What we think: Go green on cameras

What we think: Go green on cameras

There are 38 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from May 10, 2009, titled What we think: Go green on cameras. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

I n Groundhog Day , a TV weatherman covers a story about Punxsutawney Phil, the famed weathervane rodent, and soon learns that he is seemingly forever doomed to repeat the same day.

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Lamar

United States

#22 May 11, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
<quoted text>
Opponents of red light cameras are either being deliberately ignorant of the facts or lying about them.
How can you be taken seriously with such outlandish claims?
Doug_D wrote:
Go out to Alafaya and Colonial at rush hour and watch the people who continue to go through the light for 5 and 10 seconds after it turns red.
Stick a cop there for a few days.
Doug_D wrote:
These people aren't being "tricked" by quick yellow lights - they are selfish dangerous drivers who need to lose their license but I'll settle for a $210.00 fine until they learn their lesson.
You assume that these "self dangerous drivers" will learn their lesson, and presumably slow down or drive safer. However, it is equally plausible that they would speed up near the intersection in order to get through the intersection, creating a more dangerous situation. "Learning their lesson" means that they don't want to get ticketed again, not the they drive more safely.
Doug_D wrote:
We need our cops doing something meaningful - not responding to unnecessary accidents caused by foolish, selfish drivers who refuse to follow the law and put everyone at risk so that they can avoid waiting 60 seconds at a light.
Doug D.
Orlando, FL
So, stopping "dangerous" drivers from killing people is not "meaningful"? I'm not talking about responding to the accidents. I'm talking about enforcing the red lights. If it is as dangerous as you say, how can you also claim it is meaningless?

Which is it?
Doug_D

Marion, SC

#23 May 11, 2009
mnewcomb wrote:
<quoted text>
Is 240-280 violations MORE or LESS than 60 to 100 violations?
Read the article I posted. Most people are not out to kill themselves or others. They just want to get home.
I drive through Colonial/Alafaya every day. You think red light runners are bad now? Just wait 'til the put in some cameras and proceed to drop the yellow light times...
There is ample proof out there. Please just look at what is happening in Georgia. New law requires 1 additional second on yellow lights... Violations are down 75-90%...
If you are truly in it for safety, increase the yellow lights by 1 second. Also, increase all-red times by 1 second at big dangerous intersections... And not all crosswalks have timers and not all people notice them. A big fat countdown timer would help...
It's called traffic engineering...
I AM an engineer - Georgia Tech, Class of '89. You are ridiculous.

Anyone who sits at that intersection for any time at all realizes that the people running lights there are not being "tricked" by fast yellows and no one is proposing reducing the yellow time - that is, pardon the pun, a red herring.

These drivers who intentionally run these lights are selfish idiots who put themselves and others at jeopardy by intentionally running the light LONG AFTER it has turned red and who pull out into the box when they know that the light is going to change on them before they clear it.

Your study isn't worth the paper it's printed on. The simple fact is that thousands upon thousands of these violations occur every week with the yellow lights just as they already are.

State Farm considers Alafaya and Colonial one of the most dangerous intersections in Florida so I trust their opinion of that intersection and my own personal experience there over the last 5 years over your bogus study.

These selfish idiots who refuse to wait their turn at the light will soon learn after they pay a $210 fine or two that they need to WAIT THEIR TURN and STOP being jackasses who put everyone in danger and cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in unnecessary emergency response calls.

Douglas J. De Clue
Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering,
Class of '89
Georgia Institute of Technology
Doug_D

Marion, SC

#24 May 11, 2009
Lamar wrote:
<quoted text>
How can you be taken seriously with such outlandish claims?
<quoted text>
Stick a cop there for a few days.
<quoted text>
You assume that these "self dangerous drivers" will learn their lesson, and presumably slow down or drive safer. However, it is equally plausible that they would speed up near the intersection in order to get through the intersection, creating a more dangerous situation. "Learning their lesson" means that they don't want to get ticketed again, not the they drive more safely.
<quoted text>
So, stopping "dangerous" drivers from killing people is not "meaningful"? I'm not talking about responding to the accidents. I'm talking about enforcing the red lights. If it is as dangerous as you say, how can you also claim it is meaningless?
Which is it?
P.S.: It is meaningless to send cops to clean up the carnage AFTER the accidents and it is impossible to police all the intersections with live cops which is precisely why these drivers insist on being selfish because they have no fear of legal consequences and foolishly think that they will never get hurt because they refuse to follow the law.

