By on October 22, 2014

PelosiEmanuel

Don’t you just hate it when you plan to screw your constituents out of nearly a hundred million bucks and you only get, like, half of that?

A combination of salesmanship and greed led the city of Chicago to blanket the city with speed and red-light cameras. They were expected to issue over one million tickets a year. Estimates of Chicago’s population range between 2.6 and 9.5 million people, depending on how one defines “Chicago”.

Unfortunately for Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the motorist sheep couldn’t be sheared at quite the expected rates. The shortfall between expected revenue and actual revenue could be as much as fifty million dollars, putting pressure on the city to make the money up in other ways.

Still, one has to wonder: If a law is broken at least four hundred thousand times a year in a city area of under ten million people, how valid is the law? And if a city is betting on a million lawbreakers a year to balance its budget, where is the incentive to look at ways to keep people from breaking the law, whether through adjusting the law or adjusting the roads? Finally, if Mayor Emanuel really wants a million people a year to go speeding through school zones, what does that say about his sense of ethics?

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236 Comments on “Chicago’s Bid To Fleece Motorists Of $90M Falls Short...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    You pose some good questions. I don’t have any sympathy for the voters of Chicago though. If anyone is going to figure out the scam being perpetrated on the populace by governments that serve primarily as protection rackets to fund their organized crime staffs, it isn’t going to be the Chicago electorate.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Right, because our elections are fair and honest elections unlike everyone else’s corrupt and impotent elections.

      Someone posted this last week, “If elections made any difference, they would outlaw them.”

      It’s theatre, just like the TSA or any number of other minor inconveniences that morons interpret as injustices against their personal freedom and some mythological confabulation of what this nation stands for – whatever that means.

      This isn’t on the Chicago electorate – it’s a big, wealthy city. They rob banks because that’s where we keep the money.

      • 0 avatar
        theupperonepercent

        I always revert to what George Carlin said:

        “these people don’t just fall out of the sky…they come from American homes, schools and churches…”

        They are a symptom of the steady decline of America’s morals, education system and innovation – which have basically been outsourced to make this country as non-competitive as possible.

        What’s happening to TESLA is a perfect example. And the sad thing is, American morons are so stupid, they confuse free market capitalism with crony capitalism.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You must have read the recent report of the Republican candidate for Illinois legislature who went to the local library for early voting and tried to vote for himself, but the Diebold machine registered a vote for his opponent. Every attempt to vote for Republican candidates resulted in votes for their opponents. The machine was taken out of service and tested. The Cook County elections director called it a “calibration error”.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I believe him.

          I write software for touchscreen point-of-sale systems for a living, and the sort of touchscreens your POS terminals and voting machines get (“cheap and durable overlays” rather than “expensive and super accurate bonded”) *do* need calibration, and often *can* get out of whack so much that the system sees an adjacent button click rather than the one intended.

          It is 100% plausible that it really was just a calibration error.

          (One reason it ought to be just paper bubble ballots, but that’s a *different* argument.)

        • 0 avatar

          Lorenzo, Cook County doesn’t use Diebold voting machines, I believe the machines are Sequoia Systems with the paper backup. I’m about to go vote I’ll report back if I’m wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Potential alternative headlines:

      “Red light cameras save city tens of millions of dollars, although not as much as forecast”

      “Lives saved because of reductions in drunks blowing through red lights”

      “Mayor Emanuel privatizes routine ticket-writing, freeing up cops to focus on reducing crime”

      “Right wing attacks Democratic mayor for privatization – during an election year!”

      “Nancy Pelosi’s hair smells great! — slow news day story of the week”

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The railing against privatization is deliciously ironic. They’re fine with privatization so long as the only result is government workers making less money. But making enforcement more efficient? Then it’s tyranny.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          +1 Dal!

          I also liked your comments on DC drivers running red lights endangering pedestrians. My wife’s great aunt was killed in Arlington by one of those idiots running a red light as she walked home. No charges filed.

          I get that people worry about living in a police state – I do too. But defending drivers who will happily endanger someone’s life to save a minute of waiting is just plane wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            wolfinator

            The problem is not ticketing people for running red lights. Nobody is defending that.

            The problem is that when they put in red light cameras, they fuck up intersections – deliberately. They shorten yellows, often below safe engineering levels. Around where I live, biking through certain (red light camera) intersections is SCARY. I can enter the intersection on a green, and the intersection has cycled from green, yellow, all-red, and red before I can clear it. And this is when I’m hustling!!

            That’s DANGEROUS. If SAFETY is your goal, then your goal has not been achieved.

            There are assorted, numerous other issues. Most of the revenue from this lines the pockets of foreign companies (Redflex). Most tickets are not given out to people running red lights – they’re given out to people making safe right-hand turns.

            And finally, there’s the simple issue of due process. The right to face your accuser. In most jurisdictions, they do away with then for red light camera tickets.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’m very sorry to hear that. In four years of walking to work there I had more close calls than I want to count. People just think they’re above the rules — a mentality which is also in ample evidence on this thread.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Who is they? I think the privatization fad is mostly over since much of it was just moving money around to cronies. There aren’t many sensible people wanting privatization of true government functions any more. What they want is just less government.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          Right, because libertarians are clamoring for the government to have machines that spit out automated tax fines by private corporations that have the force of law, that’s what privatization is all about.

          The privatization movement was actually about getting the government out of industries it had no business owning, like liquor stores and more recently, car companies.

          But nice straw man you got there.

      • 0 avatar
        cartunez

        A few more headlines

        “Another American voter who can’t see the forest for the trees”
        “Witless Americans thinks the current political system is about them”
        “Cops care more about your safety than their own and the King of the Leprechauns pays off US Debt”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      More blah blah blah blah from CJ…as if governments in Republican-controlled areas don’t put up red light cameras too.

      Oh, yes…they do.

      But they’re not in Chicago, so they can’t be commie pinko statists.

      Deal to collect enough money to send you one way to a desert island still stands…I’m upping the ante to $12 from $10.

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    I don’t have a problem with red light cameras. I wouldn’t even have a problem with red light tasers.

    Running red lights is bad, m’kay?

    • 0 avatar

      Red light cameras don’t stop the two most statistically fatal instances of red-light-running – drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers and criminals absconding from the law.

      Regardless, I wouldn’t have a single problem with red light cameras, et al IF the revenue stayed WITHIN THE METRO AREA. Hell, even the state. I know right now if I get a red light ticket in Clearwater, Florida, I have to mail a check to a private company in Arizona. That’s not right.

      • 0 avatar
        DeeDub

        But it inhibits the most statistically common instance of red light running – f*ckwits who think 30 seconds of their time are worth more than my life.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          You really think pushing the yellow – likely as not, misjudging the yellow – by a second is threatening your life?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Yes. When I lived in DC I walked to work. The dipsh!t self-important drivers there regularly ran reds by two or three seconds. You could start crossing on a walk light when it looked perfectly safe and be run over if you weren’t paying careful attention. And people often were.

            Provided that yellows are still set using best practices, I’m a big supporter of red light cameras, because most accidents are at intersections, and most of those are because someone — usually a red-running dipsh!t — ignored the traffic controls at the intersection.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “… ran reds by two or three seconds. You could start crossing on a walk light when it looked perfectly safe…”

            Running reds by three seconds is one thing, you can expect cross traffic and/or pedestrians in the intersection by then, but the average red light runner cited in studies that I have read missed the end of the yellow by well under a second. Half of violators were within the first 500 milliseconds. The literal blink of an eye misjudgement.

            I don’t know how DC crosswalk lights work, but if they’re telling you to get out in the street the very second it turns red then you have more than just a driver problem.

          • 0 avatar
            DeeDub

            BTW, I’m in DC as well. Maybe it’s just a local phenomenon with the self important jackholes around here, but red light running is a common occurrence.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If you actually entered the intersection on red (which is the only thing that triggers these cameras) you “misjudged,” or more likely decided to ignore the rules, by way more than the blink of an eye. You are supposed to stop on yellow if it is safe to do so. If you’re at a speed that is even remotely reasonable and the yellows haven’t been artificially shortened you can stop safely on yellow well before the light turns red, a second or more.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          If that were the actual goal of red light cameras, you’d be onto something. The problems become 1. the type of accident you are alluding to (the in-the-intersection t-bone) is replaced by rear-ender accidents as drivers become wise to the red light cameras and begin stopping on the yellow, and 2. As drivers wise up to the red light cameras and revenues drop, the camera operators begin tinkering with yellow times in an effort to keep the revenues in line with projections. Shorter yellows lead to more people stopping short and more rear-ender accidents.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            It’s not the rear Enders that are the real problem. Short yellows lead to more t bones and offsets that cripple and kill. There are competing studies, as usual, but the pro camera folks have been caught fixing the studies.

