ABOLISH BAD TRAFFIC LAW

The purpose of traffic law should be to make driving safer,
not to increase how much money government can spend.

CAUSES OF BAD TRAFFIC LAWS

  1. Incompetence: Untrained laymen are in charge
  2. Ulterior Motives: Political beliefs are made more important than safety.
  3. Ulterior Motives: Tricking people into violations, to provide more fine revenue.
  4. Ulterior Motives: Saving money on roads, so other programs can have more money.

DEFINITIONS:

THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES SHOULD ALWAYS BE FOLLOWED WHEN WRITING TRAFFIC LAWS:

  1. A stranger to the area should be able to drive without unknowingly violating any traffic laws or rules.
    • The stranger should be able to use the traffic law he knows from living anywhere else in the country.
    • The stranger must not need any information that is not presented to him as he drives.
    • The stranger has all of the information he needs, no matter which roads he actually takes.
    • The stranger must not need to commit information to memory because signs are few and far between.
    • Nobody is trying to gain fine revenue by tricking the stranger into violations through lack of notice.
    • The vehicle the stranger legally drives at home shall be legal to drive anywhere in the country.
    • Special equipment that a stranger would not have must not be required by law.
  2. All traffic rule implementations shall be placed by trained engineers.
    • Politicians on the state and national level shall make traffic laws.
    • Politicians, policemen, traffic commissions, and other untrained laymen shall not make traffic rules.
    • People who believe that most drivers will drive at unsafe speeds if permitted shall not make traffic laws or rules.
    • People who believe that speed bumps or humps are an acceptable solution for anything shall not make traffic laws or rules.
    • Traffic rules shall never be made for reasons other than traffic safety.
    • No traffic rules shall place the safety of government employees ahead of the safety of the motoring public.
  3. Traffic laws shall put in place the framework for traffic rules, not the locations where they apply.
    • Statutes and ordinances shall not list locations for traffic rules. Courts shall not challenge or try to change this.
    • The trained engineer shall keep engineering records on where and why traffic rules are placed.
    • No traffic law shall be enacted for any reason other than traffic safety.
    • Traffic laws shall be statutes.
    • Traffic laws shall not expect drivers to do the impossible (e.g. measure distances in feet from inside a moving car).
    • Traffic laws shall not change at city limits or county lines.
  4. Each traffic rule shall be determined using existing site conditions, not default conditions or conditions dictated by politicians.
    • Speed limits shall not be used unless shown to be necessary for the location. Advisory speeds shall be used elsewhere.
    • Speed limits, if used, shall be set so that the design speed of the road is a legal speed.
    • Speed limits, if used, shall be set so that the speed traffic is actually moving at is a legal speed.
    • Speed limits, if used, shall not be dictated by political boundaries (e.g. city limits).
    • Speed limits, if used, shall be the same for all types of vehicles using the road.
    • There shall be no state maximum speed limits or default speed limits.
    • Lower speed limits shall not be used in lieu of removing the hazards that necessitate them.
    • Traffic rules shall concentrate on moving traffic, not stopping it.
    • Traffic rules shall not be made for political, environmental, noise abatement, or business reasons.
    • Traffic rules shall not change at city limits, county lines, or state lines.
    • No traffic rule shall compromise safety for the convenience of others.
    • Schools shall not be built on major roads. Special school speed limits must be on quiet residential streets, not major thoroughfares.
  5. Each traffic rule shall require prominent notice, in the form of signs, signals, pavement markings, and other traffic control devices.
    • The actual placement of the traffic control device by the engineer shall be the legal notice and enactment of the traffic rule.
    • Pavement markings shall never be used alone, due to the possibility of obscurement by the products of weather.
    • There shall be no laws dictating the placement or usage of traffic rules according to jurisdiction type.
    • No traffic law shall remove the necessity of posting notice at the sites of traffic rule applications.
    • Notice shall always be at the site, not in the form of a broadcast, a newspaper article, or signs at the entrances of a jurisdiction.
    • Drivers shall never be required to commit traffic rules for the road to memory. Notice shall be repeated at frequent intervals.
    • A traffic rule on a particular road shall not apply to a driver turning onto the road until the driver has visible notice of the rule.
  6. No traffic law or rule shall require special knowledge that might not be immediately available to the driver as he is driving:
    • Current date and time
    • Time zone for the location
    • Whether or not daylight-saving time is in effect (this should be abolished everywhere)
    • Day of the week
    • Local school schedules
    • Alternating or rotating parking schedules
    • The weather forecast
    • Locations of schools, hospitals, or fire stations
    • Local time of sunrise or sunset
    • Locations of city limits, county lines, or state lines.
    • Factory shift schedules
    • Any other information not immediately obvious

    The traffic control device itself shall provide all of the information needed.

