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JoePatroni707
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Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:41 am

I just got a nasty gram in the mail for a red light violation. I was told once by a police officer several years ago, that since those are issued by a non law enforcement agency, for commercial purposes, additionally you never signed a promise to appear you can pretty much throw them away. Dont know if laws vary from state to state, but this is California.

Additionally, I have had a spotless record for 20 years.. Is a $790 fine for a first time offense excessive? I think its ludicrous.

I watched the video and the light changed red just as my front wheels hit the intersection.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:49 am

I'm afraid I don't know anything about their enforceability, but...

Does the video show where you were when it turned amber? If they can make out that you could safely have stopped from that moment, then they have a valid case. BUT if they can't show where you were when it turned amber then they have very little to stand on, as you can claim that it would have been unsafe for you to stop in time, and without knowing where you are then they can't easily disprove that.

But $790. S***!!! That's steep, if you can get out of it then do
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:52 am

I'd call in. I got one not too long ago, the receptionist was standoffish, but the guy who handled the tickets just erased it. I wasn't even trying to get it erased (even though I disagreed with it, my tires were clearly over the white line as the light turned red) I just wanted the late fees to go away. It made the ticket more, not nearly as much as yours, but it still was pretty hefty, and since I changed addresses so much, I didn't update my driver's license so after mailing my previous address a bunch. They mailed my parents/failsafe point of contact, and by then, the ticket had gotten a late fee.

It is kinda hard to defend a red light charge, but that varies state to state. Sometimes they erase it just because they don't want to deal with fighting it. I have no idea why my guy did, but hey, it worked. If you're able to go to court and contest it, you probably have a pretty good chance of wining assuming you weren't illegal in your state (varies state to state, I'd look it up.)

To answer your other question, again, varies state to state, but I was under the impression that where I was from, as long as you didn't pass through the jurisdiction or maybe state where the ticket happened, you were ok. It might happen that only the city you got it in enforces it, in that case, no problem, just don't go through the city. I don't recommend it, and even if you interpret all the rules, I'd still just get it out of the way just in case.

Let us know how it goes. I can't give you a good answer, unfortunately, because it all depends on the jurisdiciton. I'd call in and try to contest it, if not, go to court and try. There is a very good chance you'll win. Most people pay the fee without contest and that's where the city gets the money... they don't get the money by fighting people in court over a red light ticket
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:59 am

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
I watched the video and the light changed red just as my front wheels hit the intersection.

Which means you ran the red light.

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
Is a $790 fine for a first time offense excessive?

Wow, that is steep but, localities in California need to make up their budget shortfalls, somehow.

Sure looks legal and enforceable to me:

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21455_5.htm

[Edited 2013-10-21 19:02:27]
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:00 am

http://www.photoenforced.com/rhode-island.html



Running a red light can have disastrous consequences, that fine is a lesson teacher. I guess that is the point. Not as bad money wise here, but usually the fine doubles, and doubles and doubles again, until they arrest you. Providence has them, Pawtucket maybe next.

[Edited 2013-10-21 19:04:05]
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bristolflyer
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:22 am

In Arizona (and I'd hence imagine all States) the whole of the car has to be in the intersection when the light goes red for you to be on the right side of the law. I seem to recall that the white line does not mark the intersection, the intersection is defined as if you drew straight lines from the curbs to form a box. From your description it would seem that you definitely ran the light.

There was a story from AZ that a red light camera had been taking pics of people for years running red lights, however it was found that the lights were incorrectly programmed resulting in the amber being on for too short of a time. All those that had paid fines were re-imbursed. If nothing else you could request proof that the amber was on for long enough.

As said before, running a red light is extremely dangerous and the punishment has clearly been set to reflect this.
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LittleFokker
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:31 am

Just got one myself in IL about two months ago. I did as much research into the matter as I could before ultimately deciding to pay the fine. I really wanted to take it to court to make it cost prohibitive for the company involved (nothing like getting a bill from a company in Phoenix asking me to mail money to a place in Cincinnatti - keepin' it local!), however, I couldn't come up with a valid defense after reviewing the video.

Most studies I've read indicate that these cameras do not improve safety at all (the bullshit argument used to put them in place), but can actually make an intersection more dangerous due to the number of cars who end up braking hard at a yellow light rather than cruise on through as they normally would. And, as further proof that these cameras are just a money grab, I read in the fine print that my fine does not count as a moving violation, in essence, no more punitive than your ordinary parking ticket. If these things were really about safety, it would be a moving violation as if a police officer legitimately witnessed me committing the violation.

