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(Dallas News)   Dallas is turning off the red light cameras. Not because of complaints, but because they work too well. People are no longer running enough red lights to pay for the cameras   (dallasnews.com) divider line 155
    More: Ironic  
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12696 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Mar 2008 at 5:35 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-03-15 08:31:01 PM
Orosian: Or is that just what they want us to believe?

Unsuspecting drivers = more profit!


This
 
2008-03-15 08:32:01 PM
There is a T intersection hear near my college campus that uses sensors in the ground to switch the lights.

The problem is that the computer that controls the lights gives preference for the people who are turning right or left at the T instead of the people going through. I think they do that because during the day the college's bus route runs that way.

What pisses me off is that it will switch the light to green for the turning lanes in the T by default.

I have gone through this intersection at 3am, with no other cars around. I had to stop. Then the light went green for 1 second. It was yellow longer than it was green.

If this intersection had cameras I would gotten a ticket for running a red light after being stopped, having it turn green, and then driving through the intersection.


Anyway, I think the problem is that the Texas State government started taking a piece of Dallas' red light revenue. And they made it the law that they had to put up warning signs that say "Red Light Camera Ahead" or some such warning.

The sign is probably why there are so many fewer violations. Because people are being WARNED about these cameras. Everything was cool before the state stepped in and starting warning people about it. I bet Dallas officials were PISSED when they had to put in signs.
 
2008-03-15 08:35:05 PM
Whey the city decides to use these they always deny that it's a money grab. They justify it with the deaths that come from accidents from people running red lights. If it has worked then keep them on.
 
2008-03-15 08:36:03 PM
StillH2O: Wombatron: Red Light Cameras are great, so long as the yellow isn't impossibly short.

Maybe this is what Dallas is doing wrong. They need to shorten their yellows to keep generating revenue.


That's what they do in Frisco, a suburb north of Dallas. 2.1 seconds is a little short methinks.
 
2008-03-15 08:37:52 PM
Had a stupid STL County Cop pull me over because my plate looked suspicious with a clear plastic cover over it. He was just pissed because I wasn't breaking the speed limit and was holding the line at 60 MPH the whole way until the, you guess it, the last exit before the county line. Jackarse gave me a ticket too.

/Took it to court
//I fought the law and I wont!
///fark the police ... so glad I don't live in Missouri anymore.
 
2008-03-15 08:47:30 PM
The University of South Florida's College of Public Health recently completed a study of red light cameras and concluded that "The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don't work," said lead author Barbara Langland-Orban, professor and chair of health policy and management at the USF College of Public Health.

"Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections. If used in Florida, cameras could potentially create even worse outcomes due to the state's high percent of elderly who are more likely to be injured or killed when a crash occurs."


Read about the study here.
 
2008-03-15 08:58:36 PM
Everything in this country comes down to money. Everything.
 
2008-03-15 08:59:43 PM
some cities have started changing the length of the yellow to get $ back
 
2008-03-15 09:03:00 PM
Weaver95: if it's about safety, than cost shouldn't be a factor, right?

Your taxes don't pay for police, firefighters, military, roads, etc, right?
 
2008-03-15 09:05:26 PM
FTFA: Another idea staff may recommend to council members is idling cameras on a rotating basis, which the city already has begun doing, or operating them at different intersections where red-light running is more habitual.

Shouldn't red-light cameras be at intersections where red-light running is more habitual, in the first place?
 
2008-03-15 09:05:38 PM
I'm from Lubbock, and yes, they took the stupid cameras down 6 months after they put them up. The expected revenue fell short, rear end collisions were up by like 60 or 70 percent. They mayor finally said "They did their job, but this is too much of a distraction." He's up for re-election...I wonder if that has anything to do with it.
 
2008-03-15 09:13:32 PM
Anyone stupid enough to run a redlight in the middle of a busy city you deserve to die.
 
2008-03-15 09:15:50 PM
Benjimin_Dover:
Were those three cars already sitting in the intersection waiting to turn while traffic goes by? If so, then they are absolutely in the right for turning. I've seen some large intersections that can accommodate 3 cars legally in the intersection waiting to turn left. The intersection starts at the stop line. If part of your car is past it, you are in the intersection and other vehicles not already in the intersection must yield the right-of-way regardless of the color of the light facing them.


