Jump to content

Oh Crap...Red light election ruled illegal....


Recommended Posts

As someone who spends most of his time on city streets on foot, I couldn't be happier. People have been running lights with impunity since the cameras were turned off since they know there's a 0% chance of getting caught.

0%? Officers can't write tickets for running a red light?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the redlight runners, and the traffic lawyers who defend them. Not to slight Paul Kubosh, but I've never agreed with his argument against the citations. Perhaps an argument can be made that the contract is not in the City's best interest, but camera surveillance to catch criminal activity has long been held to be legal. And, this citation is only a civil penalty, much like a parking ticket is against your vehicle, not you, as the driver.

I haven't read the legal opinion, but my guess is that the court said that this is not a valid way to terminate a contract. Anyone know if that is correct?

Help me out here. In Colorado the driver not the vehicle is ticketed. I received two, sent a copy of my licence in with a protest that it was not me it was my twin brother (I have no twin) both were dismissed. I understand they haven't the time or resources to investigate these. Fine!

In Houston I received two speeding and one not a complete stop on right. TMI here, but I let all go to warrants, spent one (first time ever) uncomfortable night in city, and I'm sure you know the rest of the story. All 1,800 dollars worth were dismissed as the officers don't have time to report to court for these. I was a courier driver and could not afford these on my car insurance, that was my justification. Wrong as it may be.

So these red light cameras aren't against ones insurance as well? Civil becomes criminal in Colorado because of the insurance increase in my opinion. :blush:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure it has been mentioned, but I'll rattle of my list of issues with allowing these red-light cameras. Some are Constitutional, others are safety related, others are just based in what I feel is right and wrong.

Off we go...

First, the cameras violate my right to due process.

Second, I do not get to confront my accuser.

Third, the cameras don't work. I know several people who were in the process of making legal traffic maneuvers but were ticketed anyway (legal right-on-red turns for example).

Fourth, safety. More than once I've been startled by the flashes going off while driving. At 610 and Westheimer, the flashes have caused two accidents that I know people involved in them. Near my home, my father also ended up curbing his car because the flash not only scared him causing him to flinch, but made him unable to see momentarily causing him to curb the car which resulted in a blown out tired and scratched rim (plus possible mechanical damage).

Fifth, accidents are caused by people trying to beat the cameras. There have been studies showing more accidents at intersections with cameras, caused by "beaters" as well as the flashes. There have been conflicting studies showing the intersections are safer. I don't know who to trust frankly. The university or non-profit that does the study or the company with a vested interest in keeping the cameras up.

Sixth, they are wrong. They have been put up under the guise of public safety, but in the end, the ultimate goal is revenue. So the city uses tax payer dollars to pay for and install, maintain and operate technology who's sole purpose is to fleece the tax payer. It is somehow ok because it is supposedly only bad people who run red lights? No.

There are other reasons, but in the end, the one that matters is the voters of Houston do not want them. They proved this, voted them out and now the city counsel has taken it upon themselves to ignore the voters (the judge's decision did say that the vote wasn't valid because it violated the city's charter, but there was no order to reactivate the cameras).

I could be convinced to remove my objections to the cameras if certain concessions were made. Such as signage leading up to every intersection with a camera notifying traffic that there is one. Second, that the cameras be adjusted so that they cannot see inside the vehicle (as of now, two photos are taken, some actually shoot inside the vehicle, where I have a reasonable expectation of privacy). Third would be that the cameras be monitored by a qualified police officer. Perhaps five cameras per operator. When a camera is triggered, the officer is notified (he'd be watching them live as well) and a 30 second playback is queued up and played for him so that he can verify the accuracy of any citation written, and he would have to be present in court for all all court dates for those tickets as the accuser/witness. Fourth, the flashes need work. They are too bright right now and too startling. Fifth, better calibration. If you enter the intersection under a yellow light, the cameras will tag you. This is not legitimate. Also, I don't know about others, but I was always told in Driver's Ed that if you cannot stop at an intersection without "shifting the contents of the vehicle" you were supposed to continue through. So perhaps more than two shots are necessary to form a full assessment about whether the charge is legitimate.

In regard to RedScare's commentary about us being more worried about the Patriot Act, you're absolutely right. We should be worried about that. That does not mean we should not be worried about this as well. There is a perfectly valid "slippery slope" argument here (one of the few places it applies). If we allow these cameras, what will we allow next? Speed cameras are already in use in numerous places in this country, and those are wrong wrong wrong a well. One of the primary purposes of a police car on the side of the road manning a speed trap is deterrence, not just revenue. Revenue is supposed to be tertiary. A bi-product of the deterrent and safety measure if unheeded. It is a short step from these cameras to cameras that can and will be used to track citizens (check Las Vegas for example). We already have HPD cars with a camera that reads and runs every license plate it sees, without any cause to do so.

Liberties are taken most effectively in increments, not in fell swoops.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure it has been mentioned, but I'll rattle of my list of issues with allowing these red-light cameras. Some are Constitutional, others are safety related, others are just based in what I feel is right and wrong.

First off I agree with you for the most part, this is just a revenue generator and questionable on affect to public safety. But i don't agree with all your points...

First, the cameras violate my right to due process.

Aren't these just treated as any other non-moving violation? You can appeal them.

Second, I do not get to confront my accuser.

The City is your accuser, and you can confront them.

Third, the cameras don't work. I know several people who were in the process of making legal traffic maneuvers but were ticketed anyway (legal right-on-red turns for example).

I've made several right turns on red and no had any problems. I only know two people that have gotten tickets and they were legitimate.

I also was creeping at 4am on my way to work, basically let go of my brake when i saw the cross street go yellow with no one within miles. the flash went off, but i didn't get a ticket. they check the speed for every incident before generating a citation.

