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Red Light Cameras coming to an Intersection Near You

The vote to place Red Light Cameras at ten of Jacksonville?s busiest intersection passed through the city council unanimously. The cameras are scheduled to be installed by July of 2008.

Published February 25, 2008 in News      109 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

City leaders tell us the cameras will not cost the city of Jacksonville anything. They say the camera’s manufacturer will install and maintain the cameras for free, as long as the city gives them a percentage of the red light citations.

Intersections to be equipped with cameras:

  • Beach at Atlantic
  • Beach at San Pablo
  • Beach at Kernan
  • Beach at Southside
  • Beach at University
  • Beach at Saint Johns Bluff
  • Butler Blvd. at 9-A
  • Southside at Baymeadows
  • Blanding at Youngerman Circle
  • Atlantic at Kernan

Red Light Cameras remain a controversial topic. Numerous studies have shown that accidents actually increase at intersections equipped with these cameras. The problem arises when drivers make sudden stops at yellow lights for fear of recieving a citation, causing them to be struck by the car following them.

Municipalities and camera manufacturers around the country claim that these cameras improve intersection safety and generate revenue, a clear win-win for everyone involved. Is it that simple though?

The National Motorist Association opposes Red Light Cameras for the following reasons:

Objections Specific to Red-Light Cameras

Cameras do not prevent most intersection accidents.
Intersection accidents are just that, accidents. Motorists do not casually drive through red lights. More likely, they do not see a given traffic light because they are distracted, impaired, or unfamiliar with their surroundings. Even the most flagrant of red-light violators will not drive blithely into a crowded intersection, against the light. Putting cameras on poles and taking pictures will not stop these kinds of accidents.

These devices discourage the synchronization of traffic lights.
When red-light cameras are used to make money for local governments, these governments are unlikely to jeopardize this income source. This includes traffic-light synchronization, which is the elimination of unneeded lights and partial deactivation of other traffic lights during periods of low traffic. When properly done, traffic-light synchronization decreases congestion, pollution, and fuel consumption.

There are better alternatives to cameras.
If intersection controls are properly engineered, installed, and operated, there will be very few red-light violations. From the motorists' perspective, government funds should be used on improving intersections, not on ticket cameras. Even in instances where cameras were shown to decrease certain types of accidents, they increased other accidents. Simple intersection and signal improvements can have lasting positive effects, without negative consequences. Cities can choose to make intersections safer with sound traffic engineering or make money with ticket cameras. Unfortunately, many pick money over safety.

http://www.motorists.org/photoenforce/

Will Red Light Cameras increase intersection safety? Will the Jacksonville City Council be willing to review the safety results at the targeted intersections to decide whether the program has been effective and should be continued? Time will tell for sure, but be sure to get your prediction in now.  








109 Comments

JeffreyS

February 25, 2008, 09:27:53 AM
Are there going to be lights to run at butler and 9A?

Charles Hunter

February 25, 2008, 09:47:13 AM
JefferyS - there is a signal there now, but when the interchange is completed in a year (or less), the signal will go away. 
Which leads to my question - are the locations in the ordinance?  If so, because of the above, it is flawed just because of the 9A / JTB location.  If the ordinance does not specify locations, who selects them?  Also, who will pay the private property owners to rent pole space for some of these locations?  The State doesn't allow red-light cameras on state roads - so the cameras will have to be on City or private property.  Does this come out of the out-of-town company's costs before the City's share?  And how good a view of license plates will these off-site cameras have?

I do think the National Motorist Association is painting drivers with a bit of a Pollyanna brush:
Quote
Motorists do not casually drive through red lights. More likely, they do not see a given traffic light because they are distracted, impaired, or unfamiliar with their surroundings. Even the most flagrant of red-light violators will not drive blithely into a crowded intersection, against the light. Putting cameras on poles and taking pictures will not stop these kinds of accidents.

There are better alternatives to cameras.
If intersection controls are properly engineered, installed, and operated, there will be very few red-light violations.


Most motorists do not enter an intersection where the cross street traffic is already going.  But motorists do casually try to "extend the green" by being one of the three, four, or five cars that go through the "just turned" red.  The lights along State and Union are synchronized, but people still run reds there, too.  And, if drivers are that distracted, maybe  they need to get a ticket or two.

And, yes, I am very concerned about an increase in rear-end accidents (see above).

KenFSU

February 25, 2008, 09:58:56 AM
"Will Red Light Cameras increase intersection safety?"

If you're the type of person/city who puts blind faith in such questionable forms of information as "studies" and "research" and "statistics" and "historical precedent," than no. The cameras will actually increase accidents at these intersections. If you're the type of person who would rather trust more reasonable sources of information, such as a good "gut feeling", a fancy line graph or scattergram from a lobbyist, or perhaps a colorful cartoon depicting large sacks of money, then yes. The cameras make perfect sense for Jacksonville.

"Will the Jacksonville City Council be willing to review the safety results at the targeted intersections to decide whether the program has been effective and should be continued?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Once these things go up, they will only continue to spread. Accidents be damned.

It's a moneygrab, plain and simple, and if ever seriously challenged, I doubt it would be able to hold up in court.

Lunican

February 25, 2008, 10:35:20 AM
The red light camera lobby seems to like to include a video of a car running a red light and crashing as part of their "success" story, but that seems like a major failure to me. It didn't do a thing to prevent the accident. It's just on video now.

midnightblackrx

February 25, 2008, 12:27:38 PM
You know it's a money grabber when the manufacturer of the cams only charge a percentage of profits from tickets. 

DemocraticNole

February 25, 2008, 09:32:06 PM
These cameras will never make it up without a change in Florida law. Currently, red light cameras are not legal under Florida law. This is due to the statutory requirement that a police officer be a witness to a traffic violation. From reading Gov. Crist's comments in the past, it doesn't sound like they are going to approve a law change. So if the City of Jacksonville is dumb enough to install these cameras and ticket someone, they will be paying those people back once a lawsuit is initiated.

Lunican

February 25, 2008, 09:34:55 PM
The city can install them and issue tickets that are equivalent to parking tickets, but they can not issue traffic violations. Also, the cameras can not be on FDOT right of way so they will need to find a spot off the roadway to mount them.

hybern8

February 26, 2008, 04:18:27 PM
     I am fine with the red light cameras, but I do not think the City's Civil Engineers are really doing their job.  In my opinion the red light camera is only another method of shifting blame away from the city and saying let's blame the motorist.   Sure it will slow some down and make them think twice. The City of Jacksonville is growing and these cameras are not the cure.  We need the Civil Engineers to step outside of the box and find better solutions for moving traffic and keep it moving safely.
     I ride my bicycle just about every day and it would be fair it is really unsafe to ride a bicycle through some of the intersections in the Southside area.  I complained to a JSO Deputy one day about not being able to cross an intersection.  The Deputy's response:  "Find a different route."  Motorist are not stopping when the pedestrian walk light changes to white.  Then only 5 seconds later the pedestrian walk light changes to flashing red.  After a total of 10 Seconds the pedestrian walk light is red.  We are talking about a 4 lane road.  Most people cannot cross the intersection in 10 seconds especially when traffic will not stop or yield to pedestrians or bicyclist.
     I am not expert in this subject matter but I can tell you somebody is not doing their job.
     I have one question for the City of Jacksonville and the answer had better be "Yes!":  Are all city and state employees and vehicles subject to fines as well? 
     I have seen several city vehicles including JSO off duty Deputies run the lights.    I have no problem with Fire and Ambulance equipment running the lights, but off duty deputies and all civil employees should not be exempt.   If they are exempt they are violating ethics by abusing their position and power.  The city and state should be keeping track of who has possession of each vehicle.  If they cannot find the person responsible then they should force the responsible agency to pay up anyway.  Fair is fair.
     Civil Engineers, no offense but you can do better than this.  If you need to travel to other cities to see what they are doing then just do it and bill the City.  I like riding my bicycle in Jacksonville but I hate crossing your intersections.  Please improve this.  It is pathetic.

jp

June 08, 2008, 01:49:38 PM
On weekdays drivers run the red light at University Blvd. & Philips Highway at least once every five minutes. Why no camera at that intersection?

gatorback

June 08, 2008, 05:52:53 PM
Austin's 2nd. RLC when on line this past week I'm pretty sure.  Funny that they are letting the public do the rolling (california Stops).  If you don't slow down to a "Walking pace" you get the ticket turning right.  Wow.  What is Jacksonville's policy?  They need to state it.

