General discussion

Those darn red light cameras

http://news.yahoo.com/s/y_clevelan/y_clevelan_ts1535

While, I haven't gotten a ticket yet, its no doubt could happen. IMHO, this is far more about "generating revenue" than traffic control. Even though the side benefit is traffic control, IMHO that's more of an after thought. Some communities have rebelled against these cameras, not just for liberty sake but rather seeing that people still run the lights. It so happens, in our local community some ticketed people don't even send the money in. Of course, they get hammered later, but regardless, if revenue is the game, its not getting into the coffers. Its also should be noted while some cameras are placed in high conflict or accident prone crossroads, others are put simply because of high traffic, period. In this regard, again in order to ticket rather than control traffic thus generate revenue. -----Willy Happy
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When they started putting them in here

it was noted that they were expected to generate revenue. In my town, these are owned and operated by a third party and, I suppose, they get a substantial cut of the profits. I don't know who handles collections from the scofflaws but I know that a fair percentage of the tickets are ignored. I suspect the ones who do pay are the ones who don't run red lights as a habit. Those who consider that a yellow light means slam the gas pedal to the floor are also the ones who toss the tickets. That being said, I have my doubts as to how these improve safety compared to how much goes into the city coffers for other use.

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3rd parties

That also is an issue, a 3rd party controls the traffic revenue. While, I believe the city gets roughly 30-25% of that revenue and the rest to maintain the cameras and of course to that 3rd party. So, even in this regard, the public coffers aren't enriched and yet some entity far away does, so who benefits? It just rubs me the wrong way, these cameras and remember I haven't gotten a ticket. -----Willy Happy

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Red Light Cameras

I don't mind the idea of the red light cameras being used for revenue.

DON'T RUN RED LIGHTS !!!!!!!!!!!
Then you don't have to pay.

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I DO mind them being used for revenue

I don't mind if they are intended for public safety. If they were, and did fulfill that intention, it would become an expense and not a profit center.

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Well...

Anytime you hear talk about red light cameras, always within in short order you find the revenue being generated. In other words its not about controlling traffic, its about revenue. Sure, you pay if running a red light, but what else? I'll guarantee you sooner or later if something pops-up that generates revenue becomes available, it will be sought. Why do you think your water, sewage, and other public services always get a boost to pay regardless of cost as a revenue source. Its not just about running those services, its about getting more for the general coffers. That's not what people voted for or want elected officials to continuity do. Enough to pay for services and basic upgrades, etc., but not another venue to get cash out of your pocket. I haven't found a public official yet that won't go after money if extra in the coffers. In these times, the general public wants assurance that any revenue be properly sought not go after it as if candy. -----Willy Happy

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Everyone uses water services

Not everyone runs red lights.

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Everyone doesn't use the minimum all the time, but

they pay it.

And when they average it and only read it every 3 months, if you "average" 3000 a month but only use 2000 one month, you still pay for 3000 the first two months. Then when they read it and it's only 5000 more than it was last time, you still have to pay for 2000. So they charge you (at higher rate) for an extra 1000 the month you use 2000. Then the last month you only show 1000 used (because of the 3000 estimate when you used 2000) they still charge you the minimum of 2000.

Now they have charge you 1000 at premium rate you haven't used, and 1000 at base rate you haven't used. And they say there is no way to correct that.

Roger

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I don't run red lights

or at least never intentionally. I try to stop on yellow when I can.

I still object on the basis of elevating machine above people in a way. I work on industrial machines and computers, they do malfunction occasionally.

So when a glitch does happen, it's just too bad bub, just pay up and run along home like a good little citizen. Pay your unfair increase insurance without a protest too.

Roger

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Are you saying that there is no recourse

if the "machine" is wrong??
I doubt that.

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go out in middle of night and "bag" it.

Put a gunny sack over it and all they will get are a lot of pictures of the inside of the bag. Use a cane pole to lift it and a wire loop in the bag to hold it open and a hook at top to release when it's on there. That's the non destructive way. The other is for some graffiti artist to "tag" it. Bag it or tag it.

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Felony

No thanks

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everything's a felony nowadays.

Legal inflation, just like monetary inflation, both corrupt the country. I wonder what they will do when half the population are felons for any number of non violent reasons? Since they can't vote, all that's left for them to change the system are other means that don't involve voting. No wonder militias are growing around the country.

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Many felons do vote, legally
Today, only two states, namely Kentucky and Virginia, continue to impose a life-long denial of the right to vote to all citizens with a felony record, absent some extraordinary intervention by the Governor or state legislature.[2] In 2007, Florida moved to restore voting rights to convicted felons.[2] In July, 2005, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack issued an executive order restoring the right to vote for all persons who have completed supervision.[2] On Oct 31, 2005 Iowa's Supreme Court upheld mass re-enfranchisement of ex-convicts. Nine other states disenfranchise ex-felons for various lengths of time following the completion of their probation or parole. Except Maine and Vermont, every state prohibits felons from voting while in prison, on probation, or on parole.[2] In Kentucky a felon's rights can now be restored after the completion of your sentence or parole.[2]
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I'm glad to hear this!

