Driver Sues, Blames That Darn Yellow Light!

Reports, announcements, statistics from NHTSA, NTSB, FHWA, IIHS, and others related to Highway Safety
Post Reply
brian
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:52 am

Driver Sues, Blames That Darn Yellow Light!

Post by brian » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:53 am

Dec 21, 2010: Geez...and to think this is going on in my own backyard?
I must be getting old as I support them Red Light Bandito's as at least a way to somewhat deter Red Runners...
See my other thread on the topic Red-Light Bandit ruling may wreak havoc!

News & Observer today: Driver sues, blames yellow light
the article starts...
  • "Brian Ceccarelli blames higher law for his violation of Cary traffic law. He says Isaac Newton's laws of motion kept him from stopping his car at a Cary intersection on Nov. 6, 2009, before a fleeting yellow light turned red."
He's filed a class action suit and has a website all aout it: Red Light Robber

Apparently his argument is all about the Yellow-light timing
  • "Engineers base duration times for yellow lights on traffic speed and other factors. In a 33-page online treatise bearing Newton's portrait, Ceccarelli contends that Cary ignores minimum times recommended by the state Department of Transportation. And he calculates that a good physicist would set the times even longer.
    At the intersection where he was ticketed, with a 45 mph speed limit, Ceccarelli says, the yellow signal was set at 4.0 seconds but the DOT recommendation was for at least 4.5 seconds. Then he plugs in some Newtonian formulas and concludes that drivers need 7.4 seconds of yellow."
Ya gotta love creative lawsuits, and i've heard the yellow light timing used as an argument

So if you have some idle time over the Holidaze...give the 33 page treatise a read and let us know!
But ya gotta wonder, all this for a $50 ticket???
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software. McHenryConsultants.com for litigation consulting.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

MSI
Site Admin
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: Driver Sues, Blames That Darn Yellow Light!

Post by MSI » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:32 pm

The following demonstrates many of the flaws in the Yellow light timing arguments against red light cameras:
2012 TRB Report: Guidelines for Timing Yellow and Red Intervals at Signalized Intersections
Hugh McGee, Sr, Kevin Moriarty,Timothy J. Gates
Available from TRB for $20. Click View PDF and follow instructions to register and order.

ABSTRACT
  • The lack of a national standard, recommended practice, or set of guidelines for determining the duration of the yellow change and red clearance intervals for traffic signal timing has left each agency to determine their own practices. The objective of NCHRP Project 03-95 was to develop a comprehensive and uniform set of recommended guidelines for determining safe and operationally efficient yellow and red intervals at signalized intersections. To accomplish this objective, the study established a “state of knowledge” and “state of practice” through a review of existing guidelines and various literature sources, as well as a survey of transportation agency practitioners. The research also conducted a comprehensive national investigation of driver behavior characteristics through an extensive field data collection and analysis effort. These efforts confirmed the accepted values for perception-reaction time (1.0 s) and deceleration rate (10 ft/s2) as well as established 85th percentile speed estimations for through and left-turning vehicles. Justification was also provided for accounting for start-up delay. From the findings, a succinct recommended guideline for timing of the yellow change and red clearance intervals was formulated based on the kinematic equation and its associated variable values. The recommended guideline encourages a uniform practical application, providing a framework that can be easily adopted into transportation agency practice.
CONCLUSION
  • This research confirmed that agencies responsible for change interval timing take a widely varied approach in their practices. The extensive field data collection and analysis efforts confirmed the accepted values for perception-reaction time and deceleration rate as 1.0 seconds and 10 ft/s2, respectively. The data also provided a basis for 85th percentile speed estimations for through and left-turning vehicles. Accounting for start-up delay was also justified. From the findings, a succinct guideline for timing the yellow change and red clearance intervals was formulated based on the kinematic equation and its associated variable values. The recommended guideline encourages a uniform practical application, providing a framework that can be easily adopted into transportation agency policy. Assuming there is agreement with and acceptance of the guidelines by the traffic engineering community, there does not appear to be any justification for additional research into this issue, specifically the formulation of the equation and its associated values. However, further research is suggested to evaluate the safety impacts associated with implementing a red clearance interval, as previous studies have yet to conclusively confirm a safety benefit.
SELECTED FINDINGS
For Yellow Change Interval equation they state the following:
  • The value recommended for perception-reaction time (t) is 1.0 seconds and for deceleration rate (a) is 10 ft/s2. The value for the approach speed (V) is recommended as the 85th percentile speed determined under free-flow conditions. If the 85th percentile approach speed for through movements is available, then the yellow interval is calculated directly from Equation 4. Since the 85th percentile speed is typically unavailable, it can be assumed as the approach speed limit plus 7 mph, except for left-turn movements (as explained). Table 1 provides yellow intervals based on typical roadway and driver conditions assuming the posted speed limit plus 7 mph for grades in the range of ±4 percent.
Yellow change grade.jpg
Yellow change grade.jpg (42.28 KiB) Viewed 3037 times
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

brian
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:52 am

Re: Driver Sues, Blames That Darn Yellow Light!

Post by brian » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:30 pm

June 23, 2012: Class-action ruling could add thousands of drivers to Cary red-light camera lawsuit
  • COMMENT: So what does a $300,000 investment to try to avoid a $50 fine get you? I guess in this case it's class action status!! In continuing on the path to try to remove red light cameras (although they say they are only trying to rectify bad timings on yellow lights!) the folks behind the suit have gotten a judge to agree to classify the suit as class action! An interesting fact in the article is that ONLY 10% of proceeds from red light camera's go to the town?? So one would hope/guess that the company, Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, who installed and maintains and gets 90% of the proceeds from the cameras would have to foot the tab for the defense of the suit? Nope! They are not even named in the suit?!!
CARY -- A Wake County judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by two drivers against Cary’s red-light camera traffic enforcement system, opening the possibility that Cary could be forced to refund $50 tickets paid by thousands of drivers since late 2009.
The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by Brian Ceccarelli, an Apex computer consultant. He blames his November 2009 ticket on a fleeting yellow light at Cary Towne Boulevard and Convention Drive, arguing that it was too brief to give drivers time to stop safely before the light turned red.
Please also see:
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software. McHenryConsultants.com for litigation consulting.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest