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Old 05-02-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,882,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Red light cameras are here to stay, all right; only because they are cash cows for the camera manufacturers, the company that monitors them, and the political jurisdiction.

They don't prevent people from running red lights.
Don't be so sure, that they are here to stay. Most cities in California that try them, end up getting rid of them, because they don't work. We are pretty much free of them here.

More On Red-Light Cameras: Another City Gets Rid Of Them Because “They Don’t Work”

Red light cameras could soon be out of El Cajon

L.A. City Council shuts down red-light cameras

Hayward To Get Rid Of Red Light Cameras
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,882,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Well if you're stupid and reckless enough to run a red light in the first place, then you deserve to be caught and heavily fined for it, whether by police car or camera, and your license revoked if you keep doing it.
Most red light camera tickets are not given for running a red light. There aren't enough people doing that to make having a red light camera profitable.

The vast majority are given to people who 1. are trying to enter the intersection on the yellow light, but misjudge the timing and enter the intersection in the first second of the red light, or who 2. don't come to a complete stop on a right turn at a red light.

Neither of these violations will by themselves ever cause an collision. For several seconds after a light turns red, the light will still be red in the other direction. So there is no danger of a collision there. And a rolling right turn on red is like rolling through a stop sign. As long as you yield to other traffic, there is no safety issue there either.

Which means that red light cameras simply do not improve safety. Add to that they have been proven to actually increase the chances of rear-end collisions. Red light cameras cause far more accidents then they prevent.

If you want to get of rid red light cameras in your city, demand that they lengthen the yellow lights by one or two seconds. This will reduce the majority of violations, the cameras will be unprofitable, and will be packed up and gone in no time.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:16 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
2. don't come to a complete stop on a right turn at a red light.
.
as a pedestrian and cyclist, I find that behavior to be dangerous.

Turning right on red even AFTER coming to a full stop is problematic for peds, which is why in NYC (and most of europe) the default is that its not allowed.

Turing right on red without making a full stop, though its common by drivers (at least as common, I believe, as the oft complained of cyclists blowing through red lights) is quite problematic. Enforcement of that law is a good thing, IMO.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Don't be so sure, that they are here to stay. Most cities in California that try them, end up getting rid of them, because they don't work. We are pretty much free of them here.

More On Red-Light Cameras: Another City Gets Rid Of Them Because “They Don’t Work”

Red light cameras could soon be out of El Cajon

L.A. City Council shuts down red-light cameras

Hayward To Get Rid Of Red Light Cameras
Task force tries to make peace over cameras; AAA doesn't - Greater Greater Washington
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:22 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
But, cameras are expensive to install, maintain and support. And, because they remove the human interaction, cause far more anger than a living officer doing the same job. Combined with the fact that cities abuse the system by failing to review tickets, by shortening yellows, and by otherwise eating away at the stated purpose of safety in favor of revenue, and citizens tend to get very vocally angry..

In DC the folks who get most angry about them are suburban commuters. DC residents, on the whole, seem just fine with them - its led to greater safety, and more revenue as well (from the untaxable suburban commuters, mostly) The reality is there are not enough police officers to do the same level of enforcement - drivers are angry because the laws are actually being enforced now. Some cities may shorten yellows, I no of no evidence DC has done so (and in any case, one is NOT supposed to deliberately enter an intersection on a yellow)
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,378,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Agreed on the bit about residential streets...but highways and arterials should be built for LOS and efficient, quick travel.
That's what arterial roads are for - to facilitate efficient travel.

Quote:
Revenue enhancement bull$%*# and terrible driver training/education in the US really does keep us from being able to have more sensible speed limits that smart people would actually be able to follow and get somewhere efficiently: more 75-80-85 mph speed limits on truly rural interstate sections, more 65mph limits in places where it's 55 for revenue enhancement and speed traps, and places where just plain idiots who can't drive cause engineers to want to set the limit lower.
I agree with that, and in fact think 75-85 mph is a moderate proposal, considering that it's the norm in Europe. For a typical rural interstate as it exists today, 75-85 mph should be the limit, assuming that one is to be set at all. Notice that I said "typical" - rural Interstates in America range from winding mountain freeways to long, straight stretches with no other traffic in sight.

Quote:
As for red light cameras, you're completely right and that's why I can't help but just completely dismiss any argument "cisco kid" has in favor of them. I've personally noticed that all of the red light camera'd lights around my area have much shorter yellow periods...so much so that it has been brought up before in our local news:

Are red lights at camera intersections rigged? | SILive.com

I think these intersections could benefit more so from better light synchronization and longer yellow light phases. We have signals that seem to arbitrarily change out of sync, and clearly cause people to speed up and catch the next signal...combine that with the short yellows and cameras and you have another nice revenue enhancement stream from the corrupt people running this crap.
The "increasing safety" line is BS. The only thing traffic cameras increase is government coffers and motorist anger. If you really want to improve safety how about lengthening yellow light times? In almost all cases red light violations are down 50% and accidents are reduced as well, a record that cameras can't match. The majority of red light violations are due to mistakes on the part of drivers, or by drivers reasonably violating a red light when there's a mile of visibility in all directions and no traffic. Very few violations are caused by drivers deliberately running a red light and driving into cross-traffic.

There are basically two approaches to handling traffic: create designs and laws that work against motorists, or create designs and laws that work with motorists. The former approach focuses on obedience to laws that punish deviance from a narrow pattern of behavior. The latter approach focuses on efficient traffic flow and helping drivers via design features. You see an outgrowth of this in the answer to the red light question:

Question: "How can we reduce accidents caused by red light running?"
Follower of approach #1: "Install cameras to ticket anyone who runs a red light. The fear of punishment will dissuade people from running red lights. Curse those lawbreakers!"
Follower of approach #2: "Lengthen yellow light times to allow people to clear the intersection in time. This will cut down on traffic conflict. Curse those revenuers!"

