Greater Greater Washington

Pedestrians


Life is too important to give speed cameras a loophole

Vehicle speed kills. Even a small increase in speed can mean the difference between life and death for a pedestrian. But laws limiting speed camera enforcement make them less effective at making our streets safer.

At 20 miles per hour, when a motorist hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian has a 90 percent chance of surviving the crash. At 30 miles per hour, the chance of survival has dropped to 50%. At 40 miles per hour, the pedestrian has a 90% chance of dying.


Graphic from PEDS Atlanta.

In Maryland, speed camera tickets can only be issued to motorists going at least 12 miles per hour over the speed limit. That severely blunts the effectiveness of the cameras for saving lives.

In my neighborhood on the east side of Greenbelt, the city has installed speed cameras on 2 neighborhood streets near Eleanor Roosevelt High School. One of the cameras is near a well-used, mid-block crosswalk that many students use. The speed limit in these areas is 25 mph, which means that drivers have to be going 37 mph before they get a ticket.

A collision at 25 mph would be less than 50% likely to kill a pedestrian. But a collision at 37 mph would bring an almost 90% chance of death.

On Monday, I witnessed a driver flying down the street, well above the speed limit. But I wondered if he was even going fast enough to get a ticket from the speed camera. Even on a quiet neighborhood street, drivers in Greenbelt can go fast enough to cause almost certain death for pedestrians without fearing a speed camera ticket.

That's the real effect of Maryland's speed camera restrictions: It allows drivers some leeway, but puts vulnerable road users at risk.

But it's actually worse than that, because the speed limit itself is actually determined using the arcane "85th percentile speed" in many places, including by the Maryland State Highway Administration. While that's not a factor on my street, it is on other streets nearby, and throughout the state.

Essentially, highway engineers look at how fast people drive. And they set the speed limit for what 85% of motorists drive. So, for example, on a street, if 85% of drivers go 40 mph, the speed limit is set at 40, even if circumstances (like the presence of a school) suggest that it should be lower.

And remember, that our highways are already designed for speed. The concept of driver forgiveness means that engineers try to design broad curves, wide lanes, and open spaces so that if a driver makes a mistake, it won't be fatal (for the driver). But these design choices also give subtle psychological hints to drivers to go faster.

And then they set the speed limits based on how fast drivers actually go. And then we limit automated enforcement to 12 mph over that. The result, of course, is that when a pedestrian is struck, the chance of survival is far too low. Especially in the suburbs.

Maryland could help by lowering the threshold for automated speed enforcement. In the District, there is no threshold for speed cameras. A driver can be ticketed for going just 1 mile per hour over the limit.

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Hes a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 

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The only studies I am aware of don't so a positive impact from red light camera enforcement. They would be a few years old and were in California though, is there new lit showing they reduce fatalities?

by Jason on Feb 26, 2014 2:21 pm • linkreport

I completely agree. And the large gap between speeding and being ticketed is widely known among drivers.

Narrow the gap!

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 26, 2014 2:23 pm • linkreport

Not sure why pedestrians should be out on highways.

Wait -- are you saying residential streets follow the 85th percentile rule? Or did you just do a switcheroo?

I'd take the speed cameras people a lot more seriously if they also pushed for a higher speed limit on freeways.

by charlie on Feb 26, 2014 2:37 pm • linkreport

This makes a lot of sense. I'd be perfectly happy if they set the speed limits at the actual limit where safety becomes an issue, and always issued tickets above that number. That would mean lowering the limit to 20 on high-pedestrian streets. But it needs to be done in a way that keeps drivers' eyes on the road instead of on their speedometers.

by Novanglus on Feb 26, 2014 2:39 pm • linkreport

Great article on an important topic. Just for some clarification on 85th percentile speed. The 85th percentile speed is actually the speed at which no more than 15% of traffic is exceeding. Let's say the posted speed limit is 25 mph, and the average driver speed is 30 mph. If 15% of traffic is going 35 mph or faster, then the 85th percentile speed for that road would be 35 mph.

Traditionally, the "design speed" of the road is set to be 10 mph higher than the posted speed limit. So for the above example, the design speed would be 35 mph, but the posted speed limit would be 25 mph. Yes, the legal speed limit is 25 mph, and, by law, drivers can theoretically get ticketed for doing 26 mph.

Roads that are wide and have large turning radii at intersections have the effect of making drivers feel as if they can drive fast, regardless of the posted speed limit. Speed cameras do get people to drive slower, but a better solution is to make lanes more narrow and tighten up the curbs at intersections so that drivers are forced to drive slower (think "sneckdowns").

by Gerald F on Feb 26, 2014 2:47 pm • linkreport

Charlie,

Highway is a nebulous term. Most people think of them as high speed but there are plenty of "highways" (defined by various DOTs for prioritization reasons) around that see plenty of pedestrian volume.

The 85th percentile rule also ONLY considers what drivers are doing and doesn't consider that there may be other users on the road. That's what gets me when people say that we shouldn't use cameras until our streets are calmed. Ok, but at the moment we have lots of people walking and biking anyway on very pedestrian-unfriendly streets anyway and they deserve consideration right now.

The freeway thing is a red herring. Every person knows that only vehicles are allowed on those roads so changes there don't really affect the problems on our regular streets which is where most people do their driving anyway.

by drumz on Feb 26, 2014 2:48 pm • linkreport

DC's gap is unpredictable, which I think contributes to teh greater suspicion of DC's program. I think Maryland has the better regime, with a consistent 12 mph buffer..

by Crickey7 on Feb 26, 2014 2:50 pm • linkreport

How accurate are speed cameras? I'm guessing they aren't actually precise enough, even under ideal conditions, to measure speed within 0.5 MPH in all cases.

by Gray on Feb 26, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

Car speedometers aren't certified to such accuracy, and the companies running speed cameras don't run their businesses with the transparency to prove generally their tickets are accurate, and have a strong financial incentive in the millions to fudge the truth and hide their errors. Also, with any crime among adults you ought to be able to face your accusers, so basically unless the Texas corporations issuing the tickets are visiting courtrooms all they do is questionable at best.

by asffa on Feb 26, 2014 2:55 pm • linkreport

"Highways" aren't all freeways". A large number of residential roads in Maryland are designated as state highways (really, any road with a number on it in Google Maps).

I would feel better about DC's speed camera program if they actually posted their speed limits consistently. For example, inbound I-395 has a series of bare "PHOTO ENFORCED" signs with no accompanying speed limits marked. In other areas, around the new I-295/I-695 interchanges, it seems to be possible to enter the highway without ever passing a speed limit sign. How we we supposed to avoid getting speed camera tickets if they won't even tell us what the speed limit is?

by jms on Feb 26, 2014 2:56 pm • linkreport

For what's worth, I tried to protest a ticket in DC -- it was on Benning Rd., which is an enormous boulevard...one would expect the speed limit there to be 35 or even 40 mph. Unbeknownst to me -- there was no posted sign on the stretch I was in leaving RFK and headed to 295 -- it's only 30. I was ticketed for doing 41 -- DC's threshold is 11 mph, not 1. I saw the flash and looked at my speedometer -- doing about 38. The photo has markings for every five yards, if I recall correctly -- or maybe it was five feet. Anyway...I did the math regarding how far I'd traveled in the .2 seconds between images on the ticket, and it was clear that my speedometer was more accurate than the camera. I also measured my wheel base to confirm what the graphics showed. The camera was off by 10%.

Did I win my protest? No.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 26, 2014 3:07 pm • linkreport

Strongly disagree. Wildly inconsistent standards are applied to similar roads, which practically beg drivers to exceed the posted limits where the speed cameras are placed.

Example 1:

Here is a six-lane, divided stretch of Georgia Ave. with synchronized lights. No crosswalks anywhere except at lighted intersections. Speed limit is 35. Multiple speed cameras.

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=39.004485~-77.037292&lvl=14&dir=0&sty=x~lat~39.004485~lon~-77.037292~alt~84.699~z~30~h~339.1~p~2.9~pid~5082&app=5082&FORM=LMLTCC

Example 2:

Here is a four-lane, divided stretch of Norbeck Road with minimal stoplights. No crosswalks anywhere except lighted intersections. Speed limit is 50. Zero speed cameras.

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=39.085145~-77.135976&lvl=14&dir=0&sty=x~lat~39.085145~lon~-77.135976~alt~88.357~z~30~h~24.3~p~2.9~pid~5082&app=5082&FORM=LMLTCC

So the limit on a six-lane arterial is 15 mph lower than a four-lane arterial. Currently, driving 3 mph SLOWER on Georgia than the the baseline Norbeck limit (on a wider road) results in an automated fine. And under your proposal, tickets would issue for even slower speeds.

In either case, the danger to pedestrians comes from running red lights... not from driving (as you're advocating) 36 mph in areas where crosswalks simply don't exist.

by JT on Feb 26, 2014 3:09 pm • linkreport

Interesting piece. But I don't know that tinkering with the cameras will fix the main problem: Marylanders are just bad drivers.

http://stopthemud.org/about/

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/metro-news/2013/dec/20/maryland-drivers-ranked-18th-worst-nation/

by Rich 'n Alexandria on Feb 26, 2014 3:14 pm • linkreport

JT,

Those standards and conditions you describe are still looking at only the conditions for drivers rather than who's using the road, which I can't really comment on because I'm not as familiar with the area. There may be a case for a lower speed limit on a wider road if the context is appropriate. Maybe it's Norbeck that needs better enforcement rather than Georgia needing less.

Also,there are no marked crosswalks but there are still lots of crosswalks.

by drumz on Feb 26, 2014 3:17 pm • linkreport

As for stricter enforcement -- any rule which makes criminals out of 15% of any group is probably a really bad rule.

Moreover, the 85% rule would cover all trips, no? Including the ones when traffic might be very heavy and travel speeds are forced lower, as well as when conditions might also lead drivers to slow down -- or even the location, as by a school. So, the 85% is a little deceptive as it must be that more than 15% of drivers exceed that speed under normal conditions. So, maybe 20% or more are exceeding that speed, and presumably, most believe they are driving safely. If you believe that many drivers are going too fast, the answer would be to design the road to slow the cars -- not to make scofflaws out of a big percentage of drivers.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 26, 2014 3:17 pm • linkreport

Car speedometers aren't certified to such accuracy, and the companies running speed cameras don't run their businesses with the transparency to prove generally their tickets are accurate, and have a strong financial incentive in the millions to fudge the truth and hide their errors. Also, with any crime among adults you ought to be able to face your accusers, so basically unless the Texas corporations issuing the tickets are visiting courtrooms all they do is questionable at best.

Agree, there has to be some sort of buffer or it will not hold up in court. The speed cameras are not capable of having perfect accuracy and precision. It is however not a constant scalar. 12mph makes a lot of sense when the speed limit is 65 (ie 77mph 18%) and less sense when the speed limit is 15mph (ie 27mph 80%). Not that the error in precision and accuracy are purely linear either. Part of the problem is a police and court system with terrible math skills.

by Richard on Feb 26, 2014 3:22 pm • linkreport

The data for fatalities is assuming no slow down on the part of the driver. While those types of collisions do occur, most of the time the driver will reduce their speed when they realize they are going to hit someone. It really depends on the street and the type of crossing as to how likely that slow down is to occur.

by Richard on Feb 26, 2014 3:25 pm • linkreport

@Fischy
For what's worth, I tried to protest a ticket in DC -- it was on Benning Rd., which is an enormous boulevard...one would expect the speed limit there to be 35 or even 40 mph. Unbeknownst to me -- there was no posted sign on the stretch I was in leaving RFK and headed to 295 -- it's only 30. I was ticketed for doing 41 -- DC's threshold is 11 mph, not 1. I saw the flash and looked at my speedometer -- doing about 38. The photo has markings for every five yards, if I recall correctly -- or maybe it was five feet. Anyway...I did the math regarding how far I'd traveled in the .2 seconds between images on the ticket, and it was clear that my speedometer was more accurate than the camera. I also measured my wheel base to confirm what the graphics showed. The camera was off by 10%.
Did I win my protest? No.

