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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I frequently find my smart will not trigger some traffic lights, and have had some LONG waits ... usually until another car comes up behind me or from the other direction. I figure they are based on a certain mass, and the smart is not big enough.

However, I just got a speeding ticket for 80 in a 65, and a lecture for not using signals when changing lanes. I had just pulled onto the Interstate less than a 1/2 mile before, and NEVER floor my smart ... just drive for max mpg ... drive like an old lady. I'd passed the police SUV just finishing giving someone else a ticket, and changed lanes to the left to give him space. Am sure I signaled, but he zoomed up and ticketed me ... checked laser on the ticket. Gave me a lecture about turn signals, but didn't ticket me for that. Kind of an officious, no nonsense tone ... in a hurry to get to the next guy sort of attitude.

OK. I'm ex-FBI and teach kids to drive, and don't speed. I'd been on the Interstate earlier that day, and usually cruise just under 70, and still get passed more than I pass ... try to keep up with traffic. I've duplicated my trip several times, and never passed the ticket spot over 60-65. It's mostly uphill to that point.

And I did find that my left rear turn signal (LED bulb) had burned out. I had wanted to ask the officer to check my lights, but he didn't give me a chance. "Here's your ticket ... you'll get a letter with the amount of fine" and turned on his heel and was gone!

Basic question. I feel that if he saw 80mph, he was reading another vehicle ... mostly trucks on road on Friday morning. Has anyone noted that smarts are overlooked by radar or laser guns?

Cheers and thanks, Bob
 

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I hate it when that happens. Those roadside static radar systems "your speed is XX" show me when I am in the smart that a pickup truck 200 feet behind the smart will read the speed (usually higher by 10 MPH than I am going) even though I am right in the main cone of microwaves.

You should challenge that ticket, if you can be bothered.
 

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I haven't had any issues with lights in my area, but I've found that sometimes I'll need the entire car on the light trigger panel as opposed to just one end.

No idea on radar/laser guns. I've never been stopped by police in any car for my entire decade+ of driving.
 

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Challenge the heck out of that ticket!!!!

Anyway, I have that problem all the time. Those "Your Speed" (or as I call them, "High Score") signs either don't clock me until I'm two feet away from them, or don't clock me at all.

My area has a heavy usage of traffic light cams. If you roll the light (turning) or run it, an extremely bright camera will flash you and send a ticket in the mail. While waiting in traffic you can see the camera flash at least 10 times in a minute.

Being the hypermiler I try to be, I often roll lights when I turn right. In my first year with the car, I rolled up to five of those camera lights. Not a single one flashed me.

Other times, I'll roll up to a red in the middle of the night. I usually end up running them because no matter how I position the car, they just won't detect it!
 

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There is a clause in the left turn light at a signal to allow for motorcycles and cars that do not trip the wires in the road. I would guess it varies by states but something to the effect that you can turn after a complete light change if the road is clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is a clause in the left turn light at a signal to allow for motorcycles and cars that do not trip the wires in the road. I would guess it varies by states but something to the effect that you can turn after a complete light change if the road is clear.
I frequently shop in the wee hours at a Sam's Club, taking advantage of their business hours. The traffic light exiting their shopping center often does not trigger for my car alone. I called the state police, and was first told to report the light (or any other I felt was "defective.") After being told it was working properly, the same situation still existed and I visited the station and a sergeant looked over my car, finally telling me pretty much what you said, but emphasizing that it was my responsibility to go through the red light in a safe manner. Thank goodness that this seldom is an issue in heavy traffic hours.

Cheers, Bob in KCMO
 

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I would advise against saving 1-2mpg by rolling through the red light. All of your possible gains is saving money at the pump will come back at you in a $200 fine for ignoring the red signal. Drive at your own risk...you are breaking the law.
 

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I have never had an issue triggering the wire under the pavement in our area.
When a speed check is encountered while being alone on the road, the read out will always show a much slower speed from about 75-100 Ft distance, courtesy of smart engineering.

The fact that the policeman gave you a ticket, may be that you were driving a little smart which just goes against his beliefs of what a car should be.
 

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When alone in the left turn lane I try to spot the embedded wires and place the car's engine right above the front of the "sensitive" area. It has worked for me. Just a thought. :)
 

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Agreed about everything mentioned in this thread !

The speeding-when-not thing - BEEN THERE! I got warned that I was doing 51 in a 35. Absolutely impossible. I was 4th in a row of traffic all doing just over 35, just starting to climb a very, very large hill to go out of town - this is out in the po'dunk somewhere.