That varies by state. I know that it's legal in Texas, but in California, the following law applies:

22526. (a) Notwithstanding any official traffic control signal indication to proceed, a driver of a vehicle shall not enter an intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or marked crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle driven without obstructing the through passage of vehicles from either side.

(b) A driver of a vehicle which is making a turn at an intersection who is facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal shall not enter the intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or marked crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle driven without obstructing the through passage of vehicles from either side.


Not the exact situation, so it seems to be a gray area. I'm tired of searching... anyone have a more specific reference? (I chose California because I live here, and because somewhere between one in six and one in five Americans live here)

Regarding traffic light cameras, California had the foresight to mandate minimum yellow light times when cameras are present

21455.7 (Automated Enforcement Systems: Minimum Yellow Light Change Interval)
 
2008-03-15 09:19:11 PM
fortean chicken: Good. That's awesome. People have been trained not to run red lights.

Red light cameras are the only traffic camera I fully support. I had a friend who was nearly killed by an idiot who ran a red light. It wrecked his car and if someone had been in the passenger seat, they would have died. I was nearly hit myself by someone who ran a light. I have no tolerance for such irresponsibility.


What makes you think that red-light cameras would have prevented the accident?

It seems highly unlikely that red-lights cameras would prevent people from running red-lights b/c drivers are distracted and not paying attention to the roadway. It would seem to me, if someone is trying to beat a yellow and/or simply disregarding a red, they would at least be pay attention to other cars in the intersection to swerve and avoid an accident. I would bet that most red-light accidents occur b/c drivers are distracted.
 
2008-03-15 09:23:47 PM
There is an intersection near here where there is 9 lanes crossing 6 lanes (that should have an overpass but its melbourne and they don't know what they are). There are two red light cameras and there is a bug in the controller system so that when a tram is turning, the light goes green, red for a second, then green while giving the yellow a completely miss. I wonder how many people get hit by that one. The intersection is often blocked by people who can't figure out they won't fit on the other side and there are lots of pedestrians walking along that side walk. I've see a few cars get walked over.

Does anyone who makes the stop light controllers camera systems they use in Dallas? It seems like traffic flows much more smoothly now that they pulled out the current loops they used to use.
 
2008-03-15 09:26:37 PM
These cameras are making into the MILLIONS of dollars, and they're worried about operational costs? Somewhere along the line is a big ole fail. I hope they find it.

18 camera system at work, that I can monitor from home, cost: 6k.
 
2008-03-15 09:50:45 PM
FTFA: Dallas City Hall has idled more than one-fourth of the 62 cameras that monitor busy intersections...

'one-fourth'? Where did they find this reporter, the local 5th grade class? Whats wrong with 'one-quarter'?
/pet peeve
 
2008-03-15 10:01:33 PM
Princess Queef: i have it.
it works.
MWA HAHAHAHA.


IIRC that's now illegal in many places. It doesn't work well with newer video cameras at intersections anyway.
 
2008-03-15 10:05:21 PM
Dallas should make like certain utility companies and ticket people for NOT running red lights, just to 'break even'.

/that'll show people who cut down on power/water usage/obeying the law
 
2008-03-15 10:23:02 PM
dbaggins: Huggermugger: The story here is that these cameras worked. They did their job - people are not running red lights as frequently. Good.

The fact that this thread is swarming with lead-footed speed apologists is simply unfortunate. Just a bunch of petulant whiners who are annoyed that they can't drive 60 mph in a residential area.

/suck it

not bad. at least a 6, but too late to actually work.


he was off topic, i give a 3
 
2008-03-15 10:31:23 PM
6 million hum..... Two million a year salary leaves 4 million for maintenance. I could do that
 
2008-03-15 10:33:34 PM
They put one monitoring an intersection I go through every day on my way to work. The problem? They pointed it the wrong way. Instead of pointing towards the west, it needs to point north, since that's where I see the most people running the light. They're trying to beat the light going across the main thoroughfare.

I still want to get a hot-shoe flash and sit at the intersection, setting it off on people who are actually going through on green and yellow.

/yes, I'm evil.
 
2008-03-15 10:36:00 PM
Silly me, and here I thought the point of law enforcement was to keep society safe, not to earn money.

