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NYC Mayor Wants Traffic Camera On Every Corner

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the here's-looking-at-you-citizen dept.

Transportation 262

Mr_Blank writes "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made it clear that he wants to see more traffic light cameras in the Big Apple, saying that he'd have the devices on every street corner if possible. According to The New York Daily News, the city brought in $52 million in fines generated by red light cameras last year alone. Bloomberg doesn't just want a jump in the number of cameras, however. He also wants to publish the names of those who blow through the stop lights in local papers to help shame wrongdoers into changing their ways. What's more, the mayor wants to look into the possibility of adding speed cameras to the mix. Big brother is coming to NYC."

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Too creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197848)

Is this really necessary?

Re:Too creepy (5, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198104)

    It sounds like a perfect plan. I *LOVE* the idea. It sounds great!

    There are exceptions to it though.

    The day they start doing it, I could just imagine flashmobs, or even the Anonymous group, going around with pre-printed license plate stickers with the mayors plate number on them. They could slap them on every car they can . Sure, it wouldn't be *every* car in the city, but it would be enough for the Mayor himself to be published as running stop lights thousands of times per day. That, parking tickets, etc, etc.

    These printed plates with numbers on them are such old technology, and so prone to counterfeiting, I'm surprised they're still used. They rank right up with paper cheques for transferring money. They're trivial to print for illegitimate uses, once you have the required numbers.

Re:Too creepy (3, Informative)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198284)

Not at all. The best recent breakthrough in getting people to stop speeding have been big signs that show you your speed. Now, just about in every school zone, I get a flashing light when I'm going over 20mph. No cop, no ticket, no privacy invasion. I get a personal message that I am breaking the law. And really, that's all it takes.

Re:Too creepy (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198650)

Not at all. The best recent breakthrough in getting people to stop speeding have been big signs that show you your speed. Now, just about in every school zone, I get a flashing light when I'm going over 20mph. No cop, no ticket, no privacy invasion. I get a personal message that I am breaking the law. And really, that's all it takes.

Someone's obviously thinking about this problem. Sounds much more likely to have an impact than receiving a ticket in the mail two weeks later.

One other idea I had was to configure traffic lights to turn red for 5 minutes if someone is speeding in the road leading up to them, and a ticker at the intersection showing the number plate of the offender for all to see. There's no justice like angry mob justice :)

Re:Too creepy (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198900)

So a guy speeds (which is admittedly potentially unsafe) and suddenly you got a mob of people beating him to death? That's supposed to be just?

I hope you never actually have any say over such things.

I think a better question (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198684)

Why on earth would people who live in NYC drive cars?

Re:I think a better question (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198884)

Why on earth would people who live in NYC drive cars?

Usually they don't. People who *work* in NYC drive cars. Not all of them, but enough. NYC generally handles traffic flow well (Washington looks like it was designed by a fourth grader with a crayon compared to NYC for traffic efficiency), and depending on where you live and work it may be faster to drive than to take public transportation. Depending on the value of your time, plus (For some) the added comfort factor, it may well be worth driving.

Similarly, people going to a hospital in NYC regularly will prefer to drive--or rather, be driven. Chemo + forty minutes and home by car is less stressful than Chemo+40 minutes downtown+20minutes crosstown+50 minutes commuter rail.

People who *live* in NYC usually only own cars if they are quite wealthy, or if they need them for work.

Re:I think a better question (4, Interesting)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199100)

Washington, DC...
was not designed to be an inhabited city. It was designed for looks. Nobody was supposed to be a permanent resident of Washington, D.C.
That's why it's such a shithole. Compared to NYC, which is a shithole because they keep electing Bloomberg mayor (how is this guy not in jail, anyway -- he proudly has boasted about sending people under his employ and direction to states other than New York, having instructed them to BREAK FEDERAL LAW BY LYING on paperwork for firearm purchases, and then illegally transporting those firearms back into New York state. none of this was done with any authority other than his as a *private citizen*, since the powers of a mayor end at the edge of his jurisdiction and the entire affair was his own private enterprise).

DC was actually very well designed if it was kept to its original purpose, but they kept letting people build houses all over the place instead of kicking them to the curb like they should have.. now look at it. good lord. i'd rather be homeless in alaska than a homeowner in DC.

Re:I think a better question (1, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199220)

To me, the idea of employing single-person vehicles in such a busy, people-dense environment seems sort of like using TCP/IP encapsulation to send data between a CPU core and its L1 cache. Too much overhead.

Yes, that was a car concept expressed as a computer metaphor. In Soviet Russia, dot slashes YOU!

