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A Christmas present from the state of Ohio


Mike Self

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A few days ago our governor signed into law a bill that will effectively make speed and red light cameras uneconomical in Ohio.  They're not banned, but in order for a governmental body to issue tickets from the cameras' photos, a police officer must be present to witness the violation, stop the violator and write the ticket.  

 

There has been a battle in the state for several years as to whether these cameras actually promoted traffic safety or were simply a source of revenue, with local governments splitting the take 50-50 with the Arizona company who owns the cameras.  Cities and towns are bitterly disappointed with the new law as they were raking in millions of dollars state-wide with 'em.  Now they'll have to go back to writing tickets the legal way...

 

So if you have these things in your state and think they're more for revenue than traffic safety, get a copy of the Ohio law and send a copy to your local state representative.  Bet you'll find a legislator who's gotten one (or more) of these mail order tickets and wants to do away with 'em.

 

cheers from Ohio

 

mike

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Mike:  I think that law won't be good for another 90 days, so it won't help me much for my ticket from Cheshire.  I spoke with an attorney for the heck of it (I'm entitled to that because I paid my $12 OU student legal services fee!), and modified a letter I found elsewhere that had everything about 5th and 6th amendment rights, and sent it off to them.  We'll see what they say.

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Who's running red lights? A $500 ticket is fair in my opinion.

Where I run into the problems with these cameras is the fines. The fine for being caught by the camera is almost double the fine if an officer were to ticket you. I have not received one, but that doesn't seem right.

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The fine for being caught by the camera is almost double the fine if an officer were to ticket you.

 

It's not right.  Red light violations and the penalties should be studied more and enforced so that drivers think to use their brakes instead of the gas pedal.  I cringe every time I see a car run a red light. The potential for death and destruction is huge.  A little like Russian Roulette.

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Im not a red light runner, but Ive had numerous times where I'm loaded up with a trailer etc (in my truck) where trying to get the truck stopped without being in the intersection isnt possible, or when traffic is slow and you think you can make it through the light but traffic stops etc where an officer can make a better judgement than the camera can. So Im not a fan of them....

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I get the truck/trailer issue.  I've seen first hand where a loaded semi can't slow fast enough, and they are usually going a moderate speed and even sometimes blast the horn in warning.

 

A lot of our intersections now have walk/wait signs where the wait has a countdown.  Kinda cool.  When it hits 0, there's a delay and then the light turns yellow.  It helps with the decision to slow or continue on. 

 

I, too, have been cruising when the light turns yellow and it's a toss up of either hard braking or clearing the intersection.  Occasionally I've caught a moment of red before I'm clear.  I think that is a debatable/arguable infraction.

 

BUT it's those guys that aggressively run a full red where the hand of God should come down and shake the living daylights out of them.  IMHO.

 

I guess we might be getting an "off topic" warning shortly.

 

Stay safe.

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My ticket isn't for a red light, it's for 46 in a 35 in a village with only 130 people left in it.  

 

It's more like a 40/60 split of money, with 40% going to city and 60% going to some company in Cleveland or Maryland.

 

Yeah red light running is stupid and dangerous.  Sometimes though when I'm in my truck with a load and 4 wheel drums and no power assist, and it turns red right as I'm approaching and no one is coming....  well, it makes more sense to keep going.  Oh, I can stop if I want, but those things are gonna lock up tight and screech all the way through and make an ass of myself.

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Certainly understand the red light issues, and if these were red light cameras, probably would not have been on the ballot. However, generally believed they were used as speeding cameras and revenue generators, period. Cleveland received $6M per year from these!

I think they have been disabled in Cleveland, except where an officer is present.

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Im not a red light runner, but Ive had numerous times where I'm loaded up with a trailer etc (in my truck) where trying to get the truck stopped without being in the intersection isnt possible,

 

as another person who frequently drives a large truck and trailer combo....

it is my duty to know that i have a large load and that i cannot stop as fast as i could in a car.  i have to look way ahead and anticipate light changes and slow traffic to make sure i can stop before the intersection.  no excuse for me ending up in an an intersection or running red lights.

 

run a red light and hit someone crossing with the green and guess who will be at fault.....

 

just a thought.... drive safe everyone.

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As a pedestrian, the red light cameras are appreciated.  Before the cameras, it was flat out dangerous crossing a multilane intersection.  Drivers seem to have a problem applying the brakes solid enough to stop at the stop line.  Some come to a stop with the rear bumper over the stop line.  Cameras came along and suddenly those brakes work good.

Seem like the pocket book is a stronger influence to stop properly than a human life.

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I understand that this is a sensitive topic. Running a red light is one thing, but enforcing every speed limit according to a posted sign, is another in my opinion. I recently received a ticket driving home late at night. The officer was hidden completely out of sight, and strategically placed at a part of the road where the speed limit diminished, without any change in Lane spacing or additional physical parameters. There was very little traffic, and I was driving a safe speed at which this section of freeway normally operates all day long when I commute on it. The officer said that no one would receive any forgiveness or  consideration.

To me this was clearly all about revenue generation, not safety.  Many of our American freeways were designed with speed limits of up to 80 miles an hour in mind. That was in the 1950s and 60s. Modern machinery stops better, handles better, and is infinitely safer than when many of our freeways were designed. I fail to understand why I can drive safely across Sweden, Norway, England, Spain, Greece, Germany, parts of France, and most of Europe at significantly higher rates of speed, than in the United States .    I don't like, but understand suffering the fine, however, the increase in insurance rates when you have multiple cars is painful. Additionally, in my state you cannot just insure yourself to drive any car, you have to insure every vehicle, whether it is a motorcycle, trailer, old BMW, daily driver whatever. To me driving safely is very important, and I try to get my Yaya's out on the track. Revenue generation by the local police is not necessarily the same thing as promoting public safety.

If you consider that a for-profit company gets a significant part of this fine, that becomes a disturbing philosophical point, for me. This is a capitalist moneymaking process predicated on  intellectual concepts, i.e  what is a safe speed limit, and then the subsequent enforcement of that law.  I also find it interesting that you may receive several letters from attorneys in the jurisdiction where you get your ticket, looking for your business.

(some of us will remember the nationwide 55 mile an hour speed limit from the oil embargo days of the 1970s. ) It is also the significantly increased money taken in by insurance companies which becomes an disturbing issue for me. If the vast majority of of drivers are safely ignoring the speed limit, which is the case of 99% of the people I travel with on the road every day to work, then the justifyability of that law becomes a Point of contention. I offer my apologies if I have offended any of our FAQ BMW brothers who may be attorneys, sell insurance, or work as police.

In summary- Mike thank you so much for passing the good news about your state, it makes me happy  Ohio has put a limit on this sort of activity. Forgive my going on about this, getting a ticket just sticks in my craw.   Peter

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Thankfully, my ticket from the speed camera in Ohio says that it will not go against the insurance, and is treated more like a parking ticket.  That's probably because they already know that they are illegal (6th amendment, right to face accuser), and don't want to push it further into more court fights.  They just want a bigger portion of people to think its no big deal to send $100 and be rid of it.  

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