Maybe take some of the money to run the red light cameras out of the budget for busting non-violent drug users. Just a thought.
 
2008-03-15 10:43:49 PM
There was one in STL and 270 and Olive that was always flashing when you were going through on green. It flashed for me on a yellow. When I got home I called city hall and demanded to speak to someone about it because I felt they knew they were going to ticket me. I knew I passed through legally, but based on what I read in the papers before leaving STL there have been a lot of people get tickets for legally going through the lights. The police officers paid to verify an infraction just sit there and click "ticket" with one while ... well I'm not going there with the other hand.

At any rate, I talked to some dim-witted government hack who assured me if it flashed that I had gone through it illegally and had better be ready to pay up. I referred to them as "Commie Cams" and then she said she would have a police officer contact me if I had a complaint about the system. An hour later, a very rude so-called police officer called and was threatening to come after me for "threatening" the lady on the other end. I used the "commie-cam" line with him and he wasn't amused. He said if he found the video of my car in the system he would issue the ticket.

/Never did get a ticket in the mail that I'm aware of. I didn't leave a forwarding address when I left the state of misery.
//Have little use for Creve Couer officers. An old lady made a left turn in front of me in a construction zone and they wouldn't issue a ticket to her. He said he didn't want to go to court.
///Lazy arse cops.
 
2008-03-15 11:00:06 PM
Here's what happened to me,....When the light turned green, I went halfway into the intersection in the left turn lane with the intention of turning left when I could. The light changed to red and I still had to wait for two red light runners from the other direction before I could finally make my left turn. Several days later I got a ticket in the mail with a photo of me turning left on a red light. I went to the Police station and tried to explain that I was just making a left turn and clearing the intersection after the light changed.
They said the camera does not lie,......I was in the intersection and the light above me was red,....cha-ching,...$50.
 
2008-03-15 11:09:36 PM
The problem with where I live is that they just need to make the left turn signal longer then 8 seconds. No joke, it's green for 4 then it turns.

Their solution? Red light cameras to catch those "speeding red-light runners". The outcome was less red light violations, more injury accidents.

At least the city is getting paid!
 
2008-03-15 11:50:37 PM
The part of the article I thought was hilarious is the company that charges the City of Dallas $3,799 per camera to maintain and monitor the red light cameras is also based in Dallas. The company has two facilities on very busy streets (North Central Expressway and Stemmons Freeway).

I'd be surprised if there's not a plan in the works to do some additional traffic/parking enforcement in the areas around these offices... particularly targeting expensive, newer cars. You know, to offset losses from the red light camera program.
 
kab
2008-03-16 12:03:38 AM
Law enforcement needs to continue generating revenue keeping our streets safe. After all, have you seen the price of whores these days?
 
2008-03-16 12:03:40 AM
They *SAY* they're turning off the cameras, winkwink. They are actually planning to get their revenue going again, hinthint.

/nudgenudge
//saynomoresaynomore
 
2008-03-16 12:20:57 AM
Easy solution:
Ticket random people going through the intersection.
Chances are, they were thinking of doing it, anyway.
 
2008-03-16 12:30:09 AM
That was a great use of the Ironic tag, IMO!
 
2008-03-16 12:34:39 AM
The reason it costs so much per camera is the installation costs, the return on investment in R&D, the communications wiring and upkeep, repair costs, profit, the drones who scan the pictures to get the license numbers, the drones who look up the offenders' addresses and sends them a bill, the office to hold the drones and the managers of the drones.

The reason why you can't replace a $47k camera with a $47k cop is that the full cost of a cop is about $400k per year, once you include bennies, pension contributions, unemployment insurance contributions, administrative costs, liability insurance costs, training costs and equipment costs.
 
2008-03-16 01:46:43 AM
Don't you love it when you notice the timing of traffic lights in a town is set so you'll be encouraged to speed 10 mph over the limit to make them?

And all this time since HS I thought government was centered on altruism since business obviously can't...

/Bill Hicks with one man controlling puppets on both hands...
 
2008-03-16 01:54:57 AM
They said the camera does not lie,......I was in the intersection and the light above me was red,....cha-ching,...$50

Wow. That's not bad. Here in CA the tickets are close to $400. That type of usurious fine answers the safety vs. revenue question definitively for me. Only one reason for such high fines - not a lot of red light runners were forecast during traffic studies, so they make each infraction pay dearly to ensure that the cameras stay lucrative. Also, most of the cameras around here are strategically installed at intersections most often frequented by out of towners less likely to fight tickets.