As a side note, I've noticed around the Chicagoland that the towns who have the red light cameras are the towns with more businesses than residents. High resident population towns don't want to offend their residents too much. It's an unconstitutional cash grab, and I hope this gets taken to the USSC someday and these stupid things go away.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:39 am

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 3):
Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
I watched the video and the light changed red just as my front wheels hit the intersection.

Which means you ran the red light.

   Varies state to state. In GA (and I think FL) all you need is your front wheels over the white line. Mine were, barely, but it definitely wasn't the whole car. I believe some states need you to be clear of the entire intersection at the time of the red light
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:49 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
Varies state to state. In GA (and I think FL) all you need is your front wheels over the white line. Mine were, barely, but it definitely wasn't the whole car.

Not in California, which is were the OP said he was from.

However,

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
$790 fine

Seems absurdly high. What city was this in? Even Beverly Hills' fees aren't anywhere near this.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:01 am

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 8):
Not in California, which is were the OP said he was from.

Whoops, my bad  
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 8):
Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
$790 fine

Seems absurdly high.

Yeah, I agree. I'm thinking there might be late fees or something. Same happened to me
 
Mir
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:20 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 4):
Running a red light can have disastrous consequences

Except it isn't, at least not in the way he did it. Sure, if you run a red light after it's been red for several seconds you're creating an extremely dangerous hazard, but if you're barely not into the intersection by the time the light turns red, you'll likely be through the intersection before the opposing light turns green, and thus you're not really endangering anyone. Of course, the red light camera, being stupid, doesn't really know the difference.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 4):
that fine is a lesson teacher.

What it's really teaching is to slam on the brakes when you're unsure of whether you can make it through the intersection, which creates a more dangerous situation (the possibility of being run into from behind) than going through the intersection a fraction of a second after the red.

-Mir
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StuckInCA
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:25 am

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 8):
Seems absurdly high. What city was this in? Even Beverly Hills' fees aren't anywhere near this.

If ever it were that simple.

My first (and only) speeding ticket was in West Sacramento, CA for 70 in a 55. Every single person on I-80 was going that speed, she just picked on me because I was young. This was around 1996. The ticket cost me over $700. I learned in traffic school (which always involved a whole day back then) that West Sacramento had the highest ticket costs of anywhere in CA at that time.

Go figure.
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:26 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 9):
Yeah, I agree. I'm thinking there might be late fees or something. Same happened to me

There has to be something, because that number is simply farcical for a first-time violation.
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ltbewr
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:26 am

Here in New Jersey, there are only a few red-light cameras, mainly in Newark. Problem is that beyond Newark, they are pretty much shut down or permits for them suspended due to a variety of legal disputes.
While I understand the importance of enforcement of red lights to protect vehicles coming from the other direction and for pedestrians as well as attempt to reduce police costs, I don't like them. Someone could get several red light camera tickets and be a very bad driver or drunk at the time or who may be on the lookout by police for more serious problems but all you get them for is the stop light violation.
Then you have the whole 'privatization' of what should be the exclusive job of government for Constitutional reasons, to the likely corruption by corps with government leaders or using cherry picked information with who decide on these contracts, that the cameras can be rigged with very short yellow lights or no 'fudge factor' as to timing before the camera kicks in. Also the owner of the vehicle gets nailed, not the driver (unless the driver is the owner) so the owner can get screwed upon annual registration or the car seized for non-payment of fines even if someone else using the car during these violations.
To me have properly timed lights, put cops out at intersections with high stop light violation accidents to look for and nail violators.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:03 am

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 12):
There has to be something, because that number is simply farcical for a first-time violation.

Well, I started looking for a fee schedule in CA and have been unable to find one. But, I did find this statement:

The court can tell you what amount to pay. The fine, penalties, and fees for infractions can be $465 or more

http://www.courts.ca.gov/9581.htm

That implies that the minimum fine for an infraction (running a red light is an infraction) is $465.00.

