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(WTAE)   Amid $afety concern$, Penn$ylvania $uburb$ will in$tall Red light camers$   (wtae.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine, Pittsburgh, Abington, red lights, suburbs, PennDOT  
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2189 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Sep 2013 at 9:53 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-16 09:14:17 AM  
F*ck.
 
2013-09-16 09:18:33 AM  
I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-16 09:22:38 AM  
The National Motorists Association put out a challenge years ago to cities with cameras. Pick an intersection with a high violation rate. NMA will show how to fix it without cameras. If the fix works, the city has to give up cameras. If the fix fails, the city gets $10,000 for its trouble.

There have been no takers.

I'll believe a camera program is serious when it starts writing tickets with points only, or jail time only, and nobody collects any money.
 
2013-09-16 09:42:52 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


The trouble is that in too many cases, engineers don't decide traffic light placement - politicians do, and they've got more of an eye on ticket revenue and campaign contributions from contractors, including the kind who install traffic signals and red-light cameras.
 
2013-09-16 09:45:01 AM  
Oh man, this is gonna make driving around Pittsburgh even more terrible than it already is.   There's already speed traps by bored cops...why the need for light cameras??
 
2013-09-16 09:49:22 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.
 
2013-09-16 09:55:40 AM  
I $ee what you did there...
 
2013-09-16 09:58:33 AM  
If they were serious about safety, they would redesign the intersections to be traffic circles (roundabouts for you euro types...).
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-16 09:59:42 AM  
can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

No, because most of the people who get tickets are not consciously trying to run a red light. The light changes at just the wrong time, there is a higher priority distraction for a second, or a truck gets in the way for a moment. It's not humanly possible to get perfect compliance. Before camera enforcement a high violation rate indicated a need to change the signal timing, add another signal head, adjust traffic patterns, or otherwise make it easier for fallible human drivers to stop. With cameras a high violation rate is a money making opportunity.
 
2013-09-16 09:59:55 AM  

Gulper Eel: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

The trouble is that in too many cases, engineers don't decide traffic light placement - politicians do, and they've got more of an eye on ticket revenue and campaign contributions from contractors, including the kind who install traffic signals and red-light cameras.


Someone requiring you to stop at a red light is literally tyranny.
 
2013-09-16 10:00:10 AM  
Glad I rarely make it to Abington.
//I know money looks like an easy target here but people really do drive through lights a lot up there and there are accidents on 611 all the time
 
2013-09-16 10:01:19 AM  
Wouldn't nets be more effective?
 
2013-09-16 10:01:39 AM  

Gulper Eel: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

The trouble is that in too many cases, engineers don't decide traffic light placement - politicians do, and they've got more of an eye on ticket revenue and campaign contributions from contractors, including the kind who install traffic signals and red-light cameras.


In other words, the city sets the timings on the light so that it's MUCH more difficult to NOT run a red light, at least sometimes. In my experience, "monitored" traffic lights stay on "yellow" for about 2 seconds. Until you've encountered one, you really have no idea how ridiculously short the timings are. It's very disruptive. Drivers don't expect it.

There is some evidence that these monitored lights actually cause MORE accidents, because people become paranoid about getting ticketed, so they drive faster through monitored intersections. Brilliant.
 
2013-09-16 10:01:46 AM  

video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.


They probably did a California stop - you know, rolling up to the intersection and turning without stopping.  Those cameras usually take more that one picture, don't they so the officer reviewing the infractions with the photo evidence can tell if the person came to a stop before turning.

Learn how to drive properly and you won't get ticketed.
 
2013-09-16 10:03:49 AM  
They need folding chair cameras in the winter time.
Bust those jag offs.
 
2013-09-16 10:04:03 AM  
I don't run red lights, but I'm not sure those cameras care.

And since I live in Cheltenham it's pretty hard to get anywhere without going through Abington.
 
2013-09-16 10:06:24 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


As long as the yellows are long enough that there's time to safely stop, which they frequently aren't.
 
2013-09-16 10:06:45 AM  

video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.


