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Old 10-03-2015, 11:00 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Which Roger View Post
If a cop writes me a ticket, I can go to court and challenge it. If the cop doesn't show up, the case gets thrown out. How do things work with a ticket from a camera?
Varies from state to state. In CA , A police officer reviews the photo evidence ( at least in theory, and is the " Arresting Officer ").

I can tell you from knowledge of my former employer, these officers are on 'non -field duty" , and generally there being un-officially punished by assignment to a real crap desk job, because command staff doesn't want them interacting with the public. Not real eager to look for discrepancies, and if they do, they will be stuck in this crap position until the " Rubber Stamp " mentality kicks in.

This LEO review is after the contractor running the system has already packed the citation info. The LEO just signs electronically.

The big problem and corruption is with the contractors screwing with calibrations, and yellow light timing. The LEO has to rely on the contractor .
The contractors are on " Commision" get paid for "Valid" citations , and promise $$$ to the city after all costs. Most of these contractors have been caught screwing with the calibrations for photo citations. And the penalty for what I consider a criminal conspiracy by a contractor ? Nothing.
The LEO doing the review and " Issuing " the photo citation, is sworn to enforce the law, uphold the constitution, etc, and even the lazy ones take this seriously. The contractors running the system generally don't. It's a cash machine, and the rat bastard local politicians just see dollars generated. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRAFFIC SAFETY.


The presence of traffic officers do a lot more to encourage drivers to slow down and stop doing stupid things behind the wheel.

Just my uninformed opinion
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:09 AM   #42
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Edited to add: +1 to Lakewood's post just before this one. That sounds like the kinds of things I have been hearing around here. Makes more sense than what I said below in a more or less simultaneous post.


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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I would imagine that a representative of LE would be there with the evidence. And if no representative shows up, it would be thrown out of court.

Is this really any different than a cop with a radar printout? Did the cop 'see' you speeding? Not really, he relies on the technology.

-ERD50
IIRC examination of the camera output and identification of lawbreaking footage is subcontracted to the company that provides the service.

Later, specific lawbreaking footage that they identify goes to LE and to court but the rest of the footage doesn't. Seems reasonable to me, but I wonder if this has anything to do with why it won't hold up in court.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:10 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
It depends on the state in Tx it is a class C misdemenor, so it is regarded as a crime. (equivalent to stealing less than $5)
Actually its equivalent to stealing less than $50 in Texas. Not $5.

Speeding tickets need to be issued by a police officer who can testify that he personally witnessed a specific person committing the violation of speeding and that his radar gun was calibrated within a certain time frame (I believe it is once a day but could be wrong).

Speeding tickets aren't issued to a vehicle. They aren't issued to a person. Cameras cant prove who was driving. Even if the camera takes a picture of the person driving, it doesn't prove it is a certain person even if it looks like them. Also, there's no way that a device that is mounted on a pole somewhere will ever be calibrated regularly.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:12 AM   #44
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That seems more like a case for taking stupid laws off the books. What the point of a law that is not enforced?
-ERD50
Agree with you on that, but it is much easier to create laws than to remove them... as an example consider the tax code. Legislators are called law _makers_ for a reason.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:13 AM   #45
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PS Traffic stops find a LOT of unlicensed drivers, drunks / impaired drivers, suspended licences , no insurance, outstanding warrants, etc. This is traffic safety work . automated tickets do none of this.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:17 AM   #46
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In Dallas, the people reviewing citations from red light cameras are not police officers. Most of them are retired officers so we should be able to trust their judgement, but they are still civilians. Now you are talking about a getting a ticket from a camera that has not been calibrated, cant prove who was driving, and the video footage being reviewed by a civilian who doesnt have the same authority as a police officer does.

