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Author Topic: Red light camera  (Read 9841 times)
eddiepotts
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« on: July 13, 2010, 04:59:03 AM »

Has any one received a ticket from a red light camera? I have them all over the city I live in and there is no way to get stopped or fully cross before red but I have never received a letter. Just wondering if the picture is taken before the bus gets through?
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rip
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 05:45:18 AM »

Depends on where you live and the definition of an intersection.I'm retired Phx.PD and the definition of an intersection is the extention of the curb lines.Once you cross that line before the light turns red,no ticket
   Don
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 05:46:01 AM »

Same here Ed and also we have found ourselfs sitting at a REDLIGHT more then once waiting and waiting for the light to change. Finally we would just turn right and find a place to turn around! Light sensors can't see us??? M&C
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 06:10:28 AM »

M&C, sensor lights are a different animal from photo enforcement.  Sensor lights adapt the signal timing based on the presence of vehicles at or near the intersection.  Photo enforcement involves a camera system aimed to catch a photo of license plates and drivers of vehicles in the intersection when the light turns red.  The owner of a vehicle found to be in violation gets mailed a ticket.  They can usually go online to see a photo of the driver.

But you bring up an interesting point about sensor lights.  I wonder if they use IR sensors that are looking for the heat source (i.e. front mounted radiator) and are blind to rear engine vehicles?

On the photo enforcement setups, they are human reviewed before a citation is issued.  Perhaps they make allowances for large vehicles.  Or maybe the reviewers aren't looking closely and just see "a bus" and move on to the next one.
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Iceni John
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 08:04:18 AM »

I wonder if they use IR sensors that are looking for the heat source (i.e. front mounted radiator) and are blind to rear engine vehicles?
My understanding is that inductive loops are buried in the road surface, and they detact any metal above them.   Some bicyclists using carbon fiber bikes and CF wheels have reported that these inductive sensors don't trigger when they are above them, but they will when they ride their steel- or aluminum-framed bikes with aluminum wheels!   Bicyclists are experts in placing their wheels directly above the lines, whether they are circular or the more common two-line or three line pattern.   My personal experience is that some sensors are more sensitive than others, and some cities are better than others at maintaining consistent sensor levels.   A honking great bus should have no problem triggering the lights!   

John
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 11:15:21 AM »

San Diego claims their red light cameras are similar to the rest of CA and are constantly running, aka movie cameras.  The advice to me, if ticketed, "ask for the frames before I entered the intersection and after I leave the intersection".  As long as the vehicle has entered the intersection before red it is legal.  I did not ask if "entered" meant bumper, front axle, or complete vehicle.  Figured the distinction would come if I ever receive a red light ticket.

In the FWIW category, most of San Deigo's early red light tickets were thrown out because they lowered the yellow light time on stoplights with cameras.

Hope it helps.

Mike
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eddiepotts
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 12:28:31 PM »

Mike, here they refunded tickets also for shortening the yellow time. I was also told if you get a ticket, in court you have the right to face your accuser. Ask for the camera to appear in front of the judge. If that works I don't know. We have them on every light and I do my best but I know they turn red even sometimes before I start to cross but I have never received anything. I am not slamming my family 40ft to the front of the bus over a ticket. I do blow the air horns just to wake people up to see I am still coming. I am just curious if they even ticket buses anywhere with these cameras. FWIW I do not do this every light and I do try to stop but sometimes that is what leaves you in the middle. Just saying it has happend
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 12:38:00 PM »

The red light cameras have both still and video.  You do not have the right to face your accusor for it is civil and not criminal.  THat is how that duped the country into accepting these cash cows.  Yes I said it CASH COW.  The numbers are showing an increase of accidents as a result of the cameras.  They are on the way out but it still ticks me off to no end we as a country allowed them to go this far with it.
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eddiepotts
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 12:50:01 PM »

I hope that's not all that ticks you off Wal. We have given everything up. Tell me why we blame the Banks for the housing market going bust? My property taxes are 3x as much as my house payment. So the city can afford these cameras.
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 12:57:06 PM »

In most places they don't buy or own the cameras even.  They are owned, installed, maintained and operated by companies that get a very sizeable portion of every cite written as a result of the camera.  (iirc, Chattanooga's deal is the company gets either 50% or 60% of the citation)
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 02:55:06 PM »

Well, I guess I'm one of the few who support red light cameras.  Red light running is epidemic where I live and there have been some horrendous accidents because if them.  So, not only do I think there should be cameras at most major intersections, I think there should be fake cameras at every other intersection.

If the city makes a few dollars from them, it's fine with me as long as the funds are used for better law enforcement.  We just can't afford to have police at every intersection to catch red light runners.

I cannot understand the idea that accident rates go up where there are cameras.  The only explanation id that someone gets read ended because they actually stopped for a red light.  "Gee, officer, I thought he was going to run the light and I was going to follow him through it".

The yellow light timing should only be based on safe stopping distances at the posted speed.  It if is any shorter than that, it is indeed cause for complaint.

