Automotive

Photo radar... Does it work?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 15th, 2017 7:12 pm
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58 replies
Penalty Box
Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
I think it does work. When Ontario had it for a short period ppl weren't going as fast but it also became a hazard as ppl would slam on their brakes every time they saw a car on the shoulder.

That said whether it works or not, how is this helping with regards to holding the offender responsible? All they do is fine the person registered to the plates, just another cash grab.
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Mar 23, 2008
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EP32k2 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:13 pm
I think it does work. When Ontario had it for a short period ppl weren't going as fast but it also became a hazard as ppl would slam on their brakes every time they saw a car on the shoulder.

That said whether it works or not, how is this helping with regards to holding the offender responsible? All they do is fine the person registered to the plates, just another cash grab.
Is it still "just a cash grab" if it's causing people to slow down? That's the whole point, isn't it? The City of Edmonton doesn't even profit from it, according to their site:
•15% of the total fine is given to Victims Services
•16.67% goes to the Alberta Government
•The remaining fine balance goes to the Reserve Fund and is used to fund safety and community projects at Council’s direction
•Any late payment penalty attached to the fine goes to the province (amount of $20 or 20%, whichever is greater)
•Speed infractions follow the specified penalties as listed in the Alberta Traffic Safety Act
https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ ... r-faq.aspx

C
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Jul 12, 2003
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Markham
I rather the gouv take money from people who run the red lights to make their revenue than imposing tax on stupid stuff.
Even it is not helping the government to make more money, at least it makes the road a bit safer.
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Penalty Box
Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:32 pm
Is it still "just a cash grab" if it's causing people to slow down? That's the whole point, isn't it? The City of Edmonton doesn't even profit from it, according to their site:

https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ ... r-faq.aspx

C
Slower doesn't mean safer...
Also people slamming on their brakes due to overreaction isn't exactly safe either is it.
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MP3_SKY wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:37 pm
I rather the gouv take money from people who run the red lights to make their revenue than imposing tax on stupid stuff.
Even it is not helping the government to make more money, at least it makes the road a bit safer.
The photo radar here in town does that too. Permanently mounted in many intersections to catch people running through red lights, as well as speeding through a green.

C
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EP32k2 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:39 pm
Slower doesn't mean safer...
Also people slamming on their brakes due to overreaction isn't exactly safe either is it.
Slower means more time to react, shorter stopping distances, and if there is a collision, lower speed means less damage. How does that not mean safer, all other things being equal?

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety ... nces/graph
The stopping distance difference between 50 and 60 km/h is 10m. More than 2 car lengths. The difference between 100 and 90 km/h is 15m. Those are on dry roads. On wet roads, the difference is magnified another 10%

And people would stop slamming on their brakes once they figure out they need to keep their speed down all the time. Not just when they see a photo radar vehicle.

C
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Mar 9, 2007
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You bet it works for money grabbing sake from our government.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Penalty Box
Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:49 pm
Slower means more time to react, shorter stopping distances, and if there is a collision, lower speed means less damage. How does that not mean safer, all other things being equal?

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety ... nces/graph
The stopping distance difference between 50 and 60 km/h is 10m. More than 2 car lengths. The difference between 100 and 90 km/h is 15m. Those are on dry roads. On wet roads, the difference is magnified another 10%

And people would stop slamming on their brakes once they figure out they need to keep their speed down all the time. Not just when they see a photo radar vehicle.

C
I won't bother hashing this out with you as we are in two completely different cities. All I can tell you by personal experience when we had photo radar on the 400 series highways it was a pain in the ass as ppl would literally slam on their brakes and start going under 100.

Traffic was a lot less in 1995 and if we had photo radar now it would be a complete nightmare traffic wise due to knee jerk chain reactions.
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EP32k2 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:58 pm
I won't bother hashing this out with you as we are in two completely different cities. All I can tell you by personal experience when we had photo radar on the 400 series highways it was a pain in the ass as ppl would literally slam on their brakes and start going under 100.

Traffic was a lot less in 1995 and if we had photo radar now it would be a complete nightmare traffic wise due to knee jerk chain reactions.
I think physics works the same in Ontario as it does in Alberta... :)

How long did they try it for?

