Red-light Cameras Increase Crashes

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Researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health say that red-light cameras significantly increase crashes and are a danger to the public. That's not to say that all traffic cameras are bad, some can actually be used to help motorist.

“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.
 

Azhar

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Here's an idea: conceal the damn thing. They're huge and imposing and oppressive and in-your-face. People see them and they freak the hell out. Make them smaller and conceal them. Put them inside the lights or put them on a utility pole away from the lights.
 

Nenu

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More signs warning of the cameras might be a sensible idea instead of trying to catch people out.
I thought the idea was to prevent problems, they seem to be more concerned with prosecution.
Then again this idea doesnt cost much so isnt likely to ever be used :)
 

Exavior

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let me get this straight, these are causing accidents as people that normally would drive through a red light are now stoping suddenly. :confused: It isn't the bad driver that is causing the accident and possiblity more by blowing red lights.
 

Kenworth

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I am from Phoenix and we were rated dead last in red light running a few years back. I see them on many lights now and the flashing in which they due honestly distract me when some one else runs the light going the other way in the evening. I agree with the previous post of them being more concealed also because I think people react totally different at intersections with lights they know have the cameras. Knowledge and awareness by the city seemed to really help in Phoenix, and higher fines didn't hurt either.;)
 

ICE_9

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How about driving the speed limit? That is there for your safety. Up the fines some more, and make some people hitch a ride once in a while.
 

Rabid Badger

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That's not going to do anything, people will still know they are there.

Instead, why not stop trying to find ways to fleece the public?

Redlight cameras are 100% percent bullshit. The make intersections more dangerous, cost people a ton of money, and they aren't even operated by the government. A company installs and maintains them in exchange for half of every fine collected. On top of that, the company recommends that yellow lights be shortened (often to less than the minimum safe interval) in order to boost the number of fines.

Public safety my ass. :rolleyes:
 

cerebrex

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Here's an idea: conceal the damn thing. They're huge and imposing and oppressive and in-your-face. People see them and they freak the hell out. Make them smaller and conceal them. Put them inside the lights or put them on a utility pole away from the lights.


that won't help at all, people will know where they are located, it's required by law that a sign be present informing people of their presence. The solution is to get rid of the damn things, they are nothing more than automated tax collectors, and from the studies, they also cost motorists money in insurance fees/medical bills.
 

Nemesis999

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I'm sure most of those people are getting what they deserve. They speed up and try to make the light, only to realize that theres a red-light camera, then try to slam on the breaks to save their ass.

I was in Detroit last year and the roads/signs were absolutely horrid.

In 1 day we saw....

- Multiple right turn/left turn signs pointing at curbs.
- Multiple "left turn only" signs less then 10 feet from "left lane must turn" signs.
(Same goes for right turns)
- 2 way streets with a median in the middle being treated as 2 1-way streets, resulting in a massive mix of confusing and conflicting road signs.
- Lines on the road that would disappear to merge lanes (WTF?) The lines just stop to merge lanes!?
- Stoplights hung across the middle of the intersections by wires, not only making it hard/impossible to see the lights from the "stop line" on a red light, but also allowing them to rotate in the wind, letting you see lights from the other direction.
- Same as above, at non-90-degree intersections, such that you could clearly see both sets of lights at any given time, and was sometimes hard to determine which was yours.
- a STOP SIGN on a off ramp from a highway. It was meant for a road running parallel, but it was placed in the median between the two roads, and there was nothing to prevent it from being clearly seen from the off ramp.

Are all the roads/signs in the US this bad? If they are... there's a good place to start. I've never been more confused driving in my life. Way too many signs, way too many contradictions and way too much room in lanes (seriously, why are the lanes so damn wide?), people just drift all over the place, and out of their lanes constantly.
 

Nemesis999

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On another note, just put a sign an extra 50 feet ahead of the light warning of a red-light camera.

No way in hell should they be removed. The only "fleecing" that goes on is criminals being caught in the act.
 

Stereodude

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I'm sure most of those people are getting what they deserve. They speed up and try to make the light, only to realize that theres a red-light camera, then try to slam on the breaks to save their ass.