  7. Traffic laws shall be uniform across the entire nation.
    • No traffic law shall ever be written to apply to only a small locality.
    • Traffic control devices shall be applied according to standards. The opinions of politicians shall not override the standards.
    • A national Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices shall set the standards for the use of traffic control devices.
    • The standards shall be written in clear unambiguous language, and shall be checked for possible ways to misread them.
    • The states shall not set standards that differ from the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
    • The standards shall allow for minor adjustments of traffic control device locations, so they fit the actual site, and are visible and unambiguous.
    • Laws pertaining to non-traffic issues shall not be traffic laws, and shall not carry traffic penalties.
    • Traffic penalties may differ from state to state. Local governments shall not set traffic penalties.
  8. Government shall not get any revenue from fines for breaking traffic rules.
    • Unless flagrant, traffic rule violations shall have no penalties other than traffic school, and fines for repeated violations.
    • Traffic penalties shall be applied only where lawbreaking is flagrant, repeated, or deliberately flouting authority.
    • The money from fines for breaking traffic laws affecting safety anywhere shall go to the government with arresting jurisdiction.
    • The money from fines for breaking traffic rules should go into a fund for reimbursing crime victims. It shall not be used to fund government.
    • Failure to pay a fine shall never have a traffic penalty.
    • No government, business, or property owner shall charge for parking vehicles or set parking time limits.
  9. License suspension shall be restricted to cases of bad driving, not collecting money.
    • Failure to pay fines shall be handled through courts, not through license suspensions.
    • Licenses shall never be suspended for non-traffic reasons (e.g. failure to pay child support). Such suspensions dilute traffic safety.
    • People with inability to pay traffic fines shall be given opportunities to work off those fines or pay over time.
    • Illegal drug use is a traffic safety hazard. Licenses shall be suspended for conviction of illegal drug use.
    • Licenses of prison inmates shall be suspended for the period of the sentence, to deter escape.
      • Unless one of the following is true, licenses shall be reinstated upon release from prison, after written and driving tests:
        1. A major traffic offense resulted in the conviction
        2. The conviction was a habitual traffic offender conviction
        3. The conviction was for use of a vehicle to flee law enforcement.

    Other non-traffic convictions shall never have license suspensions as penalties.

  10. Enforcement methods must be scientifically verifiable and morally right.
    • Enforcement methods either must not rely on human reaction time, or must have leeway to account for the worst case of reaction time.
    • RADAR can be fooled by such things as secondary reflections, corner reflectors, moving parts on a car, and interference. It should not be relied on for measuring speed.
    • Speed should not be as important to enforcement as following distance and right-of-way.
    • There shall never be any ticket quotas imposed on policemen.
    • Drivers shall not be penalized for making wrong choices in confusing or ambiguous situations.
    • Only the person at fault shall be ticketed, not the person who caused greater damage as a result of the other person's action.
    • If ice or snow is not properly and promptly removed from roads, government shall be at fault for all accidents caused by it.
    • Automated enforcement shall not be used for ticketing. It can be used to warn drivers of bad behavior.
    • Tolls should be avoided.
    • Electronic toll collection shall not be required to be used. Cash must always be accepted for toll payments at all locations. The method of payment must not change the amount of toll.
  11. Traffic control devices shall never be designed in such a way that they damage vehicles, except for the purpose of stopping out-of-control vehicles.
    • Speed bumps and humps shall never be used. They damage vehicles by contact with the undercarriage or by excessive vibration.
    • Barriers to prevent cars from crossing into opposing traffic or construction workers may damage vehicles, but there should be clear spaces between traffic lanes and the barriers.
    • Signs mounted in the roadway to give notice of the presence of a crosswalk shall not block right turns.
    • Gates that close across the road shall be designed to do no damage if they close while vehicles are stopped in their paths.
    • Gates at tollgates shall be designed to not damage vehicles that hit them.
    • Police shall be liable for any damage they cause to a stolen vehicle while trying to stop it.

THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS TO CONTROL TRAFFIC

CategoryThe Wrong WayThe Right Way
Speed Limits Politicians setting speed limits:
  • Speed limits set to raise more revenue from fines.
  • Speed limits are set low because someone thinks people always drive 10 mph faster than the speed limit.
  • Speed limits set because someone is afraid of what could happen in an improbable situation.
  • Speed limits set for political reasons.
  • Speed limits are set by untrained laymen.
  • Speed limit signs are placed too close to the intersection, where right turning drivers can not see them.
  • Speed limit signs are placed every few miles, so drivers turning on from side roads do not know what the speed limit is.
  • Different speed limits for different kinds of vehicles.
Engineers setting speed limits, or just posting advisory speeds:
  • Government must not get the revenue from traffic fines.
  • Speed limits are not used unless really needed. Advisory speeds are used instead.
  • The speed traffic is actually moving at is always a legal speed.
  • There is always notice of any speed limit, placed where it can easily be seen by all drivers.
  • Where a speed limit changes, only the higher speed limit is enforced between the last sign of the old limit and the second sign of the new limit.
  • Speed limits are never used for political purposes.
  • Methods other than setting a low speed limit are used to deal with hazards.
  • The same speed limit is set for all users of the road.
  • Prohibition of mopeds and nonmotorized traffic from high speed roads, and provision of alternate routes for them.
School Zones Politicians use wrong methods, or try to save too much money:
  • Expecting the driver to know the correct local time or time zone.
  • Expecting a driver to know when children are present when the driver can't see any children.
  • Expecting the driver to know the school schedule for that particular day at that particular school.
  • Not enough signs, so drivers turning onto the road in the middle of the school zone do not know it is there.
  • Placing flashing lights so people turning on the road in the middle of the zone can't see them.
  • Putting school zones on major thorofares.
  • Making the school speed limit more than 10 mph lower than the normal speed.
  • Requiring drivers to know the school calendars.
Engineers know what to do:
  • Engineers will not allow schools on or near thoroughfares. Schools belong in the middle of neighborhoods.
  • The school zone must be adequately signed, so that anyone driving anywhere in the school zone can see at least one sign.
  • The end of the school zone must be posted too.
  • Notice must be adequately given when the school zone is in effect. It must be visible to anyone in the zone.
  • The notice must not depend on the driver knowing the correct time, the time zone, the current date, or the day of the week.
  • Active school zone equipment must not indicate a school zone speed is in effect unless school is actually in session.
  • Enforcement must not assume that a given driver has access to local news.
  • Nothing works as well as a crossing guard.
  • Crossing guards must not teach children to violate traffic laws through lazy methods.
School Buses Expecting drivers to do the impossible when approaching a school bus:
  • Expecting drivers to know a school bus is present when it is not visible to them.
  • Not giving enough advance warning that a school bus is stopping.
  • Using simultaneous flashing yellow lights for the advance warning makes other drivers assume the bus is a service vehicle or a garbage truck.
  • Stopping school buses in places that are most convenient for the children, instead of the safest places for other traffic.
  • Stopping school buses for children around blind curves or beyond hill crests.
  • Stopping school buses for children at intersections, and expecting drivers from all directions to be able to see them.
  • Stopping school buses for children on busy multilane highways where large trucks can hide the flashing lights from other drivers.
  • Stopping school buses for children where it causes traffic to be trapped in an intersection or across railroad tracks.
  • Stopping school buses for children where speeds are too high for drivers to be able to stop in time.
  • Stopping school buses for children several times in the same block.
  • Not realizing that darkness, fog, or other bad weather can cause a driver to think that a school bus is something other than a school bus.
  • Setting special speed limits for school buses.
  • Bus drivers using the red lights to get out into traffic
Making the course of action clear for other drivers when stopping a school bus for children:
  • Stopping the bus for children in a place where it easily can be seen.
  • Stopping the bus for children away from intersections, industrial driveways, and railroad crossings.
  • Putting the bus stops on side streets, not on major thoroughfares.
  • Use alternating yellow warning lights, so the vehicle is identified as a school bus.
  • Avoid putting bus stops where following traffic can be trapped in intersections or across railroad tracks.
  • Avoid stopping school buses for children on multilane highways.
  • Plan bus routes for safety, not just efficiency.
  • No special speed limits for school buses. All traffic on a given road should be going the same speed.
  • Prohibit stopping school buses for children at multiple locations in the same block.
  • Prohibit by law the setting of special bus speed limits by insurance companies.
  • Prohibit by law the school bus driver from using the red lights to clear a path into traffic.
Impossible to Obey Regulations Traffic Laws Require Impossible Feats By Drivers and Vehicle Owners:
  • Requiring a driver to stop the instant a pedestrian enters a crosswalk. This violates the laws of physics.
  • Distances required for following, spacing, signaling, and other regulations are in impossible to measure feet, meters, or car lengths.
  • Even harder to measure distances between vehicles approaching each other are also given in impossible to measure feet.
  • The human vision system is a very poor tool to measure distances with. It will not work at all if perspective clues are absent.
  • Laws require windows to not have too much tint. Never mind that the manufacturer puts that much tint on all of their windows. Removing the factory tinting on car windows requires the expense of replacing all of the glass, and voids the vehicle warranty.
  • The law requires a replacement exhaust system to be made by the manufacturer of the car. This is nothing but a government enforced monopoly.
  • State governments pass new standards that keep people from driving vehicles they already own in that state.
  • Signs are hidden from view, or refer to an intersection beyond the next one, because of distances set by uniform traffic control standards.
