Photo Radar



  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Maybe to go along with Photo Radar we could get the schools to teach our children to report of the activities of their parents? We would be protected even more. There has to be all kinds of laws still on the books people are breaking at home and in their car? And there is no fear of losing rights because only bad people do bad things. Simply never do anything and you have nothing to worry about. We could even do away with the Jury system and put cameras in all of our homes. Still nothing to worry about because the government wouldn't abuse your rights. In fact why do we even need the bill of rights? Isn't the bill of rights just for big cry babies?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    boaz47 says, "...children to report of the activities of their parents."

    That has happened. Kids report law-breaking parents pretty regularly. That does not deny anyone their rights. Shows the parents that they are not above the law.

    boaz47 says, "Simply never do anything and you have nothing to worry about."

    I think you meant to say "Simply never do anything WRONG and you have nothing to worry about" and that would have made your statement correct.

    boaz47 says, "Isn't the bill of rights just for big cry babies? "

    Again, I think you meant to say, "Isn't "whining about Photo Radar taking away your rights" just for cry babies?" and that would have made your statement correct.

    Seriously, though: It still boils down to the fact that "getting a speeding ticket does not deny you any rights." You can still fight it, same as fighting a human-issued ticket.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    larsb says: "Seriously, though: It still boils down to the fact that "getting a speeding ticket does not deny you any rights." You can still fight it, same as fighting a human-issued ticket."

    You mean like the lady in the story below? No thanks.


    Tennessee: Innocent Woman Forced to Pay Red Light Camera Ticket

    Woman proves she is innocent of running red light is nonetheless forced to pay the camera ticket in Red Bank, Tennessee.

    Red Bank, Tennessee resident Carol Hile was at work in February when a red light camera claimed her Toyota entered an intersection a split-second after the light had turned red. Although the Red Bank City Court accepted proof that she was at work at the time listed on the photograph, Judge Gary Disheroon nevertheless ordered her to pay $50 for the violation she did not commit and another $100 for challenging the ticket in court.

    "Well I was just shocked and I had no idea, just the last thing I expected," Hile told WTVC television.

    The Red Bank camera program operates without authorization of the state legislature under a city ordinance. This ordinance allows a private company to mail citations to the owner of a vehicle without proving that an individual is actually responsible. An innocent motorist who receives such a ticket must become a prosecutor on behalf of the city to find someone to admit guilt and accept the ticket. In other words, as long as someone -- anyone -- pays, the city is satisfied.

    In this case, Hile was asked to turn in her own daughters and make them pay -- something she was unable or unwilling to do. Hile also told WTVC that when she called to ask her insurance agent about the impact the violation might have on her rate, the company raised her premium. This happened even though she did not commit the offense and Red Bank does not report civil tickets on a driver's record.

    Red Bank installed cameras in January, generating $348,500 in revenue. Of this amount, $219,555 went to camera vendor ATS which operates every aspect of the program on the city's behalf for a cut of the profit on each ticket it is able to issue.

    Source: The Latest Turn On Red Banks Traffic Violation Cameras (WTVC-TV (TN), 9/13/2006)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Well, SOMEBODY driving her car ran the red light, right? She or someone needed to pay the fines.

    If you let someone borrow your car, tell them IN ADVANCE: if you get a ticket of any kind, YOU ARE ponying up the cash.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Yes, but the job of citing that somebody is the police's job, not hers. That is the LAW.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The photo radar is a tool operating under supervision by a police agency.

    Just like the photo radar gun held in that officer's hand.

    A tool. Operated by the police or by a company which is authorized to do so, under the LAW.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Technology always has problems. Blind reliance is never good, especially where police work is concerned.


    Speed Camera Manual Discloses Accuracy Problems

    Potholes, cracked pavement, worn-out shock absorbers and other common problems may cause inaccurate speed camera readings.

    According to a New South Wales, Australia Roads and Traffic Authority manual, there are several known sources of inaccuracy in speed camera technology using embedded pavement sensors. Last month, Scottsdale, Arizona began using this method on the Loop 101 freeway, putting an Australian vendor in charge of the ticketing program.

    Technical Manual EN 62, obtained by The Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, admits between three and ten percent of automobiles "may give zero speed results" and "this is absolutely normal." The error is caused by vehicles with worn-out shock absorbers and unbalanced wheels that confuse the pavement sensors. Bankrupt manufacturer Poltech recommends when the error rate exceeds ten percent the camera should be sent in for service.

    Although Poltech went bankrupt after 160,000 inaccurate tickets were refunded in the state of Victoria, its pavement sensors were manufactured by Truvelo and MSI and are still used by other Australian camera vendors. Common problems such as potholes or pavement cracks within 160 feet of the sensor also affects their accuracy.

    Cameras manufactured by Redflex, Traffipax and Redflex can only capture five vehicles per second meaning drivers in close groups on freeways may not be identifiable. Traffipax cameras shut down after temperatures inside the camera housing exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods.

    According to the manual, the device has a 1.25 MPH margin of error under 62 MPH, and a 2 percent error rate above that speed. The manual states that this inaccuracy, "complies with international standards." Most cameras also cannot process speeds below 12 MPH or above 158 MPH. For Traffipax, these speeds are "outside the manufacturer's specified detection range."

    Source: Speed secrets (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 3/13/2006)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Sure, if the police officer is using the radar, no problem. But that is not the case with automatic photo radar operated under a financial contract awarded to a private company.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Regardless of what states use private companies for photo radar installations, they are all doing "traffic enforcement duties" and are under the purview of some police agency.

