Red Light Cameras Essay

2429 words - 10 pages

Red Light Traffic Light CameraTable of ContentsTitle Page1. Abstract 32. Brief Background 43. Technology Characteristics 5-74. Market Place Setting 8-95. Technology Push 10-116. Market Pull 127. Adoption and Diffusion Patterns 138. Key Steps 14-169. Success Factors 17-1810. Lessons Learned 1911. Bibliography 20AppendixFigure IFigure IIFigure IIIAbstractThe red light camera was envisioned when Maurice Gastonides witnessed an incident when the driver of a car in front of him, whom he knew had gone properly through a traffic-light intersection just before the lights changed to red, was stopped for going through after the red. In 1965, Gastonides red light camera was introduced in to the market. The first red light camera's were operated by means of the tubes that were stretched out upon the road. The feasibility of this technology increased throughout it's life cycle, and has recently gained extreme appeal.Brief BackgroundTraffic cameras have become the latest method of enforcing road discipline. Camera systems are placed to catch speeding cars and those who take a chance and cross red traffic lights. The camera boxes are often easily visible to a driver, but do not always contain a camera. Cameras are moved from place to place so the driver will never know whether the camera is 'live' or not and will always be encouraged to obey the rules.A company by the name of Gatsometer invented the red light camera in Europe about 40 years ago. The Gatsometer or Gatso takes its name from its inventor, Dutch rally driver Maurice Gatsonides. In the 1980s, US Public Technologies was founded and began installing cameras in the United States. In 1999, Lockheed Martin purchased US Public Technologies and is currently the largest contractor of red light cameras in the United States.Technology CharacteristicsTechnology DescriptionWhen in place, the camera system contains either a "wet film" or digital based camera. A red light camera system is connected to the traffic signal and to sensors buried in the pavement at the crosswalk or stop line (or through video or radar tracking & triggering). At the edge of the intersection, there are two piezo, sensors that measure pavement pressure and trigger the system when a vehicle runs a red light. In each lane, between the two piezos, is an induction loop sensor, which prevents false triggering (figure 1). The sensors and the traffic light are wired to a centrally controlled computer. If the vehicle activates only the first piezo sensor after the light has turned red, the computer knows that the car has stopped at the edge of the intersection. If the car activates both piezo sensors after the light is red, the computer automatically takes a photo. The top photo shows the car just as it is entering the intersection. The computer then pauses briefly, determines the speed of the vehicle and calculates when to take the second shot in the sequence. This picture catches the car in the middle of the intersection. The camera...

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