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Tennessee Town Releases Red Light Camera Stats 567

Posted by timothy
from the let's-rethink-the-rolling-stop-at-least dept.
SonicSpike links to what he calls "a transparent look at some statistics released by a small town's red-light camera program," writing "Specifically, in the last fiscal quarter, 7,213 incidents were recorded, 2,673 incidents were rejected by the reviewing officer, and 662 incidents were not processed due to technical issues or lack of information. All in all 3,878 citations were issued between April 1 — June 30 in a town of 17,000 residents. Interestingly enough there are two nearby cities claiming that individuals 'have no presumption of innocence' when accused by the red light cameras." Fines for no-harm-no-foul rolling stops bug me, and remind me of Gary Lauder's suggestion to merge stop signs and yield signs.
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Tennessee Town Releases Red Light Camera Stats

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  • no-harm no-foul (Score:4, Insightful)

    by topham (32406) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:00PM (#33061672) Homepage

    No problem.

    No-harm, no foul. However, you fuck up, spend life in prison. seems reasonable to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:17PM (#33061906)

      The amazing thing is that the "fines" are $50, and do not get counted against your driving record, no matter how many you get, due to the state constitution... It doesn't allow blatant ripoffs.

      You know none of the current politicians had a hand in crafting it, lol.

      Our state constitution makes it illegal for them to charge more than $50 also.

      The "Speed/Traffic" cameras in nearby Oak Ridge, (which used to be a nice place, but is now Crack Alley) have at least three digits; it's become a game to see who gets the highest number. :)

      165 in a 25 zone? that's $50 please. :)

      It costs $167 to contest one of these tickets. Due process, anyone? Remember the golden rule, "the guy with the gold gets to make the rules."

      I don't spend money or time in places with these cameras; if enough people have that attitude, they will go away. Hopefully before the town does.

      Farragut is the rich section of Knoxville; Snobs, Bimbos, and teenagers driving/wrecking their BMW's daily, lol.

      You don't want to see the poor section of Knoxville; look up "Shannon Christian" on Knoxnews.com :(
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:no-harm no-foul (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kreigaffe (765218) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @07:14PM (#33063464)

      Yes, saving 5 seconds of your time 99% of the time is sure great. It's that 1% of the time you cause an accident which causes *everyone* to lose many minutes of their travel, and potentially causes you and/or others to lose their *LIFE*.. that's what really throws things off.

      Stop at the fucking stop sign. You want to save 5 seconds, run to and from your car instead of walking. I find it amusing yet depressing that people are concerned about shaving a few seconds off their travel when driving their car -- potential risks be damned! -- but when it actually would require physical effort on their part to move faster -- moving faster than a slow crawl when walking -- those same people won't step up to the plate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HermMunster (972336)

      I was watching (a rare event for me) a Sunday morning news segment (that was quite long) about red light cameras. I picked up some interesting information.

      For instance:

      1) The cameras are not owned by the Cities that use them. The cameras are rented and a portion of the fines collected are pocketed by the companies that own the cameras.

      2) Most Cities proudly reduce the yellow light duration to 3 seconds. Those companies that own the cameras require that the Cities reduce the yellow to 3 seconds, otherwise

  • If the light is red and you drive past it, how can you in any way claim to be innocent? Bear in mind that red light cameras don't tend to trip below about 5mph, so "I just pulled into the junction to let the ambulance past" won't fly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peach Rings (1782482)

      The point is that they have to prove you did it. Fundamental tenant of criminal justice, etc.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by lisany (700361)

        The photograph IS the proof.

        • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:18PM (#33061928)
          And what happens if I own the exact same model of car, same color, same look and feel, and somebody drives through that light with a well done forgery of the innocent persons plates, landing them a ticket, with the picture as 'proof' and all.

          Oh but the picture shows them guilty. They must have done it. Don't be so willing to throw away the "Innocent until proven guilty" clause to the heralding of new technology. Because that just means you will see ten-fold increase in convictions by 'no presumption of innocence', as you have happily given away your right to fight by not voting the county-city-state 'tards out who made it all possible.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by cosm (1072588)

          The photograph IS the proof.

          Hi,

          We're from The National Enquirer [google.com]. We would like to make you an offer.

          Sincerely, The National Enquirer

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by operagost (62405)
          If one photograph is all we need to prove guilt for all crimes, then with one copy of Photoshop and a few minutes, I can rule the world.
        • by ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:29PM (#33062104)

          The photograph IS the proof.

