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Red-Light Cam Bill Dies

by Hugh McQuaid | Mar 27, 2013 3:10 pm

(17) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

A perennial effort to let cities like New Haven start catching red-light runners with traffic cameras has again died at the state legislature.

The idea has been supported for years by New Haven legislators and safe streets activists, and gained the support of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last year. This year’s bill would have given municipalities with populations of more than 48,000 people the option of installing the cameras to photograph the license plates of vehicles running red lights, then issue traffic tickets. The proposal faced opposition by the NAACP and ACLU.

The Transportation Committee will hit its deadline for legislative action Wednesday and the bill will not move forward.

Click here to read the full story in CTNewsJunkie.

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Comments

posted by: darnell on March 27, 2013  4:42pm

Thank goodness for the state legislators.

posted by: GregL on March 27, 2013  10:45pm

Damn.  When are we going to hold law-breakers responsible?

Red light cameras seem like a really simple way to keep ourselves safe.

posted by: Chip on March 28, 2013  3:27am

Great news! In California both Los Angeles and San
Diego dropped red light cameras because they were unsafe and ineffective as a deterrence. Municipalities have installed them to try to generate revenue from drivers who already overburdened with legitimate expenses for driving their cars. Now if they could make towing more humane.

posted by: Threefifths on March 28, 2013  8:29am

posted by: GregL on March 27, 2013 10:45pm
Damn.  When are we going to hold law-breakers responsible?

Red light cameras seem like a really simple way to keep ourselves safe.

Study finds red light cameras cause accidents.

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/02/16/study-finds-red-light-cameras-cause-accidents/

posted by: TheWizard on March 28, 2013  9:01am

@threefifths:  While your reference to a university study in Florida is intellectually interesting, I would give more weight to actual results such as those posting in this study of actual installations in Florida;

http://goo.gl/gFe0A

A few highlights;

“By a ratio of nearly 4:1, Florida law enforcement agencies are reporting fewer accidents because of red-light cameras and say drivers are more careful because they fear getting caught by the cameras.”

“The evidence is in. In the 73 communities that have installed red-light cameras at dangerous intersections, a new state report says 41 are reporting fewer accidents. In 11 jurisdictions, crashes happened more frequently. The rest saw no change or didn’t have enough information.”

Do red light cameras make our roads 100% safe?  No.  Do they make our streets safer for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians?  Absolutely. 

Its sad that our legislators can spend so much time and energy debating (yet taking no action on) whether guns should 6 bullets or 10 bullets but they can’t take action on an issue such as this that would have real and immediate impact on our safety.

Sadly, it will probably take a New Haven driver running a red light and killing some of our children before our legislators decide that this is an important issue.

posted by: darnell on March 28, 2013  9:37am

This whole notion that without red light cameras there will be a wholesale slaughter of children is a red herring that doesn’t have any basis in fact. At my first meeting as an alderman, I argued against installing he cameras because: 1) I think if there are intersections that are troublesome, station police officers at those intersections to change behavior. Having officers conduct stops will more to deer these folks than cameras will; and 2) once those cameras are installed, there is a cot to maintain. So, even if behavior changed and less people were fined, there will still be a need generate income to pay for those cameras. What will we do, lay off a police officer to pay for these cameras? I know how government works, and once you start a program, you can NEVER end it. Politicians just don’t have the guts to anger any constituency or special interest. So we’ll have those cameras forever, and the cost associated.

Plus, I just don’t like big brother looking over my back.

posted by: David Backeberg on March 28, 2013  10:12am

“Sadly, it will probably take a New Haven driver running a red light and killing some of our children before our legislators decide that this is an important issue.”