I'm one.  The biggest issue to me is that you have no legal recourse.  You cannot challenge the ticket.  When I called the police department they said it wasn't a "ticket" but rather a civil case between me and the traffic light company since the police department didn't issue me anything much less a "ticket".  To which I asked "so if it isn't a ticket then why do I have to pay it?"  Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.  I would have to sue the traffic light company in civil court if I wanted to challenge the non-ticket.
 
2013-09-16 10:07:13 AM  
I'm not big on vandalism, but it wouldn't be such a bad thing if there was a national movement against these cameras. Paintball guns perhaps to black out the cameras. Who's with me? No one? Seriously?
 
2013-09-16 10:10:01 AM  

theMightyRegeya: Someone requiring you to stop at a red light is literally tyranny.


Oh, the officials who pull this crap don't want to be tyrants - WAY too much publicity. They just want the extra revenue without having the intellectual honesty and guts to make the case for it, so they concoct a quick "b-b-b-b-b-b-b-but public safety" scenario and they take their percentage while the chumps fall obediently into line as you did.
 
2013-09-16 10:10:28 AM  

video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.


We have red light cameras in Tucson, and I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for going right on red, BUT they had to paint new lines beyond the crosswalk to show everybody where the intersection starts. It's inside the curbs, and the crosswalks are set back so they are usually about 10 feet before the intersection. That fixed it so people who thought they were in the intersection when the light turned red really weren't, so they got tickets. The new lines at least tell you what you have to be past before the light turns, but they're illegal because no one outside of Tucson knows what the heck those extra lines are for.

I will say, however, that when I moved here, the left turn lanes flowed well past when the opposing lights turned green, and now everybody stops when they should. The culture shift is all over town, not just at the camera intersections, and I find it a relief. However, people who are inexperienced with the cameras (like my friends who live on the edge of town) still seem to rack up the occasional $350 ticket from the intersection not being where you'd expect, so I can't imagine why no one has sued.
 
2013-09-16 10:11:19 AM  

SuburbanCowboy: If they were serious about safety, they would redesign the intersections to be traffic circles (roundabouts for you euro types...).


How do European roundabouts handle pedestrian crossing without lights?
 
2013-09-16 10:11:22 AM  

K3rmy: video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.

They probably did a California stop - you know, rolling up to the intersection and turning without stopping.  Those cameras usually take more that one picture, don't they so the officer reviewing the infractions with the photo evidence can tell if the person came to a stop before turning.

Learn how to drive properly and you won't get ticketed.


In general, I agree, but part of the problem in many places is that a ticket is automatically issued. It might get a very cursory glance by a someone to ensure the system doesn't have a glitch, but that's about it.   You can fight the ticket, but the process takes a lot of time and effort and the onus is on you to prove your innocence.
 
2013-09-16 10:13:42 AM  
K3rmy:
They probably did a California stop - you know, rolling up to the intersection and turning without stopping.  Those cameras usually take more that one picture, don't they so the officer reviewing the infractions with the photo evidence can tell if the person came to a stop before turning.

Learn how to drive properly and you won't get ticketed.


That's a good idea for a camera system.  Let me know when they implement that instead of an automated process.

Also, they shorten the yellow on intersections with cameras in order to generate revenue catch unsafe drivers.  It isn't hard to find articles where a camera goes up and people are now unable to stop in time for the light.
 
2013-09-16 10:14:20 AM  

brandent: video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.

I'm one.  The biggest issue to me is that you have no legal recourse.  You cannot challenge the ticket.  When I called the police department they said it wasn't a "ticket" but rather a civil case between me and the traffic light company since the police department didn't issue me anything much less a "ticket".  To which I asked "so if it isn't a ticket then why do I have to pay it?"  Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.  I would have to sue the traffic light company in civil court if I wanted to challenge the non-ticket.


So. . .from the police officer's statement, logic would dictate that the red light camera is not affiliated with law enforcement at all and so tampering with it would not be an interference of a law officer's duties.  Grab your water balloons full of corn syrup and bags of broken glass.  Have a grand ol' time.

