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On one hand, didn't they learn after the first bunch of tickets came in? Do ambulances in Australia not come with cruise control? If you're going to speed to save time, 5 mph over isn't going to do it.

On the other hand, it sounds like this is from some sort of automatic enforcement system like speed cameras. There's no purpose for automatic enforcement other than revenue generation.

Police have enough to do without booking us. It was meant  to be about speed cameras, which we have an abundance of. They do  have cruise, but speed cameras often appear on roads you wouldn't use it. Mostly they are trying highlight the impact of fatigue on driving effectively and responsibly I believe. A long bow to draw, but the union likes to draw support where it can. The public surprisingly appears to have given overwhelming support  in a number of forums.

Joe Paczkowski said:

On one hand, didn't they learn after the first bunch of tickets came in? Do ambulances in Australia not come with cruise control? If you're going to speed to save time, 5 mph over isn't going to do it.

On the other hand, it sounds like this is from some sort of automatic enforcement system like speed cameras. There's no purpose for automatic enforcement other than revenue generation.

It really depends on how you use cruise control. Personally, I use cruse control fairly often, including little side streets with 25 mph limits that the police love to camp out on because if my foot is anywhere near the pedal I'll be going at least 30. Of course I'm also happy that California currently doesn't allow speed cameras and has very strict laws regarding establishing and prosecuting speed limits below the statutory maximums (basically anything under 55 or 65 depending on the road and not a school or senior zone).

Ya think, Joe?  I think maybe the purpose is to get people to slow down, and that they actually DO slow down when the system is in place.  Although I have paid my share of red light and speed camera tickets, I think that they are a valid and legitimate way to enforce traffic laws.

Joe Paczkowski said:

On one hand, didn't they learn after the first bunch of tickets came in? Do ambulances in Australia not come with cruise control? If you're going to speed to save time, 5 mph over isn't going to do it.

On the other hand, it sounds like this is from some sort of automatic enforcement system like speed cameras. There's no purpose for automatic enforcement other than revenue generation.

Skip, as usual, it really depends on where you are.

Los Angeles:

The nation's second-largest city decided Wednesday to shut down its traffic enforcement cameras because the program is losing $1.5 million a year. There also were questions about whether the tactic actually saves lives.

Denver:

The city of Denver is bringing in thousands of dollars in fines every year by ticketing people who stop at red lights. They are ticketed because their tire goes over the white line that marks where the vehicle should stop.

Dallas:

Dallas lawmakers originally estimated gross revenue of $15 million from their 62 cameras this fiscal year, which ends June 30. But City Manager Mary Suhm estimated last week that the city would fall short by more than $4 million.

So last week, the city turned off about a quarter of the least profitable cameras, saying it couldn’t justify the cost of running them.

Er, maybe it's not limited to a few cities. According to a review done in 2005 by NHTSA:

[Most studies done on cameras] appear to support a conclusion that red light cameras reduce right-angle crashes and could increase rear end crashes; however, most of the studies are tainted by methodological difficulties that would render useless any conclusions from them.

And I hope no one doubts that there is huge money in it for the companies who own and run the cameras....

And here's a list of cities that have been caught shortening yellow lights to up the number of violations, even though longer yellows have been shown to reduce red light crashes.

Wouldn't want to let a few morons, or a few crusading reporters, get in the way of a good idea!

Since both speed cameras and red light cameras are in fixed locations, how do they do anything besides ensure that those laws are obeyed elsewhere? After all, after I pass a speed camera can't I simply speed back up? Similarly, I'm not concerned about someone breaking the speed limit by 5 mph or running a red light by a tenth of a second. What to reduce red light accidents? Add a mandatory 1 or 2 second period where all directions have a red light.

If it's about safety, why are cities pulling programs because of costs?

If it's about safety, then how come cities in California are having enough trouble complying with simple state laws requiring minimum yellows, grace periods when first erected, and proper signage?

If it's about safety with speeding, how come speeding tickets are defeated in California because the local jurisdiction can't maintain their engineering traffic studies properly?

In just over 10 years of driving, I've had 3 tickets, yet no convictions. I plan on keeping it that way.

Skip Kirkwood said:

Wouldn't want to let a few morons, or a few crusading reporters, get in the way of a good idea!


Nor would we want to let a few morons in government enrich some private companies (and their own coffers) with something of dubious benefit, while we could easily lengthen yellow lights with just a few bucks per intersection (the time required for an employee to alter the timing). Now shall we discuss the research on DUI checkpoints? ;)

Disclaimer: while I no longer live in a city with red-light cameras, I've taken detours around every single DUI checkpoint I've ever seen, no matter how sober I was.



dr-exmedic said:

Disclaimer: while I no longer live in a city with red-light cameras, I've taken detours around every single DUI checkpoint I've ever seen, no matter how sober I was.

Papers please, citizen, your papers please?

Now where's the current Facebook image meme covering libertarians again?

So you just generally are hacked about the use of technology in law enforcement?

I guess I'm not - particularly if a machine can do it more cheaply than using a cop on a motorcycle with a laser, who could be doing something else, elsewhere.

It's not about the use of technology by law enforcement. It's about proper use of technology, which in this case means using it for the right reasons. If the local and state governments are using it in a manner that, at a minimum, makes it appear that revenue generation is the key point instead of safety, then I'm going to come out against it. When new enforcement options are used instead of, or in replacement of, sound traffic engineering principals (such as longer yellows or an all red period), it's hard not to say it isn't about revenue.

Granted, in California a speeding ticket for 1-15 over is $230 and a red light ticket is $430 once various penalty fees are included including court costs (regardless of whether you fight the ticket or not). Add another $70-80 for traffic school if you don't want the point. These aren't small fines out here like what is found in most of the rest of the country.

Finally, the cop on a motorcycle can do something that an automatic enforcement camera can't. Discretion.

Here at least you are meant to stop on a yellow. Not race it.
That's why we have red light/speed cameras combined. We ate saturated with cameras with hefty fines and on the whole most intersection cameras are tested monthly. It you don't want to give the government more revenue, then don't speed.
The cameras in question in the article are mostly mobile, unmarked ones. Yep they raise revenue. The locations are published weekly in major newspapers. If you still break the speed limit after that you are an idiot. The old " where are the police" argument is oft heard, but how many police do you want?Drivers need to take responsibility. If you don't then it's your wallet.
As for avoiding booze busses, we have plenty of chase cars to show that you only do that once.

Joe Paczkowski said:

It's not about the use of technology by law enforcement. It's about proper use of technology, which in this case means using it for the right reasons. If the local and state governments are using it in a manner that, at a minimum, makes it appear that revenue generation is the key point instead of safety, then I'm going to come out against it. When new enforcement options are used instead of, or in replacement of, sound traffic engineering principals (such as longer yellows or an all red period), it's hard not to say it isn't about revenue.

Granted, in California a speeding ticket for 1-15 over is $230 and a red light ticket is $430 once various penalty fees are included including court costs (regardless of whether you fight the ticket or not). Add another $70-80 for traffic school if you don't want the point. These aren't small fines out here like what is found in most of the rest of the country.

Finally, the cop on a motorcycle can do something that an automatic enforcement camera can't. Discretion.

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