Police

L.A. Blunting the One Advantage Woody Allen Ever Admitted it Having Over New York

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The L.A. Times reports, in marvelously bureacrato-centric fashion:

As Los Angeles City Hall has struggled against a sea of red ink, one financial bright spot through the long recession has been the Police Department's red-light camera program, which has seen a sharp rise in revenue, according to court data obtained by The Times.

From late 20

Not gratuitous at all

07 to late 2009, monthly revenue from cameras, now operating at 32 city intersections, has nearly doubled from about $200,000 per month to about $400,000, according to estimates prepared by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, which processes ticket payments. […]

Last year, the city more than doubled the amount charged for most of its red-light camera tickets.

The change, based on a legal recommendation from the city attorney, affects thousands of motorists each year who make rolling right turns against red lights—known as "California stops." According to Los Angeles Police Department estimates provided to The Times last year, about eight in 10 photo tickets were issued for right turns, which some experts say are less likely to result in serious accidents.

Right-turn California stops at empty intersections can now cost you $381, of which the city pockets $150.

Link via LA Observed. Reason on red-light cameras here.

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  1. The change … affects thousands of motorists each year who make rolling right turns against red lights…

    Combine this with a nice broad anti-idling law and you can get the poor bastards no matter what.

    [P]eople could still let their cars idle to defrost windshields or for other “safety” reasons ? although it would be left to the discretion of the police or code enforcement officer as to whether it was reasonable for them to idle their cars for heat. [slanty letters mine]

    1. I know nothing about cars and/or motors. One of the things I have always been told, though is that starting your car wastes a lot of gas and it is usually better to just let the engine idle.

      Is that BS? Or is there some truth to that. It sounds silly to me to expect that people will shut their cars off at lights or in drive thrus.

      I’ve owned a lot of crappy cars. When I was lucky enough to get them started, there was no way I was going to shut them off unless I was someplace where they could sit for days.

      1. The article says they would not be required to turn off the engine at lights and drive-thrus.

        1. Shoot, you are correct about the article. I think I was thrown by the fact that the story had a two word paragraph that consisted of “Vehicle repair.”

          That threw me so badly that I couldn’t concentrate on the rest of the article.

      2. Starting uses 3-5 seconds (idling) worth of gas.

  2. When I’m walking in Atlanta, I hate right hand turns on red. Cars invariably block the cross walk. Or if it’s a one-way street they don’t look for pedestrians on the other side.

    1. I hate pedestrians that are too lazy to walk around a car in the crosswalk.

      1. Around? Crap. I thought I was supposed to climb over.

      2. I just carry a utility knife and razor-sharp marlin spike. Spike and slash the tires, drive the spike a few times through the fender, then climb over the hood, wearing crampons.

      3. Hey! I’m walkin’ here!

    2. When someone does this to me while jogging, I always do one of the following:

      1) If they are at least decent enough to look to their right and see me, I just run in front of their car, then pointedly at the crosswalk with a disgusted look on my face.

      2) If they haven’t spotted me, I always kick their car. This works great if they are just pulling out into traffic. Scares the shit out of them. At that point some of them bolt straight out of Dodge, others look frantically around. The frantic ones get the bird.

  3. Good thing Matt escaped thee horrors of LA for the Utopia of DC.

  4. “We already have too many laws that are unenforceable,” said Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2nd District.
    (from FrBunny’s link)

    Was she removed from the meeting in a straitjacket?

  5. Yeah buddy. Its all about money! Ho Ho Ho

    RT
    http://www.privacy-resources.es.tc

  6. It’s not about the revenue. It’s about safety.

    No, wait. It’s about the revenue.

  7. It’s a small step from governments installing cameras at intersections to raise money to installing cameras in bedrooms to raise money.

    1. Bullshit. Put yourself in an “outsider’s” shoes for a moment, consider how crazy that sounds, and realize why no one takes libertarians seriously anymore.

