Toyota Celica Supra Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my girlfriend and I went and shot some pool last night with a long time buddy of mine. I drove us all there in the MkII, handed my buddy the keys when we got there. We drank some pitchers, and cabbed it home. Mission smart.

So this morning, my buddy Brent is driving me in his Corvette C6 back to the bar to get my '86 MkII (My G.F. had to chill at his pad- no back seats!)

I live in Edmonds, he lives in Lynnwood, WA. We hit a yellow light, and he slams on his brakes, as we have both have become conditioned to do. The yellow light literally seemed like a one-second count.

We both have lived in the North-of-Seattle suburbs our whole lives, and we started a conversation about how much faster the yellow lights seem these days. In hindsight, I truly wish I could go back in time and video the yellow lights at local intersections with a stopwatch, to prove what we know:

They have shortened the yellow light intervals to give out more tickets and increase revenue (gotta pay for those heavily-armed-and-armored, militarized police forces with their military-grade armored-personnel carriers, combat choppers, microwave-emitting "crowd-control" cannons, and of course their tricked-out hemi dodge charger cop cars with racing stripes, alloy rims, and stealth-clear low-profile police lights (I'm not joking, this is where I live!).

Lynnwood Washington has perhaps, per-capita, more traffic surveillance cameras than any city in the United States.Every single intersection has at least fourteen surveillance cameras: for each of the 4 directions, 1 as you approach from 30 yrd.s, and then three aimed at different angles once you enter the intersection (approach, front license plate, drivers face).

Four cameras, from each of the four directions, for sixteen total. That is for the non-photo-enforced intersections! Lynnwood has about ten photo-enforced intersections on top of this! The photo-enforced (red light) intersections add a pole with three additional cameras on top of the standard four, per side, per intersection, for a total of TWENTY-EIGHT CAMERAS at many intersections!!
Red Light Cameras, Yellow Light Times

02 Apr 2008 10:33 am

[Jon Henke]

The Virtuous Republic argues that "red light cameras have nothing to do with safety. They are simply means of taxation that you the voter have no say in." He's talking about this story...

Six U.S. cities have been found guilty of shortening the amber cycles below what is allowed by law on intersections equipped with cameras meant to catch red-light runners. The local governments in question have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.

Indeed, the incentives involved for the government are very perverse. If you reduce the yellow light duration, you'll get a bit more revenue. If you lengthen the yellow light duration, you'll reduce accidents and save lives. So public officials choose to....reduce yellow light duration?

[insert comment here about the monopoly power of government]

Shortening the yellow light below the minimum time is clearly wrong - i.e., illegal and unethical - but what about the more general disparity in yellow light duration? Some yellow lights last 4 seconds, others 5 seconds, others 6 seconds, etc. How can drivers make the stop/go decision with confidence when there is such a large disparity in yellow light duration?

Even if they don't shorten yellow lights below the minimum, drivers are unlikely to know until after they've been caught just how long a yellow light might be. That also seems problematic from a legal and ethical standpoint. Imagine a law against loitering under which you could be charged (without prior warning) for remaining in one place for too long...but the duration was not posted and you were not informed until after you had been ticketed/arrested. That would be clearly problematic, but how is it very different from the yellow light disparity?

The reason for disparities in yellow light times is obvious (speed, intersection size, etc), but the result is a law about which drivers are forced to make split-second guesses. And cities have an incentive to stack the deck against them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
I like the idea of cameras catching people going through red lights. Fewfer people driving through red lights would be a good thing. I really really hate the towns and cities that shorten the yellow to raise revenue...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,476 Posts
You should have your local officals look into Greensboro, NC (where I live) because we have out lawed the cameras due to them not giving you your day in court.

And yes, many many towns have shortened the yellows to make more money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
Perhaps the worst camera intersection I know of is right outside McChord AFB in Lakewood. (83CelWA can back me up on this) The intersection itself is very long because the cross traffic is at an angle, which makes for a much “deeper” intersection for the main traffic. Herein lies the problem though. For a typical intersection, pushing the yellow may not be a big deal, but when the intersection is nearly twice as deep as it should be, trying to push it gets you a nice fat ticket.

Personally, I never push it. If I’m within 6 feet of the intersection when it turns yellow, I will alter the laws of physics to stop in time! And if I’m entering the intersection when it turns yellow, I will push “ludicrous” speed to get out of it before it goes blood red.

But I’ve seen that intersection light up like the 4th of July on some poor bastard who couldn’t get out of it in time. Although I don’t personally know anyone who got nailed, I know the revenue that’s generated off that camera has ensured Lakewood police will NEVER go bankrupt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
I've been wanting a new rear bumper... I ussually stop.