There was another statement in the Vehicle Code that said a fine of $100 would be set for an infraction. Is that added to the $465?
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mham001
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:30 am

It seems there is some confusion about crossing the line before the red allowing you free passage and not a violation in California. Here is what the law states:

"21453. (a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall
stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the
crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then
before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an
indication to proceed is shown"

The driver is not facing a solid red light until after entering the intersection (crossed the line) and is not in violation of this rule. Maybe teh OP can give the code # and also give the Late Time (also called "red time," "red T" or "TR")? Is your face clearly visible? Have you checked the light that they did not shorten the yellow? There are many ways to get out of red light tickets in California, look for the loopholes.

I consider it a public duty to make these people earn their (my) money. The ticket is so high because the camera rats need to make money too as your county is charging the same even though their PD did no work. Of course we also have local governments doubling the fine with BS fees. It is nothing but a money making scam.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:59 am

This is a great resource for Red Light Tickets:

http://www.highwayrobbery.net/
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usflyer msp
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:02 am

We do not have them in MN. Thankfully, the Minnesota supreme court ruled that violations issued due to red-light cameras were illegal since the state is unable to verify who was driving the vehicle.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:04 am

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
I watched the video and the light changed red just as my front wheels hit the intersection.

So you're one of those drivers who doesn't understand the purpose of the amber light?
 
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moo
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:31 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Does the video show where you were when it turned amber? If they can make out that you could safely have stopped from that moment, then they have a valid case. BUT if they can't show where you were when it turned amber then they have very little to stand on, as you can claim that it would have been unsafe for you to stop in time, and without knowing where you are then they can't easily disprove that.
Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
What it's really teaching is to slam on the brakes when you're unsure of whether you can make it through the intersection, which creates a more dangerous situation (the possibility of being run into from behind) than going through the intersection a fraction of a second after the red.

What sort of ridiculous timings do you have on your traffic lights in the US? In the UK there is no circumstance where you risk being unable to stop for an amber light and would have to risk going through a red light - if you were, then you were exceeding the speed limit in the first place, or your vehicle does not meet the law for stopping distances, so in either case you are breaking the law anyhow.

Some of the driving stuff I hear from US posters on various forums is just plain scary, not a place I would want to drive if the majority of drivers are like some of those I see post...
 
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par13del
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:34 am

On the cost of the ticket, it does appears that most jurisdictions have farmed out the service to private contractors, so the cost has to include the government penalty and a margin to cover operations.

In some instances, the numbers are not being thrown up on violations going down, we know that the state and contractor are getting funds, those in favour say the removal will render intersections unsafe. It would be good if the number of violations recorded were thrown out as well so that the safety aspect could be properly vetted versus just claims.
Certainely anything that brings in money for the state coffers is a good thing, whether it is an unintended consequence.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n-red-light-cameras_n_3873874.html
http://www.wuft.org/news/2013/09/12/...tial-removal-of-red-light-cameras/
http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/...0/Floridas-right-turn-trap-exposed
 
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scbriml
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:43 am

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 6):
but can actually make an intersection more dangerous due to the number of cars who end up braking hard at a yellow light rather than cruise on through as they normally would

   If you're approaching a junction with lights, you should always be prepared to stop. If you have to "brake hard" to make the stop, then you were probably going too fast. Are there not signs before you get to the lights telling you that the lights are ahead?

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
What it's really teaching is to slam on the brakes when you're unsure of whether you can make it through the intersection, which creates a more dangerous situation (the possibility of being run into from behind) than going through the intersection a fraction of a second after the red.

   Regardless of how quickly you stop, if the driver behind you runs in to you, then he was too close. Again, if you have to "slam" on the brakes, then you're going too fast for the circumstances.


There really is zero excuse for not being able to stop in a reasonable manner at a junction with lights.

[Edited 2013-10-22 04:51:40]
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smittyone
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:56 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
What it's really teaching is to slam on the brakes when you're unsure of whether you can make it through the intersection, which creates a more dangerous situation (the possibility of being run into from behind) than going through the intersection a fraction of a second after the red.
Quoting moo (Reply 19):
What sort of ridiculous timings do you have on your traffic lights in the US? In the UK there is no circumstance where you risk being unable to stop for an amber light and would have to risk going through a red light - if you were, then you were exceeding the speed limit in the first place, or your vehicle does not meet the law for stopping distances, so in either case you are breaking the law anyhow.

In my own experience the degree to which I'm 'unsure' is directly proportional to my speed and level of desire to make the light! When driving somewhere near the speed limit and braking when the light turns I have had no problem stopping in time without drama. Based on previous topics I think it is fair to say that OP has a heavy foot  

But, on the other hand I do recall some scandal where yellow light times were reduced in conjunction with red light camera installations...the where/when escapes me. That is genuinely dangerous.
 