          • 0 avatar
            beastpilot

            There’s a red light camera near where I live. I’ve figured out that it has to estimate your chance of running the red before you are there, and take your picture before you cross the line, showing you broke the line when it was red. Also, they appear to want a picture of you in the intersection, not just with your nose 1/16″ of an inch over the stop line.

            This leads to a game.

            In my Elise, I can drive towards the red light at normal speed, and wait until the last moment, and brake hard. This causes all sorts of flashing to occur with all the strobes as the system assumes no car could have come at the intersection at that velocity and not run the light. The PD there has a lot of pictures of me sitting stopped at the red light probably wondering why the camera keeps taking pictures of me.

            2X the fun at night when the strobes are like a mini-rave for 200 millseconds.

        • 0 avatar

          Red light cameras are usually accompanied by reducing the number of seconds allowed for the yellow light. If they didn’t mess with the yellow light, it ***might*** be a reasonable thing to do.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            Here’s a pretty good discussion about Chicago’s red light camera program that just ran locally:

            http://www.wbez.org/news/are-chicagos-shorter-yellow-lights-unsafe-or-just-unfair-110955

            TL;DR? It’s hard to show that the city purposely shortened yellows to maximize revenue, but neither are they using best practices when setting yellow light times.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I hear lots of claims about shortening yellow lights, but I can’t say I’ve seen proof.

            Also, concluding A is bad because B is bad isn’t exactly sound logic. If shortening yellow light times is bad–and I don’t disagree–that has no bearing on whether red light cameras are bad. It only means that shortening yellow light times is bad, regardless of the existence of the red light cameras.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Try google, redav.

            Also, your logic is valid until you overstate the conclusion. A is bad because it often leads to B. The two are not disconnected.

            Still, the con men involved are not stupid. They have gotten more tricky. They have not lately been caught shortening yellows as they were several places in California. The new trick is to set it according to what a normal intersection should use, but not at normal intersections. The other big scam is right turn violations where they get people for right on red and then you have to prove you did stop.

            It’s never wise to set up a system with perverse incentives without setting up checks and balances. When cities are purposely losing lawsuits to their vendors you have to ask, “qui custodiet ipsos custodes?”

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          DeeDub, by far the most common red light ticket is for failure to stop behind the stop bar before making a right turn on red. Most normal drivers roll past the stop bar and stop closer to the cross street, where they can see traffic, before safely turning right on red. The second most common red light camera ticket is getting caught in the intersection while trying to make a left turn. Actual red light running is a small minority of red light camera tickets. Even with red light running, subtle changes in light timing can cause camera revenue to greatly increase.

          http://go.dallasnews.com/news/2009/apr/03/red-light-camera-citations-differ-cedar-hill-and-d/

          http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/2014/08/06/13425512/

          http://www.illinoispolicy.org/red-light-cameras-a-case-study-in-chicago-corruption-waste-and-failure/

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @Flybrian

        Agreed on all points.

        @DeeDub

        If you’d like to rail against those f*ckwits, how about the f*ckwits driving aroud without car insurance, those with failed safety inspection, and don’t forget the DOT thugs not filling the potholes. Driving can be a perilous thing, if you can’t handle it stay home.

        • 0 avatar
          DeeDub

          “Because there are many bad things, it would be pointless to do something about one bad thing.”

          Do you see the problem with the above logic?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I suppose one could take a glass is half full approach to selective law enforcement, call me a cynic but its quite convenient the one “bad thing” they do address has large dollar signs attached while also having zero impact on the real threats of driving as Flybrian points out.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “I know right now if I get a red light ticket in Clearwater, Florida, I have to mail a check to a private company in Arizona. That’s not right.”

        That private company is running a service for the city, part of the fee you pay goes to this third party to manage all the data, sort the pictures, search the database, do the printing and mailing related to said ticket. There is almost no way for ALL the money to stay in the local area because so much stuff is contracted out these days.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          This is tantamount to effectively contracting out local law enforcement.

          I have a thought, I say departments can do this to their hearts content as long as they handle the logistics and enforcement themselves, make it illegal for them to subcontract their services on this matter.

          • 0 avatar

            +10000

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            28,

            You do realize that this would cost you even more money, right? It’s way cheaper for one private company to handle the logistics for hundreds of cities than it is for each city to create their own “departments of reading plates and licking envelopes.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @heavy handle

            That’s the idea put the onus on the local gov’t to handle its own business, not partner with private enterprise to create a cost effective extortion scheme.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Take it a step further. This is an attempt to make law enforcement a for-profit enterprise, instead of the ‘cost of doing business’ as a free society.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Don’t forget, they also have to copy/paste in the reviewing officer’s signature.

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        Agreed Flybrian, I’ve read studies that have showed that collisions have increased when red light cameras are installed. Red light accidents to decrease, but people slam on the brakes to avoid the ticket and cause rear end collisions.

        For the run of the mill, misjudged the light situation. I think a countdown to red or yellow would help. Crosswalks here in MKE have a countdown so you know about when the light is going to turn and can adjust accordingly.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          The countdowns are definitely helpful, though some drivers will see it as a challenge and will accelerate to beat the light where they might have stopped without knowing how much time they had left.

      • 0 avatar
        LuciferV8

        Here’s a small bit of recent good news:
        http://www.cnet.com/news/tickets-issued-due-to-red-light-cameras-are-illegal-says-florida-court/

      • 0 avatar
        bk_moto

        Cameras don’t stop anybody from running red lights. “Oh this behavior is so dangerous! So let’s take a picture of it while doing nothing to stop the behavior.”

        I would like to see pop-up bollards before the crosswalk when the light turns red. Now THAT will stop people running red lights.

        This is a facetious suggestion. Maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Da, tovarisch, because if have nothing to hide from State, then have nothing to fear from State, nyet?

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      It sounds to me like you’re ignorant of how this scam works. The operators have been caught time and time again nationwide shortening yellow lights to entrap motorists and putting up no turn on red signs that were never there previously, also in Saint Louis they put them up without passing a law that they were legal and started issuing illegal tickets. Studies have shown that increasing the yellow by .5 seconds cuts down more than 80% of red light accidents. These cameras are nothing but a private corporation getting their cut and colluding with crooked local governments to fleece the public. Frankly I say screw these crooks, use anti photo spray on your plates and refuse to pay the tickets, go pleed not guilty and make them prove you were operating the vehicle. This is our country, not the politician’s. The public whom overwhemingly opposes these scams should have the final say, put it to a vote.

      While we’re at it, we should have tiered speed limits on highway lanes, it could solve a lot of congestion.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I have to agree with this. Generally speaking, as long as the yellow is long enough to exit the intersection safely (and there are laws about this) red-light cameras are fine. They take a picture of your plate, mail it to you, and you pay your fine.

      Bonus if you ticket, but not criminally charge, red-light runners. Basically, they become like parking infractions.

      Some jurisdictions seem to be fixated on trying to identify the driver, usually because people are concerned about not being responsible if they weren’t behind the wheel. Again: treated like a parking ticket where just the plate is photographed this isn’t really an issue: you’re responsible for the vehicle if it’s borrowed (and not when it’s stolen).

      The alternative is either a) just not having someone at the intersection, which has points for and against, or b) having an officer there. At least with a camera I can audit the records; as someone who has been in traffic court with an officer that directly lied, I’ll take the camera, thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Spar,

        That’s like saying added caffeine is fine so long as it doesn’t make you want the soda.

        The scam they pulled here was to use the “standard” yellow time for the intersections based on some engineering standard set. Of course, the intersections were in no way standard to start with and the standards were full of caveats that they didn’t cover everything, etc. etc.

        The lights rarely go up on average intersections because the return is better on the worst ones, and coincidentally, those intersections are the best to justify the scam.

        The last straw here was the bribing of a professor to rework his study to show the cameras weren’t making things worse rather than better. The local rag, the Houston Chronicle, well known to be a good friend to the City Hall establishment (mostly either party), couldn’t pass on the story. The guilty Mayor, White, has still not reformed his political career in spite of lots of work, money, and even reasonably non partisan policy recommendations.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I’ve had experiences in Montgomery County, MD, where the yellow light is not even long enough to enter the intersection. And I’m talking about being the first car stopped at a red light, stepping on the gas when it goes green, and then seeing the yellow before I’m halfway through the intersection.

        Tell me that’s not fixed light.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      No disagreement with the concept of red light cameras- in principle.

