Red-light cameras set to debut in downtown San Rafael

Full story: Marin Independent Journal

Traffic engineers are poised to install photo-enforcement cameras on city streets - making San Rafael the first city in Marin to install the devices aimed at catching red-light runners in the act.
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1 - 20 of 135 Comments Last updated Jul 14, 2011
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BadRedLight

Alameda, CA

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#1
Aug 17, 2009
 
Hire illegals to hold stop signs at intersections and wave them around. A lot cheaper than these anti-workingperson robot cops.
Day Hiker

Novato, CA

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#2
Aug 17, 2009
 
Pay attention to the time the yellow light is on. Some cities shorten the yellow light times to make it easier to issue citations. I wouldn't put it past San Rafael to pull a similar stunt in its revenue raising mantra. Watch the rear end collisions increase as drivers slam on brakes to avoid a ticket only to be rear ended. Red light cameras actually increase accidents, although you'll never see that little fact mentioned, because red light cameras are a cash cow.
SANFORD GOSSMAN

Burlingame, CA

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#3
Aug 17, 2009
 
(I live in San Rafael.)

All MARIN DRIVERS TAKE NOTE: Before I “retired” I had many enjoyable experiences using traffic commissioners and judges to help entertain myself while exposing the ineptitude of local law-enforcement officers...such as those who ask to see your registration when the law requires them to LOOK FOR IT! And those who ask to see ”proof of insurance” before they issue a citation for something UNnrelated, as REQUIRED by the LAW! This new tactic is too much for me to resist. My e-mail address is sigossman@earthlink.net. Put it with your drivers license. If you are issued a ticket that is prosecuted by “who knows who” using machine-gathered evidence alone and want to contest it, please contact me. I’ll help you fight it and we’ll both have a lot of fun in the process.

As always: drive carefully and safely!
KBS-972

San Anselmo, CA

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#4
Aug 17, 2009
 
Day Hiker wrote:
Pay attention to the time the yellow light is on. Some cities shorten the yellow light times to make it easier to issue citations. I wouldn't put it past San Rafael to pull a similar stunt in its revenue raising mantra. Watch the rear end collisions increase as drivers slam on brakes to avoid a ticket only to be rear ended. Red light cameras actually increase accidents, although you'll never see that little fact mentioned, because red light cameras are a cash cow.
As a certified traffic signal technician, I will tell you that "they" don't shorten the yellow time for any reason. It's all about perception on your part. Due to tort liability public traffic agencies have been sued upside and down by crafty lawyers and are extremely careful not to create any situation with signal timing that would increase accidents. It is the traffic engineering (signal timing dept.) that is in charge of setting timing, and they are the ones who are responsible. The Police dept is only authorized to put an intersection on flash/all red, they can't mess with the timing because they are not authorized to, they are just cops, not engineers !
Reader

Santa Cruz, CA

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#5
Aug 17, 2009
 
A $503 ticket and the city gets only $140? Who gets the rest? Someone will pocket a lot of $$$ on this gig.
Mike in Terra Linda

South San Francisco, CA

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#6
Aug 17, 2009
 
Yet another way for City of San Rafael to desperately collect $$ from the public. Red light camera is a cash cow business, and it is just a matter of time they will be installing it to collect revenues from Marin residents.

Did you know that to contest a parking ticket issued in San Rafael you have to deal with an agency in southern california and no matter what you will end up paying for these fines. The parking enforcement crew are evil in this City and their sole goal is to cite you for every freaken violation out there.
Ridiculous

Novato, CA

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#7
Aug 18, 2009
 
Sorry to open this can, but can someone please explain what happens when illegals are busted by these cameras?(when the license plates don't match up with a registered owner?)
KBS-972

San Anselmo, CA

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#8
Aug 18, 2009
 
Reader wrote:
A $503 ticket and the city gets only $140? Who gets the rest? Someone will pocket a lot of $$$ on this gig.
Most likely the corporation that installed the camera system gets most of the money. It is a well known privatization scam going on in cities all around the country. They do the install and kick back and collect bucoup bonairo for nothing and chicks for free.
EyeFive