      1. Is that an outsider with or without a sense of humor?

        1. You’ve got a point; an outsider would probably think you were joking. Unfortunately, I’ve spent too much time here and read too many straight-faced serious comments similar to what you typed.

          1. Such an outsider would be right. The point of my joke was that the government could make lots of money off of bedroom camera porn.

            1. There seem to be a lot of broken snark readers around here today.

              1. What’s “snark”?

                1. A Snark is a mysterious animal made up by Lewis Carroll in his The Hunting of the Snark.

      2. no one takes libertarians seriously anymore

        Anymore? Could you remind me which decade it was that had the libertarian president and congress, libertarian editorial board at most big-city papers, the jokes about libertarian PC at all the universities, etc.? ‘Cause if I slept through that, I am pissed. I distinctly remember setting my alarm for “Libertarian Ascendancy”.

        1. The libertarians will take back America in a big way the same year that we roll out fusion generators.

        2. I didn’t say “in complete dominance of all fields of human and political endeavor”, I said “taken seriously”, which was true as recently as the 90s.

          1. Aren’t we arguably more respected now than in the 90s? Granted, the people actually calling the shots hate libertarians, but I’m pretty sure that’s been true for a while. But with Ron Paul’s candidacy (which was at least publicly significant) and with various strains of libertarian scholarship, I think the respect is relatively high. It remains low in any real terms, of course.

            1. I’m with Pro L on this. In the 90’s, most people couldn’t spell libertarian. Now we at least get our name on the sign:

              No Dogs
              No Irish
              No Libertarians

              1. By that standard, Naziism is taken very seriously nowadays.

      3. When was this fabled time you speak of?

        1. Typical retroscripted nostalgia.

          1. The 1990s saw welfare reform, balanced budgets, the first medical marijuana laws, and farm subsidy reform. Both Congress and the Clinton administration seriously considered shuttering superfluous Cabinet departments.

            I’m not sure if the name “libertarian” was popular, but the idea that markets should be left to solve most problems was ubiquitous — as it often is in economic boom periods, until the bubble bursts and the masses run crying to papa govt.

      4. You know who else liked traffic cameras?

  8. It’s a small step from governments installing cameras at intersections to raise money to installing cameras in bedrooms to raise money.

    Then I better be savin’ up, cuz in the bedroom Tha ? don’t stop.

    yo

    1. ?,”Then I better be savin’ up, cuz in the bedroom Tha ? don’t stop.” under the SPPITBA (single person performance in the bedroom act) you are excused from paying any fines or penalties.

  9. “…cost you $381, of which the city pockets $150.”

    Where’s the rest of the money go?

    1. I don’t know about LA; in the DC area the cameras are usually installed/maintained by contractors, who get a cut of the take.

      1. Fuck. That explains why the cameras are getting trigger happy.

        1. Ah, public-private partnerships.

    2. The state and county probably get a cut, too. At least that was the case in NYS.

      1. And the mob.

  10. Last year, the city more than doubled the amount charged for most of its red-light camera tickets.

    It’s totally about safety.

    1. We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!

  11. I feel safer.

  12. I actually had to pay one of those $381 fines. I confess, there is some grim fun to be had in watching the online video of the expensive turn, over and over again.

    1. The question is, are you now fully stopping before making a right turn on red? If so, in what horrific ways has this negatively impacted your life?

      1. If so, in what horrific ways has this negatively impacted your life?

        Well, for one thing, he’s $381 poorer.

        1. I should have been more clear; I was asking how the act of fully stopping at red lights was negatively impacting his life.

  13. Wait, what exactly are you complaining about here? The cameras? The $381 fine? The requirement that you fully stop before making a right on red?

    Some of these posts are like a crying baby; I’m not sure if you’re hungry, your diaper is full, or if you just want attention.

    1. And yes, each of those things is justifiable. The law is justified since the state has to operate the roads as a reasonable private owner would. You can bet that there would be some pretty strict rules of the road, enforced by ubiquitous cameras, if they were privately owned too, due to liability concerns.

