Speed Cameras

Jim Rosenthal

Supporter
Speed and traffic cameras are a completely cynical tactic to give up on law enforcement and instead monetize lawbreaking. They are disgusting. I never thought I'd long for the days when a live cop pulled you over.
 

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
Jim I agree, and state government has come to rely so heavily on the revenue that more and more speed cameras are being put up. And the tolerance reduced. Motorists are constantly checking their speedos which in itself is dangerous, and speeding everywhere they know no speed cameras are, because the number of patrol cars has been reduced.
It has nothing to do with safety and is all about raising revenue.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
Here in the Houston, TX area the issue was never opened to any form of public discussion, the red-light cameras were just installed. Of course, the local "dignitaries" tried to pass them off as efforts to increase safety at intersections, but most sentient humans could see through that fog of deception and really understood that revenue generation was the primary purpose of those items. The "citations" issued were civil, not criminal, and a lot of citizens just refused to pay the fees (they could not call them fines, I guess). The city hired an organization to try to collect the delinquent "fees", but in the end the citizens forced a vote on the issue by getting enough verifiable signatures on a petition. The city was already in a contract that had a huge buy-out figure, so there was a hard-fought campaign to get enough votes to keep the cameras. In the end, the public spoke loud and clear and the cameras are now either gone or non-functional. I have no idea how the collection efforts have proceeded, but I do know that other than reporting the issue to some credit agency there ended up being nothing the city could do about refusals to pay.

Smaller cities (such as Sugar Land) continue to use the red-light cameras. Most of us know where they are and just avoid those intersections, as they put the cameras in the high-traffic areas. That does create a minor nuisance for us drivers, but not so much a nuisance as being sent a "bill" for something we may or may not have done.

There were legal issues, too...such as, how do you cross-examine a photograph? In our country the defendant is entitled to cross-examination in order to impeach the testimony against them...no opportunity for that if the testimony is just a photograph. Sure, the police could have issued citations, citing "...full faith in the veracity of the photographic evidence", but that didn't seem to develop and I can think of a whole bunch of reasons why it didn't.

I don't know how things work in GB or AU, but if y'all have the right to petition against laws that seem unjustified, it might work there, too. People get pissed off and the anger can spread like wildfire, but in this age of complacency it's often easier to just mind your P's and Q's than to sign a petition and I think many choose that option. Sad....our country seems to be in a delicate balancing act that involves legalizing some rather common activities (such as smoking pot) and criminalizing (for lack of a better term) other common activities (running yellow or "pink" lights, so to speak).

Here's hoping y'all can have the same success some of our American cities have enjoyed in getting these things BANNED!!!

Cheers!

Doug
 

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
Doug we are talking about speed cameras, not red light cameras. Speed cameras use radar to check your speed and take a photo of your car. Red light cameras take photos of cars running red lights. I hate speed cameras whereas I think red light cameras are ok. I can't think of anything more dangerous than running a red light.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
Doug we are talking about speed cameras, not red light cameras. Speed cameras use radar to check your speed and take a photo of your car. Red light cameras take photos of cars running red lights. I hate speed cameras whereas I think red light cameras are ok. I can't think of anything more dangerous than running a red light.
Oh...well, that's different!

Never mind

(...hoping you remember Roseann Roseanna Dana from early Saturday Night Live)

Yeah...didn't catch that...but the concept is the same, government using technology to depersonalize the process of enforcing traffic laws. You should still be entitled to impeach the evidence to be used against you. Here in the US radar tickets are fairly commonly challenged in court...things like radar calibration and maintenance records can be used to give reasonable doubt to a jury. I once had a radar ticket dismissed by a judge because as I was questioning the officer about the specifications of his radar I asked about "vertical rebound index"...he gave some numerical answer. During my closing statements I explained to the judge that the radar unit did not have any such specification...but it could be measured because it was simply how high the hand held radar gun would bounce if it was dropped. The judge had a good laugh and dismissed the case...the cop was not amused.