Too late, and it’s still not considered important. http://newhavenindependent.org/archives/2008/06/girl_dies_in_hi.php

Later stories said the driver ran the red light.

posted by: Truth Avenger on March 28, 2013  10:14am

Sometimes, Libertarians get it right. What’s next- Toilet Bowl cams?  Enough with this Big Brother nonsense!  Aren’t we paying big bucks for the Police to keep traffic in check already? Everyone makes judgment calls when approaching intersections and lights in general, and EVERYONE makes occasional mistakes. Be careful what you wish for-you might end up on the wrong side of the statistics you are using to defend this invasive policy by either being in an accident,or by racking up punitive and confiscatory “red light” fines.

posted by: Joe Schmoe on March 28, 2013  10:24am

Is it just me or isn’t the underlying cause of the accidents really the fact that these motorists are rear-ending the cars in front because they’re following too closely or not giving them enough reaction time?  If you rear-end the car traveling in the same lane in front of you, the onus is on you not some red light camera.  Really, if the car in front of you suddenly stops abruptly for any reason, and you rear-end that car, isn’t it your fault for the accident?

posted by: Curious on March 28, 2013  10:50am

We NEED red light cameras in New Haven.

I am a pedestrian, and see cars running lights, and almost hitting people, all the time, every day.

If the cops in New Haven are not going to enforce our traffic laws, and running a red light being an obvious and blatant violation that cops just let happen, then there needs to be SOME kind of other solution.

posted by: Joe Schmoe on March 28, 2013  10:59am

Unfortunately, the cops in New Haven have bigger issues/crimes to deal with than red light runners.  They don’t have the resources to man the ‘problem’ intersections.

posted by: Threefifths on March 28, 2013  1:29pm

posted by: TheWizard on March 28, 2013 9:01am
@threefifths:  While your reference to a university study in Florida is intellectually interesting, I would give more weight to actual results such as those posting in this study of actual installations in Florida;

Here are the other things about Red Light scam My Bad Red light Cameras.

12 INVESTIGATES: Red light cameras goal - safety or cash grab?

http://www.nbc12.com/story/20584832/12-investigates-va-lawmaker-calls-red-light-cameras-a-cash-grab

Motorists File Class-Action Lawsuit Against NYC Over Red-Light Cameras

3 Drivers Forced To Pay Up, Now Say They Were Set Up In City Money Grab


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/04/three-motorists-suing-new-york-city-over-red-light-cameras/

posted by: GregL on March 28, 2013  1:46pm

Darnell, the installation and maintenance costs for these cameras is probably far less expensive than the cost of a police officer stationed at the same intersections.  We’d either be paying them overtime, or taking them away from their previously scheduled duties.

posted by: streever on March 28, 2013  8:03pm

Oh my god, the drama of these comments. Big brother? Toilet cams? Do they pay you guys to come up with lines like those?

posted by: darnell on March 29, 2013  8:19am

@ Streever, NO we don’t get paid, but I would bet that some of the bike groups pushing this nonsense of Re Light cameras saving our children from mass destruction are getting “donations”, from the makers of these cameras.

As a child of a Black Panther who was illegally wiretapped by this city government and Police Chief who would go on to become Mayor, after the illegal taping was revealed and numerous plaintiffs were paid, and seeing how our government has spied on activists (Martin Luther King Jr) and used that spying to hurt those people, it seems to me that being a little paranoid is not a bad thing.

posted by: Truth Avenger on March 29, 2013  8:41am

@ Streever… We are already an overly monitored society; on our streets, in our internet dealings, and in places you don’t even know about. So while I did use a little exaggeration to make my point, there is nothing dramatic about pointing out the proliferation of surveillance and monitoring in a paradigm where each day, citizens lose a little more privacy. Do we really need more ways for the government to reach into our pockets as we go about the mundane and routine acts of living?

posted by: anonymous on March 30, 2013  7:02am

“Sadly, it will probably take a New Haven driver running a red light and killing some of our children before our legislators decide that this is an important issue.”

Already happened. Will happen again. Clearly there are a few of our legislators who care more about playing politics than about saving lives and making the city a more pleasant place to live.

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