I would have even fought the $50 ticket as far as possible. Nearly all the cameras in So Cal are at intersections with protected left turns (arrows), so I haven't run into the situation you describe. Still, that's something that needs to be rectified. The cameras DO lie, or are at least inaccurate. The cars you had to wait for, not you, should have received tickets.

Hopefully, as time goes on, red-light cameras will be universally regarded as the scams they are and they will eventually fade away with other sorry inventions like fire alarm traps (pops). After all, the root problem isn't people running the lights; it's the abject failure of the current signaling system to properly alert the driver to an impending red light. As long as people "gun it" to make a changing light, the problem will exist. If we had a 10-15 second, rather than a 3-4 second, advance warning, it's a virtual guarantee that light-running would decrease 90 percent. Those countdowns for pedestrian crossings are perfect. If a law were passed to mandate those at all intersections, and to make them work whether or not a pedestrian is there... problem solved.

Too easy of a solution, I guess.
 
2008-03-16 02:25:34 AM
D TOWN biatchES!
 
2008-03-16 03:51:29 AM
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Cameras can't be cross-examined. They may be true, but because their veracity can't be questioned in a court of law, they are unconstitutional based on the Sixth Amendment
 
2008-03-16 03:53:16 AM
destrip: If we had a 10-15 second, rather than a 3-4 second, advance warning, it's a virtual guarantee that light-running would decrease 90 percent.

The new crosswalk signals around los angeles are basically exactly that. They have a numerical countdown with the flashing hand and when it hits 0 the hand goes solid and the light goes yellow. I always look at those to gauge wether I should start braking or accelerate a little.
 
2008-03-16 05:36:27 AM
Please take them down and install them here. So many idiots run red lights it's insane. You know, when you're stopped at an intersection and the light turns yellow, YOU DO NOT GET TO GO. When the person in front of you goes, that DOES NOT GIVE YOU A FREE TICKET TO RUN A RED LIGHT.

The result here is that every single time a light turns red, 3-4, sometimes even FIVE people run it. FIVE. That is insane, it kills traffic flow, ruins the cycle for the next guys, and leads to even more frustrated idiots running the light. Cops are too busy to care, apparently.

In this rare case, I'm all for the cameras. I don't believe they are worth it for speeding, though in the city, I'm all for speed limits as well, it actually helps speed transit, but too many selfish morons don't realize this, so they just tailgate and speed. .... ooooh tailgating cameras would rule, too bad that wouldn't work...
 
2008-03-16 05:56:42 AM
RoxtarRyan: Dallas should make like certain utility companies and ticket people for NOT running red lights, just to 'break even'.

/that'll show people who cut down on power/water usage/obeyingbreaking the law


/FTFY
//Still funny.
///Got an MIP for "cooperating" on a speeding stop when I was 20. and 10 months.
 
2008-03-16 07:24:14 AM
Leasing the cameras is almost always a bad idea since you get the people in charge making the decisions on what is/is not a good photo, and since they are in BUSINESS, they want to make money.

It is a little harder with a redlight than a speeding camera, but if the photo does not have to have a photo of the light in it then it is an easy thing to do.

Revenue from this type of thing should always be considered a BONUS, not just thought of as a constant income.

If the city needs something EXTRA (new radios, another vehicle) then it comes from this, not putting it in the general budget to pay someones salary.
 
2008-03-16 08:13:02 AM
destrip

"The cameras DO lie, or are at least inaccurate. The cars you had to wait for, not you, should have received tickets."

Here's what happened,....My left turn lane had a green arrow. Three cars and a pickup in front of me proceeded. The three cars turned and the arrow went away. The pickup went ahead and turned after the arrow went away. I got stuck waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.
After the light changed and the two red light runners came across, that's when I cleared the intersection by turning and that's when the camera took my picture. I always thought that by law, even when the light is red you have the right to clear the intersection so as not to interfere with other traffic. My local cops thought different. To me, it wasn't so much the money but the fact that it went against a driving rule that I always believed in,.....simply, by law, even when the light is red you have the right to clear the intersection so as not to interfere with other traffic.
 
