trinacriabob

Photo-controlled intersections and the cameras

26 posts in this topic

My area has a few flashing cameras that take pictures of red light infractions.

A few times, these things were apparently going off at random and erroneously, and I've even been in the intersection a time or two, and have not received a ticket in the mail. What a nuisance that must be.

Tonight, I'm coming home from doing some shopping and I'm at a left turn pocket at the intersection but STOPPED. I see this thing flashing every now and then, thinking it was the setting sun in my face. Heck no...it was a photo-controlled intersection. I was wondering what was setting it off, because everyone seemed to be heeding the signals.

What triggers these things? Can being stopped but forward of the crosswalk do that? Do some cities and counties know these things are ornery?

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My area has a few flashing cameras that take pictures of red light infractions.

A few times, these things were apparently going off at random and erroneously, and I've even been in the intersection a time or two, and have not received a ticket in the mail. What a nuisance that must be.

Tonight, I'm coming home from doing some shopping and I'm at a left turn pocket at the intersection but STOPPED. I see this thing flashing every now and then, thinking it was the setting sun in my face. Heck no...it was a photo-controlled intersection. I was wondering what was setting it off, because everyone seemed to be heeding the signals.

What triggers these things? Can being stopped but forward of the crosswalk do that? Do some cities and counties know these things are ornery?

In NJ, we don't have these... but I was exposed to them in NYC... and they do seem to be very aggressively programmed. Luckily, its only a fine, not points...

It does seem that the system could cite you if you were creeping up in a turn lane, but the photo evidence in NYC includes how long the light was red and your speed, so I figure there is some cutoff... in NYC, being trapped "in the box", while illegal itself, is going to happen... and the photo enforcement seems to not cite for that.

In my time in NYC, I never got a photo ticket... of course, I was aware of the intersections that were photo-equipped, I don't usually run red lights and since I knew the intersections were being watched, I would hammer the throttle on yellow... plus I had NJ plates... so I'm not sure NYC is trying to fleece the out-of-staters on this scam. OTOH, my girlfriend got about two a year... usually in Staten Island. Looking at the photo evidence, I have to admit its pretty compelling... here's your car in the middle of a intersection with a red light... and your speed/time. Makes you want to cut a check and put it quietly behind you.

I also noticed that some photo intersections (Houston and West Side Highway, for example), do seem to flash an awful lot, when nobody seems to be breaking the law... so I figure there are lots of falses.

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Yes, if you are ahead of the sensor under the stop bar, it can be triggered.

In CA, all of these photos are reviewed by a law enforcement agent before tickets are sent out. They also need a photo of your front license plate and your face. If you obstruct your face in the photo, you cannot be charged. If you do not have a front plate, you cannot be charged.

Some intersections use photography, while others use video. Good luck.

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Maybe you were in a Buick commercial. Seems a viable concept. Buick LaCrosse pulls up to red light, camera is so dazzled, it starts spitting out photos like a fashion photographer.
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i wish we had em around here. people run redlights in anderson like they are a second yellow light. jackholes... just wednesday night i was in the turning lane waiting for the light to change and this hoochie and her friend come zooming up to the intersection doing around 50... in a 35 they were a solid 25yrds away from the light when it turned yellow. we have 3 second delays on our intersections to allow most traffic to clear before the other side scrambles into the intersection. this is why i feel so many people run them here, cause they know they have 3 more secs in most cases to get through. anyway the light has turned green for me so that means she had all the time in the world to stop but she didnt... so i wasnt either. stomped it out into the intersection then hit the brakes missing her driver's door by just feet. she had the biggest OS face i have seen in a while. i could have been a jackass myself and gave her a 360 tour of the intersection but having just replaced the front bumper i declined to be so hospitable.

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Cedar Rapids is supposed to be putting them in soon. Omaha has them in and it has helped because people used to run red lights like there was no tomorrow. As long as I don't get ticketed while stuck in an intersection waiting to make a left, I'm perfectly fine with them because I never run red lights anyway.

From what I hear of CR's system, they will be civil fines issued by the City, so none of it will go on your driving record.

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As long as I don't get ticketed while stuck in an intersection waiting to make a left, I'm perfectly fine with them because I never run red lights anyway.

Well, yes, I don't either, but I don't want the bureaucratic hassle of having to go fight for a "false" one when I wasn't even moving.

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Cedar Rapids is supposed to be putting them in soon. Omaha has them in and it has helped because people used to run red lights like there was no tomorrow. As long as I don't get ticketed while stuck in an intersection waiting to make a left, I'm perfectly fine with them because I never run red lights anyway.

