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View Full Version : Cop in a box


idkew
Mar 31, 2004, 09:30 AM
Link (http://www.washtimes.com/metro/20040330-100524-5559r.htm)

Red-light cameras at 39 city intersections have generated more than $23.5 million in fines since they were set up in August 1999. Fines from the speeding or photo-radar cameras total more than $45 million since August 2001, when they were installed.


when 20% of people are getting fined, maybe they should change what they are doing, and not ticket people. i would like to see how many accidents occurred during these two days. i bet 0. looks like that camera is really saving lives. but i am sure the state loves its new cash cow.

i think i am going to bring my camera with me to start clocking all the cops i catch speeding. i will send them fines and have them pay me. i don't think i have even seen a cop doing the speed limit, with or without the cherries going.

Grimace
Mar 31, 2004, 10:01 AM
If someone is going 73mph or 88mph in a 25mph zone - that is a big problem. If four people were killed in the same area because of speed-related accidents in the past few years....hmmm....that is a problem too.

They don't have plans to put these cameras on every corner. Maybe some Brits will chime in here. From my experience in the UK, cameras record speeders 24/7 all over the country. Only those going Xmph over the speed limit will get a ticket. Each county sets that number so you never know.

Going 1-9mph over the speed limit did not get you fined. Going 10mph+ did. that is not unreasonable.

idkew
Mar 31, 2004, 10:15 AM
If someone is going 73mph or 88mph in a 25mph zone - that is a big problem. If four people were killed in the same area because of speed-related accidents in the past few years....hmmm....that is a problem too.

They don't have plans to put these cameras on every corner. Maybe some Brits will chime in here. From my experience in the UK, cameras record speeders 24/7 all over the country. Only those going Xmph over the speed limit will get a ticket. Each county sets that number so you never know.

Going 1-9mph over the speed limit did not get you fined. Going 10mph+ did. that is not unreasonable.

i am not defending the person going 73. that was just a bad idea. but the fact remains that 20% of the population think that that speed limit is wrong. this goes beyond making people safe and is getting into the area of the state wanting all the money it can get. think of all the doughnuts the cops can now afford!

besides, until I see cops going the speed limit, i NEVER will. just this weekend I was driving into chicago, beside a cop. we were going 75 in a 45 (290, an 8 lane divided, 3-5 miles from downtown). the cop had no lights on, there was no emergency. (this is a regular occurrence) it would make me irate to get a ticket for 30 over when i was just following the person charged with upholding the law. who knows, he may have pulled me over and ticked me before, when he was out to get his quota of speeders, or to recharge the doughnut fund.

also- you are entering a very grey area. you are saying that it is ok to break the law *a little bit*, but excessive breakage is bad. 1-9 in a 25 zone is much different than 1-9 over on a divided highway. can i go out an mug a person, as long as i only take some of their belongings, but not all of them? is it ok to smoke pot once a week, but illegal to smoke it every day?

jsw
Mar 31, 2004, 10:24 AM
I don't see how these cameras are defensible except as a means of revenue generation. When red light cameras are installed, the city also tends to reduce the duration of the yellow light. Why? Obviously, to make more money. Studies have shown that a 4-5 second yellow light yields dramatic safety improvements at effectively zero cost in terms both time and money. Cameras at lights do nothing to promote safety - and likely cause a lot of people to panic-stop because they're terrified of a ticket - which might cause even more accidents. Hypocritical and wrong, I think.

As far as cameras to catch speeding: same thing, but not as bad. If communities really wanted to reduce speeding, they'd make the cameras blatantly obvious as a deterent. Instead, they're typically hidden. It's not for safety. It's for money. Period.

idkew
Mar 31, 2004, 10:29 AM
I don't see how these cameras are defensible except as a means of revenue generation. When red light cameras are installed, the city also tends to reduce the duration of the yellow light. Why? Obviously, to make more money. Studies have shown that a 4-5 second yellow light yields dramatic safety improvements at effectively zero cost in terms both time and money. Cameras at lights do nothing to promote safety - and likely cause a lot of people to panic-stop because they're terrified of a ticket - which might cause even more accidents. Hypocritical and wrong, I think.

