Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Software Transportation News

Italian Red Lights Rigged With Short Yellow Light 353

Posted by timothy
from the decent-pellet-gun-might-help dept.
suraj.sun writes with an excerpt from Ars Technica which brings to mind the importance of auditable code for hardware used in law enforcement: "It's no secret that red light cameras are often used to generate more ticket revenue for the cities that implement them, but a scam has been uncovered in Italy that has led to one arrest and 108 investigations over traffic systems being rigged to stop sooner for the sole purpose of ticketing more motorists."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Italian Red Lights Rigged With Short Yellow Light

Comments Filter:
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @09:51PM (#26747549) Homepage Journal

    the lights near me which were changed to camera enforced had their yellow reduced the minimum allowed by the law.

    The formula for this is pretty swift, http://safety.transportation.org/htmlguides/sgn_int/App02.htm [transportation.org]

    It is very common to see people lock down when it goes yellow so approaching either of the two I go through does require extra caution. The fortunate application is that they did concentrate on those crossings with the most amount of accidents from people running red lights. They have not applied them to intersections for leaving or entering an interstate where the rule seems to be five cars on red.

  • Re:Nothing new (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:00PM (#26747645) Homepage Journal
    That's exactly what I thought when I saw it and wondered about the information regarding the Italian govenment's ties to its equivalent of Hollywood [guardian.co.uk][disclaimer: link is not necessarily trying to make my point, I couldn't find a better one] and its placement of entertainment-related personnel into their government(Hmm, sound familiar? [slashdot.org]).
  • Re:So? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:02PM (#26747659)

    I used to think this but I visited Italy 2 years ago (after a 10 year previous visit) and saw a disturbing trend... women were getting fatter and not taking care of themselves. During the same trip I spent considerable time in Germany. I must say the German women were in better shape and took care of their appearance better.

    I am a native born Italian, BTW.

  • Far away from home (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sigma 7 (266129) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:05PM (#26747675)

    At least we know that it doesn't happen in America [motorists.org]. Except in about 6 cities or so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:34PM (#26747849)

    It does.

    This isn't news. Some cities in the US have been doing this for a while now, where the yellow light ends up going from 4 seconds to 2 seconds. I've seen seen one camera intersection have -no- yellow light. This means, you have to look at the walk/don't walk sign and stop at the light (while the light is green) if the don't walk part is flashing.

    Most red light cameras are outsourced to private companies which get a cut of the red light violation revenue, so its pretty much matter of course to try to shorten the yellow light as much as possible.

  • by esocid (946821) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:35PM (#26747853) Journal
    Too true. Or everyone could drive like the crazies do here in Miami. Ignore any color light and just drive. Seriously, this city has the worst problem with running red lights, and moving here from VA I've noticed it's mainly because of the light cycles, and timing. Not even 1s between light changes in the intersection, and the amber light is drastically reduced compared to what I've seen anywhere in VA, including the DC area.
    There aren't even any red light cameras and cops don't give a shit. So who knows why the DOT is so inept here?
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:52PM (#26747993)

    Anyone know or have a figure on how much a city makes in red lights and how much these camera systems cost? Even without factoring in the fines that result or the increased traffic accidents this causes, is it profitable, or is this an example of bureacracy at it's finest?

    In other words, is this actually a way of getting more money, or is this that the performance bonuses of department A are based entirely off of how much revenue they bring in from tickets without subtracting how much they spent. It just kind of sounds like someone was told their job was to fine as many people they could for running red lights, don't care how you do it, and they realized this was easier than actually making enforcement more efficient.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:52PM (#26747995)

    There are a number of studies out that show decreasing the yellow light period does in fact increase the number of rear end collisions.

  • by esocid (946821) on Friday February 06, 2009 @12:36AM (#26748579) Journal

    There are a number of studies out that show decreasing the yellow light period does in fact increase the number of rear end collisions.

    There are numerous studies out that show that citing your sources make what you say credible.

  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Friday February 06, 2009 @03:23AM (#26749309)

    I agree, I don't think they have anything to do with safety either. How is it even supposed to help? Which is a better deterrent, a $350 fine or the risk of a truck turning you into a pancake?

    They just installed one at the intersection outside my apartment. I was sitting at the intersection waiting for a green light and no other cars were around and yet a bright flash from the camera went off in my face not once but twice. I can't stand the damn thing.

  • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:04AM (#26749477) Homepage

    They just installed one at the intersection outside my apartment. I was sitting at the intersection waiting for a green light and no other cars were around and yet a bright flash from the camera went off in my face not once but twice. I can't stand the damn thing.

    They need two pictures (preferably a measured amount of time apart) to prove that a car running the red light was moving and not just broken down in a bad spot.

  • by chiui (1120973) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:38AM (#26749637) Homepage

    I've been in Germany, and they have a flashing green before the yellow, and something else I don't remember (but intuitive) when switching from red to green.
    I can definitively say it saves time, gas and brakes.

  • Re:News Flash! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Friday February 06, 2009 @09:02AM (#26751015)
    I wouldn't take orzetto's opinion as "insightful" merely because he's Italian. There is a strong tradition of self-deprecation of their country among Italians (and especially in certain areas of the political spectrum) which has little basis in reality.

    The judiciary is one especially touchy subject. Whenever a reform is proposed, some people wail about how it would be the "end of democracy" and it would "put Italy outside of the civilized world", etc.. And if a foreigner hears this, they'll naturally think that Italy has it pretty bad. But if you look at what these "undemocratic" reforms actually are, it turns out that they are all things that most other democratic countries already do. In other words, what they're actually saying is not "Italy would become less democratic!", but "Germany, France, the UK, the USA, etc. are totalitarian hellholes! We don't want to become more like them!"

    Now, there is a problem with how long trials last in Italy. It's a hard issue to tackle, in part due to the magistrates' staunch opposition to any sort of reform. What certainly isn't the problem, though, is the amount of money spent on the judiciary, which is comparable with what other European countries spend on it. For example, from a comparation of judiciary systems in Europe [istat.it] we find that in 2000 Italy spent 61 euro per inhabitant on justice (109 euro per inhabitant if you add prison expenses), while in 2001 France spent 65 euro per inhabitant. And, although I don't have time to look for more recent data online right now, I remember reading that Italy's expenses on justice have actually been growing faster than in other countries over the past few years. In fact, Italian newspapers have often complained about how the country gets a poor service from its judiciary even though it spends quite a lot of money on it.

    Bottom line, orzetto's claims have but the feeblest connection with reality.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...