Re:I think a better question (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199104)

That's what I'm wondering unless they're talking about the outer boroughs or something. I'm working on a plan to spend 6-8 months in NYC and the plan for my car is to park it in a garage in the sticks and use it for a day trip once a month to keep the battery charged and fluids moving. If I was planning to live there indefinitely, I'd just sell the car.

Up Next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197866)

Car insurance companies harvesting the names of people who blow through red lights from the newspaper.

Re:Up Next... (0, Troll)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198210)

Good! Tax the irresponsible.

Re:Up Next... (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198554)

Yeah, because they've never been shown to be wrong.

follow the money (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199058)

Yes, we can tax the city for being irresponsible. Don't shop in those cities that use and abuse red light cameras. Boycott. That's what I do. I checked Plano TX, and they cheat. They claim that for a 40 mph speed zone, their yellow lasts 4 seconds. It does not. It lasts 3.9 seconds. Yes, they do bust people for violations of less than 1 second, so, yes, 1/10th of a second matters. In any case, the old rule of thumb of 1 second per 10 mph is known to be too short, so even if they followed their own standard, it wouldn't be good enough. If enough people boycott, the fall in sales tax revenue will more than offset what they make with these cameras.

These cameras aren't about saftey, they're all about the money. Everyone ought to realize that. The biggest safety improvement is making certain that the yellow light is long enough. If the city makes sure the lights aren't rigged to create violations, by for instance making the duration of the yellow unreasonably short, if they don't split hairs and bust people for missing the light by half a second, if it doesn't actually make safety worse by inducing more rear end collisions, if the intersection isn't negliglently designed and timed with ureasonably long reds that goad people into pushing the limits of the yellows, then maybe I could go along with the idea. But if they do all that, actually do a good job of designing the intersection, what tends to happen is that cities abandon the red light cameras because they don't generate enough revenue. We don't have much in the way of standards for how long a yellow light should last. Last time a standard of sorts was made was 1976, and it has considerable slop in it. This is actually quite deliberate. With no good standard, who can say how short a yellow is too short?

Trying to get fired? (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197872)

I'd love to see THIS law put to a direct vote. Of course it won't be, and Bloomberg will probably get booted out next opportunity, but the cameras would of course still stay.

Re:Trying to get fired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198066)

he is already one term past the normal two-term limit for mayor of NYC. He's out at the end of this term in any event.

Re:Trying to get fired? (1)

healyp (1260440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198230)

Says you. I thought he was doing the Hugo Chavez by amending the term limits and was planning to be Mayor For Life.

Re:Trying to get fired? (4, Informative)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198112)

...Bloomberg will probably get booted out next opportunity, but the cameras would of course still stay.

Not necessarily. They had speed cameras on the highways and freeways here in Arizona, and once Janet Napolitano left as Governor to be Secretary of Homeland Security at the Federal level, the new Governor, Jan Brewer, removed them.

In the City of Tempe, they had an agreement with Redflex Traffic Systems for red-light cameras, but that agreement has ended and the cameras have been shut off. Granted, the agreement's end happened in part because Redflex was too stupid to stipulate that they got a cut when an offender went to traffic school and got the fine scrubbed from their record, as opposed to having an actual ticket, so when they pushed that Tempe just nixed the entire arrangement at the next opportunity. The lawsuit is still pending.

One problem with photo enforcement is that the camera doesn't stop you and serve you a ticket like police officer does when pulling you over. Instead, they mail the fine to you, but because you haven't been officially and legally served yet, if you ignore the mailing then they have to actually send a person to serve you the ticket in the manner of a process server. Here, a LOT of people have been ignoring the mailings, and they're considering changing the law to not require the in-person serving, but they're receiving resistance to that. So, if a bargain-basement process server costs $40 for three attempts, it's difficult to argue the cost of the process server should be added to the ticket since the complainant didn't pull over the defendant and serve them a ticket in the first place.

I think that if they're going to institute Red Light Photo Enforcement, they need to paint an actual intersection-entering stop line prominently on the ground. The stop line for the crosswalk isn't the start of the intersection, it's further forward. One might assume one's in the clear if one is crossing the crosswalk, but they technically haven't entered the intersection yet.

Of course in my world, I'd define the start of the intersection as the stop line before the crosswalk. But I guess we don't care about pedestrians...

Re:Trying to get fired? (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198272)

But I guess we don't care about pedestrians...

Guess you have not been to NY?

Here in Cali I have seen many red light cameras taken down as well across different cities. Although I never researched the reasoning behind it.