I was in Detroit last year and the roads/signs were absolutely horrid.

In 1 day we saw....

- Multiple right turn/left turn signs pointing at curbs.
- Multiple "left turn only" signs less then 10 feet from "left lane must turn" signs.
(Same goes for right turns)
- 2 way streets with a median in the middle being treated as 2 1-way streets, resulting in a massive mix of confusing and conflicting road signs.
- Lines on the road that would disappear to merge lanes (WTF?) The lines just stop to merge lanes!?
- Stoplights hung across the middle of the intersections by wires, not only making it hard/impossible to see the lights from the "stop line" on a red light, but also allowing them to rotate in the wind, letting you see lights from the other direction.
- Same as above, at non-90-degree intersections, such that you could clearly see both sets of lights at any given time, and was sometimes hard to determine which was yours.
- a STOP SIGN on a off ramp from a highway. It was meant for a road running parallel, but it was placed in the median between the two roads, and there was nothing to prevent it from being clearly seen from the off ramp.

Are all the roads/signs in the US this bad? If they are... there's a good place to start. I've never been more confused driving in my life. Way too many signs, way too many contradictions and way too much room in lanes (seriously, why are the lanes so damn wide?), people just drift all over the place, and out of their lanes constantly.
Welcome to Michigan! What you describe is fairly typical here. Most lights are hung by wires. The stop signs at the end of freeway exit ramps for the surface street. The divided boulevards with a median (Ala Telegraph, Woodward, Big Beaver, Mound, Van Dyke, 12 Mile, etc...)

The real question is how many accidents did you witness? I'm guessing none. :p
 

bfellow

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In Houston, we have one of the worse traffic problems in history being compounded by a decade-long freeway re-design and construction, uninsured and untrained drivers, and people driving like maniacs.

The red light cameras actually helps lower accidents here.
 

six_storm

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How about driving the speed limit?

How about no. The speed limit is for people who can't handle the freakin' interstate, much less a car. Besides grannies and grandpas, who drives the speed limit anymore? I'm not a speed demon, but I always go 5MPH over the speedlimit. If I get in a car, I've got places to go and things to do. I don't get in a car just to lollygag around all day.

As for those cameras, I think they are ridiculous. The government just wants more money, that's all. One thing I have noticed is that my mom is scared to death of those cameras. If she is right at the light when it turns yellow, she will slam on her brakes just because she doesn't wanna get caught on camera lol.
 

mustang_steve

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How about driving the speed limit? That is there for your safety. Up the fines some more, and make some people hitch a ride once in a while.

Exactly....the lights should have a gree to red transistion based on traffic speed...once that's done, anyone found brake slamming can safely be wrote off as speeding, and be issued a reckless driving ticket instead.

Drive right, or take the damn bus.
 

mustang_steve

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Exactly....the lights should have a gree to red transistion based on traffic speed...once that's done, anyone found brake slamming can safely be wrote off as speeding, and be issued a reckless driving ticket instead.

Drive right, or take the damn bus.

I should have said "traffic based on the speed limit" instead of "traffic speed", for clarification.
 

Vashypooh

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On another note, just put a sign an extra 50 feet ahead of the light warning of a red-light camera.

No way in hell should they be removed. The only "fleecing" that goes on is criminals being caught in the act.

Kay, then ill just obey the law in 50 feet.

lol..
 

six_storm

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Exactly....the lights should have a gree to red transistion based on traffic speed...once that's done, anyone found brake slamming can safely be wrote off as speeding, and be issued a reckless driving ticket instead.

Drive right, or take the damn bus.

No way dude. Like I said a few posts up, people are afraid of those dang cameras. I've seen people driving up to a light and just staring at the cameras, hoping and praying the light doesn't change.
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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Exactly....the lights should have a gree to red transistion based on traffic speed...once that's done, anyone found brake slamming can safely be wrote off as speeding, and be issued a reckless driving ticket instead.

Drive right, or take the damn bus.