    None of them are independent from a government-sponsored police agency.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Oh, you mean that private contractor can do just as good a job? Like this story illustrates.......Sure, all those cited were given a wonderful opportunity to prove their innocence, right? RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIght :)


    Scottsdale, Arizona Refunds Nearly 2000 Photo Tickets

    Nearly $175,000 in bogus speed camera tickets in Scottsdale, Arizona will be refunded or canceled.

    The city of Scottsdale, Arizona is being forced to refund nearly two thousand photo radar tickets that were improperly issued over a period of more than three months. The city has been busy preparing to expand its photo radar program by installing fixed speed cameras on the Loop 101 freeway. Last year, the city issued $9.3 million in photo tickets causing a near doubling in the city's fatality rate.

    The latest setback to the city's plans began on July 28, when a mobile speed camera van operator for Australian contractor Redflex Traffic Systems made a change in the software that removed date, time and speed information from every alleged violation issued from that device. Over the course of fourteen weeks, no police officer or Redflex employee verified that the required information was actually present in any of the 1964 citations mailed out. The problem was not discovered until November 7.

    So far, 580 refunds worth $51,000 have been processed and Redflex has paid back $33,548, its cut of the camera profit. Redflex will also refund the cost of traffic school for those who have paid to attend as a result of a faulty ticket.

    Source: Photo mix-up gets drivers city refunds (Arizona Republic, 12/31/2005)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Would the police officer have given a ticket to a dead man? Hey, at least the bereaved family got the opportunity to prove thier innocence, right?


    Arizona: Dead Man Gets Red Light Camera Ticket

    A Mesa, Arizona man received a red light camera ticket even though he has been dead for the past five years.

    On October 10, a red light camera in the city of Mesa, Arizona issued James Hamburg a ticket for allegedly entering an intersection less than one second after the light had turned red. The problem with the allegation is that Hamburg had been dead for five years at the time of the supposed violation.

    "I don't know if this is a cruel joke, or what," widow Lorraine Hamburg, 80, told the Phoenix New Times.

    Steven Hamburg, the man's son, tried to get the ticket dropped. Mesa police refused to do so unless he could send documentation proving his father was dead at the time the citation was issued. After doing so, Steven Hamburg never heard back, so he contacted a local newspaper to tell his story.

    Mesa police dropped the charge after being contacted by the press but could offer no explanation for the ticket.

    Source: Dead Man Driving (Phoenix New Times, 12/1/2005)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Nevermind, a vehicle with the same plate must be the same vehicle. Pay up or tell us who else will pay up should be enough for these folks, right? After all, they have the wonderfully adequate opportunity of proving their innocence, so due process can be dispensed with, right?


    Toll Cameras Ticket Innocent Nebraska Motorists

    New Jersey Turnpike toll cameras ticket hundreds of innocent Nebraskans.

    Hundreds of innocent Nebraska motorists have been receiving tickets for running toll booths in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, even though they have never made the 1200 mile journey to those states. The problem has continued for a year and a half, despite the well-known cause.

    Like New Hampshire, Nebraska allows a commercial vehicle license and other specialty plates to use the same number as used on a regular automobile license plate. This means an 18-wheeler can be photographed passing through a toll booth without paying and the cameras issue a ticket to a small sedan. Despite claims to the contrary, no human oversight verifies the accuracy of the tickets before they are issued, despite the effect they may have on the credit records of the recipient.

    Innocent Nebraskans who have tried to have their records cleared claim the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has been unresponsive. To help ease the problem, Nebraska's Department of Motor Vehicles has given New Jersey a complete database of license plates, including commercial vehicles.

    Article Excerpt:
    On some of the tickets was a picture of a Nebraska license plate with the number 61380. Mildred Stava said the vehicle pictured was obviously a tractor-trailer. The license plate number on the Stava's 1994 Ford pickup is 61-380. "We haven't been on the New Jersey Turnpike in 40 years," Stava said. "I don't think I want to go back."

    Source: Mix-up nets Nebraskans unwarranted tickets from other states (Associated Press, 11/15/2005)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Once again you are attacking only the IMPLEMENTATION ERROR and still not showing that a PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED system ( of which there are hundreds, but HEY, no one ever reports those because they are WORKING PROPERLY ) has issues.

    The system is not at fault in any of these cases you love to Google.

    It is a human error, or a implementation error, or a legal error.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    larsb: " It is a human error, or a implementation error, or a legal error. " but it is a great system in spite of all these problems. Ha Ha Ha !!!!! :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Hey, nevermind all these errors, it is such a great system. ROFL!!!! :) I am sure somebody is also laughing ALL the way to their BANK! Wow, great system! :) Afterall, 165,000 Australians got their opportunity to prove their innocence, and all proud Merikuns can have the same wonderful opportunity to obey the LAW. :)


    Maryland: Camera Accuses Elderly Man of 100 MPH Rush Hour Blast

    Silver Spring, Maryland speed camera makes claim that man drove an impossible speed.

    A Montgomery County, Maryland speed camera accused an elderly man of hurtling through a busy neighborhood at 70 miles per hour faster than the maximum legal speed -- during rush hour. The automated ticketing machine on Wayne Avenue near Dale Drive snapped two photos of the vehicle belonging to Silver Spring residents Terence Brennan, 68, and Helga Brennan, 76, on Wednesday, June 25, at 4:12 pm. While the Brennans strongly endorse the county's photo enforcement efforts, they are baffled as to how Terence Brennan could be accused of driving their Toyota Echo economy car at 100 MPH.