Midway

June 14, 2008, 09:23:49 AM
     I am fine with the red light cameras, but I do not think the City's Civil Engineers are really doing their job.  In my opinion the red light camera is only another method of shifting blame away from the city and saying let's blame the motorist.   Sure it will slow some down and make them think twice. The City of Jacksonville is growing and these cameras are not the cure.  We need the Civil Engineers to step outside of the box and find better solutions for moving traffic and keep it moving safely.
     I ride my bicycle just about every day and it would be fair it is really unsafe to ride a bicycle through some of the intersections in the Southside area.  I complained to a JSO Deputy one day about not being able to cross an intersection.  The Deputy's response:  "Find a different route."  Motorist are not stopping when the pedestrian walk light changes to white.  Then only 5 seconds later the pedestrian walk light changes to flashing red.  After a total of 10 Seconds the pedestrian walk light is red.  We are talking about a 4 lane road.  Most people cannot cross the intersection in 10 seconds especially when traffic will not stop or yield to pedestrians or bicyclist.
     I am not expert in this subject matter but I can tell you somebody is not doing their job.
     I have one question for the City of Jacksonville and the answer had better be "Yes!":  Are all city and state employees and vehicles subject to fines as well? 
     I have seen several city vehicles including JSO off duty Deputies run the lights.    I have no problem with Fire and Ambulance equipment running the lights, but off duty deputies and all civil employees should not be exempt.   If they are exempt they are violating ethics by abusing their position and power.  The city and state should be keeping track of who has possession of each vehicle.  If they cannot find the person responsible then they should force the responsible agency to pay up anyway.  Fair is fair.
     Civil Engineers, no offense but you can do better than this.  If you need to travel to other cities to see what they are doing then just do it and bill the City.  I like riding my bicycle in Jacksonville but I hate crossing your intersections.  Please improve this.  It is pathetic.


They are not civil engineers. They are known as Traffic Engineers, and I doubt that COJ has any on staff. They probably just hire consulting traffic engineering firms when the intersections are initially designed and then forget about it, unless there are an inordinate number of traffic related deaths at a particular location.

gatorback

June 14, 2008, 09:28:22 AM
No they are more then that.  Why don't you have somebody explain it to you  because you apparently cannot read.

No, i don't know how to read. Would you read it to me?

RiversideGator

June 14, 2008, 04:04:58 PM
They are not civil engineers. They are known as Traffic Engineers, and I doubt that COJ has any on staff. They probably just hire consulting traffic engineering firms when the intersections are initially designed and then forget about it, unless there are an inordinate number of traffic related deaths at a particular location.

Are you a traffic engineer now?   ???

Midway

June 14, 2008, 10:13:18 PM
See your national politics thread.

You two try to be normal in public.

Charles Hunter

June 14, 2008, 10:50:09 PM
The city does have Traffic Engineers.  The City Traffic Engineering Dept. was abolished in the last Reorganization du Jour by the Little Prince, but the engineers are still there, in the Traffic Operations section (department, something).

I called to complain about State/Union being out of sync last week, and they said something had gone wrong, but it should be fixed by the end of the week.  Last time I went that way, Friday, it seemed back to normal.

M104

June 26, 2008, 02:31:12 AM
These cameras will never make it up without a change in Florida law. Currently, red light cameras are not legal under Florida law. This is due to the statutory requirement that a police officer be a witness to a traffic violation. From reading Gov. Crist's comments in the past, it doesn't sound like they are going to approve a law change. So if the City of Jacksonville is dumb enough to install these cameras and ticket someone, they will be paying those people back once a lawsuit is initiated.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled them illegal:
http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/news.asp?ID=1688&m=print

Gov. Crist says their illegal, even when moved to a civil infraction:
http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/news.asp?ID=1688&m=print

Unfortunately, due the falling State and local budgets, cash strapped schools that in some states reap a large percentage of "fines" are pushing for red-light cameras:
http://www.motorists.org/blog/red-light-cameras/local-school-board-wants-ticket-camera-cash/

The NMA suggests the below instead and has independent and State (e.g., Virginia, AAA of Michigan, North Carolina, etc.) sanctioned studies that refute the usefulness of red-light cameras in reducing red-light runners or accidents:
http://www.motorists.org/photoenforce/home/alternatives-to-red-light-cameras/
http://www.motorists.org/photoenforce/home/studies/

Also the “Stop Red Light Running” Exposed As Corporate Lobbying Group:
http://www.motorists.org/blog/red-light-cameras/stop-red-light-running-exposed-as-corporate-lobbying-group-2/

What a piece of ill-conceived legislation!

blizz01

June 26, 2008, 08:41:44 AM
OK, so to clarify, upon running the light (oops) @ Baymeadows & Southside this week, I need not worry about a subsequent "nastygram"/fine coming in the mail?  Are those cameras active?  Are they just to monitor for traffic flow/accidents?

Charles Hunter

June 26, 2008, 09:42:00 PM
If one of the streets is a state owned road (and both Baymeadows and Southside are), and you see cameras mounted on the signal poles, they are not red-light running cameras.  State law does not allow them on state roads.  I'm guessing those are something to do with controlling the traffic lights... or something.

When (if) the city does get around to putting up Red Light Cameras on state roads (and if I remember from the list, most of the selected intersections include at least one state owned road), they will have to put them on a city street or private property, somewhere near the intersection.

Lunican

June 26, 2008, 10:37:17 PM
Is the city really setting a good example by doing some questionable things to circumvent state law? I think I remember a Peyton sound byte, on another topic, where he insists that he will follow the letter and the spirit of the law.

Charles Hunter

June 27, 2008, 06:44:57 AM
Isn't it about The Revenue, didn't the camera vendor promise the City a revenue stream from these enforcement cameras?

BridgeTroll

June 27, 2008, 07:33:42 AM
Reading through this thread it seems like most here do not think that red light running in Jax is not a serious problem... WOW.  It is a huge problem and getting worse.  It is no longer one person "extending a green"... at most major intersections there are entire parades of cars blatantly running through reds.  This seems to occur most often for people turning left on a green arrow.  Not only is it a hazard for oncoming traffic but it is a huge danger for pedestrians and bicyclists.  In addition... the runners are disrupting the traffic flow for everybody else at the intersection.

Running the red is pure and simply... selfish.  Be on the lookout for me... I stop for yellow...

gatorback

June 27, 2008, 12:45:44 PM
If it's such a huge problem why doesn't JSO address this issue?

BridgeTroll

June 27, 2008, 05:23:25 PM
JSO???  Today... at a light... uniformed cop in marked car besides me.  Left hand turners parade past as our light turned green.  Atleast four of em... JSO could have easily turned right and pulled the last runner over.  Nope... JSO??  Hell... I see them doing it too!

Lunican

March 12, 2009, 02:59:34 PM
Were these cameras ever installed?

gatorback

March 13, 2009, 08:09:20 PM
BT: That is so one of my buttons.  Moral Anger.  They should be held to a higher standard then my dad.  Does JSO have that walking speed policy where you don't get a ticket if your slow down to a walking pace? Austin did it.

Lunican

December 02, 2009, 06:51:32 PM
Quote
Jacksonville awaits green light for red-light cameras

Red-light cameras were supposed to come to Jacksonville in 2007. That plan was indefinitely delayed when a City Hall lawyer determined that installing cameras at some of the major traffic intersections might violate Florida law.

Now, the possibility of installing the cameras might be coming back — if the Legislature can pass a law that would allow them on state right-of-ways.

Last month two Bradenton Republicans, Rep. Ron Reagan  and Sen. Mike Bennett,  introduced a bill that would do just that. The bill will be considered in next year’s legislative session and would allow cities and counties to install cameras that would photograph the license plates of cars and mail fines to the owners.

“If this passes, we can finally enforce the law we passed two years ago,” said City Councilman Stephen Joost,  who voted to allow the cameras in 2007.

After the city voted for the cameras, Howard Maltz,  deputy general counsel, recommended an indefinite delay because it was not clear if state law allowed it. Maltz feared the city would be sued if the cameras were installed.

That opinion was not shared by everyone. State law does not expressly allow or prohibit the cameras, and Orlando installed them this year — after its attorneys approved — joining at least 21 other Florida cities.

Maltz, though, said he stands by his opinion. A class-action suit filed this year is pending against Orlando and the other Florida cities and counties that have installed them, and Minneapolis just settled a class-action lawsuit for $2 million over its cameras.

“Considering the budget issues now facing the city, I don’t think this was a legal risk the city wanted to take,” Maltz said. He said attorneys in the class-action suit even contacted him to see if Jacksonville had installed the cameras.

However, the city supports the legislation proposed by Reagan and Bennett, Maltz said.
The Florida Department of Transportation has said it will not allow cameras in right-of-way areas on state roads unless and until there is a state law that specifically permits them.

Similar legislation has been introduced several times over the last few years, Reagan said, and the idea has wide support. But there have been and continue to be disagreements over who gets to keep the fine money. His bill splits the difference between state and local governments.


“A lot of local governments think they should get it all, and there are some people in the state legislature that think the state should get more than half,” Reagan said. “But hopefully this is a compromise that can work.”

Rep. Audrey Gibson,  D-Jacksonville, said the bill had a good chance of passing.

“It’s an idea that’s worthy of support,” she said. “I can tell you that a lot of people run the red light right outside my office in Jacksonville, so something needs to be done.”

Gibson said she thought the local governments should get most of the fine money, but could accept the bill Reagan has submitted.

“The state’s facing a budget deficit, and that money will be awfully tempting to some people when we try to balance the budget,” Gibson said.