The cop told me that he clocked me at 51, and he even let me see it. I argued that it was impossible with a joking tone in my voice. Then I added "speeding in my Smart Car!?", to which, even he kind of chuckled. :p

I couldn't believe it. I knew it was wrong. I've gone by speed traps and checked multiple times just for fun. Half of the time, it was on me, but only at the final few yards before passing it. The other half, it was on the car behind me, a quarter mile away.

The other issue is the weight thing. I don't set off a main traffic light in Downtown Utica, right on the main drag as it crosses a major 4-lane highway. Fantastic.

I waited through an entire song and then some on the radio and then went when it was clear. With the luck on my side.

I also don't set off the left turn lights anywhere in New Hartford's Consumer Square. Right turns only for me, baby! :p
 

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I would advise against saving 1-2mpg by rolling through the red light. All of your possible gains is saving money at the pump will come back at you in a $200 fine for ignoring the red signal. Drive at your own risk...you are breaking the law.
That's why I stopped doing that. :eek: I figured I'd make up the lost mileage later on.

Meanwhile, some lights I cannot change at all. Thankfully, Illinois Law allows you to run a light after a certain amount of time if your light fails to change.
 

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I have the same problem tripping light sensors when I am riding my carbon fibre bike - the usual "lay your bike over the sensors" trick doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Went to court today. Dressed appropriately, and had pix of the car and data in big format.

The officer listed as per rote: "visually observed vehicle which seemed to be faster than traffic." (I had checked when I saw him, and speedo was under 70, only keeping up with traffic) Cited the feedback I got from this forum. "I aimed right at the vehicle, and got a solid reading" (I'd had him in sight from time I left the entrance ramp, and during whole time, I'd been checking speedo. Frankly, he was in his SUV, still behind the car he'd just stopped, and while I was not checking, I don't know when and how he could have aimed anything at me, looking back over his shoulder as I had merged almost directly behind him.) I emphasized I had just entered the highway in last few hundred yards, and suggested that my record shows that I don't speed. Incidentally, I'd been cited by the mayor for work with youth, which included teaching about a dozen to drive in last five years.)

I asked and the large and overweight officer said there's no way he could have made an error. The judge chose to change the speeding charge to a warning, based on my obvious good record. I thanked her and the officer ... who just grunted.

I'll be especially careful in that section of town as my yellow smart is rather obvious.

Cheers, Bob in KCMO
 

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Bob, Glad you were able to get this reduced to a warning - your good work deserves the recognition the judge gave it!

I just had a similar experience this morning when a CHP turned on the lights while passing me in the opposite direction. I was doing 62 in a 55 riding in a pocket with 5 cars ahead and about 5 behind. Everyone was going about the same speed. I saw him turn around in the rearview mirror but he never materialized after that. Got the old heart rate up for a few minutes!
 

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My car got a ticket from a speed camera - vehicle based, not fixed. He sat at the point where the limit drops from 35 to 25 and most people haven't had a chance slow.
It is my understanding that traffic lights use induction coils to sense the vehicle, which means they sense metal content, not weight. I saw an item on sale at a motorcycle show that claimed if you attached it to the bottom of your bike would trigger the light. That's where they told me about the technology.
Someone here beat tickets on company cars by using the traffic video and calculating the length of the vehicle, distance travelled, and time to show the speed was not what was reported. Can't help but think dash cam. Imagine your scenario where you suggest checking the video. If you have to explain that you can do the math before the court appearance, there are bigger problems than your speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
First ticket in at least 35 years, but I'm concerned about making myself (and my rather noticeable car) a potential project for Officer Friendly. He had six other folks all in court, so he's apparently active.

Does anyone know the capabilities of the on board computer, and if it contains a time stamped speed readout? I'm frankly concerned that the officer "developed or remembered facts to suit himself" and I don't want to run into him again. But if I do, I want to be prepared.

NO WAY IN HELL was I going 80 when I was around him.

Cheers, Bob
 

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Quick change your panels, Bob! :) I'd challenge the ticket. You shouldn't pay for what you didn't do.

-wahi
 

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First ticket in at least 35 years, but I'm concerned about making myself (and my rather noticeable car) a potential project for Officer Friendly. He had six other folks all in court, so he's apparently active.

Does anyone know the capabilities of the on board computer, and if it contains a time stamped speed readout? I'm frankly concerned that the officer "developed or remembered facts to suit himself" and I don't want to run into him again. But if I do, I want to be prepared.

NO WAY IN HELL was I going 80 when I was around him.

Cheers, Bob
Time for one of these
:D
 
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