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Why I hate Traffic Enforcement Cams

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    This is my son's SUV but his wife was driving. He got a ticket it in the mail today. On the back of the form he is required to give the full personal information of the person pictured driving. Can they do that.

    Essentially it is like being forced to testify against a spouse which is not legal unless voluntary.

    The fine is $200

    They take four pictures: A close up of driver, close up of plate, vehicle entering intersection and vehicle in the intersection

    Note in the picture she had entered the intersection just .05 sec ( RTIME) after the light turned red. She would already have been past the light in the foreground and while turning left is she was looking left and not at the lights on the other side of the wide weird intersection.

    It would have been futile to stop at that point because she would have been left stranded in the intersection.

    I know of four other people who have been auto ticketed at this same intersection and all were turning left. Today I sat for about 30 minutes and watched the cameras flash six times and each time taking a shot of people turning left.


    A private company runs this operation and they get paid by how many tickets they generate.

    We also have speed cams. They give a driver 11 mph over the limit before snapping the pic??
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2008 #2

    Ben Niehoff

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    I see a red light and a car stopped behind a line that says "WAIT HERE". Where's the evidence?

    I think I see what went wrong. The actual "stop line" is beyond the crosswalk. Most people assume that the crosswalk is what delineates the intersection. And the general rule is that once your car has passed the crosswalk, you should drive all the way through (and moreover, if the light was yellow when you ENTERED the intersection, then it's legal to drive all the way across).
  4. Nov 21, 2008 #3

    Chi Meson

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    Is the "Wait here" zone for bicycles?
  5. Nov 21, 2008 #4


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    Since the brake lights are off, that means the car is moving. In any case, he did say they took four pictures.
  6. Nov 21, 2008 #5


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    Are you sure he wasn't given the choice to either identify the person or pay the fine himself?
    Unless there is a disturbing family situation going on there, it is more like a son testifying against his mother. There is no spousal priveledge in that relationship.
  7. Nov 21, 2008 #6


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    I'm pretty sure it's more like a husband testifying against his wife
  8. Nov 21, 2008 #7
    That "Wait Here" line is really bizarre; I've never seen anything like it. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that they added it with the explicit intention of using it along with the camera. I'd fight the ticket if I were you, because it is quite abnormal to make people stop after the crosswalk.
  9. Nov 21, 2008 #8
    I got one once. You could tell I have my brakes on, slowing down and considering stopping. You can also tell that someone RIGHT behind me is also going through. I distinctly remember the light turning red right as I crossed the line, and my looking in the rear view mirror and thinking... I can't stop because that guy tailgating me is going to plow into the back end of our only way of getting around with P! (The van is a wheelchair-equipped vehicle for our son P). Then the flash. I hoped it was THAT guy. But then... darn... if he had to push me through the light, couldn't he have been close enough to obscure my plates? I can only hope he got it too.

    My advantage... no front camera (if it's not you, you are supposed to turn the person in!)... and the van is in my husband's name (he has higher insurance anyways)... so he paid it! It wasn't a high ticket, the price of court fees would be higher, and the courts often aren't friendly anyways. While my husband reveled for a few days... he got it about a week later when he made a right turn on red.

    But... where is this guy when you need him again?

    I do agree this intersection looks fishy.
  10. Nov 21, 2008 #9
    It is really a screwed up intersection. The wait line is where people must stay while waiting to turn left on green. It prevents them from getting too far out into the into the 6 lane intersection.

    After the green thru light turns red a green arrow comes on.

    The actual line that is crossed to issue the ticket is a projected line from one opposing curb to the other. Essentially it it not marked or defined. You may say it is an imaginary line and they are hard to see.:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  11. Nov 21, 2008 #10


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    Traffic laws vary from place to place, so I can't really comment on this situation. Up here, you are supposed to enter the intersection on green for a left turn, then wait until there's no oncoming traffic and complete the turn, even if it means sitting through the amber and continuing on red.
    There is no 'wait' line defined, but you have to not block the path of other traffic such as a car facing you turning left across your lane. It's just a matter of common sense.
    In practice, though, usually the second and maybe even third car waiting behind will go through on the amber. Red light cameras don't target turn lanes.
    Also, you can always turn right on a red light, unless it is marked differently. I've seen about half a dozen signs prohibiting it in my entire life.
  12. Nov 21, 2008 #11
    It is apparent that the gal with the long blond hair driving the SUV is not my son. They demand to know the ,name, age, address and drivers license number of the driver.