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casinterest
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:55 pm

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
I watched the video and the light changed red just as my front wheels hit the intersection.

Sounds like you got caught and will have to pay.

I still think Red Light Cameras are not really performing a safety need. I would need to see the statistics, but most of the issues will come from minor timing issues due to speed, or a short yellow. The real issue is the folks that are not paying attention and go into an intersection 3-5+ seconds after the red has turned. That is when the cross traffic will be there, and that is the real safety issue. Nothing but awareness can fix that.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:03 pm

We can all play devil's advocate, but we've all been in those situations in one way or another. Coulda shoulda woulda makes no difference when you're in that awkward window and you have to floor it or slam on the brakes. If you're driving a big truck sometimes the yellow light isn't adequate enough. I don't see people being a micrometer away from being legal a big deal. How many accidents are caused by these slip ups? Not talking about blatantly running red lights, I'm talking about these minor infractions
 
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zckls04
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 24):
We can all play devil's advocate, but we've all been in those situations in one way or another. Coulda shoulda woulda makes no difference when you're in that awkward window and you have to floor it or slam on the brakes.

This is why these huge fines really irritate me. I get that a lot of people are terrible drivers and try and run the lights, but at the same time we're all humans, and sometimes we make mistakes. Usually for me it's just a moment of indecision where I can't quite pick whether to go or stop.

The idea of being punished for making a mistake really, really riles me for some reason. If you're going to charge anything over 100 dollars for a ticket, then the first offense should be a warning IMO (unless it's something which is actually dangerous like running the light by over a second or something).
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:03 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 25):
(unless it's something which is actually dangerous like running the light by over a second or something).

Bingo. Running a red light by a microsecond and running it by a second and a half are two COMPLETELY different things.

I'm seeing the whole "well you broke the law, sorry, suck it up" crowd but I don't like that mentality, and I would think a lot of them are less zero-tolerance-ish on other issues...
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
There really is zero excuse for not being able to stop in a reasonable manner at a junction with lights.

That's fanciful idealism. We all know that every driver at some point or another will misjudge a traffic light. The question is how to safely and fairly deal with that reality.

Many U.S. communities have implemented red light cameras in a way that have no safety impact but clearly serve to generate traffic citation revenue. Some even make traffic less safe. For example:

- Reducing the yellow light interval to the absolute legal minimum
- Ticketing cars that make a legal right on red, but did not come to a complete stop for 3-5 seconds
- Moving stop lines back a few feet and then ticketing cars that roll-up to the old line

That sounds more like fraud than safety to me. I'm personally glad my community doesn't have red light cameras and instead uses sound traffic planning.
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Mir
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:36 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 19):
What sort of ridiculous timings do you have on your traffic lights in the US?

They vary. So you don't really know how long they last. Also, as has been mentioned, some areas have reduced their yellow light timings when red light cameras are around, which should make it pretty clear what the real purpose of the cameras is.

Like I said, I firmly believe that the vast majority of tickets issued by red light cameras, while technically a violation of the law, do not represent an unsafe situation.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
Regardless of how quickly you stop, if the driver behind you runs in to you, then he was too close.

Sure, but that's not going to change the fact that he ran into me, possibly damaging my car and injuring myself. I'd rather not have that happen at all.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:58 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
Regardless of how quickly you stop, if the driver behind you runs in to you, then he was too close.

And the person that rammed into me from behind and totalled my car was at fault*. Great. I'll run the red light rather than have my car totalled

*I wasn't at a red light when I got hit but I don't think it matters
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:37 pm

First off, that fine is ridiculous. That is more than a first time DUI costs here...

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
What it's really teaching is to slam on the brakes when you're unsure of whether you can make it through the intersectio

As many others have said. If you are going the speed limit, you will either have plenty of time to stop when the light turns yellow or safely make it into the intersection before it turns red.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
There really is zero excuse for not being able to stop in a reasonable manner at a junction with lights.

Other than inattentiveness

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 22):
In my own experience the degree to which I'm 'unsure' is directly proportional to my speed and level of desire to make the light! When driving somewhere near the speed limit and braking when the light turns I have had no problem stopping in time without drama. Based on previous topics I think it is fair to say that OP has a heavy foot  

Exactly. I am guilty of this myself, even in my cop car. One moment of inattentiveness, and I get close to running a red when I could easily have stopped on the yellow. Which is also why I give a lot of leeway before stopping a red light violation. It has to pretty blatant in order for me to stop you.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:59 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 30):
One moment of inattentiveness,

I don't know how many times I've looked up from some distraction and saw a yellow light and had absolutely no idea how long it's been yellow.