How about no. The speed limit is for people who can't handle the freakin' interstate, much less a car. Besides grannies and grandpas, who drives the speed limit anymore? I'm not a speed demon, but I always go 5MPH over the speedlimit. If I get in a car, I've got places to go and things to do. I don't get in a car just to lollygag around all day.

As for those cameras, I think they are ridiculous. The government just wants more money, that's all. One thing I have noticed is that my mom is scared to death of those cameras. If she is right at the light when it turns yellow, she will slam on her brakes just because she doesn't wanna get caught on camera lol.

LOL i slam on the gas every time I see a yellow unless there a car in front of me.
 

buffbiff21

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People suck at operating motor vehicles. No red light cameras, higher fines, or more strict law enforcement will remedy that.

I have to get this out of me: if you're one of those fools who goes 90 on the freeway, fuck you. You're only knocking off a grand two minutes of your commute.
 

Azhar

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People suck at operating motor vehicles. No red light cameras, higher fines, or more strict law enforcement will remedy that.

I have to get this out of me: if you're one of those fools who goes 90 on the freeway, fuck you. You're only knocking off a grand two minutes of your commute.

Stay on the right lane, grandma.
 

SamuraiInBlack

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HAHAHA! Drive the speed limit? Obviously someone hasn't driven in Illinois. I've yet to see anyone doing the speed limit other than cars with out of state license plates. If anything it's my opinion that doing the speed limit here is a great way to get killed. People do at least 5 over in my part. 10-15 is more common.

Plus to be honest there's no way in hell you can tell me all those cameras are 100% spot on. I've seen too many stories of people bitching because they were caught at the yellow. Yeah people lie, but faulty programming can do it too. Some of the turn signals around here are WAY too damn short, given the amount of traffic attempting to turn down there, while others are a helluva lot longer than they need to be. Prime example: I was coming home from my work at two in the morning and the light was green for the longest time, UNTIL I WAS COMING UP TO IT! No traffic what-so-freaking-EVER for MILES in any direction, unless you're counting AIR TRAFFIC, and it decides I need to stop and sit there for two minutes. I'm dead fucking tired, it's snowing like a motherfucker out, I'm cold, my engine is barely warm, I have maybe 4 hours of sleep to get in until I do it all over again. All I want to do is go home, crawl into my house, pull myself into bed and sleep until I have to wake up the next day to repeat the daily grind. And what happens instead? I have to wait another two minutes because some ASSHAT decided that at 2 in the morning, if a car is coming, it must STOP and wait! And yes, it does this in the summer as well.

And they wonder why gas prices are so high and fuel consumption is out of this world? Maybe it's because half the fucking lights make us stop FOR NO APPARENT REASON!
 

Eulogy

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HAHAHA! Drive the speed limit? Obviously someone hasn't driven in Illinois. I've yet to see anyone doing the speed limit other than cars with out of state license plates. If anything it's my opinion that doing the speed limit here is a great way to get killed. People do at least 5 over in my part. 10-15 is more common.

Plus to be honest there's no way in hell you can tell me all those cameras are 100% spot on. I've seen too many stories of people bitching because they were caught at the yellow. Yeah people lie, but faulty programming can do it too. Some of the turn signals around here are WAY too damn short, given the amount of traffic attempting to turn down there, while others are a helluva lot longer than they need to be. Prime example: I was coming home from my work at two in the morning and the light was green for the longest time, UNTIL I WAS COMING UP TO IT! No traffic what-so-freaking-EVER for MILES in any direction, unless you're counting AIR TRAFFIC, and it decides I need to stop and sit there for two minutes. I'm dead fucking tired, it's snowing like a motherfucker out, I'm cold, my engine is barely warm, I have maybe 4 hours of sleep to get in until I do it all over again. All I want to do is go home, crawl into my house, pull myself into bed and sleep until I have to wake up the next day to repeat the daily grind. And what happens instead? I have to wait another two minutes because some ASSHAT decided that at 2 in the morning, if a car is coming, it must STOP and wait! And yes, it does this in the summer as well.

