stupid and may need some type of supervision so you don't hurt yourself.

     

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  23.  
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    Squidly, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:04pm

    Those doing the Studies don't live in my area

    Obviously those doing the studies don't live in...
    Southern California
    Southern Florida
    Western Washington (state, that is)

    I can't speak for the NE U.S. but the general populous in these other areas obviously is NOT getting tested for what the Yellow and Red lights actually mean. In these areas, when your light turns green, you best sit and count to 5, check both ways, and then check both ways again to make sure some D.A. doesn't try and run his light into you!

    While this is not directly related to RLC, an example of the stupidity of drivers in these areas is evident just today as some D.A. in a semi-truck had to stop quickly at an intersection about a mile from my house because the person in front of him decided NOT to run the red light (the trucker was trying to). Hence, the D.A. semi-truck driver got stuck sitting on the rail road tracks right next to the intersection. You see where this is going...Needless to say, my tax dollars have to be spent to clean up the mess and he's in some hospital in critical condition.

    I say leave the cameras up and ones up at every intersection in the country 'cause we might as well earn money off the stupid people. Hopefully the more they fund our government, the less my taxes will go up in the future (Do I believe this? No - but it's a worthwhile dream to have).

    Anyways, just in case people were wondering...

    Red = STOP!!!
    Yellow = STOP!!!!!
    Green = Go...and take your life into your own hands.

    ;-)

    -Dean

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:09pm

    Re:

    What the hell happened to personal responsibility and integrity?

    The liberals and lawyers have all but extinguished it. You will be much better off once the government controls all of that messy stuff anyway.

     

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  25.  
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    Bob, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    There is NO excuse for an accident regardless of whether there is a red light camera. The ONY excuse for an accident is mechanical failure (ie brake line breaks or engine shuts off. Otherwise the SOLE cause of accidents are inattentive or bad drivers. I wish we were allowed to sue for lost time at work every time we are an hour late due to some jackass that doesnt know how to drive. I bet if there was a law that states you cause an accident , you lose your license for life and spend 10 years in jail, there would be a LOT less accidents

     

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  26.  
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    Harry, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:25pm

    I wish EVERY intersection had cameras, then maybe people wouldnt be too lazy to wait through 16 light cycles to make a left turn. I HATE people who wait till the light turns red and THEN make a left because they are too lazy to wait till its safe to turn on green. Dont be so impatient. Is it really that bad to wait through 10 or 12 red light cycles?

     

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    Harry, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 3:30pm

    What is wrong with putting them up even if the sole point is to make money? Laws are written for a REASON. Are you saying that they should just not enforce the law? Its really simple. You dont want a ticket then follow the law. Dont run red lights, speed, fail to use turn signal, etc... You have nothing to worry about if you follow the law. Of course most people break it because they are impatient and LAZY. If only people could be ticketed for impatience and lazyness.

     

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  28.  
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    Jake, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    The problem with red-light cameras, along with automated speed traps, is that they have a lot of power but zero discretion. If a police officer were to witness a car overshoot a red light by a a couple of yards or cross the intersection a bit before they changed to amber, they would have the judgement to make allowances for factors such as road conditions, the level of traffic at the time and so forth in order to determine the appropriate response. A camera can't just give you a sharp look, or pull you over for a dressing-down at the roadside.

     

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  29.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 4:16pm

    Swings & Roundabouts

    It's worth comparing, not the number of accidents with and without red-light cameras, but their consequences. Running a red light can cause side-on collisions and hitting of pedestrians, while stopping too quickly may make a rear-end collision more likely.

    Rear-end collisions are probably some of the least dangerous to have, since they put the maximum amount of car between the people involved.

    Besides which, if you run into something stationary, it's your fault. So the rear-end collision is not the fault of the driver who had to stop at the red light.

     

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    Dave, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 4:17pm

    In Chattanooga

    The revenue is split with the camera companies.I believe it is a 55%/45%. (55% camera company 45% local gov.)

     

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    AG (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    Re:

    Laws regulating traffic are written for a reason, but that reason is not to generate revenue. The rules of the road exist to keep public roads safe for drivers and pedestrians. Fines for infractions should be a deterrent, not a major source of revenue.

