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Menlo Park RFP - Red Light Photo Enforcement System

Original post made by DC McGlynn, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Mar 1, 2019

Now is is the time to complain to the City of Menlo Park re Red Light Cameras. IF they really were about safety alone they would have no objection to allowing 100% of money collected to be donated to local vetted Charitable Causes .. not paying toward the near $10m it costs to run the Police Dept. in Menlo Park.

Press hard, you're making 4 copies !

DC McGlynn, Menlo Park


Bid Title: RFP - Red Light Photo Enforcement System
Category: Menlo Park Requests for Proposals and Qualifications
Status: Open

Description:
The City of Menlo Park is soliciting proposals from qualified firms or corporations to provide for the design, implementation, maintenance and operation of a turnkey traffic-control signal photo-violation monitoring system capable of detecting and recording red light violations, including the support services to process citations for the city of Menlo Park, California. The proposal for the Red Light Photo Enforcement System shall consist of providing all equipment, personnel and support services required for automated enforcement of red light violations in conjunction with input from City departments.
Publication Date/Time:
3/1/2019 3:00 pm
Closing Date/Time:
3/15/2019 3:00 pm
Contact Person:
William A. Dixon, Commander
Related Documents:
RFP - Red Light Photo Enforcement

Comments (50)

39 people like this
Posted by NO cameras
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 1, 2019 at 5:41 pm

There is no data to support the effectiveness of the cameras already installed in MP.

It is all about soaking the citizenry.


21 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"There is no data to support the effectiveness of the cameras already installed in MP."

There was no data supporting their installation in the first place. Installed at intersections that had zero history of red light runner collisions. It's just a way to tax Menlo Park citizens and NON-citizens as much of the traffic on ECR is through traffic. Easy pickings. There is no reason for these cameras and never was. They should be gone. Don't hold your breath though. Governments become addicted to funding sources like these.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 1, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Lawbreaker has no basis for his allegation that others, whom he does not even know, are breaking the law.

A person who supports the First Amendment is not therefore an anarchist.


1 person likes this
Posted by Lawbreakers Among Us
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2019 at 7:20 pm

[Post removed; attacking other posters violates terms of use.]


4 people like this
Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 1, 2019 at 8:59 pm

No data? Wanna look at my hospital bills?

Care to let me show YOU pedestrian how me running a Red is just getting a slap on the wrist, while YOU have pain and disability for the rest of your life?
While I sleep well ever after. as my insurance fights You for every cent and dime of pain and suffering?

I got some strong opinion words for those scofflaws who got caught breaking the law and then run their entitled big mouth citing the First. Garbage for sure.


18 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 8:51 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Pedestrian:

the city has NEVER presented any data supporting the need for red light cameras where they are currently located. Ever. Can you provide supporting data beyond your single instance?


16 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 8:54 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Law breakers among us:

You don't know me, so you don't know what you're talking about. I don't run red lights. I simply object to the government collecting what amounts to taxes without actually having to go through the proper process of enacting a tax.


43 people like this
Posted by Boxer
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 8:06 pm

I sure hope these cameras catch all the bicyclists that run the red lights. I’ve had enough of those who have no regard for safety. Bicyclists Cote the law whenever it’s in their favor and the turn around and break it (and flaunt it) whenever they feel like it. Time for bicyclists to wear DOT safety gear as well.


8 people like this
Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:55 pm

Menlo Voter:
We all know that City and Police really don't care about pedestrian/ cyclist injuries (most red-lights are not fatal and it's small money and private litigation - he/she said).

Boxer:
We all know that the same entitled people driving, very often also ride bicycles (especially around Woodside).

There are laws that regulate what "safety features" cyclists have to carry on their bikes. I agree that they are ridiculously inadequate for a civilized society.

I find your suggestion that all pedestrians/cyclists should be forced to wear DOT gear absurd and certainly unconstitutional.

Given who operates the deadly weapon, I think it'd make more sense if drivers would be required to have their eye-sight checked every year by an eye-care professional when renewing their registration. I certainly do.