And they wonder why gas prices are so high and fuel consumption is out of this world? Maybe it's because half the fucking lights make us stop FOR NO APPARENT REASON!
More likely because of idiots driving too fast. If everyone would slow down 5MPH, the overall useage of fuel would drop so much it'd blow your mind. But no, you have to shave off that what, 1-2 minutes off of your commute?
 

GHacker

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:mad: Devices like this are clearly placed with generating revenue as their primary objective. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very naive and hasn't been reamed by life enough yet...
 

Azhar

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More likely because of idiots driving too fast. If everyone would slow down 5MPH, the overall useage of fuel would drop so much it'd blow your mind. But no, you have to shave off that what, 1-2 minutes off of your commute?

Speed has nothing and everything to do with fuel consumption. If you drove 5mph, you would be red-lighting first gear, and fuel consumption would be off the chart.

Raising the speed limit to 75 was the result of fuel consumption. 75mph brings your engine's RPM down in it's highest gear, saving you fuel. Not to mention getting someplace faster gets you off the street faster.
 

achensherd

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I hate the damn cameras. I'm generally a pretty safe driver, and my '99 Corolla doesn't have much horsepower anyway, so obeying the speed limit's not a big deal. But, there's this intersection in Cerritos, CA where there used to be a camera system, and I swear the thing was out to get me every time I passed by there. Multiple, consecutive times, I'm going 40-45 mph on the 45 mph road, and the light at the intersection is green in the distance. I even pulled over once to observe how long the light stays green -- it stays green for a LONG time. However, just as I'm near it, it turns yellow -- EXCEPT -- it turns yellow about a second or two before the intersection -- not enough time to stop safely at 40-45 mph, and not enough time to run through before it turns red (large intersection). This has happened not once or twice, but close to a dozen times, maybe 4-5 times back to back.

There was one particular time this happened, I think either the first or second time I went through that intersection after the camera system was installed, where if there was anyone in back of me, there would have been an accident. I was going along at 40-45 mph, and about the pass the intersection, when it turns yellow on me just seconds before I reach the intersection -- again, not enough time to stop safely, and not enough time to run through in my no-horsepower car. Figuring that the former was a better option since there were no cars around, I slammed on the brakes, and my car skid sideways, coming to a stop right before the intersection with tire smoke everywhere.

That, and the dozen other instances, as well as watching people making legal right turns on a red get flashed (stopping and all), makes me wary of the fucking things, and not for the right reasons. I have a hard time believing it's luck when I can pretty much count on it happening every single fucking time, right up until the system was removed. Now, without the system, I have not experienced one outstanding incident.

What I did find to be good are the lights with the timers on them. Those give me an idea how long before the light turns yellow/red, so I can prepare to slow and stop, rather than surprise the brakes out of me all of a sudden and then fleece me if I'm unlucky enough to be in the intersection when the light turns red.
 

RussianHAXOR

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If i see a redlight camera, i just dont try to get a yellow or red. Pretty simple. Only time i hate it is when im making a turn and someone goes slow as hell and i get stuck behind them. Thats always great.
 

Eulogy

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Speed has nothing and everything to do with fuel consumption. If you drove 5mph, you would be red-lighting first gear, and fuel consumption would be off the chart.

Raising the speed limit to 75 was the result of fuel consumption. 75mph brings your engine's RPM down in it's highest gear, saving you fuel. Not to mention getting someplace faster gets you off the street faster.
No, typical cars drop in high gear between 35 and 45 MPH. Next time you're out and about, count your shifts. When you hit high gear, add on a couple of extra MPH as to make sure you're not lugging the engine (=lesser fuel mileage) and that's your cars magic point - where it'll (in theory) get the best gas mileage. I bet it's no where near 75MPH too.
75MPH in most states was brought about due to long stretches of nothing but straight boring highway where the increased speed =! much greater chance of collision.
 

farscapesg1

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Bah, never had a problem with the cameras. Never ran a red light and don't plan on starting. If the light turns yellow, either I am close enough to make it through at my current speed, or I slow down. Hitting the gas to make it through before having to set at a red light is retarded.

