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redlight cameras and rearend collisions

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  • redlight cameras and rearend collisions

    Here's a scenario i can see myself in since there's a lot of redlight cameras in my neighborhood: There's a redlight camera at a traffic light ahead. Light turns yellow and i slam on my brakes so i do not cross the light when it turns red. Car/truck/motorcycle behind me rear ends me. Who's at fault? I heard plenty of stories about rearend accidents rising at intersections with redlight cameras, but i never found out who's responsible for the collision. Thanks!

  • #2
    Well obviously "slamming on your brakes" is never a wise maneuver unless it is an emergency situation. You should be traveling at a speed that you can safely slow and stop for a red light or you should be able to continue through the light if you are too close to the limit line to safely stop. Lights are timed based on the speed limit in the area....if a red light is set up in a 50mph zone then the yellow stays on longer to alert drivers before turning red as opposed to a light in a residential area. The problem is drivers do not pay attention and then do stupid things like slamming on their brakes when they suddenly realize that they are not going to make the light. In answer to your question I can think of two things.....unsafe speed for the person who hits the car in front of them and following too closely also for the person who hits the car in front because they too are responsible for watching that the light is changing from green to yellow to red.

    And yes...in some areas rear end collisions increase, but the t-bone collisions in the intersection are drastically reduced. It has been statistically proven that injuries decrease at red light camera intersection especially the serious ones even though the number of crashes increased. Many of the collisions are slower speed rear end which does not intrude into the passenger compartment as opposed to side impact collisions...

    If you are bored read....

    http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/05048/05048.pdf
    Last edited by Fuzz; 03-12-2008, 07:13 PM.

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    • #3
      I heard some municipalities have "lowered" the yellow light times at intersections with the red light cameras installed. So, that's why i will not hesitate to slam on my brakes. Even travelling at a mere 35-45MPH on local roads, i still find myself having to make sudden stops, not enough for tire lockup, but still pretty hard braking.

      Good to know i will not be held responsible if i get rear ended...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Skiracer View Post
        I heard some municipalities have "lowered" the yellow light times at intersections with the red light cameras installed.

        That is absolutely correct. Since camera-generated tickets provide revenue to the owner of the camera (as well as the local government), it is to be expected that they want the things to work as intended, right? There is a high initial expense with those cameras and the private company is going to expect a return on their investment, as will the local county/city treasurer.


        A properly-timed yellow signal should usually last four seconds when the speed limit is 45 mph and five seconds in 55-mph zones. Not saying it happens where you are, but the "three-second" yellow lights have been known to mysteriously appear at monitored intersections.


        It won't work 100% of the time, but a longer yellow light (by as little as one second) and a two-second delay on the cross street's green light is probably the best way to reduce so-called "T Bone" collisions. Other than that, it would be nice if people began to pay attention to their surroundings while driving.

        Hey, I can wish for it, right?

        The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

        The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

        ------------------------------------------------

        "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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        • #5
          These redlight cameras, what kinda citation do we get? is it a moving violation or something along the lines of a parking ticket? Honestly id be mad as hell if i got a ticket on my driving record for running a red light and i wasnt even in the car. Like my parents borrowing my car or something. Do yall ticket the driver or the owner of the car?
          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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          • #6
            I "think" in CA you receive points against your driving record, then your insurance goes up. Unless you go to traffic school or contest and win the case in court. I'm not a LEO, so my advice is not totally accurate.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Skiracer View Post
              I heard some municipalities have "lowered" the yellow light times at intersections with the red light cameras installed.
              The California Vehicle Code mandates the minimum amount of time that the yellow light must display before the signal turns to red. (I don't have the VC section or amount of time handy.) Costa Mesa had theirs set too short. Someone who got a ticket checked the timing, noticed the discrepancy and took their citation to court. They managed to get the court to blanketly throw out several hundred other tickets because of that flaw. It cost Costa Mesa a small fortune in refunded fines.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Yellow means stop, not go if you can get through the light fast enough.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NE75 View Post
                  Yellow means stop, not go if you can get through the light fast enough.