Re:Trying to get fired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198370)

As far as the law is concerned the stop line prior to the crosswalk is the boundary of the intersection. If you cross that while presented with a stop sign or red light, then you have technically run the light/sign. The first hit for a google search for "stop-line crosswalk" is the NY state drivers manual which states:

"You must come to a stop before the stop line, if there is one. If not, you must stop before entering the crosswalk."

Re:Trying to get fired? (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198748)

New Jersey is within 15 feet either way of the stop line/sign

Re:Trying to get fired? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198852)

As far as the law is concerned the stop line prior to the crosswalk is the boundary of the intersection. If you cross that while presented with a stop sign or red light, then you have technically run the light/sign. The first hit for a google search for "stop-line crosswalk" is the NY state drivers manual...

Here, it's the curb on one side parallel with the intersecting road to the curb on the other side in parallel with the intersecting road. At the few intersections without curbs, I believe it's defined by the white line of the intersecting road.

It's NOT the crosswalk.

You'd better check your actual laws, not just the driver's manual. You're supposed to stop before blocking the crosswalk here too, but you technically haven't run the red light until you've actually entered the intersection as defined by the positions of the curbs. Blocking the crosswalk is a different violation here.

Re:Trying to get fired? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198344)

Unless he says it will protect children from being run over by terrorists driving Toyotas.

Revenue stream (4, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197896)

It's all in pursuit of another revenue stream. New York City is full of this kind of nickel-and-diming. Check out this parking ticket scam [youtube.com] on truck drivers.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198504)

wow, really, a scam? that's not a scam, obey parking laws and you don't get a ticket. that's the city saying that letting traffic through on a street has a value and the delivery trucks that impede that traffic have to pay for it. the delivery guys know they're illegally parked. they know they're going to get ticketed. But the company they work for believes that it is more cost-efficient to pay that fine than park the truck legally.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198782)

how is that not a scam? the city knows delivery trucks have no other place to unload. i'd be happy to bet they both have ledger entries for it in their budgets.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198904)

You don't live in NYC, do you? There's generally nowhere to park to make deliveries except an "illegal" spot. It's all about the revenue generation, not about safety or even free flow of traffic - they do this in front of my building on River Terrace, one of the quietest streets in downtown Manhattan. There is no way to legally move furniture in and out of the building, so a moving truck is always going to get ticketed - just another tax for living in NYC. I'd call it all a scam, yeah.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199086)

Yes, a scam. Have you ever tried to unload something in the city? You actually can't do it without "illegally parking". It's sufficiently pervasive that delivery companies treat it exactly as a tax or licensing fee, a sure sign of an inappropriate law.

If everyone actually obeyed that law, the city would decay into a shanty in no time.

Re:Revenue stream (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199386)

Not all NYC cops hate truck drivers. My dad used to take a truck up to the city (not box truck, tractor trailer, and not through but just into, and at night); I forget the details, but when he had first started going up there one night he'd stopped at a red light. Cop pulls up, tells him to blow through.

Yeah, apparently down around that edge of the city, that time of night, there's practically no traffic -- but there was, and most likely is, a much greater chance that someone would attempt to open the trailer and steal things out of it or just outright carjack the truck from him if he were to stop at a redlight.

The cop instructed him to blow through red lights. Because it was the safest thing to do.

Why do these work in NYC (3, Informative)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197908)

but not LA/Socal? They're actually tearing them down in LA (at the police commission's request, amazingly) after realizing that yellow light time adjustments help as well: "My main objection to this whole thing is that I believe the same safety can be achieved by signal timing changes," Councilman Paul Koretz said. "I believe DOT has been pretty resistant to this concept. In budget committee, we found that DOT was not planning on immediately implementing the measure that the council had passed twelve to nothing to change the signal timing on all the signalized intersections [with cameras], plus the additional ones that were identified as more dangerous.... DOT claims it complies with the MUTCD, but the times in the manual are minimums." The same thing also appears to be happening in Houston as well. Does NYC know something the other cities don't? From what googling I've done, red light camera making firms are reporting major drops in revenues. What makes NYC different?

Dallas removed 'em too (2)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198090)

They turned out to cost more than they brought in. People aren't as willing to run the light when they know they're being watched. It's the same reason the highway patrol cops hide in the ditch. Visibility is a deterrent. Invisibility is a money-maker.

Re:Why do these work in NYC (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198130)

A friend of mine recently became embroiled in a small claims suit after he go involved in a no fault, non injury accident with a cabby at a dangerous intersection on a parkway.