Traffic Laws Require Actions Drivers and Owners Can Do:
  • Requiring a pedestrian to wait to enter a crosswalk until there are no vehicles close enough that they cannot stop in time.
  • Distances required for following, spacing, signaling, dimming, and other regulations are converted to easy to measure seconds of travel time, or to other easily determined facts. Other visual aids are needed to deal with vehicles approaching each other.
  • The human brain is able to roughly measure short periods of time. Most people can count off seconds, often using a mnemonic to do so.
  • Sizes that can be measured when the vehicle is parked, including vehicle length, width, and height, can be specified in feet.
  • The law does not require expensive vehicle modifications to increase the safety of the officer. Public employees shall not be given any special status or protection above any other member of the public.
  • The law shall not penalize the car owner for a replacement exhaust system that is not made by the manufacturer of the car. This is none of the law's business.
  • No state government shall pass any vehicle standards.
  • No existing vehicle shall be deemed illegal to drive as a result of new standards passed after the vehicle was manufactured.
  • No traffic control device standards shall be so rigid in placement that the device is hidden, or that the device refers to an intersection beyond the next one.
Sporting Events Sporting and Entertainment Events are Worshiped by Government:
  • The sports or entertainment arena is built on a major highway, where any large event will disrupt traffic on that highway.
  • Roads and highways connected to the arena(s) are not adequate to handle the traffic generated by the arena.
  • Regular traffic is disrupted to accommodate the traffic going to and from the event. Often roads are closed.
  • People are often not allowed to patronize businesses located on the routes leading to the arena during the event traffic pattern.
  • People who are already at businesses when the traffic pattern for the event begins find that they are unable to go in any direction except into the arena parking lot. Often they are forced to pay the parking fee before they are allowed to turn around to leave.
  • Strangers to the area are forced to turn off of the marked highway routes they are using maps to follow, because they are closed to all traffic except event traffic. They are then left to find their way through streets that are not marked (or are poorly marked) with directions back to the highway.
  • Truck drivers are diverted off the highways they are supposed to be following, and onto city streets. They then have to drive extra miles to find their ways back to their assigned routes. Some fleet drivers are monitored for the mileage they drive, and are charged for extra miles driven beyond the expected length of the trip.
  • Often the assigned alternate route is not improved to properly handle large trucks, or adds many miles to the trip.
  • The police always restrict the traffic not connected with the event. They never restrict the traffic coming out of the arena.
Sporting and Entertainment Events are not given Special Status:
  • Sports and entertainment arenas are not located on major highways.
  • Roads connected to arenas are adequate to handle the traffic generated by the arenas and carry the traffic to major highways.
  • Regular traffic is not disrupted to accommodate the traffic going to and from the event. No roads are closed.
  • People are never prevented from patronizing businesses located on the roads leading to arenas.
  • People are not forced to turn in certain directions because of the arena traffic pattern. Nobody is forced to enter the arena parking lot.
  • Strangers to the area are not forced to detour because of the event.
  • Those who must be diverted because of the event are given clear instructions on the alternate route. The alternate route is able to handle trucks.
  • Any alternate route does not add more than a mile to the trip.
  • The police release parking lot traffic one row at a time, in such a way that it does not overload existing roads.
  • The smartest communities don't build sports arenas. They don't give in to the sports addicts.
Bicycles Bicycle Riders Endanger Themselves and Others:
  • Bicycle riders routinely disobey vehicle traffic laws, endangering themselves and others. The violations include:
    1. Riding on sidewalks and pedestrian trails
    2. Failure to stop for stop signs
    3. Failure to stop and stay for traffic signals
    4. Riding on the wrong side of the road, or in the wrong lane
    5. Riding the wrong way on a one-way street
    6. Disobeying other traffic control devices
    7. Riding between lanes, or on the right shoulder
    8. Riding at night without the proper lights and equipment
  • Bicycle riders think they are allowed to obey pedestrian laws, because their vehicles are not motorized. This causes many accidents.
  • Bicycle riders put their "momentum" above safe riding.
  • Bicycle riders cause accidents without getting into them, by causing other traffic to avoid them.
  • Police do not enforce bicycle laws.
  • Public officials favor bicycles as being "environmentally friendly," and ignore the problem.
  • Worse, public officials pass laws allowing these dangerous behaviors. Oregon and Idaho have very stupid legislatures in this area.
Cyclists are Taught to Obey the Law:
  • Bicycle riders are taught why disobeying the law causes accidents:
    1. Riding on sidewalks and pedestrian trails becomes dangerous when cyclists suddenly appear at speed at intersections and fail to yield.
    2. Failure to stop for stop signs is selfish. It is unexpected behavior, causing accidents.
    3. Failure to stop and stay for traffic signals is unexpected behavior, and causes accidents.
    4. Riding on the wrong side of the road, or in the wrong lane causes accidents, because the bicycles come from illegal directions.
    5. Riding the wrong way on a one-way street causes crashes, because turning drivers don't look for traffic coming from illegal directions.
    6. Disobeying other traffic control devices also causes unexpected hazards.
    7. Riding between lanes, or on the right shoulder is dangerous. Cars turn in front of bikes without warning.
    8. Riding at night without the proper lights causes crashes. Reflectors don't work without light shining on them, as when cars pass or turn.
  • Bicycle riders are shown that pedestrian laws are for traffic that moves at 4 mph or slower. Faster traffic isn't visible long enough.
  • Bicycle riders are taught that their keeping their "momentum" can get them killed.
  • Police enforce bicycle laws.
  • Public officials favor bicycles as being "environmentally friendly," by providing facilities that are safe for all traffic.
  • Public officials don't bow to public pressure to pass wrongheaded laws that endanger people.

