How Red-Light Cameras Affect Driving Behavior

Tallahassee, FL -- March 19, 2012 --

"It has its pros and cons."

Drivers say the pros of red light cameras are that they make driving safe.

One of the cons:

"I definitely believe it does change our driving habits."

But, not for the better some say...

Many say they get nervous when approaching a monitored intersection.

One driver, Fran Posey, says, "I am more aware. I do slow down when I am approaching. Although it probably aggravates the people behind me."

Other drivers say they tend to floor it to try to beat the light...

Tallahassee resident Matthew Burckhardt says he won't be doing that. He says he just got a ticket in the mail for running a red light on Monroe Street.

Burckhardt says, "If I think it's been green for a little too long, I stop and like slow down extremely way too slow now. I'd rather do that than get a $160 ticket again."

City administrators say last fiscal year...they issued 48-hundred red-light violations at the Monroe/Tennessee Street intersection...

That's about 13 red-light runners a day.

Administrators say it's a significant decrease from the testing period before the cameras were installed... Then, they say, there were more than 400 violations a day.

Another driver, Buck Ridgeway, says, "I usually watch the guy ahead of me, and always check the guy behind to make sure if I'm getting ready to stop."

"If you speed up, it's dangerous. If you slow down, it could cause a rear-end collision there."

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by criminal on Mar 21, 2012 at 08:22 AM
    I agree with the other folks that want to have the right to run a red light while police are busy with crime. Police should be busy at intersections giving tickets instead of doing the more crucial aspects of their job. All these cameras do is free up cops! Oh, and if no one sees me steal that TV, is it still a crime?
  • by M on Mar 21, 2012 at 05:04 AM
    I have never heard of this guidance that teaches when stopping in traffic (i.e. at a stop light) one should be able to see the tires of the car in front. So, this morning I took at look at this concept. Unless you drive a dump truck even abiding by this guidance isn't an excuse for leaving 1-4 car lengths between you and the stopped car in front. I was able to see the rear tires of the truck in front of me being as close as one foot behind and I could see the tires of a small car with only three feet between my front bumper and their rear bumper. So, don't be an inconsiderate citizen (nicely put). When you are stopped at a light in a line of traffic PULL UP! Those behind you can then move into the turn lane. You hold up the traffic flow by your selfishness. If a school bus can fit between your stopped car and the car in front of you then you are being a mule hole.
  • by Jess on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:29 PM
    I would like to see the sorry dirtbag company that owns this cameras and makes most of the money off of them go bankrupt. All local business should quadruple charge them and their employees. Talk about a conflict of interest. This is a lot like private prisons that make a profit by having more prisoners.
    • reply
      by M on Mar 21, 2012 at 05:05 AM in reply to Jess
      When did prisons start arresting people? When did the companies that own the cameras start creating photographic and video proof of the violation? The proof is in photos and video. The judge doesn't need to take anyone's word on the violation. There is video proof.
    • reply
      by prison privatization on Mar 21, 2012 at 08:17 AM in reply to Jess
      and that doesn't happen?
  • by the emperor has no clothes Location: Tallahassee on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:15 PM
    I totally believe the city when they say the cameras are there to make it safer. OK, some people got killed. We obviously need twice as many cameras. I think we would really really be safe then. Say, how about some cameras hovering overhead? Yeah, we would be super-duper safe then. Anybody who disagrees with me is just a big doody-head who wants to have accidents.
    • reply
      by Jess on Mar 21, 2012 at 08:49 AM in reply to the emperor has no clothes
      That intersection actually was the first to get Cameras.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM
    Try driving the speed limit or under and redlight cameras are not a problem. Du-uh!
  • by keeping it real Location: tally,fl on Mar 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
    cameras has been in thomasville, ga for years and many tallahassee drivers has no clue where there are unlike in tallahassee drivers are concerns about where cameras or located until they forget the basic of safe driving, not obeying speed limits, following to close, improper lane change, this item can go on and on. what will help in cameras at red lights would be no flash when the picture is taken. I also, think the city should install camera not just at lights but on major roadways, such as mahan dr, monroe st, the parkway, thomasville road, etc. this way drivers will be more conscious about their driving habits.
  • by Taylor Location: Quincy on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:46 PM
    I believe Red Light turnover times border Entrapment, while creating hostile, unsafe and congestive driving conditions. If the Florida Department of Transportation was generally concerned for pedestrians, as well as motor vehiclist safety, they would increase the turnover time between yellow and red lights or just increase the yellow light duration to say. Visible timers should also be available to oncoming motorist showing allotted driving fare-through time, as available in some pedestrian crossings. Deception and entrapment should not be permitted in government law making nor in it's use to regulate the publics well being and safety. More oversight is needed in our law making decisions. I believe cameras can be very helpfull in surveillance and safety, but all parties involved need fair representation and playing field. In the end cameras or no cameras, it is up to the driver to make the quick decision. With improved functionality of the system, and longer light duration,more people will be safe, as motorist will be able to make definite and timely decision, because they had the tools and time to do so. Make Yellow lights longer. It will even given pedestrians on perpendicular creossing streets more time to cross and reach safety. Some pedestrians are handicapped and need extra time to cross. Get real Florida Legislature. Represent the people not lobbyist.
    • reply
      by M on Mar 21, 2012 at 05:06 AM in reply to Taylor
      Increasing the yellow time would simply delay the 'light pushers' a few moments later. Even if the yellow was 2 minutes some would still run the red.
  • by randy Location: tally on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
    The red-light cameras are nothing more than a cynical ploy to extort money from the public.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    You're absolutely right. I notice when I drive, I always seem to be in a hurry or something and the car in front of me, always seems to be going to slow. I often tailgate. After this however, I will make it a point to leave at least a half a car space between me and the vehicle in front of me. Its a wonder that I have not gotten a ticket for driving to close.
    • reply
      by you are joking, right? on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:57 PM in reply to
      half a car's length? look at the FHP stats for accidents, most are caused by driving too closely and most injuries occur because the same habit. And when stopped at a red light? You should be able to see the rear tires on the car in front of you, so it lessens the chances of rear ending the car in front of you when you get rear ended.
    • reply
      by M on Mar 21, 2012 at 05:07 AM in reply to
      You should maintain three seconds between you and the car in front. Watch them pass a stationary object and then count to three. If you pass it before you get to three then you are too close.
  • by DaffyDillyO on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM
    I was under the impression that you will only get ticketed if you cross that initial intersection line AFTER the light turns red. If it turns red while you're already in the middle of the intersection, I don't think you get ticketed. The cameras may go off, but they are reviewed. Am I wrong?? Anyone know the statute # on this?
    • reply
      by M on Mar 20, 2012 at 03:02 PM in reply to DaffyDillyO
      You are correct. You are only guilty of a red light violation if your front tires cross the stop bar AFTER the light turns red. Just because the camera flash goes off doesn't mean a ticket is mailed. The photos and video are reviewed before a ticket is mailed. If you receive a ticket you can see those same photos and video. If a photo was taken and no violation occurred then no ticket is sent.
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