The suit was brought by the cabby because the accident was his second in 5 years. This is important because of the monetization the city has implemented over the cab industry, and the resulting imposed legislation. As a result of the accident the cabby was not legally eligable to work and was discharged without pay. For this reason the cabby filed small claims for lost wages against my friend.

Long story short, rediculous things like this happen frequently in NYC because the city government legally taps the till of public transit, and does so because it does not spend money efficiently. This is one of the many reasons that public transit in NYC is abysmal.

The underlying problem (poor fiscal policy, and corrupt contracts with construction unions) causes the city to seek any and all forms of extraordinary rendition of funds from the public and from its civil servants, such as registered cab companies.

This is why the mayor wants to institute a KNOWN bad solution. The problem it aims to fix is NOT dangerous traffic-- it is ALL about revinue. Installing more cameras ans watching more people means more people will get caught and will pay bigger fines.

That is what NYC knows that FS doesn't.

Re:Why do these work in NYC (5, Informative)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198536)

More than half of the tickets in LA were sent to people who were legally turning right on red. In may cases this was obvious in the photograph but they still had to squander most of a day waiting for their turn in Traffic court. There's no right on red in NYC. Cuts down on gridlock and makes the crosswalks safer for pedestrians and makes brainless traffic cameras more accurate.

Re:Why do these work in NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199380)

I am totally unsurprised at NYC not allowing turn on red. Hell, here you can turn left on red if it doesn't cross a lane of traffic (one way to one way).

I have been to NYC all of once, but, I am from Boston. We may not be quite as big, but it is still a big city. I have been to Paris, which is unquestionably large. Never have I seen a place so littered with signs informing me what I am not to do, and what fine shall befall anyone brazen enough to do it. It actually creeped me out a bit to see a place that seemed so in love with its own ability to have rules.

Great Incentive (1)

uberhipduck (910616) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197968)

Publishing a persons name in the paper does not seem like a good deterrent. We all run red lights from time to time, almost every time I awaiting to make a left turn I end up violating the red light rule. There would be no space in the papers left to report the news.

Re:Great Incentive (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199250)

Nobody would even read that shit, anyway. Hell, the only time I even look at my local police report in the paper -- when I even BUY a paper -- is when I know work is going to be slow and I'm going to have a "stomach ache" for an hour around lunch time. and even then it's a cursory glance. the police roundup in the local paper has maybe, maybe a dozen entries. i'm guessing for a place as big as NYC, listing all the people that would get ticketed would take half a newspaper. Who's really going to comb through that, and when there's that many other people listed with you is it REALLY doing anything? Being the lone 'bad guy' is a deterrent.. being one of thousands, over something so trivial, is beyond anyone's giving-a-fuck

Re:Great Incentive (1)

Aczlan (636310) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199664)

And there are also those who would consider it an accomplishment to have their name in the paper for running a red light...

Aaron Z

And I want a camera following him everywhere (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197982)

If he wants to be able to track everyone, then I suppose he wouldn't have a problem with the public knowing what he is doing at all times either right?

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (-1, Troll)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198054)

Cars are already stamped with an ID known as a license plate.

Red light cameras don't "track" anything; they simply click a picture of the license plate of a vehicle doing something stupid and illegal that endangers others: running a red.

Are you also opposed to transponders that charge you for crossing a toll road? That's "tracking also". Oooh, spooky!

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198244)

Agreed. If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to be worried about.

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198872)

What if I am doing something wrong and I want to continue to get away with it? I should start protesting now right? And start sprouting nonsense about how this is a violation of our collective privacy and is another step in the slippery slope to 1984, and how everyone who disagrees with me is one of them. That way I can continue breaking the law in any way I choose.

I wish we had more camera's in Australia. Between pulling out of the driveway at work yesterday and reaching the traffic lights about 1km down the road I saw _three_ cars driven by young females who were half watching the road and half watching their phone, presumably texting or reading a text message, or else reading something that was making them giggle..

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199300)

You're an idiot. Just letting you know.

No camera (and the plural of cameras is CAMERAS, without the apostrophe -- I know you're all a bunch of toothless criminals down there in Superjail Island, Australia is essentially Texas minus the Mexicans, but come on at least make an effort to write properly) would ticket one single of those young females, because the camera cannot determine what they were doing. The ONLY enforcement method which is able to stop unsafe driving such as you describe is an officer in a car driving down the road. A stationary patrol car sitting hidden in a speed trap won't be able to see what the driver is doing, and the officer would be focusing and concentrating on the radar gun more than discerning what the driver of each car is doing.

Of course, to do that the police would actually have to enforce traffic laws for the sake of public safety, and we all know that is unquestionably not the case. It's simply revenue.