    At least the red-light cameras, if properly financed, have the potential to enforce laws at no net cost to the law-abiding taxpayer. Unless the study cited above is correct, and they actually make intersections less safe.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 4:57pm

    When you're right Mike, you're right. Just the other day, I saw this red light camera f'ing smash into a car, it was awesome...Oh wait, you mean dipshits in cars cause accidents and then blame the cameras. These same dipshits cause accidents without the lights, they just used to say a dog or something ran out in front of them.

    Sorry I don't understand sensationalized headlines too well.

     

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  33.  
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    Lex, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 5:17pm

    RE:

    This story sounds like a lot of bitching. not too mention it doesn't seem to make sense. You recently get a ticket somewhere Mike and you a little pissed off maybe? Here's an idea ... follow the rules of the road and don't go through stoplights, then you won't have an accident when the camera goes off!

     

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    Dan, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    Safety.

    Do you think it's about safety?? It's about revenue.

    If accidents went to 0, do you really think they would remove them? No, and No, and Hell No.

    P.S. It wasn't a government idea.... it was a private sector idea sold to the government. The public decided to roll over on the issue... but not asking for justification.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    Oh wait, you mean dipshits in cars cause accidents and then blame the cameras. These same dipshits cause accidents without the lights, they just used to say a dog or something ran out in front of them.

    Nope. That's not it either, but nice try. People who get into accidents aren't blaming the cameras. What's happening is that the number of accidents at many of these cameras is going up, and the only change is the installation of the cameras. That would indicate that, indeed, it is these red light cameras that are causing the accidents.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:05pm

    Re: RE:

    This story sounds like a lot of bitching. not too mention it doesn't seem to make sense.

    Which part doesn't make sense? If you click on the links you can see all the details you want.

    You recently get a ticket somewhere Mike and you a little pissed off maybe?

    Nope. Haven't received a ticket since I was 19.

    Here's an idea ... follow the rules of the road and don't go through stoplights, then you won't have an accident when the camera goes off!

    I do follow the rules and I don't go through stoplights. That's not really, the point, though, is it?

    If these cameras are resulting in more accidents, don't you think that's a problem?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hate? Bullshit. Mike was just setting you/them straight and I don't blame him one bit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: The District of Columbia model

    Again, there's all kind of hystaria about City's doing it to make money, but you can have the last laugh and deny City's their revenue by just STOPPING at a red light...pretty simple huh?
    You seem to have completely missed the point. The point is that they seem to be LYING about the purpose of the cameras. Of course, lying is so accepted by some people that they don't even stop to consider that point even when it endangers public safety.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    Re:

    While there certainly will be an increase in MINOR rear end collisions,...

    A considerable increase, and with injuries to go along with them.

    ...the goal for RLC's is to dramatically reduce the catestrophic side impact/head on collisions at red lights.

    Bull. The goal is to make money. Side impact collisions from running red lights are already infrequent with the result being a net increase in injuries. You sound like some troll for one of the manufacturers. You don't care how many people get hurt as long as you make a buck?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: the other side from someone who doesn'

    It is against the law in California to block an intersection regardless of whether the light is green when you enter it or not, and I suspect it's the same across the Country. So your argument fails. If the intersection is blocked, you are supposed to wait at the limit line until you can proceed all the way through the interesection.

    That still isn't failing to stop for a red light. It's a different offense and issuing a citation in that situation for "failing to stop for a red light" is improper and probably illegal if done knowingly.

    Talk about failing arguments.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 7:09pm

    Re:

    What will they come up with next? Has it really gotten this bad? Can no-one take responsibility for their own actions any more? What the hell happened to personal responsibility and integrity?

    Remind yourself of that when you're roasting in hell for you initialed just before that.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    Re:

    I HATE people who wait till the light turns red and THEN make a left because they are too lazy to wait till its safe to turn on green. Dont be so impatient. Is it really that bad to wait through 10 or 12 red light cycles?

    Your personal likes and hatreds aside, the law allows that in most states. If you weren't aware of that, then perhaps you should consider taking some driver education classes. I know, I teach them.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    If only people could be ticketed for impatience and lazyness.