I'm obviously with #2, but I tried to be as neutral as possible in this "dialogue". There definitely appears to be two divergent approaches here. Brooklynborndad and TexasHorseLady provide two excellent examples of approach #1, and myself and KeepRightPassLeft provide two excellent examples of approach #2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
The vast majority are given to people who 1. are trying to enter the intersection on the yellow light, but misjudge the timing and enter the intersection in the first second of the red light, or who 2. don't come to a complete stop on a right turn at a red light.

Neither of these violations will by themselves ever cause an collision. For several seconds after a light turns red, the light will still be red in the other direction. So there is no danger of a collision there.
That's true, and those several seconds are called the "all-red clearance interval". That's a safety feature that permits cars still in the intersection (by mistake) to clear it before the cross traffic starts to move. It works quite well in many cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Some cities may shorten yellows, I no of no evidence DC has done so (and in any case, one is NOT supposed to deliberately enter an intersection on a yellow)
Another excellent example of approach #1. Based on what I've always been told and based on common sense, the purpose of the yellow light is to serve as a warning that the light is about to turn red. If you can safely stop without going over the stop line you should come to a stop at that time. If you cannot safely stop in time or if you're already in the intersection, you should keep going.

The situation you describe, that of allowing cars already in the intersection to clear, is more the domain of the all-red clearance interval than the yellow phase. If cars "obeyed the law" (which varies by state*) and took all measures necessary to avoid deliberately entering the intersection a yellow light, then many people would be rear-ended, or come to a stop in the middle of the intersection, or both. Fortunately most drivers know when it's safe to stop and when it's safer to proceed through the intersection. If the law doesn't reflect this then it needs to be changed.

*Some states have a "permissive yellow rule" and some states have a "restrictive yellow rule". The difference is explained here. Texas law, for example, does not prohibit entering the intersection on a yellow, only on a red. Legally the yellow is a warning that the light is about to turn red.

Quote:
And a rolling right turn on red is like rolling through a stop sign. As long as you yield to other traffic, there is no safety issue there either.
I agree. If you yield the right of way to a pedestrian or other motor vehicle, like you're supposed to at a yield sign, you're not going to hit or injure them. Failure to yield the right of way is a ticketable offense, much like how running a stop sign is. The only difference between a stop sign and a yield sign is that if it is not necessary to stop, you can keep moving at a yield sign, but at a stop sign you have to stop anyway.

If the concept of "you must stop whether you need to or not" doesn't make any sense to you, you're in good company, since most drivers ignore the legal requirement. Most drivers roll through the stop sign if nothing is coming, and come to a full stop to yield the right of way to other cars or to let pedestrians cross. This procedure is also known as "yielding", and surveys tend to cluster in the 80-90% range for the percentage of drivers who treat stops as yields.

Also, about pedestrian safety, even if a driver has come to a full stop there's nothing stopping him from resuming motion and threatening pedestrians () afterward, so I don't see what the point is.

Quote:
If you want to get of rid red light cameras in your city, demand that they lengthen the yellow lights by one or two seconds. This will reduce the majority of violations, the cameras will be unprofitable, and will be packed up and gone in no time.
That reminds me of when Republicans were talking about "backdoor gun control". Letting a corrupt system destroy itself is sometimes the best course to take. There have been cases where yellows were lengthened and red light cameras were removed afterwards, obviously because they were unprofitable.

Also, how did we come to discussing red light cameras in a thread titled "Traffic calming"? What do red light cameras have to do with traffic calming?
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
If the concept of "you must stop whether you need to or not" doesn't make any sense to you, you're in good company, since most drivers ignore the legal requirement. Most drivers roll through the stop sign if nothing is coming, and come to a full stop to yield the right of way to other cars or to let pedestrians cross. This procedure is also known as "yielding", and surveys tend to cluster in the 80-90% range for the percentage of drivers who treat stops as yields.
where I live, we have yield signs, and we have stop signs. I presume one or the other was selected based on ease of movement and visibility. I do stop at stop signs, and encourage that behavior.

I realize that many drivers do treat stop signs as yield signs, though I would question if its a majority who do so regularly. I suspect many of those are the same folks who consider cyclists scofflaws for doing so (the Idaho Stop) despite cyclists generally less obstructed field of vision, and greater reliance on momentum. I generally do not do an Idaho stop in any place thats not deserted.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
There are basically two approaches to handling traffic: create designs and laws that work against motorists, or create designs and laws that work with motorists.
I am all for designs that work - in many instances we have to work with the designs we have. And I want laws that work for all modes (including peds and cyclists) not just motorists.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Another excellent example of approach #1. Based on what I've always been told and based on common sense, the purpose of the yellow light is to serve as a warning that the light is about to turn red. If you can safely stop without going over the stop line you should come to a stop at that time. If you cannot safely stop in time or if you're already in the intersection, you should keep going.
I would think that if its so late in the yellow cycle that you cannot exit before the light turns red, you are not appropriately using the yellow. Maybe thats not true where yellows are exceptionally short. Again, I am not aware of that complaint in the region where I live. here there are real concerns with drivers who race through reds (I see this happening too frequently) and I believe thats who the red light cams get. Again, the cams in general have been relatively popular in DC. At most we are likely to see them repositioned - they are of course more needed in places where there are more pedestrians rather than on limited access roads.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:53 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,803 posts, read 10,714,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
That's what arterial roads are for - to facilitate efficient travel.
Efficient, safe and comfortable travel for all modes. Including peds needing to cross, peds walking to commercial centers often located on arterials, cyclists who often have no choice other than an arterial, etc. In many places arterials ARE the main streets of neighborhoods.
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