That's why the buffer exists. Were you speeding? YES.

by MLD on Feb 26, 2014 3:38 pm • linkreport

Keep in mind that on this street (25 mph speed limit), the 12 mph buffer means that you can go 148% of the speed limit before you get a ticket.

Just to compare, 148% of the speed limit on a 65 mph freeway would be 96 mph.

But in residential neighborhoods with lots of pedestrians and other users (this road is also part of Greenbelt's signed bike network), that 48% over the limit could mean the difference between life and death.

I don't understand how people can make the argument that, "yes I was breaking the law, but I was only breaking it by 50%, so it's okay."

by Matt' Johnson on Feb 26, 2014 3:53 pm • linkreport

Part of the problem is that speed restrictions are the worst kind of zero-calorie traffic calming.

If I'm a traffic engineer and I design a roadway with wide lanes and wide curves and do everything I can to maximize the design speed of the road, then I will have created a horrible traffic sewer that encourages drivers to open up and blaze through at 50 MPH.

If politicians come in behind me, look at my road, nod approvingly and then change all of my 50 MPH speed limit signs to say 25 MPH instead, all that's really accomplished is allowing some politicians to "feel good" about "doing something." Meanwhile, the road still permits 50 MPH operation, so a sizable number of drivers will continue to operate at "double" the "speed limit" - likely darting around other "bad drivers" obeying the aforementioned "speed limit." (Read heavy sarcasm into all of those quoted words, please.) The drivers moving at the speed my road was designed to allow them to move at might get tickets from automated enforcement or bog-standard law enforcement; some of them might pay up, some might waste our courts' times on challenging their tickets and eventually pay up anyway, and some might just trash the ticket and become part of the eight-digit dollar figure of "unpaid traffic tickets" from an earlier GGW post. Ultimately, nothing changes - my high-speed road is still a high-speed road, still incredibly dangerous for drivers and non-drivers alike, and we get an awful lot of hand-wringing from concerned politicians and other third parties about this dangerous road and "why isn't enforcement working?"

What actually needs to happen is that ideally the design of my high-speed road needs to be sent back to me with a harsh reprimand about ignoring complete streets initiatives - or, if that can't happen because my road has already been built, then the road needs to be immediately reconfigured so that the design speed is lower.

But - and this is the good part - it's actually incredibly simple to "calm" a roadway without "reducing its capacity." Indeed, an under-appreciated paradox of traffic engineering is that roadway capacity actually increases as design speed decreases; this is because capacity is inversely proportional to minimum safe stopping distance which is in turn directly proportional to road speed.

If you have a wide road with four 12' lanes and two more 11' parking lanes, you can increase capacity without widening it or adjusting speed limits arbitrarily. You do this by re-painting the road to have six 9' lanes plus two 8' parking lanes instead. Suddenly, there's an entire extra travel lane in each direction and the narrower lane widths similarly force drivers to slow down both to negotiate vehicles in the adjacent narrow lanes and to watch for drivers entering and exiting their vehicles.

The best part? Since the road was never actually widened, this doesn't impede future efforts to reconfigure the actual infrastructure. The only thing that changes (besides a dramatic decrease in design speed leading to an attendant drop in typical operating speeds) is the paint on the asphalt; actual structural changes to the roadway remain unaffected by such initiatives.

by Ryan on Feb 26, 2014 3:54 pm • linkreport

Ryan, in the case of MD, some folks have realized this mistake and want to calm or lower speed limits and MTA will not permit them to do so. Hence, why speed limits by elementary schools go DOWN to 25 from a higher 'normal' speed. McDOT, for all their faults, runs into a wall called MTA that is hesitant to lower speed limits on state roads: Wiscon Ave, Bradley Blvd, Conn Ave, E-W Hwy, etc.

And the police officers who are supposed to enforce proper driving rarely get out of their cars and when they do, tell folks that the roads are for cars, not people.

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 26, 2014 4:00 pm • linkreport

The absence of speed cameras in Virginia is ONE of the factors that makes biking and walking in NoVa difficult, and also makes driving lawfully more painful than it should be.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 26, 2014 4:00 pm • linkreport

"What actually needs to happen is that ideally the design of my high-speed road needs to be sent back to me with a harsh reprimand about ignoring complete streets initiatives - or, if that can't happen because my road has already been built, then the road needs to be immediately reconfigured so that the design speed is lower."

Not allowed in Va by VDOT rules, except where traffic is free flowing.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 26, 2014 4:01 pm • linkreport

Matt, I respectfully sort of disagree. First, the very presence of speed cameras on Greenbelt roads has had an enormous impact reducing speeding and reckless driving, in my opinion/experience. It's much rarer to see 50mph speeders on Cherrywood Lane and Crescent Road than it used to be (I'm not as familiar with customary speeds on the streets near the High School.)

I also agree with Crickey that a standard rule of 12mph has helped the medicine of speed cameras go down in Maryland, which has a very ingrained sprawl/speed drive everywhere culture, and any affront to speed driving or really any traffic enforcement at all is met with outrage.

However, I think the tolerance should be gradually reduced from 12mph to 9mph, and ultimately to 7mph over the next five years or so. Maybe 4mph in my dreams.

However, the most important thing is to preserve the cameras, and expand their use to most locations. They've had a big impact just being there. I'd like to see them everywhere, since the police and highway patrol have otherwise given up on speed enforcement.

by Greenbelt on Feb 26, 2014 4:56 pm • linkreport

The one locality in suburban Maryland that hasn't given up on enforcement seems to be College Park, especially now that the university police have jurisdiction in the city.

My commute often brings me along Route 1 around the 10PM-3AM timeframe, and every night, I see numerous drivers pulled over in College Park, with more police cars lying in wait.

South of Hyattsville, the police coverage really thins out, and that's where you see the insane 55MPH drivers at 2AM. I'm wondering when one of them is going to hit a wrong-way cyclist, who also tend to show up late at night.

by jms on Feb 26, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

Rarely, do I ever even get to go the speed limit (let alone above it) due to the heavy traffic congestion in the DC area.

by Travis M. on Feb 26, 2014 5:26 pm • linkreport

Hmm... yeah, no thanks. 12 mph seems pretty reasonable. If it were zero tolerance you'd have drivers all staring at their speedometers instead of watching the road. I prefer they focus on situational awareness and safe driving.

by Steve D. on Feb 26, 2014 5:58 pm • linkreport

Slow down, drive within the limit, don't run red lights, don't block the box; no tickets will be issued; peds, pedalers — and other automobilists — will be safer and drivers will still be able to pay their mortgage, rent, put food on the table, go to the movies or out for drinks, and/or save for their children's college education with the money they save. It's pretty stupid to speed and drive aggressively. Licenses should be revoked more easily for serial offenders.

Some divers are getting to be as whiney as gun fanatics.

In California (and I think in DC) you're allowed to openly carry a knife as long as it is safely sheathed and attached to your waist. We don't try to split hairs about how quickly, recklessly and aggressively one can wave one around in a crowd of people — it's just illegal and carries a fine or worse.

by @ShawingtonTimes on Feb 26, 2014 6:22 pm • linkreport

jms, where are you referring to? I don't know if you and another poster are exaggerating about speeds on Route 1, but I've rarely observed great speeding on much of Route 1 and have never seen drivers going 55 on the regions discussed here. Also, there are cameras south of Hyattsville.

by selxic on Feb 26, 2014 9:55 pm • linkreport

Matt or others: Can Greenbekt keep the revenue from speeding fines resulting from speeding tickets or does it all go to the county? Recall glen echo wanted a stop sign camera because MoCo keeps fines from tickets so they could not afford police enforcement.

I see nothing to prevent Greenbelt from strict enforcement if it keeps revenue from tickets. While county police take the opportunity of a traffic stop to make all sorts of criminal checks, cuty traffic enforcement does not have to do that.

by JimT on Feb 26, 2014 11:47 pm • linkreport

selxic: Between the Rhode Island/Baltimore split and the DC line (which includes the spot where a car smashed into a storefront and killed a pedestrian last month). Admittedly, speeds of 55MPH are by no means typical, but sometimes I am passed by reckless drivers going very, very fast during the deserted, late-night hours (~1-3 AM).

There are no speed cameras south of Hyattsville on Route 1 anymore -- there haven't been any for a couple years, since the closure of the school which provided them with their legal justification.

by jms on Feb 27, 2014 12:07 am • linkreport

JimT: If the camera is installed and operated by a city police department (such as the Greenbelt PD), the money indeed goes to the city. The traffic camera company takes a cut, but the city keeps the rest, and may spend it on public safety-related expenditures.

by jms on Feb 27, 2014 12:48 am • linkreport

@Matt Johnson said:
"Essentially, highway engineers look at how fast people drive. And they set the speed limit for what 85% of motorists drive. So, for example, on a street, if 85% of drivers go 40 mph, the speed limit is set at 40, even if circumstances (like the presence of a school) suggest that it should be lower."

This statement is NOT consistent with the requirements of setting speed zones in various states traffic engineering manuals. A properly conducted speed zone study DOES take into account the following:
- Vehicular speed data (sometimes including vehicle type e.g. trucks, etc.)
- Zone length and transitions
- Schools and school crossings
- "Urbanization" or pedestrian volumes (depends on state)
- Light traffic areas
- Narrow roadway pavement widths (e.g. 20 feet or less) or lanes (e.g. 11 feet or less)
- Horizontal and vertical curves (possible limited sight distance)
- Hidden driveways and other developments (possible limited sight distance)
- High driveway density (the higher the number of driveways, the higher the potential for encountering entering and turning vehicles)
- Intersection control and design (traffic signals, roundabouts, stop signs, etc.)
- At-grade crossings of railroads, light rail, etc.
- Crash history, rates and type along the location
- Rural residential or developed areas (higher potential for pedestrian and bicycle traffic)
- Lack of striped, improved shoulders (constricted lateral movement).
- In some cases, local public opinion (explicitly stated in the Texas manual for example)

There is a rather involved data form that engineers may use to document all of this information as part of the study. Any of these items may cause an agency to lower the 85% observed speed by 10 to 15 mph to set a posted speed limit.

This information is consistently documented and supported by the Federal Highway Administration as well.

by Douglas Noble on Feb 27, 2014 1:04 am • linkreport

Sorry, jms, I just now realized I said cameras when I was thinking of regular enforcement. My fault.

by selxic on Feb 27, 2014 7:20 am • linkreport

If it is a loophole the county police are sure writing a lot of tickets. All the evidence is that the speed cameras are working to lower speeds. And isn't the real issue not whether 37mph is more deadly in a crash than 25mph --it is -- but whether a driver still has time to put on the brakes in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian? It would have been better if the author had done more research on the number of tickets actually issued and where they are issued.

by woody brosnan on Feb 27, 2014 7:31 am • linkreport

It's always funny to watch a bunch of drivers hyperventilate at the idea that they might have to drive the speed limit. I say, we stop building roads until drivers start following the law. Or at least until they stop killing people in large numbers.

@asffa: car speedometers are factory calibrated to read high even accounting for inaccuracy. So you are typically going slower than indicated on the speedometer. If the limit is 25 and you're driving 25 as indicated, your chance of getting a ticket, even with strict enforcement, is basically zero. You may run into problems if you start using incorrectly sized tires or make other after market modifications, but that's on you to correct. If you are really intending to following the law and get a ticket when your speedometer says you were going the speed limit, you can get your speedometer checked and recalibrated, and present that as evidence when requesting a reduction or dismissal of the ticket. But this isn't really about speedometer inaccuracy bogey-men, is it? You just don't want to be held accountable for putting other peoples' lives at risk by speeding.

