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Do red light cameras INCREASE car accidents?

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posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:24 PM
I live in Sugar Land, Texas. Sugar Land is supposed to be one of the best places in the US to live (according to CNN/Money magazine). We are also supposed to have one of the lowest crime rates and lowest violent crime rates per 1,000 citizens.

Given the number of cars stolen here and the number of kick-in home invasions, I question that. Not to mention all the registered pedos that live in almost every neighborhood in Sugar Land.

At any rate, red light cameras started going up in October of 2007, went into test mode in November of 2007, and went "live" in December of 2007.

Never mind that Sugar Land has enough cameras along it's roads that we look like an Orwellian nightmare a la 1984.

You should see our intersections. It's not a stretch that a single intersection has 10-20 cameras trained on it. Yet, they can't find all our stolen cars or any of the kick in armed robbers.

Some of those cameras are designed to issue ticket, err..., I mean make Sugar Land safer.

Some are used "tune in" to the intersection for what ever reason.

For example; let's say an intersection has a wreck at it. 47 people call 911 in a 5 minute time spam to report the accident from their cell phones. Is that not enough verification that the 911 calls are not fake??

So they bring up the intersection, look at the smashed up cars, and say "Yup, there's a wreck right there alright." Can someone explain how that is helpful???

Imagine all the money they could save if they were willing to take the word of 47 people in the first 5 minutes alone.

They wouldn't need the 10-20 cameras or all the people to watch them or all the computer equipment used to process everything.

No wonder law enforcement feels under paid! Think of all those wasted tax dollars on all this "stuff."

Yesterday, I proceeded toward an intersection with a red light camera. The light turned yellow and in a normal situation, I would have cruised through because of where I was when the light changed to yellow.

Instead, I slammed on my brakes to avoid getting a ticket in the mail. To my horror, I noticed in my rear view mirror a car so close behind me, I could not see his headlights. I had to make a split decision between getting a ticket for safely driving through the yellow/red or possibly being involved in a major accident which would have resulted in expensive damages to two automobiles, possible human injuries, and the ensuing traffic jam the accident would have created.

Stupidly, I opted to be a law abiding citizen and with great luck, we were both able to stop safely. However, the driver behind me was less then pleased and for a moment, I thought he was going to get out of his BMW and approach mine in a state of rage.

Today, another incident happened.

I approached an intersection while it was raining. This location had a red light camera and again, not wanting to get a ticket, I had no choice but to hit the brakes hard. As a result, I hydroplaned. The last time I lost control of my automobile, I was living in Fargo, ND and trying to drive, with the rest of the traffic, along an iced over road (Fargo, ND doesn't "shut down" for winter storms).

That was back in the 1990s.

My friends often complain that I drive "to safe" so it is not that I am speeding every where I go or driving around with wild abandon.

With yellow lights, I try to make the safest decision, legal or not. Red light cameras raise the stakes very high. Slam on the brakes, risk a MAJOR rear end collision. Proceed through, risk getting "zapped" by the red light camera.

Is it fair that I should be willing to take the $75.00 fine because the guy behind me is tail gating me? True, he'll get the ticket to but that does no good to my personal wallet.

I can assure you that if I am rear ended for stopping at an intersection with a red light camera, I am going to file an endangerment lawsuit against the city of Sugar Land and the amount I seek will attract media attention.

It is unacceptable that I should be fined for protecting my own skin and my own property at an intersection with a red light camera. A police officer would see that I was being tail gated and would make a common sense decision on who should and should not receive a ticket. A red light camera takes a snap shot without regard to any circumstances and that ticket gets rubber stamped by a desk jockey with a badge.

The pressure is on him to rubber stamp the highest percentage possible and he, like anyone else, doesn't want to listen to his boss whining about his performance. So, he'll do what he has to do to keep the higher ups off his back; like any other employee worth half their already low wage.

Because of my safe driving habits, I have NEVER been in a car accident. Ever. Not as a driver or a passenger. I have been driving for over 25 years and I have never hit an automobile or been hit by one. That non-accident history over more then a quarter of a century does not happen by accident.

I fear for my safety over the very cameras that are supposed to be keeping me safer then I was before they were installed.

Albeit a few decades late, 1984 has finally arrived in Sugar Land, TX. I drive around in a one year old Ford Escape and have no interest in getting it all smashed up. My sister is recovering from neck surgery because she was rear ended about a year ago.

If I end up in an accident because I was afraid of getting a ticket, I will go after Sugar Land and I will be out for lots and lots of green backs!

I will pursue Sugar Land with the local law firm of Ross & Matthews, who I currently have on retainer.

I am 100% certain that one police officer positioned at the same location could out perform 10-20 cameras all pointed at the same darn thing.

Government waste behind the mask of safety.

It works every time.

A few people have already and will continue to make a fortune off this "business deal." Even if I had their names (which I don't), you can be certain that wouldn't want ANYONE to know how much personal profit they are making from this.

Some where along the line, a slick salesman sold a slick peace officer who sold it to a slick "committee."

They would not have purchased those red light cameras if there was not a profit to be made.

If those cameras cause me to make a sudden stop and as a result, I get rear ended, I'll go after every penny every one of those cameras ever generated in Sugar Land and a whole lot more.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:46 PM
I've lived with the red light cameras for a couple of years.

I don't like them, but you can learn to live with them.

Learn where they are.

Avoid those intersections if possible.

