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dman
05-08-2006, 08:43 PM
O.K., as most know I am involved in law enforcement and I have no problem at all for people being cited for running red lights, as long as the violator can be positively ID'd and the arresting officer did in fact see the person commit the violation, and that is where my problem with these cameras at so called "high risk" intersections in Columbus comes into play. In most instances the very offense of running a red light in the State of Ohio is a minor misdemeanor offense and requires only that the arresting officer view the violation and be able to positively identify the violator, as well as the other stuff (marked patrol car, uniform of the day, yadda, yadda). I know almost all of us on here have let a family member or close friend or relative use our vehicles before. I trust my family not to drink and drive, but I don't know if any of them could get distracted or just flat out blow the red light. What I do know is that I don't want to get a ticket mailed to me for a red light violation that somebody else commited and having my job jeopordized and my insurance rates jacked up over it. I can't see this standing up under a court challenge at all.

ochre
05-08-2006, 09:55 PM
from cato.org (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3717)

Drivers' Rights Abused in a Flash

by Radley Balko

Radley Balko is a policy analyst with the Cato Institute.

There's nothing wrong with city or state government taking measures to keep our roadways safe. But the measures they take should be effective. If they are punitive, the measures should give motorists due process; and there should be minimal potential for abuse. Traffic cameras fail on all three counts.

A recent BBC study of mobile speed cameras revealed significant accuracy problems. One researcher was able to clock a stationary wall at 58 mph. The Australian government has begun paying $26 million back to motorists who were issued tickets by faulty cameras. A Canadian town recently recalled 6,800 tickets issued by cameras. The Washington Times has reported several incidents in which D.C. motorists were ticketed for cars they no longer own or drive, or that are inoperable.

Clearly, speed cameras err. But motorists issued tickets might be surprised to learn that they're generally considered guilty until proved innocent. It's up to a car's owner to prove he wasn't driving when the ticket was issued, that the camera misread his plates, or that the camera itself is faulty. In many cases, the private companies who run the cameras get a cut of each ticket issued, and appeals of tickets are settled by the company itself, not a judge or traffic court. Camera manufacturers have also been known to train cops on how to testify against appeals, and in some cases have paid officials to advocate the cameras to other cities. That's an unsettling kind of justice.

Cameras are ripe for abuse, too. One city in Florida now uses traffic cameras to snap the plates of every motorist entering the city, and checks them against various law enforcement databases. In Southern California, a photo taken by a red-light camera was used to prove adultery in a divorce case. San Diego shut down all of its cameras after a judge ruled that the company in charge was tampering with the machines to increase ticket output.

But the most troubling thing about traffic cameras is the way city governments grow dependent on the revenue they generate. Bethesda, Md., was caught shortening a yellow light at the city's most lucrative red-light camera, in an effort to squeeze more cash out of its motorists. When tickets dropped off from existing speed cameras in Washington, the City Council simply installed more, and raised the fines. Sacramento now charges motorists $351 for a single red-light violation.

Traffic enforcement should be primarily about safety. Too often with cameras, it quickly devolves into generating revenue for local governments and the companies that operate them.

RedFanAlways1966
05-08-2006, 10:32 PM
I have no problem with them. I respect the opnions of others. It is new. I always make it a point to stop at redlights or any situation that may be deemed "questionable". Intersections are dangerous places and many lives have been lost at intersections. I know this... and I do not want to lose my life there (or more importantly my loved ones) b/c of someone who is in such a big hurry that they risk the lives of others or someone who is not paying attention. I am never in a that big of a hurry... never to risk my life or other lives (whether the other person is wrong in the situation, I do not want to see them hurt). 15 seconds, 30 seconds or a minute... I can wait. I also look both ways before going into an intersection , when getting the green, after sitting at the redlight. An extra second is worth my life.


A recent BBC study of mobile speed cameras revealed significant accuracy problems. One researcher was able to clock a stationary wall at 58 mph.

I only know of redlight cameras in my parts. Never heard of speed-cameras. If there are speed-cameras (sounds like a radar-guns with memories and cameras that have an accompanying pic of the license number), then the ONE example stated sounds like an equipment malfunction. Just another example of an imperfect world. But they are probably right a lot more than wrong and perhaps their presence and drivers knowing they are there will make drivers drive safer. Nothin' wrong with that in my world.


The Washington Times has reported several incidents in which D.C. motorists were ticketed for cars they no longer own or drive, or that are inoperable.

If I not mistaken, the license number must be ID'd in the photo. The example given sounds true only if the former owner left their tags on the vehicle. If there is another way, I cannot think of it. There is also the possibility of stolen tags being put on another car. If your tags are stolen, shouldn't you report it to the driver's bureau and/or the police? I would think this would stop the chance of the criminal running a light or getting nailed by a speed-camera and causing the victim a ticket. IT may also give the police a chnace to catch the thief by giving them an idea of where the thief drives and/or lives. It seems related to the tags. If they are strolen, report it!


It's up to a car's owner to prove he wasn't driving when the ticket was issued...