      In practice, however, red light cameras are typically implemented my private entities and shady municipalities as a revenue generating vehicle, with only the veneer/patina of public safety.

      Case-in-point, many operators of red light cams reduce their yellow times. In effect, doubling down on the revenue generation while simultaneously compromising motorist and pedestrian safety.

    • 0 avatar

      DeeDub,
      In LA-and other cities-streetlights that have ticket cameras have significantly lower yellow light times. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      You guys are funny, do you really think red light cameras in Chicago had anything to do with safety? Too funny

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        Absolutely not, we (B&B at TTAC) all know its about the $. But they are marketed to cities and the public as promoting safety, “Its all for the Children”

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Plus all the tickets for not coming to a full stop when making a right on red.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Not only do they nail you for not coming to a full stop, the full stop they want is typically 15 feet shy of the intersection where you can’t see the oncoming traffic that you’re stopping for yet.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Yes, running red lights is bad. The problem is with red light cameras is two-fold. First, wherever they are installed the yellow light time gets greatly reduced to increase red-light “offenders”. (Obviously shortening the yellow time is all about safety) Second, once these criminals start receiving their tickets in the mail, the get very nervous at these intersections and start slamming on their brakes at the slightest hint of a yellow. Every intersection with a red light camera has it’s accident rates increase tremendously. Again, an obvious example of safety being improved.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    When did having morals, integrity or common sense become requirements for public office? The Politicians keeps pushing the boundary of lies and deceptions, because they are not accountable for their abuses. Until we get honest men and women in office, we will continue to see business as usual, no matter what political party is in office. That is the real sad true.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      *truth

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      It’s not about getting honest people in office, as it’s likely that some politicians arrived in office as honest people. Money and special interests and favors corrupts most people.

      Yet another reason to follow the ‘one and done’ rule with voting. Pols get one shot at public office. Then it’s time to go home and go back to your profession.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        That implies that some of them have professions to go back to…

        But that reminds me a lot of a special I saw on Hubert H. Humphrey a few weeks ago, and the way they told it, HHH was a real “Minnesota nice” guy who kind of got ruined by the machinations of LBJ and other politicians. Dunno how much of that was true and how much was the way it was told, but it was a good show nonetheless.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    Makes me think about NJ and how they were going to pay for the implementation of EZPass with fines from non-EZPass motorist cheating and using EZPass lane. Turned out 99% of the public fell in line and their hopes of an easy pay-off were dashed.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Outstanding photo!

    I have no issue with red light cameras, as long as they kick in a few seconds after the light turns red. Busting people for misjudging things by a harmless few tenths or hundredths of a second is utterly ridiculous…but that’s where the money is and that’s what the cameras are being used for.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      That is how they work.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “I have no issue with red light cameras, as long as they kick in a few seconds after the light turns red.”

      So, they are fine so long as they don’t photo people who actually run the red light? Is that because people don’t have any advance warning of the impending change, perhaps via a yellow light?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      They don’t hit you unless you *enter* the intersection after the light has gone red. People should be ticketed for that, assuming the yellow is a reasonable length. If you’re that far away from the intersection, a properly set yellow gives you plenty of time to stop safely.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfinator

        Dal, you’re ignoring the entire point. Every red light intersection I have seen does NOT have a “properly set yellow”.

        That’s the entire point of the scam. If you properly engineer an intersection, 99.5% people simply don’t run red lights*. Most red light running is due to shitty traffic engineering*, not because people are assholes.

        Why do you think an “all-red” cycle has been shown to reduce traffic fatalities? It’s because humans are imperfect, and sometimes make split-second mistakes. Proper traffic engineering is about reducing those, and allowing for recovery time. Not making things WORSE by having everyone be so trigger-happy on their brakes that rear-end collisions increase.

        *DC and certain other metros do not apply.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Hey, dis is da way tings work in Chicago, there are other ways to fleece da sheeps, you can bet on it

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    There is an easy and logical solution to eliminating red light running and reducing serious accidents at intersections. Replace them with round abouts.

    Accidents in round abouts are usually sideswipes rather than T-bones and therefore much leas dangerous.

    Also traffic flows better as there is no stopping and waiting at red lights.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Democracy = Everyone voting themselves the property of everyone else.

    Politicians are just criminal psychopaths doing what the Democracy parasites want.

    It is more corrupt in high density cities where almost everyone is a bratty amoral parasite all run by Democrat maggots.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Red light cameras are unsafe, and have been shown to have caused accidents, even fatal ones.

    The incentive to engineer intersections and light times to increase violations is too high.

    The result is shorter and shorter yellows, confusing markings, and syncing of close intersections to bait drivers into violations.

    Perhaps if the cities had to buy the equipment, then pay to run them, but get none of the money, it would be acceptable. That doesn’t happen. The usual set up is for the camera companies who work with city officials to split the money.

    I worked on the campaign to get rid of them from Houston because I had learned from the San Diego experience. Also, I worked with the snakes that ran one of the companies back in the Internet boom before it was spun off. They were really big on huge entertainment expenses to buy business. They actually got one of my company’s VPs to pressure my boss to get me to let IBM keep a huge customer I was winning.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      If red light cameras are bad because they encourage shortening yellow lights, are powerful cars bad because they encourage speeding?

      The “red light cameras cause accidents” argument is a lot like the “Suburbans are more environmentally friendly than Prii” argument. It smacks of cherry-picking the data you want, and then once people hear something that agrees with something they already believe, they latch on like a pitpull and completely shut their brains. (The most sensible conclusion I can reach from the data I’ve seen is that minor accidents like rear-ends do occur more often when there is a RLC, but major accidents like t-bones occur less often. Personally, I’m okay with that. Furthermore, to paraphrase Reagan, I believe that when a law is broken, we should blame the person who breaks the law, not society, i.e., if someone causes an accident, blame them, not the RLC.)

      If the problem is shortening of yellow lights, make the law forbid it. If baiting people to run lights is a problem, make the law forbid that, too.

      So, you were one of the asshats that got rid of the RLCs in Houston? That’s a shame. The laws passed specifically to protect people (e.g., tickets were non-moving violations, all photos must be reviewed by police officers, all ticketed individuals had opportunity and method to challenge/appeal, etc.) actually worked. The RLCs along my work actually worked at keeping people out of the intersection when the light was red, and now it’s gone right back to the way it was were people with green lights can’t go because the red light runners are stopped in the intersection.

      Oh, well. Such is the power of stupid people.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    That picture of “them” makes me want to puke my lunch up!

    • 0 avatar

      As a Chicagoan whose never seen the photo before I had a similar reaction, but suppressing the gag reflex I find it interesting how comfortable they are with each others company in such close proximity.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Look, someone had to tighten the bolts in Pelosi’s neck and Harry Reid was busy getting another blood transfusion.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        I could find no proof online, but I suspect that the photo is the result of Photoshop. There are numerous photos of the pair clearly enjoying each other’s company, but the way that in this one Pelosi’s hair so sharply cuts off Rahm’s nose makes me suspicious.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      +1000, Pancho

      Caption….

      Rahm, “Nancy, what do I smell in your hair? Did you eat lunch at a Jewish
      Deli”?

      Nancy, “No Rahm, I had Italian….what does it small like”?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Things wrong with this presumption:

    A.) Chicago’s population is static – In other words even if 2.6 million people live there the influx of suburbanites for travel, visitors, trucking, taxis, etc. all make the actual vehicle population much higher never mind that running a red light isn’t a one-to-one ratio, in other words a taxi driver can receive a disproportionate amount of tickets. So we would need to investigate vehicle traffic then do the math.

    B.) The words…Good lord the words… – Baruth’s writing is hyperbolic to say the least but making an annualized budget calculation that falls short isn’t unusual, especially in cases like this because they’re most likely using previous statistics and presuming that they’ll maintain even though the new monitoring system is much more effective which curtails behavior. It’s nothing that isn’t unexpected since most politicians prefer to use the most advantageous numbers when advocating, but I believe we all do because it is a part of rational choice theory.

    C.) That picture – Meh, I saw it and figured it was going to be Baruth’s soapbox but remember that without a gerrymandered districting after the 2010 census Nancy Pelosi would still be speaker of the house. So feel how you want about it, she isn’t the devil to the majority of citizens in this land.

    That ends my rebuttal. I don’t like red light cameras either but I don’t paint them as some ‘liberal pinko plot to ruin driving’ like some here are doing so since they predominate in quite a few red states and tiny rural red towns that are speed traps.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Gerrymandering – You like laws you like, and find them terrible the minute they work against your side. How blatantly partisan of you.

