Author Topic: Ohio to ban red light cameras  (Read 4003 times)

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Offline Kit Walker

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2013, 10:09:33 pm »
I have seen enough results of car crashes for one lifetime and I have little sympathy for people who think they are immortal or otherwise don't believe that traffic laws concern them.

I routinely drive 165 miles from side of Michigan to the other. Speed limit the whole way is 70. In the vast expanses of straight highway with rural or no exits, where traffic is pretty well always light and you can rarely count more than ten cars in your general vicinity, I tend to do 80-85. I slow down for curves, signal lane changes properly, modulate my speed with traffic condition, etc. People who drive like assholes cause car accidents because they drive like assholes, not because they drive too fast or are less than judicious with the timing on a yellow light.

It's not that the laws don't apply to me, it's that a set of rules decided upon by legislators before I was born do not universally reflect the best way of handling every traffic condition.
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Offline Jack Mann

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2013, 02:34:50 am »
For all those discussing the danger of running red lights, it should be pointed out that (at least American) traffic lights don't turn green until some time after the opposite light has turned red, to give enough time for traffic to come to a halt on that road before letting the rest go through. Red light cameras don't discriminate between someone driving through when the light has just turned red and traffic is stopped, or someone speeding through oncoming traffic and risking a collision.

As has been pointed out, it's often safer to drive through a red if you don't have enough distance to stop for whatever reason (people don't have their attention locked on the lights 24/7, nor do they instantly decide on a course of action and stick to it perfectly; plenty of people will try to speed up to get through a yellow, especially those on a deadline, and then have to either screech to a halt or speed through a red because they're simply not fast enough) purely BECAUSE of this leeway time. If someone is aware that they're going to be punished for making a relatively safe decision, however, they're much more likely to panic and slam on the brakes. You can talk all you want about how taking a ticket is safer than risking a crash, but people DON'T consider every single risk before making a decision. Especially not when they have literally less than a second to decide. The statistics match up with that.

Pairing up red light cameras with shorter yellow lights seems like an intentional attempt to create more lawbreakers for enhanced revenue, which is utter bollocks and just creates more of those collisions and near-collisions when people trying to make it through a yellow suddenly find themselves staring at a ticket.

In Arizona, our red light cameras won't go off unless you enter the intersection while it's red, and the yellow should last long enough for you to either stop or already be heading through when it turns.
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Offline chitoryu12

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2013, 02:57:59 am »
For all those discussing the danger of running red lights, it should be pointed out that (at least American) traffic lights don't turn green until some time after the opposite light has turned red, to give enough time for traffic to come to a halt on that road before letting the rest go through. Red light cameras don't discriminate between someone driving through when the light has just turned red and traffic is stopped, or someone speeding through oncoming traffic and risking a collision.

As has been pointed out, it's often safer to drive through a red if you don't have enough distance to stop for whatever reason (people don't have their attention locked on the lights 24/7, nor do they instantly decide on a course of action and stick to it perfectly; plenty of people will try to speed up to get through a yellow, especially those on a deadline, and then have to either screech to a halt or speed through a red because they're simply not fast enough) purely BECAUSE of this leeway time. If someone is aware that they're going to be punished for making a relatively safe decision, however, they're much more likely to panic and slam on the brakes. You can talk all you want about how taking a ticket is safer than risking a crash, but people DON'T consider every single risk before making a decision. Especially not when they have literally less than a second to decide. The statistics match up with that.

Pairing up red light cameras with shorter yellow lights seems like an intentional attempt to create more lawbreakers for enhanced revenue, which is utter bollocks and just creates more of those collisions and near-collisions when people trying to make it through a yellow suddenly find themselves staring at a ticket.

In Arizona, our red light cameras won't go off unless you enter the intersection while it's red, and the yellow should last long enough for you to either stop or already be heading through when it turns.

It's still quite common to end up going through a red light as it turns red or during the several second window. If that camera switches on as soon as you're red, you're getting a lot of people ticketed for something that's actually not harmful at all specifically due to the existing safeguards.
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Offline Canadian Mojo

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2013, 11:58:28 am »
Yeah, something about consigning someone to eventual homelessness just because they're a reckless driver leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

And as we've seen in states with the death penalty, severe consequences for infractions are not a deterrent.
You know how we get the argument with the death penalty that we are eliminating a threat and making sure that it can't ever be a danger again... I would say that this is a very measured and reasoned application of that mindset since we are allowing them to remain free in society despite know that they have repeatedly proven themselves to be a danger. A serial reckless driver who looses their car is merely inconvenienced which is far less damaging to them then they are likely to have been to those around them. They can get a bike, hitch a ride, or move into a urban area with good public transport and go on with their lives. If they end up homeless, it's really not our problem they chose not to adapt.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2013, 05:10:03 pm »
I would accept the argument about the bike, except...

1. We have had more fatal accidents involving cars crashing into bikes (in broad daylight) than we have had with cars crashing into each other.

2. We maybe one bike lane for a short road in the entire county.  There are generally no bike lanes around.

3. There are drivers who intentionally try to run bikers off of the road because "the road is for VEHICLES only".  This applies to any state and county, not just our own.

There's also the fact that reckless drivers are rarely caught by the police in the first place.

By the way, I'm more griping about the lack of public transportation and bike lanes than I am griping about the poor reckless drivers forced to stay home.  That being said, I'm opposed to the death penalty anyways, so similar principles still apply here.
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Offline Canadian Mojo

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2013, 09:14:14 pm »
I suppose I could be a callous bastard and reply with a "meh" about the increased risks that someone loosing their vehicle and license might face. The shoe being on the other foot might teach them something. We still put people in prison despite the fact that they might get shanked or raped so it really doesn't sway me much unless you have atrociously bad bicycle accident stats. Additionally, the fact that the police don't catch many people really shouldn't be used to determine if a law is a good one or not.