                  That's why i intend to slam on the brakes if i'm approaching an intersection and i'm in doubt if i will make it thru. Note, i got some really beefy brakes on the car and some very sticky summer tires.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not sure how they do it in the states as I have never seen one, but I'm stationed in Germany and they have the cameras for speeding here. They take 3 pictures in rapid speed, one of the overview of the car, one of the license plate up close, and one of the Driver up close. No chance in contesting them here lol
                    Want to start a website? I run Host Lonestar.
                    Texas Discussion blog about texas...forum as well

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Skiracer View Post
                      I heard some municipalities have "lowered" the yellow light times at intersections with the red light cameras installed. So, that's why i will not hesitate to slam on my brakes. Even travelling at a mere 35-45MPH on local roads, i still find myself having to make sudden stops, not enough for tire lockup, but still pretty hard braking.

                      Good to know i will not be held responsible if i get rear ended...
                      Then you are not driving right. When you approach a stale green light, you should have your foot off the gas in anticipation of a signal change.
                      My posts are sometimes educated, sometimes informed, and sometimes blowing smoke...but they are mine and mine alone and do not reflect on anyone else (especially my employer).

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                      • #12
                        Ca Does have it in writing as to how long a yellow light is yellow... It's based on a formula as to the speed of the road = how long the light will be yellow. Although I have heard the that argument in court regarding that the yellow light did not stay yellow as long as it should have. The judge had several questions for the defendant; one being how many times did you time this light, what type of measuring tool did you use, what was the accuracy of your equipment. Needless to say the defendant did not do all of his home work, just enough to think he could beat a good citation on court. I've been in front of my share of judges/commissioners and I give them a lot of credit, they have to sort thru all the bs the defendant can throw at them and yet still render a competent decision.
                        You can define a yellow light how ever you want, but it comes down to one thing as I see it; either the front of your car was on "that side or this side" of the limit line.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by firemanjb View Post
                          Then you are not driving right. When you approach a stale green light, you should have your foot off the gas in anticipation of a signal change.

                          I already do that. I know where most of the cameras are located on my usual commuting routes.

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                          • #14
                            Just drive the speed limit, keep your eyes open to what's in front of you, and when the signal phases to yellow, start slowing down if you are far enough away that continuing at your current (legal) rate of speed will not get you to the limit line before the signal phases to red. If the car behind you hits you, they are at fault for either following too close or unsafe speed (and HUA).

                            Side-impact collisions due to red light / stop sign runners are very nasty and have a higher fatality rate than a rear end type of crash. I know a small city in So. Cal that actually loses money on their system. The city is very well off and they have it for SAFETY. I heard the city manager discussing the cost to maintain the system, and he was pleased that it was such a small price to pay for such a significant decrease in serious injuries. The collision rate, after an initial spike in rear-end collisions, had dropped significantly on all intersections equipped with the red light cameras.

                            To the person in Florida, the systems in place take multiple still images AND digital video from multiple angles that show the violation, the vehicle and the driver. The vehicle registration is cross-checked with the owners of the car and their DMV photos. If it's a match = cite. Generally, they also host the images and video on a website and will send the person a link so they can see themselves commit the violation. The judge can also refer to these if the person decides to fight the ticket.

                            If they cannot clearly determine who the driver is, the owner may get a notice in the mail asking that he/she snitch off the driver. If it cannot be determined, no citation is issued.

                            Yes, I'm sure some enterprising folks look to this system as a revenue stream. That's a shame and certainly isn't what it was intended to be used for. Like anything else mankind develops for good, sooner or later someone will twist it into a tool of evil.

                            Personally, I've found them to be very helpful in criminal investigations. We have identified several robbery suspects as they have run red signals while fleeing the scene of their crimes
                            LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NE75 View Post
                              Yellow means stop, not go if you can get through the light fast enough.
                              For California......

                              Uhhhh...no. There is no statute requiring you to stop at a yellow light. The yellow is there to warn you that the red light will be coming. When you see a yellow light you need to determine if you can safely pass the limit line before the red light or if you need to safely stop because you will not have passed the limit line when the light is red. A yellow light also does not mean speed up, but unless it can be proven an unsafe speed then it is not illegal.

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