General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Have you successfully ignored a traffic light camera? When and where?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) November 27th, 2016


Going 89 in a 70.

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21 Answers

2davidc8's avatar

I always ignore them. I hardly ever notice them, because I always stay within the speed limit, so the cameras are not a concern.

SavoirFaire's avatar

We don’t have any more cameras. The city finally realized they were a scam and took them all down. When we did have cameras, they were run by a private company with no legal authority. Therefore, I never took them into consideration when driving. I was “caught” by them once going right on red—which is legal here so long as you stop first—but Virginia law requires all court summons to be delivered in person. So I ignored the letter the company sent me to see whether an officer would be sent to my home. Nobody ever showed up, and I never had any problems renewing my license or registration at the DMV.

Zaku's avatar

Not ignore but have had some friends who beat the tickets because the ticket went to the registered driver, and the cameras aren’t allowed to photograph the actual driver, so as long as the registered driver responded swearing that someone else was the driver at the time, the ticket was dismissed.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Every. Single. Day. All cameras here are broken. Someone used to come up with the idea of installing cameras on every street light in the city. The idea was great on paper, but it soon turned out to be just another desperate attempt to “keep up with the Joneses”. Only a handful of cameras were installed due to “lack of finacial support” and they were eventually left to rot miserably through lack of maintenance.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’ve had two tickets from red light cameras. I stopped running red lights.

Pretty much everyone here has. Red lights used to mean, “four more cars!”. I think people have become all around safer and more considerate drivers because of better enforcement.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay “I think people have become all around safer and more considerate drivers because of better enforcement.”

Unfortunately, multiple studies suggest otherwise.

Those are just the studies that are readily available. There’s also been a fair amount of investigative journalism on the issue and a few national audits. Then there’s this study, which details the fact that these cameras are often naked money grabs that disregard the effect of traffic cameras on public safety.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

People used to run most red lights here. Now few people do.

You can argue otherwise. Enjoy.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I’m not arguing about the rate at which people where you live run red lights. You made the assertion that things were safer where you live now, and I pointed out that studies suggest otherwise.

LuckyGuy's avatar

An argument was offered by the Black and Hispanic communities stating that red-light cameras were installed mostly in their neighborhoods while virtually none were placed in the primarily white suburbs. True. But….
The City answered by pulling out accident statistics showing they only placed cameras at intersections with the highest number of accidents due to running red lights. That ended the discussion.

jca's avatar

There were recently cameras installed in the city I work in. Someone pointed out that what often ends up happening is that drivers will now slam on the brakes instead of running the light. Slamming on the brakes might cause more to be rear ended. Not sure what the stats are for that.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve made the split second decision to push a few yellow lights that turned red the second I was entering the intersection in front of cameras but…I have never received a ticket. I figure the ‘Oh shit!” look on my face exonerates me. lol

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@SavoirFaire Neither one of us is citing studies about where I live, but I still think things are safer here now.

I often bicycle 20+ miles a day in the city, and it’s very different from 20 years ago. I am most often annoyed by overly polite drivers, waving me through, when we could all move faster if they would move their butts.

Around here we’re only moving below 40 MPH anyway and usually below 20 MPH. I am guessing the red light cameras are a detriment in faster-moving areas.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Assuming that you are not faking your IP address somehow, one of the links I shared is about where you live. That aside, the fact that multiple studies from multiple countries all have similar results is revealing, even if none of those studies is about our personal hometown. One thing I will note, however, is that all of the studies I posted are about motor vehicles. You are now introducing the issue of bicycles, which may change things. But there doesn’t seem to be any solid research on that one way or the other.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Assuming that you are not faking your IP address somehow, one of the links I shared is about where you live.

I live in Chicago. Not a secret. I probably mention it too often here in a tiresome way.

I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2000, and was surprised at the difference in driving styles. LA drivers stopped for pedestrians at all times and waved each other through intersections. They did not run red lights.

I moved back to Chicago in 2007. After the red light cameras were installed, Chicagoans started to drive more like Los Angelenos.

cazzie's avatar

I avoid them constantly. Every day. I don’t drive a car. I take the bus. My bus ticket is less than jyat the road tolls I’d have to pay to get to work.

ibstubro's avatar

I know that the red light cameras have slowed traffic in the town nearest me @Call_Me_Jay. Two major intersections cross there, and it used to be that semi trucks would enter the intersection after my light was green if I was crossing or entering an interstate. Frequently. The local cops will give a semi a pass, speeding, and ticket a car, instead, because it’s easier. Installing the red light cameras pretty much stopped the semi’s entering the lights on red, and slowed traffic, generally.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay “I live in Chicago. Not a secret.”

Okay, cool. Some jellies are secretive about where they live, so I’m careful not to reveal that information without permission. Anyway, the Tribune study that I linked to earlier concerns Chicago.

“After the red light cameras were installed, Chicagoans started to drive more like Los Angelenos.”

Interesting, but not entirely reassuring given that Los Angeles has the most dangerous traffic in all of California. Just because the drivers were friendlier doesn’t mean they were necessarily safer. Running red lights isn’t the only dangerous driving behavior, after all, so eliminating it doesn’t remove all sources of danger. And as the studies I linked to above show, how you eliminate it matters. Red light cameras may stop people from running red lights, but they often incentivize other dangerous behaviors.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@SavoirFaire You essentially posted a population map of California. If you are counting anything in California, you will find a lot of it in Los Angeles.

Don’t do this

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

And WTF you know my IP address? If you are some kind of admin, look at that when warranted. Not out of curiosity or personal interest.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay If you read the whole thing, you’ll see that the population issue is addressed further on. While it is true that Los Angeles is very densely populated, it still has a disproportionate number of dangerous intersections even after accounting for that fact.

SavoirFaire's avatar

As for your IP address, we check all accounts at sign up. I didn’t look it up out of curiosity or personal interest.

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