    "We and our neighbors, who know well that even 40 MPH would be dangerous at this stretch, wonder how the camera could come up with such a reading," Helga Brennan wrote to The Washington Post. "This speed would be impossible on the Beltway at the best of times, and we have never in our life driven at this speed."

    Manufacturer performance figures for the Echo show that it is capable of accelerating from a stop to 78.5 MPH in a quarter of a mile. From the stoplight at the intersection of Sligo Parkway and Wayne Avenue where the couple had stopped that afternoon, it is just over a quarter mile along the curvy, uphill road to the camera. The couple went ahead and paid the $40 ticket, but the Brennans explained in a letter to police that the speed was impossible under the circumstances. Officials ignored their pleas to cancel the fine.

    Only after the Post and WTTG television got involved did Montgomery County admit that the camera, which has all the certifications of accuracy and maintenance records needed to allow thousands of citations to be issued, was mistaken. An official review concluded that this was the only mistake that the camera has ever made and that "human error" was at fault for failing to catch the obviously bogus ticket before private vendor Affiliated Computer Services dropped it in the mail. Erroneous tickets showing readings at or above 100 MPH will now be reviewed, and the Brennans will receive a hand-delivered $40 refund.

    The Silver Spring camera is not the first to generate an obviously false citation. Last year, a speed camera in Colorado accused a pickup truck with a top speed of 99 MPH of going 132. Before that, a Scottsdale, Arizona sentenced a man to a month in jail after a speed camera accused the Hyundai Sonata he had rented of reaching 147 MPH. Since 2003, over 165,000 citations in Australia have been canceled after faulty speed readings were documented.

    Source: Meet Silver Springs Would-Be Speed Demons (Washington Post, 8/17/2008)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    So what if 589 motorists were innocent. That was a mere malfunction, but the system is GREAT? I would laugh some more if it weren't so serious. :)

    Arizona: 589 Innocent Drivers Sent Photo Tickets

    A bad sensor causes 589 innocent motorists to receive speed camera tickets in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    The city of Scottsdale, Arizona agreed to cancel speed camera fines issued to 589 innocent motorists. Between December 7 and January 4, a broken piezo sensor embedded in the pavement caused speed estimates to read high at the Shea Boulevard camera located between 120th and 124th Streets.

    An official with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the vendor that operates the program, confirmed in an email that the sensor was freshly installed at the location last year. The site was approved in May as part of a deal that allowed ATS to snatch away the Scottsdale ticketing contract from its Australian rival Redflex Traffic Systems. The official stressed that having sensors go bad is "unusual" and that steps would be taken to ensure the same problem is not repeated.

    In July, radar-based warning signs in Chandler displayed wildly inaccurate speed readings to passing motorists. In Scottsdale, a Redflex sensor accused a man of driving 147 MPH in a rented Hyundai Sonata in May 2006, even though the vehicle had a measured top speed of just 137 MPH. Around the same time, another black man had been given a white man's speeding ticket. In 2005, the city was forced to refund a total of 1964 tickets after a mobile speed camera van operator for Redflex made a change in the software that removed date, time and speed information from every alleged violation.

    The Shea Boulevard photo radar tickets would have been worth between $100,000 and $125,000 in revenue, but the 36 who have already paid will receive a refund and all others will receive a notice that the fine has been canceled. The piezo sensor has already been replaced and the ticketing resumed earlier this month.

    Oh wow, the system was fixed, and WILL NEVER have another problem EVER AGAIN, TRUST ME! :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    "Its going nuts" said the Police Chief, but hey, its a great system! :) After all, once the system is in place, all those wrongly accused can prove their innocence.


    California: Red Light Camera Goes Wild

    More than half of the citations generated by a Capitola, California red light camera are bogus.

    A red light camera in Capitola, California is generating $381 tickets for motorists who did nothing wrong. The out-of-control camera is located at 41st Avenue and Clares Street and was designed to ticket motorists headed to the Capitola Mall. Now between 50 and 60 percent of the time the camera is triggered, there has been no violation.

    "It's going nuts," Capitola Police Chief Richard Ehle told the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper.

    In addition to other problems, the camera is generating tickets for shoppers making legal right turns on red and ticketing motorists who roll forward before the light turns green. Capitola police claim they are "catching" the tickets before they are mailed by ATS, the vendor in charge of the camera program.

    Last year, the Santa Cruz Superior Court brought Capitola's review process into question. Police failed to notice that red light camera vendor ATS issueed $9525 worth of duplicate citations to be issued.

    "With a new program there's a lot of trial and error," Capitola Police Chief Richard Ehle told the Sentinel at the time.

    In the meantime, motorists are cutting through nearby parking lots to avoid the haywire ticket camera. Mall workers fear being forced to go to court to defend themselves against a bogus ticket. Police promise to drop charges against anyone wrongly cited.

    Source: Rogue red light camera worries drivers (Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA), 12/11/2007)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, he had the opportunity to prove it was not him. Wow, what a great system ! :) Who cares about Due Process?


    Washington: City Councilman Gets Bogus Red Light Ticket

    Seattle, Washington red light camera falsely accuses councilman from a city about to install its own ticket camera system.

    A Seattle, Washington red light camera accused an Aberdeen city councilman of a crime that he did not commit. Seattle demanded that Tim Alstrom pay $101 because he drove his Honda through a red light at Northeast 45th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast on June 29 at 3:21am. The photographed car did not belong to Alstrom, and the councilman was in Aberdeen, asleep, at the time.