          If the driver is not positively identified then it is only proof of the vehicle's role in the infraction; not the identity of the perpetrator.

        • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:35PM (#33062156)
          The photograph IS the proof.

          I've gotten hit twice in the past year on making legal right-hand turns on red lights. The first one I thought it so obvious that I was making a legal right turn that I requested a hearing without my presence, figuring that the judge would get it. They still charged me. For the second one, I'm waiting to get my hearing date. Either way, I think that sometimes the "proof" can be logically disputed.
          • by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:50PM (#33064626)
            The first one I thought it so obvious that I was making a legal right turn that I requested a hearing without my presence, figuring that the judge would get it. They still charged me.

            Sorry, what? A hearing without your presence? Are you not aware that any hearing/lawsuit is an automatic win for one party if the other party does not show up?? That's why the recommend going to contest your tickets even if you are fully guilty - if the accusing officer does not bother to show up, you automatically get the ticket tossed.
            Also, you would lose because you are showing lots of contempt for the judge by not showing up and he would actively look for a way to screw you over.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MaufTarkie (6625)

              That's why the recommend going to contest your tickets even if you are fully guilty - if the accusing officer does not bother to show up, you automatically get the ticket tossed.

              That's not always the case. I got issued a speeding ticket in Washington over a decade ago. I was given the same advice regarding the officer needing to be present, so I went to court to contest (since I felt I was simply matching the speed of everyone else on the freeway, but was singled out). When I got to court, I was informe

    • by clang_jangle (975789) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:08PM (#33061774) Journal
      Yes, and we all know how infallible those revenue-generating ticket machines are. Also your local government would *never* cheat...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Qzukk (229616)

      If the light is red and you drive past it, how can you in any way claim to be innocent?

      Do the cameras actually show the light in the picture? Are the cameras positioned so you can actually tell if the vehicle is over the line or not?

      If the camera doesn't show that the light is red, how do you know that the light isn't malfunctioning and taking the picture while yellow or green?
      If you can't see whether you're over the line or not, how do you know that you actually ran it?

      I drive through several of these thi

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drsmithy (35869)

        If the camera doesn't show that the light is red, how do you know that the light isn't malfunctioning and taking the picture while yellow or green?

        I can't speak for the US cameras, but they *should* be built with a physical connection that prevents the camera from activating unless the light is red.

        If you can't see whether you're over the line or not, how do you know that you actually ran it?

        Because they don't activate until the light is red. If your picture is taken by one, it's because you ran the r

    • by Yakasha (42321) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:11PM (#33061830) Homepage

      If the light is red and you drive past it, how can you in any way claim to be innocent? Bear in mind that red light cameras don't tend to trip below about 5mph, so "I just pulled into the junction to let the ambulance past" won't fly.

      Just a few:

      • The city improperly shortened the timing on the yellow light.
      • The date on the camera is wrong.
      • The camera violates anti-wiretapping laws
      • My brakes were broken
      • That isn't my car
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Back when they still had photo radar here, they were fishing in a 50km/h zone, then went out to the highway. They forgot to change the speed up to 80km/h and everyone who went past the van got a ticket.

        They refused to overturn the tickets until someone went to the local media pointing out that there was a Jersey Barrier in the background, showing that it was in fact on the highway. As far as I know, you still had to go to court to get the tickets overturned, one at a time.

    • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:14PM (#33061860)

      If the light is red and you drive past it, how can you in any way claim to be innocent?

      Many ways. It could have been wild kids putting printouts of my plate on theirs, and then blowing threw the lights so that I could be mailed the ticket, it could be a computer error (those never happen), it could be foul play, maybe a database problem. The prevailing assumption from this line of rationale is that even though technology progresses, nothing is absolute. And if you are willing to risk your criminal history, driving record, insurance cost, etc against an electronic system sold to people who haven't been known to be the most honest with matters of money and law, well good sir, keep pissing it away.

      Innocent until proven guilty.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by garyebickford (222422)

        wasn't that a prank some kids in the UK did last year? IIRC they printed out copies of the school principal's license, pasted it over their own licenses and then blew through stop lights all over town. He had like 50 tickets for running lights and speeding. I think they wore disguises for obvious reasons.

    • by Venotar (233363)

      Bear in mind that red light cameras don't tend to trip below about 5mph, so "I just pulled into the junction to let the ambulance past" won't fly.

