• Mar 14, 2008
Red light cameras are nothing more than a surreptitious tax. Oh sure, they're sold to municipalities as a safety benefit, but what else would you say if you wanted to be paid to install, administrate, and monitor your little ticket-writing bots? The cities and towns that put the cameras greedily snap up the extra revenue generated by dangerously short yellow lights and overzealous cameras. Patrick Bedard has been poking holes in the theory that traffic cameras are the salve for behind the wheel idiocy, and a recent study by the University of South Florida Public Health agrees that the cameras actually cause accidents. Other studies also back up the findings that drivers are quicker to slam on their brakes at yellow lights when they spot the cameras. While it should not play out with a rear ending, nobody maintains a safe following distance, or even pays attention. In some cases, the rate of red light running is low enough that the cameras cause a spike in incidents, proving that the cure can sometimes be worse than the sickness.

[Source: Kicking Tires, Photo: Morning Chu Hi]


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  • 52 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago


      Of course many of these people slamming on their brakes when the see a
      yellow light were not paying full attention in the first place.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember driving through the middle of nowhere in North Carolina and there would be a traffic light with a camera set up. not a house around for miles, or other car.

      I hate these things, and you guys are right, nothing more than revenue generators for greedy govts. who love spending our money at Veyron speed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hmm... what's better: t-boning or rear ending?
        • 6 Years Ago
        head on!
        woohoo chicken!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ain't this the truth.

      I live near a very busy intersection in Los Angeles which has a speed camera--9 times out of 10 an accident occurs here because someone slams on their brakes after seeing the cameras.
      • 6 Years Ago
      BAD DRIVERS cause accidents. Generations raised to believe you gun it when you see yellow race toward lights and then when they see the camera warning, they slam on their brakes. This wouldn't be an issue if people didn't try to beat lights.

      Live in an area with massive congestion and you learn to love red light cameras that keep absolute morons from stopping in the middle of intersections during rush hour.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, you can always take the tack my nephew did when he was 17. Had 5 wrecks (totaled 2 cars and a Suburban) in a little over a year. Most were due to running red lights and stop signs. His reasoning was he didn't have to obey the signals since they didn't have his approval to put them in! Not his sign, no responsibility on his part to obey them!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've seen the cameras many times. With these cameras (in well lighted areas) are included a flash! No point in it but whether I am in a truck or my car it blinds me everytime at night. Every side of the intersection is like this and there is another 50 ft away. This is more a nuisance than anything. There are more rear endings here in my home town than t-bones or anything. Not many before the cams though. The ones here dont even work or are maintained. Big help huh. just more Government money....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find this especially true since I tend to tow quite often. People need to realize that everyone behind them may not have the same stopping ability as they do, so be sure to check your rear-view mirror before smoking the tires at a yellow light.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yar, I certainly understand the problems maintaining a safe following distance, but are you saying that your tow vehicle has such bad brakes that you would have to run the red because you can't stop fast enough? Perhaps a slower driving speed is in order?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Asinine. If you have an irregular stopping distance in the vehicle you're driving, you need to adjust accordingly and NOT EXPECT everyone around you to realize your deficiency.

        Can I get a dose of personal accountability for my country please? Thanks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I live in the inner-city of Portland, OR.
        • 6 Years Ago
        sorry to herar that Jackattak... LOL

        I'm in the REAL inner city of NYC - dammit I'd rather have a stalling engine than bad brakes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You obviously don't drive in the city often. When was the last time you left a huge space in front of your vehicle and didn't have some retard swoop in front of you? I can try to leave all the space in the world in front of me, but when you get to an intersection no space is left unfilled.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In Knoxville, TN, not only did they decrease the yellow to the shortest allowable minimum, they also increased the distance on the white "stay behind" line. This has the effect of putting more traffic in the ticket zone more often. Oh, the lights are a HUGE success, lots and lots of money has been raised by these scams!
      P.S. they changed the law to make a camera ticket a civil offense, not a criminal offense, to allow them to get around the right to confront the complaining witness rules.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What happens in states where you are allowed to turn right on a red?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Even if a right turn on red is allowed, you are still supposed to stop first (like at a stop sign). In my area that's what most of the tickets come from.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the cameras may attempt to impede the average driver that runs a yellow while it turns red but i dont think these cut down on serious red light run-throughs. As thats generally attributed to the individual simply not paying attention - therefore they would miss the signs (or not care) anyway.
      Once again this is just another cash grab at the average generally good drivers expense.

      • 6 Years Ago
      He must have known that he was to obey the traffic signs and lights, otherwise he is in violation of his license to drive, which as we all know is a privelige and not a right.
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