More than once, I have thought I was pushing my luck going through a yellow light when I should have stopped, only to find five more cars following me through.
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 05:42:34 PM »

The reason for potentially increased accidents with red light cameras is people slamming on brakes to stop instead of continuing on through yellow lights like in the past.  There must be some standard for yellow light timing based on the speed limit and average traffic volume.  Any city that doesn't time their yellow lights per standard should have every ticket thrown out.

The City of Minneapolis installed these at several intersections where the accident rates were very high.  The courts eventually ruled they violated state law as the owner of the car was cited and not the driver.  I think the whole 'I loaned my car to someone else' argument is silly as how many people really loan out their cars?  You would think those complaining the loudest never actually drove the car they owned.  (I suppose some parents own cars that belong to their kids.)  I can count on one hand the number of times I haven't been the driver of my car.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 07:58:23 PM by belfert » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 07:20:58 PM »

Is your wife's car in your name or is your car in her name?  I once got a citation in the mail for a bus I had sold 6 months earlier.
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 08:05:09 PM »

FWIW,

We have a combination of inductive loops and overhead optical sensors for the garage doors here in Big Transit.

The inductive loops can be set so fine, that a worker with steel toe boots walking onto the loop can be sensed.

Woe to the guy with the new kevlar toes....!!!

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2010, 09:33:32 PM »

...There must be some standard for yellow light timing based on the speed limit and average traffic volume...


1-Second/MPH on controlled-right-of-way.

This means that yellow should be 3.5 seconds if your speedlimit is 35MPH, 4.5 seconds if 45MPH.  Federal Standard, however a yellow may be lengthened if a special intercection design is used, and the time between the red and a green is variable based on traffic density on the right of way and the speeds (length of green is totally up to the light programmer - and I've seen some dumb times set, one I stop at every once in a while can have as short as a 5-second green).


...I cannot understand the idea that accident rates go up where there are cameras.  The only explanation is that someone gets read ended because they actually stopped for a red light.  "Gee, officer, I thought he was going to run the light and I was going to follow him through it"...


Reports support this, yes T-bone accidents are down, but rear-ender accidents are up.  Incidentally, cars are more survivable in head-on/rear-end crashes versus side-impact - so the fatalities are also down.  The simple answer to this is something that was once mentioned here a long time ago: 'Watch out for "stale" green lights'.  If it's been green for a while it will change.  If the pedestrian lights go from blinking "Don't Walk" to solid, it will change.

I was witness to an accident like this a few months ago in Santa Clara on my way to work – the car approaching the light slowed to a stop for a yellow/red – the guy behind her did not (BAM!!!).  Wasn’t even a camera at this intersection, the lady was just following the law and the guy didn’t expect her to.  Of course I had more than 2x the required distance behind him since I keep enough space in front of me…

I wonder if they use IR sensors that are looking for the heat source (i.e. front mounted radiator) and are blind to rear engine vehicles?

My understanding is that inductive loops are buried in the road surface, and they detect any metal above them...


Most use inductive loops – cheap, reliable, weather does not affect as much as optical.  The style of loop affects the sensitivity (there are two popular styles, circle or figure-eight), most require a ferric (iron/steel) metal to trip – but they also have different Automatic Gain Controls to reject ambient noise, sometimes when set wrong they reject cars/trucks.  They work on the principal of open core transformers, by sending a radio frequency throught a coil, a second coil which is not "driven" is located in the driven coil pack.  The un-driven coild detects the radio frequency from the driven coil- but if a ferric object is in the coil's field, the effect is that the ferric object will delay the energy transfer from one coil to the next (as the energy must first saturate the ferric object), a simple timing circuit (phase detection) will detect the delay change.  There are some devices out there that will "listen" for the coil frequency and then broadcast a new signal that is way delayed (out of phase) of the driven coild signal so that the detector coil will not miss the object.  This kind of device is popular with motorcyclists.

Triggering of a red-light camera in CA requires that as the light turns from yellow to red, there are two loops right at the limit line which will calculate if your vehicle is going to enter the intersection due to the rate of speed you are progressing.  If you are going below this set rate (and thus will not enter the intersection), the camera won’t trigger.  If it triggers, it will take a series of pictures.  1. A picture indicating that you were not in the intersection when the light turned red (they use front tires for this in the case I’ve seen), 2. A picture indicating that you then subsequently entered the intersection with the light red (both the car and the light must be visible in the picture), and 3. A picture delayed after your entrance into the intersection to show that either you continued into the intersection or ran into someone (often these cameras catch the moment right after a T-bone).  Understand that there are often several angles of the single event, and the cameras they are using are multi-mega pixel (2+) so quality is usually not an issue.

The pictures are then sent to the management company to verify that they have good enough quality pictures to identify the vehicle, tag number, driver of the vehicle, and time sequence stamps before mailing you the ticket.  If you get one in the mail, you need to verify that you are the driver or not the driver (if you are not, you will be asked by the court to identify the driver in the picture as the registered/responsible party for the vehicle).

-T

P.S. Check out the cameras that they use in my city... -T
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 09:53:51 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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