Fourth, safety. More than once I've been startled by the flashes going off while driving. At 610 and Westheimer, the flashes have caused two accidents that I know people involved in them. Near my home, my father also ended up curbing his car because the flash not only scared him causing him to flinch, but made him unable to see momentarily causing him to curb the car which resulted in a blown out tired and scratched rim (plus possible mechanical damage).

there are a 1000 other distractions while driving i would say are worse, maybe your area has some ridiculous flashes but the ones i have seen are not startling at all.

Fifth, accidents are caused by people trying to beat the cameras. There have been studies showing more accidents at intersections with cameras, caused by "beaters" as well as the flashes. There have been conflicting studies showing the intersections are safer. I don't know who to trust frankly. The university or non-profit that does the study or the company with a vested interest in keeping the cameras up.

Interesting, you can beat them? that's good to know. Exactly how fast do you need to go?

I have the opposite concern, i see people slamming on the brakes when a light turns yellow. Because they are afraid of the red light cameras they are stopping when they shouldn't and causing accidents.

Sixth, they are wrong. They have been put up under the guise of public safety, but in the end, the ultimate goal is revenue. So the city uses tax payer dollars to pay for and install, maintain and operate technology who's sole purpose is to fleece the tax payer. It is somehow ok because it is supposedly only bad people who run red lights? No.

Agreed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/08/22/2011-08-22_redlight_cameras_throughout_nyc_are_bringing_in_52_million_major_cash_from_speed.html

after reading that article I understood why the HPD chief kept lecturing the monthly PIP participants that the severity of the HPD budget crisis was the result of voting down Redlight camera proposal. With these kinds of revenues for NYC I wonder what the potential revenue will be for Houston. . . . . . . . . . and perhaps explain why the Red light cameras will continue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.nydailyne...from_speed.html

after reading that article I understood why the HPD chief kept lecturing the monthly PIP participants that the severity of the HPD budget crisis was the result of voting down Redlight camera proposal. With these kinds of revenues for NYC I wonder what the potential revenue will be for Houston. . . . . . . . . . and perhaps explain why the Red light cameras will continue.

Well, in new york, they have the "don't stop in the box" law, that should help substantially with that. But good lord, I can only imagine what kind of headache to go through THOSE photos. They got the manpower, so whatever.

I still want the cameras. Period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First off I agree with you for the most part, this is just a revenue generator and questionable on affect to public safety. But i don't agree with all your points...

Aren't these just treated as any other non-moving violation? You can appeal them.

That does not negate the due process argument.

The City is your accuser, and you can confront them.

No, when I get a speeding ticket, if I take it to court, the officer who issued it can be cross examined. The city, or a camera, cannot be.

I've made several right turns on red and no had any problems. I only know two people that have gotten tickets and they were legitimate.

I also was creeping at 4am on my way to work, basically let go of my brake when i saw the cross street go yellow with no one within miles. the flash went off, but i didn't get a ticket. they check the speed for every incident before generating a citation.

I know people who have gotten tickets for them, and I've got no reason to doubt them. It could have to do with placement of the cameras or the triggers. The fact that they happen at all is another strike against them.

there are a 1000 other distractions while driving i would say are worse, maybe your area has some ridiculous flashes but the ones i have seen are not startling at all.

That doesn't mean we should legislate #1,001.

Interesting, you can beat them? that's good to know. Exactly how fast do you need to go?

I have the opposite concern, i see people slamming on the brakes when a light turns yellow. Because they are afraid of the red light cameras they are stopping when they shouldn't and causing accidents.

I didn't say they actually beat them. It doesn't stop dumb people from doing dumb things though.

The establishment of a precedence is the scariest part of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting your thoughts...you bring up a lot of good points. (and welcome back...?!)

Thanks for the thanks. lol

I check in from time to time. I've been suffering from some health issues lately that have kept me from poking around forums. I've also been dealing with some pretty serious legal problems which are finally getting sorted it seems. It isn't ideal, but at least I might be avoiding jail, which is always a plus. lol It will teach me not to trust people who have proven multiple times in the past that they aren't worthy of my trust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be that slippery of a slope. We don't even need a contract with an arizona company.. The capability to use Transtar to fine speeders is in place now.. tweak to the software.. and bam, it's possible.

Would it be safer.... Check.

Would it be a massive revenue stream for the city... Check.

Only the political will to propose and implement this is missing.

But it's not just tickets for red-light running... That I can understand. It's also ticket for not coming to a 100% stop when making a right on red. That's ridiculous.

I'm an adult, I'm an alert driver. When I'm approaching a red, I'm checking out the pedestrian signals and looking for pedestrians 50' out. Most of the time, I can easily ascertain before coming to a 100% stop if there are any pedestrians or other vehicular traffic that I should yield too. And if I can't ascertain, I stop till I'm sure. If i slightly roll through a red, and get caught by a cop.. that's my bad luck, but I can stomach it. But having a camera catch you every time !!! And not coming to a complete stop isn't that dangerous.. you're going 1 mph at that point. That's certainly not more dangerous than every driver on the freeway speeding.

Could not agree more with you. I was on the back of my friends scooter when he was red-camera-caught 'racing' through a right on red at about 2 miles an hour. Yes I know we both could have been killed if not extra observant of other drivers and those pesky peds. Also, I know there are those who will say "we shouldn't have to pay tax dollars for your injuries if you are uninsured, that is one of the reason we support this." Agreed! As long as I am able to enter your home to see your coverage and if you are a smoker an unhealthy "meat" eater, you're watching "reality" television and not educating yourself towards a better tomorrow, rearing your children appropriately etc. Can "we" now tell you "our" tax dollars are not going to support your unhealthy lifestyle choices nor any towards your children, as you are not educating them to the degree "we' see fit? :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...