Originally Posted by N8N
I was with you up until this point. We're also a society who allows automated enforcement of speed limits not set per accepted engineering guidelines and penalizing people who run red lights when the yellow interval doesn't give them time to stop. Whenever you see automated enforcement, there's a good bet that it is a SCAM and you probably ought to investigate more. Virginia is one notable exception to that rule - we don't do speed cams here and the red lights ones by law must have the yellow interval measured and it must comply to ITE guidelines. (not everything here is messed up...)
Seriously, automated enforcement is one of those things that looks good on paper but for many reasons, once you look deeper into it it smells like corruption and quite simply, it's an attempt (successful apparently) by unethical private businesses to make money under the guise of safety while actually profiting off of engineering mistakes that make our roads less safe.
I hear you, and from your sig I believe you are basically in the DC metro area, so you know firsthand about RLCs and speed cams. I'm a little more negative towards the speed cams, because sometimes we all know that there are 25 mph roads where you can easily do 50 and it's not actually a problem.
The thing is, red light cams do not make any mistakes. You were either before the stop line when the light turned red, or you weren't. It is physically impossible for a camera to take a picture of your car having not reached the stop line, when the light turned red, if it didn't happen.
imho, I think there are cases of where in small towns yellow lights have been tinkered with, and even cases in corrupt places like Newark, NJ, but those actions have been reversed.
I always looked at it as if you have an opportunity to have more than $500 in fines just going to work, if you run lights and speed. Nobody can afford to do that 5 days a week, 4 weeks in a month, 52 weeks in a year. So what happens? Behavior changes.
When I'm in DC, I see people observing the limits, and stopping at red lights. Mission accomplished. I mean DC publishes the location of every camera, they aren't hiding them (except with mobile units).
In my lifetime, I've only gotten one ticket from a cam, and it was when I ran the light in 2002. Oddly, I did about 41 in a 35 in DC, and did not get a ticket. Urban legend says they only allow 4 over, unlike MD, which allows 11.