By on January 12, 2009

A Rocky Mountain News investigation reveals that Denver city officials and police made no effort whatsoever to track the performance of their public safety program (a.k.a. red light cameras) beyond counting the 11,200 tickets worth $840,000 that had been issued between June and November. Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that operates the automated ticketing machines at four intersections in return for a cut of the profits, did not submit a single report to the city regarding maintenance or calibration of the cameras, despite being required to do so by contract. The city only requested these documents after the Rocky Mountain News made an inquiry to follow up on the program’s performance. Doh! Another interesting discovery: increasing the duration of the yellow signals has had a greater safety impact than the use of red light cameras in Denver, Colorado. That’s the conclusion of a

In May, the same newspaper had forced Denver to increase the duration of yellow at the camera-monitored intersections by documenting how the city used yellow times of 3.0 seconds and under– violating federal law in at least one case. At the posted 45 MPH intersection of northbound Quebec Street and 36th Avenue, the yellow increased from 3.0 to 5.0 seconds. Yellow rose from 3.0 to 4.0 seconds at both eastbound Sixth Avenue at Kalamath and westbound Eighth Avenue at Speer Boulevard. Yellow increased just half a second at eastbound Sixth at Lincoln Street to 3.5 seconds.

At the first three locations, Redflex had tested the number of “violations” that happened at each intersection when the yellow light was set to last 3.0 seconds, counting 125 in a 12-hour period. With the longer yellow, the new police data show a daily average of between nine and sixteen violations in a 24-hour period; a drop of approximately 90 percent. This matches the long-term benefit of longer yellow documented after a similar lengthening took place at a Fairfax County, Virginia intersection. The camera at Sixth and Lincoln experienced less of a benefit– an average of 53 daily violations– after receiving the smallest increase of 0.5 seconds of extra yellow.

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52 Comments on “Safety Benefits of Yellow Timing Increase Documented in Denver...”


  • avatar
    M1EK

    And after the yellow time sticks for a year, the majority of drivers running the old red light figure it out and run the new red light.

    Seen it happen in South Florida. They eventually went with up to a second or three of all-red.

    Look, you can continue to believe that most red-light runners aren’t doing it willfully. You can believe in the tooth fairy too, if you want. But in the real world, you have to actually ask yourself how people will react when the new yellow time sticks – and base it on reality about what drivers are choosing to do today, not fantasy lands where most red lights are run by accident.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    There are established traffic engineering standards that should be used to set timing. It’s getting really obvious that red light cameras create a great temptation to fudge the standards, because violations create a revenue opportunity.

    But in the real world, you have to actually ask yourself how people will react when the new yellow time sticks – and base it on reality about what drivers are choosing to do today, not fantasy lands where most red lights are run by accident.

    Even if it were true that 90% of red light runners act deliberately, a light of appropriate length will increase compliance by 10%.

    In any case, there is no good reason to have a light that is too short to comply with engineering standards. The length of the light should account for the ability of drivers to react to it, given traffic flow and travel speeds, and there isn’t any good reason why the timing should be any different from that. That is, unless your priority is on raising money.

  • avatar
    Matthew Danda

    Did they measure how long before drivers figure it out and then consistently SLAM-ON-THE-BRAKES the very instant the light turns yellow?

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    Sacramento got caught with the hand in the short yellow cookie jar a few years back.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    RedStapler’s link provides a good example of how due process is routinely compromised in traffic trials.

    One blatant issue is that the police officer is supposed to be a witness, yet the judge clearly accords him the authority of a prosecuting attorney, such as when he allows the officer to object to evidence. The officer should be giving testimony and answering questions under cross examination, not trying to actively convict the defendant.

    Another issue is that the judge is clearly hostile to the defense during the trial. He dismisses arguments as being “creative”, without taking any time to deliberate on them. The scales of justice were obviously tipped before the defendant ever set foot into the courtroom.

    The system is obviously rigged. Without an attorney, your odds of prevailing are low, even if you are not guilty and even if you are prepared. The attitude seems to be that even if you didn’t do this, you must have done something at some point in your life and you’re just getting what’s coming to you.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    As M1EK said, it’s only a matter of time before the yellow gains a reputation, and people will begin to push it again.

