By on November 6, 2014

red stop light camera

Tuesday, the B&B made their voice known on the issues affecting them, including a set of referendums on the infamous red-light traffic camera.

Autoblog reports voters in Cleveland and Maple Heights, Ohio, St. Charles County, Mo., and Sierra Vista, Ariz. overwhelmingly rejected the cameras on the basis that their use did more for the bottom line of the manufacturers than the safety of those under the electric eye.

In Cleveland, 78 percent voted to ban cameras unless law enforcement was present, while 75 percent of Sierra Vista voters ditched the technology on the outskirts of town. Meanwhile, 76 percent of voters in Maple Heights and 72 percent in St. Charles voted to ban the cameras outright.

On the other side of the issue, AAA says it’s all for the cameras, just not how they’re usually implemented. Representative Michael Green explained that while the goal of the cameras was to deter, “not to give tickets,” he could understand where implementation in certain places, such as Washington, D.C., had faltered in favor of revenue-generation and lack of transparency.

That said, usage of the cameras are falling by the wayside as is, thanks to speed cameras taking their place on the automated enforcement chain.

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26 Comments on “B&B Reject Red-Light Cameras In Three States On Election Night...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    They are all there to give tickets Mr. Green. That is how the money is made. Implementation always “falters.”

  • avatar
    jrmason

    At least they were given the opportunity to vote on them. The twisted city officials in the town I work in signed a contract with a traffic camera company and had a dozen or so of them installed without even mentioning it to the public at the township meetings. It all backfired on them though, as it was brought up on the next ballet and overwhelmingly sent the cameras packing. In the end it still cost the taxpayers big money, as the city had to honor the contract with the camera company. It should have come out of the officials salary.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” It should have come out of the officials salary”

      Lol, in your dreams

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Indeed, that’s why there is never an end to bad ideas in government. To many mistakes are just passed on to the constituents in the form of increased taxes.

        How bad is it that most of my FB buddies are elated about “taking back the US” when just six short years ago the majority of the country kicked the party of fiscal conservatism and limited government out for not standing on those principles.

        People have incredibly short memories and to compound that the powers that be have rigged to system so well that its virtually impossible to bring in new talent or even offer another option.

        Not that we aren’t well kept pets as every 4th of July shows and people gladly tell the world how good their lives are and how great America is.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Obviously you’re never lived anywhere but America else you’d know that in spite of our faults , we’re still head and shoulders above any where else .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar

            I agree. As much as I complain, I believe the USA is still among the best places to live.

            In theory, the republicans are for limited government. In practice, everyone in government wants to set up their friends and family with good paying government jobs with excellent benefits, regardless of the usefulness of said jobs. That is one of the reasons why the US government will only grow. Redundant government jobs are rarely eliminated, because that would negatively impact the people close to those in power.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            “Obviously you’re never lived anywhere but America else you’d know that in spite of our faults , we’re still head and shoulders above any where else .”

            As is someone just tossed out of an airplane at 30,000 feet. Looking down at everyone else from his perch at 25,000- 24,000, 23,000……

  • avatar
    woodywrkng

    Just as a heads up, the camera shown in the picture simply tells the signal control computer that a car is there, it isn’t used for red light tickets. The red light cameras and sensors are behind you as you enter the intersection.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Clearly you know nothing about these cameras as the turn light sensors are wire loops embedded in the pavement .

      -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        woodywrkng

        Well Nate, with 27 years as a traffic signal technician, I kinda disagree that I know nothing. The wire loops you mention are certainly the most common form of vehicle detection, but the camera shown in the picture is also used for the same thing. One of those cameras can replace a dozen loops. That camera is either used by Iteris (http://www.iteris.com/solutions/detection) or Traficon, they both look similar, if anyone would like to look it up.

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          I’ve gotten into arguments with folks about those sensors. I could never convince them that they weren’t cameras, even after asking where the flash is or if they just turn off at night.

          • 0 avatar
            woodywrkng

            The vehicle detection camera shown in the picture works just fine at night. It senses any change in contrast within a zone that we set up, which doesn’t need much light. The red light cameras, at least the ones in my city, do indeed have a flash since they need to see the license plate.

            The sensors called “loops” are essentially metal detectors. They’re simply 3 or 4 turns of 14 ga wire, a few inches below the pavement surface, in either a rectangle, diamond, or circular shape. If the road hasn’t been overlayed, you can often see the epoxy filled saw cuts in the pavement.

          • 0 avatar
            Felis Concolor

            Thanks for the clarification, Woody – and you triggered another fun sensor story from memory.