      The fine has to be large to provide a significant disincentive due to scattershot enforcement. (And if every single violation of traffic laws were actually caught and enforced you guys would be complaining about that.)

      1. Yay! Tulpa has turned up to defend the cops/authority/Robert Jordan!

        1. And if you showed up at some LEO blog complaining about no-knock raids, you’d stick out like a sore thumb too. Perhaps we should all just, you know, address each other’s arguments rather than pigeonholing each other.

        2. Robert Jordan!

          You always take shit too far, Epi. I blame crappy Seattle weather for this.

          1. Just trying to point out that Tulpa always defends the indefensible.

            1. Requiring a full stop at a red light is indefensible?

              1. How many of these $381 offenses caused a wreck? How many caused someone to die? Not very many. Not many at all.

              2. Before a right turn, sure. It’s a yield situation. Granted, we’re talking about California, so we can’t necessarily count on citizens possessing common sense. But in most places, it’s fairly pointless.

                1. What is a “yield situation”? According to the law, you’re supposed to stop and proceed if there is no interfering traffic, which is more like a stop sign than a yield sign.

                  If it is a good idea to let drivers use their judgement to decide whether it is safe to proceed through a red light, then why don’t we let people roll through red lights when going straight or turning left, too?

                  1. T,

                    I am totally cool with letting drivers use their judgement in all the situations you describe.

              3. I’m not the one defending Robert Jordan, you sick freak.

                1. First, I am the law.

                  Second, who is defending Robert Jordan?

      2. Regulation of traffic is one thing; the abuse of such regulations for revenue purposes is another.

      3. Hypothetical: If tomorrow, everyone stopped every driving behavior that triggered a fine in CA, would the legislators be delighted by the improved safety or devastated by the lost revenue?

        Your answer determines your reaction to the cameras.

        1. The internal rumblings of legislators’ minds do not affect whether a law is legitimate or not. As a good driver, I think the cameras are per se a good idea for safety purposes, though we do need to keep a watchful eye on possible abuses, such as shortening the yellow duration to increase revenues.

          1. Which has been shown to occur with a disturbing frequency. I don’t trust the government much to begin with, but I trust them even less when money is on the line.

            1. If you’re going to have a government, you have to trust it with some means of enforcing the laws, while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye on what it does with its powers. You know what they say about the price of freedom…

              1. You can at least try to stop things that seem like begging for corruption — for example, allowing governments to profit from punishment.

              2. Governments have shown an abundant lack of trustworthiness on this specific issue. There’s even some indications that they are placing people in greater danger by monkeying with the light times (in order to get more fee income). If this isn’t an area where the government should be forced to back off, I’m not sure what is. Bet you they’d not be rolling these lights out without the fee income.

          2. Your absolutely right that safety needs to be the only criteria of whether the law is legitimate and if cameras do improve enforcement, and thereby improve safety, there’s nothing wrong with them. I propose that, after deducting expenses of running the cameras, all ticket revenue is rebated per capita to each city resident. If legislators don’t support that, then we know whether it’s about safety or revenue.

      4. Can we call it a “Tulpa” when someone immediately adds a threaded comment to THEIR OWN POST?!

        Like, you carefully set the bait… hit F5 continuously for 6 minutes… then give up and just say what you wanted to in the first place.

        Trolls in the know know to fake a response from someone else.

        1. I wanted to add something after submitting. If I just wrote another comment, rather than doing a reply to my first comment, it would cease to be adjacent to my first comment and future readers would be confused.

          1. Threaded comments suck ass. When are we getting rid of them?

        2. i post to my own posts with good frequency. I’m always finding something i wanted to add onto my posts after reading them more. Too eager to submit, sorry.

  14. We have the freedom to turn right in Florida. And no income tax.

    1. Is that why Florida has such a high child murderer concentration?

      1. It’s the damned immigrants (from other states, I mean).

      2. It’s warmer under Florida bridges.

        1. When I was in Chicago and saw homeless people freezing their asses off, I always wondered why they didn’t migrate to Florida. By foot, if necessary.

