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Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please

 
Leo Kessler
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01/20/2013 08:30 PM
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Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I'm a police officer of almost ten years. We recently outfitted several busy intersections in my city with these big brother cameras. I am TOTALLY against this. Each city, including mine, has said that "safety" is their main concern. Reeaaally??? As a patrol officer I can tell you that these are the most unsafe technological contraptions yet!

First off, you're approaching the intersection where cameras are in place (there are signs everywhere informing drivers). All of the sudden you realize your probably not going to make it through before the red light. So you slam on your brakes causing 3-4 cars behind you to crash into eachother. I've seen it.

Secondly, these cameras have bright flashes that go off whenever a photo is snapped. These literally blind you for several seconds. The first time I saw one of these go off at night I had to sit for a few seconds before I could drive. Yep, "safety" is a concern, lets blind drivers!

Finally, as an officer I am required to prove a driver actually committed the offense I cite them for. Which means that I have to witness a vehicle commit a violation, stop the vehicle in question, and make contact with the driver. If I cannot prove that the driver committed an offense, in my presence, then I have no justification for a citation. It would be like me stopping a vehicle just for the hell of it and issuing a citation for speeding. "But Officer.....", "Now I know you weren't speeding just now but I'm pretty sure you have exceeded the speed limit at some point today." These cameras are a complete violation of law!!

The local governments installing these are using "safety" as a crutch for extra money. Even though most cities are having to take them down because they cost more to maintain then the department actually makes back!! Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this. Thoughts anyone?
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 08:32 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
iamwith
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01/20/2013 08:34 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I stopped driving in areas with these lights. I know what you mean about drivers panicking and slamming on their brakes even when it's yellow. I think they're going to be removed soon anyway.
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 08:37 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
Cleveland installed them and I made the decision to never go into that city again. They'll never get another dime out of me.
mopar28m
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01/20/2013 08:38 PM

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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
If cops spent less time sitting at a desk or at the donut shop & more time working the "beat" they would catch the speeders.

Camera fines are so much higher than if you were stopped. There have been quite a few instances here in Iowa where the plate was read wrong & the wrong person was cited. It took weeks to get it straightened out.

Also here in Iowa, city officials, off duty cops & other city employees are exempt from paying camera fines. They are simply written off. I find this unfair. One law for everyone.
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JimBomB

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01/20/2013 08:39 PM

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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
They have been put up at every stop light in this town of about 30'000.They aren't turned on yet they say? I heard a couple people say they were going to shoot them down,when they start giving tickets based on the pics.
Self delusion can be a grand thing!
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Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 08:40 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
These are for REVENUE GENERATION period! Citizen should destroy them at every opportuntity.
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 08:41 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
They have been put up at every stop light in this town of about 30'000.They aren't turned on yet they say? I heard a couple people say they were going to shoot them down,when they start giving tickets based on the pics.
 Quoting: JimBomB


when the crap hits the fan I have a feeling that all cameras will be taken out within 24 hours.....
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 08:43 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
We are only exempt from the ticket if we are running hot to a call (lights and sirens). Another gripe is that if someone is driving your car and gets popped, guess what? The plate is registered to you so you get the ticket. This is as idiotic as my brother borrowing my car while drunk, getting stopped for DUI, yet I get arrested because its my vehicle!
MuslimAmerican

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01/20/2013 08:45 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
Ban traffic light cameras, speed cameras, speed limits, slower traffic in the fast lane and police choppers.
Feed the hungry, visit the sick, free a captive if he be unjustly confined(kidnapped/enslaved by someone). Assist any person oppressed, whether they're of the Muslim or non-Muslim. - Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
UseLess RepEATER
Those who know the least obey the best: G.F.

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01/20/2013 08:46 PM

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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I see cameras at almost every intersection where I live in WA State. There are at least 4 at every intersection, but these are not "RED LIGHT" cams. I think they are surveillance cameras with license plate reading capability.
Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
~U.R.~

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
~H. L. Mencken~

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
~Plato~

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations,
the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.
~Dresden James~
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
01/20/2013 08:50 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I'm a police officer of almost ten years. We recently outfitted several busy intersections in my city with these big brother cameras. I am TOTALLY against this. Each city, including mine, has said that "safety" is their main concern. Reeaaally??? As a patrol officer I can tell you that these are the most unsafe technological contraptions yet!

