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Do ACT Police care about red light runners?

By thatsnotme - 11 October 2014 21

I saw this media release recently, and thought to myself ‘about time!’  I cycle to work on the days I can, and a long part of my trip takes me down Belconnen Way.

Every morning I ride, I guarantee that at the intersections of Belconnen Way and Lathlain St / Bindubi St, Haydon Drive and Gungahlin Drive, motorists will run red lights.  The ones I see are mainly those turning on arrows – it’s kinda obvious they’ve run the red, because they’re still in the middle of the intersection when the lights to go straight ahead turn green.

So this morning, as I was riding into the city, I noticed a black ute parked on the centre median at the Bindubi St intersection and thought to myself ‘I wonder if that’s an unmarked Police car?’  So I waited, watched the traffic turning, and sure enough there was a blatant red light runner.  I waited for the lights, for the sirens…but nothing.

So thinking maybe it’s wasn’t a police car after all, I headed through the intersection, then saw that a uniformed police officer was sitting in the car.  It had LED lights in the sports bar.  It was definitely an unmarked police car, someone had just blatantly run a red directly in front of it during a month where these type of offences are apparently being targeted…and nothing.

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Do ACT Police care about red light runners?
magiccar9 6:11 am 03 Dec 14

Clearly they don’t ride ACTION busses. If they did they’d know how bad the red light running culture is among bus drivers. When there is a red light the driver could stop at, 90% of the time they’ll blast straight through – regardless of whether it’s red.

Russ 9:08 pm 02 Dec 14

thatsnotme said :

Pretty soon the only possible way to get punished for breaking road rules will be if you’re stupid enough to do it in front of a camera.

As I’ve posted here before, when the govt introduced red light cameras, they sent a very clear message to drivers as to which intersections would have the offence of running a red light enforced, and by implication, made it a free-for-all at every other set of lights. So they’re making a bit of coin at a couple of intersections, while making the rest more dangerous due to d$ckheads who know they’ll get away with it.

JazzyJess 12:15 pm 02 Dec 14

Darn right they do. Maybe two years ago two uniformed cops turned up at my door. Gave me a long lecture (plus a fine) for running a red light in Hackett.

thatsnotme 11:17 am 02 Dec 14

So to add to this, yesterday morning I was driving into work, and happened to be stopped at the exact same intersection. A fully marked police car was turning towards Jamison, cars opposite turning towards Belconnen. The turning arrow turned orange, and the police car had to stop.

At least two or three cars ran the red. Not just a little bit – they were not even in the middle of their turn when the lights to drive straight turned green. The police did absolutely nothing. Just watched them do it, and let them get away with it.

Pretty soon the only possible way to get punished for breaking road rules will be if you’re stupid enough to do it in front of a camera.

Leon 8:37 am 14 Oct 14

The 2014-15 ACT Policing Purchase Agreement pays the police $16 million to report on rates of speeding, seatbelt wearing, drink-driving and using mobile phones while driving (p.14). Enforcing red light running, or any of the other 300-plus road rules, is cost-effective for the police only insofar as it helps keep the annual road toll below 16 deaths and 680 injuries (p.11).

Reference: http://www.justice.act.gov.au/criminal_and_civil_justice/act_policing

hoogs 7:51 pm 13 Oct 14

Would love to see some of the cyclist that run red lights in front of me every morning get done too… Cyclists want equal rights on the roads, then blatantly thumb their nose at the road rules when it suits… Just saying…

thatsnotme 2:51 pm 13 Oct 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

There is a simple explanation as to why people run red arrows. When it is busy [peak hour] and sometimes not so busy, the following scenario occurs.
Cars queue up at the right hand slip lane at the red arrow. The arrow eventually turns green. Three vehicles go through the intersection before the light turns amber…

I get what you’re saying here, and it is as frustrating as hell when that happens. In the examples in my OP though, this wasn’t what was causing people to run the red – it was pure impatience. The people who are running these lights, including the one that sailed through the red while the police sat there doing nothing, are arriving in the slip lane when or just before the light’s turning amber. Instead of stopping, they just keep going.

These drivers refuse to wait for a single cycle of the lights, and just sail on through. Apparently that’s a far lower risk strategy than I’d ever imagined it’d be.

Monomyth 1:19 pm 13 Oct 14

I was sitting next to a police car (a very obvious police car mind you, complete with the word POLICE sprawled across it) on Yamba Drive when a car in the turning lane next to it ran a red. I was in the left lame, Cop was in the right, other guy was in the turning lane and just went. Cop did absolutely nothing, I was pretty gobsmacked.

magiccar9 6:14 am 13 Oct 14

Probably more interested in catching the person doing 3-5 km/h over the limit – I’m sure they’d jump all over that.