    Alstrom had no way to contest the citation because Seattle, like nearly all cities that use photo enforcement, only allows a ticket to be dismissed if the registered owner of the vehicle nominates the actual driver who will pay the $101. In this case, Alstrom had no way to know who that might be -- all he knew was that it was not him. Since Alstrom's city intends to impose the same burden on its residents with ticket cameras of its own, the councilman had no choice but to spend four hours driving to Seattle and back and waste a day in municipal court getting the ticket killed.

    In its first ten months of operation, Seattle's ticket vendor, ATS, issued $1,410,566 worth of automated citations. Seattle police told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper that this was a "rare" occurrence and asserted, despite the evidence, that every single one of those fourteen thousand tickets were closely reviewed by a police officer.

    In Alstrom's case, the photograph was blurred and either a computer misread the difficult image or a technician working for ATS guessed what the license might have been. There is no penalty for guessing or falsely accusing a motorist of a crime, but there is a monetary reward when innocent motorists just pay the ticket rather than take off an entire day of work to fight one.

    Source: Aberdeen leader gets faulty red-light ticket (Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 9/4/2007)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, all except ONE person maybe! :)

    I will let this one story speak for itself as to just HOW GOOD the system REALLY is! :)

    UK: Half of Speed Camera Tickets Issued by Faulty Cameras

    BBC provides documentation that UK speed cameras have mechanical faults that affect accuracy.

    BBC news revealed last Sunday that around half of the speed camera tickets in the Eastern region of England were issued by devices that failed an annual accuracy test and required repairs. BBC submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for calibration test result records from camera partnerships in the area. Only two, Essex and Hertfordshire, provided full documentation that showed, for example, invoices for replacement of faulty radar units (view invoice) and circuit boards (view invoice).

    Safe Speed road safety campaign founder Paul Smith explained how the findings affect the reliability of photo enforcement convictions.

    "This information casts very substantial doubts on the safety of evidence from thousands of cameras used against hundreds of thousands of motorists," Smith said. "Suppose a camera flashed a motorist in June. When that camera is sent for routine annual calibration in December it is discovered that it needs repairs before it can meet calibration requirements. The problem is that we cannot know if the fault was present before June or not, so the conviction of the motorist flashed in June was 'unsafe.'"

    The BBC report also provided video evidence of improper use of mobile laser speed cameras. One motorist was convicted and charged £500 (US $975) even though the speed camera had flashed error messages to the operator as it generated the citation.

    View the BBC report for yourself at:
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    "Well, SOMEBODY driving her car ran the red light, right? She or someone needed to pay the fines. "

    You really don't care much aboout people do you? Someone needed to pay the fine? Does that work for all things in your world? Someone robbed the bank so someone has to pay for it guilty or not? The people operating the camera issued a ticket so it must be so. No need for a judge or a jury just pay it.

    The bill or rights was written specifically because government had denied the rights given by them to the people before the revolution. There is no debate on how due process was denied to the people the British simply did as they wanted. That is exactly what you approve of when you deny due process to any segment of society. In is a basic concept of our way of life that it is better to allow five guilty people to go free than to convict one innocent person of a crime they didn't commit. It doesn't matter what we do by lending our vehicle to another person as long as we do it legally. We may be civilly responsible for our choice to do so but we are not criminally responsible.

    If a person borrows my car and holds up a armored car the "law" says I am not guilty of that crime unless you can prove I intended to allow that person to use my car to hold up an armored car or that I had an expectation they would commit a crime. Your comment would make it so that if that hold up person gets away the lending person should have to pay. You said, She or someone needed to pay the fines. " That is your philosophy and it shows a lack of concern for justice and a need to see retribution. Not a quality most people share. At least not a quality the founding fathers were thinking about when putting together the bill of rights. It is that very reason some states are banning Photo Radar and intersection red light cameras. And I and others have posted the states and jurisdictions already.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    View the BBC report for yourself at:

    Highly recommended. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Ok, I'm not even going to get into all the personal insults you sent my way.

    Let me just address some issues your post brings to mind.

    First of all, let's talk about running red lights, which is the case I was referring to.

    That is one of the most dangerous things you can do in a car.
    It causes many thousands of injuries and deaths per year. It is inexcusable.

    Drivers should know that a YELLOW light, by the traffic law definitions, means YIELD AND BE PREPARED TO STOP. It does NOT mean "accelerate wildly and attempt to hit the intersection before the light turns red" which is APPARENTLY the action that most ( YES, MOST ) drivers I know think it means.

    How photo red light systems SHOULD work is that the OWNER of the car should get the summons to court.

    If they want to fight it, they should be required to bring the person they think was driving the car at the time to court with them. THAT SECOND PERSON, if they were the driver at the time of the incident, should be required to defend themselves to get out of the ticket, and should personally be assessed any fees.

    This would do two things:

    1. Make drivers responsible to a MINOR degree for traffic crimes committed by drivers of their car.
    2. Make people know that borrowing someone's car does not "excuse" them from breaking traffic laws.

    No one should get a free pass for running red lights and putting YOU, ME, and ALL OUR LOVED ONES at risk of death.

