Texas expected to ban red light cameras

MMitch

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I have a question for all the people reading this thread:

How many of you live in an area where they have countdown timers by the pedestrian light? I love these, I can see from a whole block away if I have time to make the light or not. If I don't have time, then I can gradually slow to a stop rather than get surprised by a red light in the "reaction zone".

I don't have that much of an issue with red light cameras as long as there are countdown timers to go with them. Surprising people with a short yellow light and then dinging them for a red light violation is BS.
We have that here, countdowns but not everywhere.
 

Tsumi

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I have a question for all the people reading this thread:

How many of you live in an area where they have countdown timers by the pedestrian light? I love these, I can see from a whole block away if I have time to make the light or not. If I don't have time, then I can gradually slow to a stop rather than get surprised by a red light in the "reaction zone".

I don't have that much of an issue with red light cameras as long as there are countdown timers to go with them. Surprising people with a short yellow light and then dinging them for a red light violation is BS.
A lot of the pedestrian areas around me have them. I don't remember where I was, I think it was Vietnam, but they had countdown timers for the green and yellow lights. If they can implement it there, why can't we?
 

termite

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Because the statistics have shown that while T-bone accidents have gone down, rear-end accidents have gone up at a much higher rate than T-bone accidents going down at red light camera intersections. Granted, the rate of fatal crashes have gone down, but there are better ways of getting the same result.

However the rear-end accidents increase only because the dumb asses who had every intention of running that light slam thier brakes on when they see the red light camera. They of course are being followed by a dumb ass who does not understand proper following distance, or got on the gas because they plan on getting through the intersection as well, maybe combined with distracted driving. So sure, let's blame the camera instead of the moron who was running the red light, I mean pushing the blame to something else is the American Way right?

The only thing the red light camera did was highlight that there is generally something broken with the US drivers education system, and/or that there are too many dumb asses on the road.

Changing the yellow time makes little difference in safety, in the "camera bad" argument all it does is increase/decrease the buffer on whether you ran the red light (in reality of course gives time for the intersection to clear between lights). It doesn't change the fact that the intersecting road(s) also has a red light that some dumb ass will potentially run.

The implementation of the camers is absolutely broken though, from ownership by private/profit based companies to some shady local governments using them as a cash source, instead of a tool to deter dumb asses from running red lights.

That being said, it is the States decision to ban them, and that is how it is supposed to work.
 

Hagrid

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I have a question for all the people reading this thread:

How many of you live in an area where they have countdown timers by the pedestrian light? I love these, I can see from a whole block away if I have time to make the light or not. If I don't have time, then I can gradually slow to a stop rather than get surprised by a red light in the "reaction zone".

I don't have that much of an issue with red light cameras as long as there are countdown timers to go with them. Surprising people with a short yellow light and then dinging them for a red light violation is BS.
I have those. They help so if it's close I start to slow down already. I am not in a hurry enough to try and beat lights.
 

Draax

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Funny ... I wish they would implement them where I live. People are running reds all the time. Considering a red light camera doesn't trigger unless the light is already red, and then a car enters the intersection, I think it is more than fair.
 

Grimlaking

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Funny ... I wish they would implement them where I live. People are running reds all the time. Considering a red light camera doesn't trigger unless the light is already red, and then a car enters the intersection, I think it is more than fair.
You might think that but then the red light camera has now allowance for safety manuvers or circumstance in any fashion. Plus most municipalities make it where you can't properly fight one in court. (Face your accuser.) And as stated above many of the companies adjust the yellow to red light timing to actually increase the number of tickets they issue to improve their profit.
 

Draax

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You might think that but then the red light camera has now allowance for safety manuvers or circumstance in any fashion. Plus most municipalities make it where you can't properly fight one in court. (Face your accuser.) And as stated above many of the companies adjust the yellow to red light timing to actually increase the number of tickets they issue to improve their profit.
I can't speak for how the program works in the US, but I am familiar with how it works here in the great white north, specifically Ontario. The pilot program they did in Toronto reduced angle collisions by 60% and collisions resulting in death or injury by 25%. In Toronto a number of high risk intersections were identified and cameras were rotated through these intersections. Yellow light length was not changed as the length is determined by road speed, following provincial guidelines.
 

nutzo

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From the beginning the statistics show that red light camera caused more accidents that they prevented, so the whole public safety thing was a ruse from the start. Just another money grab by your local friendly tyrannical government.
+100

As others have said, if safety was the issue, they would lengthen the yellow light or implement a 1-2 second delay before the cross light turns green.
Most the revenue for red light cameras out here in Southern California came from people who didn't come to a complete stop before turning on a red light.
On one of the ways I could drive home from work, there was a couple red light cameras.
Before turning right on a red light, I would always come to a complete stop, count to 3 and then turn, just to make sure I didn't get hit with a ticket.
Lost count of how many times someone behind me would lay on the horn.
I finally decided to no longer take that route, and did my shopping elsewhere on the way home, so that city lost tax revenue.


