Do you support the use of traffic cameras in Oak Ridge to cite drivers for speeding and running red lights?

Posted 5 years.

11 Comments

  • Daniel Bridges - 5 years ago

    Brad Heun makes a compelling argument (and I think the strongest one here) against the cameras, that they undermine the protections of the U.S. Constitution. I've gotten one ticket ($52) after being here about a year, driving west past the high school -- 33 mph at 2:51pm, the first time I'd been there at that time of day. I didn't see the light blinking. I would've had to risk paying an additional $150 to contest it -- and, given the "we have a video of you with the light blinking" (which I couldn't view online) implication of RedFlex and the police officer (I called both) that I would not be forgiven, I couldn't afford to "face my accuser" and plead for mercy. If the choice is "camera or stoplight", I think the camera is better to save the environment -- less cars breaking for an unnecessary stoplight, less wasted energy. But, given Heun's argument about the Constitution, and the content of this news article (the Council's only been asked to consider the stoplight), I'd say the ideal is to end the cameras and not construct a stoplight. Personally, I would be okay with the cameras if they'd waive the court fee to contest it (so I wouldn't have to pay an additional $150 for the opportunity to ask them to waive the $50 ticket) -- strictly speaking, one is proven guilty by the video showing the vehicle speeding with flashing light. The mentality shifting towards 'guilty until proven innocent' is a problem nonetheless (and so this RedFlex system should be avoided), but if there is a high school safety problem and this system solves it, it seems to me to be constitutional (if the video can be demonstrated trustworthy, e.g. well-calibrated speed detection). That being said, I still find it absurd (and somewhat shameful) that the Oak Ridge Police Department insisted they "had nothing to do with" the ticket, that they "only verify the video; you'll have to contact RedFlex": The Oak Ridge Schools system taught me it was the police officer's responsibility to give speeding tickets. To sell this duty to a foreign business seems shameful. I support automation that frees our officers for more important work, though -- so develop your own system. This is supposed to be "a scientific community", so get to it ... On that note, I find the traffic lights in the city to be worse than the cameras: There are two or three lights that require slamming on the brakes seconds after a car pulls up. They should all have sensors (or cameras) counting strings of cars and gaps, so five cars aren't forced to waste energy for the sake of one car that could have waited ten more seconds. It seems straightforward to increase the sophistication of our traffic lights in this manner to be more energy efficient.

  • Larry Henderson - 5 years ago

    67% for the damn things!? What a city full of butt kissing, boot licking, sycophantic, authority worshipping, wimpy, suck ups! But that's a bunch of ignorant rednecks for you!

  • Larry Henderson - 5 years ago

    67% for the damn things!? What a city full of butt kissing, boot licking, sycophantic, authority worshipping, wimpy, suck ups! But that's a bunch of ignorant rednecks for you!

  • Maria Skorski - 5 years ago

    More than just a few are against the cameras!!! I am one of them against because they cannot tell who is driving the car, so they will issue the ticket to whomever the car is registered to.

  • Garry Gordon - 5 years ago

    Deffinatly against the cameras in Oak Ridge.. As previously stated, they cannot tell who is driving the car, so they will issue the ticket to whomever the car is registered to.. This should not be the case, as the offender is liable, not the owner of the vehicle. I get that some people are pulling out "OMFG! OUR CONSTITUTION!!" as well.. That is blatantly retarded. Yes, you have the right to face your accuser. That would be the City of Oak Ridge. You're talking to the proscecutor and that is your accuser. You are innocent until proven guilty. This stands that photographic evidence proves your vehicle drove over it, yes, but unless a clear picture of your face is taken, it cannot prove YOU did it. But here's the thing. If you wern't driving, then who did you allow to drive this vehicle? The responsible party CAN be quite easily located. If you don't wish to provide or say "nobody" then it's a stolen vehicle and you REALLY got more issues than a $50 ticket on your hand.. Now, I don't support them being here whatsoever because they ARE a traffic hazard. People will brake unexpectantly due to fear of "Being Flashed", but more over, the ones on the turnpike and on main roads can be easily Faked. the ones on the Turnpike for example in front of the Library actually rely on radar. Now, if someone passes me on the left in the fast lane, they can get the camera to click, but if I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time, I will get the capture instead of them.. the camera can't exactly determine WHO is speeding, just that someone in this photo was speeding.. and if he's just past me then the only plate that shows is mine.. Throw all this in with the recent events of the NSA Spying issues and I'd say we could REALLY use a few less cameras up our asses as of late.. I say they should vote "NO" on extending the camera contract and have them removed.

  • Brad Heun - 5 years ago

    Many people either have not read our Constitution, do not understand it, or just do not care. One of the main points found in it is, we are innocent until proven guilty. It is the burden of the state to prove your guilt, not the accused. These tickets are issued based on the belief you are guilty by virtue of owning a vehicle, and it is the owners responsibility to prove otherwise. That is exactly opposite of what the Constitution states, Another section of the Constitution states you have the right to face your accuser. That would require an actual human being with whom you could interact and dispute the charge. While there may be some well intended increases in safety, we can under no circumstance trade our Constitution in on a whim. Many have given and are still willing to give their lives for the words found in this document just so those around here can decide it is only important when beneficial to themselves. Good or bad, the Constitution should come first.

  • NO traffic cams - 5 years ago

    My husband got a welcome to Oak Ridge Ticket when we arrived. He was doing 29 in a 20 (during school zone hours) in front of the high school. It was his first time driving our son to school and a tree branch completely covers the school speed limit sign. Convenient. Interestingly he would have been counted as "out of state" in the data, since we had just arrived here, but we were very much Oak Ridge residents.

  • Nick - 5 years ago

    They are nothing but a nuisance and a hazard. I had a family member get rear-ended at the Lafayette/Turnpike intersection after an abrupt stop when the light turned yellow. I have seen many slam their brakes at a yellow light in fear of getting a ticket. Also, how can they be for safety when you have to pay more attention to the speedometer than the surrounding traffic/pedestrians? But for those who don't know, these cameras DO NOT use radar. The only way they measure your speed is when you run over the sensors in the road, which are quite obvious.

  • diane dykas - 5 years ago

    Another thing I don't like about the cameras. So many times cars in front of me brake suddenly (even if they're not going fast) when they reach the camera. That is not safe.

  • diane dykas - 5 years ago

    I wasn't finished. Also, the camera cannot tell who was driving the car. Family members commonly share cars. I know of a time when someone got a ticket driving my car, and we weren't really sure who was driving.

    I don't oppose the use of cameras because I want to drive fast. I am not a fast driver. But I don't think using the cameras is fair.

  • diane dykas - 5 years ago

    Last year I received a ticket in front of the high school in Oak Ridge. It was 4:51 pm, which is a full hour past the time school got out (before they changed dismissal time to 2:55). Dismissal was at 2:50. I don't see how that light could have been blinking. And I was going under 35 mph (31). I think that was so unfair.

    I don't think traffic cameras should be allowed, for the purpose of giving speeding tickets. I see it as an intrusion. Also, it seems it would limit the use of real policemen (and women), which I don't think is a good idea. I think the presence of real officers is important.

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