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(News.com.au)   Politicians want to make speed cameras more obvious to motorists. Obviously these politicians aren't up for re-election   (news.com.au) divider line 54
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2741 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Nov 2003 at 12:04 PM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-11-16 12:07:51 PM  
I would be more likely to slow down if I knew there were cameras everywhere...maybe that's just me.
 
2003-11-16 12:08:50 PM  
"The basic idea behind speed cameras is to slow traffic down and reduce accidents not to catch motorists speeding."

But a Victorian government spokeswoman said there was no point in having motorists slow down and then speed up again.


so I guess australia will now just get rid of stop signs and traffic lights

or all wheeled vehicles??
 
2003-11-16 12:09:14 PM  
I'm all for it. It will make them easier to shoot.
 
2003-11-16 12:09:44 PM  
Um, in California they put up signs warning you of these cameras being present and the stupid arses still run the signals
 
2003-11-16 12:10:28 PM  
What's the point behind the freaking things? To enforce the law, or to make money? If the idea is to enforce the law, put big freaking neon signs on them...fark...but come on, we all know they're merely revenue-generating devices, kind of like a reverse slot machine.
 
2003-11-16 12:12:04 PM  
They also want half the revenue raised from speed cameras to be spent on road funding.

Well I would hope so. Where else would it go? Speed camera enforcement?
 
2003-11-16 12:16:20 PM  
2003-11-16 12:12:04 PM nemoxnine

They also want half the revenue raised from speed cameras to be spent on road funding.

Well I would hope so. Where else would it go? Speed camera enforcement?


Funding for the police department in general. I recall a post a while back where AAA pu up a billboard warning of an upcoming speed trap. I think that town alone got 106% of its funding from speeding fines.

Justice indeed...
 
2003-11-16 12:16:46 PM  
Yes, because as a motorist, I'd sure hate to have fair warning that a speed camera was nearby.
 
2003-11-16 12:17:59 PM  
Super Bee, it was Waldo, FL .. they get 18% of their CITY's income from traffic violations, compared to an average 2% per city in the rest of the country...

I drove through there yesterday for the first time ever :)

 
2003-11-16 12:19:44 PM  
I don't know why this seems strange to you guys - this is the way that it is done in the UK - there are usually 'speed camera ahead' signs before a speed camera so that you can slow down. Speed cameras are used in places where speeding is especially dangerous like blind tight curves or approaches to towns or schools.

Speed enforcement in the US is perhaps one of the most stupid ways to spend our tax dollars on law enforcement. Leave this to machines.
 
2003-11-16 12:20:56 PM  
The people proposing this have the right idea. Assuming the cameras are positioned in places where it's dangerous to speed, then there's *nothing* wrong with having the motorists slow down for awhile, then speed back up. Who cares if they're running fast on a straightaway, besides greedy government officials wanting more fines?

Of course, I think speed cameras in general are a bad idea. If they set the speed limits to reasonable ones for the road, most people won't speed anyway. Read up on Wash D.C.'s traffic light camera system sometime. It reduced fatal accidents at stoplights by a few percent, but raised fender-benders near them by several HUNDRED percent.
 
2003-11-16 12:30:50 PM  
Big brother would be proud.
 
2003-11-16 12:32:04 PM  
2003-11-16 12:19:44 PM caffeineboy

Speed enforcement in the US is perhaps one of the most stupid ways to spend our tax dollars on law enforcement. Leave this to machines.


I agree, but this would basically eliminate the need for patrolling officers which would mean that fewer officers are needed. Selling the law enforcment community on reducing their own head count is going to be a tough sell.
 
2003-11-16 12:32:09 PM  
There is no point in hiding these cameras anyway. I don't know why this tag says the people doing this must not be up for re-election, the cameras are there anyway.

I have this problem in the U.S. when the red-light cameras are not clearly marked. If I knew they were there I wouldn't run the light, so the only point of hiding them is to catch me running a red light to ticket me, and not to stop me from running a red light and being "safe".
 
2003-11-16 12:36:18 PM  
Fark that. They need more red light cameras.
 
2003-11-16 12:40:44 PM  
Anyone who actually thinks Red Light cameras are a good idea, read this series of articles, starting Here. It's long, but worthwhile.

The short, short version is they caused far more problems than they solved, and the government refused to admit it (and even lied about the statistics) because of the amount of money they were making off of them.
 