    A better solution is a longer all-red time.

  • avatar
    red60r

    “You know you’re in Denver when you are the fourth car through the red light.”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The best solution would be to automatically blow out the tires of anyone who runs the red.

    I’m thinking unidirectional tire spikes that deploy when the yellow changes to red would solve the issue of red-light-runners really quickly.

  • avatar
    BMW325I

    @ psarhjinian

    I had that same idea in my head today. Tire business would boom. But it would be more sensible for a very angled neon orange speed bump would pop up.

  • avatar
    kansei

    psarhjinian –that would be AMAZING, I’d gladly pay more in taxes to fund something like that.

    But yeah, whatever happened to everyone having a red for a second or two? Maybe I missed something, because back before I went to college and lived in CT that’s how all lights were there. It wasn’t until I was in school in NY that I saw massive amounts of red light running (and saw my fair share of catastrophic red light accidents).. eventually I realized that the instant your light turns red someone’s light turns green, and that just makes no sense to me at all.

    Here in Phoenix it’s ridiculous, with really short yellows (as if they’re based on an assumption that everyone goes 10 mi/hr under the speed limit) and red light cameras at nearly every major intersection.

    Are people that blind to what is happening? The streets are being made unsafe such that they can be used as massive revenue generators.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    You guys are being played for suckers by the NMA – for the most part, the argument that it’s wrong to shorten yellows before putting in red light cameras is a no-brainer (a stalking horse).

    Instead, though, we have a lot of disingenuous people using that base and then subtly shifting to the idea that we should make yellows LONGER than they currently are INSTEAD of putting in red-light cameras.

    The only way that idea makes any sense is if you’re stupid enough to believe that the vast majority of red-light runners aren’t doing it on purpose.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The only way that idea makes any sense is if you’re stupid enough to believe that the vast majority of red-light runners aren’t doing it on purpose.

    I’m smart enough to know that there is no good reason to not use engineering standards to set light timing.

    Using established legitimate guidelines for setting the timing should be an easy enough concept to understand. The only people who would oppose this would be the tax collectors and those who aren’t smart enough to know that such standards exist.

    Nobody is objecting to reasonable enforcement. But not all enforcement is reasonable, particularly when it is based upon a flawed premise.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    M1EK,
    PCH made an excellent point (actually more than one) which you seem to want to ignore. Furthermore, you have to admit that at some point a yellow is too short for safety. So it would seem to make sense to try to get it right without the interference of a large sums of money influencing those making the decisions.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I had that same idea in my head today. Tire business would boom. But it would be more sensible for a very angled neon orange speed bump would pop up.

    Nice. Subtle suspension and spinal damage is more effective, you’re right.

    The real trick would be dealing with the libertarians who would undoubtledly get their knickers in a twist about damaging private property.

    Yes, I’m deliberately baiting.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’d rather not see cameras in intersections precisely because I hate the idiots that roll right through, slowing just enough to look before running the light. The way I see it, a good number of those red light camera tickets are normal people stranded in the intersection for an extra second or two by screwy pedestrian or driver behaviour. These people get burned by a ticket that a cop wouldn’t write in person, and they get exactly the same fine as the committed idiot. The problem is that the idiot deserves much worse than the annoying ticket, and the only way to really judge this is to put an officer on the intersection, not making tons of money for the county.

    Just to avoid an unecessary argument…I would be fine with cameras so long as they were always manned by a police officer who could excercise judgment on the ground, with the film providing court evidence of dangerous driving as well as a record of the arrest, all followed by a fair trial. In short, the ones on the car dash do just fine.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’d also like to say that if the red light cameras cause more accidents than they prevent they are a total failure as a policy. What other standard is appropriate given how dangerous driving is?

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    If you take 0.3g as a reasonable braking decel then with 0.5 second reaction time the minimum yellow should be 5 s at 30 mph and 6.5 s at 40 mph, if my maths is right.

