Comment On Traffic Enfarcement Camera

I’m not a fan of traffic enforcement cameras, especially as they're implemented here in Ohio and other states. There’s just something that seems a bit off about turning a criminal infraction into a “civil violation” so that some company can issue, process, and offer even offer an administrative “appeal procedure” for these violations, all while getting a large cut of each one. [expand full text]
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Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:03 • by Daid
And TRWTF is that a tow truck cannot drive over 60km/h?

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:05 • by gabba
Hey, _somebody_ has to pay for this outrageous violation of the traffic laws. Might as well be the poor sap whose car is being towed.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:07 • by soonermatt (unregistered)
I wouldn't be surprised if the truck sped knowing who would get the ticket.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:07 • by Sam (unregistered)
An interesting point about security cameras:
The number of accidents in any particular place fluctuates over time by pure chance. Sometimes you'll get a number of accidents on a particular stretch that's well over average. The government promptly builds speed cameras. Next year, the number of accidents drops - ergo, the speed cameras reduced accidents! While actually, the chances of the number of accidents hitting the same unusually high value two years running is very small, so in almost every case the number of accidents will drop after a high year - whether or not speed cameras were installed.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:08 • by LJU (unregistered)
Well - he can always say that he wasn't driving at the time.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:10 • by Zolcos
Greetings, Citizen.
We recieved your request for appeal on the matter of your recent speeding ticket. However, the evidence clearly shows your vehicle traveling in excess of the speed limit on the road in question (towing notwithstanding). Thus, your request is denied.
-The Man

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:12 • by snoofle
No no no! The vehicle wasn't being towed...

He rammed the tow truck, rode up on the rear bumper, and was pushing it over the limit to terrify the poor traffic enforcement official who was merely doing their job, when the all-seeing eye-in-the-sky caught him in the act.

He deserves to be severly punished, flogged and forced to drive a Pinto for the rest of his days!

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:17 • by Alex Papadimoulis
209923 in reply to 209919
LJU:
Well - he can always say that he wasn't driving at the time.


FYI - here in Cleveland (and many, many other jurisdictions), even an affidavit saying you weren't behind the wheel isn't enough. You have to either (a) prove that the car wasn't yours or (b) give them the name/address of the driver. If you choose option (b) and the driver doesn't pay up, you still have to.

I should also note... I have yet to receive a camera ticket, but I just find the whole process a little screwy.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:27 • by K&T (unregistered)
209927 in reply to 209916

The number of accidents in any particular place fluctuates over time by pure chance. Sometimes you'll get a number of accidents on a particular stretch that's well over average. The government promptly builds speed cameras. Next year, the number of accidents drops - ergo, the speed cameras reduced accidents!


Actually, studies suggest they Increase Crashes

They also increase revenue, which is the real reason they exist.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:28 • by Schmitter (unregistered)
If I just send work a picture of me working, that is the same thing as me actually working right?

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:31 • by c-- (unregistered)
The only thing that could make this better would be if his car was being towed for being parked on double yellows.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:43 • by Quango
209934 in reply to 209919
LJU:
Well - he can always say that he wasn't driving at the time.


In this case probably yes... however....

In the UK a few years ago, a couple's car broke down. The husband fetched their second car to tow the first back to their house, and his wife got into the broken car to steer.

They were stopped by police on the way back - and she was prosecuted because she did not have a driving licence, even though she was in the car being towed with its engine off. The judges regarded her as being in control of the vehicle, even though the source of power was the towing car.

In this case I think that the steering wheels are off the ground so the tow-truck is clearly in control.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:51 • by petercooperjr
Of course, he should mail back a picture of somebody else writing a check...

(http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/handcuff.asp)

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:52 • by A Nonny Mouse
ok, ok, i'll say it... if you don't want to be caught by a speed camera - don't speed!

admittedly the polo getting a ticket for being towed is ridiculous, but the tow truck shouldn't have been over the limit in the first place. that particular stretch of road is well known for having pedestrians crossing it to get home/to work, even though it's a national road (motorway/freeway). 60km/h gives everyone a better chance of reacting in time.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 09:53 • by sysKin (unregistered)
I don't know how it works in SA but here down under, you can either pay or point out who was driving if it wasn't you.

All that needs to be done is the second option.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:00 • by operagost
209942 in reply to 209923
Alex Papadimoulis:
LJU:
Well - he can always say that he wasn't driving at the time.