      This isn’t a right-left issue at all. On one side you have establishment drones and oligarchs, crooks, and big government goons. On the other you have law breakers, privacy nuts, and small government reactionaries. Average voters mostly haven’t thought much about it.

      What is your objection? Profit?

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      I hate the cameras, too. But, I would say that Pelosi is the devil to a lot of people.

      You’re assume that here approval is split by roughly the same split of conservatives to liberals, with moderates splitting on the issue.

      This Gallup poll shows that 48% of Americans don’t like her.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/162029/pelosi-best-known-least-liked-congressional-leaders.aspx

      I’m conservative in nature, but I have absolutely no use for any of the politicians. They’re all devils. Pelosi included.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m not seeing how Nancy Pelosi has any relevance to this story. Not her jurisdiction, not her district.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          No relevance but very click-worthy.

        • 0 avatar
          LuciferV8

          “I’m not seeing how Nancy Pelosi has any relevance to this story. Not her jurisdiction, not her district.”

          That smug grin upon her face, and the more directly relevant Emmanuel’s, is viscerally emblematic of Beltway arrogance and corruption.

          If graft ever needed a dramatic visage to embody it, a Sharbat Gula of political corruption meant to be burned into the corners of the mind, I could scarcely think of a better candidate than that shot of Pelosi.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Let me put it another way:

            Nancy Pelosi has nothing to do with this story. Her Photoshopped picture is there only to appeal to people like you who are easily inflamed and who have no ability to tell the difference between what is relevant and what isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            This notorious far-right media outlet has a shot from the same time and a different angle (#5):

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/12/rahm-emanuel-and-nancy-pe_n_202035.html

            Pch, the fact that you are so quick to lie so obviously about something so pointless really says everything that needs to be said about your character. And makes it clear precisely how much attention you deserve.

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            @darkwing:
            Thanks for the fact check, and it’s pretty much what I expected.
            These folks take to lying like a duck takes to water. Anything to win an argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s nice that the comments section can spark a bromance among some inferior minds.

            Last I checked, Nancy Pelosi has nothing to do with issuing traffic citations in Chicago. Even you ought to be smart enough to know that, but apparently not.

        • 0 avatar
          challenger2012

          If you looked at the world through the paranoid and delusional lenses of the wacko right, Nancy Polosi has everything to do with traffic cameras. It all makes sense if you don’t think about it.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          She’s a politician. Ergo robs people for a (very good) living. Which is what politicians do.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Approval polls are the most pointless example of political knowledge ever created. The point I was making was that her political agenda would have won in a democratic election based on national politics of actual votes. But that’s an irrelevant argument all together but again Baruth’s hyperbole was all about the click-baiting.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I agree on click-baiting. I think that half of the TTAC articles are only for this purpose.

          And, Nancy Pelosi is in California. In a blue part of California. A rat could run as a Democrat, and win there!

          One did…

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Thank goodness your back, X-man. Hadn’t seen you in awhile, was worried you got swept away in #gamergate.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        My comments have been swallowed up in the last few weeks. I’ve finally been bothering with copying them before I post in case they get swallowed.

        What about gamergate? I’m not sure if you’re being satirical or honest in this case…

      • 0 avatar
        LuciferV8

        Since you mentioned #gamergate, I’ve got to mention that the creeping SJW madness of Gawker is why I bailed on Kotaku and (sadly) Jalopnik a long time ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Defining people who want social justice in the pejorative is kind of telling…

          But I digress, I don’t frequent many video game websites because while I enjoy them I don’t follow the journalist trends. That being said GG basically was a complete BS argument that when the angry boys found out they were lied to double downed on claiming that journalists were still corrupt then though they lacked any evidence to prove that assertion. It’s just the flailings of angry little misogynists who got caught.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            People who use the phrase “social justice” are basically telling everyone “I’m a naiive retard who is fond of whining ‘but that’s not faaaiiiirrr!\'”

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            The people who believe in “social justice” tend to be the same ones who think that the Soviet Union collapsed only because the wrong people were running it.

            Off-lease Audis and BMWs don’t scare me the way the perpetually-outraged do.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            S2K – You keep telling yourself that, the rest of us shall be reaping the rewards of a well fought war. But again, this is coming from a person who couldn’t even handle basic economics explained to them.

            OneAlpha – I’m comfortably sure that the people you presume don’t exist. In fact they never existed but tells your age and mentality more than anything. The soviet union collapsed because it was wasting resources on a theoretical war while the US was building butter rather than guns. The US is also a much more liberal country than the Soviet Union ever was and frankly the insinuation that to have social justice we need to control the lives of everything in an authoritarian manner is just lazy presumptions built upon an even lazier world view.

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            @S2k Chris: Yep. That is pretty much a spot-on assessment of the SJW core mentality.

            @OneAlpha: “Off-lease Audis and BMWs don’t scare me the way the perpetually-outraged do.”

            I’m with you on that. It used to be that we kept these folks in institutions. Now we’ve handed them the keys to power. If we don’t fight back against the SJW horde, they will burn everything to the ground.
            Have you heard of California’s new affirmative consent law? While it sounds great on the surface, it is nothing but a bunch of totalitarian madness jumping into student’s private lives.
            Essentially, this-
            https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=Jo4568PIRnk
            has been codified into law.

            @Xeranar:
            “Defining people who want social justice in the pejorative is kind of telling…”

            Yes indeed, telling of the fact that normal people are waking up to the massive insanity that spews from the SJW movement, as well as the danger it presents.

            @anyone else:
            For those of you who aren’t up to speed on what SJW’s (social justice warriors) or #gamergate are, I highly recommend checking out InternetAristocrat’s youtube page. His “Tumblr-isms” series breaks down the madness of the SJW crowd rather effectively:

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            SJW madness:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR8ADuqrGx8&list= PLXO6qZnf40NVIaiX9y4sgCvYS24H4O92v&index=1

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Before the internet, I had no idea there was so much hate directed at people trying to help others.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Lucifer – Sorry, what was that? You just came up with a normative response to S2K’s original normative response. Nobody can seriously give a straight answer on why they find the idea of social justice distasteful except that it may affect their habits in a way they deem imprudent. I’m not going to sandbag you as people but you’re arguing on pretty much quicksand unless you want to get into a policy debate.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Ezekiel Emanuel wants social justice. He wants 75 year olds to take one for the team so they won’t be a drag on his ill-conceived healthcare disaster. One of his arguments is that they won’t deplete their accumulated wealth, supposedly allowing their heirs a legacy. Considering that such legacies are exactly what social justice cretins are most want to eliminate, that is pretty much all a thinking person needs to know about the derangement of social justice.

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            Xera, the best you can do is complain about how normative my response was? If my line of reasoning sits upon quicksand, then yours is clearly tumbling down through a vanishingly thin void of mountain air.

            I suppose no one could ever give you a “straight answer” to why they find the SJW movement so reprehensible, because you could always counter by reframing the definition of “social justice”.

            The SJW movement as it actually exists, and not how it chooses to present itself on paper, is primarily a collection of coddled millennials (most of whom are disturbed narcissists), who derive their identity from being on what the contemporary left would deem “the right side of history”.

            They infiltrate and undermine organizations for both emotional validation and financial profit by using deception, mob tactics and outright intimidation to enforce leftist cultural dogma.

            They threaten the constitutional pillars of free speech, free trade, free association, due process and a host of other liberties which I and most Americans hold dear.

            Nevertheless, I’m sure that none of my argument holds any water with you (nor will it ever) because you’re probably an SJW yourself. You and I are on opposite sides of this cultural battle and that is just how it is.

            For now, I think the only thing we’ll ever hold a mutual interest in is the automobile, and that’s just fine with me. That’s why we’re both here.

            Good day, Xeranar.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Lucifer – So you had to look up a normative answer and then decided to respond with a ad hominem attack painting a social group with a rather obtuse brush and then refusing to name any policy agenda that actually would curtail your liberties that the Court wouldn’t curtail otherwise.

            If anything you must confuse how Social Justice speaks out with the government prohibiting that speech all together. But again, you built your entire premise on the idea that I’m going to move the goalposts which is hilarious since I’m actually very sure Social Justice has been steady on the major points of contention. But I digress, you whine as a right-wing partisan desperate to protect your bigotry, so feel free to ramble to your coworkers at the water cooler, I’ll keep teaching my students.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I seriously had to look up this gamergate thing because I had never heard of it. Wow, I mean wow the inanity is strong with this one.

        Here’s all I needed to read from the Wiki:

        “Indie game developer Zoe Quinn was the target of a “virulent” harassment campaign after her ex-boyfriend made allegations against her that included her cheating on him with a journalist for Kotaku”

        Yes, this needed to be a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “So feel how you want about it, she isn’t the devil to the majority of citizens in this land.”