Bottom line is there ought to be a way to question the integrity of the equipment and how it is used...cameras deprive most of us of that opportunity.

Cheers!

Doug
 
Doug we are talking about speed cameras, not red light cameras. Speed cameras use radar to check your speed and take a photo of your car. Red light cameras take photos of cars running red lights. I hate speed cameras whereas I think red light cameras are ok. I can't think of anything more dangerous than running a red light.
In theory I agree but there were several studies here that showed that municipalities were systematically reducing the yellow time when installing the cameras to up the amount of tickets written

How Chicago turned yellow lights into cash - Chicago Tribune
 

Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Supporter
Doug we are talking about speed cameras, not red light cameras. Speed cameras use radar to check your speed and take a photo of your car. Red light cameras take photos of cars running red lights. I hate speed cameras whereas I think red light cameras are ok. I can't think of anything more dangerous than running a red light.
Hi Pete

I don't know about Queensland but here in NSW they are changing red light cameras over to speed and red light in one unit.

Drivers that see the lights change to yellow and put their foot down to beat the red are being caught for speeding even though they did not get caught by the red.

If they run the red they can get caught for 2 fines if they are speeding and run the red both at the same time.

When the lights are green they function as a speed camera.

Dimi.
 

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
Some areas in London have speed cameras that have been altered by the local population. They end up with a small hole being drilled and the yellow box filled with expanding foam. Other tricks are the camera glass cover is smeared with vaseline, but here in Marlow we've had a couple of cameras burned. This last one doesn't seem to bother the system for very long as its back in use very quickly even though its quite blackened.
One trick some people use is the reflective number plate which uses the flash of the system. (only good on one particular camera though),
 
I have about twenty vehicles on the road and get dozens of these speeding tickets sent through. Six weeks after the event I genuinely have no clue who was driving at the given time, I request information in the way of photographic evidence to assist me in identifying the driver and they normally send me a shot of the rear of the car. I just send it back with a covering letter explaining that its a pool vehicle and the driver cant be identified with their evidence , thats the last I ever hear from them. Even if I knew who originally took the vehicle on the day there would be nothing to stop another employee jumping in it to nip down the shops. At the end of the day its a driver offense so its down to them to provide the evidence.

Bob
 

Larry L.

Lifetime Supporter
Red light cameras are a revenue tool. Period.

Think about it. They don't really prevent or deter red light running. All they do is make it possible to fine someone after the fact...after a red light has already been run...or, if you will, after a wreck has already happened...and yet proponents will tell you that red light cameras greatly reduce or prevent intersection collisions/deaths/injuries. What they actually do is increase the probability of rear end collisions caused by people who slam on their brakes trying to avoid a 'red light ticket' that they think they may get otherwise.

It makes a lot more sense from a safety standpoint to just delay giving a "green light" to, say, North/South traffic once a "red light" has actually come on for East/West traffic. That slight delay would very likely prevent 99% of the wrecks that result from red light running because, in most cases, that delay would keep 'victims' out of an intersection while a red light runner is blasting through it.

Of course, programming said "delay" into traffic lights would probably put a big dent in govt revenue, wouldn't it...and, after all, we just couldn't have that, could we.

Yeeep, I'm a cynic...justifiably so when it comes to govt.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
It makes a lot more sense from a safety standpoint to just delay giving a "green light" to, say, North/South traffic once a "red light" has actually come on for East/West traffic. That slight delay would very likely prevent 99% of the wrecks that result from red light running because, in most cases, that delay would keep 'victims' out of an intersection while a red light runner is blasting through it.
That is exactly the way the city of Houston has their timing on street lights, Larry...there is probably a 5 second delay between the light turning red for E/W traffic and the light turning green for N/S traffic...perhaps even 10 seconds. Despite governmental efforts to boost city income through increased enforcement of traffic laws, it's still fairly common knowledge and common practice that once the light turns red you'd better wait because at least two more cars in each lane of traffic will be blasting through that intersection.

Cheers!

Doug
 

Larry L.