That's a really bad idea, not too mention (at least in Texas) there are no actual speed limits. The traffic code says that you should not drive faster than the conditions allow. The posted speed limit signs are generally accepted to be the safe limits for that area but they have been tested in court and been beaten in the past. You need a police officer to testify that in his judgement, whatever speed the person was driving when he got the ticket was in fact unsafe for the road conditions. A camera cant do that and neither can a person sitting in an office reviewing footage after the fact. All of these reasons are why a lot of these tickets are lost in court.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:23 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
Why not computers on cars for improper lane changes, failure to properly signal. I would think the government could set up computer systems to enforce any number of fines and regulations on the books and make the world a safer and cleaner place for all.
The technology is already pretty much available on many vehicles and getting cheaper everyday. (So, many more vehicles will have it in the near future) It just needs some adjustments for the new intended purposes. Example, my latest vehicle has an integrated navigation system that shows my current speed (VIA GPS) and is super accurate. The vehicle also knows when I'm changing lanes and will warn me if there's another vehicle nearby in an adjacent lane. (Seems to work very well). It also will alert me if I'm exceeding the local speed limits. (That's not 100% accurate but works reasonably well). Heck, it will even warn me when I'm entering a school zone "if during school zone hours". So with GPS, and an accurate Nav system and all the senors the vehicle has, it's not to much of a stretch to see how this could be used to track/detect all sorts of driving "infractions" and ticket you. (sent to the government either wireless or whenever you get a vehicle safety inspection, etc.)

Another small step would be to add a driver license reader (or finger print recognition) to the system so they know who's driving and if the license is valid or not. Sure some of these things could be defeated today but that too could be ticketed if/when you are caught. Add a camera and voice recorder (also very cheap) and the list of things these technologies could detect/monitor seem to be almost endless, just like all the ways folks will try to defeat them. But over a short period of time, they could become pretty sophisticated and cheap and a tremendous source of revenue for the various government agencies. And of course make things safer.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:39 AM   #48
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Another thought. If the government is so concerned with vehicles speeding, then why do they still allow cars to be built that do not have speed limiters? Most cars today have speed limiters but they are there mainly due to speed ratings of the tires and maybe some aerodynamic limitations in some cases. However, there are a number of vehicles that you can buy today (I have and have had several) with high speed rated tires, proper gearing, engine etc, that will easily exceed 150mph right off the showroom floor. (trust me on that) Maybe it is just in case you go to a race track or go to Germany and drive on some sections of the Autobahn?
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:44 AM   #49
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Agree with you on that, but it is much easier to create laws than to remove them... as an example consider the tax code. Legislators are called law _makers_ for a reason.
To many laws on the books for sure. Should require removing one old law for every new law passed.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:53 PM   #50
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In Dallas, the people reviewing citations from red light cameras are not police officers. Most of them are retired officers so we should be able to trust their judgement, but they are still civilians. Now you are talking about a getting a ticket from a camera that has not been calibrated, cant prove who was driving, and the video footage being reviewed by a civilian who doesnt have the same authority as a police officer does.

That's a really bad idea, not too mention (at least in Texas) there are no actual speed limits. The traffic code says that you should not drive faster than the conditions allow. The posted speed limit signs are generally accepted to be the safe limits for that area but they have been tested in court and been beaten in the past. You need a police officer to testify that in his judgement, whatever speed the person was driving when he got the ticket was in fact unsafe for the road conditions. A camera cant do that and neither can a person sitting in an office reviewing footage after the fact. All of these reasons are why a lot of these tickets are lost in court.
from txdot.gov
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The law sets the maximum at 70 mph, but allows the Texas Transportation Commission to establish a maximum speed limit of 75 mph (80 mph or 85 mph if the highway is designed to accommodate that speed) on the highway system if that speed is determined to be safe and reasonable after a traffic or engineering study. A maximum speed limit of 80 mph within 10 counties on Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 is also permitted.

City governments and TxDOT must conduct traffic and engineering studies according to requirements outlined in TxDOT's publication, Procedures for Establishing Speed Zones, when setting a speed limit on the state highway system. Speed limits on state highways may be set by the Commission or by a city if the highway is within city limits.
It sounds like they set the speed limits based on studies and design specs.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:02 PM   #51
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They were all over the Netherlands when I lived there in 1995-1996. Of course if you were local you quickly learned where they were so they only trapped people from out of the area or new to the area.
Cars GPS's usually have a feature to warn you when you are on a road with speed cameras. Our Garmin, bought in the USA but with European maps also has this feature but when we were in the UK for many months in 2011 I eventually turned it off because there were always signs everywhere there were cameras and the warning beeps became annoying and not useful. It was the same last year in Australia where we did a lot of driving and used a GPS borrowed from my brother.