    There are many thousands of parents who lose children each year to red light runners. Don't even THINK about giving them a break.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    we will "never" see eye to eye on this issue. Taking personality out of it as much as possible it is a issue of human rights and due process. One court in Arizona has already ruled to than effect. Some of the states posted have ruled to that effect and our bill of rights was written to that effect. I could never support the concept of a person paying a fine because "someone has to do it so it might as well be the person that owns the car." That is contrary to everything we as a nation have taught our children in school.

    If there is a possibility that someone is fined for what someone else does then the process should be ruled unconstitutional.

    If we can even utter a statement that "someone" has to pay, without regard to even if that person wasn't the guilty party we have lost the spirit of freedom that caused us to leave the old world and start the new. As far as finding the guilty party so we will not be prosecuted that is simply repugnant to our system of law.

    Never in our history have we been required to produce the guilty person in a crime to prove ourselves innocent. Our system doesn't require an attorney to prove who committed a crime with a registered gun. They only have to prove their client didn't use that gun to commit the crime. The court will never say that defendant must produce the guilty party before they will dismiss the charges. Maybe in Iran but not here.

    The basic flaw in red light cameras and Photo Radar is they do nothing to stop the gross violator. Because what ever safety issues we might have the accident caused by running a red light or a series of red lights has already happened well before the ticket is issued. An officer on the other hand "stops" the offending party and identifies the person right on the spot. They do not proceed to the next light or the next camera and whatever response needs to take place happens to the offending driver no matter who owns the car. To ticket the owner and then require them to prove they weren't driving is without a doubt calling that person guilty till they prove themselves innocent. And if they can't produce the guilty party they are punished anyway?

    There has to be a reason Legislations in some states have banned Red light and Photo radar. I contend that reason is an issue of due process. And so far so does at least one Judge in Arizona. And so does the new Arizona Governor.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    boaz47 says, "The basic flaw in red light cameras and Photo Radar is they do nothing to stop the gross violator."

    By "gross violator" do you mean "repeat offender"?

    Because in AZ, the system DOES stop the repeat offender.

    Points are assigned and once you reach a certain threshold, you lose your license.

    That will stop them.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    There are better ways to ensure compliance with safety goals than photo radar enforcement.


    Georgia: Longer Yellows Force City to End Red Light Camera Program

    New Georgia law forces longer yellow times that made red light cameras unprofitable in Norcross.

    The Norcross, Georgia City Council voted Monday to end its relationship with LaserCraft Inc., a red light camera company whose US headquarters lies just three miles down the road from city hall. LaserCraft's troubles began last year when the Georgia General Assembly enacted a law requiring the yellow signal warning time at any intersection equipped with a red light camera be increased by one second over the minimum national standard. City documents show that once the law took effect, the accident and red light violation problem in Norcross virtually disappeared.

    "With House Bill 77 we are now required to add one second to that... yellow light time," Norcross Police Chief Dallas Stidd wrote in a memo to the city council. "We along with other jurisdictions have seen a significant decrease in citations. This will cause a shortfall in our budget for this program."

    A pair of red light cameras operated throughout 2008 with the shorter yellow yellow time, allowing LaserCraft to mail an average of fifteen tickets per day on the city's behalf. With the yellow lengthened on January 1, 2009, that figure dropped eighty percent to just three tickets per day -- with devastating effect on the program's bottom line. In 2008, motorists paid $259,083 in citations. According to Stidd's calculations, the longer yellow meant the automated ticketing program would lose $145,000 in 2009.

    "The addition of one second has made a significant reduction in red light violations," Stidd wrote. "We have realized a reduction in accidents at the two intersections."

    According to a Texas Transportation Institute study, the reduction in accidents and violations from an additional second of yellow was to be expected (view study). This is so because red light cameras do not typically issue many tickets to blatant red light runners. The vast majority of "violations" happen when drivers misjudge the light by less than 0.25 seconds -- literally the blink of an eye (view TTI chart). According to a report by the California State Auditor, nearly 80 percent of that state's tickets were issued for violations that took place less than one second into the red. By adding the second back into the yellow, that 80 percent disappeared in Norcross.

    The extra second roughly brings yellow signal times closer to those that would be appropriate under the 1976 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) standard. Around the time transportation officials began experimenting with photo enforcement, ITE began to change the timing formula so that it would consistently produce shorter yellows. As data from Fairfax County, Virginia show, the benefit of reversing this change and lengthening yellows does not diminish over time.

    Stidd's work was not done, however. He saw the loss of the Norcross red light camera program as an opportunity to expand his police department.

    "Traffic safety and enforcement go hand in hand, being one of the highest priorities for the city," Stidd wrote. "However, I believe we can continue to accomplish this objective without losing money, especially in these difficult times.... I have compiled some traffic statistics and have come to a conservative number of projected revenue of the additional two traffic officers. The monthly revenue that could be realized is $11,578.00 or $602,056.00 yearly (see attached estimated weekly fines)."

    In an attachment, Stidd calculates how much revenue each officer would be expected to bring in on a weekly basis from twelve categories of traffic ticket, ranging from driving with expired tags and speeding to driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (view ticket quota). These numbers are very important to Norcross, as traffic tickets account for one-fifth of the city's entire budget.

    "Fines and Forfeitures are 21 percent ($2.4 million) of the revenue," the fiscal 2008 budget stated. "Revenue from fines and forfeitures has been projected by trend analysis and expert consensus. There is a six percent increase over 2007. The increase is due to the Public Safety Department installation of an additional red light camera. Although the additional camera generates additional revenue, its main purpose is to act as a traffic safety device."