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199660)

Your mom wasn't doing anything wrong last night, but she still had to worry about my massive cock inside her.

Re:And I want a camera following him everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198706)

But the migration to speeding cameras would. You need data along two points and to time it. At some point, that scale is going to get both shorter and greater--to increase the chances of issuing a ticket. The longer the time points, the more they will track you--in case you get home too early upon leaving work, since you may not have sped where they had you earlier, but you clearly had to where they don't have cameras, hence you sped along the highway but not the city roads.

52 million dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198006)

I'm struggling to grasp how these traffic control cameras catch anyone. They are marked with signs that say "Photo-radar in 500 yards" or "This intersection patrolled with Red Light cameras". You can speed and run red lights all you want but good glory when there is a sign that indicates which intersections are actually watched, why can you... stop or slow down? I go flying down the freeway with everyone else and when I see the sign I move right and slow down and people still blow past me like I'm standing still and then bitch up a storm when they get a ticket. Is it really that hard to stop at red lights and not speed?

I do realize there are a few false positives, like stopping in an intersection for emergency vehicles or malfunctioning equipment but not $52 million worth.

well they trigger on right on red, just over the l (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198074)

well they trigger on right on red, just over the line, short yellow and other BS.

Re:well they trigger on right on red, just over th (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198110)

well they trigger on right on red,

Which, as it turns out, is an illegal thing to do in New York City.

Re:well they trigger on right on red, just over th (2)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199410)

What color should a red light camera be triggered on? Mauve? Chartreuse?

You have a point that running into a red intersection just a split second after it turned red (let's call that a "cold red") is not actually as dangerous as flat-out bolting through a red light when it's already green for the other stream of traffic ("hot red").

The infraction has actual degrees of severity.

But bolting through a hot red should be grounds for a length driving suspension and a $1000 fine.

In other words, if the red light camera system were to take into account the severity of the infraction, the penalties would become more severe, not more reduced.

Nickel and Dimin' .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198018)

Personally, I'd love it if governements found a way to tax only those who break the law in some way or another. Would leave me greatly financially happier.

If bloomberg really wants these cameras to stop speeding, red light jumping etc. then fine. My thought is that he wants to use them as a direct took for law enforcement to "get their men". Once every single intersection is cam-mined, it takes a very small investment in facial recognition software to track your citizens.

Much easier than mandating that people swipe a locating-card whenever they cross a street.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198022)

Light watch you!

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198118)

Oh, so close. It's "The light sees you".

Good. (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198028)

Red light running morons kill people.

Re:Good. (1)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198188)

Then change the timing of the lights to prevent it, rather than just catch the people as they do it.

Re:Good. (1, Informative)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198850)

Then change the timing of the lights to prevent it, rather than just catch the people as they do it.

Timing of yellow lights will not prevent some drivers from running red. They will just take the extra time into account.
Long yellow lights will encourage those drivers to treat yellow as a "quasi green".

I don't know about New York, but in sane places, you are allowed to complete your passage through the intersection on a red, if you're already in the intersection before it turns red. Running a red light means entering the intersection on a red.

A two or three second yellow light warning is good enough to prevent this, other than for bad drivers.

There is also enough time slack after the light turns red, before it turns green for another stream of traffic, that someone sneaking through just a moment late will probably not cause an accident. Where I live, it's about one second.

Some drivers treat this brief "red in all directions" delay as yet another extension on their green light. They should be fined.

Especially awful is running a red while left-turning cars are waiting to complete their turns from the opposite direction. That should call for a six month driving suspension.

A red light camera could help catch someone who bolts through an intersection that has been red for some time. Someone doing that could cause an accident without being involved in it (cross-traffic swerves and collides). Without a witness to jot down the license plate, or a camera to snap a picture, the twit who caused the accident is gone without a trace.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199264)

Timing of yellow lights will not prevent some drivers from running red. They will just take the extra time into account.
Long yellow lights will encourage those drivers to treat yellow as a "quasi green".

Those people would run the red light no matter how long or short the yellow is.

I don't know about New York, but in sane places, you are allowed to complete your passage through the intersection on a red, if you're already in the intersection before it turns red. Running a red light means entering the intersection on a red.

That's how it is everywhere in the US I've driven.

A two or three second yellow light warning is good enough to prevent this, other than for bad drivers.

Wrong. Multiple studies have shown that the yellow light should last 1 sec for every 10mph. For a 45mph road, the yellow light should last 4.5 seconds.

A red light camera could help catch someone who bolts through an intersection that has been red for some time. Someone doing that could cause an accident without being involved in it (cross-traffic swerves and collides). Without a witness to jot down the license plate, or a camera to snap a picture, the twit who caused the accident is gone without a trace.