@Fischy: "As for stricter enforcement -- any rule which makes criminals out of 15% of any group is probably a really bad rule." I guarantee that if enforcement were better, those drivers would suddenly figure out how to drive at a speed that is safe for other people using the road. The idea that 15% of motorists would be routinely getting speeding tickets _and keep speeding and accumulating fines_ is absurd.

by Mike on Feb 27, 2014 7:44 am • linkreport

I have fought the 85% rule for years while administering a Safe Routes to School Program. Just recently it has been recommended that this rule not be followed and that the primary concern is Pedestrian safety.. Having said that there still are many Highway Engineers who have not gotten the word or chose to ignore the new ruling for expediency sake.

by Michael Levengood on Feb 27, 2014 8:10 am • linkreport

Matt:

DC does not, in fact, issue ASE citations for motorists going <10 mph over limit, even though the law allows them to. That margin, like Maryland's 12 mph threshold, provides a hearty inoculation against the charge of gouging motorists for te sake of revenue. Especially when lots of research evidence shows most motorists exceed speed limits commonly.

Even if we assume at any given time and place only 15% of the drivers are speeding, what other law could possibly remain sustainable if its enforcement resulted in sanctions delivered reliably to (a 'rolling') 15% of the relevant population? Far, far less than 15% of US adults smoke marijuana regularly, yet these laws are collapsing under the weight of even episodic enforcement, in large part because so many are caught.

Maryland (and DC) are exceptionally wise to focus enforcement on egregious violators with no ready excuse or remotely credible claim of a trivial violation. Those motorists constitute the more extreme risk, as your numbers suggest, though peds are such a tiny, tiny fraction of MVC injuries.

Maryland might change more driver behavior if the state escalated fines at the higher levels of speeding, or added a stiffer sanction for motorists who show themselves indisputably to be grave serial violators. That's the way to reduce risk without compromising the legitimacy---the sustainability---of these important law enforcement programs.

by NotQuiteRight on Feb 27, 2014 9:30 am • linkreport

@Mike -yes. a bunch of drivers hyperventilate at the idea that they might have to drive the speed limit.

I drive. I've had a drivers license for 3+ decades. I've never hit a squirrel even though they have run erratically into the road in front of me many times over many years. In areas where I think they may live (someplace w/ trees) I LOOK for them in my constant scanning of the road. i just f****** pay attention. Anyone can do it.

I stop for people waiting to cross the road even though I see dozens of drivers in front of me speed on by. After I stop it usually takes another 1/2 doz or so drivers to go by before someone in the lane next to me stops too. I get honked at and rudely gestured at by other drivers when I stop for people walking. Any other honest driver will agree that this is what happens regularly.

When i drive on Rte 1 thru College Park I expect students to be in the road regardless of the traffic signals and I drive accordingly, again often getting honked at and rudely gestured at, and then I see near misses when students cross the road and drivers force them -FORCE them with their cars going 40mph -to run out of the way. All the driver had to do was ease up on the accelerator to give the person time and space to cross.

When i see a bus stopping/stopped I slow way down and look for people dashing across the road to catch the bus, or deboarding.

When there was a lot of snow recently and I was driving on MD Rte 202 (a highway) there were a lot of people walking in the road next to drivers going 50mph b/c the sidewalks were covered in snow. I slowed down in the presence of people walking. I saw what was going on. Other drivers got angry and accelerated dramatically around me when i slowed down for people walking in a dangerous situation.

It seems that most people, when they get behind a wheel, turn into abject selfish bullying a**h**** in their treatment of people on foot or bikes.

That unfettered response to getting behind a wheel is a culture nurtured by road design and lack of laws to protect human life and lack of enforcement of the laws that do attempt to protect human life, and a culture that deems any mode of travel other than SOV as "other".

These conditions tell drivers, "go ahead and expect to move your car as a fast as possible in any situation, intimidate with your size, frighten and endanger people walking and biking and don't worry about any consequences to yourself b/c there won't be any."

This is what I see AS A DRIVER. I abhor this culture. I think it's immoral to place the movement of your car over the safety and life of another person. It doesn't matter how "wrong" or "crazy" you think that person is for walking or biking in that place. You are the one in the car. Only an intentional bully or a moron can't grasp this concept.

@Michael L.- yes

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 9:50 am • linkreport

This argument is pure garbage. In Montgomery County the majority of cameras are not even on roads where pedestrians are present. There are speed cameras on Seven Locks Road in Bethesda where pedestrians are rare but downward slopes make it easy to speed. These are nothing but revenue generators and have nothing to do with safety. If the writer has an issue with speeders in a residential neighborhood where schoolchildren are present I suggest he contact his local police department so they can set up a sting operation. Police can correct behavior when it happens and a criminal citation issued by a police officer has much more weight than a civil penalty (which the driver doesn't receive until 2 weeks later).

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 9:58 am • linkreport

...pedestrians are rare but downward slopes make it easy to speed...

....must we point out the obvious....?

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 10:01 am • linkreport

@Aaron Miller: baloney. The police stings are rare enough that they don't have a permanent impact on driver behavior. (We get them several times a year in my neighborhood, drivers speed past the cops writing the tickets.) Not until anyone behind the wheel can expect a reasonable chance of a citation any time they exceed the speed limit will they bother to obey the speed limit. (Also, over time, the culture will change to reflect the idea that speeding is an immoral risk to other people's lives, encouraging people to police themselves. Until we get a clear social cue that this matters, people will still argue that their love of speeding is more important than other people's lives, which is sad and pathetic.) The idea that drivers should decide whether a particular road is worthy of having its speed limit obeyed is ridiculous--people walk on a lot of roads with high speed traffic (just look at the desire paths worn into the grass next to 4 and 6 lane roads with no sidewalks), and the idea that they do not is nothing more than windshield perspective. If you don't want to give money to the state, just drive the speed limit. It isn't hard--you should just try it.

by Mike on Feb 27, 2014 10:09 am • linkreport

First of all let's not get too comfortable with this idea of "If you don't want to give money to the state, just drive the speed limit." I was driving back from Tysons Corner a few nights ago after seeing a 10 PM showtime. I was driving through a school zone. School MPH-25, normal-35 MPH. I was going 39 MPH. I received a ticket for speeding in a school zone. This was for speeding when there OBVIOUSLY was no school going on. Complain about the 11 MPH (it's not 12 MPH) safety zone but it's MARYLAND STATE LAW that one receives this, just as it is against the law to speed. So even though the county had ZERO justification for issuing the ticket the burden falls on ME to take a day off work to go to Rockville and wait for hours for what I should never have had to do in the first place. Fair? I think not.

And I wouldn't have as much an issue with the speed cameras if it wasn't for the fact that the camera companies lobby local governments to shorten yellow light cycles and lower speed limits on streets where cameras are installed. Not local citizens, but out of state companies whose sole motive is to issue more tickets to produce revenue. That's what these cameras are about: revenue.

If you have a problem with speed enforcement by police, take it up with them.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 10:17 am • linkreport

I was driving through a school zone. School MPH-25, normal-35 MPH. I was going 39 MPH. I received a ticket for speeding in a school zone.

So you were speeding and you were in a school zone and you got a ticket. Sure, a judge might recognize that you were "only" 4 over instead of 14 over but the facts are still against you.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 10:36 am • linkreport

"So you were speeding and you were in a school zone and you got a ticket. Sure, a judge might recognize that you were "only" 4 over instead of 14 over but the facts are still against you."

This is not at all factual. MD state law requires a cushion of 11 MPH before a ticket can be issued. The exception is school zones BUT ONLY WHEN SCHOOL IS IN SESSION. Do you think school was in session at Midnight?

So, yes, even though I was speeding by a whopping 4 MPH and admitted it to the judge, they still threw out the ticket, because the LAW says you must travel at least 12 MPH above the speed limit to receive a camera ticket.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 10:40 am • linkreport

Great, and that law requiring a cushion that large for cameras is dumb (as the original article points out) becuase there's a huge substantive difference between 25 and 39 mph.

Yes, the ticket was invalid but its not like cops aren't known to issue citations wrongly. Or a cop could have pulled you over and ignored your pleadings that you were just going four over. That's why we have a court system.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 10:51 am • linkreport

"Great, and that law requiring a cushion that large for cameras is dumb (as the original article points out) becuase there's a huge substantive difference between 25 and 39 mph."

By any chance do you work for a camera company? Own stock in one? I would think that most normal people would think that going 39 in a 35 at midnight when no pedestrians are in sight would not pose a significant safety risk. Camera companies, however, only care about revenue so if you are an employee I could better understand where you're coming from.

To anyone looking to beat a camera ticket: demand the maintenance records of the specific camera. If you file a FOIA request by law the local police departments MUST hand it over. MD state law requires camera be maintained at specified intervals and if you have the maintenance records to prove that didn't happen by law the courts MUST void the ticket.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:07 am • linkreport

Mr Aaron Miller

I live in Annandale Virginia, where there are no speed cameras, and I see cars speeding all the time, during the day, and on roads where pedestrians are present. AFAICT Fairfax County does not have the resources to patrol every road for speeding.

If we are going to make Fairfax safe for pedestrians (and cyclists, and people who choose to drive within the speed limit) something needs to change.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:12 am • linkreport

Regarding my specific citation, why was it even issued? Regardless of one'e personal feelings the LAW is crystal clear about camera tickets. I should never have been issued one, and the scary thing is that police officers (who are paid by the camera companies) must approve these tickets before they are mailed out. Are camera companies and the cops on their payroll deliberately ignoring Maryland State Law in hopes that people who are ignorant of the law just pay up? Seems like revenue is the priority vs. safety.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:15 am • linkreport

AFAIK police in each jurisdiction are paid by their jurisdiction, not by camera companies.

I also have not seen evidence that yellow light cycles have been shortened in any jurisdiction in the DC metro area.

If you have an issue with your particular citation, you are of course free to take it up with the court. Incorrect citations did not begin with speed cameras.

I will also note that in Virginia there is NO cushion, as a matter of law. Its true police will rarely ticket for under 10MPH over the limit, but there is no law that prevents them. I am curious if you have a link to a law in Maryland establishing such a cushion.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:20 am • linkreport

"So, yes, even though I was speeding by a whopping 4 MPH and admitted it to the judge, they still threw out the ticket, "

Your ticket was thrown out. What are you kvetching about?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:21 am • linkreport

By any chance do you work for a camera company?

Good try. There is probably less risk at midnight than at during a school day. That's moot though and the implicit reasoning is that any behavior is legal (and not risky) as long as the likelihood of being caught is low. I can see why people prefer that but ultimately a camera is simply better at catching these things because of how frequent they are and the fact that a police officer can only work so much and write so many tickets. Making it easier for authorities to catch speeders isn't unfair on its face. Especially since in your example the system worked for you.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 11:22 am • linkreport

http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/19/17010355-lights-cameras-reaction-resistance-builds-against-red-light-cameras\

From the article: "Judges in Baltimore have castigated the city and thrown out tickets after finding the city had shortened yellow lights below recommended limits."

Do a few Google searches and you'll find that jurisdictions have been founding doing this all over the country. But to all the Big Brother advocates on here, I'm sure it
s just a pure coincidence that shortening yellow light cycles coincided with traffic camera installation, right? I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with revenue.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:30 am • linkreport

"Your ticket was thrown out. What are you kvetching about?"

So what you're saying is that local police departments and camera companies should be free to completely disregard Maryland State Law and issue tickets that are not legal to issue, and then the citizen who had an illegal ticket issued to them, should have to take a day off work and several hours to go to court and prove that the ticket was illegally issued?

