Stop Red Light Cameras - The truth about red light cameras
Crashes from red light running are some of the most devastating accidents that can occur on our roadways. Unfortunately, money hungry politicians and private companies are taking advantage of an unsuspecting public and profiting with red light cameras. There is no intention of improving safety. Oh, they'll say that's what it's about, but when push comes to shove and the camera is installed, the only thing they are after is money. You won't see them coming back to build that badley needed turn lane. You know, the one that would keep the intersection moving instead of backing it up for hundreds or thousands of feet. No, that would cut down on the number of red light runners, and their profit.
We believe the public has been fooled because of poor geometric design, a lack of capacity at certain intersections and a signal timing formula that was written in 1954 that is totally inadequate for today's roadways. People see a car whiz through a light just after it turns red and they think “That SOB should get a ticket.” Without understanding what may really be behind what just occurred. What they are not seeing is how totally inadequate the engineering of this situation is. There is something wrong here, and it's more than likely due to a lack of capacity, poor geometry or poor signal timing. The engineering factors behind signal timing and an explanation of the dilemma zone will help you understand.
Traffic engineers mean well, but they have hundreds of thousands of intersections to maintain and sometimes they take the easy way out and just set signals with 3-4 second yellow times and walk away. Correcting the problem is usually as easy as adding a second to the yellow time, building a short little turn lane, adding advance warning of the signal or coordinating the signals with others in the same corridor. Engineering solutions to this problem should be explored first
The most devastating crashes at intersections occur when the red light is ran 3-4 seconds after changing. Why? Because most intersections are timed with a 1 second “All Red” time to allow vehicles that entered on the yellow to clear the intersection, and it generally takes a couple of seconds for cars on the opposing approach to actually enter the intersection. That car that just whizzed through when your light turned green is not going to kill you, it's the one that runs it 3-4 or more seconds in that is most dangerous. RED LIGHT SCAMERAS CAN NOT STOP THIS TYPE OF CRASH. This type of crash is caused by someone who is not paying attention and a camera is not going to stop it.
The politicians will have you believe the cameras are for safety. That they are saving the little children from the big bad red light runners, but their actions tell another story. Do you think the money from red light cameras go into finding and implementing good engineering solutions to the problem? If so, boy have they got you fooled. They aren't interested in correcting the real underlying problem, they're only interested in collecting revenue. So while they say "if we just save one little baby from the red light runners..." We say "If we can keep them from taking the food out of just one little baby's mouth, then this is a success."
Some engineers believe the all red time should be increased at intersections where there is a red light running problem, here is why that is a bad idea.
Here is a list of things you can do to defend yourself from a red light running ticket.