Ontario, CA

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#9
Aug 18, 2009
 
Everyone needs to know about Snitch Tickets, fake/phishing tickets sent out by the police to bluff the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car.(Daly City, San Mateo, San Leandro, Emeryville, Millbrae and Union City do it. We will have to wait to see if San Rafael does it.) Snitch Tickets have not been filed with the court, so they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's addr. and phone #, and usually say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court about this notice." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight whatsoever. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term.
Nobama

Santa Clara, CA

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#10
Aug 18, 2009
 
Mike in Terra Linda wrote:
Yet another way for City of San Rafael to desperately collect $$ from the public. Red light camera is a cash cow business, and it is just a matter of time they will be installing it to collect revenues from Marin residents.
Did you know that to contest a parking ticket issued in San Rafael you have to deal with an agency in southern california and no matter what you will end up paying for these fines. The parking enforcement crew are evil in this City and their sole goal is to cite you for every freaken violation out there.
I know .....
you have to pay some company in Huntington Beach, Ca.- I recently received a parking ticket at a
meter on 3rd Street, ironically, as I was trying to get change from a merchant so I could feed the meter. I usually make sure I have several quarters in the coin holder on the center console, but forgot to "re-stock", and BAM! A ticket. Danm things are expensive in this town.
My fault, though. However (!), there is a particular San Rafael Motorcycle Cop that sits
in the parking lot of the beverage outlet store on 3rd at Lindaro. It must be a real "duck pond"
because every time I pass by, SOMEONE is getting nailed. What I'd like to see in addition to enhanced DUI enforcement are random "safety checks" like they used to have many years ago
to make sure your vehicle had working horns, lights, wipers, etc., and MORE crosswalk enforcement. You cross any street in this town and you're taking your life in your own hands -
most drivers will invariably fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. They'll "dodge" them and swerve around them, but won't yield to the
pedestrians "right of way" in a crosswalk.
Book Em Danno

Novato, CA

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#11
Aug 18, 2009
 
Nobama wrote:
<quoted text>I know .....
you have to pay some company in Huntington Beach, Ca.- I recently received a parking ticket at a
meter on 3rd Street, ironically, as I was trying to get change from a merchant so I could feed the meter. I usually make sure I have several quarters in the coin holder on the center console, but forgot to "re-stock", and BAM! A ticket. Danm things are expensive in this town.
My fault, though. However (!), there is a particular San Rafael Motorcycle Cop that sits
in the parking lot of the beverage outlet store on 3rd at Lindaro. It must be a real "duck pond"
because every time I pass by, SOMEONE is getting nailed. What I'd like to see in addition to enhanced DUI enforcement are random "safety checks" like they used to have many years ago
to make sure your vehicle had working horns, lights, wipers, etc., and MORE crosswalk enforcement. You cross any street in this town and you're taking your life in your own hands -
most drivers will invariably fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. They'll "dodge" them and swerve around them, but won't yield to the
pedestrians "right of way" in a crosswalk.
There are two crosswalks on Third between Linoln and A St that are accidents just waiting to happen. There are three lanes of traffic, and two might be stopped for a pedestrian. Meanwhile, some guy in the third lane is not paying attention, barreling right through. I was guilty of that myself once. What they need is those blinking lights built into the crosswalk...
Day Hiker

Novato, CA

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#12
Aug 18, 2009
 
Dear KBS-972,

You may be a traffic engineer and claim that SR won't shorten the yellow light times. Perhaps they won't. However, in Arizona and other states (including Calif) this has been done on numerous occasions, prompting news stories exposing the scam. Follow the money. I'm just telling people to pay attention. Don't assume SR won't do it. And you cannot refute the fact that rear end collisions do increase in intersections when red light cameras are installed once drivers know they are there, because instead of running through the yellow, they'll slam on their brakes to get stopped and Bam! Hit from behind. These cameras are not about safety, they are about raising revenues—period. End of story.
kitty

