Redlightcamera: light was only red for 000.5 seconds

tryingtoimprove
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Redlightcamera: light was only red for 000.5 seconds

Unread post by tryingtoimprove on

Hello

I recently got a red light camera ticket, which I sent for early resolution.

The first picture showed me behind the solid white line (where most cars stop), and the red light was only red for 000.5.

The second picture showed me in the middle of the intersection, the light was red for 001.2 secs.

I was doing 71 in a 50 (weber st in waterloo). I was busy on a delivery (Im a student that delivers food).

I guess there is no disclosure, but what are my options? I mean the light just turned red, it was only red for a for 000.5!

Defense? If I stopped I would of ended up in the middle of the intersection.


Could they retroactively give me a ticket for speeding?

Please help


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Well the good news with camera tickets is that you are being charged as the OWNER of the vehicle and not the DRIVER of the vehicle. This means it will not appear on your driving record, you will not lose any demerit points and it will not affect your insurance.

They have up to 6 months from the date of offence to charge you with it. So if they have some kind of proof of you speeding, then they could theoretically charge you with speeding.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


iFly55
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Unread post by iFly55 on

I've yet to hear of anyone getting charged for speeding based on the RLC reading. That would essentially make it a photo-radar, which would set off a firestorm.

Unfortunately, I don't really see how you'll be getting out of this. You were speeding +21kph over the posted limit, and failed to stop for the amber and red light.

Arguing, that stopping would have landed you in the middle of the intersection; strengthens the crown's case that you were driving too fast for the conditions. Delivering food is not an emergency, where you're afforded the "necessity defence" against an absolute liability offence.

Your best option is to seek a reduced fine through a meeting with the crown attorney.


UnluckyDuck
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Unread post by UnluckyDuck on

If I'm not mistaken, Didn't you receive a Red Light - Fail to Stop in May? What was the outcome of that. I'm pretty sure if the prosecutor sees a conviction like that on your record, they wouldn't reduce the fine.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

tryingtoimprove wrote: I guess there is no disclosure, but what are my options?
If you request disclosure, I believe you're going to get blown up pictures (the same ones on the ticket). I think the only other thing is a document linking you to the plates. That's about it.
tryingtoimprove wrote: I mean the light just turned red, it was only red for a for 000.5! If I stopped I would of ended up in the middle of the intersection.
Lights just don't turn red. You can easily be ticketed going through an amber just the same, especially when you're speeding through the intersection and your defense relies on delivering food in a timely manner. Either you went through a red light or you didn't, and unfortunately you did.
tryingtoimprove wrote:Could they retroactively give me a ticket for speeding?
They wont, but it certainly doesn't help your case.

I'll echo some of the same advice already provided. The ticket does nothing to your insurance. Try to have it reduced, pay it, and move on. It's not even worth the hassle.


Lobo_Corazon
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Unread post by Lobo_Corazon on

I can beat that - I just got one for 000.3 seconds!

I was doing 45 in a 50, so I'm not concerned about speeding. The pictures on the ticket clearly show the car in front of me who had slowed down in the intersection and caused me to slow down as I approached it. I would have been OK if he had just carried on through, and I couldn't really jam on the brakes because the roads were icy (also visible in the pictures).

So as a Quality Control guy, I question the calibration of the camera. Is it's timing really accurate within 0.3s? They have a picture of my car entering the intersection and the light clearly red, saying it's been red for 0.3s... But it's unclear whether or not the nose of my car is across the white line at the time of the picture. (It looks like the wheel is just hitting the line).

I understood that Ontario's red light law is "permissive", meaning if you are already in the intersection when it turns red, you're OK (as opposed to someone's comment above saying you're already guilty if you run an amber). Which is correct? (A quick google didn't get me there. I know some jurisdictions get you if it changes while you're in the intersection and some don't - I thought Ontario was a don't.)

I "run" ambers all the time... Maybe 2x in the past 15 years I've seen the light turn red as I passed under it... This is the first time I can remember that I've entered an intersection when the light had turned red (arguably) first, thanks to slick conditions, an unusually short amber timer, and the guy in front of me. What a PITA that there happened to be an active red light camera there!


argyll
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Unread post by argyll on

Ontario Highway Traffic Act, Section 144 covers the following information regarding Amber Lights:
Amber light
(15) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular amber indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle if he or she can do so safely, otherwise he or she may proceed with caution. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (15).