Admittedly, I'm pretty old school in the attitude that if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2013, 09:26:16 pm »
If there was public transport or bikes I'd be inclined to actually support such a decision, but this place is the pits when it comes to things like that.

You drive, or you hitch a ride.  Or you spend terrible amounts of money on a taxi.  Or you try to bike and die due to old grannies being too old to drive and yet driving anyways for the previous reasons.
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Offline PosthumanHeresy

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2013, 04:43:44 am »
I would accept the argument about the bike, except...

1. We have had more fatal accidents involving cars crashing into bikes (in broad daylight) than we have had with cars crashing into each other.

2. We maybe one bike lane for a short road in the entire county.  There are generally no bike lanes around.

3. There are drivers who intentionally try to run bikers off of the road because "the road is for VEHICLES only".  This applies to any state and county, not just our own.

There's also the fact that reckless drivers are rarely caught by the police in the first place.

By the way, I'm more griping about the lack of public transportation and bike lanes than I am griping about the poor reckless drivers forced to stay home.  That being said, I'm opposed to the death penalty anyways, so similar principles still apply here.
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Offline Askold

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2013, 07:13:50 am »
I think that someones drivers license is revoked temporarely or permanently the consquenses of them not being able to drive must be concidered a part of the punishment.

Depending on the location, public transport, wealth (if Bill gates lost his license I doubt going everywhere with a taxi or hiring a driver would inconvenience him much) and other things do matter.

Let's concider this. A truck driver loses his license for a month due to repeat offences. He earns his living by driving so this is a blow to his income. In fact in Finland people who drive for a living have been struggling to change the laws so that they would be exempt for losing their license due to minor offenses, even if those are numerous.

On one hand, people who do need the car for their job or even daily life the punishment is bigger. On the other hand if they have broken the law then they too should be punished for it. Especially the people who drive for living should be safe and law abiding drivers, I myself would be worried if the courts would declare that trucks do not have to obey traffic laws.

Optimally these sentences should be adjusted based on the person who is guilty and how much the sentence will affect them. (We already scale paid fines to the monthly salary of the criminal. After all me losing 100€ and Bill Gates losing 100€ are not equally troubled by such sums.)
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Offline PosthumanHeresy

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2013, 07:16:31 am »
I think that someones drivers license is revoked temporarely or permanently the consquenses of them not being able to drive must be concidered a part of the punishment.

Depending on the location, public transport, wealth (if Bill gates lost his license I doubt going everywhere with a taxi or hiring a driver would inconvenience him much) and other things do matter.

Let's concider this. A truck driver loses his license for a month due to repeat offences. He earns his living by driving so this is a blow to his income. In fact in Finland people who drive for a living have been struggling to change the laws so that they would be exempt for losing their license due to minor offenses, even if those are numerous.

On one hand, people who do need the car for their job or even daily life the punishment is bigger. On the other hand if they have broken the law then they too should be punished for it. Especially the people who drive for living should be safe and law abiding drivers, I myself would be worried if the courts would declare that trucks do not have to obey traffic laws.

Optimally these sentences should be adjusted based on the person who is guilty and how much the sentence will affect them. (We already scale paid fines to the monthly salary of the criminal. After all me losing 100€ and Bill Gates losing 100€ are not equally troubled by such sums.)
I honestly believe that taking away someone's licence should not be possible, at all, unless you live in the city. Out in more rural areas, you're fucked beyond fucked if you have no licence. If you live anywhere but a big city, you have no way to get to work (or for that matter, if you work outside the city). So yeah, taking someone's licence can render them homeless.
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2013, 03:49:00 pm »
Let's concider this. A truck driver loses his license for a month due to repeat offences. He earns his living by driving so this is a blow to his income. In fact in Finland people who drive for a living have been struggling to change the laws so that they would be exempt for losing their license due to minor offenses, even if those are numerous.

I think that should be looked at like a doctor losing their license to practice medicine. If your job requires you to drive, then the expectations on you to obey traffic laws should be greater, not lesser.

Or, at least, that should've been the case to start with. At this point, though, if the culture of "you must obey these laws or the consequences are terrible" doesn't already exist, it will not appear overnight. Lots of people losing their livelihood is not just something to shrug off and say, "oh well, these things happen". And if the enforcement of traffic laws is not uniform but circumstantial (Get the cop who's in a bad mood and they'll enforce laws that they usually don't, etc.) it compounds the problem. I don't know if that's a problem in Finland, it certainly is here.

Damn you, complex issues.
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Offline Askold

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2013, 04:11:12 pm »
I think that should be looked at like a doctor losing their license to practice medicine. If your job requires you to drive, then the expectations on you to obey traffic laws should be greater, not lesser.
This, a thousand times this.


Or, at least, that should've been the case to start with. At this point, though, if the culture of "you must obey these laws or the consequences are terrible" doesn't already exist, it will not appear overnight. Lots of people losing their livelihood is not just something to shrug off and say, "oh well, these things happen". And if the enforcement of traffic laws is not uniform but circumstantial (Get the cop who's in a bad mood and they'll enforce laws that they usually don't, etc.) it compounds the problem. I don't know if that's a problem in Finland, it certainly is here.

Damn you, complex issues.
There are... Minor differences. Some police officers and even judges may interpret the laws differently, but this is why you can appeal to a higher court and that way you can usually get the worst mistreatments fixed.

But generally, our legal system is pretty good and fair.
No matter what happens, no matter what my last words may end up being, I want everyone to claim that they were:
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Ohio to ban red light cameras
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2013, 04:50:54 pm »
That must be nice.
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