    By the way, become a gamekeeper not a poacher. Buy Redflex shares, you know it makes sense.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Landcrusher, no, I said decreasing yellow times sucks. But using that as cover for the proposition that we should instead increase yellow times and not enforce red lights is just vile. The rest of his ‘points’ are typical nonsense – we should also not trust parking meters and radar guns. Might as well go back to the Wild West, I guess.

    PS: There’s no way to have a cop manning every red light in the city. And if you fall back to a longer “all red” cycle, you’re just giving away efficiency in your traffic system because you don’t want to punish bad people.

    tedward, most make a distinction between people who were already IN the intersection before it turned red and those who enter afterwards.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    PCH101

    ..you are too kind. you give local gov too much credit. They are not stupid. they are worse.

    Well Ok in general they are stupid but not whoever decides in Denver on this topic. They know and don’t care about what is right.

  • avatar
    tedward

    It seems like police have always known where the most dangerous intersections and turns were, and have always met that challenge by paying attention to those areas and/or having them re-engineered. I just don’t understand why it is all of a sudden necessary to institute changes in ticketing and enforcement that may change driver habits in unforseen ways (panic-braking yellows).

    I prefer patrol presence to cameras b/c while I think that they both cause a spike in accidents where visible on the road, at least the police car isn’t always there in view, constantly provoking the panic reflex.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    Red light cameras create a new problem commonly referred to as ‘Pimping For Tickets’…Not good.

    http://www.thesentinel.com/302730670790449.php

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Instead, though, we have a lot of disingenuous people using that base and then subtly shifting to the idea that we should make yellows LONGER than they currently are INSTEAD of putting in red-light cameras.

    But, Mr. Dahmus, while it’s certainly true that there’s no point in indiscriminately raising yellow lengths, and obviously it reduces to an absurdity, there’s a strong argument for at the very least coordination and study of optimal yellow lengths.

    And I think there’s a strong case that:

    1) Every intersection has an optimal yellow time duration, but
    2) Sometimes the optimal yellow time should be tweaked or ignored for the sake of consistency with other intersections and driver expectations. (It’s better to properly engineer the intersection, of course, just as it’s better to not have an over-engineered road that also contains a dangerous hidden curve, as people will somewhat ignore posted speed limits and drive according to the perceived safety of the road.)

    The argument against red light cameras is that they get the incentives all wrong– local law enforcement and local politicians concentrate too much on getting the revenue and not enough on safety. In the presence of those bad incentives, it probably is fair to make a blanket statement that yellow times are shorter than optimal in areas with cameras.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    @M1EK,

    I disagree. IMO most drivers do NOT run red lights on purpose. Maybe they don’t have the best judgement when timing their actions or more likley they are paying attention to something else and not paying attention to the light, but to just run the red is on the verge of suicidal.

    Cameras have no safety value. They do not stop drivers from making those bad choices. They only create a cash flow. A taxation – without representation.

    Changing the yellow delay is entramptment.

    (edited to soften the text)

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Kurt, when you see people run the red light BEHIND the guy who ran the light when the yellow changed to red, and when at congested intersections you see trains of three or four people running red lights, it’s disingenuous to claim that you think they’re doing it by accident.

    And most of us have done the “oh, screw it, I’m not going to slam on the brakes NOW” thing. You know it’s true.

    johnthacker, the request for more study is not being done out of a sincere desire for more safety by the individuals in question; it’s a disingenuous (sorry for the repeat) attempt to obfuscate and delay. The traffic engineers KNOW what the safe yellow times are. They may or may not be permitted to set them appropriately; but no further study is really required. The NMA isn’t pushing for the abolition of these cameras because they want longer yellows and a cop on very corner; they’re pushing for the abolition of these cameras because they hate getting tickets and they KNOW you CAN’T put a cop on every corner.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    it’s disingenuous to claim that you think they’re doing it by accident.

    This point is irrelevant. The issue at hand is increasing compliance. The purity of the minds and hearts of the driving public is meaningless, just so long as incentives can be used to improve their behavior.

