Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stop Sign Camera

Cameras on stop signs to catch violators
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To reduce stop sign violations, automatic violation-detecting cameras are mounted on stop signs in a location easily visible to motorists. To reduce cost, only a small number of cameras are real, and these are periodically swapped with decoys elsewhere; this gives the appearance of more cameras than there are, lowering costs while maintaining deterrence.
blargg, Mar 06 2004

For BZ: How Red Light Cameras Work http://electronics....ed-light-camera.htm
From Page 3/The Setup in the article: "Most modern red-light-camera systems use digital cameras. Older ones use 35-mm cameras, in which case the film has to be collected for development periodically." [jurist, Oct 17 2005]


       If you really want to use technology to improve things in this area, use smart lights everywhere and get rid of stop signs. Not only would you have better traffic flow, you'd have less accidents.
theircompetitor, Mar 06 2004

       baked, well, for red-light cameras in the UK.   

       Shame they don't place them more often instead of speeding variety. Jumping red lights are more lethal than mediocre speeding, and it would make flow better.
timbeau, Mar 06 2004

       // Shame they don't place them more often instead of speeding variety. Jumping red lights are more lethal than mediocre speeding, and it would make flow better.//   

       Unfortunately, red-light cameras, at least in the U.S., are used to enhance revenue more often than safety. There are many documented cases of cities adjusting yellow light times down on camera-equipped intersections for the purpose of increasing the number of motorists ticketed, despite the fact that such games increase the number of accidents by forcing motorists to try to stop even when it's not safe to do so.   

       One thing that would perhaps help would be to regard red-light stragglers (less than a second or so, and before the opposing lights had changed) as a "courtesy" violation rather than a safety violation, and fine it accordingly, while assigning much stiffer fines to those who enter an intersection after cross-traffic has already begun. But since that wouldn't bring in as much $$$ I don't think cities would be interested.
supercat, Mar 06 2004

       Cameras (and the fakes) will quickly disappear --- hell, I'd take one. []
dpsyplc, Mar 06 2004

       How would the technology work? I can see how you tell if a car is passing while a light is red, or measure the speed. I'm not sure if you'd have to track a car's progress to ensure it came to a stop, or just what you'd need to do for this.
kropotkin, Mar 06 2004

       baked in 1965 for photo finish at races and over 300 in use, history channle is doing a special as I type.
krod, Mar 06 2004

       //How would the technology work?//   

       I suppose that you could put a road sensor on both sides of the sign and a timer would determine that if both sensors were triggered in less than 3 seconds apart from each other, then its can be determined that the driver did not stop.   

       Or perhaps you could have the camera take 10 pictures per second (1/3 the frame rate of video) as a vehicle approaches. That way if the car is in the same position for more than 2 seconds, its can be determined that the driver actually stopped.
Jscotty, Oct 12 2005

       I've never really worked it out. Here, in the UK (and the rest of EU, AFAICT), there are very few actual STOP signs. They tend to put them in places that are dangerous (often for some non-obvious reason - like when a narrow side-road with walls obscuring the view on either side meets a main road on the inside of the apex of a bend... You might not realise it if you were driving along the narrow road for the 1st time). In the US (from my fairly limited experience, at any rate) they seem to put them everywhere. If there's a vast cross-roads in the middle of a flat desert, there'll be a STOP sign. Why?!   

       That said, often the UK road-people tend to write the word SLOW everywhere (some kind of subliminal message?), and it loses its meaning.   

       I like the idea for the UK, not so much for the US.
Dub, Oct 12 2005

       Those US stop signs are a pain in the behind. Forget the cameras and get some mini-roundabouts installed. Then there'll be no violation to detect.
oldchina, Oct 13 2005

       Telling that you would put fake stop sign cameras up, is like giving out a "blueprint for terror."
jellydoughnut, Oct 13 2005

       Roundabouts? They're an awful invention.   

       By the way, does anyone know if current red-light cameras use film or digital imaging?
bristolz, Oct 13 2005

       One problem with stop sign cameras is that they can't very well detect dangerous behavior. Someone who slows to 2mph, notices there aren't any cars within a mile, and proceeds is far less dangerous than a motorist who comes to a complete stop but then proceeds at an inopportune time.
supercat, Oct 16 2005

       Link for [bz]: Apparently, new ones in well-funded areas are digital; older cameras in under-funded areas still use film. Just as one would predict.
jurist, Oct 17 2005


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