Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cameras stop a crash... or not

WATCH: Crash captured on red-light camera

When the pitchman from Gatso rolls into town plying his company as a godsend to ensure the safety of drivers everywhere, please remember that this camera did nothing except record an event. People's actions continue whether a camera is watching or not and things just happen.

But as Rep. Doug Struyk said, "These cameras result in nothing more than safety, safety, safety."

And safety comes at a price... About a $1000 a day to the city of Cedar Rapids from the red light cameras alone. Plus the speed cameras on 380.

That's a lot of safety.


Anonymous said...

That was the wierdest crash I've ever seen.

I wonder if the light was malfunctioning.

Watch the left side of the screen. At the beginning, you can see the front bumper of the vehicle that ultimately gets hit.

It is stopped at the intersection just like everyone else.

As traffic begins to move, so does that vehicle. All the traffic from all directions begins moving at the same time.

If that guy was just a red light runner, why was he stopped at the intersection during the time his light should have been green?

Why did he start moving at virtually the exact same time as the crossing traffic began moving?

I've never seen a crash like that. Usually when someone runs a red light, it's because they weren't paying attention (typically impaired) and blow through it without slowing down.

This guy was completely stopped at the intersection when his light should have been green and didn't start moving until (presumably) his light turned red.

By the looks of it, I'd say either the light wasn't working and all the lights turned green at the same time (which seems implausible to me) or the guy who got hit, did so intentionally.

Was this a staged "accident" done specifically so the camera company could use it as propaganda? Was the driver of the hit car stoned out of his mind? Trying to commit suicide in a very inefficient way?

I don't know, but that is a very strange video.

Anonymous said...

Never mind. They explain it in the linked article.

Allegedly, the driver of the hit car stalled it when the light was green. He got it running again and took off without looking at the light just as it turned red. By the time he realized the light had changed, he was already in the intersection. He was probably trying to just get across and out of the way of oncoming traffic when he got hit.

The story is plausible and would explain the strange circumstances.

You're still right, though, that the camera did nothing to stop the crash and even contributed nothing to the issuance of the ticket considering how many witnesses there were around.

It's just good drama (and propaganda for the camera proponents).

Anonymous said...

Ahh, and something I didn't catch, but was brought up in comments at the linked article:

Watch all the way to the end.

See the oncoming school bus run the red light during the last few seconds of the video?

How, exactly, did the camera prevent that? Is the driver going to get a ticket in the mail?