Red Light Caqmeras (sorry, yet again)

BernieP

Resident PIA
I saw this on the old news feed today and found the headline intriguing so I clicked.

A traffic ticket dispute in Oregon turns into a bigger fight over free-speech rights

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-traffic-ticket-dispute-in-oregon-turns-into-a-bigger-fight-over-free-speech-rights/ar-BBGG4c6?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

What was interesting was what a lot of us feared.

[QOUTE]In 2013, Mats Jarlstrom's wife got a $260 ticket in the mail for running a red light.
It wasn't exactly the crime of the century. A camera caught her Volkswagen passing through a Beaverton, Ore., intersection [B}0.12 second[/B] after the light turned from yellow to red. [/QUOTE]

Take note of the time 12 100ths of a second, 0.12 secs.

In Beaverton, the yellow lights were supposed to last exactly 3.5 seconds.

But using a stopwatch and two high-definition video cameras, Jarlstrom ran his own tests on the intersection where his wife was ticketed. He said his findings showed that the intersection's yellow lights ran on average 0.14 second, or 4 percent, shorter than advertised. He complained to the city.

"You might think this error is small but put into perspective a watch would add one full hour every day! (24 hours (ASTERISK) 4 percent equals 0.96 hours or 57.6 minutes)," Jarlstrom wrote in a memo to the City Council. "Not acceptable accuracy with today's technology - the ancient Greeks had better timing devices!"

City officials weren't convinced that anything was wrong - and neither was a judge, who looked at Jarlstrom's research before upholding his wife's ticket.
So had the light been timed accurately, to the standard set, there would have been no ticket. Note too, that the judge decided that the evidence wasn't good enough.
This is what happens when you turn it over to a for profit organization. A lot of pressure to at least break even of the government, and make a profit for the company.

Read the rest of the story on the safety involved with the timing of the yellow light.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
One of the interesting aspects of this is that rather than actually investigate the problem and fix it, the state organization charged with licsencing engineers fined this guy $500 for practicing as an engineer without a licsence. which he fought and eventually won, but the point is that the system defends itself in any possible at the expense of citizens.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
One of the interesting aspects of this is that rather than actually investigate the problem and fix it, the state organization charged with licsencing engineers fined this guy $500 for practicing as an engineer without a licsence. which he fought and eventually won, but the point is that the system defends itself in any possible at the expense of citizens.
That's how the system works, don't look at the data, the facts, discredit the source. Not like what he was saying was new, he borrowed on what he knew they did in Sweden.
For the record, just because he wasn't a "licensed" engineer, doesn't mean he was any less qualified. He just didn't go through the expense of the licensing process (and renewal).
Most "engineers" are not licensed, because it's not required or even beneficial in their job.

But I didn't want to go there, I wanted to stick to just the story that the ticket his wife received would not have been a ticket if the system were timed in accordance with state standards.

It didn't surprise me either that the local authorities would ignore his evidence. To do so would turn the industry on it's head. At the least they state would have to invalidate every camera citation from that light, and have all other lights tested.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
Oh, they didnt dispute that he was qualified, but rahter that by making his math public, which might financially benfit some citizens, he effectively operated for money, and that was where they came up wit the violation. If your logic in fining someone gets that tortured, you need to step back.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
That's how the system works, don't look at the data, the facts, discredit the source. Not like what he was saying was new, he borrowed on what he knew they did in Sweden.
For the record, just because he wasn't a "licensed" engineer, doesn't mean he was any less qualified. He just didn't go through the expense of the licensing process (and renewal).
Most "engineers" are not licensed, because it's not required or even beneficial in their job.

But I didn't want to go there, I wanted to stick to just the story that the ticket his wife received would not have been a ticket if the system were timed in accordance with state standards.

It didn't surprise me either that the local authorities would ignore his evidence. To do so would turn the industry on it's head. At the least they state would have to invalidate every camera citation from that light, and have all other lights tested.
What should now be done is to ask for the signature of the licensed PE that designed or verified the proper operation of the cameras. If a licensed PE was not involved then the calibration can't possibly be correct, so all of the tickets issued would be invalid.
 

3CATSAILOR

New Member
What should now be done is to ask for the signature of the licensed PE that designed or verified the proper operation of the cameras. If a licensed PE was not involved then the calibration can't possibly be correct, so all of the tickets issued would be invalid.
I can see this argument in Court one day.
 
I believe a similar case did go to court and the guy won. The camera's calibration has to be inspected and verified on a set schedule. The guy owned a business and several of his trucks had received tickets at a particular light. He requested the inspection report and found they had not been doing the scheduled inspection so he was able to get all of his tickets thrown out.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
I can see this argument in Court one day.
Not likely, first I think most jurisdictions use a local law enforcement officer to sign off on the tickets.
Most courts will accept the sworn statement of the officer (his signature) as evidence the systems are accurate and the ticket is valid.
And in most courts, that statement will not be challenged. Unless you have lots of money and certified experts (paid) to testify on your behalf, the court will reject your request.
Whether it's a red light or speed camera, they aren't gong to allow a "simple" traffic violation to slow up the justice system and incur increased costs because of an individual's frivolous request.
 

MiddleGround

Well-Known Member
If they installed red light cameras in the route 235 corridor, the first 3 to 4 weeks would yield astronomical fines based on what I have seen the last 3 months.
 