Rep. Lake Ray,  R-Jacksonville, said he would support the bill but was cautious.

“The issue of who gets the money tends to complicate issues like this,” he said.
The effectiveness of red-light cameras is still being debated.

A 2008 University of South Florida study found that they increase accidents because drivers are more likely to come to a sudden stop, causing rear-end crashes. But the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety argues that national studies have found a 20 percent decrease in the most dangerous crashes, and a slight decrease in rear-end crashes.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-12-02/story/jacksonville_awaits_green_light_for_red_light_cameras

urbanlibertarian

December 02, 2009, 07:42:20 PM
From the CBS affiliate in LA: http://cbs2.com/goldstein/Red.Light.Cameras.2.1301941.html

Do Cameras Make Intersections More Dangerous?
Map: Frequency Of Accidents At Intersections With Red-Light Cameras
Reporting
David Goldstein
LOS ANGELES (CBS) ―

    Los Angeles presently has 32 intersections with active red-light cameras.

    * Map: Frequency Of Accidents At Intersections With Red-Light Cameras

Videos, provided to us by companies that sell red-light camera systems, show gruesome accidents and red light violators caught on tape. It is images like these that sell cities on the use of red light cameras.

The pitch is that these cameras will increase safety and reduce accidents. Also, the cities will make some money on the side at more than $400 a ticket!

In Los Angeles the LAPD claims accidents are down after they installed cameras, but are they telling the whole truth or just trying to make money off motorists?

We crunched the numbers and the results may surprise you.

"Your data is shocking to me," Sherman Ellison said.

Ellison is a ticket attorney and part time judge, who believes the cameras are there for one reason.

"No question. Purely a revenue generating device," Ellison said.

Is it money or safety? We wanted to know actual numbers of accidents at red light camera intersections to see if they really went down.

When we asked, the LAPD became very defensive. The sergeant in charge told me in an e-mail, "The city would hope that it is the goal of KCBS/KCAL to discuss the positive aspects of the photo red light program."

So we filed a public records request. The department charged us more than $500 for a computer run. When we got the numbers back, they told a different story.

We looked at every accident at every red light camera intersection for six months of data before the cameras were installed and six months after.

The final figures? Twenty of the 32 intersections show accidents up after the cameras were installed! Three remained the same and only nine intersections showed accidents decreasing.

At Manchester Avenue and Figueroa Street, accidents more than tripled from five before the cameras were installed to 16 afterwards. Westwood Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard tripled from three to nine. At Rodeo Road and La Brea Avenue, collisions nearly tripled from seven in the six months before the cameras were installed to 20 in the same period afterwards.

The reason?

"People see the light flash and they slam on their brakes," Ellison said. "That's just human nature. As a result, more accidents, more rear end accidents."

That's what happened to Dale Stephens, who knew the yellow light up ahead had a camera.

"Because I had that in the back of my mind I knew I had to stop. And it's so expensive to get a ticket I knew I had to stop. Well they had no inclination to stop," Stephens said.

"They" are the two cars that hit him from behind.

David Goldstein: "Do you think the red light camera caused the accident?"

Dale Stephens: "Yes, definitely."

He's not alone. Study after study show that red-light cameras can actually cause accidents and some cities are taking notice.

Montclaire, Upland, El Monte and Fullerton all discontinued red-light cameras in part because of accidents. Huntington Beach broke its contract before it even officially began.

"There are quite a few studies out there that will show an increase in rear end accidents in these intersections," a spokesperson from the Huntington Beach Police said.

David Goldstein: "And that wasn't acceptable?"

"No, not as part of the total package."

"The use of red light cameras actually put the public at a greater risk," said University of South Florida professor, Dr. John Large.

Dr. Large looked at all the studies and came to one conclusion.

"Our opinion is that there is quite a lot of money to be made with the use of these cameras," Dr. John Large said.

Los Angeles made over $4 million in 2008 on violators caught on red light cameras.

But the LAPD says it is safety, not money. They say accidents are down. They showed me statistics putting the drop at nearly 34 percent.

But they only count collisions caused by someone going through the red light, not by rear end accidents or any others at an intersection.

"It would be improper to draw a correlation between all accidents going up and the red light cameras," a spokesperson from the LAPD said.

"We need the overall picture," Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine said.

Councilman Zine says all accidents should be evaluated. He had been told accidents were down due to the cameras and didn't know the LAPD was excluding many collisions until I told him.

"If that's the case, we need to re-evaluate this program if in fact we are having more collisions," Councilman Zine said.

He says he will take the issue to the City Council because the contract for the cameras is up soon. And if they conclude, as we did, that accidents are up, the red light cameras may soon be coming down.

Map: Frequency Of Accidents At Intersections With Red-Light Cameras


(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

urbanlibertarian

December 02, 2009, 07:52:42 PM
From USF Health: http://hscweb3.hsc.usf.edu/health/now/?p=404

Public Health Researchers Take Closer Look at Red-light Cameras

Posted By abaier On March 11, 2008 @ 11:43 am In College of Public Health, Press Releases, Research Really Matters | Comments Disabled

    - Public Health Researchers Take A Closer Look @ Cameras & Traffic Lights. Researchers recommend engineering solutions to improve intersection safety -

Tampa, FL (March 11, 2008) -- Rather than improving motorist safety, red-light cameras significantly increase crashes and are a ticket to higher auto insurance premiums, researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health conclude. The effective remedy to red-light running uses engineering solutions to improve intersection safety, which is particularly important to Florida’s elderly drivers, the researchers recommend.

The report was published this month in the Florida Public Health Review, the online journal of the college and the Florida Public Health Association.

    "The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don’t work,” said lead author Barbara Langland-Orban, professor and chair of health policy and management at the USF College of Public Health.

“Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections. If used in Florida, cameras could potentially create even worse outcomes due to the state’s high percent of elderly who are more likely to be injured or killed when a crash occurs.”

Red-light cameras photograph violators who are then sent tickets in the mail. Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously agreed earlier this month to install the cameras at several major intersections in the county. The devices could be adopted by more cities and counties if Florida legislators pave the way by changing a state law this spring.

The USF report highlights trends in red-light running in Florida, summarizes major studies, and analyzes the automobile insurance industry’s financial interest in cameras. Among the findings:

• Traffic fatalities caused by red-light running are not increasing in Florida and account for less than 4 percent of the state’s yearly traffic deaths. In contrast, more than 22 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities occur at intersections for reasons other than red-light running.

    • The injury rate from red-light running crashes has dropped by a third in less than a decade, indicating red-light running crashes have been continually declining in Florida without the use of cameras.

• Comprehensive studies from North Carolina, Virginia, and Ontario have all reported cameras are significantly associated with increases in crashes, as well as crashes involving injuries. The study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council also found that cameras were linked to increased crash costs.

• Some studies that conclude cameras reduced crashes or injuries contained major “research design flaws,” such as incomplete data or inadequate analyses, and were conducted by researchers with links to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS, funded by automobile insurance companies, is the leading advocate for red-light cameras. Insurers can profit from red-light cameras, since their revenues will increase when higher premiums are charged due to the crash and citation increase, the researchers say.

Langland-Orban said the findings have been known for some time. She cites a 2001 paper by the Office of the Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, reporting that red-light cameras are “a hidden tax levied on motorists.” The report concluded cameras are associated with increased crashes, the timings at yellow lights are often set too short to increase tickets for red-light running, and most research concluding cameras are effective was conducted by one researcher from the IIHS. Since then, studies independent of the automobile insurance industry continue to find cameras are associated with large increases in crashes.

    Red-light running can be reduced by engineering improvements that address factors such as signal visibility and timings, wet roads and traffic flow, the USF researchers say.

The researchers suggest local governments follow the state’s lead in designing roads and improving intersections to accommodate elderly drivers, which would ultimately benefit all drivers.

Etienne Pracht, PhD, and John Large, PhD, were the other authors of the USF public policy report. To view the report -- Red-Light Running Cameras: Would Crashes, Injuries and Automobile Insurance Rates Increase If They Are Used in Florida? -- visit [1] http://hsc.usf.edu/publichealth/fphr/

- USF Health -

USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With $308 million in research funding last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of Florida’s top three research universities.

- News release by Anne DeLotto Baier/USF Health Communications

reednavy

May 14, 2010, 05:22:23 PM
Watch out over the coming months.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/23549395/detail.html

Jaxson

May 15, 2010, 10:45:09 AM
I agree with the previous poster about a potential increase in rear end collisions.  I bet that there will be a lot more people slamming on their brakes when the light turns yellow.  In this economy, people don't want to risk paying such a steep fine.

jandar

May 15, 2010, 10:47:26 AM
Well, not a ticket, just a fine. They cannot issue points on your license. A police officer/state trooper/etc has to be there to issue points.

Bad thing, if you let someone drive your car and they run a red light, you will get the fine in the mail.

