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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Added Revenue AND Population Control!
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What’s not to like?

The city council of Lubbock, TX, put their traffic light camera scam on hold after some enterprising reporter found out that they’d been fiddling with the yellow light timings on the traffic lights where cameras were to be installed.

Why on Earth would they do that?

Short yellows assure a steady flow of red light camera ticket revenue. A Texas Transportation Institute study found that an extra second of yellow time added to the current ITE formula yields a a 53 percent reduction in the number of tickets issued…

Nothing new there. “We’re the Gummint, and we’re here to rob you blind any way that we can.”

But that’s not all that fiddling with yellow lights does:

…along with a 40 percent reduction in accidents.

When you increase the yellow time, that is. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out what decreasing it will do to the number of accidents.

But who cares, right? Anything for the fattening of the public treasury.

21 Responses to “Added Revenue AND Population Control!”
  1. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Remember when it wasn’t a crime unless you got caught?
    :devil_tb:

  2. Unregistered Comment by fporretto

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I recall reading about a Danish town which recently did away with all the traffic control devices and signs at its most accident-fraught intersection…and the accident rate dropped immediately to zero! Think we could get Lubbock interested? Or will the red-light revenue decide the issue?

  3. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Think we could get Lubbock interested? Or will the red-light revenue decide the issue?

    Given their demonstrated indifference to increased death tolls caused by their finagling as long as it bloats the treasury, I feel fairly certain in saying that they’re not interested at all.

  4. NCLivingBrit Comment by NCLivingBrit

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    It’s hardly new or surprising that any level of government puts the filling of its coffers over a petty little thing like the deaths of those whom it is supposed to protect.

    I mean, we are here to serve and service the Government, right?

    /sarcasm

  5. EvilFreeSmeg Comment by EvilFreeSmeg

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    This is Texas. How long are those things going to stick around before somebody shoots them?

  6. sig94 Comment by sig94

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    I never liked the idea of traffic cameras to begin with, but this really pisses me off. To purposefully ignore the best interests of traffic safety in order to grab a few grand in fines is absolutely criminal. Makes Lubbock sound like it should be relocated to MA or NY rather than TX.

    The citizens of Lubbock should find a lawyer and file a class action law suit against the City.

    BisW, any recommendations?

  7. Unregistered Comment by smokeybehr

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Our little town of 450,000 had a contractor install red light cameras installed on 4 intersections as a pilot program. The company promised hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit to the City.

    When the revenues were totaled up, the city made $53. That’s not a typo. Fifty-three Dollars.

    The contract was canceled after the second year, where they made around $1000. The cameras were removed about 6 months later, and another 18 months later (6 months ago) they finally removed the poles that the cameras were mounted on.

  8. Mike M Comment by Mike M

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Whether it’s photo-radar or red light cameras, what irks me is that the registered owner of the vehicle involved is the one who ends up getting a citation in the mail. They then have the burden of proving their innocence instead of doing it the old-fashioned way where the onus of proving guilt fell to the state.

  9. Dick Comment by Dick

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    Just another reason why I ignore Lubbock at every given opportunity.
    Misha, did you say happy birthday to Texas yet?

  10. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

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    Mike M

    Say that again. If an officer doesn’t place you behind the wheel by actually making contact with you and verifying your identity with a license, it ain’t worth a damn. You want the revenue from the ticket, pull the bastich over and stroke him one the old fashioned way (Yeah I know BC, leaving that door open again ain’t I?)

    Add to it the fact that in most cases the cameras are operated by private firms and it really pisses me off. They will outsource a law enforcement function here, but have Minutemen on the borders, NO thats the guvmints job and hey are vigilantes. An armed citizen defending his hearth and home, NO he should have called 911.

    Bastards.

  11. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

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    If an officer doesn’t place you behind the wheel by actually making contact with you and verifying your identity with a license, it ain’t worth a damn.

    Crunchie, I was reading about this same deal in California. The advice given was that if you got one of these tickets, just throw it away, they won’t persue it.