      You're completely incorrect. As the article specified, they DO catch "rolling stops", if a rolling stop didn't end up in a citation, it's simply because the officials managing the particular municipality's red light enforcement chose not to issue a citation (whether because they felt it was too close to call, or they felt no traffic hazard existed, or because of an internal policy, or a technical problem, or just human oversight). In fact, the article specifically mentioned "pulling into the junction to l

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gordonjcp (186804)

        As the article specified, they DO catch "rolling stops"

        If you're rolling, you haven't stopped. If the light is red, you must stop. It's not a hard concept to grasp.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mangu (126918)

      If the light is red and you drive past it, how can you in any way claim to be innocent?

      If the man was alive and you killed him, how can you in any way claim to be innocent?

      What you are saying is that if someone is murdered and the security cameras point at you a trial is not needed.

      In the case that you were trying to say that running a red light is not as bad as murdering someone, therefore the standards of fairness should be set lower, then the US Constitution has something to say about that. The Sixth Ame

  • Yield signs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kehren77 (814078) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:06PM (#33061748)

    Fines for no-harm-no-foul rolling stops bug me, and remind me of Gary Lauder's suggestion to merge stop signs and yield signs.

    I too am bugged by rolling stop fines. However the biggest problem I see with merging stop signs with yield signs is that some people tend to believe that a yield sign means they just need to try to merge with traffic, not stop and yield right of way.

    • Re:Yield signs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rotide (1015173) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:19PM (#33061938)

      That's because the morons who make decisions to put yield signs at the end of _on_ ramps onto major interstates create a system where you learn to ignore them.

      If you actually stop and yield to traffic on an interstate, one of two things will happen. Either you will be stopped forever, or you will be plowed into by the guy behind you.

      Now, on normal roads, at least I yield to traffic when I see them. I know they have their place, but interstate on ramps, no.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radish (98371)

      But they _don't_ mean "stop and yield right of way" they mean "prepare to yield, stopping if necessary". If there's nothing to yield to, you don't have to stop (obviously) - likewise if there is traffic but you can yield without stopping (for example by just slowing down) that's OK too.

      It depends on your definition of "merge" but if there's a steady stream of traffic with large enough gaps between the vehicles and I can merge without causing the car approaching to get too close to me or to have to slow down

  • by kbreak (1378527) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:07PM (#33061762) Homepage
    So, the big question is, "did the redlight cameras reduce accidents or increase them?" Here in Los Angeles, a TV station got ahold of the records, and in most cases, accidents *increase* at camera intersections.
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Probably because the yellow was shortened to increase ticket revenue.

      So people end up having to brake more quickly at some red lights than at others.

    • by rtaylor (70602) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:13PM (#33061854) Homepage

      The stats for some of my cities intersections clearly show a decrease in the T-Bones and an increase in rear-endings. Stats are not public.

      If you believe T-Bones are the more fatal of the two, then the trade-off is likely appropriate. Note, light timing did not change and there are 100+ intersections with camera boxes but only a handful actually have a camera installed (randomly rotated).

      • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:23PM (#33062012)

        On the other hand if you just want to reduce all accidents you make the yellow light longer. Almost 0 cost, and actually effective. On the other hand it doesn't generate thousands of dollars in revenue for the police department so it's a no go.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Also, don't short-change people with the filters.

          Near where I live there are several junctions with right turn filters (I live in the UK, we drive on the correct side of the road so a right-filter is precious). The entire cycle of the lights is around 3 minutes, the right filter is about 15 seconds tops (it may only be 10). As such, people jump the red because they want to get through the junction without having to wait another 3 minutes. Someone stalling can cost everyone the entire cycle, someone not bein

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cynyr (703126)

        lets see, cost of 1 tbone, 2 cars, driver of the tboned car's medical bills, any lost productivity due to injury or death.
        Cost of a rear end, 2 cars repair bills(easily the cost of a car with modern cars), medical bills for the whiplash of the hit driver, lost productivity due to injury/death.

        Hmm seems to have a similar cost, just that one might have a higher death rate. On a side note, are your yellow times long enough to account for all legal driving conditions? legal min tread tires, just legal brakes, .

    • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:17PM (#33061902)

      This is not about public safety, it's about raising money for the municipality. Period.

  • and you have the right to face your accuser so you can get out of these tickets pretty easily. If everyone would start to fight them in court the amount of money to run them at a loss would get rid of them pretty quickly.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      If everyone would start to fight them in court the amount of money to run them at a loss would get rid of them pretty quickly.