2003-11-16 12:44:02 PM  
gromky: What's the point behind the freaking things? To enforce the law, or to make money? If the idea is to enforce the law, put big freaking neon signs on them...fark...but come on, we all know they're merely revenue-generating devices, kind of like a reverse slot machine.

Don't you mean like a regular slot machine? Slot machines are, after all, revenue-generating devices. The average slot machine on the strip in Las Vegas makes $125 in profit each day.
 
2003-11-16 12:47:32 PM  
I will never support speed/redlight cameras until a ticket with a 25$ fine is a ticket that is 25$

Not $25*
*plus $10 maintenance fee
$50 court costs
$25 advisory fee
$10 enforcement fee
$8 screw you over you don't even get to vote for this fee fee
 
2003-11-16 12:49:07 PM  
I despise red light cameras, almost more than I loath the clintons. They're the worst idea for traffic enforcement I've ever seen and I think they should be banned from the civilized world.

But i'm just a voting taxpayer - nobody listens to me.
 
2003-11-16 12:57:10 PM  
I got a speeding ticket from a camera a few weeks ago. I toyed with the idea of sending them a photograph of my money, but opted not to fight it after reading a ruling by the D.C. courts that the speed cameras didn't violate the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against you.

FYI, in D.C. there is no warning about where the speed cameras are (I think there's a sign for red light cameras though). They're portable and I got tagged on 295 at 7:30 p.m.
 
2003-11-16 12:57:50 PM  
Interesting article WizardX. It's too bad bureaucracy gets in the way of a good idea. Stopping idiots from running reds and accelerating through yellows.
 
2003-11-16 12:58:31 PM  
Well said, TheWizard.
 
2003-11-16 01:03:16 PM  
2003-11-16 12:47:32 PM TheWizard

They're just itemizing cost these days so you can see who's screwing you. In LA they charge a $40.00 release fee at the tow yard because they figure out the officers average time on scene and bill you for that. Personally I feel if there going to do this taxes should be eliminated and they should just bill you for sevices provided, might eliminate some disturbances like domestic distubances when you get a bill in the mail. Would also make people with alarms systems be more careful with them, and 911 calls should be double billing that way if you use the system it had better be an emergancy and not just some idiot reporting a car parked on the street to long. Alarm systems would be more reliable becuase if an alarm failed and was still under warranty the company that installed it would be responsible for that fee.

Hmm, maybe I got a little off subject here but you wondered where all the additional fees came from and I just wanted to let you know why you keep paying for this fee and for that fee when the original fine was only $50.00 or so. Everyone wants to cover thier expense's these days because Big Brother wants accounability these days.
 
2003-11-16 01:06:30 PM  
Seriously, all I want is a camera that will take pictures of the license plates of people who enter intersections when there's no way of being able to clear it when the light changes, effectivley blocking all lanes of traffic. Then sends a group over to their house to kill their family.
 
2003-11-16 01:15:06 PM  
I have this problem in the U.S. when the red-light cameras are not clearly marked. If I knew they were there I wouldn't run the light, so the only point of hiding them is to catch me running a red light to ticket me, and not to stop me from running a red light and being "safe".

The point is to make you wonder if it's worth the risk that there might be a camera at a light - so you won't run it to begin with.

And to make money of course. But the safety factor is there.
 
2003-11-16 01:20:41 PM  
WizardX
It reduced fatal accidents at stoplights by a few percent, but raised fender-benders near them by several HUNDRED percent.


I for one, know I'd rather be dead than have a bent fender. Sarcasm Off

I'm all for red-light cameras, but the companies who make and intall them should be paid for just that. No cut of the ticket revenue. I'm not worrying about them putting cops out of business. Hopefully your average traffic cop is also qualified for customs enforcement or something similar.
 
2003-11-16 01:21:25 PM  
All those who think speed cameras are a great idea ought to read this article from today's paper.

The Australian speed camera system has been caught giving out bogus tickets since day one. Same thing happened in San Diego. Same thing happened in Washington DC.

How much evidence do you need before you figure out this has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with revenue collection? You speed camera lovers are just like France's minster of transportation!
 
2003-11-16 01:22:04 PM  
The problem, of course, being that if something is a good idea *in theory*, but no workable implementation of it exists in reality, then it's really not a good idea after all.
 
2003-11-16 01:25:04 PM  
HazMatt

But all laws have to have some cost\benefit analysis built in. After all, if you wanted to end traffic deaths completely, all you have to do is outlaw cars.