Why waste a cop doing traffic duty and writing tickets when we can automate the process?

By your definition of it, why not eliminate traffic signals altogether and return to the days of cops in the middle of the intersection with whistles manually directing traffic?

If we can use cameras to catch red light runners, I'd rather use those cops to catch murders and burglars and robbers.

Doug D.
Orlando, FL
Doug_D

Marion, SC

#25 May 11, 2009
Lamar wrote:
<quoted text>
How can you be taken seriously with such outlandish claims?
<quoted text>
Stick a cop there for a few days.
<quoted text>
You assume that these "self dangerous drivers" will learn their lesson, and presumably slow down or drive safer. However, it is equally plausible that they would speed up near the intersection in order to get through the intersection, creating a more dangerous situation. "Learning their lesson" means that they don't want to get ticketed again, not the they drive more safely.
<quoted text>
So, stopping "dangerous" drivers from killing people is not "meaningful"? I'm not talking about responding to the accidents. I'm talking about enforcing the red lights. If it is as dangerous as you say, how can you also claim it is meaningless?
Which is it?
Not outlandish at all. If you insist on stating things that aren't true, I'm going to call you ignorant or a liar. You are one or the other. Choose.

OF COURSE these drivers will learn their lesson and stop - after a few tickets they'll get the point. That's why there ARE financial penalties.

Speeding up? Really? That's not gonna happen and it won't help you get through a light, you'll still get your ticket - the amount you can speed up by in the distance involved will make no difference in getting your ticket.

Photo enforcement works where live cops don't because we simply don't have enough actual cops and can't afford enough to make any difference whatsoever. Less than 1% of actual traffic violations are ever cited by the cops and both you and I know it. That is why these red light runners run them with impunity - they have no fear of consequences as things currently are - the only way to change it is to have 24/7 enforcement by cameras.

Doug D.
Tired Commuter

Redwood City, CA

#26 May 11, 2009
So does this mean I can sue the county if I get rear-ended at a light with a camera?

Since: Apr 07

Orlando, FL

#27 May 11, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
Your study isn't worth the paper it's printed on. The simple fact is that thousands upon thousands of these violations occur every week with the yellow lights just as they already are.
What study? I linked an article from the Rome News-Tribune reporting on a recent city council meeting where they are considering removing red light cameras...

The CITY said that violations fell from 240-280 per month to 60-100 per month after the additional second was added to yellow lights.

Being that you are an engineer, I'd assume you knew that 280 > 100...

Look, these guys put in the red light cameras but even they could not hide the fact that when they added 1 second to the yellow lights, violations dropped 75%+. That is not a estimate or a guess, that is hard data...

How can you honestly refute what these guys said?

I repeat, violations dropped 75% when 1 second was added to the yellow.

Go ahead, call Rome, GA Public Services Director Kirk Milam that he is a liar when he says that he saw revenues from red light cameras "drop dramatically" when 1 second was added to the yellow light time at monitored intersections.

If revenues dropped dramatically, then violations must have dropped dramatically... If violations dropped dramatically, how does that not translate into a safer intersection?

Michael Newcomb
Bachelor of Computer Science,
1996, UCF, cum laude

Since: Apr 07

Orlando, FL

#28 May 11, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
I'd rather use those cops to catch murders and burglars and robbers.
Earth to Doug. Orlando is the 6th most dangerous city in the nation... Our 'leaders' have failed in that task too...

Just this past April, Buddy Dyer said Orlando doesn't have the funds to pay for 25 more cops, but we have a brand new $500 million dollar arena and he pays his staff huge salaries...

Why not just attach a GPS to every car so you will know if they ran red lights, stop signs, sped, u-turned at the wrong spot, didn't go the recommended speed for on/off ramps?
salvadore

Tallahassee, FL

#29 May 11, 2009
People, Florida has a 3-second caution light standard. Georgia is backwards, but they are catching up. If a city or county ignores it you can report them to the DOT. Furthermore, Redlight violations all drop off after cameras are installed. The companies know this and now charge flat monthly fees to the government. Those arrogant, "the signals don't apply to me" selfish drivers and road hogs need to change BEFORE they crash into careful drivers.The fine for obeying the signals is zero!!!!! So what are you worrying about. Funny thing is without a state law and uniform standards and uniform fines, the camera systems will go up like wild fire. Thanks Legislators!!!!
Lamar