Whether I go through or come to an aggressive stop really depends on the situation. So many people, me included, take our driving cues from the car in front of us. I've found that if looks like I'm going to continue through an intersection, regardless of the color of the light, the person behind me is intent on occupying the spot he thinks I'm going to vacate.

If no one is behind me, I will usually err on the side of caution and bring the car to a stop as quickly and safely as possible. Occasionally, that puts me over the stop line.

If someone is behind me at a 'normal' following distance, I will usually go through the intersection.

Bu the way, anyone ever have the idiot behind you that thinks you should have gone through the yellow so that he could have gone through it (and the following red) also? Those are my favorite folks to watch get worked up in my mirror.
When seconds count, the police are minutes away, or may not come at all.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Here you´ll get fined and (under the old system) 3 penalty points for running a red light. If you reack 18 points, your driving licence will be gone for good (points expire after two years unless new points for fresh offenses were added).
The red light cameras in Germany turn live 1 or 2 seconds after the red light comes on. They take two pictures, so that if you stop your car just behind the line you won´t get punished, but if you cross the intersection during red light you will.

Jan
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falstaff
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 3):
Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
Is a $790 fine for a first time offense excessive?

Wow, that is steep but, localities in California need to make up their budget shortfalls, somehow.

That is a lot. I ran a red light in Dearborn, Michigan a couple of years ago and the fine was $125.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 22):
In my own experience the degree to which I'm 'unsure' is directly proportional to my speed and level of desire to make the light! When driving somewhere near the speed limit and braking when the light turns I have had no problem stopping in time without drama. Based on previous topics I think it is fair to say that OP has a heavy foot  

It can depend on the weather conditions and the condition of the vehicle. Here in Michigan, where we have no type of car inspection, you just can't assume the guy behind you has the ability to stop. You should see some of the stuff that comes in my shop for brake repair. If you can get it to move you can put a plate on it, insure it (for a day so you can get the license plate) and drive it. I wish California was closer, I could buy cars cheap in California, that won't pass inspection, and bring those rust free beauties here and make a fortune!

A buddy of mine and I got in a wreck in his car, last year, in the UK. His car was a write off, but in Michigan somebody would slap a radiator in it and drive it for years.


Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
Regardless of how quickly you stop, if the driver behind you runs in to you, then he was too close. Again, if you have to "slam" on the brakes, then you're going too fast for the circumstances.

I would prefer to not have them hit me at all, regardless of who's fault it is. In Michigan it doesn't matter anyway because we have no fault insurance. If my car gets wrecked my insurance company pays and my premiums go up, no matter who's fault the wreck is.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 33):
It can depend on the weather conditions and the condition of the vehicle. Here in Michigan, where we have no type of car inspection, you just can't assume the guy behind you has the ability to stop. You should see some of the stuff that comes in my shop for brake repair. If you can get it to move you can put a plate on it, insure it (for a day so you can get the license plate) and drive it. I wish California was closer, I could buy cars cheap in California, that won't pass inspection, and bring those rust free beauties here and make a fortune!

A buddy of mine and I got in a wreck in his car, last year, in the UK. His car was a write off, but in Michigan somebody would slap a radiator in it and drive it for years.

Haha, that is a good point. I forgot about some of the shitboxes I used to see tooling around the UP back in the day.

Here in NJ we have vehicle inspections...I haven't had to go through one yet and am curious to see how thorough they are.

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 31):
Bu the way, anyone ever have the idiot behind you that thinks you should have gone through the yellow so that he could have gone through it (and the following red) also? Those are my favorite folks to watch get worked up in my mirror.

No kidding, it's like they want to drive your car too LOL.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 30):
Exactly. I am guilty of this myself, even in my cop car. One moment of inattentiveness, and I get close to running a red when I could easily have stopped on the yellow. Which is also why I give a lot of leeway before stopping a red light violation. It has to pretty blatant in order for me to stop you.

We can sure use a lot more of that kind of sense in any kind of law/regulation enforcement
  
 
nws2002
Posts: 931
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:33 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 34):
Here in NJ we have vehicle inspections...I haven't had to go through one yet and am curious to see how thorough they are.