C
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Feb 11, 2007
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CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:49 pm
Slower means more time to react, shorter stopping distances, and if there is a collision, lower speed means less damage. How does that not mean safer, all other things being equal?

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety ... nces/graph
The stopping distance difference between 50 and 60 km/h is 10m. More than 2 car lengths. The difference between 100 and 90 km/h is 15m. Those are on dry roads. On wet roads, the difference is magnified another 10%

And people would stop slamming on their brakes once they figure out they need to keep their speed down all the time. Not just when they see a photo radar vehicle.

C
Studies show that slower does not necessarily mean safer.
https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/ ... ter-safer/
"According to state and federal studies, drivers that are driving significantly below the average speed are the ones that are most likely to get involved in an accident."

https://www.motorists.org/blog/speed-li ... wer-safer/
Image

You are correct that higher speeds mean higher kinetic energy and shorter reaction times, but there's more factors to that. Like slow speeds encouraging distracted driving, while higher speeds mean people feel less comfortable and will pay more attention.
Sr. Member
Jul 24, 2009
585 posts
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kitchener
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:49 pm
And people would stop slamming on their brakes once they figure out they need to keep their speed down all the time. Not just when they see a photo radar vehicle.
Not necessarily...it is human nature to go faster and only slow down when in danger of getting caught...
Sometimes they panic, slam the brakes and cause an accident, that would not have happened if the speed trap wasn't there.

Nobody here drives the exact speed limit, unless stucked in traffic jam.
It's not the speed that kills...its the slower,indecisive, inept and distracted drivers who cause problems.

I would feel much safer surrounded by faster, competent drivers, whom all know which lane to be in, whom use common sense and whom signal their intentions, than any of the ones I mentioned above.
Last edited by angry-trucker on Sep 13th, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Feb 26, 2008
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The threat of speed control, whether undertaken by police or using photo radar, does work to slow down motorists who are not the incorrigible hard-heads. I won't comment about whether speed control is principally a revenue generating activity, but I will observe that all other things being equal, I would be just as happy that the government not pay an OPP officer $100k+benefits per year just to give out speeding tickets. Like many other things today, we are better off to automate that silly task.
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Mar 23, 2008
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engineered wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:04 pm
Studies show that slower does not necessarily mean safer.
https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/ ... ter-safer/
"According to state and federal studies, drivers that are driving significantly below the average speed are the ones that are most likely to get involved in an accident."

https://www.motorists.org/blog/speed-li ... wer-safer/
Image

You are correct that higher speeds mean higher kinetic energy and shorter reaction times, but there's more factors to that. Like slow speeds encouraging distracted driving, while higher speeds mean people feel less comfortable and will pay more attention.
Neither of those "studies" are studies. The first is "The course website and blog for the Fall 2015 instance of Penn State's SC200 course", and includes other gems like "Cat people vs. dog people" and "Shopping can be an addiction". So I'd take anything they say with a large grain of salt.

The second is from a blog site, and isn't an actual study either.

As far as the ideas on either site, if the problem that the speed limit is too low, then the fix is to raise the speed limit. Theoretically, municipalities should be using the 85th percentile type of rule (or something similar) when determining the speed limit on a given road in any case. Transportation engineers go to school for that kind of thing. But giving up on enforcing the speed limit isn't a solution. IMHO. Should we allow autobahn like "limits" through school and residential areas? And just tell pedestrians to look out more carefully? Lower speed limits don't just protect other drivers, they also protect cyclists, pedestrians, etc.

C
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angry-trucker wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:13 pm
Not necessarily...it is human nature to go faster and only slow down when in danger of getting caught...
Sometimes they panic, slam the brakes and cause an accident, that would not have happened if the speed trap wasn't there.

Nobody here drives the exact speed limit, unless stucked in traffic jam.
It's not the speed that kills...its the slower,indecisive, inept and distracted drivers who cause problems.

I would feel much safer surrounded by faster, competent drivers, whom all know which lane to be in, whom use common sense and whom signal their intentions, than any of the ones I mentioned above.
I agree the world would be a much better place if we could magically replace all "poor" drivers with "good" drivers. But that ain't gonna happen. So what's option B?

C

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