Fighting the Camera Ticket need some math help

DBaldy
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Fighting the Camera Ticket need some math help

by: DBaldy on
Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:34 am

Obviously, everything I have read on here so far is, plead out, take the 50%. But I don't believe I should, this is a cash grab in the worst possible sense and I cannot accept it, even if there are no demerit points involved. At 65 kph, I was photographed running a red. Here's the rub. .2 secs was the first picture, 1 sec the second. at .2 secs I was already passed the stop line, and in the 1 sec after the green light hadn't even changed. I already believe 4 secs to be too short a time for an amber light, and this is why. I read somewhere on here, the exact equation for how long it takes to react to an amber light for 60 kph over. The problem with it is, it does not take into account personal reaction time, speed to weight ratios of a vehicle, or condition/age of tires. Moreover, it didn't take into account the "point-of-no-return". I don't know about anyone else, but the idea that I could bring a 1999 Ford Explorer from 65kph to 0 in 1.5 secs is rediculous, not to mention even if that is possible, it would require lighting fast reflexes AND perfect vehicular conditions AND slamming on the breaks. The latter of which is not a safe driving practice at all.

A driver should not be so tunnelled that all they are watching are the traffic lights, they should be in constant control of their entire surroundings, their rearviews, blind spots, and any other potential hazard, not to mention reaction time from accelerator pedal to brake pedal. What I see when I look at the pictures taken was a conscious decision by a conscious driver to take the safest route which was to push through the light rather than slam on the brakes and slide through it. If the first picture had shown 1-2 secs, it is a pill I could swallow, but .2 secs isn't even a number. Irony is, if I was going 70 instead of 65 I would have been breaking the law but never caught on camera.

I'm curious to hear thoughts as I plan my defence of the issue, but what I need is someone to do the math. I've found some calculators online, but I want to double check them as they use formulas I know nothing about as I am relatively mathematically inept.

Based on the easiest calculator I could find on line, I computed the following parameters:

65 kph
12.29 kph/sec (average driver deceleration time)
2.5 (average driver reaction time)

According to these numbers, the equation tells me that I need 5.144 secs to safely and 4.941 if I was doing the speed limit exactly. In either case, longer than the duration of the Amber which is supposedly 4 secs (going to video tape them tomorrow and run them through a "frame by frame" program to see exactly how long the light is.

Looking for someone to check the math on this, and if possible factor in the weight of a 1999 Ford Explorer (around 4000 lbs) + 220 lbs weight inside (me plus micellaneous cargo)+ 75 litres of gas + the g force rating on deceleration for a truck of that size on middle-aged tires (from what I read it should be about 0.6g). With all of that, and considering I was over the intersections "Stop line" at .2 secs, and through the intersection at 1 sec, what my amber light reaction should have been. From my point of view at that moment, it was safer to go through than to force a stop, the opposing lights would at the most have turned green as my exhaust pipe cleared the intersection, there was no danger to anyone around me (which makes me ever more mad with the victim surcharge fee...can we say 'anyway to get a buck?') and based on the split second judgement, I felt it was safer to myself, my vehicle and those around me to calmly roll through (remember that it was an amber light throughout my entrance into the intersection) than to slam on my breaks which would have left me out in the middle of the intersection most likely.

Personally, I would rather take the hit for driving 5 kph over the speed limit than this, I can drive 15 kph over the speed limit and not get fined a 3rd of this ticket, I can do 20 over, and still cheaper than this. These cameras are a burden to drivers, now among other things, whether I should be or not, I will be watching for those cameras, which takes my eyes of the road and my fellow drivers, causing an unneeded distraction. If I was cleared running a red, I wouldn't have an issue with this, but based on the photo evidence mailed to me, the light was yellow the entire time I was in the intersection, and didn't change until I was alreading in the intersection and well past the point of no return. If they want to make these intersections safer, they should institute the timed pedestrian lights that have been scattered throughout Kitchener Waterloo, so at least I could say "hey, light is going to change in 2 secs, time to slow down" instead of guessing at whether or not the flashing hand just started or is about to end.


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:20 am

If the photo evidence shows you crossing the stop line on an amber, then you didn't commit the offence, and the charge should be withdrawn. It's only an offence if you enter the intersection on a red, not if it changes to red afterwards.

I'm having a bit of a hard time following your post, a lot of your information sounds contradictory or incorrect. I get that you're saying you don't feel you had sufficient time to stop based on the traffic light timing, but I think you'd have a very difficult time proving this and getting your calculations qualified in Court. Claiming that you have older tires that increased your stopping distance probably won't help either since it's your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is well maintained.

Personally I don't think you've got much of a defence here, especially since it's an absolute liability offence, but maybe someone more knowledgeable with red light cameras can weigh in with their opinion.


DBaldy
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by: DBaldy on
Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:32 am

Stanton, I might have to go that route as it would have been yellow as I was entering the "zone". As for the timing, what I was saying, there is a safe deceleration distance and a "point of no return" so to speak. I know there is a lot of information above, I was up all night reseaching and didn't find this forum until 5am so it's not my most organized work. As for tires, there is still a basis for their effectiveness. Mine are only a year and a half old, but they clearly don't stop as soundly as they did when they were installed. Keeping a vehicle "well-maintained" as you put it still has limits, I shouldn't have to change my tires every 6 months in order to make sure they are in peak condition, nor is that financially viable.


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