Seeing all the blind spots people have around here, I'd be not surprised if many would fail such a check-up.


33 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 3, 2019 at 9:55 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

pedestrian:

thank you for confirming my point. There is ZERO data indicating these RLC's are needed or effective where they have been placed. They are a money grab, pure and simple.


24 people like this
Posted by Arthur
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2019 at 8:11 pm

Red light camera is a money grab by MPPD. The vast majority are for right turn on red without a full stop. These turns do not impact anyone including pedestrians as the cross traffic green left turn signal prevents bikes and pedestrians from crossing anyway. There should actually be a green right turn at the intersection instead of ticketing a safe right hand turn.
No surrounding city feels like this is a problem but somehow it is a problem here. Get rid of it and anyone at the City that is in favor of punishing unsuspecting drivers with this modern day "speed trap" you'd only expect to see in a rundown town in the middle of nowhere to pay for Boss Hogg's extravagant expenses.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 3, 2019 at 9:29 pm

If you want a solution for both sides, read on.

In Australia, they have red light camera boxes at a large number of intersections. Sounds terrible, right?
But, wait... they only put cameras into about 10% of the boxes. Then they move the cameras around.
So... it clearly isn't about the revenue (because 90% of the boxes are non-operative at any time). What it *does* do is get a very high compliance rate by drivers.

Simple. But it takes effort on the part of city employees... so, um, yeah... there's that.


9 people like this
Posted by Boxer
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:30 am

@ped - I said BICYCLISTS should wear DOT approved safety gear for their benefit, not pedestrians. Also, to suggest drivers operate a murder weapon on the road implies they would be trying to hurt somebody. Now that is absurd. Just ask the residents of Woodside, many if not most feel they are put in dangerous/risky situations while LEGALLY operating their vehicle when a bicyclist ILLEGALLY runs a red light and are very concerned that ANYONE could get hurt.


14 people like this
Posted by Been There
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Been There is a registered user.

I just read a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that it is not enforceable to charge excessive fines. We will soon see if $490 for a slow roll through a red light is excessive in the court's view. It should be.
BTW I have never gotten a ticket from a red light camera but have heard of drivers making $12/hour getting stuck with this fat fine. That is over week's wages, before taxes.


11 people like this
Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm

You have only to stand at one intersection (Sand Hill/ECR, not in Menlo Park) to observe that either red light cameras or some other kind of enforcement is needed.


7 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Rolling right turn under 2mph when safe to do so should be legalized. That would get rid of most of the abusive tickets.


11 people like this
Posted by ABC
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 4, 2019 at 6:53 pm

I don’t get why ppl whining about “data” ?
Try to follow traffic rules and everything eill be ok.
Unfortunately there are soo many ..... who does not care about anything including life of other around.
If you want a “data” - go find someone who lost his frien or family member in trafic accident and ask his/her opinion regarding cameras.
I personally know one family.... they lost son on intersection. No cameras. No hope...

Cameras may not prevent but definitely will help to resolve problems.


5 people like this
Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Cars are classified as lethal weapons when operated outside and against the law.
Running a red at a speed able to injure pedestrians/cyclists (euphemistically called rolling), is against the law.
Other than that, this kind of behavior violates several of the most basic social rules of human co-existence.

I am done, it smells in here.


24 people like this
Posted by Sammy Varr
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Completely a money grab, without any compelling evidence that they are actually useful or needed.


5 people like this
Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm

Sammy Varr Stand at the intersection of Sand Hill and ECR for half an hour and then tell me that red light cameras are not needed because nobody runs red lights.


24 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Robert Cronin:

If they're needed at the corner of Sand Hill and ECR, why aren't they there? Because Palo Alto doesn't use them? The MP cameras are within the city of MP at intersections that had no red light running collisions prior to their installation.