But you would agree that is an impractical, unworkable solution, ne?

If the measure implemented reduces outright deaths by only a few percent, but results in HUGE expenditures in cleaning up minor accidents, along with a corresponding large increase in non-fatal injuries, then it's probably not worth it. There's no way to make life 100% safe - you look for ways of reducing the death rate that don't involve causing huge pain for those who live.
 
2003-11-16 01:40:41 PM  
WizardX

Certainly, my own take on the costs/benefits was that even a few percent reduction in fatalities was worth the corresponding hundreds of percent rise in damages. I don't know the exact numbers, though, so either of us may be right here. Probably have to break out some actuarial tables or something.

But remember, costs/benefits is all well and good until it is you lying there with a tag on your toe.
 
2003-11-16 01:44:07 PM  
HazMatt

I guess the fundamental question is, what large number of people with broken limbs, back injuries, or whiplash outweigh a few people outright dead? And that's one for which no real answer exists.

I'm inclined to say, though, that a solution that injures dozens or hundreds, to save a handful of lives, is probably not a very good one and something else needs to be considered.
 
2003-11-16 02:05:34 PM  
Driving is a privilege, if you don't like the responsibilies that are associated with it walk.
 
2003-11-16 02:14:54 PM  
WizardX

But what if red-light cameras were prevelant enough to change the general behavior of drivers at lights? Certainly there would be a period where rear-end collisions and their resulting injuries and damages go up, but I imagine that people would catch on and start following at a safe distance.

Actually I think that a better solution to traffic problems than cameras and cops would be for DPS to be a little more discriminating in who it gives licences to.
 
2003-11-16 02:44:24 PM  
When do a snipers start shooting traffic cameras?
 
2003-11-16 02:53:14 PM  
You think that the traffic cameras are bad, wait until they put a GPS in your car, and you have to provide your fingerprint or a retinal scan in order to start it up, and then a record is made of where you went and how fast you were going when you did it. You might be issued twenty speeding tickets in one day!!! What do you think that'll do to your insurance rates? :)
 
2003-11-16 02:53:37 PM  
Part of the problem is that the speed limits are set too low (lower than what is common-sense the right limit, and lower than is what is necessary at that road) so of course people use their instincts and travel at what they know to be safe. Then the government charges "you didn't bow down and kiss our asses" fees in the form of tickets.

Why don't we ever hear anything about trying to fix THAT problem?
 
2003-11-16 02:55:49 PM  
Buran:
It is because the speed limits are meant to apply to you and your 90 year old, half blind gramma.
 
2003-11-16 02:56:05 PM  
I've actually recently realised that making speed cameras obvious is a good idea. I really do go much slower when I realise that the road has cameras on it.

Not quite so good on the M25 though - at rush hour it's one massive block of cars speeding them breaking very hard at the camera, then speeding, then breaking very hard by the camera....
 
2003-11-16 02:59:18 PM  
I hit the break real hard... and it broke!!!
 
2003-11-16 03:05:54 PM  
Buran:
It is because the speed limits are meant to apply to you and your 90 year old, half blind gramma.


But why should everyone go EXACTLY the speed limit? Why don't the speed limits set maximums, and allow, say, a 10 mile an hour safe range below that to go... Then we would have traffic spreads, no large "packs", less traffic jams (Yes, traffic flows better when there is flow), and all kinds of good things (in addition to being safer)

And before you say that everyone would speed up and die:

But the FHWA conducted a scientific experiment over a five-year period, and found that the 85th percentile speed--or the speed under which 85 percent of drivers travel--changed no more than 1 to 2 mph even when the speed limit changed 15 mph. In another study, the same engineers--one of whom was Dr. Samuel Tignor, who just retired as the FHWA's technical director for safety and research development--found that "current speed limits are set too low to be accepted as reasonable by the vast majority of drivers. Only about 1 in 10 speed zones has better than 50 percent compliance. The posted speeds make technical violators out of motorists driving at reasonable and safe speeds."

The researchers concluded that most speed zones were posted 15 mph below the "maximum safe speed," and suggested that increasing speed limits would help increase compliance and target only the most dangerous drivers--far from the credo of automated enforcement, which has been known to nab everyone from low-level speeders to funeral processions.
 
2003-11-16 03:06:15 PM  
ALL HAIL THE HOMELAND! OBEY AND BE SPARED!
 