When we had inspections in OK they were a joke. The main issue was the inspection cost was set at $5 but was performed at private service stations. So the service station had one of two choices if they wanted to break even or make money on inspections: find something wrong with nearly every car or just put the inspection sticker on the windshield and move along. It simply wasn't worthwhile for them to complete a thorough inspection for $5.

As for red light cameras, I hate them. If the city cannot be bothered to have a live police officer writing tickets I don't think I should have to deal with a ticket. Last year I received a speeding ticket in Arizona from some automated camera system. They took a picture of my license plate and supposedly one of the driver (me). However, the driver picture was so blurry I couldn't even recognize who was driving at the time. I wrote back and told them as much and they ended up dropping the ticket. My gut feeling is that these private companies operate on volume. If they send out enough mail, a certain percentage of people will just pay the fine and move on. It is unlikely to be worthwhile for them to spend much time fighting.
 
flymia
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:12 pm

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Thread starter):
Is a $790 fine for a first time offense excessive?

There is no way I would pay that. Take it to court. That is robbery for a very minor traffic infraction. If the judge is a jerk take it to the next level. I guess that would require an attorney to really know what you are doing so probably would not work unless you are one but $790 is INSANE! There is no judge in this country who should make you pay that fine.

That is the problem here in Florida every city which has red light cameras has to have their own appeal system it is no longer part of the court because the first notice you get is a "civil infraction" like a building code infraction. It has nothing to do with the courts, your car insurance etc.. That is because giving a criminal infraction by a red light camera would be unconstitutional in this state so of course the greedy, money caring politicians with help from the red light camera companies of course found a way to get it in anyway. It is ridiculous. One of the red light camera proponents who made it legal in Florida, family member works for one of the largest camera companies.

My girlfriend wrote a 30+ page law review article about how red light cameras are unconstitutional. I am so sick of them and they keep popping up everywhere. For what? For money.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 4):
Running a red light can have disastrous consequences, that fine is a lesson teacher.

$790?? That is not a lesson that is the state depriving him of his right to his own money that is all it is.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 32):
The red light cameras in Germany turn live 1 or 2 seconds after the red light comes on.

This. This is the way it should be, if the politicians actually cared about safety. The people going through .8-1,2 seconds after it changed, those are the dangerous ones.

I recently got one too. The time the light turned red and the my car hit the line are just about equal. It is also key to mention there was not one other car on the road or near the intersection during the whole video.

Payment is due this week I need to decide what I want to do. I can pay the $158, much more reasonable or try the new appeal system where the person I will plead my case with is not a judge, not an attorney nothing just some person making $15 an hour for the city.

My issue with my ticket is that every camera here needs to be marked by a sign. The sign for this camera is over 300ft away from the actual intersection. Looking up the regulations for the Florida DOT for an urban area with a speed limit of 35mph any warning sign should not be more than 100-150ft away from the area it is warning of. The sign placement is clearly not correct but is it really worth my time? Who knows how they will schedule it, I am busy almost any day of the week.

Anyway red light cameras make me sick. IMO they are unconstitutional as I am not afforded the opportunity to confront my accuser the camera or the officer who viewed the video. But is something $15 an hour hearing officer with absolutely no law degree going to agree with that? I doubt it? I also doubt they will be able to follow along my argument based on several statutes and FL DOT regulations.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
greasespot
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:10 am

One thing I have learned in 9 years of being a cop. Everyone has a legal reason why a ticket is not valid and most of those are recycled over the years. None of them are new just like the ideas I am hearing on here. People have been trying them since these things came into existence I have yet to see any of them work other than there was an error on the ticket. Remember well trained lawyers who specialize in traffic issues have fought these and lost.


I know red light tickets up here are completely a slam dunk if the plate is visible. Some jurisdictions will knock the fine in half if it is a first offense.

Now here we do not issue warrant for unpaid traffic tickets but I know in the USA a lot of places do. So if one is to ignore them do so at your own peril. Jail for everyday folks is not a pleasant experience.

People my not like red light cameras but they are legal. Contrary to what some here think(other than jurisdictions that had them suspended). They have been around for years and if the USSC thought they were not constitutional they would have taken up the case. That has not happened so to me that means they are or the USSC does not think this is a issue that is to be decided on by them and will leave it in the hands of the appeals court.