United States

#30 May 12, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
P.S.: It is meaningless to send cops to clean up the carnage AFTER the accidents
But looking at pictures of the carnage is better?
Doug_D wrote:
and it is impossible to police all the intersections with live cops which is precisely why these drivers insist on being selfish because they have no fear of legal consequences and foolishly think that they will never get hurt because they refuse to follow the law.
You have it backwards. People do not fear the red light cameras like they fear police enforcement. When they see the yellow light, all they have to do is speed through the intersection (or jam on the brakes, or cut through a neighborhood or whatever). It is a touch arrogant for you (or me) to think you know what motivates masses of people. Perhaps because you are an engineer, you don't appreciate incentives. To you, a quick, objective tech fix is the best way. But until you can explain why red light cameras lead to more accidents, I have to conclude that you don't know any more than the next guy about what makes people drive poorly.
Doug_D wrote:
Why waste a cop doing traffic duty and writing tickets when we can automate the process?
That's the engineer talking. Unfortunately, we aren't talking about highly rational people here. We're talking about people who will put their family's lives at risk to save 30 seconds. And until "automation" can stop drunks, druggies, thieves and fugitives, I'll stick with what we know doesn't lead to more accidents.
Doug_D wrote:
By your definition of it, why not eliminate traffic signals altogether and return to the days of cops in the middle of the intersection with whistles manually directing traffic?
I'm sure you already know how asinine this statement is. Cops that direct traffic are not generally enforcing it.
Doug_D wrote:
If we can use cameras to catch red light runners, I'd rather use those cops to catch murders and burglars and robbers.
Doug D.
Orlando, FL
So you are saying that red light violations are not as dangerous as "real crime"? Are people less dead at intersection crashes? Is everybody at the police station a homicide detective? Do you really think that's how it works?

Why do you believe that a system which leads to more accidents increases safety?
Lamar

United States

#31 May 12, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
Not outlandish at all. If you insist on stating things that aren't true, I'm going to call you ignorant or a liar. You are one or the other. Choose.
LOL! I am actually an ignorant liar. In fact, I am so ignorant in my lying, that I actually tell the truth without knowing it!

Leave the personal insults at home. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I am uninformed or "lying". How do you get around the research that shows red light cameras lead to more accidents? Do you simply ignore the study? Criticize is? Or do you take it into account?
Doug_D

Lakeland, FL

#32 May 12, 2009
mnewcomb wrote:
<quoted text>
What study? I linked an article from the Rome News-Tribune reporting on a recent city council meeting where they are considering removing red light cameras...
The CITY said that violations fell from 240-280 per month to 60-100 per month after the additional second was added to yellow lights.
Being that you are an engineer, I'd assume you knew that 280 > 100...
Look, these guys put in the red light cameras but even they could not hide the fact that when they added 1 second to the yellow lights, violations dropped 75%+. That is not a estimate or a guess, that is hard data...
How can you honestly refute what these guys said?
I repeat, violations dropped 75% when 1 second was added to the yellow.
Go ahead, call Rome, GA Public Services Director Kirk Milam that he is a liar when he says that he saw revenues from red light cameras "drop dramatically" when 1 second was added to the yellow light time at monitored intersections.
If revenues dropped dramatically, then violations must have dropped dramatically... If violations dropped dramatically, how does that not translate into a safer intersection?
Michael Newcomb
Bachelor of Computer Science,
1996, UCF, cum laude
Because I have seen with my own eyes that the problem is NOT people who are getting caught in a yellow but people who flaunt the law and deserve a ticket.

Oh and UCF cum laude? Yawn... I went to a real school - Georgia Tech.

Doug D.
Doug_D

Lakeland, FL

#33 May 12, 2009
Lamar wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL! I am actually an ignorant liar. In fact, I am so ignorant in my lying, that I actually tell the truth without knowing it!
Leave the personal insults at home. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I am uninformed or "lying". How do you get around the research that shows red light cameras lead to more accidents? Do you simply ignore the study? Criticize is? Or do you take it into account?
Oh I'm sorry you're not lying just drastically distorting the facts because you don't want to have to actually stop at lights and want to keep running them with impunity and these cameras would force you to actually stop at a red.

The research shows that red light cameras actually reduce intersection "t-bone" accidents. You are conflating those as the same as a "rear end" accident which is far less deadly.

You and I BOTH know the truth that these lights will reduce ambulance roll outs and cops will be able to focus on burglars and robbers and murderers instead of jackasses who refuse to stop for a light because they are selfish.