2003-11-16 03:10:43 PM  
"Part of the problem is that the speed limits are set too low (lower than what is common-sense the right limit, and lower than is what is necessary at that road) so of course people use their instincts and travel at what they know to be safe."

Unbelievable and mindless rhetoric!!LOL!!
 
2003-11-16 03:26:20 PM  
prozacboi

Are you calling that unbelieveable and mindless rhetoric? Then I guess you don't trust the FHA, Az DOT, and any other traffic-engineering text or guidelines?? I'll find the links in a second if you don't believe me, they're on a different computer...
 
2003-11-16 03:43:43 PM  
These cameras are just tax increases by proxy, nothing more.
 
2003-11-16 03:52:00 PM  
[These cameras are just tax increases by proxy, nothing more.]

Yep. If the gubbermint were really interested in road safety, they wouldn't fine you at all. They'd just give you points on your license. 3 points, lose your driving privilages for a year, then retest. No fuss, no muss, NO EXCEPTIONS.

But then, that wouldn't bring in the cash - would it?
 
2003-11-16 03:53:41 PM  
Just a few links I found quickly:

Highway fatalities double in Montana! (after re-instituting speed limits)

Public acceptance of these concepts is normally instinctive. However, the same public, when emotionally aroused in a specific instance, will often reject these fundamentals and rely instead on more comfortable and widely held misconceptions, such as:
Speed limit signs will slow the speed of traffic.
Speed limit signs will decrease the accident rate and increase safety.
Raising a posted speed limit will cause an increase in the speed of traffic.
Any posted speed limit must be safer than an unposted speed limit, regardless of the traffic and roadway conditions prevailing.

Speed zoning in Arizona is based on the widely accepted principle of setting speed limits as near as practicable to the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers are traveling. This speed is subject, of course, to downward revision based upon such factors as: accident experience, roadway geometrics, and adjacent development. Some questions which need to be answered prior to establishing a speed limit are:
 
2003-11-16 05:24:24 PM  
We used to burn ou the PIN diodes in the police RADAR guns by running a magnetron mounted on the front bumper. I expect that if these are video cameras, the infrared filters are removed since the are probably expected to work at night under low light conditions. One could cause havoc by lasing them with an infrared laser in the 50 watt or so class and thus burning the imaging device out.


But that's such a Rube Goldberg approach. Spray paint on a pole is probably a more realistic approach.
 
2003-11-16 05:33:56 PM  
Well, the police have to make money somehow too. Until they have 1 squad car for every 1 speed violator, people will just drive faster. Better just start working on cars that drive themselves - like in Minority Report. More money in that.

Why not just put a chip in a car so it can't go over 70? 65 is the maximum limit on just about all the freeways around here. It can be like the conceal-and-carry laws where you have to fill out a lot of paperwork and have a legitimate purpose for going over the speed limit.
 
2003-11-16 07:08:41 PM  
KyngNothing- What you posted/linked to hardly proved the statement that I laughed at. Read it again.
 
2003-11-16 07:43:22 PM  
prozacboi

I'm still not sure what you're laughing at still... left to their own devices, people tend to go a safe, reasonable speed, that doesn't really change depending on speed limit... this "anarchy" is, in many cases, safer than when there is a speed limit...

Speed limits are there, and randomly enforced, as a means of revenue raising, and to keep the onus off poorly designed roads/bad drivers, and on the "casualties of speeding"

The FHA, and various state highway administrations have said many speed limits are set too low, but there are laws in place to prevent them from raising it...

ie: Michigan mirrored national figures that saw the average speed on state roadways rising by only 1 percent after the speed limit was raised from 55 mph.

"The reality is that speed does not kill," Naeyaert said. "Both nationally and in Michigan, travel by car is safer than ever. Statistically, your likelihood of being killed in an accident continue to decline."

"Cars and roads are getting better, plus most motorists will will drive at a safe, reasonable speed under normal conditions. We believe most people will drive at the 85th percentile, which is the speed at which 85 percent of the motorists will drive under good conditions.
"In essence, it means people will drive at their speeds, no matter what numbers you put on the sign."
In testimony before the House Transportation Committee in May 1999, Thomas testified that studies have shown that states that raised their speed limits found that speeding increased very little.
"Instead, motorists are driving the same reasonable speed -- legally," Thomas said.


-eh, have a good one
 
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