PROBLEMS WITH ENFORCEMENT METHODS

Many enforcement methods are fraught with problems of scientific veracity:

  1. Speed Limits - Wrong Concepts:
    • Too often, untrained politicians or citizen groups are allowed to set speed limits.
    • Some people believe that drivers will always go 10 miles per hour over any speed limit. They are wrong. Usually the speed limits are set 10 mph too low.
    • Some people believe that slower speeds are always safer. They are wrong.
    • Some politicians believe that overdesigning a road, and then setting a lower speed limit will make it safer. They are wrong.
    • Too often, insurance actuaries are allowed to affect the setting of speed limits, to limit government liability in case of a lawsuit.
    • The truth is that most drivers will go the perceived design speed of the road, no matter what silly number the politicians put up.
  2. Speed Limits - RADAR and LIDAR Errors:
    • Police RADAR is not infallible, no matter what the police and public service announcements say.
    • The most common error is the RADAR gave a reading from one car, but the officer stopped a different car for the speeding offense.
    • Police RADAR does not select the closest vehicle, or the largest vehicle. It finds the fastest vehicle in range.
    • Police RADAR has been known to pick up aircraft, wind turbine blades, silvered used car lot flags, and vehicles beyond hills.
    • Those spinner hubcaps can cause RADAR and LIDAR to indicate a speed faster than the car was traveling.
    • Police RADAR can indicate the sum of the speeds of two vehicles going in opposite directions if one is a dump truck or an open box truck.
    • Two police RADAR sets hundreds of miles apart can pick up each other's signals, giving false readings.
    • Most of the silly gadgets intended to fool police RADAR do not work. Tinfoil just makes your car easier to track.
    • Those holographic bumper stickers do the same thing to LIDAR that dump trucks do to RADAR. So can superreflective license plates and road signs.
  3. Speed Limits - Visually and Manually Operated Enforcement:
    • Reaction time errors in perception.
    • Reaction time errors in pushing a button.
    • Combination reaction time errors in pushing two buttons, one after the other.*
    • Measurement periods under 10 seconds* amplify any reaction time errors.
    • Mirrors not showing a view perpendicular to the roadway.
    • A large distance between the policeman and the observation marks can introduce additional errors.
    • Binocular vision is a reliable indicator of distance only when the object is within 30 feet. Beyond that, it tries to use perspective.
    • If the observation marks are not on the road surface, the human vision system cannot reliably detect when both the car and the mark are at the same distance. It guesses they are at the same distance when they are not. No such guessing occurs when the car hides the marks.
    • Using different parts of the car for each of the two timing events causes errors.
    • Observing the same part of the car at differing angles to the road causes errors.
    • Starting a measurement on one car, and finishing it on a different car.
    • The police car was not going the same speed as the suspect car (speedometer clocking systems).
    • The radio car called by the observing policeman stopped the wrong car to give the ticket.
  4. Speed Limits - What Police Erroneously Believe About Speed:
    • Too many policemen believe that most people will drive too fast, unless controlled by laws and the police. The real truth is that too many politicians set speed limits far too low, in a false belief that they are making the road safer. Most people drive the perceived design speed of the road.
    • Many policemen believe that lower speed limits are always safer. This is not true if the speed limit is set lower than the design speed of the road.
    • Too many policemen see too much loss of life as they respond to emergencies daily, and wrongly want all kinds of restrictive safety laws. News reporters have this same wrongful bias for more government controls.
    • Police put entirely too much emphasis on speed enforcement.
  5. Following Too Close - More Dangerous Than Speed:
    • Following too close should be enforced more than speed. The reason it is not done is that police do not have equipment to enforce it.
    • If a car is speeding and a second car is following that car too closely, police should stop the second car. It is doing the more dangerous thing, and is probably the cause of the first car speeding.
    • If a car is traveling too slowly, a second car is following that car too closely, police should stop the second car. It is doing the more dangerous thing, and is probably the cause of the first car slowing down (to minimize the effects of any accident).
    • All drivers who learned using the Safety Space textbooks will slow down when a car is following too close. They must not be penalized.
    • Following distance should be measured in seconds, not feet. No driver is equipped to measure distance in feet or meters.
    • Not only do policemen not enforce following distance laws, too many of them violate those laws by following too close.
  6. Red Light Cameras - A Greedy Trick to Grab Revenue:
    • If there is really a red light running problem, it should be addressed with sound engineering and human enforcement.
    • Red light cameras increase rear end collisions more than they reduce right angle collisions.
    • Many red light problems are caused by dilemma zone troubles (the driver can neither stop nor clear the intersection before the red).