First off, you're approaching the intersection where cameras are in place (there are signs everywhere informing drivers). All of the sudden you realize your probably not going to make it through before the red light. So you slam on your brakes causing 3-4 cars behind you to crash into eachother. I've seen it.

Secondly, these cameras have bright flashes that go off whenever a photo is snapped. These literally blind you for several seconds. The first time I saw one of these go off at night I had to sit for a few seconds before I could drive. Yep, "safety" is a concern, lets blind drivers!

Finally, as an officer I am required to prove a driver actually committed the offense I cite them for. Which means that I have to witness a vehicle commit a violation, stop the vehicle in question, and make contact with the driver. If I cannot prove that the driver committed an offense, in my presence, then I have no justification for a citation. It would be like me stopping a vehicle just for the hell of it and issuing a citation for speeding. "But Officer.....", "Now I know you weren't speeding just now but I'm pretty sure you have exceeded the speed limit at some point today." These cameras are a complete violation of law!!

The local governments installing these are using "safety" as a crutch for extra money. Even though most cities are having to take them down because they cost more to maintain then the department actually makes back!! Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this. Thoughts anyone?
 Quoting: Leo Kessler


Kudos to you! Police are meant to be public servants, not harassing civilians in any case.

Is it possible you spend most your time looking for criminals instead?
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 08:50 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I see cameras at almost every intersection where I live in WA State. There are at least 4 at every intersection, but these are not "RED LIGHT" cams. I think they are surveillance cameras with license plate reading capability.
 Quoting: UseLess RepEATER


Thats even worse!!! There have been talks of getting that here. I know that state troopers are getting it in there vehicles. It scans continuously running every plate in sight. If there is something on the owner like a warrant it will be flagged. I'm against this too!
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 08:53 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I'm a police officer of almost ten years. We recently outfitted several busy intersections in my city with these big brother cameras. I am TOTALLY against this. Each city, including mine, has said that "safety" is their main concern. Reeaaally??? As a patrol officer I can tell you that these are the most unsafe technological contraptions yet!

First off, you're approaching the intersection where cameras are in place (there are signs everywhere informing drivers). All of the sudden you realize your probably not going to make it through before the red light. So you slam on your brakes causing 3-4 cars behind you to crash into eachother. I've seen it.

Secondly, these cameras have bright flashes that go off whenever a photo is snapped. These literally blind you for several seconds. The first time I saw one of these go off at night I had to sit for a few seconds before I could drive. Yep, "safety" is a concern, lets blind drivers!

Finally, as an officer I am required to prove a driver actually committed the offense I cite them for. Which means that I have to witness a vehicle commit a violation, stop the vehicle in question, and make contact with the driver. If I cannot prove that the driver committed an offense, in my presence, then I have no justification for a citation. It would be like me stopping a vehicle just for the hell of it and issuing a citation for speeding. "But Officer.....", "Now I know you weren't speeding just now but I'm pretty sure you have exceeded the speed limit at some point today." These cameras are a complete violation of law!!

The local governments installing these are using "safety" as a crutch for extra money. Even though most cities are having to take them down because they cost more to maintain then the department actually makes back!! Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this. Thoughts anyone?
 Quoting: Leo Kessler


Kudos to you! Police are meant to be public servants, not harassing civilians in any case.

Is it possible you spend most your time looking for criminals instead?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9014106


Try to, but I'd rather help somebody out than take someone to jail anyday, unless they need to go. I've called cabs for plenty of people who were technically a public intoxication arrest but were just trying to walk home instead of drive.
krosty

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01/20/2013 08:55 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
The mayor of my town got a ticket at one and then had all of them removed. True story.
UseLess RepEATER
Those who know the least obey the best: G.F.