As for the money grab, it's not as much as the local governments originally expected.
Most the local cities have pulled the red light cameras as they mainly made money for the private companies running them, and not much ended up going to the city.
 

Draax

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From the beginning the statistics show that red light camera caused more accidents that they prevented, so the whole public safety thing was a ruse from the start. Just another money grab by your local friendly tyrannical government.
Did red light cameras cause these collisions? Or were the collisions caused by drivers following too close? Correlation vs causation.
 

DoubleTap

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Why not make red light runners pay out the wazzoo? Like 1000's or something.

I don't go on green lights until I know it's clear of red light runners.
This is the problem with the fantasy of man as a rational actor.

You're approaching the problem as if every red light runner was conducting an on the fly cost:benefit and risk assessment.

"Why, if we can just alter the constants, people will recognize the poor value proposition of red light running and come to their senses."

And yet, states with the death penalty still have murders.

Weird.
 

ryan_975

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Did red light cameras cause these collisions? Or were the collisions caused by drivers following too close? Correlation vs causation.
On its own, it's not a cause, but it's not just a correlation. Red light cameras changed drivers' behavior (they will stop at a yellow light even if it's unsafe to do so), increasing the rate of accidents at intersections due to another existing and prevalent contributing factor (people tend to follow too close).
 

cyclone3d

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This is the problem with the fantasy of man as a rational actor.

You're approaching the problem as if every red light runner was conducting an on the fly cost:benefit and risk assessment.

"Why, if we can just alter the constants, people will recognize the poor value proposition of red light running and come to their senses."

And yet, states with the death penalty still have murders.

Weird.
I was almost plowed into by a red-light runner the other day and I didn't even start moving till a couple seconds after the light turned green.

That being said, I have accidentally run a red light a few times... but there are a large number of people in my area that run red lights on purpose.

What they really need is to post police officers at problem intersections so they can nab them right away.

As for murderers... yeah.. give them the death penalty. We don't need to be wasting tax payer dollars at the tune of 40k+ a year to give them free housing, food, medical, schooling, etc.
And releasing them isn't an option either as a lot of them will just go kill more people once they are out.

I've seen too many news stories of this exact thing happening within days of them being released form prison after years of being in there to think otherwise.
 

Draax

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As for murderers... yeah.. give them the death penalty. We don't need to be wasting tax payer dollars at the tune of 40k+ a year to give them free housing, food, medical, schooling, etc.
And releasing them isn't an option either as a lot of them will just go kill more people once they are out.
It is actually cheaper to put someone in prison for life vs giving them the death penalty, mostly due to the long and costly legal process which can take decades. A study of the California death penalty system came to the conclusion that the death penalty is 18 times more expensive than a sentence of life without parole.
 

Hagrid

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This is the problem with the fantasy of man as a rational actor.

You're approaching the problem as if every red light runner was conducting an on the fly cost:benefit and risk assessment.

"Why, if we can just alter the constants, people will recognize the poor value proposition of red light running and come to their senses."

And yet, states with the death penalty still have murders.

Weird.
It's a start. You need a starting point. Maybe jail? Loss of license?
 

viivo

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I have a question for all the people reading this thread:

How many of you live in an area where they have countdown timers by the pedestrian light? I love these, I can see from a whole block away if I have time to make the light or not. If I don't have time, then I can gradually slow to a stop rather than get surprised by a red light in the "reaction zone".

I don't have that much of an issue with red light cameras as long as there are countdown timers to go with them. Surprising people with a short yellow light and then dinging them for a red light violation is BS.
Those and on any road with a speed limit of 45 or more are the signs on either side with flashing lights. The problem* with the latter is if they aren't flashing as I approach them, I speed up because I know they'll start right as I pass and won't make the light at the speed limit.


*problem being the incentive to speed up, not the possibility of missing the light.
 
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sharknice

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They never bothered me. I do not run red lights. Not in a hurry.
If you've ever turned right on red without coming to a complete full stop you have technically run a red light.

If you actually come to a complete stop when it's clear to go you're just wasting time and fuel.
 

Hagrid

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If you've ever turned right on red without coming to a complete full stop you have technically run a red light.

