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6/30/2005
San Bernardino, CA Cameras Banking on Short Yellow Times
New San Bernardino, California red light cameras will be activated without making any engineering improvements first.

San Bernadino Sheriff
Officials in San Bernardino, California are preparing to issue red light camera tickets beginning in August, but they're not interested in engineering improvements to make intersections safer. When confronted with a Texas Transportation Institute study showing engineering improvements such as longer yellow lights should be made before deploying cameras, the officials weren't interested.

"We didn't feel that lengthening that would make a difference," City Engineer Mark Lancaster told the San Bernardino County Sun. "We are trying to do something immediate to try and cut down the number of severe accidents and the number of accidents at these locations."

Although the city meets the legally required minimum length for yellow light duration, the Texas study found that an additional second beyond the bare minimum reduced accidents by 40 percent. Other improvements that increase signal visibility slashed violations by 25 percent.

San Bernardino red will charge $361 for each photo ticket. A single red light camera made $711,550 in its first three weeks of operation in Marysville, California.

Article Excerpt:
"How do you argue with a photo?" [Councilwoman Wendy McCammack] asked. "You can argue with an officer in front of a judge, but you can't argue with a photo."
Source: Cameras to enforce red lights (San Bernardino County Sun, 6/27/2005)

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