FYI - here in Cleveland (and many, many other jurisdictions), even an affidavit saying you weren't behind the wheel isn't enough. You have to either (a) prove that the car wasn't yours or (b) give them the name/address of the driver. If you choose option (b) and the driver doesn't pay up, you still have to.

I should also note... I have yet to receive a camera ticket, but I just find the whole process a little screwy.

It's a violation of the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" contained within common law. Of course, being common law, it's not outlined in the Constitution. But it doesn't need to be, per the 9th amendment. A picture of your car is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:04 • by Zeno of Elea (unregistered)
Fellow philosophers, as you who have followed my arguments and deliberations about the paradox of the flying arrow well know, it is impossible for a still image to prove the existence of movement. Rather, this picture demonstrates that the car does not move at all, for clearly it is bound in place and the picture is at rest. Only the GIF may animate the inanimate and stir the elements that compose matter.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:06 • by tin
209944 in reply to 209938
sysKin:
I don't know how it works in SA but here down under, you can either pay or point out who was driving if it wasn't you.


What works well, or at least if you're a judge, is to name a dead person. My good friend Marcus taught me that trick...

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:17 • by Judge (unregistered)
Since both cars are speeding, both should get a ticket...

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:19 • by Gordonjcp (unregistered)
When the infamous Skye Bridge was still the most expensive toll bridge in Europe, my mother and her friend were unfortunate enough to have their van break down and need to be towed home. They were charged two commercial vehicle rates - one for the tow truck, and one for the dead Maestro van hanging off the back.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:23 • by Mizchief (unregistered)
I would challenge anyone to read that citation and then try to argue that we don't need a singular national language for offical business.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:23 • by Gilgamesh (unregistered)
Here in Brazil we had a case much worse than this. The car was traveling at 4800km/h... yes, mach 4...
Look here:

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:27 • by Kanazuchi (unregistered)
He should consider himself lucky -- the picture clearly shows he was tailgating too.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:31 • by Aldrin L. M. Leal (unregistered)
209954 in reply to 209920
Recently, a bettle in Brazil was fined for doing the same thing... Backwards.

Then they found that the beetle, in fact, was being towed.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:32 • by Saaid (unregistered)
209955 in reply to 209952
Gilgamesh:
Here in Brazil we had a case much worse than this. The car was traveling at 4800km/h... yes, mach 4...
What's the problem that's way over the speed limit of 40 Km/H. Think of the children.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:34 • by charlie
I want to know how they got a numberplate out of the mass of white pixels that is his rear bumper!

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:36 • by Lars Fosdal (unregistered)
209957 in reply to 209920
Not only was he speeding, but the distance to the vehicle in front was also way too short. Worst of all, he probably not even at the wheel at that moment, and should be prosecuted under the "speeding while absent" paragraph.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:42 • by SenTree
209959 in reply to 209943
Zeno of Elea:
Fellow philosophers, as you who have followed my arguments and deliberations about the paradox of the flying arrow well know, it is impossible for a still image to prove the existence of movement. Rather, this picture demonstrates that the car does not move at all, for clearly it is bound in place and the picture is at rest. Only the GIF may animate the inanimate and stir the elements that compose matter.

Quod erat demonstrandum.


An elegant refutation, sir !

Here in the UK, I believe speed cameras take two pictures in rapid succession, and there are markers painted on the road. The two photos taken together would prove displacement (although not necessarily movement through the intervening space...).

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:53 • by Krenn
209963 in reply to 209956
charlie:
I want to know how they got a numberplate out of the mass of white pixels that is his rear bumper!


Oh, that part's easy. Just give it to one of the CSI guys down at the station, and he can hit the "enhance" button and clear it right up.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:55 • by Niels (unregistered)
Couldn't happen in Denmark.

Speed cameras are required to get a recognisable picture of the driver's face ie. photograph the car from the front.
What happens if the face is covered I'm not sure...

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:57 • by Vox (unregistered)
I really, really hoped that the ticked would be for tail-gating.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 10:57 • by Chris (unregistered)
209966 in reply to 209959
SenTree:
Here in the UK, I believe speed cameras take two pictures in rapid succession, and there are markers painted on the road. The two photos taken together would prove displacement (although not necessarily movement through the intervening space...).


I think they're supposed to be 0.5s apart, but I heard a story about a guy who was prosecuted for being over the limit and successfully defended it because the particular camera was proven to be taking pictures more like 0.7s apart (meaning the "evidence" suggested he was going 40% faster than he really was).

