Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stop Line Infractions

What with Denver City Council taking up the issue of stop line infractions and their associated fines again, I thought it might be interesting to actually watch traffic to see what people are doing. I set up at 17th and York, which is not one of the 4 current photo locations. I edited out all of the green light passing traffic, and added my own buzzer for those I judged had crossed the line, using the center of the tire as a marker. Note that this intersection has two right-turn-on-red lanes.

17th and York
I noticed some trends:
1. Drivers in the right-turn-on-red lanes hardly ever came to a complete stop before turning. The reason for this is that they can clearly see north on York to determine if it is safe to make the turn on red, and, because of the timing on York, it usually is. I've turned here hundred's of times.
2. Many of the drivers who are not turning stop well behind the line.
3. The first car to stop at the light seems to set the standard for subsequent cars.
4. Many people are driving on under-inflated tires.

When walking, I'm often amazed at drivers who show no concern for the crosswalk and pedestrians. If this is a matter of safety (especially for the blind and handicapped as Councilman Lopez pointed out), let's put these cameras at all stop lights. Of course another issue is whether or not people will actually pay these "fines by mail". If you don't pay, do you think the City is just going to forget about it? City Council should contemplate removing the requirement that these tickets actually be served on the drivers, and thus remove the ambiguity of this so-called "Dumbo tax".

As to whether or not this is a "revenue grab", well, of course it is. What else do you expect from a failing government? As I've said before, get used to it.


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