    Losing the Norcross contract is an embarrassing blow to LaserCraft, which is owned by the UK firm Public Safety Equipment Ltd. When the Australian photo enforcement company Redflex Traffic Systems similarly lost its contract to operate red light cameras in Scottsdale, Arizona -- home base for its US operations -- it packed up and moved to Phoenix.

    A copy of the police chief's memo is available in a 650k PDF file at the source link below.

    Article Excerpt:
    Excerpt from House Bill 77 which was signed into law on May 14, 2008:

    40-14-22. The duration of the yellow or red light of any traffic-control device at which a traffic-control signal monitoring device is installed shall not be decreased prior to the installation of a device or during the time for which the device is operated. The Department of Transportation shall establish minimal yellow light change interval times for traffic-control devices at intersections where a traffic-control signal monitoring device is utilized. The minimal yellow light change interval time shall be established in accordance with nationally recognized engineering standards, and any such established time shall not be less than the recognized national standard plus one additional second.... This Act shall become effective December 31, 2008.

    Source: Agenda File Number: 08-1185 (Norcross, Georgia City Council, 3/2/2009)
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 13,346
    Well, SOMEBODY driving her car ran the red light, right? She or someone needed to pay the fines.

    So Larsb, here's the deal. I'm going to hire someone to steal your car one of these nights. :P I'm going to run have them run 100 red lights (safely) where cameras are located, and speed down a photo enforced highway (safely) in a corrupt jurisdiction of Arizona where they allow such nonsense to be used.

    Since the culprit is a thief and will be stealing your car, you won't be able to tell or warn him or her about being responsible for ponying up the cash for getting a ticket of any kind while driving your car.

    If you can't catch the criminal should YOU be dragged into court to either investigate who stole your car and committed these grievous offenses and traffic violations, and if you can't (and the Police probably won't do their jobs here either) you'll pay the fines?

    You are willing to live in a society that works that way? :surprise:
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Are you REALLY trying to compare the situation of someone unknown stealing my car to someone I know driving my car with my permission?

    Those situations are not even remotely similar to one another.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Here's how "polite society," in which I live and I hope you also do, works:

    If you let someone borrow your car, that person becomes responsible for any damage or fines or deaths or DUIs or hit-and-runs or any other crimes they commit with your car.

    Simple philosophy: Take responsibility for your actions.

    Like photo radar speeders should do: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS and pay your ticket and shutup about it.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I will first admit that I think that I AM WRONG.

    However, amazingly steadfast insistence at supporting photo radar and proselytizing "Pay your ticket and shutup about it" in face of such overwhelming evidence about faulty systems and violations of due process has the potential of creating the impression that a type of personal gain may be somehow involved. That gain may be psychological or even financial, but the evidence so far in this board could make a pretty convincing case for such a hypothesis.

    The reason I mention this is not to point fingers at anybody. My only reason for saying this is that such a position ultimately undermines itself and that is not good for an honest debate.

    Anyway, back to the contention about Responsibility. What about the STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVE GUILT without passing it off to the poor guy blamed by a machine that may not even be working correctly?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Meanwhile, back in the good ol' USofA, the great democracy continues to work slowly but surely in favour of the people, just like it is supposed to!


    Mississippi Legislature Votes to Ban Red Light Cameras

    Mississippi Senate joins state House in voting to ban red light and speed cameras. Only three lawmakers voice support for the devices.

    Only three lawmakers in the entire Mississippi state Legislature are willing to put themselves on record in support of red light cameras and speed cameras. Without opposition, the state Senate passed legislation yesterday that would put an immediate halt to the plans of several municipalities interested in implementing new photo ticketing programs. The vote followed last month's 117-3 passage of a similar ban in the state House.

    State senators, however, did not believe that the House language went far enough. The legislation was amended to take effect immediately rather than wait until July 2009 as the state House had voted to do. The Senate would also give Columbus and Jackson until October 1 to tell Redflex Traffic Systems and American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the private vendors operating the programs, to pack their bags and take down the systems currently in operation. The Senate legislation explicitly forbids counties and municipalities like McComb, Natchez, Southaven and Tupelo from adopting or enforcing any ordinance allowing automated enforcement.

    The bill now returns to the state House. Under that chamber's rules, if 117 representatives vote to accept the revisions, the bill goes straight to Governor Haley Barbour (R) for his signature and enactment. Otherwise, Speaker of the House William J. McCoy (D-Alcorn) will appoint three members to a conference committee that will work out compromise language with three senators appointed by Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant (R). The compromise product, known as the conference report, would then come up for an up-or-down vote in both chambers under expedited procedures.

    Upon Barbour's signature, Mississippi would join Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin which have also banned automated citations through judicial or legislative action. A similar ban passed the Montana state House of Representatives last month and currently awaits Senate action. An attempt to ban cameras in Missouri ran into a roadblock in a state Senate committee.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Yes, I do have a personal gain motive.

    I want people to drive the speed limit. I have two kids coming up on driving age withing the next 8 years and I want to keep them alive.

    If people want faster speed limits, then get into a political action group and get the speed limit changed.

    Photo radar, when done right, is merely an automated simulation of a human-issued ticket. You were speeding. Fight it or pay it.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    As a parent of two children myself, I share and identify with your concerns in ensuring their safety while driving and all other times too.

    However, their civil rights are also part of my concern for their future well-being. I would not want to create a society where they might be safe from speeding, but have lost so much more, especially when there are other and better ways of preventing speeding than photo radar.

