U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-06-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,023,746 times
Reputation: 635

Advertisements



Governor Schweitzer signed HB 531 banning red light cameras in Montana.
The bill passed in the House, 67-33, and 36-14 in the Senate.

It's a good day for Bozeman citizens as the amendment exempting Bozeman from this failed despite their contract with Red-Flex traffic systems out of Arizona.

I'm glad there are still some representatives that still listen to public input. Good job folks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-07-2009, 02:53 AM
 
154 posts, read 33,128 times
Reputation: 52
Right on Montana, is Schweitzer really a Libertarian?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 11:04 AM
 
369 posts, read 953,882 times
Reputation: 252
I have a bit of a different take on this issue. First Governor Schweitzer is a wimp in that he signs the easy ones and lets the difficult issues become law by waiting the obligatory 10 days. It's no different here.

With respect to the red light cameras, I, were I governor, would have vetoed it. More and more people are killed or seriously injured running red lights than in almost any other violation. If you haven't seen someone run a light or a stop sign recently, then you've probably been asleep at the wheel! It's my contention that a police officer who is paid $80K a year in salary and benefits could have their time put to better use doing something else fighting crime. And we could not afford to put an officer at every problem stop light site.

But, alas, I suppose the Libertarians out there would probably want to do away with stop lights and signs altogether!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,480,582 times
Reputation: 1994
Default Sounds good, but it doesn't work that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzfan View Post
With respect to the red light cameras, I, were I governor, would have vetoed it. More and more people are killed or seriously injured running red lights than in almost any other violation. If you haven't seen someone run a light or a stop sign recently, then you've probably been asleep at the wheel! It's my contention that a police officer who is paid $80K a year in salary and benefits could have their time put to better use doing something else fighting crime. And we could not afford to put an officer at every problem stop light site.
You need to read up on the issue. What you say sounds good on the surface, but is in direct conflict with recorded facts:

Redlight cameras are associated with INCREASED injury accidents, because people are a lot more likely to slam on the brakes to avoid the ticket. Imagine that scenario on an icy winter street -- instead of safely coasting through the red light, you wind up doing a couple 360s and slamming into whoever is in the way.

If you really want to reduce redlight-related accidents, the proven best method is increasing the length of the yellow light by one second, which ensures that people can clear the intersection in a timely manner, AND that people have enough time to make the right decision when that light changes. This alone cuts redlight violations and accidents by 90%.

But to make redlight cameras profitable, the yellow duration has to be cut to the legally-required minimum. Which in turn reduces drivers' decision-making time and leads to more accidents. (Many cities have been caught shaving it below the federal minimums, to increase ticketing.)

You can read tons of stats and info about the whole controversy at TheNewspaper.Com: Front Page

See specifically http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/04/430.asp

Note also that redlight cameras infringe on our civil rights, since they circumvent due process. Second, most systems are owned by outfits based in Australia, and fines have to be doubled to give them their piece of the pie -- and that's money that leaves the U.S. permanently. (The contracts are also rather, uh, interesting... they generally require that the city pay up even if the system does not write enough tickets to make the camera company's mandated profit margin.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 01:01 PM
 
18 posts, read 60,550 times
Reputation: 18
YES!!! Now, I can wipe all the mud off my license plates
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 01:06 PM
 
Location: NW MT
1,436 posts, read 2,030,979 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
If you really want to reduce redlight-related accidents, the proven best method is increasing the length of the yellow light by one second, which ensures that people can clear the intersection in a timely manner, AND that people have enough time to make the right decision when that light changes. This alone cuts redlight violations and accidents by 90%.
And add a 3 second delay of red lights in all directions between changing to green instantly as it is now and you probably eliminate much of the remaining 10% without delaying traffic much.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,480,582 times
Reputation: 1994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan_K View Post
And add a 3 second delay of red lights in all directions between changing to green instantly as it is now and you probably eliminate much of the remaining 10% without delaying traffic much.
You don't even need that much. As little as one second has been shown to almost entirely eliminate the remaining redlight accidents, as between that and a longer yellow, people wind up almost never running a red light. (Of course, this is not popular with outfits that make money by maximizing tickets.)

Remember most redlight violations aren't intentional -- they're just timing errors because not everyone always thinks that fast.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: NW MT
1,436 posts, read 2,030,979 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Remember most redlight violations aren't intentional -- they're just timing errors because not everyone always thinks that fast.
I said years ago if I ever get a ticket for running a red light I was going to plead not guilty and use that as a defense at trial while represent myself. Since then I've ran many red lights (not intentional, timing issues) but have not received a ticket... so far !

Think about it... there is a "point" in which no matter how fast you react, depending on your speed, the vehicles braking ability, road conditions and timing of the light, you can not stop for the light by the time it turns red... and clear the intersection too which is expected. This is true for EVERY traffic light in existence. Laws of physics do not take exception to traffic lights. I feel that majority of the tickets for this violation shouldn't be written as most fall victim to misjudging the many laws of physics involved fractionally... which is all it takes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,480,582 times
Reputation: 1994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan_K View Post
Think about it... there is a "point" in which no matter how fast you react, depending on your speed, the vehicles braking ability, road conditions and timing of the light, you can not stop for the light by the time it turns red... and clear the intersection too which is expected. This is true for EVERY traffic light in existence. Laws of physics do not take exception to traffic lights. I feel that majority of the tickets for this violation shouldn't be written as most fall victim to misjudging the many laws of physics involved fractionally... which is all it takes.
That is exactly why adding a couple seconds makes all the difference in the world. I vaguely recall that most driving decisions are made in about 4/10ths of a second, but there is still a certain amount of time required to move your foot, for the braking system to respond, for the car to slow down ... it all takes time. When the available time is minimized (as is always the case when redlight cameras are used) you get more redlight violations and naturally more accidents. When the time is expanded, violations and accidents both go away. As you say, it's simple physics.

Some years ago I was in the left-turn lane at a busy intersection, with all forward lanes on Red Light and all lanes filled other than mine (I was the only car in my lane). It's a long light -- I've timed it at as much as 8 minutes to complete a cycle. We'd been sitting there a couple minutes when behind us came a fire truck, which was unable to proceed because all the lanes were blocked and the center curb is too high to "jump" (and there is NO alternate route). I made the decision to run the red light and give the fire truck a way through, which they promptly used. I didn't get a ticket but I've wondered how this would have fared as a defense. In court with a sensible judge, likely no problem. With a redlight ticketing machine -- I'd be SOL, since as a rule there is no way to contest those tickets.

Last edited by Reziac; 05-07-2009 at 06:20 PM.. Reason: poofread carefully
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-07-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: NW MT
1,436 posts, read 2,030,979 times
Reputation: 531
I'd like to think that a photo of you going through the intersection with a fire truck on your ass with lights blazing would warrant a pass on the fine in that situation ! I'd also like to think most judges are not THAT anal ! Your moving may have saved a life.

Traffic cams are nothing more than revenue generators. That's their main purpose. I'd like to know what the average revenue is on one... and know what the original revenue was for the intersection prior to it being installed ! Probably interesting figures to say the least.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top