There are 2 reasons why the NC Senate is considering a State-wide ban on red light cameras.
1. NC Senator Don East, who started the bill, is a retired police officer, who firmly believes in Bill of Rights and belives that the accused should have the right to face his accuser. He also knows that there are many extenuating cirsumstances which cause drivers to run red lights, causes which are not the driver's fault.
2. To the end, what would you say if the City of Wilmington passed a law forbidding Newton's Law of Gravity? That every time you walked on the ground, Wilmington would fine you $75 - $110? Would you pay it?
But that is exactly what Wilmington is doing. But with a different Law of Newton. Newton's Second Law of Motion. F = ma.
In North Carolina, our beloved NCDOT uses 2 standards (ITSS Std 5-2-2) to set the duration of yellow lights. Both standards violate Newton's Second Law of Motion. One standard violates the Second Law worse than the other. Both NCDOT "standards" literally force drivers to run red lights. Here are the real reasons why the vast majority of drivers run red lights:
a. Did you know that the length of the yellow light is half the time it takes you to stop your car? Did you know that you cannot stop your car within the time the light is yellow? Next time you are on the road, notice that half the time you stop for a light, the light is already red. *Yellow does not mean slow down.*
b. Did you know that the NCDOT sets left turn lane yellow arrows to 3.0 seconds regardless of speed limit? That gives you 48 ft to stop. 48 ft is the length of a bus. Can you stop your 45 mph car in 48 ft? 48 ft is for a 20 mph car. A 45 mph, on a level road, needs 194.5 ft by Newton's Law of Motion. The Town of Cary already has penalized 100,000 people for not being able to stop their 45 mph car in 48 ft.
The NCDOT and the Town of Cary cause hundreds of serious accidents this way. Do you like that? Mother Nature does not take too kindly to being violated. Why are problem intersections in Wilmington problem intersections? Do you actually think thousands of drivers temporarily get insane at these intersections, then suddenly get better at the next intersection? Or do you think it is something more reasonable--like a NCDOT engineer who doesn't know engineering nor the Laws of Motion? Even at the NCDOT's best, by NCDOT's own standards, Wilmington, Raleigh and Cary penalize drivers for obeying Newton's Second Law of Motion. That is why there is so much money in the red light camera business.
b. Did you know that the NCDOT, by their own standard, creates a dilemma zone? The dilemma zone is well-known engineering failure. It is a zone of undecision, where upon seeing a light turn yellow, you don't know whether you have the distance to proceed or the time to stop. Did you know this dilemma zone engineering failure guarantees a steady stream of cars running lights and crashing? DOTs tell us to "judge" whether to stop or go. Did you know that we are not supposed to judge, but rather that the NCDOT is simply supposed to tell us whether we must stop or go?
Explicit in the math of Std 5-2-2, the NCDOT is supposed to paint a line on the road at the safe braking distance from the light. If the light turns yellow before you cross the line, you must stop. If the light turns yellow after you cross the line, you must proceed. That is the meaning of the yellow light. Didn't know that did you? That's because the NCDOT does not tell you. The NCDOT does not even fulfill their own standard.
Red light cameras enforce imprecise engineering precisely. Red light camera companies exploit the discrepancies and make money by the gullibility of our government, and with the aid of the self-righteous driver and of the press who know no different.
3. You think the money is going to public schools? (Didn't hear of the Shavitz vs the City of Highpoint ehh? Look it up.) In the Town of Cary, 91% ($5.4M of $6M)of collections goes straight to RedFlex Traffic Systems. This is a violation of the NC Constitution, but Wake County at the moment gets away with this for "cleverly" redefining the word "clear proceeds." This redefinition would not stand up to a legal challenge. But for some crazy reason, the Wake County School does not want to press the issue. In Raleigh, 100% of the money goes to American Traffic Solutions. What is your camera company's percentage take in Wilmington?
Those are the reasons why Don East and the NC Senate want to repeal the red light cameras.
Red light cameras can only be used as an enforcement tool when first the NCDOT can build an intersection using standards that obey Newton's Laws. Engineering first. Education second. Enforcement third. In that order. Until then, it's $50, $75 - $110 to everyone who obeys the Law of Gravity.
For the documentation on this, I posted it on the web site below. It's all from the NCDOT and the Town of Cary. Enjoy.
Apex, North Carolina
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