Automotive

Photo radar... Does it work?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 15th, 2017 7:12 pm
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Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2006
7917 posts
2050 upvotes
Richmond Hill
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:01 pm
I think physics works the same in Ontario as it does in Alberta... :)

How long did they try it for?

C
Was just over a year I believe. Not sure what physics have to do with knee jerk reactions, but ok.
Sr. Member
Jul 24, 2009
573 posts
352 upvotes
kitchener
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:24 pm
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
Unfortunatelly I don't think the Autobahn aproach would work anywhere in North America, because there are too many stupid and selfish drivers, who think driving slow in the passing lane is a great idea and will move over for nobody...
On Autobahn, people use common sense and know their place as far as the speed and which lane to be in is concerned.

The only way for this to work here would be by some big publicity campaign, which would be targeting and ticketing the passing lane hogs to drive the message across...but that will never happen..:(
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
3598 posts
2251 upvotes
GTA
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:24 pm
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
Info on that blog came form Michigan State Police report.
http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-12 ... --,00.html

More supporting data with plenty of reliable references.
http://www.sense.bc.ca/research.htm
References and Footnotes
Sources (partial list):
D. Solomon, "Accidents on Main Rural Highways Related to Speed, Driver and Vehicle," Bureau of Public Roads, July 1964.
J. A. Cirillo, "Interstate System Accident Research Study II, Interim Report II," Public Roads, vol. 35, no. 3, August 1968.
David L. Harkey, et. al., "Assessment of Current Speed Zoning Criteria," Transportation Research Record, no. 1281, 1990.
See also Truth in Advertising.
Canadian fatalities obtained from Transport Canada "Fatalities 1978-1997" and 1998 preliminary fatalities statistics; BC fatalities (1982 to 1995) obtained from 1995 Traffic Collision Statistics (BC: Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Research Services); BC fatalities (1977 to 1981) obtained verbally from Research Services, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, and BC fatalities (1996 to 1998) interpolated from Transport Canada and Coroners data.
BC monthly motor vehicle fatalities based on data obtained on August 10, 1999, from the BC Office of the Chief Coroner. 12-month moving average, annual totals, and change from previous year shown.
Source: Transport Canada 1996 Casualty Rates
Data contained within study by William Mercer. An Estimation of the Presence of Alcohol and Drugs in Traffic Accidents in British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General, British Columbia. (December 1994).
Sources: Transport Canada Traffic Collision Statistics in Canada, 1992 (not available on-line); and other US publications.


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Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2012
2617 posts
277 upvotes
Ottawa
I'd like to know what the threshold is before ticketing occurs. Automatically ticketing drivers for going 65 in a 40 is one thing. Going 49 in a 40 is a whole other thing.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
3598 posts
2251 upvotes
GTA
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:24 pm
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.
Regarding this comment, nobody suggests autobahn limits in residential zones. This is all about highway/closed roads. Engineers DO suggest higher speeds (see references above), but keeping low limits is a political move to make it look like they're doing something and to raise revenue.
It also isn't about giving up speed enforcement. It's about raising the limits and policing the high outliers.

Now if you're talking about only residential city streets, then nobody is suggesting they increase the limits. There are studies (from Netherlands I think?) that suggested removing curbs between the sidewalks and street, as that makes the drivers more uncomfortable and pay more attention.
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2008
4115 posts
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Edmonton
ConsoleWatcher wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:43 pm
I'd like to know what the threshold is before ticketing occurs. Automatically ticketing drivers for going 65 in a 40 is one thing. Going 49 in a 40 is a whole other thing.
According to the city website...
6-10 km over the speed limit tickets increased in 2016 (compared to 2015) to 63,227 (up from 59,544). Personally, I think this is a BS range...
11 - 15 went from 217,646 to 254,299
But...
16 - 20 decreased in 2016 from 153,264 to 143,818
21-50 decreased from 68,396 to 61,183
50+ decreased from 377 to 268

So while the total tickets increased by ~25,000, the breakdown had shifted. Which, I think, was the point to the article I initially quoted.

C
Member
Dec 16, 2006
443 posts
49 upvotes
North of GTA
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:54 pm

6-10 km over the speed limit tickets increased in 2016 (compared to 2015) to 63,227 (up from 59,544). Personally, I think this is a BS range...
So do I - except in a school zone.
Jr. Member
Apr 7, 2013
148 posts
25 upvotes
I live in Edmonton so I can offer my perspective. I think traffic tickets are down compared to last year because the photo radar spots are very consistent. I received a couple of tickets about 1-2 years ago when they stepped up enforcement - but now that I know where they are - its easy to just not speed in those areas.