I take it you have personal experience with this?

Re:Good. (5, Informative)

oursland (1898514) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199730)

Cite your sources, because there are numerous studies that refute your claims.

http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/effect-yellow-timing [motorists.org]
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/timing-myths [motorists.org]
http://bancams.com/get-the-facts/studies/seattle-yellow-light-times-study/ [bancams.com]
http://www.shortyellowlights.com/rlcinfo/ [shortyellowlights.com]

Also, quit spouting your "feelings" on the issue when it doesn't match up with facts.

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
-- Isaac Asimov

Re:Good. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198764)

Including you once you're used to almost everybody stopping at the lights and let your guard down.

Re:Good. (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199578)

So, let me guess, since people do run reds, your own guard must currently be up! I take it you stop at every green and look both ways before proceeding.

I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198038)

And traffic camera's usually cause more accidents cause everyone does a break stand 1 microsecond after it turns yellow

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198116)

Don't follow so close you can't stop if someone does the brake (break) stand?

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198240)

yes, now just get everyone else in the world to do it

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198540)

If they're following close and hit you, it's usually legally their fault and their insurance paying the cost. They'll learn, eventually.

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199420)

Assuming they have insurance.
Assuming you can afford to lose the use of your car for several days, possibly weeks.
Assuming you don't injure yourself.
Assuming they don't strike you with such force that you are then driven into the vehicle in front of you, which by golly usually winds up being your fault anyway.
Assuming your insurance company won't raise your rates for being hit by someone else.

Yeah, what you say sure makes sense, until you start actually digging in to what the real costs of someone else hitting your car may be.

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199204)

A tail-gating bad driver could rear-end you, so ... run red lights?

Since a bad driver could kill you at any time by suddenly crossing the divider line on a two-way road, the logical conclusion is to drive on the sidewalk, or stay home.

Anyway, you should pay attention to your rear-view mirror, so you should know whether you are actually being tail-gated. If there is a belligerent tail-gater in your rear-view mirror, then sure, run the red. That car will likely cover your license plate from the view of the camera, right? If it doesn't, the car will likely appear in the snapshot, and you can fight the ticket. Show the judge the picture where there is a car a couple feet behind you and claim that you were too scared to stop.

Maybe it will work.

You can't use the tailgater excuse to run lights when there isn't actually a tailgater.

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198708)

That's going to hurt the throughput of the intersection. Imagine waiting 2 seconds after the car in front of you moves. Then multiply this by the number of cars waiting for at the red light.

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199256)

Your poorly-informed reasoning about this will change when you're old enough to have a driver's license, and have a few years in traffic under your belt.

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199630)

There's no rule that says you have to come to a stop ON the guy's bumper ahead of you. If you leave a bit of space, you can resume driving more quickly...

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198440)

And traffic camera's usually cause more accidents cause everyone does a break stand 1 microsecond after it turns yellow

Really?

I must've missed that memo and have been doing my defensive driving ALL WRONG!!!11. *feels like such a douche*

Re:I want a pony and a million dollars (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199120)

You have plenty of time to stop on yellow before it turns red. The yellow warning covers the situation that you're too close to the intersection at the speed you are going to make it possible to stop without doing a brake stand. The light simply cannot abruptly turn from red to green, making a criminal out of every driver who is unable to prevent his vehicle from entering the intersection.

Drivers invariably brake stand on yellow because they were not paying attention. They did not see the light turn yellow, do not know how long it has been yellow, and so make a panic stop.

If you stop on a yellow, and it causes a rear-ender, the root cause is tail-gating, which is another dangerous driving activity.

How many seconds are yellows in New York?

Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198134)

...wasn't about having cameras everywhere. Go back and read it again until you get the point of the book.

why not... (1)

laughing rabbit (216615) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198176)

...just hire more cops for traffic patrol? more people with income and no big brother concerns.

i really prefer the idea of spike strips that pop up when you run the light. nothing like instant gratification!

Re:why not... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198442)

...just hire more cops for traffic patrol? more people with income and no big brother concerns.

i really prefer the idea of spike strips that pop up when you run the light. nothing like instant gratification!

Why is it OK is a cop does it, but not OK if a camera does it?

Re:why not... (4, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199468)

The cop stops you, immediately, thus ending the unsafe situation on the road.