GS

oh and here the ticket is $345. Same as a standard police issued red light ticket.
and the 700 is crazy so it might be worth fighting it to even get a sympathetic judge. If it is similar to here judges can set to anything up to the maximum. So it could go down.
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:35 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 36):
Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 4):Running a red light can have disastrous consequences, that fine is a lesson teacher.$790?? That is not a lesson that is the state depriving him of his right to his own money that is all it is.

If you run a red light, and get fined 790 bucks, and unless you are real dumb, you will learn a lesson. If not???
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:09 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 38):
If you run a red light, and get fined 790 bucks, and unless you are real dumb, you will learn a lesson. If not???

If you're got shoplifting and you get 2 years in prison, you'd learn a lesson too. Punishment doesn't fit the crime
 
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Aesma
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:11 am

Well if someone is tailing you that should be visible on the video. You can access the video ? That's fun, and unheard of here (even getting a still picture is a challenge, you have to first pay the fine, then fight it).

Red light cameras are pretty new and rare in France, but where I live we are at the forefront of everything, good (FTTH) and bad. My father got flashed by the first ever speed camera in the country, on the very first day it was operational !

So there is one such camera near my home. Looking at the thing, you know it's expensive and will need to earn its worth ! On the other hand it's put at a very complicated intersection where running a light could be relatively dangerous, expect you'd have to be crazy to do it, and other drivers should see you (good visibility as there are no buildings around).

Funnily enough there is a light I often run (on purpose) only a couple hundreds meters away. It's at a T intersection, with little traffic that could interfere (and perfectly visible), while the light itself can be very long.

Also near that spot I ran a yellow/red once while on a "rampage" in the middle on the night, and it happened that I passed in front of an unmarked hatch with 4 cowboys on board (also called Anti Criminality Brigade), they popped the police lights and chased me ! I stopped, and got a bit yelled at, but fortunately they think too much of themselves to actually ticket people !

The fine is not too high, 135€, less if paid quickly, however you lose 4 points out of 12 (young drivers start with only 6 points), and if caught by cops who decide you were reckless, you can lose your license on the spot, pending a court date where it could get suspended for up to 3 years !
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
flymia
Posts: 7131
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:18 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 38):
If you run a red light, and get fined 790 bucks, and unless you are real dumb, you will learn a lesson. If not???

It is an excesive punishment for the "crime." Here in Florida it is not a crime unless you don't pay the first "ticket" or "civil infraction" on time then all of a sudden like magic that "civil infraction" becomes a Uniformed Traffic Citation without a police officer or any other legal authority speaking to you.

Quoting greasespot (Reply 37):
People my not like red light cameras but they are legal. Contrary to what some here think(other than jurisdictions that had them suspended). They have been around for years and if the USSC thought they were not constitutional they would have taken up the case. That has not happened so to me that means they are or the USSC does not think this is a issue that is to be decided on by them and will leave it in the hands of the appeals court.

I have a constitutional right to confront my accuser in person. Red Light Cameras do not allow that to happen. The camera is not walking into my hearing is it? The officer who reviewed the tape and signed off that it was a violation is not walking into my hearing. So who do I confront? Myself? It is garbage. At least it is in Florida. I hope it goes up to the State Supreme Court one day. Reality is most people don't have the time and most lawyers are not going to waste the time because there is no money to be made and no one going to jail.

Quoting greasespot (Reply 37):
One thing I have learned in 9 years of being a cop.

I passed the line 000.1 seconds after the light turned red according to my video, actually going under the speed limit. One of the few times I go under the limit on that road. Is that ticket worthy to a person with a completely clean driving record? I would hope most officers would be understanding in that situation. Most officers might not even be able to testify that they were 100% certain I even illegaly ran the light given there was a 00.1 second difference from it being legal or not. All these cameras do is make money. If it was about safety it would be like Germany. Take a picture .8 or 1 second after the light turns red when there is an actual danger.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:21 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 39):
If you're got shoplifting and you get 2 years in prison, you'd learn a lesson too. Punishment doesn't fit the crime

This is true, but shoplifting is a minor offense that will not kill someone. Running a red light can lead to tragedy, deaths, maiming, lifelong affects. So the fine is high, and just might save someone from doing it again, and therefor possible averting a personal tragedy for the driver and his victims. I myself have been guilty of pushing a red light. I certainly do not in Providence which has the cameras. I have learned a lesson, have I not? Also , it is not so much the money in the fine, it is the affects of the violation on ones license and insurance.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:27 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 42):
Running a red light can lead to tragedy, deaths, maiming, lifelong affects.

