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I thought I saw some strange boxes in the trees of Beverly Hills...:eek:


Beverly Hills police want the Legislature to allow cameras aimed at speeders, as some other states do.

By Steve Hymon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 14, 2008

Beverly Hills Police Lt. Michael Hines knows the sinking feeling officers get when they pull someone over for speeding only to see other drivers go roaring past. He can't be everywhere at once.

The dozen traffic officers who patrol this wealthy burg say they've watched it happen for years. While they work the city's busier streets, motorists are short-cutting on quiet residential roads, often tearing along in what Hines calls "wonderfully high-performance vehicles."

Scottsdale, Ariz., had a similar problem in 1997. But officials there found a technological solution: cameras like the ones that capture the faces and license plates of red-light violators. When radar-activated cameras were placed along a few roadways, city officials said, average speeds dropped 9 mph.

Since then, cameras have also been installed along a freeway through the city, becoming so effective that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano wants to put more on freeways statewide, not just to catch speeders -- the death rate on Arizona highways is nearly twice that of California -- but also to generate ticket revenue to narrow a $1-billion state budget gap.

The proposal has been controversial in Arizona. But in Beverly Hills, some residents and officials say the use of cameras would grab the attention of motorists.

"On a one-block residential street, for someone to get up to 40 or 50 mph is a big deal," said Alan Kaye, president of the Beverly Hills Residents Assn. Cameras would change people's habits, he added, and "do it real quick."

Beverly Hills officials have been trying to get a camera system since 2006, only to find little traction in the Legislature. It's one thing to use cameras to catch drivers who run red lights -- an obvious danger. But deploying them to nab speeders has been a touchier issue.

Besides Big Brother concerns, pop culture has long celebrated Americans who goose the gas, a la "Smokey and the Bandit" or Sammy Hagar's anthem “I Can’t Drive 55.” And speeding is the rule, not the exception, on many roads in Southern California. In 2007, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the average speed on freeways outside Los Angeles was 78 mph, well above the 70 mph limit.

But Beverly Hills officials are pushing again this year for a bill sponsored by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica).

Officials see signs that opposition has begun to soften since a similar bill died in committee in 2006. Along with Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington have approved limited use of speed cameras, and public safety officials are either more open to the idea or support it outright.

In January, the Governors Highway Safety Assn., a nonprofit that represents state highway officials nationwide, called for a vast increase in the use of cameras, saying budget cuts had left police agencies with too few officers to do anything about speeders. About 13,000 speeding-related deaths occur each year, about a third of all traffic fatalities, the association said.

Kuehl's bill would create a pilot program allowing a marked mobile unit to set up only in school or residential neighborhoods where the speed limit is 25 mph or less. Signs would be posted to warn drivers that cameras were present, Hines said, and officers would oversee the cameras and inspect the photos before mailing them to vehicle owners with citations attached.

"This is not a technology searching for a problem to solve," said Richard Retting, a senior traffic engineer for the Arlington, Va.-based Insurance Institute. "It frees up police to do what technology can't do. Drivers respond dramatically to the threat of enforcement. . . . Police chiefs recognize it's a force multiplier."

For a visitor from Southern California, it's easy to see why speeding would be common in Scottsdale, a wealthy tourist destination often touted as "The Beverly Hills of the Desert." The city -- like much of the surrounding Phoenix metropolitan area -- is a blend of palmy flatlands and red rock mountains. It also has straight, long and wide boulevards offering plenty of opportunities to reach freeway-like speeds.

When the Loop 101 freeway fully opened in 2002, officials say, residents who had already been complaining about speeding found that conditions quickly got worse. So, in 2006, the city installed six stationary cameras on a stretch of the six-lane road that slices through town. Speeds of at least 100 mph were recorded on 27 of the first 31 days the cameras were turned on.

In a preliminary study, Arizona State University researchers found that average speeds dropped 9.4 mph and injury crashes fell 40% in the first 10 months the cameras were running. (The number of rear-end collisions increased, probably because of drivers braking suddenly to avoid getting tickets.)

"I commute on the freeway, and almost overnight the environment on that road changed," city spokesman Mike Phillips said during a recent interview at City Hall.

In perhaps the cameras' most widely known moment, they caught a man suspected of going 147 mph in a Hyundai Sonata early on a Sunday morning; he said he was late for work.