As far as cameras to catch speeding: same thing, but not as bad. If communities really wanted to reduce speeding, they'd make the cameras blatantly obvious as a deterent. Instead, they're typically hidden. It's not for safety. It's for money. Period.

very well put. i agree with you, especially about the hidden camera thing. there should be alerts in the form of signs warning motorists that there is a camera watching them. i wonder how hidden these new ones are?

bousozoku
Mar 31, 2004, 11:01 AM
I don't see how these cameras are defensible except as a means of revenue generation. When red light cameras are installed, the city also tends to reduce the duration of the yellow light. Why? Obviously, to make more money. Studies have shown that a 4-5 second yellow light yields dramatic safety improvements at effectively zero cost in terms both time and money. Cameras at lights do nothing to promote safety - and likely cause a lot of people to panic-stop because they're terrified of a ticket - which might cause even more accidents. Hypocritical and wrong, I think.

As far as cameras to catch speeding: same thing, but not as bad. If communities really wanted to reduce speeding, they'd make the cameras blatantly obvious as a deterent. Instead, they're typically hidden. It's not for safety. It's for money. Period.

If the local administrations here would reduce the yellow light times to 4-5 seconds, there would be more accidents because, no matter the length of the yellow, people still run the lights. There is a continual problem because the police, in general, do nothing about it.

They talked about cameras for red light running and they decided that they were just too expensive and that the police could handle the problem.

Yes, these methods are usually in place to make money and increased safety is a mere by-product. I've noticed that, when I've never been stopped for speeding from 1-15 mph over the limit. It's apparently cost-prohibitive until the magic 16 mph+.

I think that, if the Orlando area administrations would get together and implement some combination of devices and police, they would soon have enough money to start planning major public transportation in order to handle all the people who'd lost their licences due to the cleanup. ;)

wdlove
Mar 31, 2004, 12:35 PM
This is just another reason that I'm glad I don't drive. I agree that for one to ten miles over, it should be ignored. Our May in Boston would like to do the same thing, but public pressure has won so far.

jsw
Mar 31, 2004, 12:53 PM
As a side note, I'd like to see (well, not really, or at least on a day I don't need to go to work) a group drive the major expressways and thruways nation-wide at the speed limit, side by side. It seems grossly hypocritical to ticket speeders when most major cites (and likely many smaller ones) more or less rely on people speeding in order to ease traffic congestion. If a few people were to, say, drive from Boston to New York in a sort of picket line at the posted speed, traffic would back up for many miles.

I think people should have to be qualified as "reckless" to get ticketed. Police cruisers mostly have video cameras these days. I suspect that it wouldn't be too hard to show that someone was driving recklessly. But mere speeding isn't necessarily unsafe, especially in traffic that, as a whole, is speeding. Speed differentials are the problem. Similarly, I'd like to see a lot more ticketing of those people who drive slowly in any but the right-most lanes. Those people are as much of a hazard as speeders (discounting, of course, people driving significantly faster than the rest of the traffic).

If we lived in an ideal world where traffic laws were designed to protect us instead of to fund, for example, more officers on traffic duty, it would be legal to drive 95 mph on a good day with no traffic on expressways, just as it would be illegal to do so in, say, bad weather or heavy traffic.

I'd expect that a lot of police officers would agree - I doubt that many of them actually enjoy traffic duty in any way whatsoever.

Makosuke
Apr 1, 2004, 04:25 PM
I'm kind of mixed on these things. On one hand, I've seen many places that very clearly post "red light cam" signs, and that does seem to cut down on idiots running those lights when they think nobody is looking. I don't run reds, so that makes me feel a bit better.

