• big007us Posted: 7/25/2010 4:02pm PDT

    Realize ONE thing. These cameras are installed by camera companies to make money. They could care less about safety. They view the pictures and videos. They decide who gets fine letters. What is their accountability to the local governments? It's an honesty system and with the government, how far is that going to go. No doubt, both the camera company and the government will make money, but where it goes, and how much, is anyone's guess. Chalk up one more for the bad guys!!

  • DifferentView Posted: 12/9/2009 11:17am PST

    Brilliant bit of Journalism here. While ATS appears to have made an abrupt business decision, any business owner would have to consider alternatives when their client can't pay for the services. Maybe the system actually worked - enough people learned not to run the lights! Sounds to me like a success story. If people don't run the lights no need for cameras.

  • HenryThe8th Posted: 12/8/2009 9:50pm PST

    Even with a fine like in California, where it is $450+, cameras don't stop the people who run multiple seconds late. And those "late runners" are the guys who cause the horrible accidents you see in the crash videos the camera companies distribute as part of their selling pitch. So, how do you stop the late runners?
    Most don't do it on purpose - they run late because they don't see the signal. Some don't see the signal because they are distracted, lost, or unfamiliar with the neighborhood. For them, you need to improve intersection markings. 2005 research by Florida's Dept. of Transportation found that improving markings near intersections reduced red light running by up to 74% without increasing the likelihood of rear end collisions. (Source: http://thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/05-simulator.pdf at p. 69)
    Some don't see the signal because they are intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated. It takes "live" cops to get those guys off the street, and to close the bars that are over-serving them.
    How do you cut the rest of the running, where the average late time is 1/2 second, with many tickets for as little as one-tenth of a second? You lengthen the yellow! Increasing yellows by 0.5 sec. yields a 69% drop in violations. That's over two-thirds! (Source: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-06242004-230619/unrestricted/Thesis_3.pdf Fig. 4.1 on p. 67. Also see http://thenewspaper.com/news/04/430.asp (Roundup))
    And lengthening the yellows is cheap and quick to do all over town - reducing running everywhere, not just at the expensively-equipped "camera" intersections.
    Longer yellows reduce severe accidents. A 2004 study by the Texas Trans. Inst. found "...an increase in the yellow duration of 1.0 sec. is associated with a [crash freq.] of about 0.6, which corresponds to a 40% reduction in crashes." (Source: http://thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/04-alternatives.pdf Fig. 2-8 on p. 2-20)
    (Whenever someone suggests lengthening the yellows, someone else will say, "Drivers will just get used to the longer yellows, and run those, too!" Actually, the running stays down. It does not "rebound." In Mesa, Arizona, they increased the yellows by 1 second in late 2000, and running dropped to 1/3 of what it had been, and stayed down.(Source: See the big table at http://www.highwayrobbery.net/redlightcamsdocsMesaMain.html))
    For those who live in California, or might visit, here is a special note about California camera tickets. (As in many fields of endeavor, California does it differently. Not better, just differently.)
    In California the tickets cost the aforementioned $450+, and a point on your license. Because CA tickets put a point on your license, the police have to get the name of the actual driver before they can file the ticket at court. Since the photo of the plates leads only to the registered owner ("RO"), and he/she often was not the person driving the car, about 40 California police depts. mail out a document that looks like a real ticket, but isn't, to bluff the RO into ID'ing the actual driver of the car. These "Snitch Tickets" haven't been filed with the court, so are recognizable because they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's address, and say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term.
    Finally, a word for those angelic drivers who think they're above all this: Get out your wallet! You need to buy a $300 nav system to warn you when you're coming to a camera enforced locations. Why?
    The drivers in front of you will be exhibiting unexpected behavior, like slamming on their brakes on a brand new yellow, or because they have "local" knowledge that a speed camera is hidden nearby. The warning from your nav system will save you from rear-ending them - an accident for which the law would automatically hold you responsible.

  • R2Dad Posted: 12/8/2009 2:46pm PST

    Bwahahaha! So I guess at that wittering about reducing speeds and improving safety is a house of cards. Now I guess we get to look forward to slower speed limits and shorter lights to make up the difference.