How nice for the camera companies! They can write tons of bogus tickets with no repercussions whatsoever, and most people will probably pay them because they are ignorant of the law. And you think this is FAIR?!

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:34 am • linkreport

FWIW, the graphic regarding the conditional probability of getting killed in a collision with a car is no longer considered accurate. The original estimate came from biased data.

Below links to somewhat old NHTSA publication. Nonetheless, it discusses the estimates used in the post.

http://goo.gl/R5g7D3

by Geof Gee on Feb 27, 2014 11:34 am • linkreport

Aaron M, the reason there are no pedestrians on those roads is often because of the dangers posed by speeding cars.

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 11:34 am • linkreport

@Drumz

It was ILLEGAL for the county to issue me that citation. If a cop had issued the ticket that would be a completely different scenario. Argue whatever you like but MoCo has NO RIGHT to issue tickets illegally in efforts to increase revenue. I have issue with local governments who think they can ignore State Law just to make a few extra bucks.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:36 am • linkreport

Is it illegal to issue a citation in error? I'm willing to be pointed to relevant section of Maryland code that clarifies this. Otherwise, I don't see how this is substantively different than if a cop issued a citation in error (example: cops are notorious for handing out tickets to cyclists for activities that are legal) you'll have to illuminate me on that. Everything that you've told me indicates that your right to due process wasn't violated.

And your anecdote doesn't prove that A: there's not a need for better speed limit enforcement or B: that cameras cannot do this effectively.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 11:42 am • linkreport

Still not quite sure what part of the definition of the word "limit" drivers don't understand as the definition of the word is, "a point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass."

Set the speed cameras for the speed limit. If a driver is above the speed LIMIT, by definition they're speeding. We would all be safer for it.

by Some Ideas on Feb 27, 2014 11:42 am • linkreport

" I have issue with local governments who think they can ignore State Law just to make a few extra bucks."

Go sue the local govt. By all means do all you can to get that state law enforced against local govts. That is the fastest way to get that absurd state law repealed.

Perhaps the state of Md simply allows its local govts a BUFFER with respect to observing this law.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:45 am • linkreport

" I have issue with local governments who think they can ignore State Law just to make a few extra bucks."

I have issues with drivers who think they can ignore local law with impunity, just to get home a few minutes faster.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:48 am • linkreport

@Drumz Everyone here is saying that there should be no gray zone and that the cameras should issue a ticket when any speeding is involved, period. I brought up three main points:

A. Cameras are NOT foolproof, and neither are the people who approve camera tickets. I have provided a personal example.

B. Local governments have a history of placing cameras in areas with artificially low speed limits (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14880/successful-speed-cameras-require-fair-speed-limits/).

C. Local governments have a history of shortening yellow light cycles where speed cameras are installed.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 11:51 am • linkreport

A - even if a buffer is justified, its almost certainly not 10MPH. I see no evidence that cameras are that inaccurate'

B. If the speed limit is wrong, it should be corrected, whether there is a camera there or not. My strong sense is that most cameras in DC are at places where the limit is justified - either places with pedestrians, or plaecs (like I395) where driving at high speed is dangerous.

C. I know of no evidence of that happening in the DC metro area.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 11:59 am • linkreport

meanwhile you have provided no alternative way of dealing with the problem of speeding. you do not seem to even recognize that it IS a problem.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 12:00 pm • linkreport

What walker said mostly, in my hometown the main road was 55mph and the local knowledge was that you got a cushion up to 60. I'm not saying this accurate or right but there's a substantive difference between going 30 and going 42. The graphic shows you why.

Speed limits should be changed to reflect usage. In a lot of places it should go down. The article also demonstrates that a lot of the thought that goes into determining a speed limit just focuses on cars using the roads and ignores other around there. Demanding that every road have its perfect speed limit before entertaining the thought of using cameras is just stalling.

And yeah, shortened yellow lights is often claimed but hardly verfied. And if you can measure a light with a shorter cycle there can be myriad reasons for why that is so.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 12:04 pm • linkreport

So even though the county had ZERO justification for issuing the ticket the burden falls on ME to take a day off work to go to Rockville and wait for hours for what I should never have had to do in the first place.

Is it illegal to issue a citation in error?

No, it's not illegal to do that just as it's not illegal for a cop to arrest someone, throw them in jail for the night, and have the court find that the person didn't do anything wrong the next day. However, both issues are valid concerns and people are understandably upset when it happens to them. More should be done to stop both behaviors but it also doesn't mean we should get rid of all cameras and cops.

It's also reasonable to expect that issues with camera and citation accuracy should be resolved before the camera program is scaled up.

by Falls Church on Feb 27, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

And yes, I'm willing to listen to and even propose any number of reforms. But it first takes the acceptance of that people are proposing reforms in good faith rather than arguing that we're better off reverting to making speeding something that's easy to get away with.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 12:18 pm • linkreport

" I have issue with local governments who think they can ignore State Law just to make a few extra bucks."

Go sue the local govt.

Why not just fix the problem before people have to resort to this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/lawsuit-claims-many-speed-camera-tickets-issued-by-riverdale-park-are-invalid/2012/08/13/13d6f964-e57b-11e1-8741-940e3f6dbf48_story.html

or this

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/10/23/speeding-camera-suit-now-class-action.html

or this

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/Class-action-lawsuit-filed-over-Elmwood-Place-speed-cameras/19408404

or many other examples.

by Falls Church on Feb 27, 2014 12:20 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church

The first article you posted is a true eye opener and supports what I have been saying all along. No matter what safeguards the state or any other entity put in, local governments are going to flagrantly disregard laws in the interest of revenue generation.

Also, what kind of access checks are in place in Riverdale Park? Can any local gov't employee log in to the camera system as a police officer and approve tickets? Why were no safeguards put in place to prevent this? There should at the very least be an investigation into the officer's behavior as well as the municipal employees involved. If the police officer acted negligently in not securing his login information, he should be held responsible. But restricting access to the ticket approval system would mean a loss of revenue for the town, so it comes as no surprise that pretty much anyone could access it.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 12:30 pm • linkreport

What Tina said.

by John Henry Holliday on Feb 27, 2014 12:38 pm • linkreport

What Tina said - and I'm a driver, too.

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 12:39 pm • linkreport

@Capthilts

Your name suggests that you are a police officer. Unlike ya'll, us commoners actually have to obey traffic laws like speeding, not using our cell phones, not parking in a No Stopping zone, etc. I see cops EVERYDAY parking in loading zones in Bethesda while eating lunch, flying at 75 MPH on 270 with family members in the car (I've confirmed with MoCo officers that if they maintain residency in the county they get take home cars so it's obvious they aren't on duty but just using their position to break the law), talking on the phone about matters that are OBVIOUSLY personal, dipping in cars (not illegal, but disgusting), and just overall exhibiting bad behavior.

And while I don't know for sure, I'm willing to bet that any camera ticket issued to a police cruiser, at least in MoCo based on what I've seen, is automatically voided.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 12:44 pm • linkreport

Aaron M.: Au contraire, Capt. Hilts likes to speed...

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRs2wXaAVlqbo7JR9URsXmo0nQ83Rb96Kv8z6UVD1nPsgSBDek-

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 12:47 pm • linkreport

falls church

I am all for fixing technical problems with speed cameras (including ones involving technical violations of law)

What I have an issue with is the assertion that one individuals particular problem with an incorrect citation driving back from the movies one night, suggests that speed cameras are not a good idea.

As for waiting to scale up - no govt program, indeed no activity run by humans, will ever be perfect. Meanwhile people are dying, and others are avoiding walking (or biking) due to fear. AFAICT the problems with speed cameras are not great enough, or widespread enough, to justify not implementing them in places where pedestrian fatalities are a big issue - of which there are a few in Fairfax County (yes, I realize its not up to the County, but that they are limited by Richmond)

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 12:52 pm • linkreport

AWalkerInTheCity: Not sure if you were asking about speed camera tickets or officer-written tickets, but the 12MPH threshold for issuing speed camera tickets is written into Maryland law. There's no such threshold for tickets written by an officer.

Tina: I commend you for your caution. There is so much more to safe driving than just reducing speed when cameras are present.

Serious, what in the heck is wrong with drivers in this area? I, too, see the aggressive behavior that you're noticing every day. Nonwithstanding the stupid MD-vs-DC-vs-VA wars that you see here sometimes, I observe extraordinarily bad behavior on the road in all three jurisdictions.

by jms on Feb 27, 2014 12:56 pm • linkreport

@Awalkerinthecity

My story was a direct response to Mike saying "If you don't want to give money to the state, drive the speed limit." He implies that if one simply obeys the law they will have no issues. There are countless examples which prove otherwise.

Did you even read the articles Falls Church posted? In the Riverdale Park case two employees were fired because they were illegally approving literally THOUSANDS of citations they had ZERO authority to approve. There are numerous cases like it all over the country. Many local governments refuse to put proper controls in place for their camera ticket programs, because putting in such controls would eliminate a major revenue source for them.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 1:02 pm • linkreport

"My story was a direct response to Mike saying "If you don't want to give money to the state, drive the speed limit." He implies that if one simply obeys the law they will have no issues. There are countless examples which prove otherwise."

In your story you did NOT drive the speed limit. Ergo, whether the County was in violation of state law or not, you do not constradict Mike, as you WERE in violation of the law. That there is a buffer for enforcement of one method does not mean that driving within that buffer but over the limit is legal. It is bizarre that you are spending so much time complaining about the locality violating the law, when YOU violated the law. "he who seeks equity must do equity".

"Did you even read the articles Falls Church posted? In the Riverdale Park case two employees were fired because they were illegally approving literally THOUSANDS of citations they had ZERO authority to approve."

I saw no evidence that most (or indeed any) of those citations were not given to people who were in fact in violation of the law. As I said, I am all for fixing technical problems. But I do not see the problems as being of greater importance than the problem of speeding.

Answer me one simple question. Do you think speeding is a problem in this region?

So far you have given ZERO indication that speeding bothers you.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:12 pm • linkreport

May I refer you back to the graphic - at 40MPH 9 out of 10 pedestrians hit in a collision die.

If we can prevent even a few deaths (and evidence from DC suggests speed cameras do improve safety) I can live with a dozens of people needing to go to court to clear up a ticket. Or thousands of people who sped getting a violation approved by a county official who is not a cop, instead of a cop.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:15 pm • linkreport

Yes, I was speeding a whopping 4 MPH at midnight. Would a cop have issued a ticket? Doubtful. Should I have been issued a ticket under Maryland State Law? No.

And it appears that you are perfectly fine with municipalities flagrantly disregarding state law in the interest of revenue generation. I'm not, and will continue to fight every single one of these tickets, through the use of FOIA requests for maintenance records or otherwise. I'll also advise others of the methods they have for fighting these tickets. I got another one dismissed a few weeks ago because the time of violation was about 8 hours off.

BTW, it's the definition of hypocritical to argue that speeding is against the law and that any and all speeding should be punished regardless of the severity simply because it's against the law, then say that local governments should be entitled to ignore all laws regarding speeding cameras.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 1:24 pm • linkreport

...Capt. Hilts likes to speed...

Everyone likes to speed. That's why it's so common. Going fast is fun and thrilling.

That this human need and desire for fun and kicks is so commonly expressed and accepted when people drive, at the expense of protecting human life, is wrong. I don't care what the law is. If you drive this way you are a bad person.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport

"Yes, I was speeding a whopping 4 MPH at midnight. Would a cop have issued a ticket? Doubtful. Should I have been issued a ticket under Maryland State Law? No. "

Nonetheless Mike is still correct, had you obeyed the speed limit, you would not have gotten a citation.

