Red Light Cameras Revisited

RED LIGHT CAMERAS REVISITED….Since I posted a few days ago about red light cameras, here’s a followup: a local crank activist has won a battle showing that a camera was working improperly at an intersection on Whittier Blvd., forcing Los Angeles County to refund $500,000 in traffic tickets.

You can fight city hall!

A couple of miscellaneous comments from the story:

  • The camera was set to take pictures three seconds after the light turned yellow, but it turned out the light actually stayed yellow for 3.5 seconds. Oops. But why was the timing based on the yellow light anyway? Shouldn’t it be set to go off, say, half a second after the light turns red?

  • My favorite comment: “Get rid of the darn things and have human beings issue tickets,” said Los Angeles attorney Michael S. Klein. “You may not even know you got a ticket until it comes in the mail weeks later. At that point, there’s no way to turn to witnesses and ask them if you really did run the red light.”

    Um, yeah. Does he honestly think that people who are pulled over by human cops can actually find witnesses who saw what happened, knew what the problem was, and are still hanging around, ready and willing to testify? It’s dumb arguments like this that squander whatever credibility the anti-cam forces might have in the first place.

  • Need to fight a red light ticket? Here’s your clearinghouse for information about how to do it.

  • And here’s a massive 5-part series in the Weekly Standard from a guy who really doesn’t like red light cameras. The biggest substantive complaint seems to be that yellow lights should be longer, and this would cut down on most red light running. I don’t know both sides of the story on this, but it certainly sounds plausible. So why not extend the yellow light and have red light cams?

Whew. That’s enough. No more about red light cameras.

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