Speed Cameras

This Speed Camera Handed Out $77,550 Worth of Tickets in One Day

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Sheepshead Bites, Google Maps

A speed camera on Ocean Avenue near a highway off-ramp and Lincoln High School in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn gave out 1,551 tickets one day earlier this year, according to the New York Post.

The information comes from a Department of Transportation report that was just released. The big pay day came on July 7, when school wasn't even in session. Each ticket is $50, so the city snagged a cool $77,550. It's one of 10 speed cameras on Ocean Parkway.

From the Post:

The area's city councilman, Chaim Deutsch, praised it for making roadways safer.

"If anyone is speeding .?.?. they deserve a summons," he told the blog Sheepshead Bites.

But Councilman Mark Treyger has blasted the camera's location as a speed trap.

Speed-camera violations are issued to anyone going more than 10?mph over the posted speed limit, which in this case is 30 mph. …

"So someone slowing from 50 to 40 mph or from 45 to 35 would not receive a violation," a DOT spokesperson said.

The city is currently adding 120 new speed cameras near public schools, expected to be in place by the end of 2015.

The agency said earlier this month that its 20 existing cameras issued 183,000 tickets since January, netting about $9.2 million.

Foter, Creative Commons

The local Sheepshead Bites blog quotes one resident who believes, "This camera seems to be conveniently placed so close to the exit ramp that you are almost guaranteed to set off this speed trap."

Various analyses have poked holes in the idea that video surveillance makes the roads safer.

A British study on speed cameras last year determined that "the number of collisions appears to have risen enough to make the cameras worthy of investigation in case they have contributed to the increases."

Likewise, many reports have indicated that red light cameras in the U.S. increase accidents

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  1. “If anyone is speeding .?.?. they deserve a summons,”

    Why? And no, I’m sorry, I don’t believe you that it’ll make the roads safer, you no longer get to blindly exclaim that without proving it.

      1. THE INNOCENT HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

    1. “Except for council members, who deserve to have their summonses fixed.”

  2. Ey! are you suggesting Sheepshead Bay is full of scumbags? You need to talk to my cousin Rocco. In the alley.

    1. It’s New York City. Of course it’s full of scumbgs.

  3. But if it saved just one childin!

  4. I am of the opinion that the only time a citation with a punishment should be issued is when an incident actually happens. (There’s a collision, the driver is obviously impaired and a hazard to themselves and others, etc) Speed, in of itself, is not sufficient justification for penalties. That’s before you get to the mendacious positioning of these cameras, designed for maximum revenue generation.

    Worse, in some states (*cough*New York*cough*) the law forbids challenging the accuracy of hardware in court so anything from a radar gun to a speed camera is regarded as word of god and may not be challenged no matter how badly calibrated. The only reason this law hasn’t been struck down is because it’s cheaper to make the ticket go away than to fight the thing.

    1. I remember the last time I went to challenge a ticket, and the judge said something to the effect of “The law says the radar is always right, even when it is wrong. I don’t accept any explanations. You all will be found guilty. Now lets start wasting my time.”

      It was a real eye opener to how traffic enforcement is nothing more than revenue, and has absolutely nothing to do with public safety. Nothing at all.

      1. or the last two tickets my wife got –

        One for “running a stop sign”… even though there was no one around and she did stop, but beyond the “fine” officer’s view.

        And the other one, no right turn on red – again, no traffic around or even a pedestrian. And the sign was hidden high above and not visible at night.

        1. I got two tickets in a batch a few years ago.

          One was for following too closely (I wasn’t following anybody)

          One was for (other violation, write code section number here ______) which gave the judge pause and caused him to open up his immense 10,000 page tome of state laws, and discover that I had been accused of placing the wrong size stop sign at an intersection.

          The latter charge was thrown out. The former, the prosecutor OBJECTIONED! my defense that the cop was obviously nuts due to the other charge being ridiculous.

          Immediately after I had been given these tickets, the officer went on break and had a coffee at a cafe.

          By such small steps do a man’s complete contempt for authority get built.

      2. And yet if everyone challenged every ticket, we could break the system by clogging the courts until they stopped giving out the chicken shit tickets.

        1. Keep dreaming. They’d just take away your ability to make the challenge at all.

          1. Exactly. Traffic court already makes a mockery of due process, it’s only a small step to no process.

    2. In MD, the company who manages the speed cameras has to authenticate the accuracy of the camera every day and log the results. At least it was the law. I’m not sure if it still is.

      One case I know of where the driver challenged the state to produce the logs and they couldn’t. Case dismissed.

      1. The last speeding ticket I got, the officer lied about everything on it. It said I was going 65 when I was going 60, and he said I was a quarter mile back in a place where the speed limit was 45 instead of 55. So he tagged me for 65 in a 45 when I was doing 60 in a 55. The asshole showed up to court, and when I questioned him about it he said “I will tell the judge that I calibrated the radar at the beginning of my shift.” Notice the phrasing? Basically he said to me “I will lie to the judge because FYTW.” And people wonder why I hate cops.