If you see amber you have to stop unless you cannot - ie it turns amber right ash you are at the stop line. Of course most people see an amber light as a signal to accelerate.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

Lobo_Corazon wrote:I understood that Ontario's red light law is "permissive", meaning if you are already in the intersection when it turns red, you're OK (as opposed to someone's comment above saying you're already guilty if you run an amber). Which is correct? (A quick google didn't get me there. I know some jurisdictions get you if it changes while you're in the intersection and some don't - I thought Ontario was a don't.)
The cameras are designed to capture red light offences, not amber, which are more subjective. You're somewhat correct in that if you've already entered the intersection prior to the light changing it's not a red light offence (i.e. you're waiting to turn left and ensuring oncoming traffic stops when the light turns red). It's only illegal if you fail to stop prior to entering intersection on a red light OR enter the intersection after stopping but before the light turns green (with the exception of right hand turns).
Lobo_Corazon wrote:So as a Quality Control guy, I question the calibration of the camera. Is it's timing really accurate within 0.3s? They have a picture of my car entering the intersection and the light clearly red, saying it's been red for 0.3s... But it's unclear whether or not the nose of my car is across the white line at the time of the picture. (It looks like the wheel is just hitting the line).
The timing actually wouldn't be that relevant to the offence, only whether the picture shows your vehicle entering the intersection on a red light.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Lobo_Corazon wrote:I understood that Ontario's red light law is "permissive", meaning if you are already in the intersection when it turns red, you're OK (as opposed to someone's comment above saying you're already guilty if you run an amber). Which is correct? (A quick google didn't get me there. I know some jurisdictions get you if it changes while you're in the intersection and some don't - I thought Ontario was a don't.)
I'm talking about the HTA in general and not exactly what's shown on a RLC ticket. If an officer witnesses you trying to beat an amber light, even if it's not red, you can be charged for running an amber. Amber light means stop unless it's not safe to do so. If it's possible for you to stop, you have to stop. So if you're speeding, accelerating, not driving according to the conditions, you can be charged. Red lights don't work like baseball slides. Not beating a red by 0.5 seconds while speeding through the intersection isn't exactly an accomplishment or defense. Which is why the argument "but I almost made it!" while speeding through the intersection doesn't mean as much as some people think it does. It's an absolute liability anyways, meaning you either did or you didn't.

In the long run, an officer giving you a ticket for an amber or red light violation is going to cost you the same (red light camera tickets excluded). Your insurance provider doesn't care what color the light was. It just cares that you can't follow signals or signs. They fall under the same conviction definition. You'll pay the same surcharge either way.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

This is a great ticket to use to learn about how the court system works. So even if you go to trial and lose, it still will not be on your driving record and will not affect your insurance.

I recommend you plead Not Guilty and ask for a Trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, you can then request disclosure.

Representing yourself is a great way to learn, but you will most likely lose. However the learning experience is worth it:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bend
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Unread post by bend on

jsherk wrote:This is a great ticket to use to learn about how the court system works. So even if you go to trial and lose, it still will not be on your driving record and will not affect your insurance.

I recommend you plead Not Guilty and ask for a Trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, you can then request disclosure.

Representing yourself is a great way to learn, but you will most likely lose. However the learning experience is worth it:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html
No officer will be present at the trial. Your disclosure contains whatever is already on the ticket. You're not getting anything you already don't have.

Do the picture show an individual going through a red light? If yes, it's practically a lost cause and a waste of time. You're better off taking the reduced fine and moving on.


FORtheWIN
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Unread post by FORtheWIN on

"No officer will be present at the trial."

At the offence office where the defendant presents the ticket for a red-light cam offence, the 'not guilty' form provided to fill out and sign has a check box providing the choice (yes / no) of have issuing officer present in court. The issuing officer would be the officer who signed off on the red-light cam ticket.
If the choice is offered on the not guilty form then an officer is likely able to attend.
Officer signs the ticket, is the issuing party. If the officer does not attend than it's a possible win for the defendant.

"Better off taking the reduced fine and moving on"

For some cases yes this would be the way to go, however there are reasonable and valid concerns with the performance, timing of some red-light cameras.
As well the reason for these red-light cams is a grey area. Is it safety? or mainly money generation.

Tickets are $325 total in my area. The City web site, under traffic safety, list the intersections where red-light cams are set up. City currently has 30+ intersections with cams.
They also list some results. 4 cams set up (only looking one way) at 4 different intersections. 4 cams caught 199 red-light violations over a 5hr period of time (one way).
$325 x 199 = $64,000+ generated in 5hrs. Didi the limit the results to one way to reduce the amount?

Now imagine cams at 30+ interactions looking both ways… Many people get the ticket in the mail, see the pics and assume they have no chance to defend themselves against it and simply plead guilty and pay full or guilty with excuse and pay a slightly reduced amount. Clearly Red-light cams are a great money generating tool.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

FORtheWIN wrote:"No officer will be present at the trial."

At the offence office where the defendant presents the ticket for a red-light cam offence, the 'not guilty' form provided to fill out and sign has a check box providing the choice (yes / no) of have issuing officer present in court. The issuing officer would be the officer who signed off on the red-light cam ticket.
If the choice is offered on the not guilty form then an officer is likely able to attend.
Officer signs the ticket, is the issuing party. If the officer does not attend than it's a possible win for the defendant.
You can request anything you want on any form you want. It doesn't necessarily mean your request will be granted. The form you get is a generic form issued for all charges. The officer who signs off the ticket does so in order to verify the ticket is legitimate. It's simply a visual inspection to make sure the ticket wasn't issued to the wrong plate or some obvious circumstance. They don't need to sit there and defend the charge.
FORtheWIN wrote:"Better off taking the reduced fine and moving on"