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:07 • by DeLos
209970 in reply to 209963
Krenn:
charlie:
I want to know how they got a numberplate out of the mass of white pixels that is his rear bumper!


Oh, that part's easy. Just give it to one of the CSI guys down at the station, and he can hit the "enhance" button and clear it right up.


That is right. They can just us VB to create and interface and they are all set!

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:11 • by Alex (unregistered)
209971 in reply to 209966
I always liked the story:

A guy received a ticket from the local police department, telling him that he was caught on camera running a red light, and was ordered to pay a fine of 200 or so dollars.

So the guy does the only sensible thing in this situation: He sends a picture of 200 dollars back to the police department.

A few days later, the guy gets a letter back from the police department; Inside was a picture of handcuffs.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:12 • by MBV (unregistered)
209972 in reply to 209951
Mizchief:
I would challenge anyone to read that citation and then try to argue that we don't need a singular national language for offical business.

Because I'm Dutch, it's a really funny read for me :) Although it would be much easier to read if they just separated the languages..

For example:
'Pad' = Road, while in Dutch that can only be a dirt road or a toad
'Oortreding' = breaking a law, while in Dutch that would be 'Overtreding', and Oortreding would be related to standing on ears

and many more. Although I still like best that kitchen is translated to 'kombuis' :)

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:21 • by Jared (unregistered)
209975 in reply to 209966
That sounds like bunk. There is a radar gun attached to the camera module. That is what records your speed. If it gets triggered by a speeder, then it has the camera take a picture. The photo is only for identification, not proof of speed. Multiple photos would likely be more for increased identification. Though there are enough stupid people around, I can see a speeder getting off with that argument.

CAPATCHA: valet

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:25 • by Cyrz
209977 in reply to 209963
Krenn:
Oh, that part's easy. Just give it to one of the CSI guys down at the station, and he can hit the "enhance" button and clear it right up.


If you hit enhance twice, you can read the license plate of the tow truck through the car.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:36 • by Lazy-lump
209980 in reply to 209975
Jared:
The photo is only for identification, not proof of speed. Multiple photos would likely be more for increased identification.

Where I live they have a series of parallel lines (About 1m apart) leading up to each camera. If the speed is read to be too high, the camera takes two photos a set time apart. The number of lines crossed in the interval gives a rough estimate of the speed in case the radar is disputed.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:36 • by SenTree
209981 in reply to 209975
Jared:
That sounds like bunk. There is a radar gun attached to the camera module. That is what records your speed. If it gets triggered by a speeder, then it has the camera take a picture. The photo is only for identification, not proof of speed. Multiple photos would likely be more for increased identification. Though there are enough stupid people around, I can see a speeder getting off with that argument.

You're missing the point. The radar gun indeed records the speed, and triggers the camera. The two photos and the road markings provide a secondary verification - as the previous story illustrates.

I would also suggest it is impolite to accuse a person of 'bunk' when they are informing you of something about the country they live in, when clearly you don't live there.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:37 • by Alex Papadimoulis
209982 in reply to 209942
operagost:
It's a violation of the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" contained within common law. Of course, being common law, it's not outlined in the Constitution. But it doesn't need to be, per the 9th amendment. A picture of your car is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.


I guess this is the "beauty" of it being a "civil violation" instead of criminal. They don't actually send you a summons to court, only a "notice of liability" to the traffic department. You have zero chance of fighting the liability, as the ordinanceclearly states that, if it's your car, then you were liable.

Because it's an administrative hearing, the rules of court/evidence do not apply... so when you ask to look at the mechanics of the camera, records of citations, etc. in hopes of finding a flaw in their system, they'll either laugh at you or aseess a several hundred dollar fee for "the information to be assembled and burned on to a disk."

I guess the reason that all this is kosher in the eyes of the law (this has actually gone to Ohio's Supreme Court) is that it's a civil violation, not a criminal one. So, not paying means they can forward the matter to a collections agency (undoubtly impacting your credit score), sue you in civil court, and/or impound your vehicle if it's parked on city streets. So really, that's nothing.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:42 • by snoofle
In New York City, they have those traffic cameras at many high-volume spots - and have for more than 20 years.

However, since they catch the photo from the back, the rule is that the vehicle owner gets a non-point-value ticket $based-on-speed, regardless of who was driving.