        1. And people wonder why I hate cops.

          It’s not nice to generalize to all of our heroes in blue from the worst 95%.

        2. Years ago I got pulled over on a 40mph side road. The cop said he had me on radar doing 59. It was a shitty, potholed road, and although I wasn’t really paying attention to my speed, because of my familiarity with the poor condition of the road I doubt I was going anymore than 42, if not below the speed limit. I asked to see the radar readout, and sure enough, it read 59. But I noticed there was no time stamp. I mentioned that, and that he could have locked in that speed at any time on the local highway a half mile away. He just smirked and said “tell it to the judge.”

  5. PUBLIC SAFETY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Making people safe is a goddamn cash cow, brutha.

      1. We can only be safe when the government is awash in cash. A cashawash, if you will.

        1. Cashoholics love cashawashes.

          1. Working at the cashawash.
            Working at the cashawash, yeah.
            Come on and sing it with me, cashawash.
            Sing it with the feeling now, cashawash, yeah.

  6. A British study on speed cameras last year determined that “the number of collisions appears to have risen enough to make the cameras worthy of investigation in case they have contributed to the increases.”

    Brake-checking the guy behind you, who doesn’t know about the speed trap, might cause an unnecessary disruption to the smooth and steady flow of traffic, and lead to more crashes? Imposserous.

  7. In DC, they’re justified in the name of pedestrian safety. You do care about the safety of the pedestrians on I-395 and other roads that are legally closed to pedestrians, don’t you?

    1. Yeah…that speed camera on NY Avenue when it’s still basically a freeway but with a limit of 35mph is totally about pedestrian safety…nothing to do with taxing commuters from MD…

  8. But Councilman Mark Treyger has blasted the camera’s location as a speed trap.

    That camera’s a top earner. What are you good for, Treyger?

  9. traffic enforcement is nothing more than revenue, and has absolutely nothing to do with public safety. Nothing at all.

    It’s just a randomized variant of toll collection; at gunpoint.

    1. When I was a teenager in a 400-powered Firebird, I would pretty much run for it if the cops tried to pull me over. I got away more than once, helped by the cover of night. These days – FELONY!

      Of course it helped that the coppers where in slooow Dodge Diplomats.

      1. I managed to elude the cops once. In a Ford Tempo! It was night time. I got off the road and killed the lights just in time to see the blues go rushing by. It was great!

        1. I almost did, but wussed out at the last moment. I was in my Z28 with ram air driving about 90ish down an empty rural expressway in Illinois just after midnight. Coming home from a business trip. Saw the cop in the middle of the expressway after I whizzed by. Started to speed up as soon as I passed him, then reconsidered and slowed down hoping to talk him out of a ticket since it was my anniversary and I was trying to get home to my wife. Got a ticket. Just reinforces that my first instinct – to floor it – was the correct one.

          1. You can’t outrun Motorola. I only got away with it because I got off the road. Had I continued down the road there is no doubt that I would have been caught.

      2. slooow Dodge Diplomats.

        This. Dodge and Plymouths topped out at 107 if in good working order.

        The same era Chevy’s and Fords would do 115 if you gave em enough time and straight road.

        Highway patrols started using Mustangs and Camaros because running was so easy.

      3. As kids we learned that if, when on foot, you stop cold when you see a cop, turn around and run as fast as you can…they’ll chase you. However, once you get to be around 14 the cops start to get a little lippy.

    2. It’s just a randomized variant of toll collection

      I’d be fine with the toll collection, but not all the other shit that compounds with it:
      Insurance Rates
      License Points
      Lack of any real ability to contest
      Threat to life from armed gestapo
      No actual improvement to safety

      1. Oh, yeah, and totally unreasonable tolls.

      2. Don’t forget the rape.

        1. That’s the one part I look forward to.

      3. Camera tickets in DC don’t count toward license points or any of that. They just want the money.

  10. The camera isn’t doing anything a police officer couldn’t do, because 1,551 tickets in a day is completely reasonable.

    1. Libertarians should be celebrating the move to automated traffic enforcement because it removes human error and unequal enforcement from the equation. And frankly, if you dare to go more than 30 MPH that close to a school you deserve whatever bad things happen to you. Why if I had my druthers that entire stretch of highway would be a 30 MPH zone.

    2. In the bad old days, before public safety was in the forefront of every police action, cities used to set the speed limit to a value that would get 85% compliance (the majority of people would comply with the speed limit).

      Now speed limits are calibrated to produce the most revenue because this allows the police to buy cool toys to keep the public safe from itself.

      Such is progress.

      1. They just raised the speed limit on a few roads around here, citing that 85%. One of them I drive every day went from 55 to 60, and couple chunks of I-95 went from 65 to 70 and 55 to 60.

        The derp in the letters to the editor was fantastic.

        1. One of my favorite experiences when I lived in Phoenix was driving 80 MPH on the downtown freeways at rush hour and watching a patrol car cruise along with the rest of the pack (going 25 over the limit).

          The police were smart enough not to bother the people leaving work. Instead they would set up for the end of happy hour when they could really fuck up a bunch of people.

