Skip to comments.Supporters of red light cameras say project should be low-cost(Austin TX)
Posted on 07/26/2006 6:06:38 AM PDT by ziggy_dlo
Supporters of red light cameras say project should be low-cost
Austin City Council members who support red light cameras say they want to find a system that wont cost the city much money or effort. City Council Member Lee Leffingwell says the goal of a red light camera system would not be to boost the citys revenues, but he also wants to avoid draining city funds for a network of cameras at busy intersections. What I would be looking for in a proposal that comes back to us is one that has zero or minimal up-front costs to the city, and as much of the overhead and administrative process that can be done is actually handled by the company, Leffingwell said.
Some other cities with red light cameras work out arrangements with the private company supplying the gear so that the company is paid based on the number of citations the red light cameras generate.
The Council could ask the City Manager on Thursday to draft a plan for installing red light cameras at busy intersections. But actually purchasing the cameras and ordering them to be installed would require a separate vote
And these companies would purposely make the delay from yellow light to red light shorter so they could catch more runners. They gat paid a percentage of each runner. I personally hate this idea and I believe it infringes on my freedom rights. Any opinions?
What rights do you believe are being infringed?
I dunno, maybe the right to face your accuser? Right to a speedy trial? These tickets are not negotiable. You pay the fine or you swear an affidavit that your car was sold or stolen. There is no "Not Guilty" option.
Can't a person still take his case to court? Is it not possible to argue that the cameras are defective, timing incorrect, photo is blurred and doesn't clearly show the person's vehicle, etc? I have never read an article anywhere that said the results of a camera taking a picture of someone going through a red light were "not negotiable." Do you have a source for that?
I Charlotte, NC they are "not negotiable". Your ONLY two choices are pay the fine or prove you were not driving the car and give the name of the person that was. Malfunctioning cameras are not a defense.
Comming soon to a city near you...
Ity is still a violation of your constitutional rights.
That doesn't sound right to me -- you can always request a Jury Trial (6th Amendment) or appeal (1st Amendment). Can you link the applicable code?
I am not saying you are wrong -- the very EXISTANCE of a thing called an "infraction" is prima facie unconstitutional. I just want to see how bad the undermining of our rights has gotten.
They get around that by declaring it a breach of a civil ordance not a criminal offence. That is what they are doing here in TX.
Too bad there isn't someone with enough money and time to take this on.
As an aside, what is the penalty if you fail to pay? If they go after your Driver's License then this is a criminal offense.
After having been T-boned by an uninsured red-light runner (who lied about it in court), I would have been VERY happy to have an independent, unbiased source to back me up.
I recently read an extensive study of over 300 intersections that have red-light cameras installed. They compared the accidents for three years before and 2 to 3 years afterward. The cameras cause a slight increase in rear-end accidents, but a large reduction of T-bone accidents, which are usually much more serious (with more injuries, deaths, and more vehicle damage). They found the overall costs (counting both vehicle damage and medical costs, but not lost productivity) are much less for camera intersections than non-camera ones.
As far as the companies reducing the yellow-time, I have heard that charge by people who want to stop the cameras, but I have not seen that confirmed in an independent study. There is a fairly complicated formula that has been universally known and accepted for many years to calculate how much yellow time an intersection has. I would be surprised that anyone knowingly went less than that knowing that if ANYONE went to court, the City/company would have absolutely no defense. I did read about a case in California where there was a state law mandating a long yellow light, which was not applied to, but this is like most cases where politicians substitute their prejudices for engineering studies.
BTW, contrary to what I have read here, lengthening the yellow time does NOT increase safety. Studies that go back decades have shown that there is a short (3-6 months) increase in safety if the yellow is lengthened. Then people adjust and keep pushing the yellow until the number of accidents goes back to where it was before the yellow was changed.
Finally a good use for paintball guns?
I don't know about you, but the $86 ticket I recieved from DC for allegedly speeding, was a lot less than I can make in an hour. I never even saw a camera set up. They place them in plain cars along the side of the road, and do other devious things.
How many folk were moving right along with me? I am not sure, but if only a third of them got a ticket, they have a good revenue stream.
I'll bet their "drivers" don't get bothered too much! I see them flying low all the time! The pols sit in the back laughing and puffing a cigar!
The DC government has become a nickel and dime city. A little here, an extra fee there. The red light cameras are part of it.
My problem is not whether they are effective, but that in 20 years of really watching, I never saw someone pulled over for running a red light outside of good cops using it as an excuse to find drugs. And often succeeding. And DC has lots of red light runners.
There is a didactic value to seeing police enforce the laws. Automating law enforcement loses that.
How does it infringe? You don't even have a "right" to drive, much less run yellow lights. Don't run yellow lights - or run 'em real fast.
I kinda like 'em, except that they sent my wife a ticket - and the picture didn't even show her car!!!!!
These things create a powerful disincentive to make dangerous intersections safer (by extending yellows, improving signal visibility, etc.)
But the poster stated that a person does not have the right of appeal at all. Your response does show that a person has the right of appeal. It may be expensive, but you can appeal it. It is not different than appealing a parking ticket or a speeding ticket. The person may decide that it is not worth the trouble of appealing but he can still appeal.
If what you say is correct, then a ticket coming from a red light camera is the only criminal process in America that does not have the right of appeal. Do you have a source?
These devices contravene the underlying principle of law that everyone accused has the right to confront his accuser.
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