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A technicality could cost the state a few million bucks

Red light cameras have become a popular traffic control tool across the country in the last few years, and as their use has grown so has pushback from motorists. A woman in San Francisco recently fought and had her red light ticket thrown out on a technicality.

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It seems most studies of amber lights focus on whether cities are using them to gather revenue. The theory – and let's face it, sometimes the fact – is that the light time is so short that drivers end up tripping the red light camera and getting a fine. Conversely, a new study by the University of Cincinnati and Ohio Department of Transportation has taken a look at how drivers behave when they encounter a yellow light no matter how long it's illuminated.

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Speed cameras are at best a dubious safety enhancement sold on the premise of slowing traffic, while the more important proposition is often the promise of the revenue they can generate. Arizona residents have mostly cut through the bovine feculence around the state's big camera deployment program, one that's been described as groundbreaking. The state installed 76 one-eyed bandits, but profits are lower than projected, and some citizens want the cameras gone.

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No one likes parking tickets. We would go so far as to say that everyone hates parking tickets. Well, everyone except for city governments and certain companies in the private sector that profit handsomely from them. How handsomely? Think George Clooney. For instance, the city of Chicago recently leased out its parking enforcement operations for the next seventy five years. Why? For cash, straight up. How much? One billion dollars.

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One of the more controversial developments in traffic safety enforcement in recent years has been the deployment of automated speed and red-light cameras, which use radar sensors to nab alleged scofflaws and ticket them via mail. According to the NYPD, pair of thieves allegedly spent the better part of a month trolling the city in a pickup truck with a cherry picker, raiding red-light camera for their valuable innards, including the Nikon cameras that actually take the photos. Police arrested th

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According to TheNewspaper.com, the city council in Billings, Montana, voted last week to hurriedly approve new automated red-light cameras – conveniently just before they are scheduled to be banned by the state legislature. With a potential clause allowing existing cameras to be grandfathered into legality still in negotiations, Billings would appear to be attempting to load up on the devices before the revenue-enhancing opportunity closes.

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Red may be their national racing color, but there's little Italians hate more than red lights. And with good reason, it turns out: Stefano Arrighetti, creator of the T-Redspeed "smart" traffic system implemented across Italy, is under investigation for fraud on suspicion that he illegally forged transport ministry certification for his system. In place in over 300 municipalities, the system reportedly cuts the yellow-light time by half to ensnare motorists and charge them with running red lights

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We all know we shouldn't mess with Texas. And Houston, Texans shouldn't mess around with statistics, because the folks running the show are going to come to any conclusions they want no matter what the statistics say. This is the easy part: a study of red light cameras in the city shows that accidents have actually increased at intersections with the cameras.

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