    • Often the yellow light is too short for conditions. It should be set to minimize red light running.
    • Unscrupulous officials greedy for revenue too often shorten the yellow light to get more revenue from red light cameras.
    • The red clearance must not be part of the enforcement period, because it is necessary for vehicles to finish clearing during that interval.
    • Red light cameras do not record what was going on at the time. People have been ticketed for the following false violations:
      1. Obeying an officer who was present at the scene and directing traffic
      2. Running the red light to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle blocked by the line of cars
      3. Obeying construction workers who were directing traffic
      4. In the wrong lane because the correct lane was blocked by a stalled car, a utility vehicle, or construction
      5. Trapped in the intersection behind a car that suddenly signaled to turn into a convenience store on the far left corner
      6. Caught by yellow trap (turning left, signal changed to red, oncoming signal still green)
      7. A pedestrian crossing illegally blocked the far crosswalk
    • Automated enforcement should never have a traffic penalty. It should instead be used solely to warn the driver.
    • Using a red light camera to trick drivers into providing revenue should be a felony, and should have loss of office as a penalty.
    • The best defense for a red light camera ticket is to demand that the camera, as the only witness, to appear in court. Require testimony from the camera about the actual conditions at the intersection at the time. When the camera refuses to answer, ask for a directed verdict.
  7. Other Greedy Grabs for Revenue:
    • Processing fees tacked on to transactions just to get more money.
    • Speed limit cameras
    • Attempts to charge the owner of the vehicle, rather than the driver, with a traffic violation: This should be strictly prohibited.
    • Tolls on bridges and roads: Tolls must not be continued beyond paying off the original construction bonds at the originally appointed time. They must not be kept as revenue sources.
    • Electronic toll collection devices are required to use a certain road or bridge. Cash is not accepted. People without the electronic devices are given traffic tickets.
    • Tolls or special passes are required to enter a city, or to enter the central area of a city.
    • Property taxes on vehicles - Property tax is the most unfair tax. All property taxes must be abolished.
    • Traffic fine revenue being used to increase government spending. This should be unconstitutional.
    • Traffic fine revenue being used to pay for traffic enforcement. This should be unconstitutional.
  8. Ambiguous Traffic Laws - Emergency Vehicles:
    • The law says to drive to move to the right side of the road. What if you are in a left turn lane at the stop line with a red light?
    • The law is stupidly designed for a two lane road. Do you cross 3 lanes of traffic to get to the right?
    • What if the rightmost lane is full of stopped cars? What if all of the lanes are full of stopped cars?
    • It's illegal to drive into the block where a fire engine is stopped with red lights flashing. What if a freeway exit ramp goes there?
    • Police often direct traffic off a major highway onto city streets to keep them from driving into an emergency. But nobody thinks about the strangers to the area the police have directed off the marked highway they were following onto a maze of city streets. They are left to find their own ways back to the highway.
  9. Ambiguous Traffic Rules, Laws, and Signs - Poorly Understood Signs:
    • The UNEVEN LANES warning sign - What does it mean? It is not obvious.
    • No standard on which car has the right-of-way when a lane change occurs
    • Turns on red where more than one lane makes the turn
    • Following distances - confusing methods of determining safe distances
    • All distances measured in feet that the driver must supposedly measure while driving
  10. Discriminatory Traffic Rules and Laws:

    The following are attempts to force the Democrat religion of Political Correctness onto people with other religious beliefs:

    • Traffic laws that give special privileges to low emission vehicles.
    • Traffic laws giving special privileges to vehicles with two or more occupants.
    • Traffic laws requiring electronic toll collection accounts to use certain roads or exits.
    • Traffic laws giving special privileges to people who pay a toll.
    • Traffic laws allowing only certain vehicles to enter a portion of the city.
  11. Dangerous Traffic Rules and Laws:
    • Requiring drivers to stop the instant a pedestrian enters a crosswalk, but not regulating when pedestrians may enter the crosswalk.
    • Treating bicycles as pedestrians for any purpose.
    • Not merging a bike lane into the vehicle lane before an intersection.
    • Allowing bicycles to not have to stop for stop signs.
    • Dropping a lane in the middle of the highway, rather than on one side.
    • Allowing a right turn green arrow to continue into an intersection leg while cutting off a permissive left turn into the same leg (second yellow trap)
    • Laws banning train horns or engine compression brakes. Noise abatement must be done with passive devices, not controls affecting safety.
  12. Dangerous Omissions in Traffic Rules and Laws:
    • Failure to enforce following distances.
    • Failure to prohibit cell phone and texting use.
    • Failure to enforce bicycle laws
    • Bicycle laws based on what cyclists want, rather than what is safe.
    • Failure to eliminate yellow trap at traffic signals.