On the other hand, when you hide the cameras to catch people speeding, it sounds a whole lot like a tax on speeders than any effort to improve safety. The fact that they are breaking the law remains, but driving speed is a continuum, so it's silly to compare it to mugging--going 1MPH over the limit is not the same as stealing change from somebody's pocket. Differences that small can be attributed to an innacurate speedometer (actually, most spedometers are 2-4MPH off--you'd be surprised), and run a zero chance of significantly increasing accident rates.

Here's an example of it done right: There's a stretch of highway (101) near where I live that is horrendously prone to accidents due to cross traffic. They've reduced the speed limit to 50, and made it abundantly clear that's the limit--there are even signs with radar guns and bright displays at several spots along the way. This, combined with a significant number of cops, has slowed people to mostly driving about 50, whereas people were usually going 70 before, and I'll bet this cuts accidents significantly. This is a good thing, and automated radar gun ticketers would help even more, particularly if they told people they were there.

Then again, when you're on a packed 4 lane highway and everybody else is going 20 over the limit, what the heck are you supposed to do--cause a huge traffic jam and get shot? Limits only work when most people follow them.

Done right, automated ticketing machines can provide an effective deterrent to driving way too fast. And just because 20% of people drive over the limit doesn't make it right--easily over 20% of drivers are idiots, and no doubt as many have no regard to the safety of themselves or others unless forced.

Want proof? If you're in the US, over 20% of adults voted for the political party you don't like, and another over 20% didn't bother to vote at all, meaning that no matter how you do the math or what party you prefer, over 40% of people are idiots.

By the way, 95MPH is far less safe than 55MPH under any conditions--watch an unavoidable mechanical problem at those speeds (say, a blown tire in an SUV), and note the difference.

TBR
Apr 2, 2004, 03:30 AM
very well put. i agree with you, especially about the hidden camera thing. there should be alerts in the form of signs warning motorists that there is a camera watching them. i wonder how hidden these new ones are?

Over here in England there are always Signs showing you that up ahead there are speed cameras.

sonyrules
Apr 2, 2004, 04:39 AM
i am not defending the person going 73. that was just a bad idea. but the fact remains that 20% of the population think that that speed limit is wrong. this goes beyond making people safe and is getting into the area of the state wanting all the money it can get. think of all the doughnuts the cops can now afford!

besides, until I see cops going the speed limit, i NEVER will. just this weekend I was driving into chicago, beside a cop. we were going 75 in a 45 (290, an 8 lane divided, 3-5 miles from downtown). the cop had no lights on, there was no emergency. (this is a regular occurrence) it would make me irate to get a ticket for 30 over when i was just following the person charged with upholding the law. who knows, he may have pulled me over and ticked me before, when he was out to get his quota of speeders, or to recharge the doughnut fund.

also- you are entering a very grey area. you are saying that it is ok to break the law *a little bit*, but excessive breakage is bad. 1-9 in a 25 zone is much different than 1-9 over on a divided highway. can i go out an mug a person, as long as i only take some of their belongings, but not all of them? is it ok to smoke pot once a week, but illegal to smoke it every day?

Thats funny you mention cops going the speed limit, cause i use to live in Baltimore MD, and we have those red light cameras all over, and they said in the first month you said that, they caught over 40% of cars being law enforcment. Last i knew, there were trying to pass a law that gave any law enforcment on duty double fines for breaking the law under normal situations. I think thats is the best idea i have heard yet, If it passed it beyond me

idkew
Apr 2, 2004, 03:45 PM
...

actually, in the convoluted democracy we have developed in the us, more often that not, when 20% of the population wants something, they get it. we wouldn't want to hurt the little guy.

look at gay marriages, a small percent of the population prefers it, a large percent is against it. who's winning?

besides, this is not a question of what we prefer, this is a situation where 20% of people CHOOSE TO BREAK THE LAW. not get married, or something think that, they are committing a crime. when 20% of the population purposely commits a crime, you have to wonder about the law they are breaking.


(this is NOT a gay rights discussion, it was used to illustrate a fact, not spark a discussion)