    However, that, as they say, is another story. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Reasons why if Photo Radar slows people down (which is DOES) then we should use it:

    Car Accident Statistics

    With the increasing number of cars on the roads of the US each year, car accidents have unfortunately become a very common sight. Many people die as a result of car accidents, with many more receiving serious injuries. Such injuries and death often leave the victims and their families devastated. Here are some car accident statistics, which might be helpful in making people aware about trends in car accidents, and thus hopefully reducing the number of car accidents in the United States.

    On an average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on the roads of the US, annually.

    More than 3 million people get injured due to car accidents, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent.

    There are in excess of 40,000 deaths due to car accidents every year. Although this is a very high number by itself, some heart can be taken in the fact that statistics show that car accident fatalities have been witnessing a downward trend in recent years.

    The majority of car accidents could be avoided if only the drivers would drive more responsibly. About 40% of car accident fatalities occur because of a drunken driver. About 30% of the car accident fatalities can be attributed to driving above the speed limits and 33% and above because of reckless driving that causes the car to go off the road and result in an accident.

    The majority of car accident victims are the drivers, then the passengers of the car, followed by pedestrians, and lastly cyclists.

    Every 12 minutes, one person dies because of a car accident. Every 14 seconds, a car accident results in an injured victim.

    For those in the age group of 1 to 30 years, the leading cause of death is due to being involved in a car accident. People, who are between 15 to 24 years, and those who are above 75 years of age, are the people who are most severely affected by car accidents.

    According to the car accident statistics released by the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were almost 43,000 deaths in 2002 because of car accidents. The car accident fatalities for the year 2003 stand at 42,643.

    In 2002, there were around 6,316,000 car accidents in the US, with these causing about 2.9 million injuries. In 2003, the total number of car accidents was 6,328,000 and the resulting injuries stood at almost 3 million.

    More than 25% of all car drivers were involved in car accidents in a five year period.

    In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Even with seat belts being mandatory, a vast majority of people choose to disregard this safety precaution and end up losing their lives because of it.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I agree absolutely with you that car accidents are a leading source of morbidity and mortality as well as huge associated costs for both, and that we all should work together to reduce these accidents.

    However, using this argument to bolster the use of photo radar, is simply unjustifiable given all the evidence before us, plain and simple.

    One example is from you own post: "In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash." How about we all make seat belts MANDATORY AT ALL TIMES and ENFORCE this simple rule.

    This easy and very effective step can only be done by police officers doing their job like they are supposed to, and one that photo radar simply cannot do.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Arguments against photo radar because you might somehow have the false belief that your rights are being violated is bad enough.

    But everyone knows that safety and excessive speed are not compatible.

    Photo radar DOES apply to safety, because slowing people down means fewer injuries and deaths.

    Just like people slowing down for a human officer sitting in a car.

    The big difference, and why photo radar is even BETTER for safety:

    In some areas, the photo radar cameras are PERMANENTLY MOUNTED. That means that drivers who pass that area daily KNOW the camera is there EVERY DAY.

    There is no HUMAN OFFICER (or very few) who sit on the same road at the same time every day.

    And a human officer can issue only one ticket at a time. So if he has someone stopped, the other 95 cars passing him per minute have "free reign" to speed.

    That will not, does not happen with photo radar installations. Every speeder is at risk.

    That alone proves that photo radar is better for slowing down the illegally fast traffic flow than a single human officer.


    Many states already have seatbelt laws. I'm 100% for mandatory seatbelt use. I am the seatbelt [non-permissible content removed] in my circle of family and friends. There is a number in AZ you can call when you see an unbuckled child and I have called it many times.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Let's see:

    Arguments against photo radar because you might somehow have the false belief that your rights are being violated it bad enough.

    My beliefs are correct FOR ME, and for hundreds of thousands others too! What is surely not bad is that my beliefs are formed AFTER I think and look at issues as they should be, with scientific logic and deep respect for our Constitution, and that I am WILLING to consider ALL evidence, not just that which fits my pre-conceived notions. I wish I could say the same about you, but I fear I cannot. That is truly a pity, but NOT MY PROBLEM.

    But everyone knows that safety and excessive speed are not compatible.

    Oh the old "everyone knows!" argument. So we should never have high-speed rail? And why develop jet planes when old propellor driven biplanes were much slower? Speed can be made safe, albeit at a cost, that may, or may not, be justifiable.

    Photo radar DOES apply to safety, because slowing people down means fewer injuries and deaths.

    False correlation: The first part of the sentence has no justification based on the second part. Example: Mandatory padded suits in cars DO apply to safety, because padding people means fewer injuries and deaths. (And I want to sell lots of padded suits!)

    Just like people slowing down for a human officer sitting in a car.

    Exactly, respect for the LEOs at all times.

    The big difference, and why photo radar is even BETTER for safety:

    In some areas, the photo radar cameras are PERMANENTLY MOUNTED. That means that drivers who pass that area daily KNOW the camera is there EVERY DAY.

    So they drive slower where there are cameras, and speed with impunity everywhere else?

    There is no HUMAN OFFICER (or very few) who sit on the same road at the same time every day.

    Exactly, so a speeder NEVER knows where he might be caught, so he/she has to NOT SPEED ANYWHERE.

    And a human officer can issue only one ticket at a time. So if he has someone stopped, the other 95 cars passing him per minute have "free reign" to speed.

    So what? If there are 95% more cars that need tickets, maybe the speed limit needs to changed to the 85th percentile rule!