A cop would not have issued the citation, because the small fine (and the possibility of it being contested) would not be worth his time. That has somehow translated into a belief that driving 5 to 10 MPH over the limit is a right. It is not. Speed cameras have helped to bring that sense of privilege out in the open.

The "buffer" due to limited police resources is NOT a reason to have a buffer for speed cameras. Only accuracy is, and I see no evidence that they are so inaccurate as to justify a 12 MPH buffer - especially in 25 or 30 MPH zones.

No where did I say that local govts being in technical violation of the law was not a concern, and indeed I suggested to FC that I support fixing such problems. I do not see them as an argument against having speed cameras, and thus continuing needless carnage on our roads.

I continue to await your agreement that speeding in our region is a concern.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport

Again, yeah, what Tina typed.

[YWTT]

It's wrong to speed. So, I don't!

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 1:30 pm • linkreport

Also, check this out. Looks like the former CEO of Redflex even admits that widespread bribery was rampant. But according to you it's all about safety, right?

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/01/fired_exec_of_stop-light_camer.html

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity ...

The graphic is flat out wrong.

by Geof Gee on Feb 27, 2014 1:33 pm • linkreport

@Awalkerinthecity

You say that it's perfectly fine to have civil employees, who are often being paid directly by camera companies and do not have the training and expertise cops have to handle traffic violations, to process tickets. Let me remind you:

"I can live with a dozens of people needing to go to court to clear up a ticket. Or thousands of people who sped getting a violation approved by a county official who is not a cop, instead of a cop."

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 1:34 pm • linkreport

It's charming to notice that what's most important to some drivers (some of those posting here, at least) is the last detail of how they might be issued a ticket, and not whether their speed (legal or not) might be dangerous or intimidating to cyclists.

Y'all are also exhibit A for why many cyclists are not terribly bothered about their own failure to conform to the last details of traffic laws, and why pedestrians are happy to jaywalk whenever they think they can get away with it.

by dr2chase on Feb 27, 2014 1:34 pm • linkreport

Aaron Miller

that story is from louisiana. If everything touched by bribery in Lousiana were banned, our govts could never do anything. Camera opponents scan the entire country for problems. How many dozens of states and hundreds of cities use speed cameras without these problems?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:36 pm • linkreport

@Geof Gee, The graphic is flat out wrong.

No it isn't. You cited a study from 1999 that had very similar results. Yes, somewhat different, but very similar with the same pattern of increased risk of fatality with escalation of speed. You're making it sound like the graphic is way off compared to a 15 year old study. It's not.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 1:36 pm • linkreport

@dr2chase, yeah.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 1:38 pm • linkreport

Its even worse, apparently

"The relationship between vehicle travel speeds and resulting pedestrian injury was reviewed in the literature and in existing data sets. Results indicated that higher vehicle speeds are strongly associated with both a greater likelihood of pedestrian crash occurrence and more serious resulting pedestrian injury. It was estimated that only 5 percent of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour or less. This compares with fatality rates of 40, 80, and nearly 100 percent for striking speeds of 30, 40, and 50 miles per hour or more respectively. "

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:39 pm • linkreport

aaron Miller

when was the last time you walked across an arterial at a crosswalk protected only by a yield sign, or not even by a yield sign (such crosswalks, even market crosswalks, are quite common on suburban arterials)

Do you think speeding in our region is a problem?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:40 pm • linkreport

"You say that it's perfectly fine to have civil employees, who are often being paid directly by camera companies "

I know of no local govt employees in our area who are paid by camera companies. AFAIK none in Riverdale Park were.

Do you consider speeding in our region to be a problem? Is the pedestrian fatality rate on our roads perfectly fine?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 1:43 pm • linkreport

jms, may know who I was referring to when I mentioned exaggerated speeds now.

by selxic on Feb 27, 2014 1:58 pm • linkreport

@Tina ....

If you read the literature behind the graphic in this post, it's based on a very old study. Hence why I'm willing to share the 15-year-old literature review.

Certainly the direction of the effect is the same. That is, all things equal, I'd rather get hit by a slow vehicle than a fast one. But unless one thinks 35-40% is the same thing as 90% the graphic here is flat out wrong. (... and I'm interpreting the categories in favor for the graph)

Hyperbole might be good at winning an argument at a party, but it's not helpful for reasonable discourse, IMO.

-G

by Geof Gee on Feb 27, 2014 1:58 pm • linkreport

@walkerinthecity

Read the article. Yes, there were problems in Louisiana but they weren't limited to there only; the former CEO alludes to corruption in Chicago, among other places. It's funny how every time someone brings up a concrete example where speeding cameras have been used in connection with govt corruption, you simply shrug it off. It's a real problem whether you care to admit it or not.

And I work in dtown Bethesda and don't usually drive anywhere after I park my car because parking is too much of a hassle and I have a county pass but not a guaranteed spot. So I usually find myself walking all over to find something to eat, or to make sales calls, go out after work, etc. I witness drivers breaking laws but pedestrians doing it just as much. Joggers are the worst; they don't want to stop jogging so they'll just keep doing it right into traffic.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 2:09 pm • linkreport

"This compares with fatality rates of 40, 80, and nearly 100 percent for striking speeds of 30, 40, and 50 miles per hour or more respectively. "

Thats 80% at 40MPH. Not 90%, but not far different. And close to 100% at 50MPH (and yes, people routinely drive 50MPH on suburban arterials in areas with pedestrians)

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 2:09 pm • linkreport

@GG, i find these statements contradictory:

Certainly the direction of the effect is the same wrt the graphic and the 1999 study, and

the graphic here is flat out wrong

Anyway the 1999 study is a literature review and includes the Passan study results that, ...about 5 percent of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle traveling 20 mph, about 40 percent for vehicles traveling 30 mph, about 80 percent for vehicles traveling 40 mph, and nearly 100 percent for speeds over 50 mph.

which is what the graphic says.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 2:13 pm • linkreport

"It's funny how every time someone brings up a concrete example where speeding cameras have been used in connection with govt corruption, you simply shrug it off. It's a real problem whether you care to admit it or not."

There is corruption in govt contracting - does that mean no govt should buy anything? Scanning the web (or using some anticam website) to find rare occasions of problems does not make an argument.

"And I work in dtown Bethesda and don't usually drive anywhere after I park my car"

Which does not answer my question. When was the last time you crossed an arterial (as in a road with a posted speed of at least 35 MPH, IE one where traffic routinely moves at 45MPH or more) at a crosswalk protected only by a yield sign, or not even by that.

I have not been to downtown Bethesda lately, but my impression is its more pedestrian friendly (most of the crosswalks protected by traffic lights) than most of the suburbs in the region.

Again

Do you consider speeding a problem in the region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 2:14 pm • linkreport

" I witness drivers breaking laws but pedestrians doing it just as much."

And which of them is endangering someone else's life?

Why do you bring up issues with jaywalking in a discussion of excessive speeding? Do you not think speeding is a safety issue in our region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 2:15 pm • linkreport

..also, the tables in the 1999 lit review report fatalities for SPEED LIMITS in the area of the crash, NOT the speed the vehicle was going.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 2:16 pm • linkreport

@Tina ...

OK. We have a different opinion regarding about "flat-out": I think magnitude matters a lot here but it is the case that the direction of the effect and that high speed is much more likely to kill than low speed is important.

The broader literature has a wide range of results and they specifically talk about selection biases in earlier studies including the one used for the graphic above. Looking through my notes I found this ...

http://goo.gl/AewAaw

... which estimates the mortality curve with German data. But also included is a quick summary of mortality conditioned on the vehicle traveling at 70 kph (43 mph). I read ...

33, 51, 39, 77% across four studies in the 2000s.

by Geof Gee on Feb 27, 2014 2:22 pm • linkreport

@Tina ...

Keep reading through the document.

If you make it to Figure 2, you'll find estimated vehicle speeds.

goo.gl/R5g7D3

There is a lot of interesting information in both papers.

by Geof Gee on Feb 27, 2014 2:30 pm • linkreport

Jaywalking should be legal anyway.

No one has a problem with fixing problems with how cameras are operated. What gets annoying is the logic that says since there are some problems with cameras then we must ban them until they're perfect. That's an impossible goal and sets society back by sticking with an outright dangerous status quo. But many people like that status quo and their relative ability to drive as fast as they want and they couch that desire behind concern for making sure cameras are just.

People who don't like cameras are arguing that they're intrinsically unjust. I'm not convinced by that.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 2:31 pm • linkreport

@Walkerinthecity

The problem is that it's NOT rare. The Redflex CEO who left the company is alluding to corruption problems in 13 STATES. This isn't just going in Paducah, or New Orleans, or DC. It's happening all over the country. There is an ongoing federal investigation into Redflex's actions.

And what precisely is wrong with searching the web to find instances of camera corruption? BTW I found all those articles using simple Google searches, not some anticam website. Can you produce any kind of study (which isn't sponsored by Redflex, American Traffic Solutions, or any other camera company) which proves the cameras are effective? I'd be interested in seeing some.

I used to work on Wisconsin Avenue and crossed over in a crosswalk that was only guarded by a yield sign. Never had an issue but I always made sure that drivers are aware of me and don't just jog into the street without looking (which I see people do all the time).

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 2:53 pm • linkreport

Aaron, the goal is to slow down drivers. Speed cameras do that.

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 2:56 pm • linkreport

"I used to work on Wisconsin Avenue and crossed over in a crosswalk that was only guarded by a yield sign. "

When was that?

I routinely cross an arterial (posted at 35MPH which means most go 40 to 45, and some go over 45) and its frightening to cross - they rarely slow down for pedestrians. You can wait for a big gap, but that takes a very long time. Mostly people who cross end up having to run across during a shorter gap.

Now one more time

Do you consider speeding in this region a problem?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 3:04 pm • linkreport

"And what precisely is wrong with searching the web to find instances of camera corruption?"

You get a misleading picture, because you have a biased sample. You arent counting the thousands of places its working fine.

"Can you produce any kind of study (which isn't sponsored by Redflex, American Traffic Solutions, or any other camera company) which proves the cameras are effective?"

Yes, from right here in the DC metro area.

http://dcist.com/2014/02/ddot_study_finds_speed_cameras_are.php

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 3:06 pm • linkreport

@Capthilts

Yes. Eventually, the drivers learn where the cameras are and will go their normal rate of speed, then proceed to slam on the brakes when they enter the camera zone. Don't believe me? Stand on Connecticut between Bradley and the Circle. Happens all day long.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 3:06 pm • linkreport

@Awalkerinthecity

So the DC government, which makes millions in revenue off the traffic cameras, has found they are effective? I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 3:10 pm • linkreport

You asked for an organization that wasnt a camera company. DDOT is not a camera company.

Try to stick to one story line. I would say that accusing DDOT of distorting this study is a serious accusation. Unless you have evidence they did so, I think you might slow down with the accusations.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 3:20 pm • linkreport

Aaron Miller

Do you think speeding is a problem in this region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 3:20 pm • linkreport

Well the cameras don't HAVE to collect money. You could also get a citation and have the punishment be that you work as a school crossing guard for a couple of afternoons. Or you could suspend licenses. Or you could make people wear funny hats.

But the great thing about money is that you can use it to get other things so it's probably best for the city to collect fines for these infractions than do any of those things. Most people would probably rather pay as well, given the choice.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 3:23 pm • linkreport

Aaron said, "Yes. Eventually, the drivers learn where the cameras are and will go their normal rate of speed, then proceed to slam on the brakes when they enter the camera zone."

