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Old 03-19-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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Red Light Cameras :(

any thoughts on red light cameras? well, here are mine...

the city of orlando, florida decided to move forward w/ charging a $183 fine for red light runners at certain intersections. black and white(figurative) photos of a vehicle in intersections w/ these cameras WILL result in a fine, but no points on licenses. if the light is red and a vehicle is in the intersection, the fine is sent by mail--no gray area, black and white only.

okay...certainly this will prevent SOME nasty collisions and deaths. my beef is what about large trucks like i drive? as a pro driver, there is a point of no return concerning red lights. trial and error has taught me how to avoid completing a stop in the middle of an intersection.

if the human aspect(officers) is taken out, then perhaps a series of photos would suffice. so, if a vehicle is already in the intersection during the change from yellow to red, no fine. however, if the vehicle is outside the intersection during the change AND continues on thru it, slap the fine on them!

what about longer yellow lights? what about the increase of rear-end collisions due to the cameras? what if someone is in the intersection after braking to avoid another red light runner?

there is a traffic light that i must travel thru to make a delivery that is beyond belief...
if i am waiting at that red light(north/south) and another vehicle approaches(east/west) as i get my green light, it will change cycle. because of the size, weight, gearing, etc of the truck, i can see in my windshield the light turn red as i pass under it, obviously still in the intersection!!!

BTW, i have not been cited. but, with the size of my work vehicle, it's prolly just a matter of time! rant finito!
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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There's been a few times I've run reds because I've thought the guy behind was too close... one time three, THREE vehicles behind me followed me over. I'll be pissed if I have to start risking getting rear ended to avoid tickets.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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I know what you mean about gearing and slow takeoffs- I have a 2 ton truck that I sometimes load with 5 tons of gravel. Thankfully there are no red light cameras around this part of the country.

I have seen quite a windy wake behind those big trucks- it would be a shame if you were too busy to wash your trailer and the whole back end of your trailer (including license plate) had a bunch of dust, road salt and dirt built up on it...

My biggest gripe is school bus drivers that run red lights so they can get the bus load of school kids to their 8am classes. I saw that happen again this morning. They would have had plenty of time to stop if they wanted to.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:13 PM   #4
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You will have to start timing the greens and in the intersections that change too fast hope that the back end of your truck is before the camera's field of vision so they can't get a shot of the plate.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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Pretty much universal in the US - if your front wheels are over the limit line (crosswalk or imaginary line that they WILL paint at all red light cameras) then you are NOT running a red if front wheels are over while it is yellow, no matter the speed.

Also - Constitution guarantees the right to confront witnesses. A camera is NOT a witness, you CAN get the ticket removed if you take it to court and cite the correct court cases. In several places cameras have been removed due to their being unconstitutional. Just because they fine you doesn't mean it's Constitutional, and you CAN appeal, just have to know what case law to cite, usually if you can cite the correct case law on the first try it gets thrown out. Be persistent if you have to - lawyers LOVE to try these because they WIN.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:15 AM   #6
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One similar aspect I've been considering. Occasionally I'll push the yellow lights (since we all know what a huge waste of momentum it is to slam on the brakes then have to re-accelerate).

I would think that a yellow light would have to be on long enough for a fully-loaded truck to slow from the speed limit to a dead stop on a wet road. Right?

Therefore, if I "push a yellow", could I challenge a ticket by asking for calculations about the timing of the yellow-red change?

There is a particular light near my house that is on a downhill grade, and the speed limit is 40 MPH. If the yellow light stays on for three seconds, then goes to red, is that enough time for a full-loaded truck to stop on a wet road? I don't think so.

If I ever get a ticket for running a red light, I'm definately going to try this out. In the meantime, I'm going to keep "pushing the yellow" because it costs too much gas to stop & restart, and that is bad for my brakes, fuel mileage, and environment...

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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Here's a complex "solution"

Due to differing yellow light durations- there almost needs to be a special line painted across the road a couple of hundred feet in front of each intersection. this would let a driver unfamiliar with the light's yellow duration know that if it turns yellow after they cross that line and they are going the speed limit, they will be OK, but if it turns yellow before they hit that line, they better stop or else they will likely be in it when it turns red.

The distance of the line before the intersection needs to take into account not only the duration of the yellow light, but also the speed limit and the amount of distance that it takes a semi to stop on a wet road.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:35 AM   #8
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Around here on the lights that automatically give the pedestrian signals, the hand usually stops flashing a couple of seconds before the yellow. So I usually figure that as long as it's flashing there's time to make it, but have my foot over the brake if it's lit constant.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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Some places (I know some in Ohio, many in Canada) have a warning flashing yellow light with a sign similar to "get ready to stop" SEVERAL hundred feet before the lights for just the above reason.

Also - if your FRONT wheels are in front of the limit line - you are golden no matter how long it takes for your back to get over.

Most yellow lights are 1.5 seconds or less in the US. Increasing a yellow to 4 seconds virtually eliminates traffic fatalities and also tickets at those intersections. Petition your local city council to up the yellow length - show them the stats (not mine but the studies) and they will usually give in to you.

BTW all automobiles (not sure about trucks) are required to be able to stop in 25 feet at 25 MPH in the US, so you may look up more info on required stopping distances at specific feet on trucks as well - I'm sure there are laws on it - bring those to court with you if you do get a ticket that is unreasonable with red light cameras.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:38 AM   #10
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Dallas is turning their red light cameras off due to the lack of revenue.

People are not running the red lights like they use to. No ticket no revenue.

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