      This is true. Pelosi is only the devil of the drones in SF who have voted for her for 22 years. Guess they love their career politicians.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        And conservatives don’t? Please, the presumption that a career politician is a bad thing is so stupid that it hurts my brain to even try to understand the wrought thinking required to make it. People who win office tend to stay in office because of safe districts which is a problem but senators stay in office because people don’t feel the need to change the status quo. Pelosi has a very liberal district in San Francisco and just because you live in some red state doesn’t mean those votes are less valid than your’s. Mind you she is still only one vote like everybody else in the House of Reps.

        • 0 avatar
          challenger2012

          You are making too much sense. Wackoes, either right or left, do not listen to common sense. They would rather live in their made up world because there, they do not have to think, but rather parrot others’ words. How a lib in California has any input for traffic cameras in another state, is beyond me? But to GOP’ers it makes all the sense in the world. Look at the posts here! It is frightening.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          “senators stay in office because people don’t feel the need to change the status quo.”

          Oh please. Incumbents get re-elected despite voter frustration with them:

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

          Status quo sucks if you ask most people, but they don’t vote to change that.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Once again, job approval based on national polls is IRRELEVANT. Let me explain this in simple terms: If you really hate Nancy Pelosi but live in Baton Rouge your input is IRRELEVANT TO HER RE-ELECTION. Just as my view on Cecil Richmond is irrelevant because I vote in PA. The fact that those numbers are reflective of the liberals and conservatives having a strong distaste for one is about it.

            The people who re-elect incumbents like their incumbents. That is the reality of the actual statistics. If you dislike that perhaps you should help press for an independent districting board that puts more seats into 50/50 play. I would rather make the seats competitive because then it would be more adversarial which is good for parties.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Red light cameras are unconstitutional, period. Why? If my wife runs a light and a cop pulls he over, SHE gets the ticket and she gets points on her license. But if she runs a red light camera, I GET the ticket because the car is in my name and she gets NO points. The punishment should be the same at all times for the same infraction.

    John

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s an interesting distinction – thanks for clarifying.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      No. If your wife illegally parks your car, who gets the parking ticket? You do. And you know what? It’s perfectly constitutional because you are responsible for your property–that’s why you are also responsible if someone injures themselves on your property and why the owner of a car can be sued if someone else is driving their car and gets in an accident. Courts have ruled these practices are constitutional.

      In areas where RLC tickets are treated the same as parking tickets, courts have ruled that such a set up is constitutional. Courts may have ruled that other types of tickets are also legal, but I don’t have specific knowledge of that.

      Another similar nonsensical legal argument is that a ticket can’t be issued because it wasn’t witnessed first-hand by a cop. The reason that’s nonsense is that most crimes are not witnessed by a cop and footage from security cameras is legally admissible evidence.

      • 0 avatar
        JK43123

        You don’t get it. It is the INCONSISTENCY. A particular infraction can’t be her fault one way and my fault another way.

        John

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          JK,
          Are you a constitutional lawyer? Are you a member of the Supreme Court?

          I’m just wondering how well founded your claim that red light cameras are unconstitutional. Question mark

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          There are plenty of workarounds. Your effort to make what is effectively an “equal protection” argument could be dealt with in a number of ways.

          A lot of jurisdictions have made camera tickets a civil matter. It’s a different violation and not a criminal act, so there is no issue.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @redav:

        Just because something is constitutional doesn’t make it right…or good public policy. And letting people buy their way out of trouble for doing something exceedingly dangerous, like running red lights, is horrifyingly bad public policy.

        People who run red lights need to face consequences to their driving careers, not just fines. Otherwise, someone can just keep running red lights and paying the fine…until the day he runs a red light and takes out a family of four.

        That’s good public policy? Absolutely NOT.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I doubt that the Supreme Court would buy that argument.

      As is stands, the Supreme Court could have heard an argument that would have challenged camera tickets based upon the Confrontation Clause, but the court declined to hear the case.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Dude that picture is freaking me out. Get a room.

    (FYI I’d say that about anybody regardless of party affiliation.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Just like how speeding/traffic enforcement is all about public safety*. That’s why the police hide behind bushes on the freeways… where the roads are straight and everyone is going the same direction… because that’s where most accidents happen. Right?

    * Sarcasm intended.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The ‘shortfall’ mentioned here wouldn’t exist if the red light cameras didn’t exist. The ‘shortfall’ is merely the difference between the actual and predicted revenue of a program whose efficacy is debatable.

    It’s pretty sad when a budget depends on lawbreakers, just as global warming fearmongers secretly wish for a hurricane to strike the US coast in order to bolster their case – and it’s even better when people die.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Uh…

      Didn’t that bit about the hurricane already happen? “Super-storm” Sandy?

      I certainly was stuck in a dark cold house for a good while despite living hours away from the ocean…

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Sandy wasn’t a “super storm.” It was a hurricane, and not a particularly “super” one. Hurricanes hit the NE once or twice a century, GW or no GW, so while it is consistent with the predictions of GW, it is not definitive proof.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      It’s even sadder when the government in question ramps up spending based on the completely bogus “projected” revenue, then cries poor when the numbers don’t add up. Ugh.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Maybe we’d really believe that this system was installed to improve safety if the city had set a goal of reducing accidents or injuries by a certain percentage, as opposed to a goal of issuing X number of tickets in order to generate a certain amount of revenue.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    “If a law is broken at least four hundred thousand times a year in a city area of under ten million people, how valid is the law? And if a city is betting on a million lawbreakers a year to balance its budget, where is the incentive to look at ways to keep people from breaking the law, whether through adjusting the law or adjusting the roads? Finally, if Mayor Emanuel really wants a million people a year to go speeding through school zones, what does that say about his sense of ethics?”

    But, but, but ITS FOR THE CHILDREN, dont’cha know! What are you Jack, some kind of CHILD HATING CONSPIRACY THEORIST?

    In all seriousness though, I do agree with you on this issue. To put RLCs and SpeedCams in context though, we have to realize that this sort of thing is symptomatic of a much larger problem. That problem, is the oncoming sovereign debt crisis, which is something happening on an international scale, but manifesting locally as austerity programs, ever-increasing tax rates and a whole host of new regulations, coupled with their attendant fees and fines. The sovereign debt crisis, in a nutshell, is caused by a systematic shift in confidence and thus capital flow, from public to private institutions. The reasons for this shift are manifold, ranging from unsustainable public pensions, to bureaucratic bloat and incompetence, to misguided efforts to control and even eliminate the business cycle.

    The immediate and directly perceptible effect of this shift though, is an effort by the political class to shore up their power, both administrative and financial, by increasingly desperate measures, such as these red-light cameras.

    Although a large portion of the electorate, including myself, is dissatisfied with RLCs, I will admit they are a far more politically palatable option than direct tax hikes and/or reductions in public spending. A large part of that palatability rests on the idea that the financial impact will be borne entirely by some imaginary group of horrible drivers. The electorate is all too prone to believe not only that this group exists, but that it must be punished for the benefit of their community and families. Little do they expect that they now find themselves placed squarely in the crosshairs of something they thought would only nail the bad guys.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Every single day I go through an intersection where there are multiple red light runners directly in front of me .

    I _WISH_ they’d put up a red light camera to try and do anything to stop these @$$#oles .

    Why is it O.K. to force _ME_ to slow down and often stop for some jerkhoff who thinks they’re more important than I am ? .

    You’re all delusional .

    The City did in fact pay for and operate speeding ticket cameras back in the 1970’s , I bitched and moaned but I never got one ticket , never have gotten a red light ticket either

    If you don’t blow red lights , you don’t have to sweat tickets , this includes blasting through the yellow , speeding up .

    Agreed , almost every one of the private companies has shortened the yellow light interval and should have been penalized at 2 X the money they earned , that’d put a stop to the bullcrap quickly .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Presumably you have police or other law enforcement? You have a political representative? You’ve contacted said representative?

    • 0 avatar
      CarPerson

      Stop wishing for a camera and demand the city do a better job of traffic engineering at that intersection. It appears both the green and yellow are too short.

      But if you are Okay with doing nothing but blaming the victims, then never mind.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Right. People run red lights because “the green is too short.” I thought conservatives were about personal responsibility rather than always blaming others for bad decisions. Light turns yellow when you have room to stop, you stop, instead of trying to blast through because your time is more important than safety.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Nate’s completely right.

      A semi truck cut me off today at a light. He was on a straight street, and proceeded through. The light turned yellow when he was at least a half-block away. Instead of easily stopping, he gunned the engine, and went through after the light was clearly red.