If you actually come to a complete stop when it's clear to go you're just wasting time and fuel.
Like I said, I am in no hurry. I stop if there are cars even close. If not on the turn, it's a fast stop.
Tell people to stop being in such a hurry.
 

Vader1975

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https://reason.com/2019/05/20/texas-poised-to-ban-all-red-light-cameras/
From the article:
If Texas cities want to fine drivers into the poor house, they're going to have to do it the old-fashioned way—with actual law enforcement officers. A bill to ban red light cameras has passed the Texas Legislature and is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. He's expected to sign it.

I think this is awesome. Red light cameras have been a horrible application of technology and law.
That shorting yellow light times comment above is accurate. My city did it and caused many deaths and got sued. We dropped the redlight system and increased the yellow by a full second from the original yellow time and now our accident counts are FAR lower.
 

Vader1975

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Yes, this !!! I went to Roseville in CA and most of those were like that, it was a charm !
I don't know how reliable those are in harsh winters though ?
Ours in Michigan are heat sensors pointed down from polls on the coners of the street with sheilds around the front. They look like camera's kinda but they are just giant heat sensors for traffic red light control. Gets green to come up much faster especially late with no one around.
 

lcpiper

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SO MANY FREAKING TOLL ROADS IN TEXAS!!!

And our taxes go to pay for them. We are paying or others to profit. How the hell does that make any sense?

Anyway...

Yea red light cameras are a traffic safety issue. I've seen too many people slam their breaks rather than risk a red light camera ticket. Then there is a collision. then there is a traffic snarl around that intersection as the drivers exchange info/yell at each other. It's a mess.

Really? I didn't know, a lot must have changed since I last was there. Is it the big cities, Dallas, Houston ?
 

Lakados

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Really? I didn't know, a lot must have changed since I last was there. Is it the big cities, Dallas, Houston ?
Yes with budget cuts private industry has stepped up in a lot of places to pay for roads and bridges in the busiest parts of the US, it is quite the site to behold for the rest of us non Americans who find it amusing that they would do this.
 

westrock2000

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There are 2 things you need to know about Texas and Red Lights that I have not seen anyone bring up yet.

I am a Texan and beat 2 red light cameras in court and did not pay 2. So I have some experience.

The primary purpose of the red light cameras was to catch people making right hand turns. In Texas the law states that to make a right hand turn, you must STOP and then make the turn. In Texas, stop -> s.t.o.p (Stupid Texans Only Pause). Most people only yield on a right turn. This is what the vast majority of the cameras were being used to catch. Very few people run red lights. But many people only yield on right hand turns. Even though the law had always been like that, it was never enforced in any observable way (unless cops needed to pull you over for something). So it was an easy cash grab initially.

The second part is the real reason the lights are being removed. When the state of Texas passed the law allowing red light cameras, they put in some exceptional provisions because of the nature of the crime. The camera captures the license plate of the vehicle and the ticket is sent to the owner of vehicle. This is different than if a police officer caught you running a red light. The driver would get the ticket. And it would be a criminal offense. Because the city can't prove it was you driving, the state legislator said that a red light camera violation is to be treated as a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Because you would be protected by certain laws (like the Constitution) if it was a criminal offense. The second REALLY IMPORTANT part, was that the state legislature made it so that cities could not issue warrants for unpaid red light cameras, and they also couldn't send it to collections. Simply put, they had no legal way to enforce the fine. Only through fear and scary sounding letters could they persuade people to pay the fine. The only theoretical way they could have enforced it was to have the DMV or tax collector prevent you from renewing your license or registering your vehicles. This was never attempted though, because of the inter-department friction it caused. The DMV and tax office weren't going to deal with the bullshit and hassle of telling people they couldn't drive in order to give the police department money. They told the police departments to go pound sand.

So as a result, after several years of these red light cameras wrecking havoc on right hand turners, people on the Internet figured out that the state law said there was no way to enforce the fine. So they just ignored them. And they told their friends and family on social media about it. And eventually so many people ignored the fines that cities started removing them. They had to remove the lights for their own financial well being. The lights were operated by a 3rd party. The cities would "deputize" employees at the company and that was the person that would officially authorize the violation. If you ever got one of these violations and payed it, you would have noticed that you mailed it to a private company, most likely out of state. Not to the city in which the violation occurred. Usually the way it worked was that the cities entered into contracts with these 3rd party companies and companies would get a guaranteed amount of money and the city would get whatever was over that. As more and more people started avoiding the fine, the cities still owed these companies the money as part of the contract. That is why they would spread so quickly to other intersections, because they were trying to overcome the loss of revenue from other intersections (like as locals started stopping on right hand turns or knowing exactly what they were allowed to do when it came to pushing the yellow light).