Remember, traffic enforcement is about the safety of the public, not revenue generation.

traffic lights cannot resolve an unsafe situation. at best, they'll stop it roughly 2 weeks after it's happened.

if traffic tickets were, in fact, simply a form of revenue generation and not intended to be rules by which the roads may be made safer for all using them?
well by golly, if that were the case, it sure would be a good idea to use traffic cameras! same revenue stream as an officer, less overhead!

of course, we all know traffic tickets really ARE about revenue generation, but if they were to admit that the public would be on their ass to reform the system -- and so long as they're keeping up the charade that it's all about keeping us safe, traffic cameras should absolutely be disallowed from ticketing anybody for anything, ever.

Re:why not... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199732)

Because that's how citations are supposed to be done. By that logic, let's just fire all cops and replace them with automated monitoring and ticketing computers.

Sounds good (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198184)

IF and only if no one under any circumstances is exempt from name publishing. And police cars are subject to the same when their lights are not on and are not responding to emergencies.

But that's not going to happen.

if redlight cameras become common (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198252)

i bet sales of BB/pellet guns and paintball guns increase exponentially

Psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198366)

Harsh punishments used as a deterrent don't work.

What does work as a deterrent?
Knowing with certainty that one will be caught.

If the goal of the camera is to make money .. forget it .. as soon as people know they'll get caught, that revenue stream is gone.
If the goal of the camera is to improve traffic safety .. this is a brilliant plan. The newspapers should have big bold headlines reading
"TRAFFIC CAMERA, 100% CONVICTION RATE STILL STANDS"

Re:Psychology (1)

ebunga (95613) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198804)

So, use TERROR to change public behavior?

Actually costs... (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198550)

While camera equipment is getting cheaper, I wonder what it would cost the police department to have the newspapers run the names or pictures or whatever of the red stop runnies.

In this day of people wanting to be famous for anything, i would think getting your name in the paper would be a good start.

Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198664)

What happens if a police officer is recorded? Wouldn't this constitute wiretapping? Oh nevermind, the "evidence" would come up missing.

names (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198692)

He also wants to publish the names of those who blow through the stop lights in local papers to help shame wrongdoers into changing their ways

Big kike mogul will never let this happen. The lists will be full of spics and pakis casting a negative light on their pinko multicultural agenda.
I'm surprised Bloomberg hasn't been beatened up in the parking lot of the synagogue.

Houston Red Light Cameras (4, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198726)

Interesting Houston has been going through traffic camera limbo, first they voted to have them, then not have them, then have them again because of some contract and now finally the city has decided to break the contract and repeal the ordinance that allowed them in the first place. So all the traffic cameras that are up are going to be turned off and to get them back on again or install any new ones the mayor and the city council will have to pass a new ordinance which likely won't happen any time soon. It's been a surprisingly big issue locally.

My father recently got a 'fine' for not coming to a full stop on a red when he was going to make a right trun he slowed down stopped and then made the turn but the camera decided no it wasn't kosher he didn't come to a 100% complete stop for the required amount of time so he got a fine. All they could do was fine him 75 bucks and say he couldn't renew his registration till he did it. Turns out you can renew online and bypass any such thing so that's what he did and he still hasn't payed the silly fine.

Progressives take note (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37198768)

Bloomberg's development is entirely predictable if one knows European history. He started out believing in government improving the lives of the "populace" by forcing it to eat right (his campaigns against canned soups, sodas, etc.), to buy into government health care (his first hypothesis regarding the Times Square bomber was "maybe someone unhappy with the health care bill", which is very telling of what was on his mind as to the most credible terror threat his city faces), to give up means of "violent" self-defence (his "mayors against illegal guns" initiative, which was very obviously meant to make guns extremely expensive by suing the manufacturers; makes as much sense as fighting malware by making SDKs expensive and totally registered). So now he goes straight on to forcing the messy and ungrateful masses to behave through total surveillance and collective shaming. Hurray for technology - poor KGB and STASI had to recruit a crapload of informants to achieve the same goal.

This is EXACTLY how totalitarian groups like Bolsheviks and Fascists got that way, from their elitist but well-wishing Socialist beginnings and the idea that progress could be forced on people for everyone's benefit. The XXth century produced nothing scarier than a frustrated progressive.
 

Re:Progressives take note (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199518)

Don't forget that under his instruction and pay that several individuals broke many federal laws by lying on paperwork and illegally transporting firearms across state lines.

He had no authority to do that, actually interfered with LEGIT investigations, and in the end walked away without a blemish. Er, except, the DA down in (iirc) Virginia did tell him to stay away or he'd have him arrested.

Cause the dude broke many federal laws. Very many. He formed a gunrunning gang and got away with it because of who he is. Land of equality my fat pasty ass.