8 people like this
Posted by Bull C
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:34 pm

For all of you people whining about a “money grab,” why don’t you put your efforts into changing the law instead of complaining about enforcement. All the camera is doing is enforcing the California Vehicle Code. The red light cameras companies didn’t make any of this up. You all learned the rules in driver’s ed. Here you go:

21453. (a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision (b).

Since you feel it is unfair that you have to stop at a red light, change the law. Or maybe lobby to say if you’re turning right you shouldn’t have to stop but just slow down. Why should anything inconvenience you? Or maybe put in a personal exemption for yourself.

Or maybe just stop at a red light before proceeding, and stop whining that breaking the law costs money.


7 people like this
Posted by Bull C
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Menlo Voter wrote: “I simply object to the government collecting what amounts to taxes without actually having to go through the proper process of enacting a tax.”

By this logic no criminal or civil offense should have a financial penalty to it, because it was not addressed and passed as a tax. They don’t ticket random cars in the intersection, only those that break the laws of the state. Because you were not caught by a live person, is the infraction different? Should you get a pass for crimes with no officer witnessing? What about a speeding ticket given by an officer? A ticket for parking in a Handicapped space? How about if you’re stopped for rolling through a red light by a live officer? Do you object to that fine as an un-enacted tax? Or maybe the state forgot to ask you which laws and penalties were permissible?


6 people like this
Posted by Bull C
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Or maybe the city should have to let a few people die in the intersection before they enforce the law. You know, collect some hard data. Clearly having a law on the books doesn’t cross your threshold. Would that pass your muster?


2 people like this
Posted by NO cameras
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Bull - by your logic, let's have a camera at every corner, correct? Who cares if there is compelling evidence that it's needed!!

Also: please don't confuse the rest of us with the one poster who wants rolling 'stops'.


6 people like this
Posted by Bull C
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Clearly people are rolling through the red light because a lot of people are getting tickets. If there is a mechanism on every corner to detect people rolling through red lights in ok with that, because I don't break the law. Only people who break the law complain about getting caught.


8 people like this
Posted by NO cameras
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:35 pm

"If there is a mechanism on every corner... in (sic) ok with that..."

Happy for you, but I'm not okay with that kind of expense and intrusion, as well as other reasons; none of which involve concerns for my own stellar, legal driving.

MP had no compelling evidence for placing cameras on those corners, other than to generate revenue.


44 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

bull:

what an apt name as you're full of it.

What no cameras said: "MP had no compelling evidence for placing cameras on those corners, other than to generate revenue."

If there had been ANY data indicating these intersections were hazardous before the cameras were installed I'd have a different opinion. There was no such data and there's zero data indicating they are needed now. With all of the tickets issued one would think that there was a huge problem and that would be evidenced by crashes at these intersections. BUT, there are none. This is a money grab by the city pure and simple.

And seriously, reconsider your handle. It's really offensive. Of course, you probably don't care, so, never mind.


3 people like this
Posted by editors
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 7, 2019 at 10:07 am

Editors: seriously - Menlo Voter is correct, allowing the poster to amplify a name with such racist overtones is too much. Please delete/change the name, or remove the posts.

[Editor's note: Menlo Voter and editors, we don't usually alter the pseudonyms posters use, but you're right: A poster to this thread has been using an offensive pseudonym, and it's now changed.]


43 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 7, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Here is my objection: I watched a pickup truck cut off the driver ahead of me in the middle of the intersection. She had no choice but to stop to avoid hitting him. The light turned red, she was stuck in the intersection and the red light camera flashed. I'm sure she got the $491 ticket in the mail. She did nothing wrong. This seems very unfair.


24 people like this
Posted by Bernie Madoff
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Menlo has all the data they need to use red light cameras. They want the money, End of story. Did you really think they did it for the safety? Come on, who is that naive? It’s all about the money, and that’s why they won’t go away. Because at the end of the day the money buys things and whiners don’t.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 10, 2019 at 8:27 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Preach it Bernie.


5 people like this
Posted by Steve Taffee
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Let's step back for a moment. Many people complain about traffic problems, poor driving habits, and uneven enforcement of traffic laws.