    The research indicates that an increase in the light duration does lead to substantial increases in compliance. Rather than launching into moral diatribes, it would be more logical if we would figure out what works. This works.
    ______________

    Analysis indicates that drivers do adapt to an increase in yellow duration; however, the frequency of red-light-running is still reduced. Specifically, a nominal increase of 0.5 to 1.5 seconds of yellow, such that the yellow duration does not exceed 5.5 seconds, was found to decrease the frequency of red-light-running by 50 percent at several intersections. This finding is evidence of the benefit of a properly timed yellow interval, where the interval duration is based on engineering analysis and consideration of traffic conditions, control device visibility, and intersection sight distance.

    http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/4027-S.pdf

  • avatar
    M1EK

    The TTI study did not last long enough to analyze whether the remaining 50 percent of previously non-compliant drivers maintain their compliance or gradually adapt (as I saw in South Florida).

    But as a thought experiment – even if it works, you’re basically sacrificing efficiency in the traffic system for a bunch of drivers (50%, even in your citation) who wouldn’t obey the very simple rules.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    @M1EK,

    I still disagree and allow me to explain further. Having spent a lot of time “people watching” on the highway, I came to the conclusion that most people are sheep and just follow the other vehicles in front of them with very little thought about what they are doing. If the vehicle is going the desired speed and in the desired direction, they turn their minds off or change channels to the stereo, the view, or conversations with other folks in the car, etc. and pretty much drive with peripheral vision.

    In addition, those that are paying attention think “I can make it!”.(This could be called the “Hold my beer and watch this!” Syndrom).

    Two different personal situations – neither are deliberately breaking the law.

    Now my take on cameras is that “IF” they were used legitimately, there should be no issue, however no instance I am aware of are they installed for any reason except to collect revenue.

    Increase the yellows. Have a couple of seconds where the whole road is red (as posted elsewhere – I remember them too). The point shouldn’t be to make money – it should be to save lives (and classic cars from being destroyed).

    ;)

  • avatar
    tedward

    I thought about this some more this morning and I think I agree with both sides of this argument to some extent. It is fairer (more just even) to give tickets to every violator at the light, and it greatly appeals when I consider how I want people to behave and be punished in principle. But the pragmatic view of this same situation reveals the fatal flaw, and that flaw is actual demonstrated road safety. Since increasing the yellow prevents more accidents, even if it allows intentional violators slip through even easier, then that has to be our prefered route. Cars are so damned dangerous that the higher accident rate that cameras seem to cause is unacceptable. If lengthening yellows prevents accidents but is less fair in this circumstance, so be it, I’ll take that medicine.

    It is a huge nail in the coffin for cameras that they incentivize shortening yellows. Not only do they cause accidents, they set up conditions likely to result in future increases in crashes. It’s really hard to see past that consideration when all I’ve got on the other side is a sense of justice served.

  • avatar
    tedward

    oh and I said, “increasing the yellow prevents more accidents,” as if red light cameras prevented any in the first place. If cameras cause accidents at the rate shown in the most recent (US) studies, companies operating them and local governments endorsing them ought to be liable for civil, and ideally, criminal charges, so long as a clear alternative exists (traditional patrols).

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The TTI study did not last long enough to analyze whether the remaining 50 percent of previously non-compliant drivers maintain their compliance or gradually adapt (as I saw in South Florida).

    Your unverifiable anecdotes are not a good basis for public policy. No one here has any idea whether your analysis is correct, and given your lack of a clear methodology for determining it, it sounds like nothing more than a kneejerk reaction based upon your gut, whatever that means.

    The Texas study is not unique in its findings. If you want to refute it legitimately, you’re going to have to do a lot better than that.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Now my take on cameras is that “IF” they were used legitimately, there should be no issue, however no instance I am aware of are they installed for any reason except to collect revenue.

    There are plenty of jurisdictions which have outlawed the forms of contracts which incent shorter yellow times, and have maintained the cameras (or installed new ones). Mine is among them. Your claim is obviously false.

    Increase the yellows. Have a couple of seconds where the whole road is red (as posted elsewhere – I remember them too). The point shouldn’t be to make money – it should be to save lives (and classic cars from being destroyed).

    So you sacrifice the efficiency of the traffic system for people who just want to run red lights – assuming that they won’t adjust, even though the best study that your side could find found that 50% had adjusted fairly quickly anyways.