(You are not destroying the camera.  Toss the corn syrup.  Toss some broken glass.  Obscure the camera's line of sight with something that can be a biatch to get off.)
 
2013-09-16 10:17:55 AM  
Damn Amish
 
2013-09-16 10:22:06 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


When the signals are properly engineered, most people will be able to stop at them. A few people will still disregard the signals, but they're going to be unsafe drivers at any speed. However, we're seeing intentional shortening of yellow signal timing, especially at intersections with red light cameras.

New Jersey just had a massive class action lawsuit over towns that have red light cameras that failed to certify that the signals were properly timed.
 
2013-09-16 10:25:58 AM  
It looks like the migration from NYC & NJ to PA has hit critical mass. They escape those hell holes and their oppressive regulations, only to bring them with them and ruin another once great state.
 
2013-09-16 10:32:05 AM  
As long as they don't mistime the lights on purposeby accident, I don't care. I don't run red lights.

/ b-b-b-but rear end collisions
// so don't follow too closely or race the yellow, dipshiats
/// driving really isn't as hard as people seem to think it is
 
2013-09-16 10:43:03 AM  

brandent: video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.

I'm one.  The biggest issue to me is that you have no legal recourse.  You cannot challenge the ticket.  When I called the police department they said it wasn't a "ticket" but rather a civil case between me and the traffic light company since the police department didn't issue me anything much less a "ticket".  To which I asked "so if it isn't a ticket then why do I have to pay it?"  Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.  I would have to sue the traffic light company in civil court if I wanted to challenge the non-ticket.


So what they are saying is any one can issue "tickets". I have good idea for you than.

img.fark.net
 
2013-09-16 10:43:48 AM  

brandent: Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.


Wow that's worse than Arizona. Here, if we don't pay it the company has to have us served within 120 or 180 days (I forget which). Although here in AZ I'm pretty sure there are points attached, not just the extortion fee.
 
2013-09-16 10:44:25 AM  

Allen262: img.fark.net


OMG that is hilarious!
 
2013-09-16 10:49:02 AM  

skozlaw: As long as they don't mistime the lights on purposeby accident, I don't care. I don't run red lights.

/ b-b-b-but rear end collisions
// so don't follow too closely or race the yellow, dipshiats
/// driving really isn't as hard as people seem to think it is


I think the main gripe is:

1: everyone can see this is a cash grab

2: unlike a traffic stop; there is no recourse for someone to fight back and challenge the ticket this violating the right to confront your accuser

3: sometimes an officers discretion is best like the time I ran a light despite being 3 car lengths behind a tractor trailer. The light scraped the top of the trailer and was shining up, also no lights on the side of the intersection. Couldn't tell the light was red.

Officer pulled me over: asked me what happened. He said "I know I saw it. Be a little more careful with the intersection next time. Consider this a warning"

I said thanks and he sent me on my way. Can't do that with a camera.
 
2013-09-16 10:55:57 AM  

Gig103: brandent: Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.

Wow that's worse than Arizona. Here, if we don't pay it the company has to have us served within 120 or 180 days (I forget which). Although here in AZ I'm pretty sure there are points attached, not just the extortion fee.


No points here in SD.  Just fees.  They split the fee with the city.  It's not a state thing either just municipal.  I believe someone finally challenged it in court.  Ah yes here's the link.  It failed the most basic legal tests.

http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Red-Light-Cameras-Turned-off-in-South -D akota-Less-Likely-in-Iowa-97890649.html
 
2013-09-16 11:00:01 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


Thank you. Yes. This.
I walk to work every day. My walk takes less than three minutes and crosses at 4 crosswalks.  I have been making this walk for about 6 years.  I have never once made that three minute walk where I don't see at least two people (and usually more) run red-lights.  This frequently happens in plain-view of a police office in his squad car who never do anything.

I wish my city would either install red-light cameras or allow me to carry a paintball gun to tag offenders.
 
2013-09-16 11:01:22 AM  

brandent: Gig103: brandent: Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.

Wow that's worse than Arizona. Here, if we don't pay it the company has to have us served within 120 or 180 days (I forget which). Although here in AZ I'm pretty sure there are points attached, not just the extortion fee.