Now, the legal issues with this:
Not all lights are timed the same, and in many cities, the city has reworked the lights to shorten the yellow cycle.
http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit/

http://autos.aol.com/article/short-yellow-lights-revenue/
Quote
In one case the length of a yellow light in El Paso was shortened by just a four-tenths of a second and citations jumped by 132%. In another case, a yellow light at a 45-mph intersection in Houston that lasted 3.6 seconds rang up 341% more tickets than the yellow lights at other, similar 45-mph intersections.

Some roads are governed by US rules, others by FDOT rules. Some lights have to be a minimum of 3.0 seconds for yellow, and 4.0 on some Florida roads.


Found the FDOT manual with regards to yellow light cycles:
http://www.dot.state.fl.us/trafficoperations/Operations/PDFs/Traffic_Engineering_Manual_February_2010.pdf
Chapter 3, Section 6, Page 2 (or page 145 in PDF)
They take the ITE and round it up to the next 0.5 seconds (so 3.2 becomes 3.5)
30Mph or less = 3.5
35 = 4.0
40 = 4.0
45 = 4.3
50 = 4.7
55 = 5.0
60 = 5.4
65 = 5.8

Time the lights yourself, I bet many are off to begin with.

gatorback

July 21, 2010, 12:26:06 AM
Better yet. Stop when they are red.

CS Foltz

July 21, 2010, 07:03:10 AM
Just one more avenue for revenue plain and simple!

tufsu1

July 21, 2010, 08:03:31 AM
Just one more avenue for revenue plain and simple!

or possibly safety?

gatorback

July 21, 2010, 09:32:40 AM
No. It's for the income. But, you can let other people foot the bill if you just STOP at Red lights.

jbroadglide

July 21, 2010, 09:44:16 AM
Gotta go along with gatorback on this. I don't have a problem with these cameras. Whether it increases safety or adds additional revenue..don't run a red light and you won't have a problem. Pretty simple.

reednavy

July 21, 2010, 09:51:40 AM
Yes it is mostly for income, but if people know that it is a camera monitored intersection, they're much less likely to run the signal.

Jaxson

July 21, 2010, 09:52:05 AM
I am going to avoid driving through those intersections.  Even if I stop when I think that I am supposed to, I am not too sure that the guy/gal behind me will or will not plow into me...

KenFSU

April 06, 2012, 09:52:12 AM
Quote
http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-04-05/story/red-light-cameras-are-go-25-places-around-jacksonville
 
After years of legislative and judicial dawdling over them, red light cameras are poised to come to Jacksonville this year.

The city is in negotiations with Redflex Traffic Systems of Arizona to install and operate cameras on at least 25 approaches to intersections identified by police as dangerous.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith refused to comment on details such as exact cost or proposed camera locations until the negotiations are completed.

Smith did say that although citation payments will be made directly to Redflex, infractions will be controlled by the Sheriff's Office.

"Every ticket will be reviewed by a police officer," she said.

They can view three photos that include a close-up of the car's license plate and high-quality video.

Although there are no final numbers yet, the proposal Redflex submitted last year — chosen over three others — cited a monthly cost to the city of $3,999 per camera.

That fee would cover installation, operation, maintenance and administrative costs. Any citation money over the $3,999 would be split roughly in half between the city and the state.

Additionally, Redflex's proposal promises that if in any month the cameras fail to generate at least $3,999, the city would pay only the actual revenue received.

A number of California cities have dropped red-light cameras this year, many with Redflex, citing less-than-promised revenues. In Green Cove Springs, though, the only red-light cameras in Northeast Florida — with a different company — generated more than $350,000 for the city in their first nine months last year.

State law sets the minimum penalty at $158. Motorists can sign an affidavit claiming one of a few exemptions, such as if the vehicle was stolen or part of a funeral procession, or they may request a hearing before a local judge. There are no driver's license points.

The Redflex proposal also calls for a 30-day grace period after the cameras are installed. Drivers who run a red light and are caught on camera during that time will be sent a "courtesy notice" with no fine, instead of an actual notice of infraction, for the purpose of raising awareness.

The controversial cameras have been the subject of legal challenges in other Florida counties and around the country.

For years in Florida, the cameras operated in a legal gray area. State law neither allowed nor prohibited their installation by municipalities until July 2010, when a law allowed installation on state-owned rights of way. Motorists' rights groups, including AAA, vigorously opposed the bill.

Jacksonville approved the cameras in December 2007, when the City Council unanimously voted to allow them. The same ordinance also authorizes the use of speed-enforcement cameras, but both were on hold pending state law.

Only eight members who voted in favor of the ordinance remain in the current council, but support remains strong.

"We can't have a policeman at every corner," said Councilman Matt Schellenberg, elected in 2011. "This is part of a complete set of tools that police can and should implement."

"It's not going to completely eliminate it, but people might think twice before going through a red light if they might get caught."

The cameras have caused legal headaches in some of the jurisdictions that have installed them.

In February, a Pasco County judge ruled the cameras there unconstitutional, saying Florida's law unjustly shifts the burden of proof onto defendants and by doing so, fails to meet due process requirements. On the other hand, in July 2011, a Broward County judge found the cameras constitutional.

Regardless, Smith said Sheriff John Rutherford hopes to have the system in place and running by September.

Currently, only Green Cove Springs has cameras operating in Northeast Florida.

Get ready for rear end collisions at red lights to skyrocket.

In cash strapped times, there's nothing like seeing your tax dollars used against you.

Doctor_K

April 06, 2012, 09:55:27 AM
I'm assuming the city gets a kick back, since the citation is made directly to the vendor and not the city?

Weird.

fsujax

April 06, 2012, 09:56:52 AM
The City of LA decided to get rid of theirs and we add them.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/los-angeles-red-light-camera-program-to-end-.html

cline

April 06, 2012, 09:58:04 AM
The article states that the money received from citations would go to cover the cost of the monthly operation of the camera ($3,999).  Anything over that would be split between the city and state.

KenFSU

April 06, 2012, 10:07:33 AM
The City of LA decided to get rid of theirs and we add them.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/los-angeles-red-light-camera-program-to-end-.html


Minneapolis did the same thing, and actually refunded nearly $3 million to motorists for red light tickets.

cline

April 06, 2012, 10:11:12 AM
Well at least we can be like the bustling metropolis of Phenix City, Alabama.  Strive for greatness.

http://www2.wrbl.com/news/2012/apr/02/red-light-cameras-could-be-coming-phenix-city-ar-3530446/

fsujax

April 06, 2012, 10:12:20 AM
or Green Cove Springs! woohoo.....

KenFSU

April 06, 2012, 10:12:26 AM
The article states that the money received from citations would go to cover the cost of the monthly operation of the camera ($3,999).  Anything over that would be split between the city and state.

So with 25 cameras (a number that will surely increase), we're talking about $100,000 per month being taken out of the pockets of Jacksonville citizens and leaving our local economy for good.

It's a cash grab, plain and simple.

I sincerely hope that some of our more enterprising local rednecks dust off their shotguns and blow these things to pieces.

cline

April 06, 2012, 11:17:39 AM
Yes, 4k per month to operate one camera seems excessive.

ChriswUfGator

April 06, 2012, 11:24:07 AM
These should be easy to beat. Regardless of what their silly contract says, as with anything else, the burden is on the state to show the person they cited committed the infraction, not just their vehicle. If these are like most of the camera systems, they just snap shots of the license plate, which doesn't cut it. Of course, over $100-whatever dollars, almost nobody will challenge it, I guess that's what they're banking on.

BridgeTroll

April 06, 2012, 11:31:05 AM
Is redlight running an issue?  How many pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, not to mention autos are affected by redlight scofflaws?  From my perspective... redlights today seem to be almost a "suggestion"... rather than something to be obeyed.  Left and right turners are the most frequent violators.  Left turn signal turns red and you can count 3-4 autos continuing through though the light has been red for a long time.  People turning right almost never stop.  ???

Tacachale

April 06, 2012, 11:48:15 AM
It's amazing that they ever kept the roads safe before red light cameras and radar and unmarked cars. Oh wait, they did just fine...

Sounds like a "Kafka tax" - busting people for infractions of bewildering, inscrutable minor rules, and using it to generate revenue.

aclchampion

April 06, 2012, 11:56:01 AM
Is redlight running an issue?  How many pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, not to mention autos are affected by redlight scofflaws?  From my perspective... redlights today seem to be almost a "suggestion"... rather than something to be obeyed.  Left and right turners are the most frequent violators.  Left turn signal turns red and you can count 3-4 autos continuing through though the light has been red for a long time.  People turning right almost never stop.  ???
BridgeTroll I think you just answered your own question. If 3-4 autos continue through a red light after its turned and if red lights are just a suggestion rather than a law, then yes I think it is an issue. I'm guess I'm going to be in the minority here when i say bring the cameras on. Don't run the red light and you have nothing to be concerned about.

ChriswUfGator

April 06, 2012, 12:02:24 PM
Fine, bring the cameras on, lol.

I just ordered mine 5 minutes ago...

http://loover.com/looverdetails.htm

Muahahahaa

BridgeTroll

April 06, 2012, 12:45:10 PM
It's amazing that they ever kept the roads safe before red light cameras and radar and unmarked cars. Oh wait, they did just fine...

