Red-light camera plan bogs down in Minnesota Legislature

  • Article by: Jim Ragsdale , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2013 - 8:36 AM

Sponsor lays over bill after failure appeared imminent.

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chuckdancerFeb. 20, 1310:59 PM

Anybody that drives a car and sees the rampant red light running supports this camera setup. I don't care if you're not driving your own car, you can settle up with your lawless, irresponsible friend on your own.

bej1bej1Feb. 20, 1311:13 PM

The only people who could oppose these cameras are those who habitually run red lights and otherwise drive in a manner that endangers the innocent other drivers and pedestrians. Why would any lawmaker want to bow to pressure from those who run red lights?

gpsmanFeb. 20, 1311:42 PM

Who does not often witness motorists running red lights who had plenty of time to stop? Who does not often witness motorists approaching red lights with no apparent intent to stop? Who does not witness motorists streaming around right turns at a red light as if the signal did not exist? Who is willing to tacitly admit their driving skills pale in comparison to that of their great-grandmother who manged to stop for red lights in a land yacht equipped with manual single-stage 4-wheel drum brakes and bias ply tires? Who is willing, anxious even, to discard every bit of the evidence consisting of the vast majority of motorists managing to stop for red lights, and that they have been doing so since the advent of the yellow signal phase? Who is willing to discard the scientific principle "correlation does not apply causation" and purport RLCs cause crashes without regard to the method by which RLCs single out motorists to attack and cause to crash? A: Red light camera opponents.

sarah1968Feb. 21, 1312:39 AM

Speakers should disclose possible conflicts of interest before they are allowed to testify. The law enforcement hidden agenda in opposing "photocops" is especially troubling. The "photocops" will lead to police layoffs and that is the real reason why law enforcement opposes these so-called "revenue-driven enforcement" devices. If law enforcement truly believed that revenue-driven enforcement devices increased “ill-will” toward them, they would have never supported license plate scanners.

sodablueFeb. 21, 13 1:12 AM

Here's how the red light cameras work. A company like the one mentioned lobbying for the bill offers to share 20% of the revenue with the city. Said company then comes in with control over the stop lights. There's a period where people realize the cameras are there and are more careful to stop. This is the reported reduction from the various studies. But then the number of people running the red lights declines, revenue declines... company instructs engineers to reduce the yellow light timing so that more people will run the red lights. The cycle continues until the yellow light timing is so short people are slamming on brakes to avoid running the red light. Now you have an increase in accidents. At some point the city realizes what a disaster this is and cancels the contract. That's been the cycle in every jurisdiction this has been tried. If you want to reduce running of red lights you need to look at the traffic. People don't just run red lights because it's fun, they're doing it because they don't have many other choices. Generally it's because traffic patterns are messed up. The left turn doesn't have an arrow, the green cycle is too short, etc. People sit through more than 1 cycle of a red light are going to get impatient. That's when you start seeing people "sneaking" through at the end of the yellow, etc. Study the reasons... and above all don't contract with a company whose main profit incentive is to encourage people to run red lights. That certainly is not going to help.

darkelfFeb. 21, 13 2:16 AM

tldr; if you want to reduce accidents at red lights, just make the yellow light longer. if you want to create perverse incentives for a company to rip you off with the consent of your elected representatives, support red light cameras.

furguson11Feb. 21, 13 4:23 AM

Cops oppose this because they don't like the idea of their jobs being taken away by automation, any more than parking attendants do.

huggybear28Feb. 21, 13 6:11 AM

Want to reduce crashes? Teach drivers to look before they enter an intersection. So many drives see the green light and accelerate out without looking. As the camera's show, people still run red lights. What we need is a change in driver behavior to make sure the intersection is clear instead of just assuming it is clear. As for red light enforcement, up the fines and penalties. If you ask a cop, many people who run red lights also have no problem breaking other laws (speeding, tailgating, etc). Having a real cop there would allow for them to be ticketed for all infractions.

mom2fourFeb. 21, 13 6:15 AM

There are no warnings with these. There are no chances to explain your circumstances to an officer with a brain with these. Once when traveling in Ohio, I pulled off the freeway looking for fuel. It was early Sunday morning and still dark. I was concentrating on my search for fuel when I made a right turn on red (there was no traffic anywhere). I failed to notice a small sign that said no turn on red. As I rounded the corner, a huge white flash "caught me". Needless to say the mailed ticket and subsequent attempts from back home in MN to plead for mercy were not successful. The need for revenue must have outweighed the need to promote tourism.

feilmeyerFeb. 21, 13 6:46 AM

"People don't just run red lights because it's fun, they're doing it because they don't have many other choices". Are you kidding me?!? How about STOPPING!!


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