      That's an excellent solution if you're someone with a few hours to spend on a weekday in traffic court. However, most of "everyone" would have to give up badly needed wages to fight the ticket in traffic court. Thankfully, traffic courts expect pro se defendants, so there isn't a legal cost, but there is most definitely an opportunity cost.

      Interestingly, at least in my city they put the traffic cameras near the projects and far from the suburbs. They're targetting people who are less able to fight back.

    • and you have the right to face your accuser so you can get out of these tickets pretty easily. If everyone would start to fight them in court the amount of money to run them at a loss would get rid of them pretty quickly.

      See the second link in the summary...
      The court filing obtained says offenders "are not entitled to a trial by jury, a presumption of innocence or a heightened burden of proof." [knoxnews.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Grishnakh (216268)

      and you have the right to face your accuser so you can get out of these tickets pretty easily.

      I should also add that in the trials I've seen, it's been stated that you have no right to face your accuser. That's a criminal court thing. These tickets are civil matters, so there is no such right, only "preponderance of the evidence". And a simple photo is all the evidence they need.

  • Getting caught by a camera seems no different than getting caught by a cop. Does the cop presume you're innocent after he sees the crime being committed? Neither should the camera if sufficient evidence is recorded. Of course, everyone should get their chance in court to challenge in case there was a legitimate reason for the infraction. Sounds like that town needed those cameras.
  • A police officer has reviewed the tape, and has issued a ticket that says you ran a red light. If you think any traffic ticket carries a presumption of innocence, then you've never been to traffic court. The only reliable way to beat a traffic ticket is if the officer doesn't show up at court. Otherwise, it's your word against his - and guess what? - his word always wins.
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:11PM (#33061818) Homepage Journal

    Especially now that people text while driving, it's probably a good thing that we're bringing automation to bear on traffic problems.

    They could do more to prevent problems than to catch people after the fact, I think. They're able to drop crossing guards on railroad tracks and tollbooths; why not set them up at every practical intersection as well? There's some good talk out there about adding a breath test to the steering columns of every vehicle, but how about in-car interference of the cellphone frequency?

    I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg on what can be done here to ensure safety.

  • by cruff (171569) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:11PM (#33061832)

    Fines for no-harm-no-foul rolling stops bug me

    Perhaps you have never been side swiped by someone who failed to stop at a red light or stop sign? It can be much worse when you are a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist without a steel cage to protect you. You might think differently then.

    • Then it's not a "no-harm" instance, is it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Myopic (18616)

      Hmmm. Does that fit under no-harm-no-foul? To me it seems like swiping a person would violate the "no harm" part of the phrase.

      I guess I don't really think that strict enforcement of absolutely full stops at stop signs (or right turns at red lights) increases the safety of pedestrians. If it does, then it is probably "worth it"; but if it doesn't, then it certainly isn't. I'm not a traffic professional so I can't really say.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kehren77 (814078)

      Okay, I'm not advocating the complete running of stop signs or traffic lights. I'm saying that rolling stops for stops signs (ie you get to the stop sign, make sure nothing is coming and continue on before your vehicle has come to a complete stop) aren't a big deal.

      Just down the road from me there was a 3 way intersection that was cut down to a straight through road. But they left the stops signs up as a way of slowing traffic through that area. That sort of crap shouldn't happen and people definitely shoul

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I've been biking to work for 15 years. I assume every car is going to run every stop sign. I also assume that every intersection contains at least one car that is going to turn in front of me without signalling, slowing, or checking.

      Guess how many times I've been hit?

  • I live in Phoenix, AZ where speed cameras were recently deactivated after two years of controversy. The same vendor, Redflex, was snapping pictures if you were driving 11+ mph over the limit.

    However, Tempe and Scottsdale still have red-light cameras. I have no issue with red-light cameras, so long as common sense is used when reviewing tickets. TFA:

    Although most were still violations of state law, they were considered very close calls or were due to such reasons as vehicles stopping a short distance over the stop bar that did not pose a traffic hazard, vehicles moving out of the way of an emergency vehicle, plates that were unidentifiable and weather related issues.

    Speeders going 11-over when the rest of traffic drives 8-over aren't a public safety risk; red-light runners coming perpendicular to broadside traffic and kid

  • I wonder how many... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RingDev (879105) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:13PM (#33061848) Homepage Journal

    were cops?