Honestly, the biggest fix to the traffic issues would be if people just realized it isn't always about themselves! So what if you have to sit through an extra 2-3 minutes of red lights on your way to your destination? Is that 2-3 minutes really that important? Get over yourself! How about using a damn turn signal to merge into the lane in front of me? If you have the decency to indicate your desire to change lanes, I'll let you. If you just cut me off because you think you are the only one who deserves to be driving on the road stay the fuck at home because you don't deserve to interract with human beings.

The problem with speed limits is they will always increase. If you set the limit to 65, most people drive 70-75. If you raise it to 75, those same people will just drive 80-85. I would personally like to see MORE cops out on the roads busting morons driving 10+ miles over the limit on the freeways, raising the fines to about 5x their current rate so it realy stings. I know too many people who are like "oops, another speeding ticket" and then go on their merry way. I could care less about any revenue increases for the police department, just to make a speeding ticket actually mean something.

And if your caught speeding in a school zone, you should automatically spend a night in jail, IMO. :mad:
 

Eulogy

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The problem with speed limits is they will always increase. If you set the limit to 65, most people drive 70-75. If you raise it to 75, those same people will just drive 80-85. I would personally like to see MORE cops out on the roads busting morons driving 10+ miles over the limit on the freeways, raising the fines to about 5x their current rate so it realy stings. I know too many people who are like "oops, another speeding ticket" and then go on their merry way. I could care less about any revenue increases for the police department, just to make a speeding ticket actually mean something.

And if your caught speeding in a school zone, you should automatically spend a night in jail, IMO. :mad:
QFT.
We don't have these red-light cameras near me, hence my comments on them are lacking...
 

six_storm

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I've always wondered what would happen if the government lifted the speed limit law for just one day. Hmmm......

As much as I would enjoy that day, I'm sure that there would be wrecks galore, made possible by the smoking drivers, the cell phone drivers and the grandmas. ;)
 

Ockie

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In my county (Oakland, MI), we have traffic cameras on every single pole. They do not send you fines, they are just used as a tool for accident investigations.

What they did here was delay the lights by 1 second and installed these cameras, accidents nearly dropped through the floor. I think they said accidents dropped somewhere around 50-80% and claims we much easier on the police as they could just check the cameras.
 

Ockie

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I've always wondered what would happen if the government lifted the speed limit law for just one day. Hmmm......

As much as I would enjoy that day, I'm sure that there would be wrecks galore, made possible by the smoking drivers, the cell phone drivers and the grandmas. ;)

There would be a lot of dead people.


I saw some grandma yesterday (WAY too old to drive IMO), she was in the fast lane of a major highway here in Michigan... she stopped (middle of the freakin road), put her car in park, walked to the back of her car (while people who slammed on their brakes behind her look in disbelief), popped the trunk, got something out of the trunk, closed the trunk, got back in her car and then continued to drive as if nothing had happened. :eek:

I wish that I had a camera for this, some people are unbelievable.
 

farscapesg1

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Another question I have for the group of people that think these lights are too distracting, what if a cop was standing at the intersection instead? Would you still hit the gas to go through the yellow and avoid sitting at a red light? Is it so hard to treat the intersections with cameras the same as having a live cop standing there?
 

Eulogy

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There would be a lot of dead people.


I saw some grandma yesterday (WAY too old to drive IMO), she was in the fast lane of a major highway here in Michigan... she stopped (middle of the freakin road), put her car in park, walked to the back of her car (while people who slammed on their brakes behind her look in disbelief), popped the trunk, got something out of the trunk, closed the trunk, got back in her car and then continued to drive as if nothing had happened. :eek:

I wish that I had a camera for this, some people are unbelievable.
Just the other day we had a pretty bad accident right near where I work.
I-99, some older couple was driving and decided to use an emergency turn around. Here in PA U-turns are illegal. So there's the first mistake...
So they get off the South bound and turn to get on the N bound. That's all fine and dandy. However, apparently they didn't excatly get on the gas when they pulled out.
Or worse off, didn't check to see what they were pulling out in front of.
Turns out, he hardly accelerated when he pulled back onto the interstate. On top of that, he pulled out in front of a tractor-trailer. Literally, right in front of one (<100' seperated the truck and the car when it entered the highway).
It wasn't pretty :(.
 