Sounds like a "Kafka tax" - busting people for infractions of bewildering, inscrutable minor rules, and using it to generate revenue.

I think the answer is... once upon a time... in an era long long ago... people generally obeyed stop signals and speed limits.  Now... they are disobeyed with regularity.  It is the norm... not the exception.  So many of us look to European solutions to American problems...   red light cameras AND radar cameras are being used extensively in Europe and Asia.  If they are a good enough model for healthcare... they certainly should be looked at for traffic enforcement...

KenFSU

April 06, 2012, 01:26:25 PM
All about safety, right?

 ::)

Quote
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10458570-71.html

Shorter yellow lights boost red-light camera revenue

Some cities have reportedly found a new way to make money out of red-light cameras. They are shortening the time that the yellow light is on.
 
The annals of capitalism are full of ingenious money-making ruses.

These are the kinds of things that have the potential to turn you into an ax assaulter. My favorite has always been ticket Web sites that charge you a convenience fee when the convenience is actually being delivered by something they don't own--it's called the Web.

There may, however, now be a new capitalist champion of gall. According to AlterNet, some of the more enterprising and caring cities of the United States have used their almost limitless brains to increase the revenues they accrue from red-light cameras.

Are they placing strategically undressed out-of-work pole dancers around the traffic light poles to encourage a little untimely accelerator pressure? No, they're shortening the time that the yellow light is on.

This is almost as clever as the iPod. It's so simple. It's so effortless. Surely they will charge a convenience fee just for privilege of being caught by a yellow light that is there one second and magically gone the next.

You will, I am sure, be wondering if your own city is one of the progressive urbanities that has taken this positive step toward whipping red-light-running humanity. Well, according to the National Motorists Association, these six cities have been cited as reducing the yellow light duration: Dallas, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Springfield, Missouri; Lubbock, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Union City, Calif. The question now is how many more might have joined the fold of the enlightened.

I know some of you will be concerned that red-light cameras don't actually slow people down. I know that speed readers among you will point to evidence that these cameras might cause more accidents.

Others of you (anarchists, no doubt) will tell me that in Seattle some cameras might even be illegally situated.

Several of you might even want to scream that in 15 states, red-light cameras are prohibited under state law. Well, I will tell you that one of those states is Utah and we all know that many entirely bizarro things go on in Utah.

No, shortening yellow lights is thunderously exciting news.

So what if Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists Association, told AlterNet that "the larger issue today is that the duration of so many yellow lights has never been adequately set for optimal safety results. An increase of approximately one second can reduce the frequency of red-light-running by at least 50 percent."

And so very, very what if he added: "The kind of red-light running that causes the serious broadside accidents touted by the camera companies are those where the vehicles enter the intersection three seconds or more after red."

Can we really trust engineers and people with large analytical brains to decide how long yellow lights should be illuminated at different intersections? Politicians have always made better decisions than engineers. You only need to look at their personal lives to realize that.

No, people are merely slightly glorified animals. People in cars, even less slightly. They only understand absolutes, not gray areas. Come to think of it, why have yellow lights at all? Let's just go from green to red. Then it'll be even easier to catch the bad guys.

It's like waterboarding. You just know it works, right?

KenFSU

April 06, 2012, 01:38:22 PM
P.S. I strongly agree with the statement that I bolded in the above article. Yellow lights are very hard to read in this city, and most seem too short. The best interpretation, on average, seems to be STOP IMMEDIATELY. I like to consider myself a fairly safe, responsible driver, but at least a few times I year I find myself, with no bad intentions, accidentally running a red light because of it.

Traffic patterns are going to take a major hit if people are afraid of yellow lights, and rear end collisions are going to become a real problem if you see people slamming on their brakes because they are afraid of getting a ticket.

Here's a question for proponents:

It's just rained, and the roads are slick. You're driving the speed limit on Beach Boulevard and you've got an obnoxious tailgater driving too close to you from behind. 75 yards ahead, the light turns yellow.

What do you do?

thekillingwax

April 06, 2012, 07:03:19 PM
I remember reading in some states that these citations weren't even valid because they're mailed out- something about them not being binding because they can't prove that you've received them. Is that the case here?

I'm a pretty awesome driver, I think I've been under one light that's converted to red, that's about it but I totally understand people's fear about these things. I was on San Jose at the Baymeadows intersection a couple of weeks ago and a minivan slammed on their brakes for a yellow light and the suv behind them hit them so hard that it knocked the van well into the path of the oncoming turn lane. Stuff like that's going to become a much more common sight. And I don't care what the company says, they do shorten the length of yellow lights- I've been at the ones in orlando and they are insanely quick- like 2-3 seconds. That's dangerous as hell.

Dog Walker

April 07, 2012, 08:27:32 AM
P.S. I strongly agree with the statement that I bolded in the above article. Yellow lights are very hard to read in this city, and most seem too short. The best interpretation, on average, seems to be STOP IMMEDIATELY. I like to consider myself a fairly safe, responsible driver, but at least a few times I year I find myself, with no bad intentions, accidentally running a red light because of it.

Traffic patterns are going to take a major hit if people are afraid of yellow lights, and rear end collisions are going to become a real problem if you see people slamming on their brakes because they are afraid of getting a ticket.

Here's a question for proponents:

It's just rained, and the roads are slick. You're driving the speed limit on Beach Boulevard and you've got an obnoxious tailgater driving too close to you from behind. 75 yards ahead, the light turns yellow.

What do you do?

Properly calculated, yellow light durations are based on the speed limit on that particular road.  If you are driving over the speed limit they are going to feel too short.  Drive the speed limit and you will find it easy to stop.....unless of course they have fiddled the yellow durations to raise revenue.

Adam W

April 07, 2012, 11:22:27 AM
Is redlight running an issue?  How many pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, not to mention autos are affected by redlight scofflaws?  From my perspective... redlights today seem to be almost a "suggestion"... rather than something to be obeyed.  Left and right turners are the most frequent violators.  Left turn signal turns red and you can count 3-4 autos continuing through though the light has been red for a long time.  People turning right almost never stop.  ???

I think it's gotten worse, from what I can tell. In certain places (like the St Johns town centre), you'll see multiple cars run red lights. Constantly.

I don't understand the opposition to cameras. I think they're a good idea. That said, if they aren't legal, then it seems like a waste of money.

ChriswUfGator

April 07, 2012, 11:53:29 AM
Is redlight running an issue?  How many pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, not to mention autos are affected by redlight scofflaws?  From my perspective... redlights today seem to be almost a "suggestion"... rather than something to be obeyed.  Left and right turners are the most frequent violators.  Left turn signal turns red and you can count 3-4 autos continuing through though the light has been red for a long time.  People turning right almost never stop.  ???

I think it's gotten worse, from what I can tell. In certain places (like the St Johns town centre), you'll see multiple cars run red lights. Constantly.

I don't understand the opposition to cameras. I think they're a good idea. That said, if they aren't legal, then it seems like a waste of money.

Aren't legal and waste of money are two different things really. Almost nobody challenges the tickets, so it's basically a non-issue, it's uneconomic for most people to take a day off work and go to traffic court cattle call to challenge a $100 ticket, the only reason anybody does it is to protect their license or insurance rates, neither of which is an issue here where these tickets don't assess points. And there is a logic to that, it's to remove the incentive to challenge them.

The money front is a little more complicated, there is a pretty good 10 year history of the two companies that control this industry (including the one installing the cameras in Jacksonville) ripping off the municipalities they deal with. They'll come into a new area, set up with one or two small towns first and let them make money, then use that as an example to land bigger fish. Then the large cities wind up getting byzantine accounting statements and million-dollar bills due under the contracts. California has pretty much had the ballgame with it, these things usually wind up costing money when it's supposed to be the other way around.

And there is some pretty good data that the cameras actually result in a net safety decrease because the severity and frequency of sudden-stop rear end collisions shoots up at the intersections where these are installed (people slamming on the brakes, afraid of a ticket) and this can easily outweigh the reduction in intersectional accidents. Of course the companies don't tell you that, they just point to a reduction in intersectional collisions, not the increase in rear-end collisions that accompanies the installation of the cameras. These things suck for a variety of reasons. But it doesn't bother me, for $40 just get a loover and don't worry about it.

Adam W

April 07, 2012, 02:23:41 PM
Quote
But it doesn't bother me, for $40 just get a loover and don't worry about it.

I didn't know what that was, so I googled it. Pretty clever. Are those legal?

Charles Hunter

April 07, 2012, 03:27:15 PM
Whether devices like the Loover are legal depends on interpretation of Florida Statue 316.605
Possibly relevant language
Quote
in such manner as to prevent the plates from swinging, and all letters, numerals, printing, writing, and other identification marks upon the plates regarding the word “Florida,” the registration decal, and the alphanumeric designation shall be clear and distinct and free from defacement, mutilation, grease, and other obscuring matter, so that they will be plainly visible and legible at all times 100 feet from the rear or front.