ALways a good idea to trust the person driving YOUR CAR. Be sure they do not run redlights or go enough over the speedlimit to get a ticket (we all know that most cops will allow 5-7 mph over if not a bit more). I am all for your safety and mine and not jeopardizing it by this one. Do not loan your car to someopne who drives crazily. If you have never rode with them, then do not loan your car to them.


Cameras are ripe for abuse, too. One city in Florida now uses traffic cameras to snap the plates of every motorist entering the city, and checks them against various law enforcement databases. In Southern California, a photo taken by a red-light camera was used to prove adultery in a divorce case.

Take a picture of my license and car. Heck, take a pic of me driving it. Got law problems or warrants, oh well. I hope it helps get criminals off the street. If it helps the law know where trouble-makers are, then all the better. I do not fear the law. I do not fear the law taking a pic of my car and checking it to their databases. I hope the law keeps an eye on those who have a history of breaking the law and I hope they capture those who are wanted. If cameras help in this task, then I like it. I have nothing to fear but fear itself (if I can borrow that)... and felons on the street scare me and my family.

The divorce thing sounds like a crime itself. The person working for whomever that gave that pciture up should be prosecuted. ONE example that does not call for making the streets less safe IMO.


But the most troubling thing about traffic cameras is the way city governments grow dependent on the revenue they generate. Bethesda, Md., was caught shortening a yellow light at the city's most lucrative red-light camera, in an effort to squeeze more cash out of its motorists.

I do not blame the cameras for this. I blame the people running that town who allowed this. Not the cameras fault. I also do not feel sorry for people who get fined and are guilty. I hope they will learn a lesson and not risk their lives or the lives of others by breaking the law in a deadly machine.

For as long as any type of ticket has been issued for traffic/driving violations, there has always been arguments as to the fairness or validity. Whether it is man, woman or machine "seeing" the violation... people will question it.

Yachtzee
05-08-2006, 11:15 PM
I don't think anyone advocates running red lights. The problem is that the cameras, as currently used, are highly fallible and subject to abuse by both the companies that manufacture them and the cities that have installed them. Private companies should never get a cut of the traffic tickets because it creates a profit motive for abuse. Traffic laws are to be used to protect the public and to ensure the orderly flow of traffic, not to make a quick buck.

paintmered
05-09-2006, 07:37 AM
Personally, I hate the things. But Cincy needs one one for the intersection of Calhoun and Clifton. I've almost been run over by cars running the light more times than I can count.

Maybe they could put a decoy camera there? ;)

RedFanAlways1966
05-09-2006, 07:52 AM
I don't think anyone advocates running red lights. The problem is that the cameras, as currently used, are highly fallible and subject to abuse by both the companies that manufacture them and the cities that have installed them. Private companies should never get a cut of the traffic tickets because it creates a profit motive for abuse. Traffic laws are to be used to protect the public and to ensure the orderly flow of traffic, not to make a quick buck.

I agree with you, Yachtzee. And to think of the tax monies that get wasted every year on trivial things.... the money could be spent on things like this which will help save lives. Regardless, people will still moan, complain and make-believe that they never break a law (even if the camera obviously gets them).

I drive through an intersection everyday to and from work that has one of these redlight cameras. Twice a day for at least a 1-1/2 years since it was installed (Smithville & Patterson for those that know the Dayton area). Never have I been sent a ticket in the mail. Partly b/c I stop when I should. I still believe that more times than not, those who complain are ones who got a ticket and deserved it. They are also the types who will argue with an officer when pulled over for a violation.

Like the article that was posted... not much concrete evidence in that article. Lots of stories that show one time when something might have malfunctioned or stories that really have no concrete evidence. Lots of fluff is what I like to say. Defense lawyers smile when reading stuff like that.

We have heard and seen lots of "bad police officers". Should we get rid of them? Of course not (unless you believed the recently slain self-proclaimed General in Cincy). Nothing is perfect in this world. I would like the police to install/run the cameras. However, I am still in favor of them being there in hopes that it will make the roadways safer for us all. Sometimes an officer can sit in one spot all day. He may not write a single citation, but his presence may make a difference and that is a good thing.

macro
05-09-2006, 07:57 AM
I think that George Orwell fellow was pretty smart.

westofyou
05-09-2006, 10:24 AM
Beef With Traffic Light Cameras

I prefer Fish with Traffic Light Cameras, and a tangy cilantro dressing makes it extra nice.

Falls City Beer
05-09-2006, 10:29 AM
My favorite is the political thread containing hypertotalitarian political opinions getting closed with bearnaise sauce.

RedFanAlways1966
05-09-2006, 02:46 PM
My favorite is the political thread containing hypertotalitarian political opinions getting closed with bearnaise sauce.

I do not think the word hypertotalitarian exists, however... traffic signals do not equate to gov't control over your life. Some may draw this conclusion and I am sure these people have other extreme opinions. But what is so great about this country is that we are free to express our opnions regardless of their extremism. And this same freedom allows cities to install these cameras at intersections... it works both ways. Obey the law and there is not a problem. Sounds simple. But there are always people who will take a simplistic camera at a stoplight and blow it WAY out of proportion. Such is life in a great-and-free country!

:)