Menlo Park Police Department has a limited number of traffic enforcement officers, and besides normal traffic duties, they are often asked to provide extra attention to areas in the city that citizens complain about.

Technology such as red light cameras and vehicle speed monitors are two systems that objectively record events and are programmed to issue citations when vehicles appear to break a law. So if you are afoul of red light code, which includes failure to enter an intersection on red or to clear an intersection within the allotted time.

(“A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line…before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown."; "Yellow light duration must “meet the criteria” set by CalTrans in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) under VC 21455.7 )

Citations may be challenged in traffic court, of course. So If you think the machine made an error or there were mitigating circumstances that should allow your law-breaking to be set aside, you can go to court.

I understand that it is frustrating to get an expensive ticket. Yet it is likely that you committed an infraction and it seems reasonable that if you commit an infraction you face a consequence and, hopefully, become a better, safer and more mindful driver.

A separate issue is the conduct of companies with whom the city contracts to provide automated enforcement of traffic laws. Part of the due diligence is the consideration of each bidder's business history including the accuracy of their devices, cost, and the revenue sharing arrangements, and ethical business practices.

Finally, what is done with revenues derived from all traffic citations is a third issue. There is an argument to be made that to prevent perverse incentives to write more tickets that revenue should not flow to the police department. I would argue that revenues from technology-generated citations should be treated no differently than those issued by police officers.

Steve Taffee


Like this comment
Posted by NO cameras
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Steve: by your logic, we might as well have cameras at every corner, right?


3 people like this
Posted by looking on
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:28 pm

I too want the red light cameras removed. Wouldn't it be nice for a change to have a council do something for it citizens, rather than just push more development with its terrible traffic congestion on us.

It is not only the $490 fine, but then your insurance rates go crazy. Loss of a safe driver discount was going to raise rate $600 every 6 months for 3 years. Had to go through traffic school to get this reversed.

These cameras must be removed.


30 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Steve:

If one is 1 second late on the light they get a ticket. Yet, common sense tells you that isn't really dangerous as no one is going to be starting across the intersection in cross traffic. Especially, since there is a 1 to 2 second lag between a red in one direction and a green in the cross direction. An officer observing this can exercise his or her judgement as to whether it was actually dangerous. A camera can't do that.

Not to mention the vast majority of these tickets are for "rolling right turns" which have very low collision risk.

In addition, there was no data to support the NEED for these cameras where they were placed. ZERO history of collisions from red light violations.

These cameras were installed to make money for the city, nothing else. They need to go until there is a demonstrated need for them.


7 people like this
Posted by Steve Taffee
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:48 pm

@ Menlo Voter. Let's suppose for a moment that the city did this to make money. I don't think personally that was the sole motivation, but let's go with it.

The next question might be along the lines of is this an ethical means of raising revenue? Who is being harmed and who benefits? How much money are we talking about? To what purposes are the funds being put? Cities do many things to make money. IS there something inherently wrong morally, ethically, legally about red light cameras? This is a conversation worth having but it seems as if some people have come to judgment. I'd like to hear arguments pro and con. Perhaps these were had when the cameras were first introduced and I missed them and now, with several years of experience and data, it is time to re-evaluate.

@No Cameras. Of course, we don't want cameras at each intersection. But let's say that the city had an unlimited budget for traffic patrol officers and placed on at every corner. Their job was to enforce the law without favoritism. But as they are humans, it becomes clear that some officers are more lenient than others, and after awhile citizens are outraged that officer X is a hard ass and never gives anyone a break and officer Y is known to look the other way at rolling stops or lets her friends off with a warning but not anyone else. What;'s the better situation for the citizen?

The point I am trying to make is that the cameras just provide data, not judgment. Officers provide judgment, but it can be fallible or inconsistent.

We should, I think, try to find ways to use technology as part of traffic enforcement and the data they provide can be used by people (all red light violations are reviewed by a MPPD traffic officer before a citation is sent) and if a citizen still feels mistreated, there's a means to address it.