From what I hear of CR's system, they will be civil fines issued by the City, so none of it will go on your driving record.

The problem is the company that partners with the city to install the units usually gets half the revenue. So they program the equipment to be aggressive and push the city to cut yellows to meet revenue requirements.

In the end, red light photo cameras translate a minor annoyance ( beating a red light) for serious rear-end accidents... which are hidden from the public using statistics.

I don't feel that red light running is a real problem. Here in NJ, we have _all_ the bad driving habits in bulk. Yet, I see few people actually running red lights... but my friends do... until I remind them that it is perfectly legal to be IN the intersection when the light is red... it is illegal to ENTER the intersection once the light is red. And the places where red light running is worst are intersections which need traffic engineering fixes... either an updated, sensor-light instead of a hard programmed timed light or more lanes for the crossing road, so that there is a shorter red.

Actually, in my area, a lot of lights now have cameras... not for photo enforcement, but just for traffic surveillance. However, it seems that people are less likely to break the law in the presence of any camera.

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I think they're perfectly fine because they perform as intended in submitting fines to individuals for blatant disregard for safety in the effort to save themselves a minute on the road. The main problem is educating the stupid when it comes to red light cameras. As I'm sure all of you know, the problem first started when people thought the cameras would trigger at the moment the light turned red if you were in the middle of the intersection, so accidents would occur with a car slamming on its brakes the moment they saw yellow so they didn't get caught on a red in the intersection. I know that for Calgary, Alberta it has been broadcast on MANY media reports that the light must actually be red before the line is crossed in order to trigger the camera. They provided proof on camera to demonstrate; however, they still had people complaining about them. I have to wonder why when it's quite clear when adjacent traffic has the right of way. Why risk lives to save a minute?

Understandably, if a camera is triggering while stationary, I would certainly hope not to receive a violation in the mail, only to have to go through the resource-wasting process of a possible court appearance to dispute the matter. I would hope the system works better than that. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to somehow find out if/when/how many times this has even occurred.

Yesterday, the whole family was in the truck and following two cars and a tractor-trailer. The two cars ahead were tailgating the trucker so badly that when I noticed the light turning yellow before the trucker even approached the intersection, the two cars sailed through the red light because they didn't keep enough distance to see the lights ahead. I bring this up because it's amazing that I've heard about a half-dozen people complain that they shouldn't receive a traffic violation if they didn't know the light was red in situations like this. I was back far enough where I figure the second car should have been, if not for tailgating; and I didn't think it should be so difficult.

Edited by ShadowDog
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i wish we had em around here.

Careful what you wish for(!!!)

I'll take a human cop over some lame piece of computerized junk.

I think they're perfectly fine because they perform as intended in submitting fines to individuals for blatant disregard for safety....

Understandably, if a camera is triggering while stationary, I would certainly hope not to receive a violation in the mail, only to have to go through the resource-wasting process of a possible court appearance to dispute the matter. I would hope the system works better than that.

Have you ever been to the RMV/DMV?

or to a city hall?

What in the world would make you think the Government would

go out of its way to save you the trouble of a resource-wasting

process of a possible court appearance?

Edited by Sixty8panther
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Careful what you wish for(!!!)

I'll take a human cop over some lame piece of computerized junk.

That'd probably cost way more money to do. Plus, these things are more accurate than the human eye, anyways.

My city has a bunch of these, but they also have signage in some places indicating that the camera's are in the area as well. I walk past a couple and it's always fun to catch the thing take a snapshot of some idiot running reds.

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Careful what you wish for(!!!)

I'll take a human cop over some lame piece of computerized junk.

normally im with you on less red tape and bs 68 but on this occasion as a healthcare professional i just get so sick and fed up with it because 90% they are the ones coming into the ER. just yesterday i had to xray a guy that installs the guardrails for SCDOT. he had his hazzard bar on the roof going and was easing down the road, a guy came around the curve and was going to pass him, the road worker started moving into the median where the truck was heading into and he saw him so he jerked back over into the lane and the guy did the same. blammo. and see the human cops around here are apathetic to it anyway, state will waste no time in getting your attention about it but the same intersection i was discussing earlier has a right turn only lane but it stays 4 lanes across the intersection. guy goes right across the intersection BESIDE the county mounty and he doesnt do a thing. meantime i have to slow up in order for dingleberry to merge, thus slowing up the people behind me. if people want to drive stupid, fine let them, at a cost. if driving records were involved id sing a different tune.

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I'm sure you guys know how I feel about the use of these cameras generally.