    The Texas study is not unique in its findings. If you want to refute it legitimately, you’re going to have to do a lot better than that.

    When you hold people on your side to a similar level of vigor with their obviously false claims that red-light cameras don’t reduce accidents (they do; there’s studies out the wazoo), we’ll talk about “unique in its findings”. But your whole argument that people don’t run red lights on purpose looks kind of weak when the best study you could find says, uh, at least 50% were apparently running them on purpose.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    By the way, ironically, the same TTI you tout here also came out with a statewide study that claimed that red light cameras actually do reduce accidents overall; a study that was savaged (rightly, I thought) by this very site. I obviously don’t disagree with their conclusion but found the methodology pretty crappy.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    When you hold people on your side to a similar level of vigor with their obviously false claims that red-light cameras don’t reduce accidents (they do; there’s studies out the wazoo), we’ll talk about “unique in its findings”. But your whole argument that people don’t run red lights on purpose looks kind of weak when the best study you could find says, uh, at least 50% were apparently running them on purpose.

    Again, you miss the point. There is no system on earth that will achieve 100% compliance. To use that as a benchmark is simply ridiculous, as it isn’t achievable, no matter what.

    The best that the system can do is to increase compliance from current levels. A yellow light of appropriate duration does that, and you can’t prove otherwise.

    In any case, there is no reason to have a yellow light of inappropriate duration. It makes no sense at all to argue for that. It might be fun to be on a moral soapbox about red light running, but I would prefer to reduce the number of incidents, rather than pontificate about the lack of perfect citizens.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Pch101, that’s a misrepresentation of what I said. I said “most red-light runners do it on purpose, so most will adjust to longer yellows or even all-reds”. The BEST thing you were able to come up with showed that 50% had adjusted after a fairly short time. Don’t try to paint this as you somehow proving that lengthening yellows will increase safety while camera won’t – if people adjust that quickly to yellow cycles, the bad (broadside) collisions will be back before long.

    I haven’t even gone to supporting arguments like the fact that citing drivers who run red lights (again, most of whom do so on purpose) is a good thing in the long-run; they’re the kind of drivers who are likely causing a disproportionate number of accidents down the road. Making driving more expensive for bad drivers is a good thing in my book.

    In any case, there is no reason to have a yellow light of inappropriate duration. It makes no sense at all to argue for that. It might be fun to be on a moral soapbox about red light running, but I would prefer to reduce the number of incidents, rather than pontificate about the lack of perfect citizens.

    And that’s just rich. I might as well turn this around and make it all about you: you just want to keep running red lights, and don’t care how many people get smashed in the side in the process. Doesn’t feel so good when people are misrepresenting you, does it?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I said “most red-light runners do it on purpose, so most will adjust to longer yellows or even all-reds”.

    I know that you said this. And it’s wrong.

    It doesn’t matter why they do it. What matters are real world results, which means increasing compliance.

    The data clearly indicates that appropriate timing leads to higher compliance. Chances are good that the increased compliance comes from some combination of helping those who made legitimate mistakes to make fewer mistakes and some who get converted to the cause when the light timing is more reasonable.

    Just so long as it works without violating some other broader principle, there is no reason not to do something that works. We benefit from real world effectiveness, not your preachy morality.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    m1,
    I find it fascinating that you are so cynical that you believe so many comsistent lawbreakers are out there, yet you seem to ignore the point that the cameras have been shown to influence officials to shorten yellows all over the country.

    Also, if you are concerned about efficiency, then the proper yellow needs to be there. Accidents are not good for efficiency.

    Now, I have lived near am intersection where 3 or 4 people would squeeze through. A camera might help the other directions be more efficient, but the reality I that those peole are doing it on purpose because they have likely been waiting too many cycles and the intersection is already screwed up ( or the area is ALL screwed up).

    I don’t doubt your evidence, I just think you are missing what is best due to what is going on in your local area.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Pch101, I have seen no research which reliably indicates that in the long-term longer yellows will lead to greater compliance than red-light cameras. Feel free to provide some. That’s the real issue, not whether lengthening yellows, in the short-term, leads to fewer runs of red lights as compared to doing nothing (obviously I believe that to be the case; we simply disagree on both the proportion of people who move to compliance and on how long they stay there).