Let's not assume ill-will on the part of the city or the police department. Let's instead engage and try to come to common ground.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Boomer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I like that idea that "the city should have to let a few people die in the intersection before they enforce the law"! Thanks to "Menlo Voter." and others for speculating wildly on governmental motives, so as to not even potentially inconvenience motorists like me that have someplace to be. See you guys at the Ayn Rand Peninsula Fan Club meeting?


23 people like this
Posted by whocares
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm

Red light cameras do NOT improve safety.
"we examined all police-recorded traffic accidents...hundreds of thousands of accidents. We found no evidence that red light cameras improve public safety. They don’t reduce the total number of vehicle accidents, the total number of individuals injured in accidents or the total number of incapacitating injuries that involve ambulance transport to a hospital."
Web Link

What does improve safety? Increasing the length of the yellow light.
In Fremont there was a mess up with the yellow light timing, and at the same intersection going from a 4 to a 4.7 second long yellow decreased red light running as caught by red light cameras by over 90% (177 to 17). A huge safety gain for 0.7seconds.
Web Link

Is it moral? I don't know the case in Menlo, but it has happened (eg in Fremont) that as a camera was installed the yellow light time was decreased to CA minimums in order to maximize tickets. Decreasing safety to increase money. That is immoral.



12 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2019 at 7:42 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Steve:

" is this an ethical means of raising revenue? "

NO it is not. It is effectively a tax that has been instituted without following the legal requirements to implement such a tax. If the city wants to implement a fee they can put it on the ballot and if there's a 2/3 majority that agree with it, then it gets implemented. With the cameras, the city has simply gone around the legal requirements. That's unethical. Especially, since the cameras aren't needed to begin with.


16 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2019 at 7:47 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Boomer:

The likelihood of "deaths" at these intersections, given there were zero red light running collisions at these intersections prior to the cameras being installed, is not likely. In other words, there was no demonstrated need for these cameras prior to their installation. The cameras can't be said to improving safety when a case couldn't even be made that they were needed to begin with. These cameras are a money grab by the city pure and simple.


3 people like this
Posted by Safe driver
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:58 am

YES YES YES!!!
Finally, an actual PENALTY for traffic law breakers. I'm 100% in support of these.
Lets get more!


6 people like this
Posted by NO cameras
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:30 am

> YES YES YES!!!

The question asked above (one notes, usually without response) is: why have these moneymakers at *these* intersections, when there is zero evidence of previous red light related collisions at these intersections?

> I'm 100% in support of these.

By extension, does that mean you support cameras at ALL intersections, despite any evidence that they improve safety?

In other words, have you even *read* the replies?


2 people like this
Posted by MP_Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm

If you really want to weigh in on Menlo Park's red light cameras, the best way is to email the City Council at this address: city.council@menlopark.org. All emails go to the City Council email log and there is a grand total of one communication on this topic to date (Web Link).


26 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Brian is a registered user.

It is time to eliminate the cameras. As been pointed out several times, there is no data indicating that these intersections had a problem before the cameras or that the cameras have had any beneficial impact. The company that installs them is there to make money, even if they need to do so illegally. The CEO has been indicted at least twice for bribing officials to use their system. Sure Menlo Makes money from this as well, which is probably why the previous city council voted for them. I am hopeful that the new council will decide to eliminate them completely and possibly ass more human resources to monitor intersections and issue citations. These would be resources, either police officers or traffic officers, that can more to trouble areas and can use their judgement.

As for people who want to argue on opinion without data or attack others, I hope you realize it takes away from anything useful that you might actually have to contribute.


4 people like this
Posted by wcs
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 13, 2019 at 7:16 pm

A lot of interesting info in this Menlo Park red light camera study. I originally found it on our city website, but it's posted with many other studies on saferstreetsla.org under the 'Reports' menu. See the 'Violator Characteristics' excerpt below.