This just says visible from 100 feet - doesn't specify whether this is at ground level, or from an elevated position - as an enforcement camera would be placed. Looks like something else to enrich lawyers asserting these (and similar) devices do not violate the law.

Link to FS http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.605.html

ChriswUfGator

April 07, 2012, 03:35:44 PM
Whether devices like the Loover are legal depends on interpretation of Florida Statue 316.605
Possibly relevant language
Quote
in such manner as to prevent the plates from swinging, and all letters, numerals, printing, writing, and other identification marks upon the plates regarding the word “Florida,” the registration decal, and the alphanumeric designation shall be clear and distinct and free from defacement, mutilation, grease, and other obscuring matter, so that they will be plainly visible and legible at all times 100 feet from the rear or front.

This just says visible from 100 feet - doesn't specify whether this is at ground level, or from an elevated position - as an enforcement camera would be placed. Looks like something else to enrich lawyers asserting these (and similar) devices do not violate the law.

Link to FS http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.605.html

No need to enrich anyone, seems clear enough to me...

It says "from the rear or front" of the vehicle, not "from above" the vehicle.

And I'd love to hear you explain how this is somehow the lawyers' fault, I think you'd have a hard time finding one who's in love with the idea of sticking police cameras all over the place. I think it's a terrible idea, and I don't think they should be installed, as I've already noted above. How's it my fault if they do it anyway? WTF, seriously?

Adam W

April 07, 2012, 03:45:13 PM
Whether devices like the Loover are legal depends on interpretation of Florida Statue 316.605
Possibly relevant language
Quote
in such manner as to prevent the plates from swinging, and all letters, numerals, printing, writing, and other identification marks upon the plates regarding the word “Florida,” the registration decal, and the alphanumeric designation shall be clear and distinct and free from defacement, mutilation, grease, and other obscuring matter, so that they will be plainly visible and legible at all times 100 feet from the rear or front.

This just says visible from 100 feet - doesn't specify whether this is at ground level, or from an elevated position - as an enforcement camera would be placed. Looks like something else to enrich lawyers asserting these (and similar) devices do not violate the law.

Link to FS http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.605.html

Sounds pretty legal to me, then. If the cameras become common enough, they'll probably just change the law to make loovers, et al illegal.

Charles Hunter

April 07, 2012, 04:08:54 PM
Chris - My point was not that the statute was written to enrich lawyers, but that as jurisdictions begin to charge vehicle owners who have obscuring devices with violation of this part of the statute, lawyers will challenge those citations, thus making money (unless y'all are going to do it out of the goodness of your hearts, pro bono).  I did not say it was The Lawyers' fault.  Just another revenue stream, until the court or legislature decide the legality of Loovers (etc.).

And the point you made will be one of the points to make when challenging such a citation.  At what angle above horizontal is the view no longer from the "rear", but from "above"? 

Just an observation about the law - the "device" I see quite often obscuring part of license plates is an FOP or similar "I support cops" badge or sticker.  Do these drivers get ticketed?

Oh, and I am leaning "against" red-light cameras.  One problem has been cited here - the vehicle is in violation, there is no way to know who was driving.  Also, I am leery of the "if you aren't doing anything wrong, you shouldn't object" argument.  Leads to all kinds of abuse.

ChriswUfGator

April 07, 2012, 10:37:58 PM
Anytime the state overreaches its authority, lawyers get involved. That's why the first step in a Shakespearean revolution was "first, kill all the lawyers." I'm curious, when a certain segment of the population are pretty much uniformly opposed to something, which is a state overreach, and the government does it anyway, then why is it vulgar that they are entitled to put food on their table? Like every other thing a local government does doesn't enrich an army of paid consultants, sycophants, politicians, etc.?

Why is it that the last backstop of your civil liberty is expected to live under bridges lest they be deemed some kind of morally defective human being? I'm actually quite curious to hear your logic here. The ABA and every state bar where these things have been implemented has been opposed to the concept. Which, as you noted, is against our self-interests. But that's the position, because it's right. And you still toss out that comment. I'd really love to have you explain your logic.

Charles Hunter

April 08, 2012, 12:54:53 AM
OK, Chris, I concede ... it was a cheap shot on my part.
I do not begrudge you, or any lawyer, making money.  I was trying to note that, because local governments searching for new revenues, will implement red light cameras, which will bring lawsuits, which will provide income to attorneys contesting the law - protecting our rights.

Seriously, intent was not to slam lawyers, but to say this gov't action is inviting law suits.

I-10east

April 08, 2012, 01:46:18 AM
If I'm not mistaken, it look like they have some cameras (most likely in-op right now) along MLK Parkway, roughly from Myrtle to Division. It's not the red light cameras that I'm worried about, it's those damn pesky hiding traffic police that will give you a ticket for doing 55 in a 54! I'm admittedly a lead footer on the highway, and I went to court to clear up a ticket, and a cop give someone else a ticket (the judge read it out loud like WTF!) for going 71 in a 65, I'm like are you kidding me? Boy, that was really some 'unsafe' driving! ::) These cops are crazy, and they'll give you a ticket for anything!!!I stay chillin at the crib most of the time to avoid tickets, they got me kinda paranoid! LOL 

Charles Hunter

April 08, 2012, 09:19:22 AM
Those "cameras" mounted on the traffic signal supports are detectors to tell if there are cars near the light - they replace those burred loops in the pavement.  Engineer friends tell me the camera-like detectors are more reliable, but they are not "cameras" that take pictures.  Think about it, how could a camera mounted on the same pole as the traffic signal take a picture of a car going under it on red?

Noone

April 08, 2012, 09:54:12 AM
  I was trying to note that, because local governments searching for new revenues, will implement red light cameras, which will  provide income to
/quote]

CH, I know I'm busting up your true quote but with the reorg 2012-212, 2012-213 The new Authority will be looking for a total takeover of the parking revenue. So how will this be broken down if at all to address the areas outside of the reorg for this fractured potential future revenue stream?

I-10east

April 08, 2012, 02:03:15 PM
Those "cameras" mounted on the traffic signal supports are detectors to tell if there are cars near the light - they replace those burred loops in the pavement.  Engineer friends tell me the camera-like detectors are more reliable, but they are not "cameras" that take pictures.  Think about it, how could a camera mounted on the same pole as the traffic signal take a picture of a car going under it on red?

My bad, yeeeesh. Thanks for making me feel like a dummy. :-[ With that said, you do have a good point though. LOL

Non-RedNeck Westsider

April 08, 2012, 02:15:43 PM
How about the larger scheme of things:  when the tag is ran through the system, wheter manually or through a data recognition software, what other fines can be charged to the car?  Expired Tags, no registration decal, stolen vehicles, etc...

Or can they ONLY issue a ticket for the red-light?

Charles Hunter

April 08, 2012, 06:03:22 PM
Good question NRNW.  Or if you have any outstanding warrants?

Dog Walker

April 09, 2012, 09:23:00 AM
Or if the car has been reported stolen?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

April 09, 2012, 09:32:01 AM
What about the tags listed with Amber & Silver alerts?

ChriswUfGator

April 11, 2012, 01:23:33 AM
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-04-11/story/red-light-camera-firm-jacksonville-talks-has-been-kicked-out-other

Well, the TU has picked up on this, and surprisingly, didn't jump all over it as the best thing since sliced bread.

fsujax

November 12, 2012, 10:28:20 AM
City of Roswell, Georgia (Atlanta metro) considers doing away with red light cameras. From the TU today.

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2012-11-12/story/roswell-may-scrap-money-losing-redlight-cameras

If_I_Loved_you

November 12, 2012, 10:39:53 AM
What's the old saying a fool and his money are soon parted? "Authorities say that after generating close to $1.6 million in profits the first three years, the city’s traffic camera program has lost about $26,000 over the past two years."

chipwich

November 12, 2012, 10:54:09 AM
I am assuming there will be a ballot measure within a year or two of these things going up to remove them. 

At that point, every council person and elected official who voted for them should be voted out for defrauding the citizens.  The idea of redlight cameras makes my skin crawl.  They have almost nothing to do with safety and almost evrything to do with unnecessary fines to drivers.

tufsu1

November 12, 2012, 11:41:50 AM
I recetly got a friendly ticket from the red light camera folks in Green Cove Springs....with several pictures of my car going through the intersection....ugh!

ChriswUfGator

November 12, 2012, 09:15:05 PM
http://loover.com/looverdetails.htm

You won't have to worry about it anymore...

Ocklawaha

November 12, 2012, 09:47:53 PM
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-04-11/story/red-light-camera-firm-jacksonville-talks-has-been-kicked-out-other

Well, the TU has picked up on this, and surprisingly, didn't jump all over it as the best thing since sliced bread.

You mean it's not?  ;D

chipwich

November 12, 2012, 10:05:32 PM
http://loover.com/looverdetails.htm

You won't have to worry about it anymore...

Now that looks like a great idea that may soon enough become illegal in the great State of FL once the lawmakers see enough of them around.

Dog Walker

November 13, 2012, 10:11:57 AM
If the revenue falls like that it means that the cameras are working to reduce the number of red-light runners, doesn't it?