    In Arizona a spouse does not have to testify against his/her wife/husband even in a murder trial.

    The citations are pay by mail only. They do not indicate on the form that there is a way to contest the citation.

    My big problem is with this particular intersection. They are generating thousands of citations in one particular manner. It is always northbound traffic turning left.

    The wait line is where people must stop while waiting for traffic to clear so that they can turn left on green. At least that is what people are doing. Now that I have read Chi Meson's post I am wondering about the bicycle issue.

    The speed is at the top of the photo 22 MPH. There was a three second Amber after the green arrow. She crossed the imaginary line .05 seconds after the red came on.

    I have a gut feeling that the WAIT line is confusing people.
  13. Nov 21, 2008 #12


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    Edward, maybe it's time that you look to local media for assistance. Is there a good consumer affairs/corruption/etc. investigative team at your favourite TV station or newspaper? They might be interested in taking this on.
    It worked here for changing the policies of a corrupt chain of parking lots.
  14. Nov 21, 2008 #13
    Google for a "fight that ticket" web site that applies to your jurisdiction. You may have grounds to contest it. There may also be procedural ways to skip the fine, something I benefited from some years ago. The rules were interesting. The ticket I got in the mail was legally nothing more than an "invitation" to pay a fine. I was not obligated to respond to it, and I didn't. I got a reminder months later, which was also to be ignored. Months later still, a sheriff hand-delivered an official ticket (as expected) which I had some months to officially contest. Months later I received an acknowledgment that I was contesting telling me that a court hearing would be scheduled to hear my argument. Months later I received a notice to show up at the given address in a few months to be heard. By the time I got there almost two years had past. An officer was at the door to collect all tickets and pardon anyone who bothered to show up on account that due process wasn't completed within reasonable time. Courts didn't have time to waste arguing over tickets back then.
  15. Nov 21, 2008 #14
    You're right I need to look into this and report it to local Chanel 9 news. They have a 9 On Your Side segment. I just read about an incident in Phoenix where the sensor that triggers the camera was placed too far out. They ended up having to refund over $9,000 in traffic fines.

    Most people use the crosswalk as a guide because it is the only visible reference point and the official "invisible line" (point of intersection entrance) at this intersection seems to be at least a car length past the cross walk.

    The light turned red just .05 seconds before the picture was taken. She would have been looking at a yellow light as she passed over the crosswalk.
  16. Nov 21, 2008 #15


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    I'd really like to know the wording of the ticket because a little quick research confirms what I said: they typically don't care who pays the ticket. It is up to the owner of the car to choose whether to pay it themselves or provide the info on the driver.

    After all - what happens in a car is the responsibility of the owner of the car.
    Sorry, misread what you said. Thought it was your wife driving your son's car.
  17. Nov 21, 2008 #16


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    Good luck with it, Edward. We're all for traffic safety, but this just stinks of being a scam. Keep us posted with your progress.
  18. Nov 21, 2008 #17


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    Exactly, the car isn't stopped, it is moving. Doesn't it say the vehicle is going 22 mph?
  19. Nov 21, 2008 #18


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    That's what I thought, but my daughter was ticketed for entering an intersection while the light was YELLOW, and the light turned red while she was almost completely through the intersection, this was a huge intersection with 8 lanes.

    Edward, that would have to be a criminal case, not a traffic ticket. And he's not testifying against her anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  20. Nov 21, 2008 #19


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    I think it applies in both cases. Did you view the video in the Why you shouldn't talk to cops thread?

    Edward, I'd recommend contacting a lawyer about it. If it's taking a photo before you've actually entered the intersection and are at a line that says "Wait Here" it has no evidence the light was run. And if their only way of identifying the driver is to have someone rat them out, then again, they don't really have evidence they are issuing the ticket to the right person. What if the registered owner doesn't know who was driving it? For example, they have a spouse and two kids all with keys to the vehicle and permission to drive it and are all on the insurance as drivers? If you don't know who was driving it any particular day or time, how could you respond to that?

    That entire intersection looks like it's meant to be a trap of some sort. Can you even see the light in the picture from the Wait Here line?

    Or, can you argue it with physics? You have the calculated speed of the vehicle and the time from passing the light...is the distance traveled consistent with running the light or being past it before it turned from yellow to red? You need to get the distance between the light and line to finish the calculation.
  21. Nov 21, 2008 #20
    I got one of these when I was in the company truck. My boss waited about 2 minutes before filling out all the information on me and sending it back.
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