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to misrepresent you as you misrepresent me: You just don’t care how many people die, as long as you can keep running red lights.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I have seen no research which reliably indicates that in the long-term longer yellows will lead to greater compliance than red-light cameras.

    Here’s a link that will help you to do that, should you choose to use it: http://www.google.com/

    You obviously don’t want to see it, because you entered this fight with an ideological dog and have no desire to be compelled by the facts. That’s what goes wrong when you begin with a preconceived premise, instead of a willingness to learn about the subject.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Pch101, that’s a nice dodge. I could just as easily have pointed you to google instead of mentioning the recent TTI brou-ha-ha over red light cameras.

    It’s clear to me that you’re the one with the ideological dog here – because if yellow light extensions were really all about safety rather than just being a diversionary tactic, you’d say “extend the yellow light and then stick the camera up”.

  • avatar
    tedward

    M1EK…what kind of solution is that? Increase yellow times (yes, yes, cuts down red light running and more importantly, accidents), put up the camera anyway (why?). When you have a solution which definitely causes a good effect and you have another one which in some instances is causing a bad one, why would any compromise make sense? People’s lives are at risk, literally, so I just don’t get what the attraction is to the camera system, outside of feeling good b/c some idiot light-runner got a mail in ticket.

    What other possible priority takes precedent over reducing crashes? These traffic laws don’t exist in a vaccum.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    tedward, the best study that PCH could cherrypick showed that increased yellows had no more than a 50% short-term impact on red-light running. Leaving the other 50% immediately, and some greater number as the short-termers adjust back to running the new red light.

    The supposed ‘bad’ effect of red-light running is an increase in rear-end collisions, which the most credible researchers (the FHWA) consider to be more than offset by a decrease in broadside collisions.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’m aware of the argument that reducing side impacts counteracts the increase in rear-enders, but am thoroughly unconvinced by (and skeptical of) any argument that tries to sell me a net gain of multi-ton collisions. (I can’t really look up references right now, so I know this isn’t really playing fair, but I recall studies that show increased accident rates due to camera installation).

    Also, I’m hugely impressed with anything that reduces red lights runs by 50%, no small percentage of the driving public would be affected by that, and even if a few people revert to light running later, it’d be an unqualified success. I don’t understand why this is presented as, “no more than a 50%,” as if that wasn’t a drastic change in driver behaviour.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    M1EK,
    Let’s be honest here. If you are really concerned about broadsides, you don’t think those are caused by the type violations that are at all affected by red light cameras. The vast majority of violations caught by the cameras are people trying to be the “one more car” rather than the folks running the red.

    Also, as reported on TTAC, we recently had a study here in Houston compromised because the pro-camera mayor sent it back to the professor for a rewrite. Surprisingly, the red cameras went from having no effect on accidents, to reducing accidents when they reparsed the data to show it that way.

    Do you really believe that something which so easily corrupts our civic leaders (our mayor previously enjoyed a really good reputation), is worth it? I personally can no longer believe any state sponsored study that shows these things reduce accidents.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    if yellow light extensions were really all about safety rather than just being a diversionary tactic, you’d say “extend the yellow light and then stick the camera up”.

    You’re confusing a number of issues here. Maybe we should bullet point them for the sake of clarity.

    -Point #1: The length of the light should be determined by engineering standards and the pragmatic question of what works. The intervals should be consistent at all intersections, cameras or not. Enforcement should be based upon these standards, irrespective of the enforcement method.

    -Point #2: There are due process issues related to photo enforcement. This is true, regardless of the light timing.

    -Point #3: The usage of cameras tempts officials to monkey with Point #1. The motivations to do this are clear, and examples of these breaches are demonstrable. Money can pervert incentives, as we can see with this.

    The conclusion is that appropriate light timing does matter, that there is no good reason to do it badly, and that cameras create a motivation to do it badly on purpose.