Unfortunately, it had the undesired effect of folks in the left lane, waiting for the light, refusing to go through for an ambulance 5 cars back, because there was no way to show the ambulance in the picture right behind you.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:42 • by Mike (unregistered)
209985 in reply to 209953
Kanazuchi:
He should consider himself lucky -- the picture clearly shows he was tailgating too.


...and doing wheelies. Double plus bad!

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:44 • by jeremypnet
209986 in reply to 209916
Sam:
An interesting point about security cameras:
The number of accidents in any particular place fluctuates over time by pure chance. Sometimes you'll get a number of accidents on a particular stretch that's well over average. The government promptly builds speed cameras. Next year, the number of accidents drops - ergo, the speed cameras reduced accidents! While actually, the chances of the number of accidents hitting the same unusually high value two years running is very small, so in almost every case the number of accidents will drop after a high year - whether or not speed cameras were installed.

It's called "regression to the mean". My brother (a statistician) told me of an easy experiment that one of his colleagues uses when lecturing to policemen about statistics.

In a class of say 30 police officers, you give each one a dice and they all roll them. The number each one gets is the number of accidents on their stretch of road in year 1. The lecturer gives each officer who rolled a 5 or a 6 a picture of a speed camera. He probably hands out about 10. Everybody then rolls the dice for year 2. If you look at the statistics for years 1 and 2 for the officers who have a picture of a speed camera, the probability is that in year 1, the mean number of accidents was about 5.5 and in year 2 it was about 3.5.

There you go: speed cameras improve safety.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 11:52 • by vt_mruhlin
209987 in reply to 209984
snoofle:
In New York City, they have those traffic cameras at many high-volume spots - and have for more than 20 years.

However, since they catch the photo from the back, the rule is that the vehicle owner gets a non-point-value ticket $based-on-speed, regardless of who was driving.

Unfortunately, it had the undesired effect of folks in the left lane, waiting for the light, refusing to go through for an ambulance 5 cars back, because there was no way to show the ambulance in the picture right behind you.


Have cities stopped doing the old trick where the traffic lights detect the emergency vehicle and change to accommodate it? I remember it used to work via a strobe light on top of the car, until people started making their own strobes on the same frequency. But surely they can come up with a better system nowadays. how about a GPS in each of the ambulances, with turn-by-turn navigation, that knows long in advance where they need to be and sets up their lights accordingly for the whole route?

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:00 • by Alex (unregistered)
209989 in reply to 209984
snoofle:
Unfortunately, it had the undesired effect of folks in the left lane, waiting for the light, refusing to go through for an ambulance 5 cars back, because there was no way to show the ambulance in the picture right behind you.


I don't believe that even if you could prove there was an ambulance behind you it'd get you out of breaking the road rules... Would love it if you can find a law/exception in any country stating otherwise ;)

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:03 • by shinobu

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:04 • by Jared (unregistered)
209992 in reply to 209981
SenTree:
I would also suggest it is impolite to accuse a person of 'bunk' when they are informing you of something about the country they live in, when clearly you don't live there.


First, the country I live in is irrelevant. You don't have to live in a country to have knowledge of it. Second, I made no accusation. I merely stated my opinion that it "sounds" like bunk. I can't convey tone with a post. Sorry if you took it as negative.

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:06 • by Piercy (unregistered)
209993 in reply to 209989
if the ambulance goes through a red it will get snapped too. Theres your proof. In the UK emergency vehicles have to account for cameras by a button on there dash. I presume they still get charged and claim it back or something. Else no need for the button...

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:07 • by Disgruntled DBA (unregistered)
209994 in reply to 209985
Mike:
Kanazuchi:
He should consider himself lucky -- the picture clearly shows he was tailgating too.


...and doing wheelies. Double plus bad!


Tsk Tsk. Double plus ungood!

Re: Traffic Enfarcement Camera

2008-08-04 12:11 • by Sean Patterson (unregistered)
209996 in reply to 209987
vt_mruhlin:
Have cities stopped doing the old trick where the traffic lights detect the emergency vehicle and change to accommodate it? I remember it used to work via a strobe light on top of the car, until people started making their own strobes on the same frequency. But surely they can come up with a better system nowadays. how about a GPS in each of the ambulances, with turn-by-turn navigation, that knows long in advance where they need to be and sets up their lights accordingly for the whole route?


That's even better! Now I can just call in an emergency from a pay phone, wait till an ambulance drives by and follow it to my destination.
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