TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Radar Detectors

Re: Radar Detectors

Ron Chapman (
Fri, 10 Dec 2004 22:00:35 -0500

In article <>, Justin Time
<> wrote:

>> b) change the timing of the lights with such devices, in order to
>> DRAMATICALLY shorten the time of the yellow light, a change which
>> drastically increases the likelihood of your getting caught by the
>> device?

> Now this is a bold statement with no proof to your allegation.

I didn't list the proof, but it's been proven time and again to my

And when the municipalities in question are confronted with this
proof, they act like a convenience store robber faced with film from
the security camera -- they just shrug and shut up.

> While I am not saying that retiming of traffic lights hasn't
> occurred, can you cite some specific examples of cities where this
> has been done?

From :

> And, in July 2001, U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX),
> testifying before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit,
> said red light cameras have become profitable in some communities,
> where the timing of yellow light traffic signals is shortened to the
> point of where more drivers are caught running red lights. Armey
> suggested that this could be explained in part by local
> jurisdictions that lease camera equipment from private contractors
> who are paid a percentage of each fine that is levied. is also a good site.

And this is pretty damning for the city of San Diego:

Go to Google and do a search using the terms red light cameras timing
and you'll come up with the same things I'm seeing right now.

You may also want to contact Pat Bedard and Car and Driver magazine.
He has the absolute facts to back all this up.

> I know that in the city where I work, one unit was removed because
> it was found to be installed at an intersection where the light was
> improperly timed to allow traffic to clear an intersection before
> the light at the next intersection turned red.

That says nothing about the timing of the yellow light; it speaks only
to the timing of one light turning red and the other light turning

When the yellow light is shortened, people that were law-abiding
yesterday became criminals today -- and they didn't do a thing to
change their behavior. Moreover, they were never told about the
timing change.

It's about revenue generation, period.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: We have a situation where a sort of
busy street runs parallel to railroad tracks with rather high speed
trains. At an intersection where a cross street first crosses the
railroad tracks then just a few feet further also crosses the busy
street, they have the stop/go light synched to change when the bell
starts ringing/the red light flashes/the crossing gate starts going
down. The stop/go lights are on their own timing, but the very instant
the railroad starts signalling a train is coming through (by flashing
red lights/bell/gate about to drop) the busy street goes to yellow for
a second or two, then to red. Objective: get stopped cars out of the
intersection and off the tracks on the cross street before the gates
go down and conceivably trap a car on the railroad tracks.

On the cross street, in addition to a stop/go light right at the
intersection (where it is too 'close for comfort' to the railroad
track crossing) there is a 'supplementary' stop/go light a few feet
*before* you get on the tracks, and if *it* goes to red you are
expected to stop there, of course, but if it was green or starting to
change to yellow as you traveled the roughly two or three car lengths
and then went red before you got across the intersection, you are
expected to stop at the other light; in other words keep the tracks
clear if possible, but if a train is coming, then the light changes in
a second or two to get *you* off the tracks and out of the way, even
if the busy street had just a few seconds earlier gotten a green, it
goes back to yellow >> red. PAT]

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