YES! Humiliate them. Public shaming! (1)

ebunga (95613) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198794)

Bring back the pillories. Ignore the past 300 years of attempts to make civilization actually civilized. Get medieval on them. Give'em the rack! Lord Mayor Bloomberg of The New York demandeth order! Burn the heretics!

Re:YES! Humiliate them. Public shaming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199720)

If they don't intentionally change the timings to create more people "running reds" because there's no longer any such thing as yellow, then calling out people who do it sounds like a good idea. [Insert raucous laughter here at the idea they won't intentionally shrink yellow to zero]

I'm a bit touchy because yesterday, while I was riding my bike across the street [after waiting for green], I saw this car coming up and not stopping. I had time to gently stop, look up, confirm I had green and he had red, before he blew through the red at least 10mph above the speed limit. I fully support that kind of motherfucker getting ticketed, shamed, sent to remedial driving school, and if equipment permits being air-horned as he passes.

Every corner (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198878)

And in every car, home and business.

I knew there was a reason... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198880)

...I didn't want to live there. Note to self: Next visit, three words: Expense Account. Taxi.

Re:I knew there was a reason... (0)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199542)

I certainly hope there are myriad other reasons you have for not living there, not least of which being that the uncharged felon Bloomberg runs the ship. I hear he's so slimy, slugs say "EW!" when they touch him

I wonder who gets the contract? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37198916)

Seriously, at very least, this pretty much assures Bloomberg's re-election, as who could compete with an incumbent financed by every traffic camera maker in the world?

So, uh, who here lives in Manhattan? (2)

cloude-pottier (1150433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199074)

Not surprisingly, the comments on this item are full of unwarranted panic and claims of Big Brother coming to a corner near you. I live in Manhattan, and I would welcome speed cameras and traffic light cameras. These are cameras intended to catch people who are violating traffic law, which makes them an enormous hazard on the crowded streets of the city. Cycling in NYC is basically running the gauntlet (fortunately, Central Park is a bit of a haven for cyclists and pedestrians), and reckless drivers are a hazard every day on the streets as a pedestrian. I really think that some deterrence would be an excellent thing for Manhattan and would encourage people to drive much more safely. I'd say they should go so far as to do the same thing for cyclists who disobey the law, as well.

How about tit-for-tat? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199094)

I'd like to see cameras installed in all elected officials offices.

Re:How about tit-for-tat? (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199334)

Sure, right after you agree to a live camera installed inside your car, and workplace.

I think you're confused about what red-light cameras do.

They are still-picture cameras that capture the license plate of a vehicle that has entered the intersection on a red.

Re:How about tit-for-tat? (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199594)

So you think I should have to give up the privacy in my own home before politicians should be required to be transparent?

I think you are the one who is confused.

BTW, I am quite familiar with these cameras having recently paid a fine because a portion of my back bumper was still in the intersection when the light turned red. The ticket came in the mail with about four different shots of the vehicle in which the passengers could clearly be seen. While it wasn't a problem for me, I can imaging a scenario where a spouse might get upset if one of the passengers was, well, shall we say inappropriate. The point is, what kind of country are we creating when we are spied on from every angle and our every movement recorded. You may be OK with that, but it gives me the creeps.

Cost stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199146)

52 million in fines, 520 million in expenses, 1.5 billion in insurance claims.

Yeah - good idea dumbass

LLC's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199178)

The systems rely on registered owner data to serve tickets. Wrap your car in an LLC and if the ticket goes to collections (Even IF you are served) the collection company has no recourse. It's a $50 get out of all traffic harassment free card. ALSO: If you register your car out-of-state and your home state doesn't have photo enforcement laws you can completely ignore the ticket on the grounds of the state-to-state ticketing reciprocity arrangements.

Redflex executives deserve nothing less than a Bullet in their heads. They make money by increasing traffic accident injuries and call their bullshit technology a safety enhancement.

Welcome to New London (1)

Froeschle (943753) | more than 3 years ago | (#37199320)

This should help make our guests from London feel right at home.

Here's your first clue : (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199412)

Bloomberg is a Jew.

They care about nothing so much as money. If you disagree,
you have not known many Jews.

New York voted for him, New York deserves him.

I am very glad I don't live in New York.

No traffic laws in NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37199458)

What for? There isn't a single traffic law that's enforced in the city. Wrong way on a one-way? Wrong way on a two-way? Blocking an intersection? Holding down your horn? Double parking? Blocking traffic? Driving on the sidewalk? Driving in two lanes at once? Turning while not in the turn lane? They don't enforce anything and the drivers are horrible. What would they do with cameras, sell admission to watch the insanity?
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