No points here in SD.  Just fees.  They split the fee with the city.  It's not a state thing either just municipal.  I believe someone finally challenged it in court.  Ah yes here's the link.  It failed the most basic legal tests.

http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Red-Light-Cameras-Turned-off-in-South -D akota-Less-Likely-in-Iowa-97890649.html


Way better article here with a "fark you" from the judge basically.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/06/south-dakota-court-rules-ag ai nst-red-light-cameras/

I had forgotten this nightmare was overturned.


"Plaintiff was given notice but the court finds that plaintiff was not given a meaningful opportunity to be heard under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article Six Section Two of the South Dakota Constitution in light of this court's recent devision in Daily v. City of Sioux Falls," Caldwell wrote."
 
2013-09-16 11:02:02 AM  

Cupajo: Thank you. Yes. This.
I walk to work every day. My walk takes less than three minutes and crosses at 4 crosswalks.  I have been making this walk for about 6 years.  I have never once made that three minute walk where I don't see at least two people (and usually more) run red-lights.  This frequently happens in plain-view of a police office in his squad car who never do anything.

I wish my city would either install red-light cameras or allow me to carry a paintball gun to tag offenders.


Maybe your city should encourage Officer Donut to do his job instead of turning it over to a private company who isn't accountable to anyone?
 
2013-09-16 11:15:57 AM  

Dougie AXP: Couldn't tell the light was red.


So, basically, you followed a truck you couldn't see around into an intersection you had no idea who had the right of way in and you think that's justification for not getting a ticket? You should have gotten a ticket. I farking hate you people. No, really, I just LOVE sitting idle on green because someone like you is still in the intersection long after the light changed because you just blindly blew through it as if having no idea what the light is means it's okay to go.

As for the rest of your argument, the "accuser" is the photographs and you can get them by issuing a discovery request IF you live in a state that doesn't actually mail them to you.

But since you either ran it or you didn't I don't think it's going to work if you just show up in traffic court with a picture of you in the middle of the intersection on red arguing about what you can tell from having seen many pixels in your time.
 
2013-09-16 11:21:25 AM  

BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?


That's the thing.. I have absolutely no issues with red light cameras as long as they are fair and take some circumstances in account to situation where you might not have no safe alternatives when the light goes yellow... but flat out going through a red, people need to stop doing that.

But the speeding ones are something that I don't believe in, but then again, I don't agree with speed traps with cops either... would rather that they go after bad drivers, those that seem to believe that signalling is an option when cutting people off, and such.

I wish they'd go with testing people and have different ratings that would be according to the speed that they can drive safely and have a new license system with the car manufacturing that you'd have to use your driver's license as the car's key, which would regulate the max. speed of the car.

At least until 100% safe self-driving cars are made.
 
2013-09-16 11:24:05 AM  

ZAZ: The National Motorists Association put out a challenge years ago to cities with cameras. Pick an intersection with a high violation rate. NMA will show how to fix it without cameras. If the fix works, the city has to give up cameras. If the fix fails, the city gets $10,000 for its trouble.


What is their solution?

I imagine it varies depending on the circumstances, but they must have some sort of general approach.
 
2013-09-16 11:33:43 AM  

Rev.K: ZAZ: The National Motorists Association put out a challenge years ago to cities with cameras. Pick an intersection with a high violation rate. NMA will show how to fix it without cameras. If the fix works, the city has to give up cameras. If the fix fails, the city gets $10,000 for its trouble.

What is their solution?

I imagine it varies depending on the circumstances, but they must have some sort of general approach.


I found this.

mmdnewswire.com National Motorists Association Speed Camera Challenge
 
2013-09-16 11:35:58 AM  

ZAZ: can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

No, because most of the people who get tickets are not consciously trying to run a red light. The light changes at just the wrong time, there is a higher priority distraction for a second, or a truck gets in the way for a moment. It's not humanly possible to get perfect compliance. Before camera enforcement a high violation rate indicated a need to change the signal timing, add another signal head, adjust traffic patterns, or otherwise make it easier for fallible human drivers to stop. With cameras a high violation rate is a money making opportunity.


