Red light cameras - Alwyn

Has anyone noticed a shorter duration amber light where red light cameras are installed?

It seems the duration of the yellow light has a big effect on the number of red-light offences. When a driver sees an amber light, there are three options: (a) You have enough time to stop (amber means stop). (b) You are too near the junction to stop safely, so you drive through while the light remains amber. (c) You are between these two situations, in the "zone of dilemma" as an American engineer described it. In this third case, there is not enough space to stop safely before the junction, but you are too far from the junction to get through it before the light turns red.
Highways engineers can eliminate this "zone of dilemma" by setting enough time for the amber light. This interval can be calculated using an equation that incorporates vehicle speed, stopping ability, etc. I am told that the ideal time for amber is about 5 seconds.

Traffic engineers can also simply increase the yellow-light time at problem junctions until red-light offences are reduced.

Wouldn't extending the amber a second or two be simpler than installing expensive camera devices? No revenue in that.

So our oppressors can make money by fitting red light cameras and then reduce the amber time to make even more. I heard of a case in Cardiff where a chap drives towards a particular junction with red light cameras and he says 9 times out of 10 the light changes to red with a fast amber even though there is no traffic approaching the junction on the other roads. He say?s this has happened since the installation of an inductive loop about 200 yds from the junction.

Curiouser and curiouser
Re: Red light cameras - Andrew Wills
in Portugal, I hear, they don't have speed cameras - on urban roads when a sensor picks up car over limit, it automatically swiches next traffic lights to red .. great idea
Re: Red light cameras - Piers
I recall reading about some bloke who made a few bob selling traffic light 'changers'. Small box with a button on it, placed on the dashboard. On approaching a red light the driver pushes the button and it changes to green.
The marketing behind this was that this is what the police, ambulance and fire-brigade use to get through traffic lights safely in an emergency, and the company had copied the device. The real gem was that it only worked on certain types of lights that had the latest control systems. So on the odd occasion the light was just about to go green anyway he thought the box of tricks worked, and if it didn't then it was due to the old light controls. Must have been something to cover the case of going through the same set of lights with different results as well. The boxes were found to have some wires and a PCB in them but did absolutely nothing.

I'm not sure if it was an urban myth but I know people who think a big exhaust tail pipe gives an extra 20 bhp on a 1.3 Nova, so the market is definately out there.

I suppose you'd be a bit reluctant to go the police and complain that your 'illegal' traffic light controller doesn't work.

Piers
Re: Red light cameras - Dan J
What an excellent idea. Speeding car slowed down (and think about it - you get traffic lights on urban roads, not on Motorways where speeding traffic causes few problems). The more innocent do not get penalised license or money-wise for a momentary lack of concentration and the less scrupulous cannot continue to drive recklessly because they'll be stopped at every set of lights!

Still, can't fine 'em 40-60 quid a go like that can you....

Alwyn's post highlights the same penny grabbing problem as good ol' Gatsos. They are supposedly there to discourage/prevent speeding so why not paint the sods bright orange so we're all reminded of that fact. Virtually all cameras that I know of in the Cheshire and London area are sneakily hidden behind road signs/fences/hedges etc - No discouragement or reminder to look at your speedo to keep yourself in check, just a lot of swearing when you drive through one and 40 quid down the swanny and 3 points.

And the Police wonder why they cause so much bad feeling to motorists? If I ever get caught I'll just do what DS Adrian Roberts did and claim to "have no idea who was driving the car"......
Re: Red light cameras - Rob Fleming
I've noticed the shorter amber period. In fact I would have been caught out once, had my mountain bike not been on the back...

Rob
Re: Red light cameras - Alwyn
So this surely proves that red light cameras are little to do with safety and, just like Gatso's, everything to do with revenue.

As the engineer said, to avoid red light jumping causing a crash, extend the amber time " but there is no revenue in that"
Re: Red light cameras - Michael
i thought that the main consideration for amber light timing was to prevent the half wits who insist on "jumping" the lights from colliding with drivers who were obeying the signals. This morning I watched a transit go through a red light (not amber) at a cross roads. Fortunately, nobody was travelling across his path and no accident occured but we have all seen the "police, camera, action" programs that show this type of accident all too frequently.

Lights would be much quicker if traffic engineers could trust motorists to drive sensibly. In the early days of traffic lights, the green, amber, red sequence use to coincide with the red, red amber, green sequence, hence as one set of lights turned red, the other set turned green. The consequence of one driver jumping the red light and another driver arriving at the green light at 40mph and crossing at legitimate speed was invariably a collision. The solution was to introduce the current timing which ensures that one set of lights are red before the other set start the green sequence, resulting in additional, albeit small, delays. The camera is not an issue if you stop at the amber light.
Re: Red light cameras - Rob Fleming
The issue is that there isn't enough time to stop at an amber light.
Re: Red light cameras - Stu
I would agree with Bob, certainly the amber light period is reduced on the red light camera which catches a lot of people (and me once) near here.

If you're doing 40 (legal) and the amber shows, you either do an 'very' quick stop, or get caught as you simply cannot reach the other side without triggering the camera. The amber is certainly lit for less time than normal lights around here.

Those in the know of course slow even when it's green, in case in flips to amber, but not fair on the unsuspecting, really little better than a hidden speed camera.

S.
Re: Red light cameras - Michael
given that you have a specific example, have you asked the traffic engineer at the local council to investigate and confirm that the timing is correct? I'm guessing, but you would think that there is a standard time that should be allowed per speed limit.
Re: Red light cameras - Rob Fleming
Let's be realistic. Most of us drive looking at the road ahead, not the speedometer.
Re: Red light cameras - Cockle
Michael is right, complain to the local authority and get them to check the timings. On one of our local junctions the controller had been changed due to a fault but the timings had been left set for 30mph on the replacement PCB. Whether this was truly an oversight I couldn't possibly comment.
Mind you no change of timings will save some people, on a set of lights at the end of my street someone was caught jumping the red 70 seconds after the change. He/she was actually nearer the next green than the last!!!
Re: Red light cameras - Cockle
Michael is right, complain to the local authority and get them to check the timings. On one of our local junctions the controller had been changed due to a fault but the timings had been left set for 30mph on the replacement PCB. Whether this was truly an oversight I couldn't possibly comment.
Mind you no change of timings will save some people, on a set of lights at the end of my street someone was caught jumping the red 70 seconds after the change. He/she was actually nearer the next green than the last!!!
Re: Red light cameras - Brian
I must do that, round here there is a set of lights on a T junction. No camera, but there is so little time between the light going red on the T and the light going green on the main road that unless you get roung fairly smartish yiy stand a good chance of being sideswiped by the main road traffic starting off.
I haven't tried it on a push bike, but I recon you stand no chance if you are over 35!
Traffic Signal Timing - David Lacey
I'm sure there are many many mis-timed traffic signals around the country.
I can identify three sites in my locality now.

David
Re: Red light cameras - The Growler
...and I used to think the law was out there keeping us all safe from crime, instead of tempting us into it.........

Safer than going looking for terrorists of course and more fun.....
Re: Red light cameras - Stu
Is the fact that this thread is permanently (and erroneously) showing a red 'NEW' an amusing visual pun?
Re: Red light cameras - Mark (Brazil)
anything in the list after, I think, the hocus pocus note has the reply count and the "new" flag one life adrift. Try reading the one above the one showing "new".
 

Value my car