"A Detailed Analysis of the Red Light Camera Program in Menlo Park, CA"
By Jay Beeber, Executive Director, Safer Streets L.A., Member ITE

Data collection began in 2008. The study uses data from 2005-2011:
Data from Bayfront Expressway at Willow
Data from El CAmino Real at Glennwood & Valparaiso
Data from El Camino at Ravenswood and Menlo Ave

Violator Characteristics:
The staff report suggests that since 97% of violators cited for RLC violations are one-time offenders, this indicates that driver education is occurring. However, being caught by a red light camera is a somewhat random event as the vast majority of violations are inadvertent, occurring in the first fraction of a second after the light turns red. Therefore, most citizens who are issued red light camera tickets have otherwise clean driving records and are relatively safe and conscientious drivers. The red light camera ticket is likely the only ticket they have received in decades of driving and odds are it will be their only ticket for many years to come. Therefore, it is to be expected that first time violators make up the bulk of the red light camera citations issued and it is extremely unlikely that this indicates that driver education is occurring. However, if drivers are being educated, they are likely learning a lesson other than that which is intended. First, drivers hit with a $500 fine for being a fraction of a second late crossing the limit line or for making a slow rolling right turn learn to distrust the police and the government officials which have imposed this enforcement scheme upon them. Next, drivers learn to avoid the cities which use this heavy handed form of excessive traffic enforcement. Finally, drivers learn to avoid the intersections where photo enforcement is present or to speed up or slam on their brakes when faced with the onset of the yellow phase when they are near the “indecision zone” on their approach to the intersection. None of these “lessons” are necessarily beneficial to society, but they are being taught to drivers in the hundreds of thousands every year in California.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve Taffee
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:01 pm

@ Menlo Voter

I don't follow the logic of fines for traffic citations being a tax. Do you extend this argument to other traffic citations such as drunk driving, speedings, reckless driving, and so on or is it reserved for redlight violations. How about red light violation citations issued by a police officer? Help me understand how traffic tickets and resulting fines are a tax.

Would you have the citizens of Menlo Park vote on all traffic laws or just the ones you disagree with? Again, trying to follow the logic. You're clearly worked up about this, so help me understand your perspective. Tks.

steve taffee


22 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 14, 2019 at 9:07 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Steve:

It's a "tax" because it's indiscriminate. It also has zero value as an enforcement tool. Officers issuing citations or arresting DUI's is totally different. There is an officer involved an there is judgement and discretion involved. There is NONE with these RLC's. See the post by wcs above. There is no value in RLC's. In fact the effect of RLC's is negative. They don't prevent red light running and, in fact, do nothing more than generate money for the city while creating distrust among citizens. The revenue is a defacto tax and the distrust of our government is an overall negative that offsets any income generated for the city. These cameras need to go.


27 people like this
Posted by They worked for me
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 15, 2019 at 5:25 am

I work in the Newark area and there are a number of RLC around. I got "flashed" once when I rolled a red light but apparently it was not worthy of a citation because i never got a ticket. That said I now ALWAYS make sure I come to a full stop before making the right, and I see others taking the same precautions of coming to a definite and full stop, easily seen as different than other red lights in town.

Just adding some real life experience and local flavor. They sure as shoot have people acting more alert and vigilant at those intersections compared to those w/out RLCs.


17 people like this
Posted by Fremont, CA
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm

I can also attest to the behavior changing RLCs. If you want to see it with your own eyes, go to the intersection of Stevenson and Cherry in Fremont any morning or evening.
Red light runners are the norm, many times 3 and 4 cars go through making a left.
Just up the road at the intersection of Cherry and Mowry is a camera intersection. NOOOOOBODY runs the reds in that intersection. Not twice anyway.
You can even watch people stop at the yellow out of caution sometimes.
It's absolute night and day comparing the two intersections.

I wholly encourage anyone who doubts that these things change driving behaviors to take an hour out of your day, drive over the bridge and see for yourself, with your own eyes. The reality will be glaringly apparent.


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