    Traffic tickets should only written for infractions of the law, not for things that upset you personally.

     

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    FWIW, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 7:22pm

    I agree with Squidley's #23. RIGHT ON.
    We need more RLC's. From what I learned, the ones who take issue with this are the ones running red lights. It's so prevalent in many urban and suburban areas.

    I can't see tax dollars being spent on putting cops on every street corner. That's just not feasible. I think harder enforcement policies might re-educate folks on how to obey traffic signals.

     

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  45.  
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    Gordon Simms, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 8:50pm

    Redlights

    "If these cameras are resulting in more accidents, don't you think that's a problem?"

    It's the CAMERAS causing the accidents? Not the morons driving through the red lights being caught by the cameras and how they react to them? Are you serious? Say that back to yourself and think about it a minute. Sounds pretty stupid doesn't it? That would be because it is stupid. Just like guns don't kill people, people kill people; these cameras aren't the cause of the accidents. The violators who abruptly stop because they are initially breaking the law are causing the accidents.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Redlights

    "If these cameras are resulting in more accidents, don't you think that's a problem?"

    It's the CAMERAS causing the accidents?


    If the end result is more accidents and the only difference is the camera, why do you not consider that a problem? Studies have shown repeatedly that the way to prevent accidents is to (1) increase the length of time for a yellow light and (2) have a pause before the cross traffic light turns green.

    Those are simple solutions that decrease accidents.

    This is not about whether or not people are driving poorly. That's happening no matter what. Why not deal with the reality?

     

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    Bill Samson, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 11:41pm

    Rounabouts and speed cameras

    Roundabouts would solve the problem! On a side note what do you'll think of Speed cameras entirely different issue is it not?

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:47am

    Re:

    From what I learned, the ones who take issue with this are the ones running red lights.

    And just exactly how did you "learn" that? You sound like more like you have some hidden agenda (like maybe a financial interest).

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Redlights

    Studies have shown repeatedly that the way to prevent accidents is to (1) increase the length of time for a yellow light and (2) have a pause before the cross traffic light turns green.

    Yeah, but how does that increase revenues? That's the most important thing.

     

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    Tod, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Don't forget...

    ...that after installing the cameras, the city starts messing with the timing of the yellows. Near downtown Houston, they cut the yellow lights to under a second at and around the camera. (Several blocks over, the yellow is two seconds.)

    That causes a lot of accidents and more tickets.

     

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    FWIW, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    Caneras don't cause accidents period. People cause accidente with negligent (reckless) driving. If someone gets repeatedly caught causing accidents ro running red lights because they weren't monitoring their speed properly. Then there is a finanancial incentive for them to clean up their act. (What a NOVEL idea!!!) Right now, there is absolutely no oversight whatsoever. As a result ppl break the law.

    Really only thing that sounds "stupid" here is that exceptionally lame argument that the cameras are somehow responsible for people driving poorly. C'Mon!

    As for the financial incentive argument. I agree that there is a HUGE issue for others to "game" the system to provide financial gain for the city and for their own camera manufacturing corporation. This part does pose an ongoing problem. Isn't it just as easy for a concerned citizen to capture video on the timing of the lights and run that up to the local news media? Local news channels drool over their little "expose" news pieces.

    I'm less concerned about the light timing issue and more concerned about problem traffic areas where you have to wait a full 3 seconds on a green light just to make sure someone doesn't t-bone you because they are running a red light.

     

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    BTR1701, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re: the other side from someone who doesn'

    > It is against the law in California to block
    > an intersection regardless of whether the light
    > is green when you enter it or not, and I suspect
    > it's the same across the Country.

    You suspect wrong. In Texas, the law allows that if a driver enters an intersection legally, he/she is allowed to leave it legally, regardless of whether the light changes in the meantime.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re:

    Correlation != causality.

    People are idiots. THAT is what is causing the accidents. The cameras just sit there.

    Cameras are NOT the problem.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re:

    ???

    Going to Hell? For expecting responsibility?

    Riiiight.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: RE:

    "If these cameras are resulting in more accidents, don't you think that's a problem?"

