MAYOR! YOU TAKING A PICTURE DOESN’T COUNT AS A CITATION. WHO TURNED THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS ALL GREEN? STEVE WAS THAT YOU? NOW LOOK WHAT HAPPENED! IS THAT RUSS IN THAT BLACK CAR? GREG WE HAVE A POSSIBLE PENDING LITIGATION AGAIN. GARDNER DID YOU FIX THAT CAMERA YET?
Red-light cameras are designed to take a picture of a car’s license plate if the driver runs a red light. These cameras are popping up in city after city as officials theorize that if drivers know they’re being watched, they’ll be less likely to run the lights. But do they work? Or is it just another way to increase city revenue from traffic tickets? Well, according to study after study, rather than improving motorist safety, red-light cameras significantly increase crashes and therefore, raise insurance premiums. In fact, the only studies that have shown any benefit to red-light cameras were either done by the IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The IIHS, funded by automobile insurance companies, is the leading advocate for red-light cameras since insurance companies can profit from red-light cameras by way of higher premiums due to increased crashes and citations. Biased studies, absolutely! The most recent study revealing the truth about the cameras was done by researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. “The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don’t work,” said lead author Barbara Langland-Orban, professor and chair of health policy and management at the USF College of Public Health. “Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at intersections.” Comprehensive studies from North Carolina, studies from Virginia, and studies from Ontario have all reported cameras are associated with increases in crashes. The study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council also found that cameras were linked to increased crash costs. The only studies that conclude cameras reduced crashes or injuries contained “major research design flaws,” such as incomplete data or inadequate analyses, and were always conducted by researchers with links to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Apparently, the findings have been known for some time. A 2001 paper by the Office of the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives reported that red-light cameras are “a hidden tax levied on motorists.” The report came to the same conclusions that all of the other valid studies have, that red-light cameras are associated with increased crashes and that the timings at yellow lights are often set too short to increase tickets for red-light running. That’s right, the state actually tampers with the yellow light settings to make them shorter, and more likely to turn red as you’re driving through them. In fact, six U.S. cities have been found guilty of shortening the yellow light cycles below what is allowed by law on intersections equipped with cameras meant to catch red-light runners. Those local governments have completely ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided instead to utilize red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead. The cities in question include Union City, CA, Dallas and Lubbock, TX, Nashville and Chattanooga, TN, and Springfield, MO, according to Motorists.org, which collected information from reports from around the country. This isn’t the first time traffic cameras have been questioned as to their effectiveness in preventing accidents. In one case, the local government was forced to issue refunds by more than $1 million to motorists who were issued tickets for running red lights. Some have even gone to the extent of questioning the constitutionality of it all. Others are stating that every American Citizen has the right to face their accuser, and not an innanimate object such as a red light camera. Others are stating they are unenforceable because they are impropery served, therefore can be legally ignored. Others recommend to completely avoid them using side streets, since some of these intersections have become accident pits.
Apparently, the findings have been known for some time. A 2001 paper by the Office of the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives reported that red-light cameras are “a hidden tax levied on motorists.” The report came to the same conclusions that all of the other valid studies have come to, that red-light cameras are associated with increased crashes and that the timings at yellow lights are often set too short to increase tickets for red-light running. That’s right, the state actually tampers with the yellow light settings to make them shorter, and more likely to turn red as you’re driving through them. In fact, six U.S. cities have been found guilty of shortening the yellow light cycles below what is allowed by law on intersections equipped with cameras meant to catch red-light runners. Those local governments have completely ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided instead to utilize red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead. The cities in question include Union City, CA, Dallas and Lubbock, TX, Nashville and Chattanooga, TN, and Springfield, MO, according to Motorists.org, which collected information
from reports from around the country. This isn’t the first time traffic cameras have been questioned as to their effectiveness in preventing accidents. In one case, the local government was forced to issue refunds by more than $1 million to motorists who were issued tickets for running red lights.