It's about time a right that shouldn't depend on incarceration is being restored in many places. The right to vote should be available to all adult citizens unless perhaps for those who are mentally incompetent. I'd even exempt that last from having vote removed to avoid the situation like existed in Russia where people were confined on trumped up psychological reasons in the past. Prisoners don't lose their rights to many other things, including rights to trial, rights to counsel, etc. Why then should they be deprived of their right to vote? Can you imagine the voting situation in this country if every person who was arrested for a drug possession, a DUI, and a myriad of other crimes which became labeled as "felony" were deprived of the right to vote. That right should be one of the most protected we have, at least as much as free speech.

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That right should be one of the most protected we have...

Not so sure the Founding Fathers would agree. They favored a much more restricted "right" to vote. They were very wary of democracy. Voting is more a privilege than a right.

It used to be up to the states, and in many places you had to be a white male property owner to vote, on the theory that those are the people with the biggest stake in the society.

Additionally, national (Presidential) elections were not as important as local and state elections. Thus, the electoral College. Really, the Presidential election was the government electing its leader, with electors as representatives of the constituency.

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the problem is;

without such strong "right to vote" then any government can create laws impacting various religious or political viewpoints, cause large loss of votes thereby, in order to disenfranchise them while entrenching it's power to control them. I don't believe in a democracy either, but a democratic republic. If we restore the republic part, then we don't need to worry about the democracy part. England had the right idea with their bicameral legislature in which the House of Lords keep eye on things the wealthy are concerned with and the House of Commons for those of lesser means. We've removed a lot of that balance, starting with erosion of states rights, erosion of governors' powers, change of how Senate seats are filled, etc.

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I have no problem with their right to vote being suspended

for a period of time.

If they stay straight and keep there nose clean it probably should be restored. You wouldn't claim they should be able to run for public office while incarcerated would you? Heck, in some areas, if the prisoners could vote in local election, in the past at least that would have meant an immediate control by the local gang/mob boss of public offices. You take some large prisons and their locations and they're probably a majority vote all by themselves.

I disagree with prisoners currently serving a sentence voting. And to point out, while prisoners don't lose their right to counsel and/or trail, they have lost the right to presumed innocence on that charge. Any legal proceedings, it's on them to prove innocence, or malfeasance during the trial, not on the state to prove guilt.

I think most, if not overwhelming numbers, of prisoners could easily be persuaded to vote a certain way, by bribes or threats, from officials or other prisoners. Surely you agree that prisoners run the social order inside as much as the prison officials do? You cross the wrong people, and you're going to pay somehow, quite possibly with your life.

Anyway, after your sentence is up, parole and probation included, certainly I can agree with restoring voting rights.

Would you restore their right/duty to be on juries also? to own guns? If felons can serve jury duty, would it be much of a stretch today for some lawyer and judge to decide that a jury of an accuse with a record would have to include at least one or more past felons? Would that be a good idea? Personally I don't think so.

Being convicted means you lose some things. While the term and sentiment is no longer used commonly, the idea that the felon has "paid his debt to society" has some validity.

Roger

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can you see a difference

between choosing a doctor and pretending to be a doctor? I see a difference between being a voter and running for the office. It doesn't really empower them as an individual, the vote is only empowering when used collectively in various political movements. A single vote is already a very devalued thing when looked at percentage wise. I don't see how it makes any sense to remove such from them, even while in prison.

As for jury duty, would you consider convicts to be your "peers" on a jury? Every day people are disqualified from jury duty for reasons other than any criminal background.

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Even granting such points

(marginally) I still approve of losing the right to vote, bear arms, and others during the ENTIRE term of the sentence, including parole, probation, etc.

After the sentence is complete, or commuted, or pardoned, then we can discuss a full return to rights. I certainly wouldn't oppose the return of voting rights. I would oppose the right to have a gun of anyone convicted of a physical assault type crime, and possibly others.

Roger

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i thought "what is felony"?

read through your link and found this:


Felony conviction thresholds affected by inflation

One aspect of this issue which bears upon the above arguments is the fact that various property crimes can have dollar amount thresholds, which, if exceeded, turn a misdemeanor into a felony. For example, in Massachusetts under penalties specified in MGL Chap. 266: Sec. 127,[10] a prosecution for malicious destruction of property can result in a felony conviction, if the dollar amount of damage exceeds $250.[11] Some people would argue that $250 is excessively low and since this dollar amount has not risen for many years, even damaging another's radio or cell phone could result in losing one's right to vote. If the dollar thresholds are not increased by law (or indexed to Inflation), a conviction for what is effectively very little money, could result is losing one's right to vote.

"phone rage" could be an expensive activity

,.

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exactly

That's a good example of "felony inflation". We need to redefine felony to eliminate all such crimes that are non violent and then restore all rights to those who would no longer qualify as "felons".

