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Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time 348

Posted by timothy
from the drones-are-the-replacement dept.
SonicSpike writes "2013 may be a turning point for red-light cameras across the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit largely funded by auto insurance companies, this year is the first time in nearly two decades that the number of American cities with red-light cameras has fallen — the systems were installed in 509 communities as of November 2013. While a single-year drop may not ultimately mean much, legislators across the country are increasingly agitated about the cameras. Bills are also pending in Florida and Ohio that would ban the devices entirely. A state representative in Iowa has also twice introduced legislation to ban RLCs (he was not successful). Part of this backlash has to do with the (sometimes accurate) perception that RLCs are a moneymaking scheme, pure and simple."
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Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

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  • RLCs = more danger (Score:5, Informative)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @12:02PM (#45714755)
    DOT studies a while back showed that increasing yellow light time by a second or so would reduce red-light accidents. However, RLC contracts often come with a stipulation that yellow light time is reduced, by at least a half second or more, to increase revenues. These things need to go, the sooner the better.
  • money-making scheme (Score:3, Informative)

    by minstrelmike (1602771) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @12:04PM (#45714795)
    I think red-light cameras have a negative connotation _because_ they make money and that is unfortunate.
    Most every successful business makes money so if you want to contract out police work such as traffic speed enforcement, that contractor _has_ to make money.
    If you want to keep the job in-house so-to-speak, well the government doesn't have to make money but then everybody whines about how expensive it is to maintain this wonderful society we have _because_ of government. They think it costs too much because all they look at is the expense of taxes, not benefit of courts, police, and laws that form a well-regulated market safe for businesses and customers.
    Then all it takes is enough wealthy citizens and politicians getting actual tickets they can't talk or bribe their way out of and traffic enforcement gets to stop.

    We either want laws or we don't. If you think less government is best, move to Somalia.
    We have yet to analyze our systems correctly (i.e. scientifically instead of politically).
  • by sydbarrett74 (74307) <sydbarrett74@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @12:18PM (#45714979)
    Another thing that should be banned is one- or two-second yellow lights. At every intersection in my area (Chesterfield County, VA) where they've shortened the duration of a yellow light, accidents have spiked dramatically. The original reason for the implementation of such was so that more tickets could be written, but as usual, the PHB's in the county offices didn't acknowledge that costs for police, ambulances and fire-engines to respond to an accident scene would outweigh any additional revenue.
  • Re:Politics as usual (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @12:30PM (#45715137) Homepage

    Im sorry, where did you get the idea that this helped keep intersections safe? Keeping intersections safe is actually fairly trivial without any sort of RLC or punishment. All you need to do, which many places already have done, is slightly increase the length of yellow lights, and delay the green transition on the other traffic lane, so that there is a period of 1-2 seconds where all sides are red; and thus cars that may have been late past the line, have time to make it through.

    Sure it may not play into some people's fetish for punishment and strict rules enforcement, but, it does a great job of increasing safety.

    And in light of that, when cities get caught reducing the yellow light time at lights, which is less safe and increases the chances of an accident, then YES it is a money making scheme.

  • Re:Politics as usual (Score:5, Informative)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @03:10PM (#45717297) Homepage Journal

    As far as the speeding cameras, I would start by not making speeding a moving violation and change ticket to a speeding surcharge. You can go as fast as you want as long as you pay; that's the only way I would approve of speeding cameras..

    Actually, that's the way they got around the laws to put stop light/speeding cameras up in New Orleans.

    It is nothing more than a revenue collection device, as that you don't go to traffic court over these and no points or marks go against your driving record.

    It shows that is nothing more than for revenue generation. When people were protesting them (they almost got taken down awhile back) the first thing our govt and police said, was "we'll be losing $X if we do this...oh, and it will also make things less safe". That is a true story.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.