      Ticket him. Fortunately the people wanting to cross the street saw him and stopped. Imagine if they didn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Yes, let’s imagine they didn’t. They could’ve been squished. But all would be solved 6 weeks later when the truck driver got a $99 ticket in the mail. Rejoice.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          S2K,
          Do you really doubt that more rigorous enforcement of the law would cause drivers to stop at red lights more consistently?

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with VoGo.

            I’d bet that this driver has gone on red many times before. After a few $99 tickets, he’d quit. Hopefully before he kills someone.

            With a CDL, the last thing you want is a ticket. Go too fast in your Pontiac? You pay a fine, and insurance goes up.

            Get a fine while driving a tractor-trailer? You get a much larger fine, insurance goes up, and your employer probably sacks you.

            You wouldn’t run the risk.

            It’s not a perfect solution, but nothing is.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You know what they say, Matador,
            Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            When was the second time you were right today? ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            The ones who cause most of the accidents aren’t the average driver. The addition of a fine isn’t going to change the behavior of people who are either wasted or extremely incompetent. Someone close to me got hit by not one but two drunk drivers, one of whom was an illegal. These people will continue to exist and continue to cause accidents. The RLC’s only succeed in making the driving experience miserable and costly for the majority whom actually care.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          If he gets 5 or 6 $99 tickets, chances are he’ll get a clue.

          I’m torn on this one. I hate the idea of red light cameras for revenue generation, too many documented cases of shortening yellows to boost income. That’s insane.

          I’m also sick of seeing people blow through a red 3 or 4 seconds after the light changed. I guess I’d like to see a well implemented, honest, transparent red light camera program, if such a thing exists.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Please continue privatizing law enforcement. Nothing says civics like a profit motive.

    • 0 avatar

      Set the future convicts on their paths in privatized schools, give them their three strikes with privatized law enforcement, and then turn them over to privatized penal system and make government money off misery for generations to come.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    As an unofficial spokesman for your respective locally elected overlord…I can assure you these cameras aren’t about revenue but more about safety etc etc.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Sorry if this is a duplicate but my original was entered hours ago and still not viewable.

    Get rid of intersections and replace them with roundabouts.

    Better traffic flow, less pollutions emissions and much less dangerous (no T-bones and few rear enders).

    Plus no need for traffic lights.

    • 0 avatar
      cartunez

      This has been done in Carmel Indiana but I don’t have the data on whether or not its made a difference. But they still have the speed limits artificially low on the roads that lead up to the roundabouts.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Although I 100% agree with you on needing more round-abouts. Drivers in the United States are generally retarded. Yeah, that’s politically incorrect, but it’s the nicest way I can say it without cursing. Roundabouts are a terrible idea here in action, I’ve seen drivers getting confused and in too many accidents at them to think otherwise. The real problem on the road is that it is so darn easy to get a driver’s license that any moron can and does get one and drives like the idiot he/she is while the rest of us suffer.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    This is the Kell and Fullerton Yellow Light Formula:

    Ty = Tr + (Vfps / 2 x Brate) + (Di + Lv)/Vfps

    Corrupt cities play games with some of the variables like the reaction time and deceleration (braking) rate instead of following generally accepted engineering standards.

    If you do the calculation and the result is less than 3 seconds–usually occurring at a tiny intersection such as two 10-foot single lane roadways–you are required to increase the yellow to a minimum 3 seconds.

    When the calculation yields 5.5 seconds, a value that covers 93% of the intersections in the U.S., corrupt cities set the yellow to 3 seconds then proclaim to all those within shouting distance the yellow is set to federal standard mandating a minimum 3 seconds.

    If you get a ticket, ask to see the Kell and Fullerton calculation for the intersection. If it will not be provided, any engineer can calculate it. Bet the farm the “yellow light” timing is 0.5 to 2.5 seconds less than the “Traffic Signal Timing Manual” Kell and Fullerton value.

    By the way, the “yellow light” time includes an “all-red” period to ensure the intersection is cleared. Missing that, the Ka-Chink turns into a Ka-Chink CRASH!

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      This is the best comment on the thread. If I were going to court for a hypothetical traffic violation, as an engineer, I would pull this one out as my defense. Luckily for me, the former mayor of San Diego ran on a platform to remove the traffic cameras, and they won’t be coming back. I got two illegally issued tickets when I lived in Saint Louis over 3 years from red light cameras, one for turning right on red, after they put up a camera and a “no turn on red” sign on the same day, and one for getting confused by one red light at the beginning of a highway onramp and one immediately after the onramp by going through the second red light because I didn’t want to sit in the intersection. If I had known any better and that they were illegally issuing the tickets without any laws to back them up, I wouldn’t have paid the tickets, but life goes on.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Unfortunately, it turned out that he wanted them removed so they wouldn’t get a shot of him groping underlings in the back of the mayoral limo. But hey, a win’s a win!

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Baruth just hates any restriction on rapacious driving and Pelosi has always had a great rack.

    Next topic, please.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Same thing for the tax on cigarettes. The tax has become so high and the government so dependent upon the tax…does anybody really think they want people to stop smoking?
    I personally have nothing against a cameras catching folks breaking laws, not running red light or breaking windows.
    However…IF they are trying to bait the driver by changing yellow times and actually gaming the system, then the morality behind the cameras is all bad.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Pelosi and Emanuel, birds of a feather, a disgrace to America. Well the foolish Chicago voters get just what they deserve, when will they wake up?

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will shoot out red light cameras.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Until guns are outlawed, there will be 280 million guns sitting around, waiting for the next maniac to pick one up and start shooting children.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        And my keyboard has caused me to mistype things.

        Give me a break. If you outlaw guns, the nuts will still find a way to get them. The people who don’t follow guns laws need to be punished severely. The ones who follow them usually are fine out here. My father’s bus driver even used to carry a gun. People just need to understand what they’re holding.

        Outlawing undesirable stuff really worked with Prohibition. Didn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Matador,
          Compare the rates of violent crime in similar countries like Canada, Australia and the UK to the US, and let me know how your theory holds up.

          I value the lives of my children over the rights of the criminally insane to purchase assault rifles. You may have different values – that’s your right.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            You know how many people were killed in Wyoming with a gun?

            In 2010, it was 5.

            That many people have been killed in Chicago last weekend.

            It’s a state-by-state issue. Out here, you need a gun. We had a raccoon attack our chickens. What am i Supposed to do? Hit him with a baseball bat? A .22 works much better.

            Assault rifles are different than a 22 or 12-GA shotgun. I think an AK-47 needs to be regulated. We need to have strict background checks, and I think that gun safety courses should be mandatory.

            I learned about guns at a young age. In WY, we all do. Accidents happen, but guns are needed. If someone breaks into our house, we have a gun. If another animal attacks our family/pets/livestock, we have a gun. If we have an animal suffering in pain, we have a gun.

            You know how many people have been killed in Wyoming in traffic accidents this year? 123. So far.

            Cars are a death weapon, too. Treat a car like you would a gun.

            We don’t talk about banning cars. We see them as serving an essential purpose.

            Guns serve an essential purpose, too.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Matador,
            I’m sure there’s a lot we agree on. But one area where we don’t is that I value the lives of my kids more than I value the lives of your chickens. Until you figure out how to keep machine guns out of the hands of the next Adam Lanza, you don’t have my vote.

            In Texas, people have to show ID to vote, but crazy ex-cons don’t have to show ID to buy an AK at a gun show?

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            I agree on the paperwork.

            My ideas:

            1. Require safety training AND a psychological test to purchase any type of assault rifle, shotgun, or other firearm (Except non-firing collectibles).

            2. Fine of $5000 minimum for ownership of unlicensed/unregistered firearms.

            3. Violate number 2 twice? It’s a felony. You’ll never own another gun, and will go to jail.

            4. Encourage people that want to own a gun to go to a safety training. Offer a federal subsidy to cover some of the costs. Have a police officer teach the class.

            5. Commit a murder with a gun, as proven in a court of law? Death penalty or 300 years in prison. Make the inmate choose the way he dies.

            6. Buy a gun from an individual? Fine, but you can only do it with the proper paperwork in rule #1. If you purchase one illegally, it’s a felony for BOTH the seller and the buyer. $5,000 fine minimum.

            You won’t stop everything. What I do know, though, is that banning guns won’t work. Out here, I know that there are many people that have accumulated guns, and I have hunches that some of it is illegal. By making it illegal, the underground gun market will explode. Want a gun? Buy it from a stranger, and hide it. Nuts will do this, too.

