Skip to comments.Red light, green light: Traffic cameras are about increasing revenue, not safety
Posted on 05/27/2013 11:11:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The federal government recommends that yellow lights at intersections last for at least three seconds before turning red. So why are so many yellows being timed at 2.5 seconds? And why are those fleeting yellows often located at intersections where red-light cameras are installed?
The mandarins tell us that red-light cameras are for our own safety, and that we need more of them than the 150 already in New York City. While we wait, city transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said last month, New Yorkers are dying on our streets.
So why increase the mayhem by cutting the duration of the yellow light by half a second? The city continues to deny that it did so, but both a Post investigation and a AAA study found intersections with cameras had yellow lights that lasted as little as 2.53 seconds, 15% less than the citys standard.
Three motorists subsequently brought a class-action suit against the city.
Other reporters around the country are finding similar situations. In Florida, WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg found that the operators of cameras had reduced yellow-light times by half a second without telling motorists. The same thing happened in 2008 in San Bernadino, Calif., whose city council then ordered the removal of the cameras. Half a million people are getting refunds in a New Jersey class action after complaining about yellow-light timing when they were ticketed.
Its unclear whether the cameras even increase safety. A 2005 Washington Post study found that the number of accidents has gone up at intersections with the cameras.
Though many studies have found that cameras reduce side impact or T-bone accidents involving cars heading at right angles to each other, the same studies also find an increase in rear-end collisions.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
DUIs are a huge moneymaker for the state. Got a speeding ticket lately? It’s at least $150 here. It’s all for money.
Living in the People's Republic of South Florida where red-light cameras have become the norm, I concur. Also, I foresee needing more frequent brake jobs since I find myself braking hard for yellow lights.
IMHO, if the DOT would just delay the opposite flow's next green for about 10 seconds, there would be a similar decrease in T-bone crashes.
Eschew large cities.
When cars are involved the Constitution is not allowed.
I’m probably reading too much into it, but a minimum of three seconds sounds stupid. How about a safety-based formula based on length of the intersection, and the speed limit through that intersection?
And leave the fedguv out of it.
>>Its at least $150 here. Its all for money.<<
Until the concept of an “infraction” was created, all tickets were treated (appropriately) as misdemeanor crimes. There is NO constitutional basis for a crime that does not require guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is all about the money, Constitution be damned!
The minimum seconds between yellow and red was 3 seconds and as long as 6 in the 1970’s and 80’s.
With the introduction of red light camera’s the companies that manufactured and placed them asked city traffic planners to lower the minimum’s or would present their own studies couched in safety but, had extant to the proposal, increased revenue. But, of course, scientific guesses as what the results would be in regards to safety, as in reduced accidents, running down pedestrians, etc.
So forward to today and I can tell you that I know of two lights in Emoryville, CA that had weird intervals. At some points throughout the day they would go from green and flash yellow and of course turn red.
At other times they would allow three vehicles and then turn red but, at no time would they be dependable intervals that local residents could at least become familiar with and for some strange reason “/s” it seems like there are quite a few accidents in those intersections.
Which sucks as those intersections ingress and egress to a major highway which also ingresses and egresses into three other freeways within 3/4 of a mile.
This causes horrendous backups during the regular traffic hours. Whatever that means in the Bay Area but, worsens at rush hour.
There ought to be a national standard, at a minimum or a it should be left to the states but, they should adhere to NTSB standards leaving the other choices to the states and I would be okay with the locales being responsible.
Still, that interval must be the same at all hours so even locals understand the unspoken message and can expect a certain interval at all times.
I have personally seen three red light runners in the last two days. How else would you propose we stop them? Got a solution in mind or just whining about cameras?
What do you mean by running a red light? It was yellow and they went thru? I have never seen anyone just blast thru a light.
The formula is 1 second for each 5 MPH of the speed limit.
The light was green in my direction and the car/truck/semi went blasting through. I know that if the green is on in my direction it has been red in the opposite direction for at least 1 second.
RE: Got a solution in mind or just whining about cameras?
I think the author is complaining about the “adjustments” made by the authorities on the length of the yellow light. He’s not against red light cameras per se.
I was referring to the comment posted at #1.
“”I have personally seen three red light runners in the last two days. How else would you propose we stop them? Got a solution in mind or just whining about cameras?””
The camera does not send the ticket to the driver, it gets sent to the OWNER of the vehicle. Am I to be responsible for the actions of people driving my vehicles? I have company vehicles that employees drive. Am I now a agent of the government and responsible for the actions of others?
The answer is YES you should be responsible. You pay the insurance that will cover the accident they get in when they run a red light and kill someone. You own the car/truck, you pay the driver, you pay the insurance, you are responsible.
So many people slam on the brakes when the light turns red early. No wonder the accident rate goes up. Costs thousands to fix the cars but hey if the City can collect a few hundred its worth it right?
Thank you! I would guess that formula is generous enough to make irrelevant the length of the intersection, up to a point.
But that makes the fedguv minimum of 3 seconds effective up to a speed limit seen only in trailer parks.