Then there are the snitch tickets, sent out by the police in an effort to fool the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car. The truth about traffic cameras is that the real motivation behind the programs is revenue, not safety. For this reason, the systems are often rigged to guarantee a large yield of tickets. In Fairfax County, at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Fair Ridge Drive, the yellow light was shortened just three days after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors signed a contract to implement red-light cameras in October 1999. When the longer yellow time was restored in
2001, violations decreased by 90 percent. In 2007, the Virginia Department of Transportation documented a 29 percent increase in accidents and a 19 percent increase in injuries at red-light camera intersections. This is because drivers slam on their brakes or speed up to try to avoid getting a camera ticket, thus causing more accidents. If Virginia lawmakers are really interested in safety rather than revenue, they will follow Georgia’s lead and lengthen yellow lights and ditch their traffic cameras.
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UPDATE: 10/25/2011: 1:00 pm CITY COUNCILS SESSION DURING PUBLIC COMMENT SESSION: THE QUESTION OF MANIPULATION OF THE TIMING OF THOSE CAMERA’S COME UP MICHAEL ARCT STATES THERE IS NO STANDARDS, LEGAL MINIMUMS FOR A LEFT HAND TURN IS 3.0 SECONDS. COMMON SENSE TO LEGALLY MAKE A LEFT HAND TURN SAFELY IT TAKES 3.6 SECONDS, WHICH YOU WILL FIND AT THE INTERSECTION OF TYLER AND W. BOUND 91, RUNNED BY CAL TRANS. IF YOU GO TO VAN BUREN AND INDIANA RUNNED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE, A LEFT HAND TURN IS 3.0 SECONDS. ALSO ASKED IF COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS WILL ABSTAIN FROM THIS VOTE SINCE HIS BROTHER, RON ADAMS REVIEWS RED CAMERA PHOTO VIOLATIONS FOR THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE. TMC FOUND RON ADAMS NAME ON THE CITY MANAGER’S DISCRETIONARY FUND FOR CONTRACTS UNDER $50,000.00 FROM FISCAL YEARS 2008/2009 AND 2009/2010, ATTACHMENT “C”. DURING EVENING SESSION PRESENTATION, 67% OF THE THE RED LIGHT CAMERA PHOTO’S ARE THROWN OUT, THUS REENFORCING THE PREMISS OF AN INNANIMATE OBJECT BEING MORE INACCURATE THAN PREVIOUSLY PERCEIVED. MORE SO, WHEN DRIVERS APPROACH A RED LIGHT INTERSECTION, THEY BECOME MORE FOCUSED ON THE LIGHT AND THE CAMERA, THUS THEIR ATTENTION OFF THE VEHICLE IN FRONT OF THEM, AS WELL AS BICYLCLIST AND PEDESTRIANS. THIS BRINGING TO THE FOREFRONT A SAFETY ISSUE NOT ADDRESSED.