So they are failing as a revenue device, but working as a safety device.  Problem is the business model, not their effectiveness. 

KenFSU

November 13, 2012, 10:24:40 AM
So they are failing as a revenue device, but working as a safety device.

Depends greatly on your definition of "safety."

I haven't seen any studies for this immediate area, but below are the findings from Hallandale Beach last month, which is in line with what many other red light camera cities report.

Quote
Florida city finds red light cameras less safe, increase accidents

Hallandale Beach, Florida is a quiet beachside town which decided to install red light cameras at two of its intersections after being lobbied by American Traffic Solutions. The hope was to raise revenue Hallandale and make those two intersections safer from motorists running red lights. According to a study released by Paul Henry, he found an increase of accidents at the intersections after the cameras were installed while accidents decreased at non-camera intersections. Additionally, Henry found Hallandale is running a net loss on the red light cameras.

At one intersection, Federal Highway & Hallandale Beach Blvd, found that after the red light cameras were installed rear-end crashes increased 50%, other crashes at the intersection increased by 41% with overall crashes increasing 46%. At the other intersection with the installed cameras, SW 10th Terrace and Hallandale Beach Blvd, accidents increased 11% and saw no difference in red light running violations from before or after the installation.

blfair

November 13, 2012, 12:48:29 PM
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/fairfax

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation increased the yellow time on the traffic lights at US50 and Fair Ridge Drive by 1.50 seconds on March 26, 2001. This increase in yellow time from 4.00 seconds to 5.50 seconds resulted in a 94 percent drop in citations, less than one per day, at this red light camera enforced location.

...


"This experience should prove to any skeptic that sound engineering practices, not only work, but are preferable to exploiting motorists through the use of ticket cameras and related automated enforcement devices," Skrum concluded.

urbanlibertarian

November 14, 2012, 11:19:06 AM
If red light cameras are installed at intersections in this city then you have to change your driving behavior related to yellow lights at all intersections because you don't have time to think about whether or not the intersection you're approaching has a camera.  Yellow means STOP even if you're being tailgated.

ChriswUfGator

November 14, 2012, 01:52:05 PM
Just buy a loover, problem solved. Lol

TheCat

November 14, 2012, 02:04:54 PM
red light cameras cause more accidents:

New Mexico: Photo Enforcement Locations See More Accidents, Injuries

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/33/3332.asp[/quote]

Even more "genius" is how the camera operators and cities increase fines by shortening the yellow light time:

http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit/


Adam W

November 14, 2012, 02:08:40 PM
If red light cameras are installed at intersections in this city then you have to change your driving behavior related to yellow lights at all intersections because you don't have time to think about whether or not the intersection you're approaching has a camera.  Yellow means STOP even if you're being tailgated.

Does yellow mean stop anyway? I'm not sure I follow. One would expect a driver to follow the rules of the road, regardless of whether or not there are cameras at intersections. The rules don't change if there are cameras at intersections - and just as a driver may not know if there is a camera at a particular intersection, he/she also wouldn't necessarily know if there is a police officer around to see if he/she is running a red light, either.

Of course, this whole argument is moot if the length of yellow lights are being shortened at intersections with red light cameras - which has apparently happened in at least some instances in the past.

Edit: when I say "One would expect a driver to follow the rules of the road" I should've probably said, "One wouldn't expect any driver to ever follow the rules of the road!" I was probably being a bit idealistic, I admit  ;)

tufsu1

November 14, 2012, 03:20:51 PM
Even more "genius" is how the camera operators and cities increase fines by shortening the yellow light time:
http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit/

by law in Florida, all lights must provide at least 3 seconds of yellow time

If_I_Loved_you

November 19, 2012, 10:05:54 AM
If the revenue falls like that it means that the cameras are working to reduce the number of red-light runners, doesn't it?

So they are failing as a revenue device, but working as a safety device.  Problem is the business model, not their effectiveness.
DW have you seen the "Pedestrian Countdown Clocks" at a lot of intersections in Jacksonville Florida? I have found these to be helpful to giving me an idea when a traffic light is about to change.

If_I_Loved_you

November 19, 2012, 10:47:19 AM
Instead of Red Light Camera's why not "Countdown Traffic Lights?" You see countdown traffic lights everywhere else in the world but the United States of America. See the problem with red light cameras is the city wants that REVENUE and if your not going to raise Prop Taxes well then this is the next best thing? Back in 2009 the Sun-Times newspaper in Chicago did a story on countdown traffic lights.

http://theexpiredmeter.com/2009/02/alderman-introduces-countdown-timers-at-red-light-camera-intersections/

EXPERTS OPPOSED | Alderman calls for countdown signals at all red-light camera corners to cut crashes
 
By Fran Spielman
 
Chicago motorists routinely slam on the brakes to avoid getting nailed by red-light cameras. Some have caused rear-end collisions while avoiding the dreaded $100 ticket.
 
That panicky behavior could come to a halt, if South Side Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) has his way.
 
Beale has introduced an ordinance that would mandate countdown signals at every one of the 132 accident-prone Chicago intersections where red-light cameras have already been installed and at the 330 intersections expected to get cameras by 2012.
 
Chicago has 2,900 intersections with traffic signals, but only 230 countdown signals. They’re normally installed to protect pedestrians — by providing anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds of visual warning to get across a busy intersection before the light changes.
 
But, Beale maintained that motorists also need protection — from each other.
 
“I’m trying to cure the high accident rate at these intersections during rain, sleet and snow. I’ve seen people slamming on the brakes when the light turns yellow to avoid getting a red-light ticket and getting rear-ended or close to rear-ended,” Beale said.
 
“If you had a countdown, that would give people a better gauge. You’d have enough time to decide whether you can make it through the intersection or whether it’s better to just slow down.”
 
Traffic safety experts warned that countdown signals at red-light camera intersections could make the accident problem worse.
 
“At least some drivers will speed up so they can catch the end of the green. That’s not what we want,” said Robert Seyfried, director of transportation engineering programs for Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.
 
“Countdown signals are oriented toward pedestrians — not toward drivers. In fact, we don’t really want drivers to notice or pay attention to countdown signals. If they are, at least some of them are gonna speed up.”
 
Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor and director of DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute of Metropolitan Development, added, “When you see that thing at three seconds, you floor it. Your eyes focus on the countdown clock. There’s a consequence to that, too. While people would see maybe less slamming on the brakes, it also encourages risky behavior.”
 
Schwieterman said there are “bigger fish to fry” to improve pedestrian and driver safety than installing countdown signals at a cost of $15,000 per corner and $45,000 at the oldest signals.
 
“We have serious problems with pedestrians using earplug equipment crossing streets without looking. We have serious pothole problems. We have a need for better traffic light synchronization to keep traffic moving. All of that seems like a higher priority,” he said.
 
Transportation Department spokesman Brian Steele said the city has been installing countdown signals at a rate of 20 intersections a year.
 
“The presence of a red-light camera is not the main criteria. … The primary criteria is pedestrian volume. Pedestrian signals are intended to inform pedestrians,” he said.
 
Red-light cameras have pumped out more than 1 million Chicago tickets and generated $100 million in sorely needed revenue since 2003 while reducing red-light running by 59 percent.

BridgeTroll

November 19, 2012, 10:55:28 AM
When posting articles... please post the link.  Thank you.  :)

If_I_Loved_you

November 19, 2012, 11:04:13 AM
When posting articles... please post the link.  Thank you.  :)
I went back and put the link in.

If_I_Loved_you

November 19, 2012, 11:09:29 AM
Here is a study about countdown traffic lights. http://www.inudgeyou.com/traffic-nudge-countdown-traffic-lights/

tufsu1

November 19, 2012, 11:12:19 AM
If the revenue falls like that it means that the cameras are working to reduce the number of red-light runners, doesn't it?

So they are failing as a revenue device, but working as a safety device.  Problem is the business model, not their effectiveness.
DW have you seen the "Pedestrian Countdown Clocks" at a lot of intersections in Jacksonville Florida? I have found these to be helpful to giving me an idea when a traffic light is about to change.

also now a state law...in fact, the Jacksonville area has been one of the slowest in Florida to modify existing lights

If_I_Loved_you

November 19, 2012, 11:23:57 AM
If the revenue falls like that it means that the cameras are working to reduce the number of red-light runners, doesn't it?

So they are failing as a revenue device, but working as a safety device.  Problem is the business model, not their effectiveness.
DW have you seen the "Pedestrian Countdown Clocks" at a lot of intersections in Jacksonville Florida? I have found these to be helpful to giving me an idea when a traffic light is about to change.

also now a state law...in fact, the Jacksonville area has been one of the slowest in Florida to modify existing lights
I didn't know that thanks for the info.  ;)

TheCat

November 19, 2012, 12:22:07 PM
Even more "genius" is how the camera operators and cities increase fines by shortening the yellow light time:
http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit/

by law in Florida, all lights must provide at least 3 seconds of yellow time

From what I understand, the laws were being broken and it's why those cities were required to pay out huge sums of money.