    I'm not sure about Tennessee, but in my small town, the local cops treat most laws or the road with little regard. Rolling stops, speeding, high speed/reckless driving. Heck, I had to file a complaint one evening after a cop damn near ran into a group of young boys walking down the side walk. Apparently, pulling over to the curb and calling them to the car, or getting out and approaching them were the lesser options when compared to flooring it and jumping the curb to park on some company's apron to block the side walk. His excuse was that someone had reported their teen daughter missing and the officer thought the boys might know where she was.

    Or heck, when I was working 3rd shift years ago, we used to have two squad cars that would run 1/8th mile laps around the block in front of my work place. They would turn on the lights, but no sirens, then scream up and down the divided business road.

    Just last night on the drive home I saw a cop come to a complete stop and make a 7 point turn IN THE MIDDLE OF A BRIDGE, blocking traffic in both directions on a 55mph high way during rush hour. If he had driven 100 feet, he could have pulled into a country lane and done his turn faster and with out obstructing any traffic.

    Then again, I guess if you can just brush away any pics of cops blowing lights due to 'technical issues', there won't be many of them getting tickets.

    -Rick

  • by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:15PM (#33061874)

    This only applies in criminal cases in U.S., and a number of other jurisdictions.

    A lot of states have made traffic offenses civil offenses, where a preponderance of evidence is the standard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Myopic (18616)

      I'm not a lawyer, but I think "preponderance of evidence" is a lower standard for "beyond a reasonable doubt". Presumption of innocence is a different concept which would apply to both standards of evidence. Can a lawyer please say for sure?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DRJlaw (946416)

        The three common standards of proof are "preponderance of the evidence," "clear and convincing evidence," and "beyond a reasonable doubt." The first essentially boils down to it being more likely than not that the fact is true; the third is the classic televised standard in criminal cases (which is not as high as some on Slashdot believe); and the second is the subject of innumerous articles and court rulings because it's in the squishy middle. Burdens of proof establish permissible degrees of uncertainty

  • by CLorox (7) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:15PM (#33061884)

    The article doesn't state how many residents of the town were ticketed as opposed to out of town drivers passing through, but lets pretend it did. Nearly 50% of people in this town flagged, and a little under a quarter were ticketed.... in 3 short months? Not sure how many were drivers from outside the town, but that is a ridiculous sum. Change the law or scrap the camera, this is not working and is a burden to the citizens. I wonder how many traffic collisions will occur because people are slamming on the breaks trying to avoid getting ticketed.

    How many of these drivers were traveling at a safe posted speed limit and caught a yellow on a rainy day and had no choice but to either enter a skidding sliding stop or get a ticket. and now due to their unfortunate luck have the added benefit of fighting this in court. Burden to the court, burden to the citizen and a significant expense of time and money. What a racket.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Necreia (954727)

      The article doesn't state how many residents of the town were ticketed as opposed to out of town drivers passing through, but lets pretend it did. Nearly 50% of people in this town flagged, and a little under a quarter were ticketed.... in 3 short months? Not sure how many were drivers from outside the town, but that is a ridiculous sum. Change the law or scrap the camera, this is not working and is a burden to the citizens. I wonder how many traffic collisions will occur because people are slamming on the breaks trying to avoid getting ticketed.

      How is it not working? People violating the law are being caught and fined as appropriate. The problem/complaints seem to stem from it working too well. Also according to the article, people who were not violating the law were not given tickets. To quote: "more than 41 percent of the total recorded incidents were rejected. Although most were still violations of state law, they were considered very close calls or were due to such reasons as vehicles stopping a short distance over the stop bar that did n

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Culture20 (968837)

        ...How many of these drivers were traveling at a safe posted speed limit and caught a yellow on a rainy day and had no choice but to either enter a skidding sliding stop or get a ticket. and now due to their unfortunate luck have the added benefit of fighting this in court...

        In inclement weather, or other situations in which the speed limit is too high to drive safely, then it's the drivers responsibility to low down to safe speeds. If the driver couldn't react (for whatever reason) and stop for a red light, then they were going too fast under the circumstances. The Green->Yellow->Red timings are not arbitrary, and are based on good weather conditions and acceptable reaction time expectations.

        The point of a lot of these camera articles is that the timings are not (as you said) arbitrary, and are instead purposefully shortened to create revenue. Decades of driving experience have taught people that 20mph in a 30mph zone while it's raining is okay, but a shortened amber time is like having a pedestrian jump out in front of you from the side of the road, not safely using the crosswalk. The only way to protect against that is to drive 5mph everywhere at all times.