Funny.. almost every day I see someone running a red light, some day, more than one, even up to several.

On my side, yes, I find that shortened yellow lights with cops sitting there are a freaking cash grab, which I personally experience and learned about the crooks that manage this system (long story), but overall, so many go through the red lights, not yellow, but flat out red that if not for the other drivers paying attention and ending up letting these goons go by, there would be a LOT more accidents on a daily bases.

And I'm sure that these goons will insist that they are great drivers.
 
2013-09-16 11:40:08 AM  
In this morning's news, it was interesting to hear their statistics about how red light cameras reduce accidents and red light running.

First, they stated that Philly has had red light cameras for eight years.

Then, these gems:
"In a three year period, accidents were reduced x percent"
and
"During one year, red light running was reduced x percent"

So, one cherry picked 3 year period (out of 6 possible) resulted in lowered accidents. What about the other FIVE 3 year periods? And we have one year out of eight that had a mentionable reduction in red light running.

If I remember a report from a few years ago, the intersections at Grant & the Boulevard and Welsh & the Boulevard had less t-bone accidents but more rear-end accidents. While the overall total of accidents remained fairly constant, there were less injuries since t-bone accidents caused more severe injuries.

But, I guess, "You have the same chance of getting in an accident but a better chance of not suffering serious injury" doesn't seem to be that positive a selling point...
 
2013-09-16 11:41:26 AM  

Allen262: Rev.K: ZAZ: The National Motorists Association put out a challenge years ago to cities with cameras. Pick an intersection with a high violation rate. NMA will show how to fix it without cameras. If the fix works, the city has to give up cameras. If the fix fails, the city gets $10,000 for its trouble.

What is their solution?

I imagine it varies depending on the circumstances, but they must have some sort of general approach.

I found this.

mmdnewswire.com National Motorists Association Speed Camera Challenge


That was interesting...

But another way.. remove all red lights and convert all intersections into round points... I hate them but overall they do appear to work.

I could have sworn that when they build some around my area that they'd cause more as people do drive like idiots in them, but overall, I've yet to hear about accidents in reference to them.

They force people to slow down, acknowledge the other traffic, and move accordingly to flow with the traffic instead of trying to cut others off, speed up to make the lights, etc.
 
2013-09-16 12:03:25 PM  
I would be more for red light cameras if they didnt go to a 3rd party company or the police dept.
 
2013-09-16 12:23:21 PM  

skozlaw: Dougie AXP: Couldn't tell the light was red.

So, basically, you followed a truck you couldn't see around into an intersection you had no idea who had the right of way in and you think that's justification for not getting a ticket? You should have gotten a ticket. I farking hate you people. No, really, I just LOVE sitting idle on green because someone like you is still in the intersection long after the light changed because you just blindly blew through it as if having no idea what the light is means it's okay to go.

As for the rest of your argument, the "accuser" is the photographs and you can get them by issuing a discovery request IF you live in a state that doesn't actually mail them to you.

But since you either ran it or you didn't I don't think it's going to work if you just show up in traffic court with a picture of you in the middle of the intersection on red arguing about what you can tell from having seen many pixels in your time.


Re-read what I said farkstick. I was the proper distance behind the semi truck.

I wasnt speeding or tailgating. The other motorists at the intersection gave no indication that they were ready to move or that it was their turn. It was a 3 way intersection.

The light was hanging too low and the truck obscured it from view. I didn't knowingly decide to run the light.

The officer saw this entire series of events and pulled me over and assessed the situation. He used his training to determine that no crime/violation had been committed. You can't do that with an automated camera that doesn't record the entire series of events.

What I didn't tell you was that three miles down the road the semi truck had been pulled over and the officer who pulled me over had joined another officer there. He must have radioed ahead.

So again, you can't do any of this with an automate system.

Notice I didn't say all systems are flawed just completely automated.

