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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Light Camera Scam: Cheating to Catch Cheaters

It's been shown repeatedly that redlight cameras don't appear to make intersections any safer, but they do act as a nice revenue generator for cities. In fact, at times it's such a tempting revenue generator that city officials cannot resist the urge to tamper with the timing of the lights to get more people running "red" lights that really should have been yellow. The latest such case, as pointed out by Jeff Nolan, happened in Arizona. According to regulations, the yellow light at a certain intersection was required to last 4.3 seconds: 4 seconds for the road being 40 mph and another 0.3 seconds due to the way the road curves. Yet, over 1,000 motorists were ticketed, in part because the traffic light had been adjusted so that the yellow light only lasted 3 seconds, 70% of the required length. Thanks to some enterprising motorists who timed the light and complained, those who were caught are getting back their money and having the citations removed from their record.

link: Another City Caught Lowering Yellow Light Times To Catch More Red Light Runners | Techdirt


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