But seriously. People around here act like they're too important to stop, so i make them. I pretty much get off on it. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
Yes, but you do have to make sure the poor slob in the over-loaded Suburban (full of illegal immigrants don't you know) can stop in time... Sometimes it's still safer to go through the yellow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
^ Even better. I'm sure my neck would hurt like a mother... lol

I ussually drive too slow for people to be following me closely to get around people... Except for the rare occasions that I'm running late for work. I usually just slow waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down for tailgaters.

I drive much better when the wife/kid are with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
Yes, I have to admit that the closer they follow me, the closer I get to the speed limit. They just changed speed limit on the main road I take to get home to a 25 from a 35 MPH. Some folks still try to do 45 (past the school, too) and I really don't mind driving 25 along there at all. It is kind of funny watching them yell and scream and wave their hands about it.

Chill, dude! And yes, from your gestures I am sure I am #1. After all, I'm in front of you... LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
Perhaps the worst camera intersection I know of is right outside McChord AFB in Lakewood.
It was much worse when they first put the cameras in. There was probably about half a second flash of the yellow light before red. During that point in time though, it was still in the testing phase (still had to pay the ticket though), and they were challenged enough times, that they made the yellow light a little longer again. The thing I love watching are the "special" people that do not realize that the lines for the crosswalk when heading to McChord is not the stop line (lots of flashes).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
It's better during hours of darkness. It's like a paparazi festival! And, Lakewood is just chocked full of "Special" people who seem to love getting their picture taken!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Lakewood is just chocked full of "Special" people who seem to love getting their picture taken!
No doubt. I wasnt used to that going up to hang out with my Dad, so it was kind of shocking seeing the flashing when the people ran reds in the crosstraffic. Every intersection, there was someone running a yellow/red ahahahahaha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
About a week or 2 ago, I saw a guy heading towards McChord that just got tired of waiting and took off at a red (he was stopped). That will be a fun one to explain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
About a week or 2 ago, I saw a guy heading towards McChord that just got tired of waiting and took off at a red (he was stopped). That will be a fun one to explain.
"Yo Yo Yo, your honor. I ran that light. I had been sitting there forever! Must have been 15 or 16 seconds by then! I just got fed up. How can I honestly be expected to wait that long? Sure there were kids in the crosswalk, but they were better than 4 feet away, so I figured it was safe enough for me to go... Red light or green, doesn't matter to me! THAT's just how I roll."

(I can just hear that now as a defense in court)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
The last time I "took the gold" and got caught at it, was in San Antonio when I was stationed at Kelly AFB. It was a Sunday morning and I went out early to pick up some breakfast. On the way home, I was hitting ever single light RED. Gawd it was frustrating. So, I made up my mind to end it. The next green, I jumped off the line and raced to the next intersection. Nobody in front of me, and I hit the middle of the intersection just as it went red. (stupid, I know, but it was 15 years ago and I was... well.... STUPID)

Anyways, guess who was sitting at the light waiting to take a left? Yep. San Antonio police. F**K. And, as you may have guessed it, he saw the whole thing and pulled me over to give me a nice fat ticket.

No intersection camera's back then, but then, an actual cop is just as good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
if anyone's got access to a paintball gun they should do the right thing and start paintballing the cameras.

if the camera can't see then it can't give tickets.

fr7rT
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,405 Posts
Locally, several suburban cities recently considered cancelling their red-light camera programs. The companies that run the camera systems and process the tickets sold them on the idea that the cameras would pay for themselves. They did alright for a while until all the regular commuters got accustomed to the fact that there were cameras. Who would've thought they'd all begin to actually obey the law? Kudo's to Jay Leno for putting Rush Limbaugh in his place last week when he told Rush that you can't measure the success or failure of a goverment program by whether or not it pays for itself. In the case of the red-light cameras, by the fact that they have to be subsidized means they are more successful than predicted. The voters pressed their city councils to keep the cameras. Now here's the trick. To reduce the cost of the program, they rotate and only operate one or two cameras at a time now. You never know when your favorite intersection will be active. Surprise, its no less effective but the operating cost is certainly lower! Now as to short-cycling the lights, locally, they only send you a ticket if you ENTERED the intersection on red. We have over 300 drivers at work. They know how the system works and what they can and can't get away with. You want something to gripe about. Commercial drivers license doubles the fine! :faint:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
while i was out in california, i turned left on a red turn arrow...there were cameras on that intersection, but as pdupler said, it might not have been 'on' at the time...i've been back for a good 2-3 weeks now and i haven't gotten a ticket in the mail yet. there was no flash either. i didn't realize there was a turn light until i was already going.

I'm from south dakota and i'm not used to that...there is one street light in the town i live in and only the 2 largest cities here have camera intersections...sioux falls and rapid city...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
Fortunately, I've never been "caught" by a red-light camera, but back in very early 90's in Portland, OR I was issued a citation by a living, breathing police officer for "running a yellow light". That was the exact phrase that he wrote on my ticket! What a dick! It was thrown out, but the cop just wanted some overtime pay for being in court, and to piss in my cheerios for the day.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top