Appendix

* Measurement errors caused by the human body:

Most people think the human body and mind operate in a completely continuous analog manner. For some parts of the body, this is true. But for measurements involving reaction time, this is not true. There are certain latency and synchronizing times associated with these measurements.

Most people think the human brain runs linearly, and can measure fine amounts of time. This is an illusion. The brain clock is hidden by a mental system that makes time seem to be continuous. We hear sounds ranging up to 20 KHz because the cochlea of the ear does a mechanical Fourier transform of the waveform to frequency. There, thousands of nerve endings, each responding to a different frequency band, collect the sound information. The cochlea then sends the frequency information to the brain at the brain's clock speed, through thousands of frequency nerves.

The first period of time involved is the time it takes the sensory system to actually detect a stimulus. The system, and any reflex action that comes from it, are asynchronous. It takes a small amount of time for the sensory system to become aware of the stimulus and act. This time is usually too short to affect the measurements involved, unless a reflex interferes with the operation of a control. It also affects all measurements equally. So it can be ignored.

The next period of time is variable, and is the main cause of variability in reaction time. The human brain is a clocked system, with a clock cycle time that varies by individual from about 0.1 second to 0.5 second, with the average being about 0.25 second. This system is similar to what computer scientists used to call a "clatter clock." A clatter clock issues a clock pulse, and then waits for all of the signals in the various parts of the device (or brain) to quit changing states, before it issues another pulse (It waits for the clatter to end). The clatter clock thus runs faster if slower memory devices are not being used. Brain waves are the electrical signals caused by this clatter clock operating.

The stimulus enters the brain, and then it must wait for the next clock pulse before it is processed. This induces a delay that depends on the time between clock pulses and the time since the last pulse occurred. Then the brain processes the stimulus. At this point, the person becomes aware the stimulus occurred.

What happens next depends on whether the person was intently watching for the stimulus, or was doing something else. (This translates to whether the policeman is doing nothing but watching for cars crossing the first observation point, or has other duties to do as well.) If he is doing nothing but watching for cars, the output to push the response button happens on either the clock immediately after the stimulus, or on the next clock after that. But if the subject is doing something else (the policeman has other tasks to do - e.g. listen to police radio, look at license numbers, etc.), three or four clocks might be needed to decide the correct action, before the output to push the button occurs. This can make the button press late. So can a bit of daydreaming.

The signal then must get to the muscles needed to push the button. This is a relatively constant period of time. Since it affects all measurements equally, it can be ignored, unless the subject moved his hand away from the button for some reason. Any such case where the hand was not in position should be thrown out as bad data.

The figures obtained here agree with the studies for reaction time for braking a car.

When a second stimulus follows shortly after the first (the car moves to the second observation point), the subject is more ready for it. The sensory system has the same built-in delay, which can be ignored. Likewise, the time for the signal for pushing the button to reach and activate the muscles is a constant delay, and can be ignored.

There are two effects that can change the second measurement: The subject is usually more "ready" for the second event. So the second event is more likely to take a smaller number of clocks before the signal to push the control button occurs. The second effect is more insidious. The command to push the second button must be an integer number of clocks after the command to push the first button. This favors some observed times between responses (time readings between observation points) over others.

The following is a hypothetical sample of police officers with a distribution of internal clock speeds, and the results that might occur from these effects when the real stimuli are a constant period apart:

