Winnipeg Red Light Cameras Trapping Drivers With Short Yellows

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

The city of Winnipeg, Canada, has shortened the duration of the yellow warning at intersections equipped with red light cameras. The length of the yellow is the single most important factor in determining the financial success of a photo enforcement program, according to documents obtained from a red light camera vendor in 2001. The city’s signal changes came to light after a 64-year-old grandmother named Judy received a ticket in the mail claiming her minivan had run a red light on August 31, 2008. She contacted Larry Stefanuik, a former police constable who now helps motorists fight traffic tickets who began looking into the ticket. Judy’s ticket shows the intersection had been set with a 3.9 second yellow and that she entered the intersection—slowly—just 0.1 seconds after the light turned red.

That did not match what the city’s stated policy of setting the yellow warning to last at least 4.0 seconds at every intersection, according to an e-mail obtained by Stefanuik.

“So in reality she had not run the red because it still should have been yellow,” Stefanuik said. “Her speed was 49 km/h in a 60k m/h zone [30 MPH in a 37 zone]. She was robbed of 1/10th of a second.”

The local court was not interested in exploring whether the city had violated its own policies by shortening the yellow. On March 18, the court imposed a C$135 fine on Judy, reduced from the standard $190 fine.

These fines have been adding up at the red light camera intersection in question. By 2007 the camera had issued 173 tickets, but by 2008 it was on track to issue 324 — an 87 percent increase. The majority of the red light camera intersections in Winnipeg have seen a similar increase in tickets issued that helped drive an overall ticketing increase in the city of 23 percent.

The Newspaper
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  • Frizzlefry Frizzlefry on Apr 03, 2009

    After reading the dilemma zone commentary: good thing I now have a sports sedan that can stop on a time. SUV and Truck drivers get ready to pay up!

  • Ryanodubhda Ryanodubhda on Sep 25, 2010

    As a delivery driver these cameras are not my friend. I'm not some speed demon who enjoys speeding but on occasion I find I am going faster than I should be and I slow down when I catch myself. That dreaded flash means a day’s wages down the drain. I think the fine is way too much for the common Joe to afford and with winter coming it means a lot of people jamming there brakes on in slippery intersections to avoid the ticket and putting themselves and others into harm’s way. A friend of mine here in Winnipeg sells these GPS Units that warns you of all red light Camera's as well as potential mobile Camera's (The guys with the Camera's in there vehicles). The most important thing it warns you of is to slow down in school zones. I think this is where it counts the most. The "totally legal" units cost 150 bucks which is less than one ticket. I’ve had a demo for 6 months now and I’m ticket free. Ill actually have some money to buy Xmas gifts this winter. I can’t do without it now. Here is my friends Website. Cheers

  • Jerry Haan I have these same lights, and the light output, color, and coverage is amazing!Be aware, these lights interfere with AM and FM radio reception with the stereoreceiver I have in my garage. When the lights are on, I all the AM stations havelots of static, and there are only a couple of FM stations that are clear. When Iturn the lights off, all the radio stations work fine. I have tried magnetic cores on the power cords of the lights, that did not makeany change. The next thing I am going to try is mounting an antenna in my atticto get them away from the lights. I contacted the company for support, they never responded.
  • Lou_BC Are Hot Wheels cars made in China?
  • DS No for 2 reasons. 1-Every new car pipelines data back to the manufacturer; I don't like it with domestic, Japanese and Euro companies and won't put up with it going to Chinese companies that are part financed by their government. 2-People have already mentioned Vinfast, but there's also the case of Hyundai. Their cars were absolutely miserable for years before they learned enough about the US market
  • Theflyersfan Well, if you're on a Samsung phone, (noticing all of the shipping boxes are half Vietnamese), you're using a Vietnam-built phone. Apple? Most of ours in the warehouse say China, but they are trying to spread out to other countries because putting all eggs in the Chinese basket right now is not wise. I'm asking Apple users here (the point of above) - if you're OK using an expensive iPhone, where is your Made in China line in the sand? Can't stress this enough - not being confrontational. I am curious, that's all. Is it because Apple is California-based that manufacturing location doesn't matter, vs a company in a Beijing skyscraper? We have all weekend to hopefully have a civil discussion about how much is too much when it comes to supporting companies being HQ-ed in adversarial countries. I, for one, can't pull the trigger on a Chinese car. All kinds of reasons - political, human rights, war mongering and land grabbing - my morality is ruling my decisions with them.
  • Jbltg Ford AND VAG. What could possibly go wrong?