Well, there you go - speed cameras are effective at making drivers slow down. Case closed!

by Capt. Hilts on Feb 27, 2014 3:26 pm • linkreport

http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7487/331

http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/pressreleases/2008/2008.01.31.speedcam.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1731028/

http://www.roadsafetyobservatory.com/Evidence/Details/10716

http://www.rospa.com/faqs/detail.aspx?faq=398

http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004607/do-speed-cameras-reduce-road-traffic-crashes-injuries-and-deaths

"Twenty eight studies measured the effect on crashes. All 28 studies found a lower number of crashes in the speed camera areas after implementation of the program. In the vicinity of camera sites, the reductions ranged from 8% to 49% for all crashes, with reductions for most studies in the 14% to 25% range. For injury crashes the decrease ranged between 8% to 50% and for crashes resulting in fatalities or serious injuries the reductions were in the range of 11% to 44%. Effects over wider areas showed reductions for all crashes ranging from 9% to 35%, with most studies reporting reductions in the 11% to to 27% range. For crashes resulting in death or serious injury reductions ranged from 17% to 58%, with most studies reporting this result in the 30% to 40% reduction range. The studies of longer duration showed that these positive trends were either maintained or improved with time."

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 3:33 pm • linkreport

@Aaron Miller: so you were speeding. you should have gotten a ticket, and you should have had to pay a fine. hopefully we'll get some speed cameras (with no ridiculous arbitrary threshold) and you'll be held accountable for your bad driving.

yes, OF COURSE, people might be walking at midnight, why shouldn't they? you've made a very good case for why we need routine automated enforcement--some entitled motorists arbitrarily decide that other people using our public roads are unworthy of consideration and put those people's lives at risk for convenience or thrills.

by Mike on Feb 27, 2014 3:45 pm • linkreport

@AM -your disdain for publicly employed scientists is truly hypocritical. Your entire life is directly effected and improved with the work of publicly employed scientists over the last 50 years including the safety features that are mandated as standard in your car, including the spedometer.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 3:51 pm • linkreport

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.] Just google the words "Baltimore Speed Camera Audit" and educate yourselves.... over ten percent of that city's speed camera tickets were due to errors **and the city tried to cover it up**. They even issued tickets to stationary cars, and cited trucks for twice their actual speed. This was extensively covered by the Baltimore Sun and even appeared on ABC World News, [Deleted]. Radar really is **much** less accurate than proponents admit, and even a device which passes calibration can be subject to "radar effects" which can cause it to produce nonsense speed readings.

Moreover, it is impossible to fix these problems because those who operate the cameras refuse to be honest about the existence and nature of such errors.

[Deleted.] Eliminating the "buffer" as he calls for would mean a great many innocent drivers would get screwed by the system.

by SBB on Feb 27, 2014 4:01 pm • linkreport

@SBB-if the problems in Baltimore you describe are accurate they don't apply to the idea of a 'buffer", which records drivers going 10-15 MPH over the speed limit, not cameras that are clearly faulty. You are conflating two separate issues. Furthermore, the article uses the idea of the buffer as an example of how speed limits are often inflated anyway for a variety of reasons.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 4:06 pm • linkreport

@Tina Not sure where you are getting that I have disdain for publicly employed scientists. I merely stated that it isn't a surprise that the DC gov't, which makes MILLIONS off the traffic cameras, has found that they are effective. It appears they handpicked a few intersections where accidents went down and then went on to brag about how effective the cameras are.

@Mike No, I should not have gotten a ticket. MD state law is not optional. I did not meet the legal threshold for receiving a camera ticket. No gray area. Case closed.

@Awalkerinthecity It's funny how you accuse me of cherry picking sources then proceed to post a whole list of cherry picked sources. So I'll do the same:

"Statistics published by the Department for Transport show many cameras have done little or nothing to improve accident rates, but have proved highly effective in clocking up speeding fines."

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029361/Speed-cameras-cut-accidents--create-study-finds.html

Baltimore experienced a nearly 5 percent increase in traffic accidents from 2009 to 2012 — a four-year span during which the city rolled out and ramped up its network of now-idle speed cameras, according to state police.
Accidents rose from 19,792 in 2009 to 20,718 in 2012, the city's highest total in nine years. Over those four years the city issued more than 1.5 million of the $40 tickets, with a stated purpose of improving safety by getting drivers to slow down in areas around schools.

Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/sun-investigates/bs-md-sun-investigates-accident-stats-20131111,0,2853133.story

"They were installed at dangerous intersections to reduce the number of crashes, but New Jersey's controversial red-light cameras have actually seen an increase in collisions, according to a new state report."

Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/red-light_cameras_lead_to_more.html

BTW, the Baltimore report on the cams was done by the Maryland State Police-an organization which has everything to gain from traffic cameras.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:12 pm • linkreport

@SBB Remember that many posters on here are perfectly fine with bogus tickets being handed out. Their view is that if it makes them feel safer, so what if perfectly innocent people have to waste their entire day in court, or pay something they shouldn't. The American justice system is based on "It's better to let 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent person be convicted." I guess this doesn't apply in traffic situations.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:14 pm • linkreport

@AM -who do you think compiled the data, analyzed it, interpreted and presented it?

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 4:18 pm • linkreport

"It's funny how you accuse me of cherry picking sources then proceed to post a whole list of cherry picked sources. So I'll do the same:"

Not cherry picked - I googled and took all the hits that looked like scientific studies.

Note well, the Daily Mail is far from a scientific journal, and is about the least respected of the UK dailies.

https://www.google.com/#q=daily+mail+global+warming

And your quotes about Baltimore do not constitute a study. All you look at is total collisions, not detailed studies of exact locations. And as has been pointed out, that was a very flawed implementation. Surely no one is claiming that traffic cameras are such a perfect technology that they can never be screwed up. Do you believe that the Big Dig means we should never build another highway?

That leaves the NJ report. That needs to be weighed against all the other evidence.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:20 pm • linkreport

@Awalkerinthecity

The Cochrane article that you quote mentions 28 studies but doesn't mention who actually does those studies. A little digging reveals that many are sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which has a direct interest in making sure that as many camera tickets as possible are issued. They represent insurance companies. Insurance companies use points on driving records to raise insurance rates. In some states, thankfully MD isn't one, traffic camera tickets will give points on a license.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:21 pm • linkreport

"The American justice system is based on "It's better to let 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent person be convicted." "

You werent convicted. You didnt even have to pay a piddly fine. You are kvetching cause you had to go to court to rectify an error. That happens all the time cameras apart. Theres nothing in the constitution saying police never make an error. And the fact that they do is not a reason to not have police.

Should traffic camera errors be reduced? Yes. Is that a reason to not have traffice cameras? Only if you believe police errors are a reason to not have police.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:22 pm • linkreport

@AM -yes, protesting a ticket for speeding -which you admit to doing, is such a tragedy compared to what happened to Joseph Brown.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 4:23 pm • linkreport

"A little digging reveals that many are sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which has a direct interest in making sure that as many camera tickets as possible are issued. They represent insurance companies. Insurance companies use points on driving records to raise insurance rates. "

Insurance companies don't benefit from the issuance of points - auto insurance is a competive business. If they just want to raise rates they can, but competition restrains them. They use points to distinguish between safer and less safe drivers. The only interest the IIHS has in this is reducing the total number of collisions (and hence, payouts).

You have accused DDOT, police, and IIHS of dishonesty, while citing the Daily Mail as a source.

Where is Joseph N Welch when you need him?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

So the Baltimore camera system is flawed, the Louisiana enforcement system is corrupt, Chicago officials have been accused of taking bribes from the camera companies, the former Redflex CEO is part of a federal investigation in 13 different states, and former Redflex employees state it's SOP to bestow lavish gifts upon politicians when trying to win a camera contract.

But according to you, the camera system is not flawed and everything should continue as normal. Ok...

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

Aaron Miller

Do you think speeding is a problem in our region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

I see no evidence that the DC system is flawed, or that in the parts of Md near DC. I see ample evidence that the systems reduce collisions, including a study in DC itself. I see no alternative way to deal with speeding suggested by you, and a bizarre reluctance to admit speeding is a problem.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:28 pm • linkreport

Aaron Miller

over the years there have been flawed highways, and bribery in highway construction. Our only Vice President to resign, Spiro Agnew, did so in connection with highway construction in Md. Today Chris Christie is immersed in scandal connected to roads. Do you think everying in the system of state highway construction is okay and should continue as normal? Do you think all highways should be abolished because of this corruption?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:31 pm • linkreport

Remember that many posters on here are perfectly fine with bogus tickets being handed out.
Not really, I just don't think the presence of bogus tickets means the who system needs to be shut down.

Their view is that if it makes them feel safer, so what if perfectly innocent people have to waste their entire day in court, or pay something they shouldn't.

I do care about mine and other's personal safety more than your frustration at fighting a ticket (and that you got away because of a loop hole that raises the speed limit to X + 12 in maryland for cameras.).

The American justice system is based on "It's better to let 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent person be convicted." I guess this doesn't apply in traffic situations.

That was expressed once by a supreme court justice and in practice doesn't really work that way anyway (consider the revolution in DNA testing that has exonerated thousands).

WRT to traffic though? If you get a ticket from a camera for speeding and you weren't speeding (or even if you were speeding but there's a silly loophole that actually increases the speed limit on most roads) then there is a process for getting that revoked. It happens in thousands of towns every day. That's the justice system working and ensuring people aren't paying for crimes they didn't do. There's no constitutional guarantee for inconvenience in dealing with the justice system. And the safer our streets become as a result the less of a need to fill up courts with traffic cases.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 4:33 pm • linkreport

I see you refusing to admit that there have been multiple issues, not isolated incidents, regarding traffic enforcement programs all over the country. There have been documented instances of politicians receiving kickbacks, jurisdictions shortening yellow light cycles at the behest of the camera company, and people receiving citations in error with little or no recourse. The bizarre thing is that you don't care whether the cameras are operated properly so long as you feel "safe."

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:33 pm • linkreport

@Walkerinthecity

Even you admit that's an isolated incident. By contrast, there are many, many instances where the traffic camera companies have been accused of buying political influence. Why do you think the Feds are investigating Redflex?

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:41 pm • linkreport

"The bizarre thing is that you don't care whether the cameras are operated properly so long as you feel "safe." "

I wish I had a ten dollar bill for every time I have said I DO care that the cameras are operated properly. I have merely said I do not think the problems with that justify abolishing (or in Va, not having) the cameras. You are distorting my clear and repeated words.

Your rhetorical techniques are consistemt with those we have seen here before from speed camera opponents. They do not inspire respect.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:42 pm • linkreport

@Drumz

Just a note, you have no Constitutional "right" to feel safe, even in the suburbs. By contrast, I have a Constitutional right to Face my accuser. Under MD law I can request the presence of the individual who approved the ticket but he/she is not required to appear. How is this legal? Oh, right, MD calls them "civil penalties."

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:44 pm • linkreport

corruption connected to highway construction is far from isolated

http://www.oig.dot.gov/oversight-areas/criminal-investigations/contract-grant-fraud

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:45 pm • linkreport

Aaron Miller

Do think speeding is a problem in our region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:46 pm • linkreport

@Walkerinthecity

And yet you have offered no insight on how this can proceed, or any kind of oversight on the cameras or camera companies. You just advocate for more traffic cameras and the continued use of existing ones. Redflex, ATS, and others lobby heavily against any kind of oversight legislation in their industry. So does IIHS. Wonder why?

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:46 pm • linkreport

" Under MD law I can request the presence of the individual who approved the ticket but he/she is not required to appear."

If the civil penalties does not resolve the constitutional issue (IANAL) it would seem that could easily be resolved by changing Md law. No need to stop using traffic cameras.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:47 pm • linkreport

"And yet you have offered no insight on how this can proceed, or any kind of oversight on the cameras or camera companies."