The ticket got so much attention that Car and Driver magazine tried to determine if a Sonata could go that fast and found that it was plausible under ideal conditions. The suspect paid a $1,239 fine and spent a week in jail.
 

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If they really wanted to slow people down, they'd install speed humps. This sounds like more of a money-making desire than a public safety issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, according to the article they caught a Hyundai Sonata doing 147?

It's hard to go that fast in one block on Rodeo Drive. ;)

But EVERY exotic wants to race me on that street.

The bottom line is...they know we're there.
 

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"In 2007, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the average speed on freeways outside Los Angeles was 78 mph, well above the 70 mph limit."

Aren't they supposed to set the speed limits based on the average speed? Or was that just a stupid rumor I've heard? If it's true then they oughta just up the speed limit to 78mph.

xtn
 

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its all about revenues.
gee, look who spearheads these things...insurance companies and politicians. and why is that? because the more tickets that get written out, the more they can raise ins rates and raise revenues. why do ins companies lobby for slower speed limits? because more tickets would be issued and that generates income for the ins companies and the cities which the tix are written.
same old bs.....they have to find new ways to raise revenues to pay for all the programs they want to pay for....

not really any different than any other business is it?
 

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"In 2007, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the average speed on freeways outside Los Angeles was 78 mph, well above the 70 mph limit."

Aren't they supposed to set the speed limits based on the average speed? Or was that just a stupid rumor I've heard? If it's true then they oughta just up the speed limit to 78mph.

xtn
Well, sort of. Basically the speed limit is supposed to be set at a the speed 80% of users are traveling at or below, aka "The 80% Rule." The limit also has to be safe, and also bares the burden of lobbiest for the local law enforcement and special interest groups that are under the mistaken impression that if you drive fast you're a danger, and if you drive slowly you're a safe driver.
 

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How do you even speed in Beverly Hills, the lights are so poorly timed that you would hit almost every single one anyways. It only seems like their speeding because you have bunch of tools tooling along Beverly Hills circling the place reving their engines, but they're harding speeding..
 

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big deal,
if people dont want to pay for speeding tickets dont speed on the public roads.
I drive on the 101 about once a month, and it doesnt bother me a bit that they have cameras. if it makes people drive within the speed limits then fine by me, as what i see on the freeways cop cars dont seem to work very well.
i swear i see one wreck every time i am on the freeway going to a race weekend. blows me away that these idots crash on a straight opebn 2 lane freeway.
one ticket goes a long way towards a trackday where you can floor it to your hearts' content
 

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How do you even speed in Beverly Hills, the lights are so poorly timed that you would hit almost every single one anyways. It only seems like their speeding because you have bunch of tools tooling along Beverly Hills circling the place reving their engines, but they're harding speeding..
That's true. But the parade of exotics goes up Rodeo Drive into the mansions in the flats of Beverly Hills to Sunset Blvd., usually flat out stop sign to stop sign with loud exhausts screaming.

Pisses off the residents...:popcorn:
 

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The limit also has to be safe, and also bares the burden of lobbiest for the local law enforcement and special interest groups that are under the mistaken impression that if you drive fast you're a danger, and if you drive slowly you're a safe driver.
ain't that the truth.

The continuing idiocy of this logic (only speed = dangerous) makes me sick. It's all about making money for the municipality. If the police and insurance companies were truly interested in safety, they would be lobbying for more stringent driver's education programs.
 

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Well lookey there; both proposals made by democrats. :p
 

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big deal,
if people dont want to pay for speeding tickets dont speed on the public roads.
I drive on the 101 about once a month, and it doesnt bother me a bit that they have cameras. if it makes people drive within the speed limits then fine by me, as what i see on the freeways cop cars dont seem to work very well.
i swear i see one wreck every time i am on the freeway going to a race weekend. blows me away that these idots crash on a straight opebn 2 lane freeway.
one ticket goes a long way towards a trackday where you can floor it to your hearts' content
The problem is that the speedlimits were largely set in the 1960s and 1970s when car were "a little" less capable at speed than they are today. The speedlimit continues to be WAY under what it should be to offset budget deficits and lack of adequate driver training.