            We need guns. Even if we didn’t, you could never get rid of them. Try to enforce that one.

            Make it harder to slip through the cracks.

            I think that the process to purchase a gun needs to be miserable and tedious. That way, we can thin a lot of the crowd. But, you can’t get rid of guns.

            Chicago is a crime magnet, and has very strict gun laws. It’s the people we need to deal with, not the guns.

            There was a story in the newspaper about a year ago. A man ran into a house, threatening to kill the occupants. He was shot, saving the lives of the people in that house. I know one of the people who survived. A gun saved her life. And that of her 12 year old daughter.

            That’s more important than chickens are to me, too.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            TTAC just ate my comment.

            Basically, though, charge high penalties if you screw up. Require ID, background check, and mental health exam to buy any firing gun.

            Make it a felony to sell guns illegally, or buy/obtain them illegally.

            And, have armed security guards at the schools, and have a security system on the door to keep Adam Lanza out.

            I’m not running for office, though. It takes a special breed of person to have the audacity to dictate what others must do.

            I’m not that kind of person.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The use of high penalties as deterrence has a proven track record of failure, time and time again.

            Those who violate laws are most influenced by the odds of being caught, not by the penalties if caught. Most people don’t plan on getting caught unless they believe that the odds of being caught are high.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            My first post addressed that. I called for police stings with illegal gun sales.

            It would help, and would make good reality TV!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You didn’t address anything.

            Once again: High penalties don’t work as deterrence. You are advocating something that is sure to fail.

            Try again.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            I was referring to the post that was marked Spam for some reason, not the first post where I discussed my keyboard.

            What I suggested was to create police stings, like they do for illegal drugs. This is mostly to create fear.

            Then, I supported a certificate that would need to be signed by law enforcement to legally purchase a gun.

            Third, I stated that the ID on the form would have to be presented to purchase ammunition. No form, no ammo. The form must, of course, match the ammo buyer- via a government-issued ID card.

            Perfect? No. But, then again, your plan isn’t either….

        • 0 avatar
          LuciferV8

          @nickoo,Matador,Dan,SCE to AUX:

          Normally, I drop in to start peppering the thread with facts every time these folks start in with their anti-2A rhetoric, but it looks like you’ve got this one covered.

          Cheers.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        When guns are outlawed, millions of guns will all “be lost in tragic boating accidents” and 3d printers printing unregistered lower receivers or the millions of people who have the ability to make lower receivers themselves and are doing so, will continue doing so.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        In regulated Norway, it only took 2 guns for that nut to kill 69 people, and he also produced a homemade bomb that killed 8 others.

        One form of logic tells me we should outlaw fertilizer and fuel oil, and make sure only lawbreakers have guns.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The US has one of the highest homicide rates in the developed world.

          Norway’s homicide rate is less than half of the US.

          Americans really ought to know better than to beat their chests about murders in other western countries, when we are among the world leaders at stuffing our own people into body bags. Seriously now.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “Norway’s homicide rate is less than half of the US.”

            The US isn’t one homogenous place. The parts of the US full of Westerners are every bit as safe and uneventful as the Western countries you’re holding us up to.

            Spinning the ongoing tribal warfare between Obama’s sons as somehow reflecting on the rest of us and requiring the curtailing of all Americans’ rights is the egalitarian thing to do but egalitarian isn’t logical.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            It was only a matter of time before the racist comments.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        When they outlaw the millions of legal guns……

        the outlaws will still have their illegal guns……

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          ” It was only a matter of time before the racist comments.”

          Yep .

          Those ‘ uppity n*66ers ‘ are _everywhere these days (I wake up next to one every morning) and you can easily tell who’s deathly afraid of them straightaway .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            The emotional rhetoric is nice, but I’m still waiting for a factual refutation of Dan’s assertion. Go ahead, look up the FBI crime statistics and prove him wrong.
            You cannot reasonably expect a nation of 8 million (with a very different culture) to behave exactly the same as one with over 300 million.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Lucifer,
            Canada is much more diverse than the US, so is the UK. Australia is also very diverse. All of them have far lower rates of crime and incarceration than the US.

            As far as the crime statistics you site, they are a product of built-in bias against people of color more than anything. If the police stop and frisk only in minority neighborhoods, then guess what? More blacks and Latinos in jail.

            The sooner we all stop blaming our problems on people who look slightly different, the sooner we can start to resolve them.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            You’d think that one thing we’d be able to agree on — from the Communists all the way to the John Birch Society — is that violent crime that disproportionately affects the black community is a significant problem. It’s hardly much more controversial to fault the first black president for spending more time addressing the price of Michelle’s dry cleaning.

            But apparently it’s not, because some white middle class liberal guy wants to play the race card.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Crime statistics are not the result of “built-in bias.” That has been debunked:

            http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_2_criminal_justice_system.html

            Think about how what you are suggesting would have to play out in the real world.

            You are saying that law enforcement personnel regularly ignore crimes committed in areas that are largely white or Asian in order to focus on African-American areas. This focus depresses crime statistics for whites and Asians.

            Which means that a whole lot of crime is occurring in those areas, and is not being reported.

            A lot of these municipalities are where people raise holy you-know-what if you don’t mow the lawn or leave a clunker in the driveway for repairs. It’s therefore quite a stretch to think that they would sit by quietly while the police regularly sweep robberies, rapes, burglaries and murders under the rug.

            Also note that most crime is intra-racial (meaning, whites victimize whites, and African-Americans victimize African-Americans, etc.). Again, for your scenario to hold true, the police would ignore crimes where whites or Asians are likely to be the culprit (which can usually be determined by the racial composition of the local population), while doggedly investigating every crime in an African-American or Hispanic neighborhood.

            (This, of course, means you have to ignore the complaints of some residents in minority neighborhoods that the police don’t take crime in their areas seriously enough.)

            Again, do you really believe that this is happening?

            Most arrests are the result of victim’s description of the perpetrator. Perhaps, when the victim says that the perpetrator was a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed male, the police instead arrest an African-American man? And, amazingly enough, the victim goes along with it and doesn’t utter a peep? Really?

            The crime statistics are a product of who commits various types of crimes. Don’t stone the messenger.

  • avatar
    matador

    We have over 100 comments, and nobody’s brought this up:

    On most intersections, there is a countdown timer, giving you 5 seconds or more of notice… before the light turns yellow!

    No excuses, there. If you aren’t paying attention to intersections enough to notice a giant flashing number, you probably shouldn’t be driving.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    The states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have NO problem fleecing motorists traveling through their states for much more than $90Million.

    All they do is sic their Highway Patrol on them.

    Red light cops already exist. Just try Jay-walking in any big city. It cost ME $25 in San Diego, CA, when I took a shortcut to the Trolley.

    Mea Culpa! I was guilty! No doubt about it.

    Did the same in San Francisco, CA, to catch the Cablecar, and no one even noticed, and there were cops everywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Jaywalking in San Diego is a revenue raising scheme. 90% of the time the cops will ignore it and only if they need to raise revenue will they be out 2-3 times a year to enforce it. That is really bad luck that you were one of the unlucky ones to get caught!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        nickoo, that’s exactly what my #2 son told me, and he lives in SDCA. But I was not the only one to get bagged that day. I saw others, both as I was comin’ (when I didn’t know what the cop talking to a tourist was doin’) and goin’ (after I got my citation).

        I never quite figured out why the cop needed my “drivers license” for a “walking” offense.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Funny you mention jaywalking. When I was in LA a few months ago, all of us DC people were befuddled as to why all the natives where just standing at crosswalks waiting for light to change, when there weren’t even any cars coming.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        TMA1, as nickoo already mentioned, Jaywalking is a revenue generator for many cities already, like Parking tickets have been for decades.

        It’s just a matter of time before it is even more widely adopted cross the US.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Interestingly Down East jay walking isn’t any problem and is sort of an art form .

          I took my Son back there when he was 17 so he’d get an idea of how I became who I am , we jay walked across four busy lanes of traffic in Boston right in front of a cop car , jumped the trolley fence , ran across the tracks then jay walked across four more busy traffic lanes ~ no one honked nor had to slow down because we were alert and paying attention , this was before cell ‘phones and the rest of that crap .

          When we reached the far curb he commented ” jeezo-peezo Pop ! if we’d been in L.A. those cops would have hassled up to no end ” .

          I rarely jay walk but when I do , I pay sharp attention .

          -Nate

  • avatar
    caljn

    Baruth is like Fox…just say anything to keep the fearful angry and agitated and tuned in. And promote clicks.