TL;DR: The red light cameras in Texas made majority of their profit off of right hand turns only yielding and not fully stopping. State legislator gave the cities no legal way to enforce the fine and people started ignoring in mass.
 

Dr. Righteous

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Did red light cameras cause these collisions? Or were the collisions caused by drivers following too close? Correlation vs causation.
There are always going to be drivers following too close. But the effect was people would see the cameras (you can't miss them) and then lock their breaks up if they missed the yellow light thus causing a rear end collision.
But like I said before; this has NOTHING to do with public safety. I lived in the 1st city in Tennessee to adopt red light camera. A company called RedFlex came to the city officials and presented them with a plan that went like this: "You are leaving millions of dollars on the table. Look at the additional revenue this city has generated with our system. Here is our proposal. Sell it to the public as a safety issue. Guaranteed success." Suddenly local talk shows were talking about how dangerous intersections were and we needed to do something about. Wasn't long we had red light camera all over the place. ALSO, politicians had to subvert the state constitution to make this legal. It was a far reaching and politically corrupt money grab; that is all!
Crap like this was one of the biggest motivations to move away from the city and out into the country. City officials were blatantly crooked. Time after time city officials were caught lining their pockets with embezzled funds and got a slap on the wrist instead of jail time.
 
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Draax

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There are always going to be drivers following too close. But the effect was people would see the cameras (you can't miss them) and then lock their breaks up if they missed the yellow light thus causing a rear end collision.
A person breaking doesn't cause a collision. Someone following too close, to be able to fully stop in time, causes a collision. If people make the choice to follow to close its on them ... not the person they run into the back of.
 

ryan_975

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A person breaking doesn't cause a collision. Someone following too close, to be able to fully stop in time, causes a collision. If people make the choice to follow to close its on them ... not the person they run into the back of.
You're confusing fault with cause. A cause is an event that contributes to an effect. If you remove a cause, then the effect cannot occur. If the front driver does not slam on their brakes a rear-end collision cannot occur from the rear driver simply following too close.




However, since it's known that following too closely is dangerous because people have slow reaction times and the actions of other drivers is largely unpredictable, the rear driver is at fault since he had the opportunity to prevent the accident by removing a cause of it.
 

Hagrid

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You're confusing fault with cause. A cause is an event that contributes to an effect. If you remove a cause, then the effect cannot occur. If the front driver does not slam on their brakes a rear-end collision cannot occur from the rear driver simply following too close.




However, since it's known that following too closely is dangerous because people have slow reaction times and the actions of other drivers is largely unpredictable, the rear driver is at fault since he had the opportunity to prevent the accident by removing a cause of it.
If the driver doesn't slam on their brakes, then he would hit whatever it is they were stopping for, which could be something out of their control.
 

ryan_975

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If the driver doesn't slam on their brakes, then he would hit whatever it is they were stopping for, which could be something out of their control.
That doesn't change the fact that "slamming on the brakes" is an event that helped caused a "rear-end collision" event.

When you're doing an RCA on why the number of rear-end collisions are increasing at red-lights, you need to look for anything that's causing them that you can do something about to mitigate the problem
--The obvious one is that rear drivers are following too closely. But that by itself does not cause a rear-end collision. You can tailgate someone all day long, and as long as they don't suddenly stop, you're never going to run into them.
--So what's the missing event that's needed for a rear-end collision... sudden stopping of the forward driver. Just like tail-gating, sudden stops by themselves do not cause collisions. You can slam on your brakes all day long and as long as there's nobody tailgating you, you're not going to get hit because someone was following too close. It's when both causes are combined that a rear-end collision happens.


So what could be causing red-light collisions to happen more frequently.
1) More people are tailgating, and/or
2) more people are stopping suddenly at red-lights.

Let's look at why more people might be tail-gating.. more idiots are driving.
--Can we do anything about that? Not really, people are idiots.

How about why are more people slamming on their brakes are red-lights?
--They're afraid of running the red-light.
-- --Why? Because there's a red-light camera that's being used to issue incontestable tickets for running red-lights.
-- -- -- Can we do something about that? Yes. Take down the cameras.
 

Exercate

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About Time!!! ... I still have the picture that they took of me stopped BEHIND another car at a red light in Dallas.
 

Hagrid

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That doesn't change the fact that "slamming on the brakes" is an event that helped caused a "rear-end collision" event.