3CATSAILOR

New Member
Not likely, first I think most jurisdictions use a local law enforcement officer to sign off on the tickets.
Most courts will accept the sworn statement of the officer (his signature) as evidence the systems are accurate and the ticket is valid.
And in most courts, that statement will not be challenged. Unless you have lots of money and certified experts (paid) to testify on your behalf, the court will reject your request.
Whether it's a red light or speed camera, they aren't gong to allow a "simple" traffic violation to slow up the justice system and incur increased costs because of an individual's frivolous request.
Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Follow the money. This is where the truth lies. It is interesting they say you have the right to have your case heard in Court. What they don't bother to tell you about is the extravagant Court fees. This acts as a deterrent for most people.
 

3CATSAILOR

New Member
If they installed red light cameras in the route 235 corridor, the first 3 to 4 weeks would yield astronomical fines based on what I have seen the last 3 months.
How many Counties that have red light cameras have ONLY red light cameras and not the speed cameras? Does anyone know? I predict most Counties have "both". The money produced by red light cameras is like a drug to Counties. They always look for more. Hats off to Washington DC. At least "they admit it".

The deaths and non death accidents are through the roof in our County. Does anyone believe red light or speed cameras will help it? The answer is no. Does non-enforcement mean we need automated enforcement instead? No. It means our officers need to do what they are hired to do. Not just criminal cases but traffic enforcement as well. I am confident our Sheriff will address this problem and get it under control. The alternative that involves more deaths is not acceptable to anyone.
 

Popster

Member
Don't mean to hijack this thread, but.... Say you see the light turn yellow and hesitate a fraction of a second in deciding whether to go or stop. Since you are worried about the camera, you decide to stop and slam on the brakes during the crazy evening commute on 235. The driver behind you meanwhile thought that you should have gone through the light with no problem. He rear-ends you. If his lawyer can convince the court that you were ! % at fault for the accident because of your "sudden and excessive stop, Maryland law will preclude you receiving any payment on your claim from that driver. That law need to be changed.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
I believe a similar case did go to court and the guy won. The camera's calibration has to be inspected and verified on a set schedule. The guy owned a business and several of his trucks had received tickets at a particular light. He requested the inspection report and found they had not been doing the scheduled inspection so he was able to get all of his tickets thrown out.
If they installed red light cameras in the route 235 corridor, the first 3 to 4 weeks would yield astronomical fines based on what I have seen the last 3 months.
How many Counties that have red light cameras have ONLY red light cameras and not the speed cameras? Does anyone know? I predict most Counties have "both". The money produced by red light cameras is like a drug to Counties. They always look for more. Hats off to Washington DC. At least "they admit it".

The deaths and non death accidents are through the roof in our County. Does anyone believe red light or speed cameras will help it? The answer is no. Does non-enforcement mean we need automated enforcement instead? No. It means our officers need to do what they are hired to do. Not just criminal cases but traffic enforcement as well. I am confident our Sheriff will address this problem and get it under control. The alternative that involves more deaths is not acceptable to anyone.
Don't mean to hijack this thread, but.... Say you see the light turn yellow and hesitate a fraction of a second in deciding whether to go or stop. Since you are worried about the camera, you decide to stop and slam on the brakes during the crazy evening commute on 235. The driver behind you meanwhile thought that you should have gone through the light with no problem. He rear-ends you. If his lawyer can convince the court that you were ! % at fault for the accident because of your "sudden and excessive stop, Maryland law will preclude you receiving any payment on your claim from that driver. That law need to be changed.
Damn, been away from this thread for a while, it's grown a bit. In order.

1. That was a guy up in I think Fort Washington, what, 5-6 years ago? His case was math based, he was able to show that his trucks were not capable of achieving the speeds the cameras said they were going. Vendor was I think Optotronics, and the radar in those just seem to have a hard time with large boxy vehicles. Was one of those that said a stopped bus was going 30 in Baltimore, IIRC. That combined with the citations that gave not just two pictures of the vehicle, but also gave timestamps on those pictures down three decimal places. Using two fixed objects in the frame combined with the timestamps allowed simple math to demonstrate the real speed of his trucks. After that, the vendor stopped putting timestamps that accurate on the citations. They closed off that legal avenue.

2. MG, indeed they would. But here's the thing. They would rake in a lot of money, but they would not make anyone any safer. See, because the is refined parasitism, the parasite knows if it annoy the host too much, the host will kill it. So, there is no insurance company reporting, and the fine is kept to a low $75, vice I think $225 for an officer issued ticket. So, there's not as much deterrent effect as you might think. Coupled with the fact that the deadly red light runners? Most times they were not even cognizant there was a red light. Here in that stretch at least, there's a full second full red overlap, meaning that someone running the red and hitting another motorist was most likely running a red that was older than 1.5 seconds. which sounds short but is pretty long in light terms.

3. 3CAT, I think most are running both, with the more populated ones running of course larger systems. Calvert only has speed cameras, however. And doing stuff like right on red cameras, etc. And we've been over the speed cameras a lot, they are the biggest scam moneymaker out there. I wish I had your confidence in the Sheriff, but based on the fact that most of the enforcement in response to the increased crash rate seems to all be speed enforcement, I'm not as confident. I don't fix a leaky roof by weather stripping the windows. And you dont deter distracted driving by pointing a laser out the window.

4. Driver behavior changes due to cameras and increased incidence of rear end crashes at them is well documented. Generally accepted and waved off by advocates as an acceptable tradeoff for the reduction in generally more severe T-bone crashes, although in places like this, before data on both can be pretty hard to come by to argue either case. Hard to say you have reduced the T-bones when your before data has one or incidents in 2-5 years. And your data on any other intersection crashes is non-existent because you didn't record them that way. These are some of the reasons the SHA told the Sheriff that they wouldnt allow him to put cameras on 235s red lights.
 
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