    Sure. The second we see a camera fall off the light and hit the cars, we'll blame them.

    Until then, stupid people cause accidents.

     

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  56.  
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    BTR1701, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    Re: Cameras

    That might be true if the speed limit isn't also artificially lowered near the camera (and only near the camera) in order to nail people. New York Avenue in DC is a major thoroughfare (six lanes, eventually turning into the Baltimore-Washington Parkway). The speed limit along most of its length is 45 MPH but for some reason, it drops to 35 right where the camera happens to be. Now there's no school or hospital or tight curve or anything that would make that stretch of road more dangerous and therefore require a drop in speed and consequently, drivers neither expect nor notice the reduction. Now I'm sure you can think of all sorts of rationalizations for this but Occam's Razor and a healthy dose of skepticism for just about anything the DC Government does leads to only one inescapable conclusion: it's all about the $$$.

    These speed cameras are generating millions in revenue for the city and when a politician can raise revenue in those amounts without having to raise taxes on the residents even one dime, you better believe they'll do whatever is necessary to maximize it. For that reason it's also no coincidence that almost all these cameras are placed on commuter routes and not residential/business streets. They do that so that most of the people who are ticketed are residents of Maryland or Virginia, not the District. Maryland and Virginia residents can't vote out a DC politician no matter how mad they get over these cameras so they are safe to prey upon.

    It's nothing but a commuter tax, pure and simple.

     

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  57.  
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    FWIW, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:11am

    And just exactly how did you "learn" that? You sound like more like you have some hidden agenda (like maybe a financial interest).

    Not really. I did a little research on this subject and attended a few court proceedings. I found a correletion with high insurance rates and red-light runners. (go figure). Mind you, it's not professional research.

    Oddly enough, those with the worst traffic records tend to be the most voiciferous when it comes to defending thier poor decision making processes. Also, oddly enough, are the ones with cleaner traffic records who have a tendancy not to argue as much as they should.

    This is all public knowlege you know. I do appreciate your skepticism though.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Going to Hell? For expecting responsibility?

    No, where did you get that idea? Did you bother to read what was initialed before that comment? Reading comprehension isn't your strong suite is it?

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    Not really. I did a little research on this subject and attended a few court proceedings. I found a correletion with high insurance rates and red-light runners. (go figure). Mind you, it's not professional research.
    It sure isn't. In fact, the claim that you learned that "the ones who take issue with this are the ones running red lights" from visiting a court is bullshit. I take issue with red light cameras and your claim that you learned that I run red lights from visiting court is a bald faced lie because I don't. You're just an example of the kind of lying scum that's trying to push these things.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Rob, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 9:37am

    Cameras causing accidents

    Wow, I never imagined that so many people would come out in favor handing over their safety and local law-enforcement to a company that has every incentive to increase the number of citations issued.

    You are correct in a way. The red light cameras do not directly cause accidents any more than one-way signs do. What they do, just like the one-way signs, is influence driver behavior.

    As you approach a traffic light, it turns yellow. In a split second, your mind calculates how to react. Do you have time to safely stop, what are the road and traffic conditions, etc. Once cameras are established at an intersection, people are much more likely to slam on the brakes and get rear-ended.

    Think about that for a second, people who would have otherwise gone safely through an intersection with a yellow light now change their behavior because of the camera. Not due to road conditions, traffic conditions, or any obvious safety concern, but simply because of the camera.

    Yes, the people following them should leave plenty of room to stop. The reality is that in normal driving conditions people never expect the person in front of them to slam on their brakes. Try flooring your brake pedal in traffic a few times and I guarantee your risk of an accident will go up dramatically.

     

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  61.  
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    Mike, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 10:07am

    If you read the Florida article, you would see that red light cameras are effective in reducing fatal accidents at the intersection (T-Bone/sideswipe), but because people still think about running the red light, they cause more property damage accidents.

    The fact that more accidents of the rear-end type happen isn't the fault of the cameras. If someone rear-ends someone else that could stop, what business did the following car have to even think of running the red light?

    Why can't anyone focus on the problem here, rather than just pointing at red light cameras as revenue producers? I don't argue that they do raise money in some cases, but only because drivers continue to drive poorly.