Dog Walker

November 20, 2012, 11:50:30 AM
The root of the red-light running problem is excessive speed.  If you are doing fifty MPH in a forty MPH zone, then the yellow is going to be too short for you.  You will either run the red or stand on the brakes and risk being rear-ended by the guy behind you who is doing fifty-five.

ChriswUfGator

November 21, 2012, 01:45:50 PM
The root of the red-light running problem is excessive speed.  If you are doing fifty MPH in a forty MPH zone, then the yellow is going to be too short for you.  You will either run the red or stand on the brakes and risk being rear-ended by the guy behind you who is doing fifty-five.

I agree with you, but I'd still point out it's usually the city that's to blame for it. Look at places like Beach Blvd., etc., where you've got a 45mph speed limit and a couple seconds of yellow light, if you're lucky. Then you have places like Green Cove Springs getting busted for shortening the yellow lights in an effort to generate more revenue. It's common sense if you have a 40 or 45mph speed limit, you need more than 2 or 3 seconds of yellow, otherwise your choices are run the light or slam on the brakes. Neither is safe.

peestandingup

November 21, 2012, 02:02:37 PM
The root of the red-light running problem is excessive speed.  If you are doing fifty MPH in a forty MPH zone, then the yellow is going to be too short for you.  You will either run the red or stand on the brakes and risk being rear-ended by the guy behind you who is doing fifty-five.

I agree with you, but I'd still point out it's usually the city that's to blame for it. Look at places like Beach Blvd., etc., where you've got a 45mph speed limit and a couple seconds of yellow light, if you're lucky. Then you have places like Green Cove Springs getting busted for shortening the yellow lights in an effort to generate more revenue. It's common sense if you have a 40 or 45mph speed limit, you need more than 2 or 3 seconds of yellow, otherwise your choices are run the light or slam on the brakes. Neither is safe.

Yep. I've ALWAYS thought that there needs to be a 4th light (between green & yellow). Having a couple seconds to react to a yellow light is simply retarded. Esp, like you said, in a 45 MPH zone. Its pretty much just short of having to completely slam on the brakes to react to it. But I also think people's heads would explode if you threw another light color into the mix. We're all just monkeys driving death machines out there anyway.

And if you guys think this isn't about generating more revenue (with less police force presence they would have to pay for) then you're dreaming. They just love to play the "safety" angle. And while there may be some truth to that, still. They don't seem to give 2 shits about pedestrian safety or cyclists. And lets be honest, if they REALLY wanted to nip that whole "safety" thing in the bud, they'd work to get more cars off the roads, and more alternative modes of transit.

Death, mayhem, crashes & tickets = industry.

tufsu1

November 21, 2012, 03:11:05 PM
The solution in many parts of the world is the following phases:

Green
Green + Yellow
Yellow
Yellow + Red
Red

Adam W

November 21, 2012, 03:50:21 PM
The solution in many parts of the world is the following phases:

Green
Green + Yellow
Yellow
Yellow + Red
Red

And there's the weird Red+Yellow one you get before Green in some places, too.

TeganHughes

November 29, 2012, 12:27:44 AM
I dont think cameras like these should be allowed. It's simple a revenue generation method for the city. It has been proven that these do nothing to reduce the amount of accidents or speeders. Get rid of these police state type cameras!

Adam W

November 30, 2012, 03:23:20 AM
I dont think cameras like these should be allowed. It's simple a revenue generation method for the city. It has been proven that these do nothing to reduce the amount of accidents or speeders. Get rid of these police state type cameras!

That's not necessarily true. People can cherry-pick data to support the conclusion they want. For example, I have posted links below that claim to show that red light cameras actually increase safety (one is a news story quoting IIHS data and the other is a link to IIHS info).

I don't think there is a clear consensus of whether or not traffic light cameras increase or decrease safety. I also think that while it's fair to say some cities may use them as a revenue-generation scheme, not all do or should and that the motivation for the installation of these cameras is not solely the generation of revenue (at least not in all cases).

As far as reducing speeders is concerned, those are normally not tackled by red light cameras, but rather by another type of camera (colloquially known as a Gatso). As with red light cameras, you could Google their efficacy and get all sorts of conflicting reports!

Reading through this thread, it would seem people have pretty strong personal opinions about this stuff, which is cool with me. I just take claims that red light cameras do or don't increase safety with a massive grain of salt - clearly the experts can't seem to agree.

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/01/03/hated-red-light-cameras-reduce-accidents/

http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/rlr.aspx

diverdan363

February 06, 2013, 06:13:15 PM
 The company’s traffic monitoring system is based on both fixed and mobile cameras that record videos of traffic violations. These videos are then cross-referenced with license plate records. After a violation is filmed, traffic citations are sent to the person that is registered license plate. so anyone can drive your car and the ticket sent to you according Redflex who operates the system out of state


http://www.serviceguidance.com/www-photonotice-com-Red-Light-Violation-Video-Online-Viewing/

In our estimation, these were the ten biggest stories related to photo radar and red light cameras from around the U.S. in 2011

We hope you enjoy this look back at activism and politicians meeting head-to-head throughout the past year.

#10 - Texas legislature eliminates penalties for driving without a license plate

#9 –  Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg calls for a “camera on every street corner

#8 - Mayor, Police Chief Take Down Colorado Springs Red Light Cameras

#7 - Redflex’s Gamble Backfires, Sale to Macquarie/Carlyle Canceled, Stock Plunges

#6 - Peoria Red Light Cams Finally Come Down After 3 Yrs of Increased Accidents

#5 - Redflex Kicked Out of Tempe Arizona Over Cash Grab Lawsuit

#4 - 15 Simultaneous Red Light Camera Protests in Florida

#3 - Voters Kick Red Light Cameras Out of 7 Cities in 3 States on Election Day

#2 - Houston City Council Votes 11-1 to Ban Red Light Cameras

#1 - Activists Convice LAPD Comission and LA City Council to Take Cameras Down

see http://camerafraud.wordpress.com/

diverdan363

February 06, 2013, 06:39:11 PM
They are calling them “safety zones,” but they’ll cover near 70% of the city of Chicago according to a report by The Chicago Sun Times below.



This map outlines the consequences of a bill that just passed through both houses of Illinois legislature. If Governor Quinn signs off on this monster, the bulk of the city of Chicago will become eligible for surveillance by a profit driven, corrupt foreign corporation, Redflex Traffic Systems. This is clearly not about safety.

[READ MORE]

diverdan363

February 06, 2013, 08:05:44 PM
Even more "genius" is how the camera operators and cities increase fines by shortening the yellow light time:
http://blog.motorists.org/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit/

by law in Florida, all lights must provide at least 3 seconds of yellow time
The Fact: Longer Yellow Reduces Red Entry
Mesa, Arizona
When yellow times are lengthened at intersections, red light entries plunge.  Mesa,
Arizona found a 73 percent drop in citations after the yellow light was extended.
Mesa increased the left-turn yellow arrow duration to four seconds, from three
seconds, on Nov. 14, after complaints from drivers who felt the time was too short
to safely complete their turns. The change was made at 30 intersections with dual
left-turn lanes and left-turn arrows.  In November, the city issued 1,639 left-turn
arrow citations at the six intersections patrolled by cameras. In December, the
month after the change, the number fell to 716. In October, the month prior to the
change, Mesa issued 2,645 citations. (Arizona Republic, February 6, 2001.)
To most, this decrease in red-light running violations would be most welcome news.  But
it was not welcome news to the city of Mesa.  That’s because once yellow signal timing changes
were made, the camera went from a money-maker to a $10,000 money-loser.  The response of
the local bureaucracy was typical:
Meanwhile, the department will propose eliminating the three-tenths of a second
grace period that [the camera] allows from the time a  light turns red to the time
the camera flashes.  ‘We want to establish a zero tolerance policy for red light
running in Mesa,’” [Mesa police Commander Richard] Clore said.  (Arizona
Republic, February 6, 2001.)
Some of Mesa’s red-light cameras are working  so well that police are talking
about disconnecting them… In some cases, it’s only catching one person a day. 
[Mesa police Commander Richard] Clore said that may be because the city
recently lengthened its yellow lights by a second. (Arizona Republic,  May 22,
2001.)

Ralph W

February 06, 2013, 11:47:23 PM
It's amazing that high-tech traffic enforcement can be thwarted by such a simple idea as lengthening the term of the warning yellow signal. It's also amazing that this idea was not first on the list of methods to curtail the incidences of red light running, since traffic studies have long proven the case works. One can find these studies, using half a brain, published on the internet - no need to search out the information the hard way through dusty printed archives.

One interesting timing study brought about what is termed the decision distance, where, based on the speed of a vehicle and the length of the warning signal, there is a minimum and maximum distance from the light where 90% of drivers will almost always decide to either come to a stop or blast on through. Those closest to the signal will always benefit when the yellow is of longer duration and everyone benefits when both sides of the signal remain red for an additional length of time. Those who intend not to stop for whatever reason or those not paying attention to their driving are the ones that skew the study results and drive the push for cameras and other means of enforcing the rules.
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