Parking Quiz Answer! Finding & Avoiding Red Light Cameras in SF


A bit ago, parking guru David La Bua, author of Finding the Sweet Spot, asked you guys to guess how many red light cameras there are in the city, plus a bonus question of how long red lights actually last. Did you guess correctly?

How many red light camera intersections are there in SF?

A) 2
B) 4
C) 24
D) 42
E) 142

Bonus Question (Essay): How long does the typical red light last?

The Answer is C)  24
Automatic (Camera) Enforcement of Red Lights
There were 796 non-fatal pedestrian injury collisions and 24 fatal pedestrian collisions on the streets of San Francisco last year. And 1.8 million intersection crashes nationally. Running red lights is the ultimate act of driving selfishly, and unless you’re driving an ambulance, gives the lowest reward for the highest amount of risk taken.
I know it seems like each red light lasts absolutely forever, especially when you’re in a hurry. Hopefully you will take some comfort in knowing that most red lights typically last for only 30 seconds (count for yourself). Just a few, in higher speed limit areas, are 45 seconds long. So next time you are stressed out, and squeezing the lemon to beat the red light….relax, take a break, do a 30 second red light meditation. Really. Try it.

The automatic digital red light cameras found at intersections cost about $40,000 each, and the whole units used at intersections cost about $300,000 per intersection. The City has 27 cameras rotated among 24 intersections and spent a little over $8 million on them. How can we afford that? Well, last year alone, there were 16,500 automatic red light violation citations issued. At $435 each, they generated $7 million in revenue. So, needless to say, the pilot program is here to stay, as it will generate millions of dollars a year for SF. And hopefully will heighten people’s awareness, and save a life or two.

Here is a list of the 24 current red light camera intersections in the rotation in SF.
Bryant & Sixth

Bush & Van Ness

Ellis & Larkin

Folsom & First

Franklin & Geary

Harrison & Third, Fifth, and Eighth

Howard & Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth

Marina Boulevard & Lyon

Mission & Fifth, Seventh, and Fifteenth

Oak & Octavia
Park Presidio & Fulton, Geary, and Lake

Pine & Polk
Polk & Hayes

Richardson & Francisco

Sloat & Nineteenth

South Van Ness & Fourteenth

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