      2. Then again I’m in one of the few states where all ticket revenue goes into the state’s general fund. So the cops have less of an incentive to hand out tickets, since they don’t keep any of the revenue.

        1. The four sets of speed cameras on the only downtown freeway in our little Iowa burg are generating a 7 figure annual income for the city (that’s the city’s cut, not the total revenue from the cameras).

  11. Each ticket is $50, so the city snagged a cool $77,550.

    The system works as designed. Citizens scumbags are teats to be milked.

    1. That’s the cheapest traffic ticket I’ve ever heard of.

      1. That’s because if it’s priced any higher, people will fight it, and win.

  12. Heh, the stories on that page are like a litany of how it sucks here. God bless the Post.

  13. Playing devil’s advocate for a moment… Ocean Parkway is a well-known hot-spot of pedestrian deaths (it’s basically a drag strip in the middle of a dense urban neighborhood). Cops are usually busy on parade duty or pawing through subway riders’ bookbags and therefore generally unavailable to go after speeders. So what’s wrong with a camera doing that job for them? And no, I don’t believe punishment after the fact (the pedestrian is already dead) is necessarily working.

    1. So what’s wrong with a camera doing that job for them?

      Everything

      It allows them to ignore work they should do and gives them time to do work they shouldn’t do.

      And no matter how the system gets set up, it becomes first and foremost about generating revenue not about maintaining public safety.

      1. And no matter how the system gets set up, it becomes first and foremost about generating revenue not about maintaining public safety.

        I tend to agree, but do you think there is a place for these things at all? If the answer is no, then what other solution(s) is there to the problem of out-of-control speeding on certain roads?

        1. “what other solution(s) is there to the problem of out-of-control speeding on certain roads?”

          Better engineering?

          1. Roads can definitely be designed so that people naturally go the desired speed. Lombard St in SF (if I remember correctly) has a speed limit of 5 mph . No one to my knowledge has ever broken that speed limit.

          2. Better engineering?

            Absolutely – and they’re doing those things too. Usually to howls of protest from drivers who feel “inconvenienced”.

        2. do you think there is a place for these things at all?

          No.

          then what other solution(s) is there to the problem of out-of-control speeding on certain roads?

          Cities can stop wasting money on 90% of the shit they do and then hire police to police the public streets. But this is never going to happen, because the city can’t accept the police force as a cost center instead of a profit center.

          1. Cities can stop wasting money on 90% of the shit they do and then hire police to police the public streets.

            Hm. I think I would rather get a ticket in the mail than deal with a cop in person. Less chance of dying.

    2. “So what’s wrong with a camera doing that job for them? ”

      Is it?

    3. So what’s wrong with a camera doing that job for them?

      Supposedly automation is supposed to eliminate human jobs. Why doesn’t this seem to happen with police?

  14. If they can catch “everyone,” they may as well lower the fine, right?

  15. Seventy-seven grand a day is just the price of civilization, you howling anarchists!

  16. Just stick to the limits and you’ll be fine, citizen.

    Minimum: 55 MPH
    Maximum: 40 MPH

  17. Wow. Where do I even begin? The idea that these cameras have been foisted on us without a swift and decisive rejection by at least 90 percent of the citizenry is just mind-blowing. I mean, do we even need to explain why this is just pure fascism?

  18. Once again, it all started when laws and regulations stopped being about safety, and started being about a revenue center.

  19. I’ve been catching up on Top Gear over the past year or so, and I’ve reached the point in the series where just about every other “News” segment is started with Jeremy bitching about either speed cameras or dumb/superfluous signs.

  20. You pinned your map near Ocean Pkwy. instead of Ocean Ave. Your pinned location at least arguably isn’t even Sheepshead Bay. However, there’s no off ramp from the Belt Pkwy. close to Ocean Ave., and Lincoln HS is where you have it, so you must’ve meant “near Ocean Pkwy.” rather than “on Ocean Avenue”.

  21. Good thing we can all vent here rather than storm city hall, string a few up and tar and feather the rest of them. I pine for the past.

  22. The one good thing I like about the Speed Camera is that Professional Courtesy goes away. So, the Cop, Judge, Lawyer, Prosecutor, Correction Officer, Fireman, and their wives and moms will now get Speeding Tickets.

    Once these people start getting tickets, you’ll see the Speed Limit go up.

  23. “Once these people start getting tickets, you’ll see the Speed Limit go up.” Hardly. You really think if a uniformed officer shows up and meets the judge before traffic court opens that he doesn’t get the ticket dismissed for himself, spouse, kid, mom, dad, aunt, uncle or family friend?

    1. We’ve seen these cameras raise the speed limit upstate in Sullivan County.

      A mayor many years ago lowers the speed limit in a rural country road from 45 to 30mph.
      He claims safety. Even the town’s people saw it as a fund raiser. To make it worst, the cops would give the town’s people tickets (at least the ones not related to law enforcement).

      The subsequent mayor installed Cameras and it wasn’t even a year later that we went back to 45 mph.

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