2008-03-16 08:25:38 AM
Chariset: My guess is that it's all about the budget meetings (there are still maintenance costs, etc.) Hard to raise money for something when your program isn't producing dramatic results.

Probably already stated but I believe the cameras are operated and monitored for the city by a private company. That company gets paid whether or not the cameras catch any violators.
 
2008-03-16 08:27:11 AM
Chariset: Go ahead. Run the red lights again. The cameras aren't on. Ha ha.wink wink

FTFY
 
2008-03-16 08:47:18 AM
destrip: If we had a 10-15 second, rather than a 3-4 second, advance warning, it's a virtual guarantee that light-running would decrease 90 percent. .

I doubt it. People would get used to the idea of a long Yellow, and assume they have planty of time to get thru the intersection. The reason Yellow lights work now is because they indicate an IMMINENT Red is coming. If Yellows become too long, people would not associate them with an immediately upcoming Red.

Short Yellow: "Oh shiat! The light's about to turn Red. I better stop!"
Long Yellow: "Aw, heck, I got plenty of time to get thru, so I'll keep going..."
 
2008-03-16 09:14:15 AM
fortean chicken: Red light cameras are the only traffic camera I fully support.

Why would you favor something that leads to more accidents? That's stupid.

Cameras do not stop people from running red lights, but they do increase the number of accidents at those intersections.

If you want safer intersections, you lengthen the yellow-light times. This is a proven fact, and it's much simpler and cheaper than installing red light cameras.

But it doesn't get a bunch of money into politicians greedy fingers, either, which is why we have cameras all over the place.

And no matter what you do, driving is never going to be 100% safe.

Huggermugger: The story here is that these cameras worked. They did their job - people are not running red lights as frequently. Good.

Did you read the article? Dallas lengthened the yellow light time. That's what solved the problem, just like every safety study has shown that it would. It wasn't the cameras.

iammess: If this intersection had cameras I would gotten a ticket for running a red light after being stopped, having it turn green, and then driving through the intersection.

There are a couple of those near my house. At night, if you exit the highway, you can expect to sit at the light for a couple of minutes before it turns green. And when it does, you better bust it, because that light is going to turn yellow, then red, in no time.

Two cars waiting to turn left? There is no way that both will legally make it in one light-change.

No cameras on those lights, but the idea that the government can intentionally design them so that you can't be compliant, and then fine you for "breaking the law" is bullshiat.

cybereal: ooooh tailgating cameras would rule, too bad that wouldn't work...

I don't feel like looking up a link, but those are out there.

I'm not sure if they are in full use, or still in development, but I read a story or saw an article on TV about them.

My understanding is one cop will use the camera to pick out tailgaters (including video evidence, I think) and radio another cop a bit down the road, who pulls them over.
 
2008-03-16 09:22:25 AM
JuggleGeek: My understanding is one cop will use the camera to pick out tailgaters (including video evidence, I think) and radio another cop a bit down the road, who pulls them over.

I still don't like that idea - I guess I'm pretty opposed to automated enforcement of most laws. Reason being, in this case, there's no way for the camera to tell if you're a tailgating a-hole, or if the guy you're "tailgating" just cut in front of you. It's a rare day where I don't have some idiot change lanes in front of me with only a few feet to spare, and I'd be royally peeved if I had to pay a fine for their assholishness.
 
2008-03-16 10:12:27 AM
kroonermanblack: Look into them. They increase danger, not decrease it.

Clearly this article disagrees.
 
2008-03-16 10:21:15 AM
chefjoeardee: kroonermanblack: Look into them. They increase danger, not decrease it.

Clearly this article disagrees.


Yes, it does. That doesn't mean that kroonermanblack is incorrect.
 
2008-03-16 10:30:44 AM
Kar98: autothing: I'm pissed at Americans. The Brits go and destroy all these traffic devices while we type away on Fark.

Well, they /know/ why they installed the local cameras on 30 ft poles. So the alternative is this. My handy dandy GPS based database of red light and speed cameras, let me show you it:

How do you get this database?

/Looking to buy a GPS unit
//anyone recommend a good one?
 
2008-03-16 10:32:30 AM
Crap

..aaaaaand
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