When you're doing an RCA on why the number of rear-end collisions are increasing at red-lights, you need to look for anything that's causing them that you can do something about to mitigate the problem
--The obvious one is that rear drivers are following too closely. But that by itself does not cause a rear-end collision. You can tailgate someone all day long, and as long as they don't suddenly stop, you're never going to run into them.
--So what's the missing event that's needed for a rear-end collision... sudden stopping of the forward driver. Just like tail-gating, sudden stops by themselves do not cause collisions. You can slam on your brakes all day long and as long as there's nobody tailgating you, you're not going to get hit because someone was following too close. It's when both causes are combined that a rear-end collision happens.


So what could be causing red-light collisions to happen more frequently.
1) More people are tailgating, and/or
2) more people are stopping suddenly at red-lights.

Let's look at why more people might be tail-gating.. more idiots are driving.
--Can we do anything about that? Not really, people are idiots.

How about why are more people slamming on their brakes are red-lights?
--They're afraid of running the red-light.
-- --Why? Because there's a red-light camera that's being used to issue incontestable tickets for running red-lights.
-- -- -- Can we do something about that? Yes. Take down the cameras.
Basically you said what everybody else has said and nothing at the same time. :)
We know the causes, we need prevention or something to make it so they think twice.

Not sure why if they go to court, it gets thrown out. I could care less who the driver is. If it's your car, you pay.
Jail sentences? All people do not kill/rob/rape/etc since there are serious consequences if caught.
 

ryan_975

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Basically you said what everybody else has said and nothing at the same time. :)
We know the causes,
The person I quoted in the quote you quoted apparently doesn't. So I hope you'll forgive me if I misunderstood you to be arguing the same point.

we need prevention or something to make it so they think twice.

Not sure why if they go to court, it gets thrown out. I could care less who the driver is. If it's your car, you pay.
Jail sentences? All people do not kill/rob/rape/etc since there are serious consequences if caught.
Prevention of what exactly, running red lights? rear-end collisions? both?
 

nilepez

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I can't believe no one think about it twice to run a red light if they know there's a camera ? Also that's good proof for insurance...
I know I slow down if I know there's a radar (Either disclosed or shown by Waze). I would also take extra care to not run a red with camera...
Has nothing to do with insurance. It's the equivalent of a parking ticket. Charge 1k and every single ticket will go to court and there's not guarantee you'll win, once a lawyer is involved. As i said above, my parents lived in a place that had them and they dropped them, because people just wouldn't pay the tickets. In some cases, it increased running of lights, because people ran them on purpose in protest (not making that up) and NEVER paid them (and they never will). I got one in a place where they said I was speeding in a school zone. But the light wasn't flashing to indicate it was within the the time for lower speed limits. It was 75 bucks. I never paid it. And I never will. Others I paid...they were 20-25...and even those were questionable, but I just paid it to get it over with.

My insurance company was never notified and they never will be.
 

nilepez

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And you have numbers to back it up or just your opinion?
The speed limit in TX on the interstate is often 75 and sometimes as high as 85. They only write tickets if you're going at least 10 mph over the speed limit. They write lots of tickets. I drove those roads for years and I've seen it, repeatedly. I've gotten a speeding ticket from a red light (which I grudgingly paid, because I wasn't driving 400 miles to challenge it) and I think I could have beaten it, because it was ridiculous. The speed limit was 40 or 45. Just before a redlight camera, they lower it to 35 and not far past that light it's back to the old limit. Speed trap it was.
 

IdiotInCharge

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The speed limit was 40 or 45. Just before a redlight camera, they lower it to 35 and not far past that light it's back to the old limit. Speed trap it was.
This is referred to the City of Plano, Texas.

-first-hand experience
 

ryan_975

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We've got a road that is 45 MPH except for one intersection where the cross-road is 35. I know three people who got 10-over speeding tickets because there are "Reduced Speed Ahead" signs on each side of that intersection. I don't know if they held up in court of not... but knowing this county, they probably did.
 

wizzi01

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Funny ... I wish they would implement them where I live. People are running reds all the time. Considering a red light camera doesn't trigger unless the light is already red, and then a car enters the intersection, I think it is more than fair.
A red light camera will trigger even if you leave the intersection before the light is red, but are in the intersection when the light turns red.
 

MMitch

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A red light camera will trigger even if you leave the intersection before the light is red, but are in the intersection when the light turns red.
First results in bold of google... pasted below.

The red light camera went off. ... "Drivers are only ticketed via the camera system for entering the intersection after the light has turned RED. If you enter a photo red light intersection on a green oryellow light you will not be ticketed by the camerasystem.
 
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