In 2013 we drove in France and were careful to note a couple of changes that year to french driving laws which were that you had to have 2 breathalyzer kits in the car and that the GPS speeding camera feature had to be turned off. This confirmed to many that in France the speeding cameras were mainly for revenue and safety came second.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:11 PM   #52
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This chart shows the varying laws for speed and red light cameras by state. There's considerable variability: some states ban them entirely, it's fairly common to allow them but automatic citations can't be counted against a driver's record or reported to insurance companies, etc. Interesting.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:45 PM   #53
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If I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, the system takes a photo of my license plate and sends me a bill for the toll.

On a recent trip to the Bay Area we were passed by many cars traveling at least 80 MPH and many faster.

Wouldn't it be a slam dunk to set up cameras that measure speed, photograph the license plates, and send a bill?

Certainly those would reduce crashes and deaths and result in enforcement savings.

What's the holdup?
Never quite sure if Al's posts are something to do with another book or what.
I certainly don't want to see some hurt/killed in an accident. Don't know how effective cameras would be. On a double lane highway I just try to stay out of the way of a fast driver. On single lane roads if they get too close I'll pull over if I can and let them pass. I know people that think they are the police and will intentionally get in the passing lane and pace the car in the right hand lane so it's a rolling road block. Making people mad that they can't pass. My grandmother would slow down and tap her brakes if she thought that someone was going too fast or tailgating her. I also think when I see someone speeding they may be rushing because of an emergency. How many times have you rushed to school because of a sick child or someone's in ER at hospital. I don't think cameras will stop stupid/inconsiderate drivers.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:18 PM   #54
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Never quite sure if Al's posts are something to do with another book or what.
That was my first thought too.

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I know people that think they are the police and will intentionally get in the passing lane and pace the car in the right hand lane so it's a rolling road block.
Big trucks (18 wheelers) will do that a lot, particularly if traffic is slow. I guess they think they are accomplishing something. I guess they are, they PO a lot of folks and it helps give them a bad name.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:36 PM   #55
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from txdot.gov

It sounds like they set the speed limits based on studies and design specs.
Those are highway regulations you quoted. I'm talking about city streets.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #56
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.......Big trucks (18 wheelers) will do that a lot, particularly if traffic is slow. I guess they think they are accomplishing something. I guess they are, they PO a lot of folks and it helps give them a bad name.
With all the road rage out there I sure wouldn't want to make someone mad. They get mad about stupid things. Though sometimes I can't blame the big rigs for getting tired of people in cars acting like they can stop on a dime or go faster uphill.
Oh well, back to Al. My crazy great uncle (some of your posts remind me of him, in a good way) in Calif./Ariz., taught math at Pepperdine and later moved to Arizona where his wife was at Embry/Riddle. He was one of the worse drivers I've ever seen. He thought he was a great driver......he never did the posted speed limit, he was either way under or way over. If he happened to realize he was tailgating he'd roll down his window and yell at the car in front of him. My great aunt did most of the driving. Al, There are all kinds of different (crazy) drivers out there. Just pay attention to your driving and let the cops worry about the other guy.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:50 PM   #57
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:55 PM   #58
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Why Not?

There is a book I've always enjoyed as it appears to have an interesting take on things. So bless George Orwell for explaining what happens in a world of telescreens.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:59 PM   #59
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Why Not?

There is a book I've always enjoyed as it appears to have an interesting take on things. So bless George Orwell for explaining what happens in a world of telescreens.

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Old 10-03-2015, 07:51 PM   #60
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Went for a motorcycle ride today and for some reason thought of this post. Looked down several times at the speedometer. If drivers were ticketed automatically via technology people would need to constantly be checking their speed which is actually unsafe to do (eyes are off the road).

I think driving whatever feels safe for the conditions is better than constantly monitoring your speed.
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