  • avatar
    Birddog

    The “administration” may have been expecting that money, Mayor Rahm isn’t responsible for it.
    If you want to point a finger you need to go back to Emporer Richard M. Daley.
    Daley was the one that constructed the leases on the red light cams, parking anywhere in the city and the Chicago Skyway.
    Rahm has been doing a good job in spite of assets he can’t control or change.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      Rahm is certainly responsible for not collecting the money.

      1) The speed cameras are only adjacent to schools and parks.
      2) When they install the cameras, they put up giant signs warning of the cameras
      3) When they finally get around to turning the cameras on, they don’t issue tickets for the first 30 days – they only mail warnings.
      4) After the first 30 days, the first time you are caught speeding in the zone, you are mailed a warning and not a ticket
      5) The tickets are $35 for 6-10 mph over the limit and $100 for 11+ mph over the limit. The city hasn’t issued a single $35 ticket yet; they are ignoring those violations.

      If this was a giant cash grab, you might think they’d do it a little differently. I would guess that the revenue predictions were based on traffic studies, because the data shows that in the time between a camera issuing warnings only and then switching over to actual tickets, speeding is reduced by 50-60%. Great job exposing the truth, Baruth.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Guys, i am tired of trying to deal with this site, and the inanity of many of the comments. And the strained logic is over the top. (Looking at you, Redav).

    I will end this by pointing out that I have argued all this on this site many times. The ideal of the systems, and government itself actually, just don’t exist. Ideally these things would add to safety, but in practice they corrupt governments and lead to mistrust of government. They are a safety and moral hazard. Disagreeing only shows you haven’t really studied the issue.

    It would seem possible to do it right, but that just doesn’t happen. Likely, if done correctly there would be negative revenue which most of our big cities would simply not find worthwhile. Hopefully, the site will get fixed soon.

    Signing Out.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m with you, LC.

      The things are a bane, and they’re nothing more than a money grab. And the way the system is set up, someone with money can run the things with impunity, and just keep on paying the fine.

      People who habitually run red lights need to be taking the bus, not paying the stupid red light camera fees.

      If governments need more money, then fine. Go to the voters and ask for it. That’s what our system is set up for. This kind of nonsense is ridiculous fiscal planning.

  • avatar
    Joh

    If people were good citizens when they weren’t being watched…….
    But we are not……
    Cameras perfect? No……
    Needed? Yes…….

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Red light cameras are nothing more than a blatant money grab. If you want to DO something about red light running, then how about this: let the cops – you know, those guys with the cars with the flashy thingies on top who can make you lose your license – handle it.

    Put differently: think of the richest, most obnoxious athlete you know of. He’s cruising the streets of Chicago in his Lamborghini, on his way to the strip club, with a wad of $100 bills in his pocket. He runs a red light and the camera catches him. Do you think he gives a flying f**k? Nope. He can run 10 in a row and still spend maybe a tenth of what he’s going to spend shortly on strippers and Cristal. The DMV and his insurance company are out of the loop on his horrifyingly bad driving habits. Ditto for the yuppie in the BMW, and the Master of the Universe in his Rolls.

    Before you go all “you hate rich people”, stop. This isn’t about rich versus poor. It’s about not having to face ANY sort of threat to your driving career from running red lights, which is about as dangerous a thing as you can do sober behind the wheel. Instead, you can buy your way out of trouble on this as many times as your debit card will let you.

    And that is NOT right.

    Meanwhile, the main financial benefit goes not to the cities or counties, but to companies.

    That’s REALLY not right. And don’t get me started on the constitutional issues.

    These are a bane on the land. I’m not into guns, but I’d be amused as hell if someone would duct-tape his license plates, and run a red light so the last thing the camera ever recorded was the business end of a 10-gauge shotgun.

    (And, no, my rant isn’t borne of bad xperience – I’ve never gotten ticketed by one of these…)

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I’m enjoying reading many of the comments as some are very well written even if the poster clearly has little concept of reality .

    As I was motoring home last night , of course some damnfool gassed it and ran a stale yellow from my right , he entered the intersection _after_ I had the green by about 3 seconds .

    One of my crippling injuries (I am disabled and need a cane now) was when a red light runner ran me over from behind as I waited for a red light on my Motocycle , breaking my neck and shattering my spine , I am *very* lucky to still be alive much less (sort of) ambulatory and (occasionally) able to still ride my Moto (not the one I was nearly killed on) .

    Carry on then , keep the interesting comments coming .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Glad to hear about the speedy recovery, Nate…LOL

      But, seriously, we all know this kind of driving behavior is a threat, so what’s the point of enabling someone who keeps doing that thing to buy his way out of trouble, with no consequences to his driving privileges? I don’t see that as any kind of deterrent at all.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        I was locked out from replying for several days .

        Hitting them in their wallets is the entire point as they clearly don’t grasp anything else .

        As I was coming up the freeway off ramp on 10/23 I saw I had the green light from far away so I kept on going 45 or so , on the far side of the intersection was a set of double bottomed gravel trailers backied up at the top of the on ramp , blocking the cross walk .

        Of _course_ some jerkwad on my right ran the red light in his crew cab , long bed service truck and slammed on his brakes to *just* avoid rear ending the trailers and blocked almost the entire intersection .

        But hey , that’s fine ~ cam _him_ the victim and let him go on his merry way .

        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Interesting ~ I replied to this but my comment *vanished* .

        I nearly was killed once again on 10/23 by another red light runner .

        I think hitting them in their wallets is the only way to get their attention , I assume they also gather points against their license at the same time , at least here in California they do .

        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Nate, it might be time to rethink the motorcycle thing and put a little metal between you and the crazies. “Hitting them in their wallets” gives little satisfaction if you’re dead

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Although I know you are correct , I still plan to ride my Moto up to Damien’s Memorial site to – night when I go Off Duty in a few minuets .

            I plan to ride until I can’t anymore .

            I have some old 90 & 125 C.C. Honda Tiddlers stashed away to ride and rebuild when I retire next year…..

            Thanx for your concern but I’ve been living on borrowed time since the 1960’s .

            -Nate

  • avatar
    -Nate

    OBTW :

    I always thought Pelosi’s rack was kinda average .

    She’s not ‘ pretty ‘ IMO anyway .

    Lastly , I am staunchly Conservative and proudly so but I am not ignorant as most self proclaimed ‘ Conservatives ‘ who lie and ignore basic facts and truth are .

    Nic Carborendum Illigitimi

    -Nate

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Everybody can help to reduce career politician damage by not voting for incumbents. You can take action to improve the future.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    We can bicker back and forth all day about yellow light times and who collects the fees and who is responsible and so on and so forth, but the overriding issue is that it is wrong, and should be illegal, for governments to monetize lawbreaking by their citizenry that creates incentives for them to “entice” citizens to break laws so that they may charge them for it.

    We see it with speed limits all the time; statistically the speed limits we have are mostly BS, most can be and should be raised, as has been proven by study after study. But they aren’t, because municipalities (and insurance companies) have a vested interest in keeping them artificially low to entice citizens to break them, so that police can line the public coffers with the resulting fines.

    Ignore all else, and that’s the real problem.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      I’m trying to fathom this whole argument, because where I live, this doesn’t exist.

      Very, very rarely do I see anyone actually blow a red light so badly that anyone would be affected- most signals here are delayed (so one would need to have driven through a longstanding red light to be hit by someone missing the end of a yellow,) and those that aren’t have long enough yellows that there’s little ambiguity around whether you can safely stop, enough visibility that you can see clearly if some jerk’s gonna blow it anyway, and usually enough space that you could launch hard at the green even if said jerk is just entering the intersection and still miss them by a wide margin.

      In this case, even if you miss your window and the light changes just before you cross the line, it will be another 3-5 seconds before cross-traffic will start moving. You’d need to drive through a 3-second-old red light (count that out next time you approach an intersection,) to have a T-bone accident. I’ve had old people and drunk people not see their solid red lights and drive straight through them, nearly hitting me as I drive through my green, but I don’t think a camera can do anything about basic competence and attentiveness. Those people don’t need a fine, they need to be turned into Soylent.

      Anyway, our intersections work fine. Not sure what the problem is everywhere else.

  • avatar

    i find the picture used for this article offensive. It looks as if he is back dooming her in the shower.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I don’t know why there has to be a private intermediary for this equipment. It must have gone off patent years ago.
    Pedestrian fatalities are rising sharply. I think partly because there’s no way to automate the kind of enforcement that makes that safer.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Typically, the camera company covers the equipment and installation costs, and then administers it in exchange for a fee-split.

      Cities can get into the camera enforcement business without coming out of pocket or paying for ongoing administration. The government can avoid the budgetary headaches.


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