    If you want to be a camera fan, that’s your business. But the fact that you don’t mind playing fast and loose with the rules only confirms the worst fears of the rest of us. The intrusiveness of the program and your willingness to do whatever it takes to raise money puts your intentions into doubt.

    You’re waxing the skis on the slippery slope. It’s no wonder that civil libertarians on all sides of the political spectrum are against you. We see where you’re coming from, and we don’t like it.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Pch101…I like the summary, point 2 seems a little understated. The fact that a workable and profitable camera system requires a redefinition (or elimination if you’re feeling cynical) of due process rights should right-out-of-the-gates eliminate it from consideration. There’s the really nasty slippery slope.

    The tendency to risk our lives indirectly with bad traffic legislation is nowhere near as grave a misdeed as that. Either should be sufficient to remove camera enforcement from serious consideration as far as I’m concerned.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    “Also, I’m hugely impressed with anything that reduces red lights runs by 50%,”

    For a brief time. Until people adjust. And, of course, you’re giving up a lot of efficiency of your traffic system by doing that; the good drivers will continue to stop when they always did; but now they’re stopped for longer.

    your willingness to do whatever it takes to raise money

    Pch, I will continue to attribute loathsome misrepresented statements to you as long as you do to me. Why do you want little kids to die in fiery collisions just so you can continue to run red lights?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    For a brief time. Until people adjust.

    You have absolutely no proof for this statement. Not a single solitary bit of reliable data can be found to support that contention.

    No offense, but I don’t want laws based upon your gut instincts. Your omniscience doesn’t make for suitable public policy.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    You all have it totally wrong.

    We obviously cannot solve this problem, not even with good scientific work and engineering studies.

    We obviously don’t give a rat’s ass about common sense, so we should just give it all up. As a society, we’re no longer fit to accept reality! Therefore, we’re unprepared to accept the responsibilities of driving.

    It’s evident now that we must immediately stop allowing people to drive. No driving, no red light runners. No tickets. No accidents. No need for police or EMTs, or the evil short yellow lights and the evil bureaucrats who implement them! Also, no fuel consumption; therefore, no pollution. And no need for bailout money, since nobody will need cars anymore.

    We must make everybody live in their cars and we can knock all the houses and red light intersections down to make room for farmland. Cows and horses never needed any damned traffic lights!

    Problem solved. In lieu of a check, I’ll take a horse, thank you very much.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Pch, it’s basic common sense – if people run red lights on purpose today, what incentive does a longer yellow give them to suddenly become law-abiding? Given that a large subset of those are people who think they can get away with it if it’s real quick (right after the change from yellow to red), there’s no reason for them not to continue to attempt to get away with it at the end of a longer yellow light.

    Your ideological blinders are preventing you from seeing the very simple reality in front of us: most people do it on purpose. And it’s difficult to concoct a reasonable scenario where people who used to run red lights on purpose won’t continue to do so even when faced with longer yellows.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I don’t know why I’m still commenting on this thread…just wanted to say maybe it’s a regional difference. I almost never see people brazenly (not talking about sneeks here) running lights, and when I do they’re always driving 350Zs, Altimas or Maximas (sigh…Queens). I expect that if I lived somewhere else I’d see different behaviour and probably a different set of culprits to go with it.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    it’s basic common sense

    I didn’t ask you to repeat your argument. I asked you to support it with some sort of evidence. As noted, you don’t have any.

    if people run red lights on purpose today, what incentive does a longer yellow give them to suddenly become law-abiding?

    Again, that misses the point. The fact remains is that study after study demonstrates that a light of appropriate length increases compliance. You have not proven that to be wrong, not at all.

    The issue here is with compliance rates. That’s how rational people measure results. The studies show improve compliance with appropriate timing.

    So I have no idea what your objection is. If there are standards for light timing, there is no good reason to avoid using them. If the compliance rates increase, there is no reason to dispute the outcome.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    No, Pch, you haven’t posted squat backing up your theory either – the TTI study showed that 50% of people complied right away, but did not track long-term compliance. That still leaves 50% of people who don’t comply, which would, to an honest man, suggest a combination of yellow times + cameras.

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