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Author Topic: Aldermen call for red light camera standards  (Read 3077 times)

Brandon

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Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:11:51 AM »

Aldermen call for red light camera standards

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City officials would have to hold community meetings and provide evidence that red light ticket cameras would make specific intersections safer before they could install the devices going forward under a plan that also would establish standard lengths for yellow lights across Chicago.

Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, and Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, want to require that all intersections in the city equipped with the cameras have so-called "countdown" pedestrian-control signals so people driving toward a green light could see how many seconds are left before it changes. The proposal would set yellow light lengths of at least 3.2 seconds. And it would require City Council approval of each camera location, giving aldermen who don't want the cameras in their neighborhoods a measure of say-so.

In addition, city officials would need to produce traffic studies estimating the safety impact of the cameras at intersections where they want to put them.

"We want to make sure red light camera installations are for public safety, and not the perceived revenue issues they have been," Tunney said.

You know things are bad when Chicago city aldermen want controls and restrictions.
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silverback1065

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 11:21:20 AM »

Is there any real traffic engineering data proving these things even do anything to keep people safe?  Or just a huge revenue generator?
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Brandon

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 11:54:22 AM »

Is there any real traffic engineering data proving these things even do anything to keep people safe?  Or just a huge revenue generator?

No, there was never any engineering study performed.
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silverback1065

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 11:55:30 AM »

Is there any real traffic engineering data proving these things even do anything to keep people safe?  Or just a huge revenue generator?

No, there was never any engineering study performed.

Then why do they have them?  Just to shake people down for money?
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Mr. Matté

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 12:28:14 PM »

Should this pass, I wonder if there can be any liability on the city's part since they're explicitly codifying that there must be the countdown signals on the revenue generating monitored intersections but such a use is explicitly banned for drivers' use in the MUTCD.
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Brandon

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 01:18:47 PM »

Is there any real traffic engineering data proving these things even do anything to keep people safe?  Or just a huge revenue generator?

No, there was never any engineering study performed.

Then why do they have them?  Just to shake people down for money?

Welcome to Chicago.
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silverback1065

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 02:12:33 PM »

Just found time to read the full article. Wow the newspaper cites a study of the cameras proving they're bs and actually causing accidents!
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PurdueBill

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 10:29:32 PM »

Should this pass, I wonder if there can be any liability on the city's part since they're explicitly codifying that there must be the countdown signals on the revenue generating monitored intersections but such a use is explicitly banned for drivers' use in the MUTCD.

The alderman is just catching on to something that many drivers have and that is an unintended consequence of the pedestrian countdown signals--once you've been through an intersection a couple times or know the pattern that an agency follows, the ped countdown signals are ideal for figuring out if you can make it through a green light or not.  It doesn't matter that some ODOT signals near me work on a slightly different pattern (0 at the same time as yellow) than a couple particular AKTE ones which work slightly differently (0, then yellow a second later)...once you know, you know if you should speed up a little to make it or not bother trying and slow down so as not to stand on end.  If the powers that be actually thought that drivers wouldn't catch on, then they're insulting drivers' intelligence.  They can write a rule to cover themselves, but the countdown signals convey information to observant drivers quite easily rule or no rule.  Maybe the alderman shouldn't have mentioned it explicitly because it would violate the rule, but he is at least working off of real life behavior.

While they're at it, Chicago should also do some things like make their signals operate the same as everywhere else (e.g., a green ball means permitted left--none of this added sign saying left on green arrow only so during the green there is no indication at all for left turns other than the implied red that they should just post if they want that so badly).
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dave069

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Re: Aldermen call for red light camera standards
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2015, 03:33:24 PM »

Is there any real traffic engineering data proving these things even do anything to keep people safe?  Or just a huge revenue generator?

No, there was never any engineering study performed.

Then why do they have them?  Just to shake people down for money?

Exactly! To steal the money of motorists. I drive through intersections with the cameras a lot and I hate the short yellows. That's the worst part. Luckily I've either managed to get through in time or I slam on my brakes. The cameras still piss me off though.
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