Red light cameras are a favorite item to complain about. Those who get caught vilify them as just another way for the city to make take money from hard working citizens, but how are they supposed to work?
They are located at corners where there are many accidents. If we placed a police car there, it would have to be hidden nearby to see the violations, then rush to catch the violator, interrupting traffic, then it is the policeman's opinion verses the driver's opinion of the violation.
A red-light camera sits there all day patiently waiting for a violation, then no other drivers know about it, just the violator when he gets a ticket in the mail. Although the ticket only shows two pictures, there is also a video of the violation to show what actually happened.
We save the policeman for more important work and let the machine do what it does best.
Avoiding red-light camera tickets is easy. 1) Come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red and 2) If there is room to make a normal stop (about 100 feet) when the light changes to yellow, stop.
If this doesn't convince you, go on line to YouTube and type in "red light runners," the videos will show you how usually one car comes to a normal stop and then another aggressive driver speeds up and goes through the red light causing some spectacular crashes. If you were hit by one of these drivers, wouldn't you want to have a video to prove who was at fault? Another hint: when the light changes to green, before you start up, look for pedestrians, emergency vehicles, and red light runners!