    That will not, does not happen with photo radar installations. Every speeder is at risk.

    Every speeder should be at risk ALL TIMES EVERYWHERE, not just where the cameras are.

    That alone proves that photo radar is better for slowing down the illegally fast traffic flow than a single human officer.

    Proves nothing as shown above. :)


    Many states already have seatbelt laws. I'm 100% for mandatory seatbelt use. I am the seatbelt [non-permissible content removed] in my circle of family and friends. There is a number in AZ you can call when you see an unbuckled child and I have called it many times.

    Good job here, no doubt! And how does photo radar help with increasing seat belt use that you have shown is a factor in 50% of road fatalities? Here's a hint: IT DOES NOT! And that is one more reason why POLICE should do their work, not machines. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Photo radar is no cure-all.

    Seatbelt use, no cure-all.

    Human traffic enforcement, no cure-all.

    Red light cameras, no cure-all.

    Longer yellow lights, no cure-all.

    More "reasonable" speed limits, no cure-all.

    All of these items work together toward the goal of reducing injuries and death. They are all suitable tools in that effort.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    All are suitable tools except Photo Radar due to huge problems with implementation, violations of the Constitution, and corrupting financial considerations.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    It just depends on the implementation.

    It's not the ROOT, BASE SYSTEM which has problems.

    It's implementing it properly.

    Many systems are fine. There are a lot of speed cameras and speed camera vans operating perfectly well in Arizona.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, if it is IMPOSSIBLE to implement correctly, given all sorts of technical and legal issues, like I have, and will, continue to show, it is NOT a system that we should have. End of Story.

    And the travesty happening in Arizona and elsewhere WILL end, no doubt in my mind.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Not impossible.

    Picture taken.

    Ticket mailed.

    Ticket paid or fought.

    No problems.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    And round and round we go, because somebody has to make money which, for all I know, may include posters in ardent support of photo radar here :)

    "No problems" is a factual mis-statement, and not worthy of a response, given all my posts above, duly referenced, articulated and argued correctly.

    larsb: you definitely "doth protest too much, methinks". :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I'm not protesting anything. Just the opposite.

    It's really not as complicated as the annoyed speeders and more paranoid among us want to make it out to be.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, my point is that the more ardent you are in saying that there is nothing wrong with photo radar, the more obvious it is that you have a particular axe to grind to the exclusion of everything else, and thus self-defeating in the long run. (You may want to look into the source of that quote, but then again, may be not, your mind is already made up!)

    And I have always respected your right to hold your views, including about photo radar, and I will continue to do so, however simplistic they are proven to be time and again.

    However, I will also continue to counter your statements wherever needed and possible, in a rational and logical way.

    Why, one may ask? Because I am not out to change your mind, but presenting facts will enable others who read this forum to think for themselves.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we will go about our merry ways. :)
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 13,346
    Photo Radar does not work.

    It is not simple.

    I want equal protection under the law, and due process. Police officer's make mistakes and that is why we have the courts. If the machines can and do make more mistakes then the officer's, it certainly doesnt' belong in this country.

    The simple fact that the camera cannot be questioned on the stand in a courtroom is reason enough to ban their use.

    The simple fact that the camera cannot verify the identity of the driver committing the violation is reason enough to ban their use.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    What would the camera need to be asked?

    "Excuse me, Mr. Camera, did you BLINK right before you took the picture of the defendant?"

    "Did you know for sure it was a CAR that was driving by, speeding?"

    Isn't it kind of silly to expect to be able to "question" a camera?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    "The simple fact that the camera cannot verify the identity of the driver"

    Neither can the radar gun that cop sitting there used. Most times the cops cannot either. It's very simple to switch drivers after a cop spots you, especially at night with a car with tinted windows.

    When the cop holding a radar gun snaps you, all the gun knows is that it was pointed at a speeding car. Might not even have been YOUR CAR.

    When a photo radar snaps you, the license plate means it was YOUR CAR - no mistake possible.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    No, but questions such as these:

    Were you calibrated properly? Were you operating within your design parameters? Were your sensors working properly? And lots of similarly important and relevant questions.come to mind for thos abl to think and are not blinded by dogmatic beleifs.

    Those would be absolutely relevant. What one might tihnk is silly is that one not even be given the opportunity to ask these relevant questions.

    In addition, the camera and its operating yahoo can blame me, and expect me to defend myself without access to this information.

    I don't think so my firends. :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More hogwash:

    Neither can the radar gun that cop sitting there used. Most times the cops cannot either. It's very simple to switch drivers after a cop spots you, especially at night with a car with tinted windows.

    And after the radar alerts the cop to the speeder, the cop has to stop the car, and will see the switch with their bright lights. Do you really think it is that easy to fool a cop? While exceeding the speed limit, switching drivers? Ha Ha Ha!

    When the cop holding a radar gun snaps you, all the gun knows is that it was pointed at a speeding car. Might not even have been YOUR CAR.

    And that is why cops are TRAINED in their proper use and go for refresher training periodically to ensure that they use this tool properly. And that is also why they have to prove the guilt in a court of law.

    When a photo radar snaps you, the license plate means it was YOUR CAR - no mistake possible.

    You mean the thousands of Nebraskans who got their tickets from New Jersey due to matching numbers on other vehicles? or maybe the dead guy? or maybe the person charged because of a wrong entry in the database of vehicle registrations? or may be the Maryland students with stick on plates to get their teachers tickets?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    all those questions could be answered by the techs from the photo radar company.
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