  12. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I hope so ten, I hope so. This is the most damnable piece of crap enforcement method I’ve ever seen.

  13. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Misha, did you say happy birthday to Texas yet?

    Damn. Of all things… Isn’t it enough that I’ve been celebrating it all day?

    Post up.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LONE STAR!

  14. Unregistered Comment by coffee

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    #6 wrote:

    The citizens of Lubbock should find a lawyer and file a class action law suit against the City.

    Look around the state. Lubbock is most definitely not the first to do this. I believe I heard that Plano or Richardson was caught doing the same thing. No matter whether they were fiddlin’ with the timing or not, the damned things should outrage the rational.

  15. LC MoMinuteMan Comment by LC MoMinuteMan

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    NCLivingBrit sez:

    It’s hardly new or surprising that any level of government puts the filling of its coffers over a petty little thing like the deaths of those whom it is supposed to protect.

    It has been my experience that the bottom line is more important than Joe Citizen’s life until the body in the bag is one of the Anointed Class, then the shit gets changed and the signs are modified, the curve gets straightened, the guard-rail gets installed and the lights get fixed.

  16. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I just love the traffic camera extortion. In lovely Auburn, Washington where my office is, the city fathers have installed the cameras at a few intersections. I had a client get caught, but because the camera only gets the car and the license plate, if you just pay the $101 fine, they gleefully take the money, and don’t ding your driving record or notify your insurance company. The kicker? They don’t own the cameras. They lease them, after being guaranteed enough revenue to pay the lease payments and fatten the city coffers.

    It’s good to be the king.

  17. Mike M Comment by Mike M

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    Mike M Say that again.

    Crunchie, the intricacies of the scheme may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and place to place but, where I am anyway, it is prima facie evidence of guilt if you are the registered owner of a vehicle caught on photo radar or red light camera. You will get in the mail a Uniform Traffic Citation completely filled out charging you with the appropriate violation along with a (usually very clear) photograph taken of the vehicle and driver. If it wasn’t you driving the vehicle registered in your name, then it is incumbent on you to mail a copy of your driver’s license to the police agency issuing the citation to prove your innocence. If you don’t respond, the case will go forward and you will be convicted by default. I know this because I received just such a citation in the mail charging me with speeding along with a photo showing one of my sons behind the wheel of a car registered to me.

  18. SuperToad Comment by SuperToad

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Just a quick thought on the accident-plus-ticket cash cow. Do the insurance companies factor into this somehow? The distinct possibility exists for a kick-back scheme of some kind. Even if there is no such schem, intentionally increasing the number of accidents equates to an almost automatic increase in auto insurance premiums for the area.
    It’s win-win for the money-hungry gummint and the industry the same gummint forces us to buy into (if we want to drive).
    I’m just sayin’…

  19. Unregistered Comment by Clarion

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    No, the red-light tickets do not get report to the insurance companies.

    It’s extortion and a blatant violation of the sixth amendment. Of course, we let people walk all over the bill of rights every day.

    Oh, and, DC uses both red light and speed cameras.Look out.

  20. Kristopher Comment by Kristopher

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Generally, private firms lease the cameras and get a cut of the tickets. They also have the local government sign a contract requiring a shorter yellow.

    When one goes up, complain to the state traffic engineer that the yellow is too short. He will order it fixed, and until that happens all tickets that camera generates are invalid.

  21. Mike M Comment by Mike M

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    No, the red-light tickets do not get report to the insurance companies.

    Clarion, that depends upon where you are.

    Oh, and, DC uses both red light and speed cameras.Look out.

    Here’s a very illuminating piece from The Weekly Standard about how this program works in DC… and elsewhere. After reading it, you can understand why the author says…..

    Considering that citations can run up to $200 a throw, citizens might be forgiven any cynicism regarding Chief Ramsey’s statement that automated enforcement “isn’t about revenue making, it’s about saving lives.”

    Inside the District’s Red Lights