The same way we exercise oversight over all other govt functions - legislative oversight (motivated by citizen complaint), the press, civil law suits, etc. Why is it we can over see our govt over all other issues, but this one technology makes oversight impossible?

" You just advocate for more traffic cameras and the continued use of existing ones. "

I do, as the contribute to safety.

"So does IIHS. Wonder why?"

I have never heard that IIHS lobbies against oversight of the industry. Link?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:50 pm • linkreport

Mr Aaron Miller

Do you think speeding is a problem in our region?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:50 pm • linkreport

Oh I admit that there are, "multiple issues, not isolated incidents, regarding traffic enforcement programs all over the country." !

Specifically the problem with enforcing laws that drivers violate that protect others' safety, such as stopping at crosswalks.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 4:51 pm • linkreport

"Just a note, you have no Constitutional "right" to feel safe, even in the suburbs."

You have no constitional right to drive over 10 MPH. Lets change the speed limits universally to 10MPH, and you can have your buffer and human only enforcement.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Feb 27, 2014 4:52 pm • linkreport

And yet you have offered no insight on how this can proceed, or any kind of oversight on the cameras or camera companies.

You could:
- Institute stricter requirements for vendors laid out in an RFI/RFP.
- appropriate money to do it through the police department rather than a private company (though this may be more expensive/require a higher fine).
- Reform the appeal process.
- require cameras be mobile so the person responsible for moving them also inspects for problems.
- literally any other suggestion that actually fixes a specific issue rather than diving into an argument about the rights of man.

Of course, to do all that you have to convince lawmakers.

Just a note, you have no Constitutional "right" to feel safe, even in the suburbs.

I'd say safe streets probably ties in with combo of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. For your other question you'd have to ask a lawyer but for now we can let the cameras run while that issue gets sorted out.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 4:55 pm • linkreport

@AM -so because in your view, If it's legal to intimidate people w/ your car it's ok to do so? You are entitled to do so?

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

@Drumz

And who do you think lobby against all of the above? Redflex, ATS, and others.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

We are talking about a system which can result in false accusations on an "industrial scale" (The Baltimore city Audit resulted in an estimated 70,000 wrongful accusations). You say you care, but when confronted by proof what constitutes a massive miscarriage of justice you just say such an argument "doesn't inspire respect". For all practical purposes constitutes supporting cameras even if they are used terribly wrong.

It really does sound to me like the author of this piece either is ignoring the proven fallibility of radar, and the proven indifference of DC officials (see the recent wtop story about how there have been hundreds of tickets overturned on appeals who never got their refunds), and just does not care that he is proposing something which would exacerbate the chances of innocent people getting tickets.

I wonder what portion of this comment the moderator will arbitrarily decide to delete?

by SBB on Feb 27, 2014 5:00 pm • linkreport

@Tina

You can put words in my mouth all you want but a crappy argument is still a crappy argument. I'm sure that many of the posters on here would feel perfectly safe if everyone drove 5 MPH at all times through their precious neighborhoods. Feeling safe is subjective, and you have no "Right" to it.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

@SBB

I've spend lots of time showing literally dozens of examples where thousands upon thousands of citations were issued improperly. Some people just prefer to pull a wool over their eyes and ignore all facts that don't support their view. The cameras give them a sense of feeling "safe", so they choose to ignore all facts because they like that warm and fuzzy "Safe" feeling.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 5:06 pm • linkreport

So let's not do anything because lobbyists will do it. In fact, that'll be for the best because then I can speed again.

Ok.

I'm sure that many of the posters on here would feel perfectly safe if everyone drove 5 MPH at all times through their precious neighborhoods.

Yes. Speed is the biggest factor in determining whether someone lives or dies if they're struck by a car. Therefore, it's reasonable to regulate the speed of cars on our streets.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 5:08 pm • linkreport

@AM- I didn't "put words in your mouth". I asked you a question. I asked if you think your right to speed, which you implicitly admit is intimidating to people walking, is more important than not intimidating people.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 5:13 pm • linkreport

And there's lots of evidence that the cameras reduce crashes. Surely we can keep the benefits and fix the problems.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 5:14 pm • linkreport

@Tina I never said I had a right to speed. The speed limit in my subdivision is 25 MPH. I drive around 15 MPH and constantly get dirty looks from parents. Sorry, but I have a right to drive there just as much as your kids have a right to play there. If you didn't want cars, buy acres of property in Potomac and put a gate around it.

@Drumz Evidence goes both ways. Not ALL traffic cameras reduce accidents, and in some cases it's been shown that the number of accidents has gone...up. The only consistent finding across the board is that the cameras have generated millions for cash strapped local governments.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 27, 2014 5:20 pm • linkreport

@Am-I never said I had a right to speed.

Well you sure implied it loud and clear w/ your multiple posts about the injustice of driving over the speed limit and getting a ticket for it. If you don't think you have a right to speed then why are you so defensive about getting speeding tickets?

If you didn't want cars

red herring. See my first comment. I make a concerted effort to NOT intimidate people with my car. You could too and still get where you're going. I encourage you to try it.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 5:26 pm • linkreport

So if reports are mixed then I'm fine with keeping them up to collect more data.

And you have a right to drive. The issue is that people see cameras as infringing on their right to drive how they like. This is true in the sense that it's easier for a camera to catch many more people than a cop can but we live in a society that internalized values that said it's more important to get somewhere quickly than it is to get there safely.

Part of that is why when you look at road death rates you'll notice that the United States ranks very poorly among developed countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

Bad infrastructure is partly to blame sure, but another reason is that penalties for bad driving are much less severe than other developed countries. Cameras can help balance that by enforcing the law more frequently if not more harshly.

by drumz on Feb 27, 2014 5:31 pm • linkreport

How faster, quieter, and more comfy can our aggregate vehicle fleet get before the maximum of "85% of the drivers' speed" can be reached?

And, if it's continually going up, does that mean we're all becoming much better drivers, decade over decade, and that figure is the definition of safety, no matter how much more crowded our roads are, no matter how many more hours in the day count as "rush hour" for so many of our towns and suburbs and cities?

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in a series of Dodge trucks. If you wanted to drive that thing 70mph you got a lot of road noise, wind noise, and all the comfort a grey vinyl bench seat on leaf springs could provide.

That was the kind of self-limiting feedback a vehicle provides the driver that is disappearing from our driving experience. When is that "85%" mantra going to reflect this?

by KadeKo on Feb 27, 2014 5:32 pm • linkreport

(PS I mentioned 70mph not intending to have that reflect on anyone's speed on arterial roads or school zones or anything. Rest assured that 45mph with 300 lbs of stuff in the bed in that truck was a much less pleasant, tractable, and comfortable ride than in, say, a 10 year old Tahoe with two adults in the back seat and some luggage in the way-back.)

by KadeKo on Feb 27, 2014 5:36 pm • linkreport

@KadeKo - Good point.

Injury/fatality risk for car occupants involved in a crash has gone down even as average speeds have gone up due to improved safety features in cars. However as the risk for injury to car occupants has gone down, its gone up for people walking.

Additionally, the injury rate for people walking is disproportionate, over represented. And whats more, the mode share of walking is greatly disproportionate to transportation funding for this mode.

All this blather about injustice of getting a speeding ticket---there is injustice in spades when one looks at walking.

by Tina on Feb 27, 2014 6:05 pm • linkreport

@jms or Matt: I was wondering whether town or or PG keeps revenues when a policeman issues a ticket. Speed cameras are very limited but police can ticket anywhere for 5mph over the limit. So why can't Greenbelt do that?

by JimT on Feb 27, 2014 11:40 pm • linkreport

@Aaron Miller: so you're one of those guys who drives slow in their own neighborhood and speeds through other people's. classy. at least you recognize that speed is dangerous around your own family?

by Mike on Feb 28, 2014 6:51 am • linkreport

@Mike I was TALKING about my own neighborhood. My subdivision has a speed limit of 25 MPH, I drive 15 MPH and still get yelled at and get rude hand gestures by parents. I have just as much a right to drive there as anyone else. If I'm operating my car legally, they have no right to be upset.

And I'm guessing you have never, ever, driven in excess of the speed limit, right? I mean, I'm guessing everyone here must be a perfect angel and NEVER breaks traffic laws, considering that many have labeled me the Antichrist for driving 39 MPH in a 35 MPH after Midnight when there were no pedestrians in sight. BTW the camera that issued the invalid citation was on Mass Ave in Bethesda near Westland Middle School. There are no bars, restaurants, etc which would have people walking late at night and it's a bedroom community so there was NO ONE out walking. If you are going to argue that I should have gotten the ticket simply because I was breaking the law, you should at least admit that the threat to public safety in that specific situation was more or less non-existent. And you should probably stop being a hypocrite and argue that although drivers must obey all laws to the T, local governments, pedestrians, bikers, etc. should be allowed to ignore any and all laws they find inconvenient.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 7:40 am • linkreport

@Tina

If MoCo wants to have these automated traffic enforcement systems they are REQUIRED to follow State Law regarding their implementation and use. I know it may come as a shock and inconvenience to you but following MD State Law is NOT optional. Here in the US, the accused have due process rights, and despite what you may desire, these rights do not disappear simply because one is dealing with a traffic case.

So, as I said, if MoCo is going to use these systems they need to follow proper state protocol and legislation. If local governments are going to:

A. Ignore State Law
B. Shorten yellow light cycles at behest of camera companies
C. Issue tickets improperly

Then they deserve to have these tickets fought, and fought hard. I personally volunteer my time and effort to friends (I'm actually thinking of starting a business) to beat these camera tickets, because I believe they are being used as revenue generators and not to increase safety. I'll continue my efforts.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 7:48 am • linkreport

Also, if the cameras are so fantastic, why have the camera companies lobbied heavily against any and all public referendums on their use? It's gotten so ridiculous that if anyone so much as voices simple opposition to the cameras, offended parents say they must be homicidal maniacs who are looking to speed race through neighborhoods and hit children. So I say let the voters decide.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 7:50 am • linkreport

yeah, yeah, you're dressing up your desire to speed in some sort of constitutional righteousness. I know that you were talking about your own neighborhood--you're very careful to drive there, but when you're in someone else's neighborhood you speed and shrug and say "it's late at night and why should I drive carefully just because people are tired and it's dark out" or "they shouldn't have been walking there anyway". (something heard a lot at the scene of fatal accidents.) you keep on fighting the good fight to put other people in danger, and we'll keep fighting the good fight to make sure you get fined while doing it.

did I speed when I was young and stupid? yes. a big part of that was the lack of social cues that it was an actual problem. I drive much more carefully now, in everybody's neighborhood, because I'm more aware of the consequences to others if I do not.

not particularly surprised you brought up bikes and pedestrians. yawn--wake me up when they start killing people in large numbers.

you may have missed the point of all this, but the point was that the state law was stupid and should be changed so that there's no morally indefensible "grace period" for speeding. so go on and keep arguing the law while others work on changing it to something that makes sense. as a wise man once said, "the law is an ass".

by Mike on Feb 28, 2014 8:18 am • linkreport

@AM .. I know it may come as a shock and inconvenience to you but following MD State Law is NOT optional.

You're the one getting speeding tickets and complaining about it, not me. I don't get speeding tickets. Seems like you're the one who feels inconvenienced by following the law.

by Tina on Feb 28, 2014 8:50 am • linkreport

"And I'm guessing you have never, ever, driven in excess of the speed limit, right?"

Interstates, and limited access highways, I tend to travel the prevailing speed in the slow or next-to-slow (if there's lots of entrance/exit action) lane -- that's often speeding, but there's no unarmored humans to kill, and given the risks of differing-speed accidents, that's probably the safest choice for everyone.