Lifetime Supporter
That is exactly the way the city of Houston has their timing on street lights, Larry...it's still fairly common knowledge and common practice that once the light turns red you'd better wait because at least two more cars in each lane of traffic will be blasting through that intersection.

Cheers!

Doug

My ole buddy Geo. Wallace did a 'bit' in his 'Vegas show on that very thing...using 'Vegas as the 'backdrop city' for it.

The setup came down to, "What's wrong wid chew people???. Just how many cars can blow thru an intersection 'round here after a light turns 'red' before the light becomes an O-FISHULL, for REAL, fully LEGIT and totally LEGAL red light??? Two? Five??? An even dozen??? HOW MANY??? I gots ta KNOW this kinda stuff."

'Love the guy. 'Wish he was still doing his show down at the Flamingo, but, after 10 years he decided to call it a day (on 22 March, '13 if I remember right).

For those of you who don't recognize the name, here he is in an interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvLtPrB6AJc
 

Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Supporter
I have about twenty vehicles on the road and get dozens of these speeding tickets sent through. Six weeks after the event I genuinely have no clue who was driving at the given time, I request information in the way of photographic evidence to assist me in identifying the driver and they normally send me a shot of the rear of the car. I just send it back with a covering letter explaining that its a pool vehicle and the driver cant be identified with their evidence , thats the last I ever hear from them. Even if I knew who originally took the vehicle on the day there would be nothing to stop another employee jumping in it to nip down the shops. At the end of the day its a driver offense so its down to them to provide the evidence.

Bob
Hi Bob

We have the same problem here in NSW but the way they get around it is to fine the company $1000-00 for not declaring who was driving and if it continues to happen they cancel the rego.
Dimi
 
We have these red light, speed and average speed cameras here in the ACT, Australia.

The average speed cameras have been set up in 2 locations. The first is on a 2 and 3 lane road, up a relatively steep hill and down the other side. There have been 3 road deaths (the one accident) on this particular piece of road in the last 15 or so years. The other stretch passes through 2 of Canberra's famous roundabouts. Both are on 80kph speed limits. This second stretch was probably introduced to get back at the local area for voting the wrong way at the last council elections :veryangry:

Local Gov apparently commissioned a study into the efficacy of these things, but they have delayed reporting the results. I suspect both the Gov and opposition are too heavily reliant on the income.

I am stupid enough to have been pinged twice by the same camera. This is situated on a 4 lane divided road, with an 80kph limit, the camera situated 150 metres before the speed limit rises to 100kph.

But it's NEVER revenue raising!

Clive
 

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
Revenue raising? Of course it's not revenue raising! Near where I live there is a speed camera situated at the bottom of a hill in an 80k zone also about 150 meters from a 100k zone. The state even calls them safety cameras, not revenue cameras. Who do they think they are kidding?
 

Nick

Supporter
OK there is an election here in May so we will be promised everything by every electioneering party, but at least it's being talked about. Interesting the Labour (or communist party for our American friends would say ) mooted it first.

Graeme Paton and Sam Coates Times Transport Correspondent
Last updated at 12:01AM, February 19 2015

Thousands of speed cameras could be switched off and parts of the railway renationalised under Labour plans to overhaul the road and train networks.

The party said that action should be taken to prevent speed camera technology from being used as a “cash cow”. Reforms may be introduced that ban local councils and the highways agency from installing CCTV on roads and junctions other than those designated as accident blackspots.

A future Labour government would also order all “stealth” cameras — grey boxes enforcing speed limits on motorways — to be painted yellow to make them more visible to motorists.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
IIRC there is a provision here in the state in which I live that only a certain percentage of a municipality's budget can be obtained through fines and penalties.

I can't remember exactly what the percentage is, but it was less than 50%, I think.

That would certainly curtail some municipalities who set up speed traps and padded their budgets with the $$ from the fines and penalties. We have had a few...Patton Village comes to mind, a very small town on U.S. 59 going north out of Houston.

Might work for y'all????

Cheers!

Doug
 
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