For some cases yes this would be the way to go, however there are reasonable and valid concerns with the performance, timing of some red-light cameras.
As well the reason for these red-light cams is a grey area. Is it safety? or mainly money generation.
If you have an issue with the performance of the specific light that is involved with the charge, that's up to you to prove. A generic argument about concerns about "some" red light cameras, is not an argument. What you've listed as a "grey area" is irrelevant. Whether or not you think red light cameras increase or decrease safety is insignificant to the charge. You either went through the red light or you didn't. If you want to make an argument about whether or not red light cameras are good for your community, you'd have to go through the proper channels. Contact your municipal leaders or whomever could help you. Your trial just isn't the place and it will fall on deaf ears.
FORtheWIN wrote:Tickets are $325 total in my area. The City web site, under traffic safety, list the intersections where red-light cams are set up. City currently has 30+ intersections with cams.
They also list some results. 4 cams set up (only looking one way) at 4 different intersections. 4 cams caught 199 red-light violations over a 5hr period of time (one way).
$325 x 199 = $64,000+ generated in 5hrs. Didi the limit the results to one way to reduce the amount?

Now imagine cams at 30+ interactions looking both ways… Many people get the ticket in the mail, see the pics and assume they have no chance to defend themselves against it and simply plead guilty and pay full or guilty with excuse and pay a slightly reduced amount. Clearly Red-light cams are a great money generating tool.
Again, completely irrelevant. Whether or not red light cameras generate money is not a defense. Everything generates money. Speeding tickets, parking tickets, littering tickets, any ticket. It's not a defense that someone makes money from it.

Also, this thread is half a year old.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

No harm, no injury, no damage = no crime ...

Rolling a stop sign or red light may violate a statute, but that does mean it was unsafe!

I really hate laws that purport to be about safety, but there is no obligation on the prosecution to prove that it was unsafe. It is all about $$$ for sure.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


FORtheWIN
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Unread post by FORtheWIN on

Suggested reading

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 731
Guidelines for Timing Yellow and All-Red Intervals at Signalized Intersections
Published July, 2012.
Project 03-95 Panel - Field of Traffic - Area of Operations and Control

ISSN 0077-5614

ISBN 978-0-309-25859-3

Library of Congress Control Number 2012949147
- National Academy of Sciences.
- National Academy of Engineering
- The Institute of Medicine
- The National Research Council
- The Transportation Research Board

Forward
Yellow and all-red interval duration is a significant factor affecting the frequency of red-light running, yet there remains no national consensus on how the yellow and all-red intervals should be timed for safe and efficient operations.

Studies of driver reaction times and vehicle deceleration rates used in determining appro- priate yellow and all-red change intervals were conducted more than 25 years ago

This information was analyzed to develop draft yellow change and all-red clearance interval guidelines, which were submitted to NCHRP and the key stakeholder groups for review and comment. Comments were addressed to produce a final report to document the research effort and the stand-alone, proposed guidelines for timing yellow and all-red intervals.

Summery
The objective of this research was to develop a comprehensive and uniform set of recommended guidelines for determining safe and operationally efficient yellow change and red clearance intervals at signalized intersections.

The amount of time that the yellow signal is displayed is referred to as the yellow change interval. The duration of this interval is based on the driver’s perception-reaction time and deceleration rate, the approach speed, and the approach grade. The duration of the yellow change interval should allow, at a mini- mum, for a driver to comfortably decelerate to a stop prior to entering the intersection.

Over time, several national publications have served as references for the timing of change intervals. These include:
- Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
- Traffic Engineering Handbook
- Manual of Traffic Signal Design
- Traffic Control Devices Handbook
- Traffic Signal Timing Manual.

Yellow and all-red interval duration is a significant factor affecting the frequency of red-light running.
Yellow and all-red intervals should be timed for safe and efficient operations.

The amount of time that the yellow signal is displayed is referred to as the yellow change interval.
To verify that accurate values were being used in the timing of these intervals, an extensive field investigation of driver behaviours was conducted.

The field investigation focused on three parameters directly related to the use of the kinematic equation:
(1) perception-reaction time,
(2) deceleration rate, and
(3) approach speed.

Body:
The field investigation captured data from over 80 intersection approaches in five different states. The states were selected in different regions of the country to provide the regional diversity necessary to account for variations in timing practices as well as factors such as driver age, familiarity, grade, and red-light camera enforcement.
Using a high-definition camera mounted atop a modular 20-foot-tall aluminum pole, over 320 hours of video were obtained. From this video, approximately 7,500 vehicles were extracted as data points for the evaluation portion of this study.

The analyses were performed using a multi-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA).
The results of the analyses led to the following conclusions:

• The perception-reaction time was confirmed to be 1.0 s.
• The deceleration rate was confirmed to be 10 ft/s2.

Yellow change interval (seconds) by approach speed limit and grade
25mph / 40km - 3.4s - 0 grade
30mph / 48km - 3.7s - 0 grade
35mph / 56km - 4.1s - 0 grade
40mph / 64km - 4.5s - 0 grade
45mph / 72.5km - 4.8s - 0 grade
50mph / 80.5km - 5.2s - 0 grade
55mph / 88.5km - 5.6s - 0 grade

:wink:






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