    • by blueg3 (192743) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:58PM (#33062476)

      If you have to slam on your brakes to stop in the amount of time it takes a traffic light to change from yellow to red, you're going too fast for the conditions.

  • I don't know about merging stop and yield signs, but red lights should be treated as stop signs. I would venture a guess that many people run red lights because they know if they stop they'll be sitting there an aggravatingly long time. But if they can stop at a red light, look left and right, then go, they'll probably be more willing to stop rather than punch it.

  • Screw em (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lisany (700361)

    As someone who has almost been run over by morons failing to stop at a stop sign and red light I endorse red-light and stop sign cameras. I say put the cameras at every intersection and raise the penalty for not stopping at stop signs or red lights.

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:19PM (#33061932) Homepage

    Merge stop and yield? That's one of those ideas that sound awesome, until you consider that people will be involved.

    We are just getting round abouts where I live, and people are constantly stopping at those things when no one is there, or trying to go even though they don't have the right away.

    People are idiots, and couldn't handle such a suggestion.

  • by egandalf (1051424) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:20PM (#33061958)
    There is no such thing as a rolling stop - you either stop or you don't. You either break the law, or you don't. Not harming someone or their property doesn't make it any more legal to disobey rules of the road.

    This whole concept reminds me of the George Carlin bit about staying seated until the plane comes to a "complete stop." There is no such thing as a partial stop. If you roll through a light, get caught and fined, at least own up to it. Any driver who does this knows they are taking the risk, knows it's against the rules, and, while I'm not saying they deserve to get caught, should at least take personal responsibility if they do.

    I roll through stops sometimes, though I do try to make a conscious effort to not do so. I also speed - and have no shame in doing it. If/when I get caught, I accept the consequences unless I have what I feel is a justifiable reason for what I did.
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:43PM (#33062258)

      There is no such thing as a rolling stop - you either stop or you don't

      Yes, you've spotted an oxymoron, good job and all, but it's not actually "rolling on through" either. There is a significant difference between a car driving past a stop sign at 30 mph and a car that slows down to 5 mph at the stop sign: one of those gave the driver enough time to make sure they weren't going to t-bone a car or smash a person, satisfying the intended function of a stop.

      It's a widely accepted term, the fact that literally it doesn't make much sense doesn't matter.

  • by Myopic (18616) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:25PM (#33062044)

    I have long thought that a majority (not all, not even most, but more than half) of stop signs should be replaced by yield signs which specifically list the speed to which you should slow down. For instance, we all do rolling stops because, honestly, it's almost always safe to do so. You rarely see people doing it at blind intersections with unclear views (I don't see that, anyway). Almost all intersections have very good visibility and slowing down to 5mph is perfectly safe. Some intersections, 10mph will be good enough; some, 2 or 3mph is good enough. On a small number of intersections require a full absolute STOP to make the intersection safe.

    (Please note, I followed the link but could not watch the video. I was hoping for a text summary but there was none. If he said exactly what I said, then I'm silly and apologize.)

  • by wirehead_rick (308391) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:47PM (#33062306)

    This is just a simple way for localities to make up lost revenue for a decreasing tax base in an economic downturn. Speeding tickets are on the rise too.

    It's just another case of there are so many damn laws you can't help but break some everyday. It's just govt. doesn't choose to fine you until the coffers get low. They let you break the law (speeding and the such) so you get into the habit and then bam - crackdown! Instant revenue stream.

    My favorite way to get back is to absolutely refuse to turn right on red at any light with the cameras. I don't care how many people I piss off. I'll sit there all freakin' day long. If it's in your local municipality and you support the camera then you get to wait behind my paranoid ass. Serves ya right.

  • by netsavior (627338) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:55PM (#33062440)
    Obviously they don't work.

    The obvious solution is RED LIGHT SPIKE STRIPS.

    Severe tire damage has 3 awesome consequences:
    1) no court proceedings
    2) no appeals
    3) stimulates local economy
  • Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Posting=!Working (197779) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:18PM (#33062750)

    I can't believe that every one of these cameras has not been hit by a paintball gun already. Simple, quiet, effective, makes them cost more than they're worth, and although certainly illegal, pretty easy to get away with (if you shoot at 4 am and when your light is green.)

    What ever happened to civil disobedience? So very few are willing to make a stand anymore.

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