For example, there are very specific spots on the Anthony Henday here that have photo radar trucks about 50-60% of the time when I am driving. I think people are just learning where they can or cannot speed. I generally don't feel that people are much slower than they have been compared to previous years.

However, to present an argument the city has pulled up comparing 2016 to 2015 - rate of traffic collisions have generally decreased despite an increase in population and passenger vehicles.

https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ ... portsm.pdf

Overall, I don't have a beef with how speed is enforced here. I mean, if you speed, you pay the fine. Maybe my only gripe is that they generally like to pick spots that they can hide, rather than actual high collision rate areas. As mentioned earlier, they tend to catch people who don't usually drive in those areas. If you drive on those roads everyday, it is a little stupid to be caught more than once. lol.
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2008
4115 posts
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Edmonton
drb789 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 5:12 pm
So do I - except in a school zone.
I could agree with that...

C
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7152 posts
2232 upvotes
ON
That reminds me - are SK construction zone photo radar units in use everywhere there's a sign, or just random locations and the signs are more of a threat?
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Mar 23, 2008
4115 posts
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Edmonton
Cowtownboy wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 5:19 pm
I live in Edmonton so I can offer my perspective. I think traffic tickets are down compared to last year because the photo radar spots are very consistent. I received a couple of tickets about 1-2 years ago when they stepped up enforcement - but now that I know where they are - its easy to just not speed in those areas.

For example, there are very specific spots on the Anthony Henday here that have photo radar trucks about 50-60% of the time when I am driving. I think people are just learning where they can or cannot speed. I generally don't feel that people are much slower than they have been compared to previous years.

However, to present an argument the city has pulled up comparing 2016 to 2015 - rate of traffic collisions have generally decreased despite an increase in population and passenger vehicles.

https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ ... portsm.pdf

Overall, I don't have a beef with how speed is enforced here. I mean, if you speed, you pay the fine. Maybe my only gripe is that they generally like to pick spots that they can hide, rather than actual high collision rate areas. As mentioned earlier, they tend to catch people who don't usually drive in those areas. If you drive on those roads everyday, it is a little stupid to be caught more than once. lol.
Tickets went up almost 24,000 from 2015 (498,000) to 2016 (522,000), not down. But the overall "speed over limit" has decreased; the upper end ticket counts decreased while the lower end tickets increased. Maybe that's just in the areas that people know they're likely to get a ticket, maybe not.

Also of interest is that of the 22 fatalities in collisions, 9 were vehicle occupants, and 10 were pedestrians (3 motorcycles). The pedestrian ones are not covered in the "speed difference kills" argument.

C
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 17, 2008
7337 posts
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Unfortunately I think only the hwy's got increased by 10, coquihala from 110 to 120 and not sure about vancouver inland hwy. Also not sure about the sea to sky.

But in Vancouver and hwy 1 it's definitely the same crappy slow speed.
Sr. Member
Apr 30, 2015
936 posts
245 upvotes
East York, ON
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:40 pm
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
Edmonton speed cameras nailed me three times in the same day. Let's just say I was a lot more cautious after that.
Sr. Member
Apr 30, 2015
936 posts
245 upvotes
East York, ON
aqnd wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 5:47 pm
That reminds me - are SK construction zone photo radar units in use everywhere there's a sign, or just random locations and the signs are more of a threat?
Only usually where theirs a sign warning of it in the area. But even then, they're rarely actually there.
Deal Addict
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Jan 10, 2004
2939 posts
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Edmonton
Me and the wife have noticed that alot of traffic has slowed down lately, but I'm not sure it's radar or not causing that trend. The worse part though, is that traffic is now driving 10KM below the speed limit quite often.. and people will do that side by side block after block.

Personally, I drive at or within 5KM above the limit at all times if possible, so going 5-10 under is just annoying. (And alot of lights are timed for the speed limit, so going way under just seems to ensure red light after red light)

Drivers are still terrible here though... in 1 block 2 teenage girls in two different vehicles both completely face down looking at their phone. Another guy drive out of the drive through on his phone, lack of signals, etc.

I guess that's probably the norm in alot of big cities though. Texting is seriously the new drunk driving...

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