Actual Event Times: 3.00 s 3.50 s 5.00 s 10.00 s
Cop
#
Brain
Clock
Speed
Short
to Long
Range
% Err
Range
First 2
Extra clocks
%
Error
Short
to Long
Range
% Err
Range
First 2
Extra clocks
%
Error
Short
to Long
Range
% Err
Range
First 2
Extra clocks
%
Error
Short
to Long
Range
% Err
Range
First 2
Extra clocks
%
Error
10.50 s 2.50 s
3.50 s
-16.7%
+16.7%
2.00 s-33.3% 3.00 s
4.00 s
-14.3%
+14.3%
2.50 s-28.6% 4.50 s
5.50 s
-10.0%
+10.0%
4.00 s-20.0% 9.50 s
10.50 s
-05.0%
+05.0%
9.00 s-10.0%
20.40 s 2.80 s
3.60 s
-06.3%
+20.0%
2.00 s-33.3% 3.20 s
4.00 s
-08.6%
+14.3%
2.40 s-31.4% 4.80 s
5.20 s
-04.0%
+04.0%
4.40 s-12.0% 9.60 s
10.40 s
-04.0%
+4.0%
9.20 s-08.0%
30.35 s 2.80 s
3.15 s
-06.3%
+05.0%
2.10 s-30.0% 3.15 s
3.85 s
-10.0%
+10.0%
2.80 s-20.0% 4.90 s
5.25 s
-02.0%
+05.0%
4.20 s-16.0% 9.80 s
10.15 s
-02.0%
+01.5%
9.10 s-09.0%
40.30 s 2.70 s
3.30 s
-10.0%
+10.0%
2.40 s-20.0% 3.30 s
3.90 s
-05.7%
+11.4%
2.70 s-22.8% 4.80 s
5.40 s
-04.0%
+08.0%
4.20 s-16.0% 9.60 s
10.20 s
-04.0%
+02.0%
9.00 s-10.0%
50.25 s 2.75 s
3.25 s
-08.3%
+08.3%
2.50 s-16.7% 3.25 s
3.75 s
-07.1%
+07.1%
3.00 s-14.3% 4.75 s
5.25 s
-05.0%
+05.0%
4.50 s-10.0% 9.75 s
10.25 s
-02.5%
+02.5%
9.50 s-05.0%
60.20 s 2.80 s
3.20 s
-06.3%
+06.3%
2.60 s-13.3% 3.20 s
3.80 s
-08.6%
+08.6%
3.00 s-14.3% 4.80 s
5.20 s
-04.0%
+04.0%
4.60 s-08.0% 9.80 s
10.20 s
-02.0%
+02.0%
9.60 s-04.0%
70.10 s 2.90 s
3.10 s
-03.3%
+03.3%
2.80 s-06.3% 3.40 s
3.60 s
-02.9%
+02.9%
3.30 s-05.7% 4.90 s
5.10 s
-02.0%
+02.0%
4.80 s-04.0% 9.90 s
10.10 s
-01.0%
+01.0%
9.80 s-02.0%
Worst Case: 2.50 s
3.60 s
-16.7%
+20.0%
2.00 s-33.3% 3.00 s
4.00 s
-14.3%
+14.3%
3.00 s-31.4% 4.50 s
5.50 s
-10.0%
+10.0%
4.00 s-20.0% 9.50 s
10.50 s
-05.0%
+05.0%
9.00 s-10.0%
Actual Times: 3.00 s 00.0%3.00 s 00.0% 3.50 s 00.0%3.50 s 00.0% 5.00 s 00.0%5.00 s 00.0% 10.00 s 00.0%10.00 s 00.0%

Notice how the worst case figures are 33%. That's a lot of error.

Also notice the variations in plus and minus errors when the elapsed time does not equal a whole number of clock cycles.

We have to assume the worst case for the policeman's clock speed, because we don't have a ready measure for it.

Let's look at this in terms of miles per hour, using the worst-case figures from Cop 1:

FALSELY COMPUTED ROAD SPEEDS
Brain Clock Cycles
Between Button Presses
Computed
Road Speeds
Stimulus
Separation
Seconds
Wanted
Brain
Clocks
Actual
Brain
Clocks
Percent
Change
in Time
Actual
30 mph
Actual
45 mph
Actual
60 mph
3.00 s
6
7
5
4
+16.7%
-16.7%
-33.3%
25.0 mph
35.0 mph
40.0 mph
37.5 mph
52.5 mph
60.0 mph
50.0 mph
70.0 mph
80.0 mph
3.50 s
7
8
6
5
+14.3%
-14.3%
-28.6%
25.7 mph
34.3 mph
38.6 mph
38.6 mph
51.4 mph
57.9 mph
51.4 mph
68.6 mph
77.1 mph
5.00 s
10
11
9
8
+10.0%
-10.0%
-20.0%
27.0 mph
33.0 mph
36.0 mph
40.5 mph
49.5 mph
54.0 mph
54.0 mph
66.0 mph
72.0 mph
10.00 s
20
21
19
18
+05.0%
-05.0%
-10.0%
28.5 mph
31.5 mph
33.0 mph
42.7 mph
47.3 mph
49.5 mph
57.0 mph
63.0 mph
66.0 mph
Key: 10 under *UnderOver 5 over *10 over **15 over †

* Ticket probable
** Ticket issued
† Arrest probable

The results show that at least ten seconds must elapse between button presses to get a usable figure. Any smaller value should be thrown out by courts as having too much observational error. The fact that it is not thrown out indicates that either the judge is ignorant of the errors caused by the human body, or that the decision is biased toward using fines to fund the judge's own salary.