UPDATE:10/25/2011: 9:00pm: COUNCIL APPROVES REDLIGHT CONTRACT 5/2. WITH NO VOTES BY COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS AND CHRIS MAC ARTHUR. STILL FOR THE MOST PART THIS DECISION REFLECTS HOW REGRESSIVE OF A CITY WE ARE AS OPPOSED TO BEING PROGRESSIVE. THE KOO-LAID KEEPS FLOWING, AND COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS DIDN’T ABSTAIN FROM THIS VOTE, EVEN THOUGH HIS BROTHER RON ADAMS, BENEFITS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUNNING A RED LIGHT BECAUSE NO ONE THINKS WITH INTENT TO RUN A RED LIGHT. IF YOU ARE IN THE LEFT HAND LANE TO MAKE A LEFT TURN YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE LIGHT ON THAT TURN. MORE VIOLATIONS ARE MADE WITH LEFT HAND TURNS, DUE DIRECTLY TO THE TIMING, NOT BECAUSE OF THE DRIVERS INTENT TO RUN A RED LIGHT. THE COUNCIL DOESN’T REALIZE THE EXCESSIVENESS OF THE THE $500.00 FINE, SOME CALL IT HIGHWAY ROBBERY OR POLICING FOR PROFIT. STUDIES HAVE SHOW THAT RED LIGHT CAMERA TOWNS HAVE DETERED VISITORS ALTOGETHER. NOT TO MENTION, PARKING CITATIONS. BUT WHAT DOES THE COMMUNITY EXPECT WITH THIS COUNCIL, THEY DIDN’T LISTEN TO US WHEN WE EXPRESSED OUR OPINION REGARDING AMERICAN MEDICAL RESPONSE. OTHERS SAY SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE OBLIGATORY REASONS FOR THEIR DECISIONS. IN PAST YEARS THE CITY WOULD JUST SPEND, SPEND, SPEND; NOW THEY ARE FINING, FINING, FINING, TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE OF MONETARY
UPDATE:10/26/2011: Allegations by city employee insiders indicate that there are city employees who have had red light infractions and are removed. One was actually promoted up the ranks. Many in the community are asking the questions of double standards. While Councilman Mike Gardner feels if you run a red light you should pay the excessive $500.00 fine. The questions the community is asking, are there different rules for council people, city executives and employees compared to the community? Well, the dirt keeps coming in! Employee insiders are also alleging that Former Councilman Frank Schiavone and girlfriend whom have had dozens of infractions, just get them removed. It appears that the infractions allegedly go to the city and Councilman’s Steve Adams brother, Ron Adams who works at city hall, and are then removed from further action.
UPDATE: 12/11/2011: EVEN CITIES SUCH AS PHARR, TEXAS HAS DECIDED TO REMOVE RED LIGHT CAMERAS, AND HAVE FOUND THEIR IS NO DICERNABLE SAFETY BENEFIT. WHAT MAKES THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE FEEL THEIR IS? IS IT THE SAME AS THE STREETSWEEPERS GOING DOWN THE WOODSTREETS FOLLOWED BY CITATION VEHICLES AS WOODSTREET RESIDENTS HAVE INDICATED, FOR NO OTHER REASON BUT TO ISSUE CITATIONS. COUCILMAN MIKE GARDNER CONTINUES TO TURN A BLIND EYE ON REALITY, AND CONTINUES TO SUPPORT A SILENT EAR ON THE COMMUNITY. EVEN PHARR CHIEF OF POLICE RUBEN VILLESCAS AGREES, WHILE OUR CHIEF OF POLICE SERGIO DIAZ CONTINUES TO SUPPORT “STATUS QUO”. CHIEF OF POLICE RUBEN VILLESCAS STATES, ” FEW, IF ANY, ACCIDENTS ARE FOR RUNNING A RED LIGHT”. THERE IS NO DOUBT, THAT THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE NEEDS REAL LEADERSHIP, WHICH STANDS TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY AT LARGE, AND THEIR IS NO REASON WHY MANY IN THE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE INTIMIDATED BY THE LEADERSHIP THAT EXIST.
EVEN REDLANDS AND LOMA LINDA REMOVED RED LIGHT CAMERAS. REDFLEX, THE AUSTRALIAN BASE COMPANY, DENIED LOMA LINDA REQUEST TO REMOVE THEM. IT APPEARS THE CITY REMOVED THEM THEMSELVES. BUT MANY CITIES ARE FINDING OUT WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE THEY HAVE.
UPDATE: 03/28/2012: RED LIGHT CAMERAS WILL END THIS WEEK IN LA, TICKETS WIPED CLEAN. COUNCILMAN MITCH ENGLANDER STATES RED LIGHT PROGRAM WAS FLAWED FROM THE BEGINNING. FINES WERE EXCESSIVE. A CBS INVESTIGATION FOUND THAT ACCIDENTS WENT UP AFTER THE RED LIGHT PROGRAM WAS IMPLEMENTED.
CALL COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER AND LET YOUR VIEW BE KNOWN: 951-826-5991 (office), 951-941-7084 (cell), email: firstname.lastname@example.org