I'm with crazyfoxdemon... While I think that the red light cameras could have been more efficiently introduced (and likely more efficiently run), I believe that the serve a valuable purpose. Receiving your ticket from a uniformed officer not only means additional time for you the driver, but also infringes upon the time that the officer(s) could be out patrolling for more serious crimes.
I think if the gov't really cared about our safety, then they would have installed countdown clocks (like they do for pedestrians). As a matter of fact there have been plenty of cases showing that camera lights have made things less safe, because the municipalities shave off yellow light time in order to issue more tickets/ raise revenue. If they need to raise more money, then they should find a more progressive way to do it.
Most (if not all) states have laws governing yellow light time in relationship to speed limit on the street. If they have been found to have been manipulated to increase revenue, the city will own the accident and all legal fees associated with the collision, which in this society, would eat up millions of dollars.
I agree, I've heard about these time altering shenanigans. I posted this as a reminder to anyone involved in a traffic collision at a red light camera intersection to do your homework and lawyer up if necessary!
You know what? If they were in place to catch people going through red lights from the through lanes (not soft lefts) or to control speeding and traffic (having been to the UK the variable speed and selective timeline enforcement works wonderfully and I happen to think it is a fantastic idea for most of our urban areas) I would have no problem with it.
However, it's application here is a total hoax and offers no real safety improvement. In fact, I have seen people rear-ended slamming ont he brakes to stop short at the one by my house. Additionally, people freak out and fail to turn on red at all, clogging traffic and creating useless congestion.
It is a hoax and meant to milk money from people because politicians have no cajones to raise taxes or cut spending elsewhere to pay for things...
Additionally, people freak out and fail to turn on red at all, clogging traffic and creating useless congestion.
Those are always tricky with the cameras. If you are making a right on red, they have a video of you running the red light. You have to be very careful that you actually make a full stop behind the line before you even consider moving forward. This is sometimes hard to do because your instinct is usually to pull slightly forward of the car next to you (and therefore slightly in front of the white line) so that you can see traffic coming from the left.
Did you guys see that "under cover report" I think it was done by Fox a few months back? The main thing that stuck out for me was the inconsistancy in light times from Chicago to neighboring burb. I live on the border of the city. So, I get used to the almost 2 second longer yellow lights in the burbs. Then when I drive in the city I have to go on high alert for the shortened light times. I find myself slamming on the brakes alot where I would normally coast through without issue.
I also find myself looking at the corners to see if there are cameras set up as I drive into an intersection, so I can brace myself if needed for a sudden stop. So the cameras are also a distraction that the city has created for me. Safer? I'm not sure?
There was a study just put out in one major city where the yellow lights were all set on a longer phase. Accidents in those specific areas went down 70%. I wish all red light camera cities would look closely at this study!