Surface streets, I make every effort to obey the posted speed limit, and usually do. I doubt I am ever more than five mph over, and when I notice that I am over, I slow down to the posted speed. I would certainly never defend my accidental speeding in residential areas as something I had a right to do -- it is, in fact, a danger to other people. And *if* I see people, I slow down. If I see people walking dogs, I slow down more. If I see children, I slow down more. I use these same rules passing people on the MUP on my bicycle.

In contrast, when riding a bicycle, I see absolutely nothing wrong with Idaho stops, even outside of Idaho. Same goes for jaywalking. It's not about "the law", it's about danger to others. On a bicycle, I am relatively harmless, even breaking traffic laws (this is especially true because I slow down around pedestrians, even though the law does not require it). Driving a car, however, *even legally*, I am a much larger hazard. Children sometimes step in the road, pedestrians stumble, people get confused and do stupid things. If not for my car, that ordinary human behavior would have been perfectly safe.

A whole lot of car culture is a culture of carelessness, and pretending that we can depend on people not accidentally stepping into the road, and how could anyone avoid the resulting crash? Or, we invent imaginary rules for how people "should" behave -- "I didn't see him, he was wearing dark clothing" -- as if pedestrians were expected to do more than the law requires, even as drivers assume that speeding one or four miles over is no big deal. Or "he should have been more careful" or "he should have seen that I could not stop" (translation: "watch out for me, I am breaking the law").

by dr2chase on Feb 28, 2014 8:53 am • linkreport

It's gotten so ridiculous that if anyone so much as voices simple opposition to the cameras, offended parents say they must be homicidal maniacs who are looking to speed race through neighborhoods and hit children.

Yes, this is a super-accurate description of the conversation that has been going on here.

by MLD on Feb 28, 2014 8:54 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Tina on Feb 28, 2014 8:56 am • linkreport

I wouldn't call cameras fantastic. I'd say they're necessary enough to note that we probably need them even if certain companies act solely in their own interest. That's disheartening but it's a problem that I think can be fixed while still letting the program do its job. To me that seems very balanced and reasonable, especially compared to the reasoning that says anyone who thinks cameras is a good idea and has ever broken the speed limit is a meritless hypocrite.

by drumz on Feb 28, 2014 9:12 am • linkreport

This is the last comment I will post on this subject. [Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

@Mike Again for the nth time, I NEVER said I had the right to speed. The only thing I was arguing was that the ticket was issued improperly. No gray area. It's MD state law. If a cop had issued the ticket it wouldn't be an issue. Do you believe that local governments should be allowed to ignore State Law if it isn't convenient or produces less revenue?

@dr2chase OK, so you DO admit to speeding. But you do it on freeways, so I guess that makes it OK. You have ZERO right to give me crap about going 4 MPH over at midnight when there were zero pedestrians around. And you even admit that you sometimes go less than 5 MPH over the speed limit on surface streets. I appreciate the honesty but again, don't give me crap about exceeding the limit by 4 MPH at midnight when you admit to doing the same thing. Take your sanctimonious nonsense and exit stage left.

@MLD I was using exaggeration to prove my point. I admitted that I was driving 4 MPH over the speed limit. I brought up that the ticket was issued improperly. Since then I've been called a bully, moron, accused of intimidating others with my vehicle (even though there was no one else around), and claimed that I deserve no respect. This was all because I complained that a ticket was issued improperly (which it was). Even more hilarious is that people admit they do the same yet somehow feel justified to lecture me about it.

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 9:27 am • linkreport

@Drumz I never said people who advocate for speeding cameras and have ever sped themselves are hypocrites. I'm calling people hypocrites because they gave me never ending crap for going 4 MPH over the limit at midnight, yet freely admit to going less than 5 MPH over the limit on surface streets themselves. They also freely admit speeding on the freeway.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 9:29 am • linkreport

This was all because I complained that a ticket was issued improperly (which it was).

No, it was because you used one improperly issued ticket to argue that the entire system is worthless and should be dismantled. Then when that was dismissed you branched out to drag in every piece of news on corruption surrounding traffic cameras that you could find.

by MLD on Feb 28, 2014 9:34 am • linkreport

It's not the amount of speeding. It's the insistence that driving 4 or 5 miles over the limit isn't "real" speeding which is part of an overall culture that says that drivers should have a bigger responsibility to themselves than to others on the road. And the insistence that since you were issued a ticket in error that the entire program is suspect. Compounded by the fact that the error is largely based on a loophole that makes one actually less likely to get a ticket than if they were drive by a cop doing 12mph over.

by drumz on Feb 28, 2014 9:37 am • linkreport

@Aaron Miller

You make my point quite nicely. By abstracting risk to "the law", you manage to make no distinction between speeding on the freeway, where the risk is shared more equally and where speed differential is a risk in itself, and speeding on surface streets, where the risk is disproportionately borne by others. What matters more to you: traffic rules, or traffic risk? The whole point of the original post is that the rules are not doing a good job of reducing risk; they give some risky behavior a pass.

And the purpose of all these speeding fudge factors is to allow people like me to make a brief mistake, correct it, and to carry on at the correct speed, usually without being ticketed, NOT to allow people like you to drive at posted+fudge-0.01mph without getting a ticket. The last time I had a speeding ticket, I was 16, and had been driving for all of a month or two. Since then, never even had to contest a speeding ticket. How about that?

One of the reasons that there are few pedestrians out at midnight is because it is less safe on the roads out at midnight. Your speeding is part of that increased risk. In even slightly rural areas, there's also more wildlife out late at night, so I wouldn't be that enthusiastic about speeding, unless you think that your car will be exempted from damage because the deer was jaywalking.

by dr2chase on Feb 28, 2014 9:45 am • linkreport

@Dr2Chase Multiple people on this forum (Drumz and Mike) chastised me because they claim that ANY kind of speeding infraction, no matter how severe, should be punished. You think that you are justified to speed in certain situations and openly admit to doing so. Drumz even admitted that there was probably less risk at Midnight but I should be punished nonetheless. The pro-camera people on here want to punish any and all speeding regardless of amount or circumstance. So using their arguments risk is irrelevant; if you were speeding you should get a ticket. Do you realize this?

@MLD Mulitple people esp. Awalkerinthecity claim that there are no widespread problems with traffic cameras and everything is just fine. I pointed out that in Louisiana, there has been corruption, in Baltimore there have been documented instances of shortened yellow light cycles, and there is a federal investigation against Redflex in 13 different states. But yes, please continue to live in ignorance and believe that the camera companies are acting in the public's best interest and not just trying to line their own pockets.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 9:57 am • linkreport

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by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 9:59 am • linkreport

Multiple people on this forum (Drumz and Mike) chastised me because they claim that ANY kind of speeding infraction, no matter how severe, should be punished.
No. Just that when someone is going 39 mph in a 35mph zone that is speeding. If you're going to talk about the injustice of a speeding ticket issued in error it helps to have not been speeding at the time. You got lucky though because of a loophole in the law that gives you better chances to avoid a speeding ticket with a camera than with a police officer.

by drumz on Feb 28, 2014 10:08 am • linkreport

@Aaron Miller -- notice how you say "You think that you are justified to speed in certain situations".

That's false. I don't think that. I speed on freeways because it would be less safe not to (because of speed differentials), but if I get a ticket, I get a ticket. The law's the law. The situation on surface streets is different -- sometimes I speed by accident, I try not to, but if I do get a ticket, it's not unfair, it's just that speeding tickets are very rare. And the issue there is not so much about the ticket, as it as about not being an antisocial selfish jerk and endangering people who have every right to be safe and feel safe.

Notice the difference with speeding at midnight. Speeding-as-the-Romans-do on the interstate reduces risk to others (risk would be even more reduced if we could all obey the speed limit together, but I don't get that choice). Speeding on residential streets always increases risk; at midnight, it just doesn't increase it as much. And yes, sometimes risk reduction means I don't drive, and bike instead.

I don't understand this line of argument that somehow speeding around people is okay, if you can find some crazy technicality to explain why a ticket should not have been issued. It's not. It endangers them, it intimidates them, it makes their life less pleasant. It is selfish behavior. We all sometimes make mistakes, but that does not mean that in fact mistakes are not mistakes, or that we should make a habit of not bothering to avoid mistakes (or worse, trying to make mistakes as often as possible, because someone somewhere made a mistake once, that must be okay).

by dr2chase on Feb 28, 2014 10:14 am • linkreport

@Aaron Miller: you seem unable to grasp the distinction between a limited access highway (where one can reasonably expect there to be no pedestrians) and a surface road (where one can not reasonably expect there to be no pedestrians--regardless of what time you think it's ok for people to be out and about). (I'm also frankly skeptical of your insistence that there's never anyone out at that hour, since you'd be unlikely to see them anyway driving too fast and mentally assuming they're not there.)

You also seem unable to post your last comment.

by Mike on Feb 28, 2014 10:16 am • linkreport

@Dr2Chase you claim that you never said you feel justified to speed in certain situations. You then say you speed on freeways because it would be unsafe not to do so. LOL, OK. BTW, in Maryland speed cameras have made it onto I-95 and when they were doing construction certain parts of the Beltway.

@Mike I never said there was never anyone out in that hour, I merely said that in my particular situation there was no one out. Rest assured that traveling at 39 MPH instead of 35 MPH (legal limit) does not completely diminish my ability to spot pedestrians. Also Dr2Chase freely admits he speeds up to 5 MPH on residential surface streets. You & several others are crucifying me for doing exactly that.

by Aaron Miller on Feb 28, 2014 10:23 am • linkreport

@Aaron Miller - I have no objection to speeding cameras on freeways. They'll reduce the aggregate speed to below whatever setting they use to spew tickets, and that's how fast I'll drive, speeding or not. I can see that you persist in not getting the point -- what is unsafe on the freeway is to travel at a speed that varies from the aggregate. Too much below or above that speed is unsafe. If the aggregate obeys the posted speed limit, then speeding is unsafe.

And I don't speak for anyone else, and Mike does not speak for me. I "freely admit" to sometimes making mistakes because I am human, and I attempt to correct them as soon as I can. You appear to freely admit to making mistakes as often as you think you can get away with it, with no regard to risk to others, only the laws that you can find to excuse your behavior, and you object when other people point out that your intentional mistakes are in fact, mistakes. There's a difference in our behavior.

by dr2chase on Feb 28, 2014 10:46 am • linkreport

If they are serious about speed cameras being more about pedestrian safety than a money maker, they should focus speed cameras more on the local pedestrian oriented roads in DC. I don't see a whole lot of them in the 20 mph neighborhood back roads, but I do usually see them on higher volume arterials away from the center city. The one on the way outbound as New York Avenue transitions to a freeway comes to mind. How is preventing people from transitioning from urban to freeway speed a priority?

by Chris Allen, PE on Mar 3, 2014 10:25 am • linkreport

I don't buy that. Every road has reasons why excessive speed in dangerous. I often see NY Ave. mentioned, as here--it has numerous curb cuts, lights and roads entering and exiting in relatively short order. And if I'm not mistaken, you are also saying that the speed limit in one direction, eastbound, should be markedly higher than in the other. That would tie speeds solely to driver expectations.

by Crickey7 on Mar 4, 2014 10:31 am • linkreport

I had an opportunity to sit down and write down a quick post with some references regarding the biased nature of the graphic.

http://washingtonwheelman.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-speed-of-vehicle-and-pedestrian.html

by Geof Gee on Mar 4, 2014 12:01 pm • linkreport

One reason I'd support at least SOME leeway before a speed camera ticket is issued: calibration (or lack thereof) of the camera. Case-in-point (albeit not a speed camera): I got pulled over the other day on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel....officer claimed I was going 78 MPH. My actual speed was 59 MPH.

by Froggie on Mar 5, 2014 8:19 am • linkreport

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