    Bring on a real driving test now!!! and get some of the worst drivers off the roads!

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Elly, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 10:26am

    @ Mike - totally right!!!!! I hate how all the newspapers and news sites have titles like Red-light cameras cause more accidents, and then they put in one sentance at the end of the article about how they save more lives and reduce property damage.
    People just need to get a clue, pay attention while you are driving, give the person in front of you some extra space (STOP TAILGATING!) and slow to a stop when the light turns yellow, oh no you're probably going to add a whole extra minute or two to your trip! (sarcasm here people). Saving an extra minute on a ten minute drive does not warrent smashing in to someone!

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Duh, I can't understand the issue. The camera is a stationary object, that does not impede the intersection. The camera CAN NOT and IS NOT the problem, dipshit drivers are, but nice try.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    "Mike" (not of Techdirt) said:
    If you read the Florida article, you would see that red light cameras are effective in reducing fatal accidents at the intersection (T-Bone/sideswipe), but because people still think about running the red light, they cause more property damage accide
    Ignore the turf troll. Here's the link to the Florida article and it says no such thing. What it does say is “Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections. If used in Florida, cameras could potentially create even worse outcomes due to the state’s high percent of elderly who are more likely to be injured or killed when a crash occurs." The report also analyzes the automobile insurance industry’s financial interest in cameras.

    What, you didn't think anyone would check? Time to nym-shift "Mike". You've been exposed.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Crazy Coyote, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    y'all forgetting one thing

    Insurance companies love it! A chance to raise tour rates a great deal.
    Politicians love it because they get thier palms greased by the insurance companies. If cameras made no revenue for someone they simply would not exist. Follow the money.
    And of course it like it because I like to see the burgers, coffees and cell phones head toward the windshield in my rear view mirror.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:49pm

    Someone pee in your corn flakes this morning?

    I wasn't trashing you, but maybe you should put a bit more effort in your original article before reading other blogs and then adding to your story with contradictions.

    See, that's what its like when I try to trash you.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    FWIW, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    ...and since 'Anonymous Coward' wrote....

    I take issue with red light cameras and your claim that you learned that I run red lights from visiting court is a bald faced lie because I don't. You're just an example of the kind of lying scum that's trying to push these things.

    Wow! I don't recall implicating you personally with anything I wrote. Hmmm.. let's look back upon this lively conversation and find even ONE POSTING that reads "Some person under the handle of 'anonymous coward' routinely runs red lights." You'll find that nobody said anything like that.
    You seem to have taken this waay too personally. Lighten up jerk.

    Regardless of your beliefs, I took the time out of my own schedule to educate myself on something that I wanted to know more about. I formulated my own opinion, which I have a right to have. That doesn't make me scum. In fact, I think your a fascist pig for saying that.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Rusty Shackleford, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:57pm

    RLC

    Of course red light cameras cause accidents, or is it the fear of them? I am a driver, and have seen accidents caused by them. OK... the camera didnt cause the accident. The driver heading into an intersection on a green light sees the light go yellow, and even though it would have been perfectly legal for him to proceed through the intersection, slams on his brakes with not enough stopping distance before the light. The driver behind him is forced to make an emergency stop. Now, at this point an argument can be made that the car following was following to close and was unprepared. That dosnt make it the cameras fault. The driver leading is reminded of the camera by the light turning yellow, and the car following is figuring the lead will continue, leaving the intersection, and plans to stop in the space being vacated. Now, due to the heat the cameras have received in the studies, even though the lead driver may have had the time to continue through the intersection, he remembers the studies, and dosnt trust the camera to be accurate, instead brakes are applied, accidents occur. So, there is the argument, was it the camera or was it the drivers unpreparedness that caused the accident. I do not support the RLC or the photo radar cameras, mainly because of all the dishonest people in charge of them. The operators of these cameras, at least where I am, have been accused of reducing the timing between the yellow and red lights, There have been failures of such cameras causing unwarranted tickets being issued. There was also a point where (as noted in previous posts) situations where the camera manufacturer was paid a percentage of the revenue from the cameras. This should never be allowed. It takes the camera provider from the position of being the retailer to the position of partner with a vested interest in the (dare I say) business. If they need to use the cameras, then the deals they make to profit share need to be made illegal. The cameras need to be sold to the cities at whatever the cost and (other than the usual provider-customer relationship) that is the end of it. No profit sharing should ever occur. In my eyes it falls under “conflict of interest”.
    In the end, it is up to you, the driver to be prepared for anything that can go wrong, to go wrong...think I may have heard that before, maybe they may have mentioned it when I was learning to drive.. or a number of times on this page... LOL