User ID: 1145867
United States
01/20/2013 08:55 PM

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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I see cameras at almost every intersection where I live in WA State. There are at least 4 at every intersection, but these are not "RED LIGHT" cams. I think they are surveillance cameras with license plate reading capability.
 Quoting: UseLess RepEATER


Thats even worse!!! There have been talks of getting that here. I know that state troopers are getting it in there vehicles. It scans continuously running every plate in sight. If there is something on the owner like a warrant it will be flagged. I'm against this too!
 Quoting: Leo Kessler


Yes, they are very invasive but this falls right in line with our society trending towards tyranny. I would contend that we are fairly advanced down the path to a police state.
Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
~U.R.~

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
~H. L. Mencken~

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
~Plato~

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations,
the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.
~Dresden James~
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 08:56 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
The mayor of my town got a ticket at one and then had all of them removed. True story.
 Quoting: krosty


Ha! Yeah, they're all for it until they get caught!
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 08:56 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
interestingly enough a fellow in Australia owns most of them. I believe they call that redistribution of wealth.

It might also be seen as a police office not being needed any longer. Sort of like the lady at walmart urging you to use self checkout so she no longer has a job.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
01/20/2013 08:57 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
In the town I live in every single light controlled intersection has these cameras and the right turn video recorders too. You can watch the live feeds on the cities website. You cannot leave my neighborhood without passing under at least one of these cameras.

I never notice anyone speeding or otherwise breaking traffic laws here. The city put them up for revenue, but they never imagined people might start obeying the law and now the city is deeply in debt and taxing business and property owners to make up the shortfall. It's disgusting, but it also makes for a good lesson for other cities; these cameras only work if people can forget that they are there.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
01/20/2013 08:59 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
You're absolutely correct.

In AZ, accidents at intersections (rear-enders) went up 3x thanks to the lights. Accidents due to speed cameras on the freeway went up too. - people slammed on their brakes while driving 65mph (which is the speed limit)

They lied on the news and msm that accidents went down.

Grass-roots activists spent years trying to get info from adot to verify accident rates. They found that accidents had gone up exponentially.

Check out the info from other states. If you can bring stats to the table from other states that failed with cameras, you might have a leg to stand on.

And btw, the only reason they started taking the cameras down, was that people realized (after many years) that they didn't have to pay the "ticket" that came in the mail. So the red light camera company - started paying process servers to deliver. People just stopped answering their doors for 3 months. If they don't get served, the ticket gets dropped.

Do some research into these meetup groups.

These cameras are completely unconstitutional and there was one point that a few law firms were fighting them.

And I'll be the first to thank you - for putting your life on the line as a police officer. And for caring about the rights of the people

Cheers!
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
01/20/2013 09:00 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
are you implying these things are new in the states? shit me we've had them littering near every intersection for the past 10 years.

'safety' is the claim of course, as like the speed cameras that join them. far majority of the cameras that aren't at an intersection will be positioned towards the bottom of a hill or immediately after a change of speed zone, where they're more likely to catch someone due to picking up a few k's an hour down the hill or being over the limit due to the zone changing.

its an absolute farce, and, despite more and more and more cameras popping up everywhere, $700m per year in revenue - i mean, safety fines - the road toll continues to climb each year, accidents are more prevalent, and the condition of the roads and other drivers decreases daily. hey, like the ads on t.v portray, don't speed and nothing could every possibly go wrong. right?

From that $700m (and thats from a population of only 3m in VIC), an estimated $200m is put into advertising how incredibly dangerous speeding is, $150m is used to maintain and increase the amount of speed / red light cameras, and a massive ZERO DOLLARS is put into road maintenance and increased driver education. and the remaining $350m disappears into the government coffers.


yep. its all about safety
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 32630104
United States
01/20/2013 09:02 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
interestingly enough a fellow in Australia owns most of them. I believe they call that redistribution of wealth.

It might also be seen as a police office not being needed any longer. Sort of like the lady at walmart urging you to use self checkout so she no longer has a job.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2422491


Yes. It's an Australian company.

They make profits from our traffic laws!

The other thing people don't know, is that a portion of the profits is designated to the incumbent politicians re-election fund. So they bought themselves an ally in putting these things up. They never asked the people.

They required 100k signatures just to put it on the ballot to REMOVE them. How corrupt is that?!
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 09:03 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
are you implying these things are new in the states? shit me we've had them littering near every intersection for the past 10 years.