For example, I don't have a problem with the one that's used just outside of north Houston. It records all the time and when it thinks its detected a violation it flashes to indicate that. It then sends the minute before the infraction and minute after the infraction to a real officer for assessment. If they determine that it's a violation a letter is sent to the person that the car is registered to.

In this letter is a link to view the video. After viewing you are allowed to decide if you want to fight or pay the fine (usually reduced for not clogging up a docket).

Oh and they usually include comments from the officer as to why they decide to fine you. For me it said "didn't pause long enough at the light before making a legal right on red"

After viewing the video I said to myself "shiat I thought I had stopped longer than that. Oh well better pay the fine"

Had I chose to fight it, the officer would have shown up in court to defend the decision to cite me for te violation based on the video evidence.

That system is fine. Especially since at that particular intersection they didn't dick with the light timing.

So lighten up Francis.
 
2013-09-16 12:24:20 PM  

Allen262: I found this.

mmdnewswire.com National Motorists Association Speed Camera Challenge


That's kind of what I thought.

The point I was going to make is that engineering solutions are pretty much always ideal, they are not, however, always affordable.

I'm not defending the use of red-light cameras by any means, but what their challenge doesn't take into account is cost.

Is the city interested in a 50 percent reduction in traffic collisions? I hope so. But they're interested in doing it in the most cost-effective way possible. Are red light cameras the solution? Perhaps not, but cities don't have endless capital budgets to re-engineer each problematic intersection.
 
2013-09-16 12:25:55 PM  

brandent: video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.

I'm one.  The biggest issue to me is that you have no legal recourse.  You cannot challenge the ticket.  When I called the police department they said it wasn't a "ticket" but rather a civil case between me and the traffic light company since the police department didn't issue me anything much less a "ticket".  To which I asked "so if it isn't a ticket then why do I have to pay it?"  Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.  I would have to sue the traffic light company in civil court if I wanted to challenge the non-ticket.


Someone who's more lawyer-y can tell me how this is legally valid. I don't see how a private corporation can assess arbitrary charges without the benefit of either the state or a binding contract. I seem to recall a legal precedent involving mining company 'company towns' that stated that corporations cannot arbitrarily take money without a civil action of some sort, which would imply THEY would need to sue YOU in a small claims court of some kind. Even regular debt collectors have to go through this for legitimate debts for product purchased. One cannot simply set themselves up as the King of Town and start filing garnishment papers, even if the mayor tries to say its okay. That's simply not how that works.
 
2013-09-16 12:29:36 PM  
And one more thing about red-light cameras.

I read a number of articles where the private company who installs the cameras gets a portion of the fine revenue, which I find utterly appalling and a complete conflict of interest.

We have red light cameras where I live, but the police force owns and operates them outright. There is no outside interference.
 
2013-09-16 12:37:47 PM  

Sim Tree: brandent: video man: BunkoSquad: I hardly ever drive, so I may be missing something, but can't people just stop at red lights and not get a ticket?

I can name several people who got a ticket from those damn machines from taking a right on red.

I'm one.  The biggest issue to me is that you have no legal recourse.  You cannot challenge the ticket.  When I called the police department they said it wasn't a "ticket" but rather a civil case between me and the traffic light company since the police department didn't issue me anything much less a "ticket".  To which I asked "so if it isn't a ticket then why do I have to pay it?"  Well they informed me that if I didn't then the traffic light company had been provided my ssn by the state so that they could ruin my credit and start collections on me.  I would have to sue the traffic light company in civil court if I wanted to challenge the non-ticket.

Someone who's more lawyer-y can tell me how this is legally valid. I don't see how a private corporation can assess arbitrary charges without the benefit of either the state or a binding contract. I seem to recall a legal precedent involving mining company 'company towns' that stated that corporations cannot arbitrarily take money without a civil action of some sort, which would imply THEY would need to sue YOU in a small claims court of some kind. Even regular debt collectors have to go through this for legitimate debts for product purchased. One cannot simply set themselves up as the King of Town and start filing garnishment papers, even if the mayor tries to say its okay. That's simply not how that works.


See my later post.  I went digging and was reminded the city and the company got their butts handed to them in court.
 
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