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Rusty Shackleford, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:57pm

    RLC

    Of course red light cameras cause accidents, or is it the fear of them? I am a driver, and have seen accidents caused by them. OK... the camera didnt cause the accident. The driver heading into an intersection on a green light sees the light go yellow, and even though it would have been perfectly legal for him to proceed through the intersection, slams on his brakes with not enough stopping distance before the light. The driver behind him is forced to make an emergency stop. Now, at this point an argument can be made that the car following was following to close and was unprepared. That dosnt make it the cameras fault. The driver leading is reminded of the camera by the light turning yellow, and the car following is figuring the lead will continue, leaving the intersection, and plans to stop in the space being vacated. Now, due to the heat the cameras have received in the studies, even though the lead driver may have had the time to continue through the intersection, he remembers the studies, and dosnt trust the camera to be accurate, instead brakes are applied, accidents occur. So, there is the argument, was it the camera or was it the drivers unpreparedness that caused the accident. I do not support the RLC or the photo radar cameras, mainly because of all the dishonest people in charge of them. The operators of these cameras, at least where I am, have been accused of reducing the timing between the yellow and red lights, There have been failures of such cameras causing unwarranted tickets being issued. There was also a point where (as noted in previous posts) situations where the camera manufacturer was paid a percentage of the revenue from the cameras. This should never be allowed. It takes the camera provider from the position of being the retailer to the position of partner with a vested interest in the (dare I say) business. If they need to use the cameras, then the deals they make to profit share need to be made illegal. The cameras need to be sold to the cities at whatever the cost and (other than the usual provider-customer relationship) that is the end of it. No profit sharing should ever occur. In my eyes it falls under “conflict of interest”.
    In the end, it is up to you, the driver to be prepared for anything that can go wrong, to go wrong...think I may have heard that before, maybe they may have mentioned it when I was learning to drive.. or a number of times on this page... LOL

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    Re:

    Wow! I don't recall implicating you personally with anything I wrote.

    You know, I really like the fact that Techdirt doesn't allow liars like you to go back and cover their tracks by editing their previous posts. It's also interesting watching a liar trying to cover up a previous lie with even more lies.

    Let's see..., yep there it is, and I quote, "From what I learned, the ones who take issue with this are the ones running red lights". That's pretty plain and would include me as one of the ones who take issue with red light cameras. And that was a lie. What are you going to claim now, that it was a different FWIW that wrote that? And yes, for lying about me like that you are scum.

    I'm starting to think you're an industry shill. Well, you aren't doing them any favors the way you've been posting here. You're only serving to make the red light camera industry look even more dishonest than it already did. I hope you've got every last cent you could scrape together invested in it and loose it all.

    And you need to look up the word "fascist". I don't think it means what you think it means. As if though you would care anyway.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    FWIW, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re:

    That's pretty plain and would include me as one of the ones who take issue with red light cameras. And that was a lie. What are you going to claim now, that it was a different FWIW that wrote that?



    That was generalization on my part. That is my opinion. Stop faking your own self-righteousness. I wrote what I wrote and I'm standing by what I wrote.



    If you have issues with it then that's your issue.



    Looking back on your numerous negative comments all over this thread I can see how little enlightenment your offering to what could otherwise be a good discussion on a much debated topic.



    Your comments, self-rightesousness, flaming, and useless logic serves to discredit you.



    So I hurt your feelings. Good. You deserve that.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Tony, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:00pm

    Can we trust them?

    "...or even cheat by somehow "catching" people who were not actually running the light."

    "Wow, I never imagined that so many people would come out in favor handing over their safety and local law-enforcement to a company that has every incentive to increase the number of citations issued."