GHacker

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In my county (Oakland, MI), we have traffic cameras on every single pole. They do not send you fines, they are just used as a tool for accident investigations.

What they did here was delay the lights by 1 second and installed these cameras, accidents nearly dropped through the floor. I think they said accidents dropped somewhere around 50-80% and claims we much easier on the police as they could just check the cameras.

Here in NY they would never spend that kind of money unless they thought it would make them more. The elected officials have to be able to pay for their $4300 a night whores, after all... ;)
 

Davan

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I got a ticket from a camera for making a legal right turn at red. Couldnt contest it because I was out of town on the court day. Screw those things. Rip em all down.

Personally, Im more concerned with the additional ramifications of lights and cameras that are ostensibly there for "public safety". Is no one concerned about privacy issues? How long until we see targeted billboard advertising based on the camera that just recorded your lisence plate, pulled up your registration, saw you were a 30 year old male, sold the information to the billboard, and then the billboard flashes you an 'Axe' commercial or somesuch. Or the camera checks to see if your insurance and registration is up to date and if youre a day over sends the state troopers to your doorstep. Or the camera operators sell your driving location to bill collectors so that they can track your location and send collectors following you.

I just see far too many abuses down the line, and I really feel that the cameras are an invasion of basic liberty. And for the record Im not a red-light runner, I hate those people. Id love to see em stopped --- by an officer, not a camera.
 

DanniBoy

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Still don't know why people drive 15mph over the 65 mph limit on the highway when gas is so expensive. Especially the cars that accelerate like crazy off the traffic light when it turns green and ends up stopping at the next light anyways.
 

Ockie

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Just the other day we had a pretty bad accident right near where I work.
I-99, some older couple was driving and decided to use an emergency turn around. Here in PA U-turns are illegal. So there's the first mistake...
So they get off the South bound and turn to get on the N bound. That's all fine and dandy. However, apparently they didn't excatly get on the gas when they pulled out.
Or worse off, didn't check to see what they were pulling out in front of.
Turns out, he hardly accelerated when he pulled back onto the interstate. On top of that, he pulled out in front of a tractor-trailer. Literally, right in front of one (<100' seperated the truck and the car when it entered the highway).
It wasn't pretty :(.

I had somone in an E250 van do the EXACT same thing to me... the guy just wasn't paying attention. He was legal to do a U-Turn, however he did so on the RED (in other words running the red light).

Boy am I glad I drive a Hummer... I plowed the back of his van in... he had serious damage, I had a chipped tow hook and a small chip on the bull bar :D

Here in NY they would never spend that kind of money unless they thought it would make them more. The elected officials have to be able to pay for their $4300 a night whores, after all... ;)

Haha, this is true. So far I think we are one of the few counties with a camera on each traffc post.... so far it's been great, so these folks who runs reds and causes accidents can't get away with their BS.

Personally, Im more concerned with the additional ramifications of lights and cameras that are ostensibly there for "public safety". Is no one concerned about privacy issues? How long until we see targeted billboard advertising based on the camera that just recorded your lisence plate, pulled up your registration, saw you were a 30 year old male, sold the information to the billboard, and then the billboard flashes you an 'Axe' commercial or somesuch. Or the camera checks to see if your insurance and registration is up to date and if youre a day over sends the state troopers to your doorstep. Or the camera operators sell your driving location to bill collectors so that they can track your location and send collectors following you.

I would be the only one who think this is a great idea... I'm tired of seeing the "Home financing", "Car dealer", and fast food signs.
:D
 

Syndicated_Death

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Another question I have for the group of people that think these lights are too distracting, what if a cop was standing at the intersection instead? Would you still hit the gas to go through the yellow and avoid sitting at a red light? Is it so hard to treat the intersections with cameras the same as having a live cop standing there?

A cop can exercise judgment that a camera and a computer can't
 
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