Stop at red lights - get used to it or get used to being poor when you get the ticket.
Doug_D

Lakeland, FL

#34 May 12, 2009
mnewcomb wrote:
<quoted text>
Earth to Doug. Orlando is the 6th most dangerous city in the nation... Our 'leaders' have failed in that task too...
Just this past April, Buddy Dyer said Orlando doesn't have the funds to pay for 25 more cops, but we have a brand new $500 million dollar arena and he pays his staff huge salaries...
Why not just attach a GPS to every car so you will know if they ran red lights, stop signs, sped, u-turned at the wrong spot, didn't go the recommended speed for on/off ramps?
FYI: I opposed the venues too - in public and on this forum. I waited from about noon to 10:30PM at night to testify against them at the county commission (I live in unincorporated Orange). They are a huge waste of money and welfare for a billionaire so you are preaching to the choir there.

FYI2: Your car's computer already tracks a lot of what you are talking about and if your car is new enough it probably has a GPS too - my 2008 Dodge Charger does.

I'm not interested in tracking where you go in your car minute of the day - I just want to catch you running a red light - how is that any different than a burglar alarm at a business which calls out the cops?

The simple fact here is that the complainers against this idea feel special entitlement to run lights because they know the cops can't possibly catch them 99.9% of the time and don't want the party to end and be forced to wait for the next light cycle like the rest of us who follow the law at traffic lights.

Doug D.
Lamar

United States

#35 May 12, 2009
Doug_D wrote:
Oh I'm sorry you're not lying just drastically distorting the facts because you don't want to have to actually stop at lights and want to keep running them with impunity and these cameras would force you to actually stop at a red.
Laughable. I make too much money, and my car is worth too much (even insured) to risk it. The teensy-weensy little red light toll isn't a significant factor in my decision making. I have more to lose at an intersection than a couple hundred bucks.
Doug_D wrote:
The research shows that red light cameras actually reduce intersection "t-bone" accidents. You are conflating those as the same as a "rear end" accident which is far less deadly.
I've heard this line parroted a lot, but haven't really seen the "research". I know that the USF study cited to a Greensboro study showing NO decrease in severe crashes and a 40%-50% increase in possible injury crashes (a 40% overall increase in accidents). Virginia showed a 20% increase in "angle crashes" (as well as 20% overall increase).

These studies have shown an increase in "angle crashes", "severe crashes" and "injury crashes" while Florida's rate of red light injuries have been steadily decreasing since 1998. The USF study also showed that traffic light fatalities are not increasing.

Can you see my point? If Florida's intersection deaths are not increasing, and the number of accidents is decreasing, why would we add cameras that lead to increased "angle crashes", "injury crashes" and "severe crashes"?

The idea that crashes increase because everybody jams on the brakes was just speculation by the author. While an increase in rear end crashes is likely to occur, other studies have shown an increase in angle and severe crashes. FWIW.
Doug_D wrote:
You and I BOTH know the truth that these lights will reduce ambulance roll outs and cops will be able to focus on burglars and robbers and murderers instead of jackasses who refuse to stop for a light because they are selfish.
No, you BELIEVE that to be the case. I believe what the number say: red light cameras will bring in a lot of money, but we'll also see a 20-30% increase in accidents and injuries (not to mention increased insurance rates even for safe drivers).
Doug_D wrote:
Stop at red lights - get used to it or get used to being poor when you get the ticket.
I already stop at red lights. I am worried about the people who will speed through red lights to avoid tickets (or worse).
Cmyers900

Newark, DE

#37 May 13, 2009
I don't care what people say about the cameras being a so called invasion of privacy. Again the only folks who truly complain about the cameras are the ones who run the lights. If one of their relatives or children etc got hit by a red light runner, maybe that would change their tune. But again only violators have an issue with this.
Lamar

United States

#38 May 13, 2009
Cmyers900 wrote:
Again the only folks who truly complain about the cameras are the ones who run the lights.
The only people who are against police enforcement of red lights are people running drugs. You obviously do drugs and don't want the police to stop you.
Zack

Orlando, FL

#39 May 20, 2009
Government focuses WAY too much on traffic laws and enforcement. I guess because of the money that comes them. Let's focus on REAL issues.
cmyers900

Newark, DE

#41 Jul 9, 2009
Lamar wrote:
<quoted text>
The only people who are against police enforcement of red lights are people running drugs. You obviously do drugs and don't want the police to stop you.
What are you talking about. If you read my posts, I am not against the cameras. I think your on drugs, or don't know how to read?

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