    We have red-light cameras at a major intersection near my house. I have seen the flashes go off at the strangest times, when the photographed vehicle doesn't look at all like it's running the light.

    While I haven't gotten a ticket at any of these, given what I've seen, I would demand to see the source code of the device, so I can be certain it's programmed properly.

    Given how easy it is to screw with stuff like that, I can't believe how implicitly people trust these machines to regulate our lives.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    dazcon5, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Rounabouts and speed cameras

    I also think traffic circles move traffic better but... Most places in the US don't have them and most Americans go brain dead when they see them.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That is my opinion.

    You stated it as fact.

    I wrote what I wrote and I'm standing by what I wrote. If you have issues with it then that's your issue.

    But if you really think that way, then come on out from behind your anonymity and post your identity. Then maybe we can let a court decide the issue of defamation.

    Yeah, I didn't think so.

    Oh well, maybe I can subpoena some logs. You just might not be as anonymous as you think.

    So I hurt your feelings. Good. You deserve that.

    So you admit to purposeful injury. Do you have any other admissiions to add? You're helping my case considerably.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    k, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 4:27am

    It's not the cameras themselves that cause accidents, that's moronic. It's drivers that would rather run the risk of gassing it through a yellow light to save 2 minutes off an already misspent life, knowing there's a slight possibility of getting into an accident.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 5:24am

    Re: Irony in Tampa

    Try driving north from St. Pete (opposite side of Tampa Bay) on US 19 and watch the light change so that emergency stopping or running the light is mandatory.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    alpanp, May 15th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    Re:

    "While there certainly will be an increase in MINOR rear end collisions, the goal for RLC's is to dramatically reduce the catestrophic side impact/head on collisions at red lights. If people would just STOP at a red light, then we would have nothing to worry about. But they don't, and get mad when they've been busted. The simple way to avoid a RLC ticket? STOP. It's that simple folks..."

    No, it's not that simple. I wish you were in my car with me 2 nights ago. After a kangaroo traffic court disallowed my appeal for running a YELLOW light alleged as red (while a real red light could be seen in the same photo at the next signal) I went to work that very night. This time I saw a yellow light same intersection. What do you think I did?
    I hit the brakes and went into a panic stop. The woman behind me (uninsured) sent my car like a missile clear across the intersection. Her car mushroomed up to the windshield. Both cars totaled. Both of us taken to the hospital. Emergency techs immobilized my neck and spine and took me out tied down like Gulliver. A Sergeant was kind enough to take my gun (I'm a federal peace officer) - Me?, head, neck and back pains that I worry may be permanent. All because I worried about another $50 fine for a fraudulent summons. You assume traffic courts are honest: Here in NYC they are a joke. They don't care about the truth. They want your money even if the cards are marked - and they ARE in NYC. The driver behind me could have kept her distance, big shit! - most don't and they're not ready for a panic stop for a red light camera that gives you a summons when the light is yellow. The body shop tells me this happens all the time at RLC's. I'm telling you this is a depraved and despicable scam that rips off law abiding drivers who've committed no offense and I am one of them.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    alpanp, May 17th, 2008 @ 2:55am

    Re:

    "lmao...

    So, some jackass is following too close, slams into another jackass who can't tell the difference between a yellow and a red, and it's the *cameras* fault?

    OMFG!!

    What will they come up with next? Has it really gotten this bad? Can no-one take responsibility for their own actions any more? What the hell happened to personal responsibility and integrity?"

    Anonymous Coward,

    I really hope two things happen to you: First I hope you get ticketed for going a though a yellow light like I did.
    Second I hope the next time you stop for the same yellow light, you get rear-ended by a truck. Now that would really show you who's a jackass!

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    jwdavid, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 5:02pm

    Re:

    Duh! People suing the city, for getting rear ended because they didn't want another running a yellow light ticket

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Fuzz, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: Swings & Roundabouts

    Sorry,

    But a rear end collision from someone who slammed onto the brakes because of a turning yellow is going to get slammed INTO the intersection that is now allowing traffic other direction... often both a rear AND side impact.

     

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


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