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If it's just a cliche,

do you think they're going to take it offline and run a diagnostic on your say so? for every driver that request it?

A large anomaly and a lot of drivers all around a small time frame maybe so.

Every individual that swears he didn't? nope, the machine can't lie, therefore you must be lying.

I remember a young driver few decades ago that got a ticket for running a red light and he couldn't remember seeing a yellow. Him, his father, and a friend went and stood there and watched that light for about an hour. In that hour, once it went directly from green to red without going through a yellow. But his lawyer told him it was doubtful he could get a judge to overturn the ticket. And almost certainly a prolonged fight in a small town court would just make the cops watch him for anything they could ticket him for.

Now I'll grant you the red light cameras are more likely in large cities and very unlikely in small towns because of the cost. A larger town near me (over 60,000) installed a few, and ended up doing away with them because of cost, in other words because not profitable.

That same town towed my neices car because she was over a foot from the curve. It didn't matter that her small car was within the the hash marks, or that it narrow enough the car behind her protruded more. No appeal for that either. Pay the towing and impoundments or leave it there.

Just remember, because they're not reliable enough, they can't require lie detector tests. I'm not sure you have to allow the results in court even if you agree to take one to exonerate yourself and it turns out indecisive or damning.

Now a working lie detector wired to the witness box might be interesting. Too bad we don't have one.


Roger

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I'm not sure that you know how the systems work

The ones I know about WON'T ticket anyone until after the yellow light is cleared.

Your example is not at all comparable since with the red light cameras, there is photographic evidence, not a human witness..

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WON'T ticket anyone until after the yellow light is cleared.

Does the system you know about NOT take a picture if the Yellow light doesn't work/sequence?

In Rogers example the light went from Green to Red, ...NO Yellow, Smile, you're on Candid Camera. Intermittent Equipment malfunction.

The purpose of the Yellow is to give time to react to the fact the light is going to change from Green to Red.

What's your reaction time?

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That's why some locales shorten the yellow lights
6 Cities That Were Caught Shortening Yellow Light Times For Profit

In addition many simply use wrong formulae in calculating the time a light should be yellow. I actually got to do some math here for a local news anchor a few years ago because of short yellow lights generating extra tickets. What I found was that the formula used in Georgia for establishing yellow light times does not account for the size of the intersection which should be safely cleared in the time the light is yellow before it turns red. On large intersections where one is traveling at the speed limit I found that you could not get through some intersections before the light changed even though it had just turned yellow on entering the intersection. This is outright fraud on motorists.

Tell us more about the ones you know. Have you actually done the math or are you just rambling on here about something you really know nothing about? The absence of a human witness is exactly the problem with these cameras because a human would not expect motorists to simply slam on their brakes the moment the light turns yellow!
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That still doesn't consider the length of the yellow light

If you are too close to the intersection to stop safely when the light turns yellow and the light is not yellow long enough that it turns red sooner than it should then tickets are issued to motorists that were not given adequate time to stop safely. I have even seen a light go straight from green to red as if there was some sort of malfunction.

At the end of the day the fact remains, money is the root of all evil. As long as revenue is a reason for using them there will be municipalities that will abuse them. Not all but some. Safety is the ONLY reason traffic lights exist in the first place and enforcement of them should only be for that very purpose.

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Math has nothing to do with it
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Math has everything to do with it

At any particular speed there is a minimum safe stopping distance and at the posted speed there is an minimum amount of time that is going to pass as you travel that distance. Where yellow light times are shorter than that amount of time it is fraud because you cannot safely stop in the amount of time given. Not only that, once you go beyond the point that you cannot safely stop before braking the plane of the intersection then the time provided by the yellow must provide you the necessary time to clear the far side of the intersection. All of this is true regardless of technology that existed 5 years ago or 100 years from now.

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a good law

would be to make a mandatory minimum yellow light time of 4-5 seconds. That would kill almost all ticket cameras revenue, do more to improve safety, and save lives and property damage. If someone's running a light after 5 seconds of a yellow on most roads, there's little room for argument they need a ticket. I suspect however once the revenue drops, the cameras will be pulled, which will be proof enough it was always about the money instead of the safety.

It's similar to what I've said about other legal matters. If suddenly everyone obeyed the laws there would be few to no police, courts, prisons, bail bonds, criminal lawyers, probation officers, etc. The reduction of such is something each bureaucracy does not want to see happen. To avoid it they then must "manage crime" not try to eliminate it. Another move is to increase the number of laws, define more infractions. Our entire legal system is effectively in cahoots with the criminals to keep crime at a certain level that will justify the same. It's always about the money. When levels of crime drop, more criminals find probation and parole, because the system then needs them back out there to justify their existence and to lessen the chance of cutbacks of their power structures, their particular bureaucracy. Crime does pay. It pays the judge, the lawyers, the prison personnel, bail bondsmen, and a whole host of related jobs.

None of these above are interested in a crime free society, even if such could exist.

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