Blatantly running a red light by a second or two can lead to tragedy, deaths, maiming, lifelong affects. Running a red light on accident by .1 seconds won't. I'm not even against red light cameras... put them at problem intersections and go after the egregious offenders. By then, though, it probably won't be worth the money
 
flymia
Posts: 7131
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 42):
Also , it is not so much the money in the fine, it is the affects of the violation on ones license and insurance.

Well in Florida the Red Light Infraction if paid on time does not and cannot in anyway affect ones drivers licenses or insurance when paid on time. So basically the state is telling people with disposal income of $158 don't need to worry. Poor people, well they are just screwed.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 42):
This is true, but shoplifting is a minor offense that will not kill someone. Running a red light can lead to tragedy, deaths, maiming, lifelong affects. So the fine is high, and just might save someone from doing it again, and therefor possible averting a personal tragedy for the driver and his victims. I myself have been guilty of pushing a red light. I certainly do not in Providence which has the cameras. I have learned a lesson, have I not?

All these cameras do is make money. If it was about safety it would be like Germany. Take a picture .8 or 1 second after the light turns red when there is an actual danger. I don't think it is possible to kill someone going into the intersection 00.1 seconds after the light turned red.

And one more thing to my red light camera. The due date falls on a Sunday. Completely not allowed for any type of legal documents in Florida. But I doubt anyone doing these tickets knows that.

[Edited 2013-10-22 18:32:23]
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:43 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 43):
Running a red light on accident by .1 seconds won't. I'm not even against red light cameras... put them at problem intersections and go after the egregious offenders. By then, though, it probably won't be worth the money

Red light violations and the resulting accidents were so common in Providence, the police could not possibly enforce the law. They would have to station an officer there 24 hours a day at some intersections. After the clubs close, in certain neighborhoods, it was mayhem, along came the technology to enforce it by remote cameras. A money maker for sure, but also a lesson taught. As I said, I learned a lesson from them, and I have never been ticketed by them. Cross fingers.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 45):
Red light violations and the resulting accidents were so common in Providence, the police could not possibly enforce the law. They would have to station an officer there 24 hours a day at some intersections. After the clubs close, in certain neighborhoods, it was mayhem, along came the technology to enforce it by remote cameras. A money maker for sure, but also a lesson taught. As I said, I learned a lesson from them, and I have never been ticketed by them. Cross fingers.

Like I said, I'm all for red light cameras at problem intersections. The wide spread and very picky red light cameras are no good IMO. Think we are arguing two different things
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 44):
Well in Florida the Red Light Infraction if paid on time does not and cannot in anyway affect ones drivers licenses or insurance when paid on time. So basically the state is telling people with disposal income of $158 don't need to worry. Poor people, well they are just screwed.

I would have to check, but as far as I know my insurance company does not give a hoot how you got the ticket, it is a ticket, and can be held against you here. You pay the fine, and then deal with your insurance company. Does not everything affect the poor more than others?
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
flymia
Posts: 7131
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:06 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 47):
Does not everything affect the poor more than others?

Of course. But there is not other way to do it and all of a sudden not having enough money increases the penalty, makes it a criminal matter, and broadens the affects of the ticket. All because they don't have enough money. The law is treating two different types of people differently. You have money you are good, you don't you are not.
If you are poor or rich if a cop gives you an actual red light ticket the fine is the same, the procedure is the same. That is not the case with this system we have in Florida. It brings up an equal protection argument IMO.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 47):
I would have to check, but as far as I know my insurance company does not give a hoot how you got the ticket, it is a ticket, and can be held against you here. You pay the fine, and then deal with your insurance company

Ok and that might be how it works in Rhode Island sure. Now I am telling you the law in Florida. As long as the "ticket" is paid on time it is not a traffic ticket. It is a civil infraction which has absolutely nothing to do with my drivers license. My insurance company has absolutely no idea I got this infraction and as long as I pay it on time or fight it and win they will never know. It is not on any record what so ever and the fine never increases for repeat offenders.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Legality Of Red Light Cameras?

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:08 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
Like I said, I'm all for red light cameras at problem intersections. The wide spread and very picky red light cameras are no good IMO. Think we are arguing two different things

I may have been arguing without reading thoroughly. Not good.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.

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