'safety' is the claim of course, as like the speed cameras that join them. far majority of the cameras that aren't at an intersection will be positioned towards the bottom of a hill or immediately after a change of speed zone, where they're more likely to catch someone due to picking up a few k's an hour down the hill or being over the limit due to the zone changing.

its an absolute farce, and, despite more and more and more cameras popping up everywhere, $700m per year in revenue - i mean, safety fines - the road toll continues to climb each year, accidents are more prevalent, and the condition of the roads and other drivers decreases daily. hey, like the ads on t.v portray, don't speed and nothing could every possibly go wrong. right?

From that $700m (and thats from a population of only 3m in VIC), an estimated $200m is put into advertising how incredibly dangerous speeding is, $150m is used to maintain and increase the amount of speed / red light cameras, and a massive ZERO DOLLARS is put into road maintenance and increased driver education. and the remaining $350m disappears into the government coffers.


yep. its all about safety
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 3185525


No, I know they've been around for awhile but they are fairly new to this area. I've been against these things since I became an officer and finally wanted to rant on the subject.
pish
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01/20/2013 09:04 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
There is reflective "spray paint" you can put on your plates so when the camera take the pic the numbers dont show clearly. Also there is window tiniting you can get that will obscure the pics. You can also throw on a mask when you run the light so they cannot prove it was you running the light.

Personally I just make some crazy face with "fish lips" as I go through the intersection flashing crazy hand signs and I've never been targeted LOL.
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 09:06 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
The other thing - at an intersection, the timing of the yellow light is required to be 3 seconds.

Yet at the intersections where the cameras went up, the yellow light time was cut! They purposely reduced the time to get more light runners and more tickets.

Plus. Many times, the camera flash would malfunction. Which happens a lot. They don't service those things. But they still send a fine to ya.

No way to argue your way out too those either
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 09:07 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
There is reflective "spray paint" you can put on your plates so when the camera take the pic the numbers dont show clearly. Also there is window tiniting you can get that will obscure the pics. You can also throw on a mask when you run the light so they cannot prove it was you running the light.

Personally I just make some crazy face with "fish lips" as I go through the intersection flashing crazy hand signs and I've never been targeted LOL.
 Quoting: pish 18615300


As long as the eyes and eyebrows are covered - they can't prove identity. Wear a hat and sunglasses
Anonymous Coward
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01/20/2013 09:11 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
strictly Revenue.

tends to cause more incidents

due to fear
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 9014106
Australia
01/20/2013 09:40 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I will say this: In Australia, they've started increasing speed cameras, red light cameras, combo cameras and warning signs everywhere, all the time claiming 'safety'. There used to be a time where my priority was looking at the roads and the surrounds, allowing me to drive safely and respond appropriately and in a relaxed fashion.

Now, I feel the emphasis is for drivers to always be stressed and fearful, to always have your head down looking at your speedometer & wondering how you could know if the 'zone' has changed or not, or if you missed the limit change notice or not.

In any case, I haven't paid a ticket I received about 9 months ago..
Leo Kessler (OP)

User ID: 13093144
United States
01/20/2013 09:43 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
I will say this: In Australia, they've started increasing speed cameras, red light cameras, combo cameras and warning signs everywhere, all the time claiming 'safety'. There used to be a time where my priority was looking at the roads and the surrounds, allowing me to drive safely and respond appropriately and in a relaxed fashion.

Now, I feel the emphasis is for drivers to always be stressed and fearful, to always have your head down looking at your speedometer & wondering how you could know if the 'zone' has changed or not, or if you missed the limit change notice or not.

In any case, I haven't paid a ticket I received about 9 months ago..
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9014106


Good point. I recently drove through Georgia and would drive sometimes 10+ miles without seeing a speed limit sign. Normally it is 70mph but I thought it would be a good argument if you were stopped for speeding through one of these stretches to say, "Well if there were signs I would know how fast to go."
Anonymous Coward
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United States
01/20/2013 11:08 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
Goal is Fear , obedience Fear = OBEY
repeat wash fucking repeat
now just OBEY
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 7280888
United States
01/20/2013 11:12 PM
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Re: Traffic Light Cameras, your thoughts please
GA has base fine + upwards of 75% junk fees

this is how they have decided to fund their stuff

200.00 base fine = ~425.00

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