If you can't, slow down to the speed limit and be cautious.

If the light has been green for a long time, you know that a yellow is to be expected soon.

Red light cameras are equipped with movie cameras and they are reviewed before a ticket is issued to make sure that there was an infraction and that there are no mitigating factors.

Even then, sometimes mistakes are made, but you can contest them as you can any ticket.

You might as well calm down and learn to live with them.

Here in ABQ, you can actually go on line and view your infraction.

Most people just go ahead and pay up because the evidence is irrefutable.

I've never gotten a ticket because of the cameras, but I can say that they have made me a more attentive driver.

I still don't like them, though.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:57 PM
Green means go, yellow means caution; not speed up.

It's not the camera's fault that wreaks occur. It the fault of people tailgating and in a hurry to get someplace. This makes for more accidents.

Don't blame the technology that now catches people who ran red lights for years and can't break the habit.

We have them all over the place here. It's not an issue.

I even talk on the cell phone while driving. I consider this to be a larger issue than red light cameras.

BTW: I got a speeding ticket back in 1983. That was my last one.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 08:12 PM
Here in AZ there are cameras all over the place also. Probably a prelude to martial law. As far as red light (photo) cameras go, I was told that there is a 2 second delay while red before it snaps your picture, can anyone else verify that?

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 11:56 PM
some of you may be interested in knowing who the largest maker of redlight cameras are.. Lockheed martin !! (you know, the huge weapons manufacturer who care deeply for saving human life)

heres a few links to review..

First-year results from Stockton's red light camera intersections show collisions have actually increased at a majority of them.

best quote ever:

The corporations and cities that sponsor automated enforcement programs expect and need drivers to continue running red lights to keep the program profitable. It seems perverse that a system marketed to improve traffic safety, can only survive if it does not succeed.

If automated enforcement were truly capable of stopping drivers from running red lights, it would soon do so and become unprofitable. Does anyone honestly believe that private corporations are investing millions of dollars in a system whose success will soon render it obsolete?

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 12:15 AM

2005 Virginia Department of Transportation study of the long-term effect of camera enforcement in the state found a decrease in the number of right-angle crashes, but an increase in rear-end crashes and an overall increase in the number of accidents causing injuries

The department released a more extensive evaluation of the data in 2007 which showed that the overall number of accidents at intersections with red light cameras increased in four of the five cities using the technology. Fairfax City reported a 7% drop in the overall number of accidents and a 5% drop in injury accidents while overall the state's cameras were correlated with a 29% increase in overall accidents and an 18% increase in injury accidents. This study also notably found that red-light violations decreased by 94% at one Fairfax County intersection, after the advent of a 1.5 second longer yellow-light cycle

redlight cameras work perfectly, for the people they are intended to work for. namely the manufacturer and the city employing the cameras.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:13 AM
Remember -- in the United States you have a legal right to confront your accuser in court. This is why, if you get a ticket and choose to go to court and the officer who issued the ticket doesn't show -- the judge will toss it. Now here's the thing -- the camera won't show up in court. So you can't confront your accuser. Thus violating your rights. Show up in court to contest the camera ticket and make this claim. Odds are very, very good that judge will toss the ticket.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:26 AM
Red light cameras are abundant in the UK and although, if you are driving safely you should have no reason to go through a red light. However I have seen accidents when over-cautious drivers slam their brakes on as soon as it turns to amber and the car behind still has time to get through before red.

Just check your mirrors and if someone is too close and hits you, sue them for any injury even minor whiplash and hope to hell that they are insured

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:28 AM
Like said above, no person to testify to your ticket means no need to pay it.

We somewhat recently got these suckers installed at some of the major intersections, doesn't seem to do squat except blind the other drivers with a big bright flash.

I got a laser detector to give me a heads up long before I reach them anyway.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:57 AM
Here's an important point that should not be overlooked. The companies that install these cameras do so on a "revenue sharing" basis. Meaning the cities/counties do not have to pay for them or their upkeep. Instead the company that installs them gets to keep a portion of the revenue from the ticket. This goes on forever.

Nice system, huh?

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 12:00 AM

Originally posted by SunSword
Remember -- in the United States you have a legal right to confront your accuser in court. This is why, if you get a ticket and choose to go to court and the officer who issued the ticket doesn't show -- the judge will toss it. Now here's the thing -- the camera won't show up in court. So you can't confront your accuser. Thus violating your rights. Show up in court to contest the camera ticket and make this claim. Odds are very, very good that judge will toss the ticket.

That's not entirely true, and I recall it's been tested before - but it does get thrown out in some rare instances using that tactic. The official or officer reviewing the video-tape is your accuser. The video-tape is simply their probable cause/evidence. Just like you wouldn't get away with ripping off a jewelry store or ATM because the cameras were the only "accusers."

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 12:06 AM
People increase car accidents. The rules are simple. Retards who choose to kill themselves and maliciously kill others deserve no sympathy.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 12:11 AM

Originally posted by 3_Libras
People increase car accidents. The rules are simple. Retards who choose to kill themselves and maliciously kill others deserve no sympathy.

I dont think people intend to kill themselves or kill others in car wrecks. There have been some im sure but a very super small percentage of all drivers. But you are correct that people increase car accidents not cameras. Drivers should not be paying attention to the cameras but to the road and the other drivers around them. The whole cameras at the stop lights is crazy though. I dont think drivers need to be policed by cameras.


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