But there is a road in Philly where the have installed a bunch of them, almost out of desperation. The road is called Roosevelt Blvd., and it is one nasty piece of asphalt.

The problem is that it tries to be both a highway and a local suface street. For much of its length, it runs through commercial and residential areas with cross-streets with up to six lanes! The lanes are narrow and choked with traffic, yet pedestrians cross in great number at many intersections. Many car/pedestrian fatalities are the result.

So, they installed the cameras to instant effect. While the number of serious accidents/fatalities decreased, the overall number of minor accidents actually went up!

Many folks who would have run lights in the past simply jammed on their brakes instead, leading to a spike in rear-end crashes.

A better road, would be the right answer, I think.

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A better road, would be the right answer, I think.

Or, like the Storrow Drive in Boston*, build overhead walkways for pedestrians!

* not that Boston or Massachusetts is a model for logic or simplicity.

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Residents were clamoring for pedestrian bridges, but the city said no due to expense.

There really needs to be a separate road there for through-traffic.

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They have them here.. Phoenix is one of the top cities in the country for redlight running and accidents in intersections...broadside and turning accidents every day. The yellow lasts very short durations in Phoenix, longer in some of the suburbs I've noticed.

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What in the world would make you think the Government would

go out of its way to save you the trouble of a resource-wasting

process of a possible court appearance?

I didn't say I expected the government to go out of its way. I did say that I'd be interested to know just how many cases of this have actually occurred.

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Maybe you were in a Buick commercial. Seems a viable concept. Buick LaCrosse pulls up to red light, camera is so dazzled, it starts spitting out photos like a fashion photographer.

I LIKE THAT IDEA!!

Send it to Maximum Bob...Photo enforcement Buick commercial LOL

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Well, yes, I don't either, but I don't want the bureaucratic hassle of having to go fight for a "false" one when I wasn't even moving.

Well, was this in CA, or elsewhere?

California is unique in red light running being against the driver, versus against the vehicle. As such, multiple photos are required to sufficiently prove that someone was actually running a light. Every red light violation photographed is reviewed by a law enforcement official to verify that a violation occurred before it is mailed out. If you weren't moving, you should be fine.

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The problem is the company that partners with the city to install the units usually gets half the revenue. So they program the equipment to be aggressive and push the city to cut yellows to meet revenue requirements.

That's illegal in California.

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That'd probably cost way more money to do. Plus, these things are more accurate than the human eye, anyways.

My city has a bunch of these, but they also have signage in some places indicating that the camera's are in the area as well. I walk past a couple and it's always fun to catch the thing take a snapshot of some idiot running reds.

In California, the intersection must be posted as "Photo Enforced," the signal and the intersection must be owned by the same government entitiy (i.e. if a city has an intersection, but the signal is maintained by Caltrans because of a freeway ramp...can't photo enforce), the violations must be reviewed by a member of law enforcement for verification, the outside vendor cannot receive payment per ticket issued, and the state courts have ruled that these cannot be used for blatant revenue generation. There was a case in Ventura where one light had the MINIMUM yellow light phasing required by law and was photo enforced...yet even though "legal" that yellow phasing was the shortest in the area, on that stretch of road, etc., and the court ruled that it was clearly a revenue generating signal.

I really appreciate that in CA the ticket is tied to the driver and not the car...most other states the vehicle owner gets the ticket regardless of who was driving it and the owner then must try to get the money back from whoever actually committed the violation. In CA, the onus is on the state to find the guilty driver. That's the way it should be, everywhere IMO.

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Camino, wasn't Roosevelt Blvd (US 1) planned to be a freeway but downgraded to a really wide boulevard?

I drove it once on my way from NYC back to Baltimore. It definitely looks like it should have been controlled-access from the jump.

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Camino, wasn't Roosevelt Blvd (US 1) planned to be a freeway but downgraded to a really wide boulevard?

I drove it once on my way from NYC back to Baltimore. It definitely looks like it should have been controlled-access from the jump.

Yeah.

There were supposed to be about 6 or 7 major Highways into/out of Philly way back when.

Only one of those was ever built.

So, we are left with the haphazard mixture of roadways all around the city.

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pretty sure only cops can give out traffic citations in my state... or city...

cameras are taking over in-road sensors for changing traffic signs though.....?

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That's illegal in California.

Thats good to hear that Cali has specifically addressed the issue, but I have heard its more of a problem in Arizona and the midwest.

Luckily, our governor declared photo violations illegal about a decade ago... that the people of NJ had the right to "confront their accuser". Of course, with more government inefficiency, a crappy economy and less freedom, I'm sure that this will issue will resurface.

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