            While running late one afternoon to meet my incoming flight at OGG airport, my father borrowed mom’s turbo Dodge minivan and flew down the mountain, followed closely by another opportunistic driver. Reaching the intersection of the Haleakala and Hana hwys a few seconds after the light turned red, he overshot the main sensor, reversed fully back over it, and then drove forward over it again. For some reason, this immediately cycled the light when normally you were looking at a rigidly timed 1 minute wait. As the light turned green, dad tore across the intersection on the rear runway loop road, leaving the other driver so astonished at this occurrence, he simply waited at the light until it cycled back to red and resumed normal operations.

            I have no idea if there are indeed such built-in “back doors” for sensor signals to the control systems, but that’s the only explanation we could come up with for the convenient expedient that day.

            The intersection in question can be found at 20.8853745,-156.426814, although at the time of the stunt that area was all single lane – and Kala Rd cut straight across the back of the shorter runway.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      A red-light enforcement camera would have a flash unit on it.

      The camera in the photo above is for monitoring traffic, not for issuing tickets.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        But Nate said “clearly” which means that your admionshment should stand firm! He’s also leveled “obviously” at others so you’d better watch it or you’ll get an “evidently” or worse yet an “apparently”.

        Y’all on notice, the internet authority is (presumably) present.

        Sincerely yours,

        Zamoti Q. Public

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Can the camera detect whether someone in a turn lane has their turn signal activated, and delay giving them a green if they don’t have the appropriate signal on?

      • 0 avatar
        woodywrkng

        Segfault….There was a company that tried that a few years ago in my city, in a case where there was no separate left turn lane, but it didn’t work out. They tried using special software with the camera to detect the left turn signal. The normal situation is like this. Where there is only a three section signal head, one car will get a green arrow. However, if the signal head has 4 or 5 sections, quite often 3 cars are required for the arrow. By stopping where a third car would stop, even without anyone in front of you, will often fool the signals into giving you the green arrow. It depends on the software involved.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    The flashes used by some of those cameras are downright dangerous. I am sure some accidents were caused by red light/speed camera flashes going off in the dark at complex intersections. They can definitely shock unaware driver.

    • 0 avatar
      woodywrkng

      Felis – – – There is a software event called (Red Revert) where if a car on the cross street to your Dad made a right turn on Red, and then there were no other cars behind him, your Dad could have seen a very short Red light. As for backing up over the loops, this could happen if he were in a certain type of left turn lane, since there is a way to trick the left turn on some signals. That woodn’t however case a very short red.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    You guys are right of course ! .

    I supply L.A. DOT with some of their equipments and this is what they told me .

    Right now we seem to be using the few remaining cameras like this for traffic monitoring but I know if was previously used as a ticket camera because I’d be waiting next to the left turn pocket @ 0-Dark:30 when some @$$hat zoomed past me on the left making a turn against the red and yes , the flashes are blinding ~ the whole intersection lights up like a lightning strike .

    I’m going to go back and see if the DOT guys were baiting me (prolly so) knowing my BIG MOUTH would once again show me to be a fool .

    Oh well , sorry about that Chief .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Driving is a performance skill. If we don’t have automatic driving, the police shouldn’t use automatic enforcement. There’s no way putting enforcement into private hands with a financial motive is a good thing.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The bottom line should be safety, not revenue. The safety can be improved by simply lengthening the yellow phase, but to increase revenue, some operators actually shortened them, reducing safety. Elected officials don’t give a second thought to allowing operators to modify signal timing, tying the hands of traffic ops people who often get the blame. If you want to see a total snafu, look for a city with light rail and at grade crossings near a major intersection. The light rail controllers override the intersection signals.

  • avatar
    woodywrkng

    The yellow interval absolutely cannot be reduced to less than 3 seconds, assuming the signals are controlled by a computer and not by ancient mechanical means. The software of the signal computer, and of a safety device called a conflict monitor, have a bare minimum of 3 seconds. I have heard rumors on the internet of yellow intervals being reduced, perhaps to this minimum, but the person doing it would be putting him/herself at a real risk of lawsuit if the size of the intersection and speed limit dictated a longer yellow. However, and there’s always a however, a person could conceivably reduce the yellow from for instance 3.5 to 3.0 seconds, while increasing the “all red” timing by 0.5 seconds. That would keep what’s known as the total clearance time the same, while catching more cars running a red.

  • avatar
    ect

    Red light cameras would make a lot of sense in major cities, to deter the idiots who charge into the intersection as the green turns yellow, when they can’t clear the intersection because the road ahead is jammed with traffic that isn’t moving. So, they sit there blocking cross-traffic from getting through.

    It’s a veritable plague in downtown Toronto, especially in rush hour on roads that connect to the expressway.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    “As is someone just tossed out of an airplane at 30,000 feet. Looking down at everyone else from his perch at 25,000- 24,000, 23,000……”

    That’s good ~ use sophomoric logic in complex situations .

    just like the various third world shytholes do ~ that’s why everyone there , wants to move to the U.S. of A.

    -Nate

  • avatar
    JimC2

    But… but… THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

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