Sure, reducing speedlimits saves lives, but at what cost? When many hwys can be traversed SAFELY at 100 mph and the speedlimit is 70, that means that for every 100 miles driven, a car spend approximately 30 more minutes on the same expanse of road (~1.5 hrs as opposed to 1 hr). Multiply that out by the huge number of drivers and it's no wonder there are so many traffic jams.

In Germany and the UK drivers are MUCH more skillled and disiplined. Sure, a higher PERCENTAGE of accidents are fatalities, but there are FAR fewer accidents.

We could all drive around at 5 mph in power wheels and the result would be that the only fatalities on the road would be from suicide because that would be even more painful than waterboarding.

My solution:

Abolish fines from speeding; convert to a points only system. When the points are maxed out, the driver loses his license. Period.

Revamp our driver training program to model the german and british system. There needs to be much more extensive training and much more to the driving exam.

Shift the focus from catching speeders to catching bad drivers. With good driving techniques it is possible to drive 100+ mph on most hwys. I think the speed limits should be changed to speed "suggestions" where the minimum speed should NOT fall below that except under adverse conditions, be they traffic or weather. Drivers should be cited for failure to signal, tailgating, passing on the right, and obstructing traffic. Again, punished with points, not fines.

I realize with today's politics the above is not likely to happen any time soon, but it would work if instituted correctly.

We need to stop relating speed with bad driving.
 

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Along the big wide streets north of Santa Monica there are long stretches where a fast car could get up to 80+ easily. Also on my street Oakhurst ,I am truly amazed at the soccer moms on weekday mornings who come flying down my street with an SUV full of kids and easily are hitting 50mph. Nice - so you can bet they would be the first ones to sign any petition or vote for any law regarding child saftey. Yet these b*^&%$ come flying around the corner, wheels skidding, and punch it doing 50mph through a residential school zone to get their precious little snowflakes to school on time ! grrrrr - I lost my cat a few years ago to such a driver on my street......
 

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That's true. But the parade of exotics goes up Rodeo Drive into the mansions in the flats of Beverly Hills to Sunset Blvd., usually flat out stop sign to stop sign with loud exhausts screaming.

Pisses off the residents...:popcorn:
I just realized my typing really sucks, surprisingly you could still understand it. :bow:

But if they're annoyed at the sound, just have a noise ordiance rather than ban speeding since it's not the real source of the problems anyways.
 

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Stop! You were dangerous weeks ago.

If anyone is gullible enough to think speed limits are about safety, find out how many tickets were written locally for driving in heavy rain without lights.


Does it make you safer to have anyone ticketed two weeks later?
If something is really dangerous,perhaps it might help to stop it on the spot?

That's the big lie with cameras.
And they always violate due process, if you aren't notified immediately of the accusation.
 

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In Germany and the UK drivers are MUCH more skillled and disiplined. Sure, a higher PERCENTAGE of accidents are fatalities, but there are FAR fewer accidents.
yeah that sounds appealing, your chances of getting into an accident are less, but if you do, you're going to die. :rolleyes:

Do you have any proof of this? Probably there are fewer accidents there because there are fewer people.
Also the UK has much more strict speeding laws and speed cameras all over the place, so perhaps not the best example.

Traffic is caused by too many cars on roads designed for less traffic density, speed limits have nothing to do with it. They have huge traffic jams on the autobahn too.

Shift the focus from catching speeders to catching bad drivers. With good driving techniques it is possible to drive 100+ mph on most hwys. I think the speed limits should be changed to speed "suggestions" where the minimum speed should NOT fall below that except under adverse conditions, be they traffic or weather. Drivers should be cited for failure to signal, tailgating, passing on the right, and obstructing traffic. Again, punished with points, not fines.
That would be great for some people, but how do you police how good a driver someone is? Just because someone doesn't drive like an ass doesn't mean they are capable of handling high speeds. My wife is a very courteous driver, but there is no way in hell I would get in a car with her driving 100mph :eek:
You can't just let people go as fast as they want, drivers capabilities and confidence are all over the place (and everyone thinks they are better than they really are), there would be such speed differentials it would be more dangerous.

I have not received a ticket in over 10 years (knock on wood), speed limits seem hardly oppressive to me, there is a time and a place. ;)

And Beverly Hills is talking about putting speed cameras in RESIDENTIAL neighborhoods. If you are that much of an idiot to speed in such areas you deserve to pay into the coffers:no:
 
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