Mill Valley, CA

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#13
Aug 18, 2009
 
problem is at irwin and second not third
these are folks that got thru the siganal at second and want to keep on going
people come off 101 at a high rate of speed and dont slow down
then when the signal changes they try to blow it
solution would be to put an area of bot dots in the area of the offramp before second where it starts to curve to disrupt enough folks to slow them down
but then no $ in that
Jake

Oakland, CA

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#14
Aug 18, 2009
 
I got a light at the bottom of my street that ticks me off something aweful. Thing never changes when I'm sitting there and I always just miss the green. I swear before I move I'm gonna yank that control box out of the ground with my truck.
Jim

United States

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#15
Aug 18, 2009
 
Checkpoints, red light cameras, awe heck let's just get Joe's tanks rolling down 4 St. on a regular basis so we all understand that Big Brother and the Police/Prison Industrial Complex is running our lives.

There is an election this fall. Maybe it is time to swing us in another direction in this town.
Ipaymuchotaxesfo rmyamigos

United States

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#16
Aug 18, 2009
 
Ridiculous wrote:
Sorry to open this can, but can someone please explain what happens when illegals are busted by these cameras?(when the license plates don't match up with a registered owner?)
Nothing will happen. They are allowed to break laws in San Rafael. Haven't you noticed?
KBS-972

San Anselmo, CA

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#17
Aug 18, 2009
 
Jake wrote:
I got a light at the bottom of my street that ticks me off something aweful. Thing never changes when I'm sitting there and I always just miss the green. I swear before I move I'm gonna yank that control box out of the ground with my truck.
There are many different types of traffic signal controllers in use, for different locations. There are pre-timed, semi-actuated and fully actuated. Depending on the schedule programmed, they detect vehicles and handle calls differently during the day and night.
If you notice a problem with the controllers you can call your agency and register a complaint, if enough people report the problem they will investigate and make modifications to timing or counting functions. The squeeky wheel gets the grease.
Green , yellow and red times are calculated by a formula that includes traffic speed, volume and distance. We are always interested in hearing from motorists on ways to improve safety and traffic flow, and upgrades and modifications are done all the time.
Now for these red light cameras, I think they just another private corporate money sucking scam that don't benefit the cities or motorists much at all, it's all about sucking money out of the public.
Speed Kills

New York, NY

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#18
Aug 18, 2009
 
I would like to hear from the judges in Marin County - in other states, these red-traffic light cameras have proved unenforcable. You may be able to prove through pictures, that the car went through the red light - but it is much harder to prove who was driving the car.
m0xxie

San Francisco, CA

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#19
Aug 18, 2009
 
Mike in Terra Linda wrote:
Yet another way for City of San Rafael to desperately collect $$ from the public. Red light camera is a cash cow business, and it is just a matter of time they will be installing it to collect revenues from Marin residents.
Did you know that to contest a parking ticket issued in San Rafael you have to deal with an agency in southern california and no matter what you will end up paying for these fines. The parking enforcement crew are evil in this City and their sole goal is to cite you for every freaken violation out there.
Mike, I completely agree with you about red light cameras, but my experience with parking tickets is different from yours. Last year I got ticketed on Fifth because the parking meter placement was confusing and I put money in the wrong meter. I contested the ticket via the email process, and the ticket was dismissed. So, sometimes the system works!

But about the red light cameras, terrible idea. Makes my blood boil that they are going through with this. Just another reason to move to Novato, I guess.
m0xxie

San Francisco, CA

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#20
Aug 18, 2009
 
Speed Kills wrote:
I would like to hear from the judges in Marin County - in other states, these red-traffic light cameras have proved unenforcable. You may be able to prove through pictures, that the car went through the red light - but it is much harder to prove who was driving the car.
Maybe I should take to wearing a fake mustache when driving around San Rafael?

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