Can’t say I’m surprised though.

Antagonist said :

Well, we do complain that we want them to focus on real crime, and that may well be what he/she was doing. Waiting for somebody to appear that Mr Plod has a genuine interest in – perhaps somebody with outstanding warrants or involved in serious crime rather than misdemeanour offenses. If police are trying to discourage red light runners, they would be more likely to do it in one of their high-vis vehicles so they can be seen. This is far less effective in an inconspicuous unmarked car.

Why not issue a quick ticket whilst waiting though? Would go a long way to show the general public that the media releases aren’t just waffle (like we know they are).

switch 5:35 pm 12 Oct 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

There is a simple explanation as to why people run red arrows. When it is busy [peak hour] and sometimes not so busy, the following scenario occurs.

[snip rest of good explanation]

Why have lights that don’t have arrows, or those with red arrows that turn off after a while, gone out of fashion? There are very few left in the ACT, they’re only there to trick learners during driving tests now, I suspect. There are plenty of examples (eg Cotter onto Parkway) where you have a clear view for hundreds of metres of anything coming and can easily turn right most of the time in safety. But no, you’re stuck at a red arrow while hundred of phantom vehicles go past.

carnardly 11:55 pm 11 Oct 14

The ones going south on Yamba Drive at the corner of Launceston street near Phillip College are an optional stop set too. As someone who crosses there each night I can pretty much guarantee that 4-5 cars go through not just on orange, but on red and well after. A number try and do the two for one by zooming through the lights at the St Peter and Paul’s School at Garran too.

Oh the helmet camera footage I could show from that corner…

and when my light goes green to cross, I’m bloody sure I wait till the oncoming cars WILL be stopping before I cross.

wildturkeycanoe 9:27 pm 11 Oct 14

There is a simple explanation as to why people run red arrows. When it is busy [peak hour] and sometimes not so busy, the following scenario occurs.
Cars queue up at the right hand slip lane at the red arrow. The arrow eventually turns green. Three vehicles go through the intersection before the light turns amber. Meanwhile, cars are joining the queue and wondering why it is taking forever to get through this intersection. By now the right turn slip lane’s queue has built so far back that the dual lane carriageway has become just one lane going straight forward due to the incompetence of traffic control, which does not allow more than 3 cars at a time to turn right into a non-existent priority of oncoming traffic whilst a blockade builds up behind.
Perfect example of this is the right hand turn into Souothern Cross Drive from Kingsford Smith, heading toward Kippax. Three cars only got through on the green [about 5 seconds of it], the third one barely. I, sitting around number seven in the queue, merged back into Kingsford Smith and went straight seeing as it was green now, did a U-turn up at O’loghlen St. and was able to get back onto Southern Cross before the lights had even let the straight traffic through from Belconnen town center. It certainly beat sitting there for another two rounds of red arrow, which seems to happen no matter how heavy the traffic is or how many cars are queued up waiting.
This is in no way an excuse to break the law, but frustration, especially when it is consistently frustrating you every single day for no good or logical reason, will eventually break one’s respect for the rules. What if you had a road worker standing on Northbourne Avenue stopping all the traffic for a period of two minutes, for no apparent reason, every single morning and afternoon? Wouldn’t people eventually disregard his STOP sign and simply drive through?

Felix the Cat 7:54 pm 11 Oct 14

OP must be mistaken, motorists don’t go through red lights, only cyclists do…

Antagonist 12:58 pm 11 Oct 14

On a side note, the police now have two less high-vis vehicles after a massive stack yesterday am (10/10/2014) on the Monaro – just south of the AMC. There was debris scattered everywhere with two cop cars completely wrecked and a lone 4WD nearby without as much damage. We nearly added to the wreckage because they didn’t think to send a cop car a little further up the road around the bends to slow approaching traffic down from 80km/h. Anyone know what happened?

Antagonist 12:53 pm 11 Oct 14

Well, we do complain that we want them to focus on real crime, and that may well be what he/she was doing. Waiting for somebody to appear that Mr Plod has a genuine interest in – perhaps somebody with outstanding warrants or involved in serious crime rather than misdemeanour offenses. If police are trying to discourage red light runners, they would be more likely to do it in one of their high-vis vehicles so they can be seen. This is far less effective in an inconspicuous unmarked car.

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