          1. Mexicans handle a similar trip everyday. Just proves how fuckin lazy america has gotten.

  15. Brian-

    You should have thrown down the Global Warming card; next time, tell them you are attempting to reduce your carbon footprint by conserving momentum.

    Cite the First Law of Thermodynamics.

  16. OBEY!!!

    Teh LAWZ is smarter than You.

  17. Is that an outsider with or without a sense of humor?

    When humor is outlawed…

    well,

    you know..

  18. I just carry a utility knife and razor-sharp marlin spike. Spike and slash the tires, drive the spike a few times through the fender, then climb over the hood, wearing crampons.

    Too much work; just shoot the fucker for trampling your proppity rights.

  19. In San Diego a rolling right turn costs ya $450…… =(

  20. What would be safer than requiring you to both fully stop *and* turn off the ignition befor proceeding?

    1. I mean, safer than using the preview button?

  21. RLC are not about safety. When most of your Red Light violation crashes are plus 5 to 8 into red and most of what they write are:

    1. right turns on red.
    2. stopping over the stop line by a foot.
    3. split second violations that usually show the need for longer ambers.

    It is pretty obvious that this is about money.

    In fact in Tuscon, AZ the city and vendor have a their own definition of RLR Camera ticket. They moved the trigger line into the intersection so you can cross the stop line while yellow but not their version of the stop line.

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/29/2990.asp

    Ad to that LAPD was busted lying by a local cbs news station for under reporting accidents.

    http://cbs2.com/goldstein/Red.Light.Cameras.2.1301941.html

  22. As a California transplant, I can tell you that I absolutely hate those rolling right hand turns. It just really bugs me. I’m glad to know that there is an official name for them though.

  23. Threaded comments suck ass. When are we getting rid of them?

    I keep ignoring them, but they don’t go away.

  24. It’s just not right. Can’t we vote on this or something? Who the hell prefers this version of threaded comments? I may hate all versions, but I’m not sure about that. But this one. . .it’s not conducive to a good blogging experience.

    1. Threaded comments rule, especially when you come late to a thread. Side discussions, and troll-feeding sessions, are safely contained in contiguous sections of the thread, so they can be ignored if you’re not interested.

      I for one refuse to go back to the days of having to sift through 200 posts of Battlestar Galactica chat and Lefiti-baiting, to find the 20 or so posts that actually relate to the original topic.

      1. +1

    2. How hard would it be to add a couple buttons?… “Threading” or “No Threading”. I’d use both… threading when I’m new on a topic and no threading when I just want the latest posts.

      It would also be cool to be able to ignore people by IP address.

  25. Tulpa,

    Now you go too far.

    Incidentally, thanks to the magic of DVDs, I just watched the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Pretty crappy, if you ask me.

  26. [runs from spoilers]

    1. What spoilers? I just voiced an opinion. Well, more of a fact than an opinion.

      1. I was just running from the potential of spoilers. I’m a spoiler hypochondriac.

        1. Starbuck is an angel. Got it? Now you don’t have to watch and be disgusted. Also, Apollo turns out to be a vegisexual, Henry Winkler is a skinjob, and everything was a dream.

          1. Oh, that Battlestar Gallactica. I was afraid someone was going to spoil the Lorne Greene series. Carry on.

            1. Battlestar Gallactica is the one with an all-French crew, right?

          2. I’d have respected them more if the series had ended with Bob Hartley in bed with Emily.

            Where the hell did Lee Adama get this “give up the technology, man” crap from? Not one millisecond of anything ever indicated that kind of feeling up to the second he opened his mouth.

            1. Yeah, I hated that too. Doesn’t ruin the series for me though. Over the years I’ve noticed that good endings to any story are very rare.

              1. No, the first couple of seasons had some great TV. That’s true despite the poor conclusion.

                I had long ago decided that anyone having visions was a Cylon. They should’ve taken that idea and run with it. Earth, of course, was already Cylon in the shocking conclusion. Today’s Earth.

  27. Jeez, Woody Allen IS an idiot. The majority of us don’t own cars–we LOVE no right on red.

    1. Indeed. Cops and politician motorcades ignore the rules of the road anyway, and bus drivers don’t give a shit about being on time, so you’re basically left with cab drivers and delivery trucks as the interested parties. Intersecting that with US citizens who vote leaves a vanishingly small total.

  28. If it was only one or two hundred bucks a pop I’d run that sucker every single day, but $381 starts to get expensive. I certainly see the logic here. The punishment should fit the budget deficit. I mean the crime.

  29. I’m torn because it’s pretty obvious that local governments use these laws as a cash machine, but at the same time–in this case–the law is sensible. (Unlike, say, punitive sin taxes in which case it’s none of their goddamn business what I ingest.) It just happens to be a lot easier to enforce in situations where breaking it doesn’t harm anyone… 🙂

  30. I have a solution to this problem:

    Make a law (In CA we could do a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution) that deposits all money collected in fines, (as well as all money received asset forfeiture) into an account. At the end of the year this account would be paid out to taxpayers as a rebate. I would like to see this law passed on the federal level as well. This would eliminate a LOT of police corruption, and might have saved the life of the old lady in Atlanta who was murdered by the police in a phony drug raid.

  31. I know nothing about cars and/or motors. One of the things I have always been told, though is that starting your car wastes a lot of gas and it is usually better to just let the engine idle.

    Motors are most efficient, for a given load, at a certain rpm/torque. This is partly why your transmission is there, so the crankshaft can keep spinning in a range around the optimal speed even though the tires have to go from 0-60mph. Continuously variable transmissions can keep that operating range even narrower I think. Diesel generators run at a constant rpm, because then the maximum amount of power from combustion is transferred to the dynamo.

    So, yes, they waste gas whenever the engine isn’t spinning near the sweetspot. Hence the hatred foisted upon idling, but starting is the same thing really (going Off -> Idle).

    you have to trust it with some means of enforcing the laws, while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye on what it does with its powers.

    That’s not “trust” if you ask me. I keep my dogs on a short leash cause i don’t trust them further than i can throw them.

    If it is a good idea to let drivers use their judgment to decide whether it is safe to proceed through a red light, then why don’t we let people roll through red lights when going straight or turning left, too?

    Fewer variables to control for. Going straight or left through the intersection presents more possible collision sources than making a right turn, where you only have to check for left-turns from opposing traffic, crossing traffic from the left, and any possible U-turns on your right. I tried diagramming it to come up with some hard numbers for the collision sources in each scenario, but the drawing got too complicated for 1 color of pen and I’m not wasting the time on some CGI.

    I’m not solid on the rolling-vs-fullstop debate though. Seems like if someone is paying attention, they can safely execute a rolling turn. Then again, as a pedestrian, I’ve been almost-runover too many times by people who didn’t see me mid-crosswalk when they decided to turn into the development/postoffice parking lot. Almost-runover 3 times in as many years by people going in or out of that damned postoffice. Before i get told that i just suck at crossing the street: there’s not much i can do after watching traffic, seeing no oncoming vehicles, and starting across. I’ve only avoided being runover thanks to my decent hearing and perephrial vision.

    Just trying to point out that Tulpa always defends the indefensible.

    He’s a true Hero.

    Incidentally, thanks to the magic of DVDs, I just watched the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Pretty crappy, if you ask me.

    I liked that Hendrix is soooo immortal, he just keeps coming back. Least, that was the message i took away from the finale.

    Over the years I’ve noticed that good endings to any story are very rare.

    It sucks anytime something ends. Unless we were talkin about the WoD or something like that. OK, lemme rephrase: “Sucks anytime something you really like ends.” That’s better.

  32. Interesting story on lesbians splitting up with custody of a child involved. Totally off topic, but interesting.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_lesbian_custody

  33. What is interesting about the fallout of a failed relationship, regardless of the sexual orientations involved?

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