Red light cameras and Speed cameras


I've noticed around Kaohsiung that the city likes to put up red light cameras at every 2nd intersection.
That said, ive noticed that the old grey looking cameras (that say Gatso on them) dont seem to work, as in, I never see any flashes from them even though they seem to have a flash window even when 50 scooters run the light right over the sensor.

I'm wondering if they are active but just dont have a flash, or whether they have just run out of film, or simply not sensitive enough to pick up a scooter (not like im complaining :laughing: )
Ive had friends that tell me that the cameras dont pick up scooters, but I have noticed that the larger grey box cameras (look like a rectangle) and the green box ones flash on red light scooter runners.

Not a serious question, but I am just curious if the city just leaves up a lot of dead/dud/fake/broken cameras to stop red light runners. Because I do notice many people slamming on the brakes when it turns yellow as well.

Also, can speed cameras pick up scooters as well?


They can pick up scooters just fine. They won't fire, though, if there's more than one vehicle in the frame (or at least, they might fire, but nobody'll send you a ticket based on a photo with another vehicle in it). And yes, they do often leave them unloaded as a deterrent.


someone told me once that the police need to operate them manually for it to be legal. I pass by a bunch every day on the way to work and i've never gotten at ticket there, but I get caught on the ones in the city.


What Sandman said.

Also, some are set only for red lights, and some only for speed.


And some are on overpasses to catch you in the wrong lane, and those ones don't give a fuck HOW many people are in the shot.


I think most people in cars are caught by the Komoto IR strobe based cameras because they assume only big yellow boxes are speed cameras. You will see them on freeway gantries and anywhere power and communication systems are present (i.e. major intersections). Most of the systems are connected to a high res IR camera and remote computer which can process 3 or more lanes of traffic simultaneously. You will not see them flash because they use infrared light which is invisble to the naked eye. Extremely accurate but even though they can detect bikes easily most systems are forward-facing which means there is no license plate to snap. Gatsos are old hat and I think most of them are already being left to rot - no point running them when you can buy a new digital system for the price of a year's maintenance and no point removing them when they can still act as deterrent.

Edit: these are the buggers.


llary, ive seen those cameras and I was wondering if they were speed cameras or not.
It looks digital, so perhaps it runs the plate number automatically (no film required)

So these cameras would detect a bike? There must be a lot of wasted time looking through the pictures of speeding bikes then.

Kaohsiung has mostly Gatso cameras at every intersection - but they look all tattered and worn out, so i was guessing that they are dead.
I dont want to test that theory though :smiley:

Sandman, i have not seen the overpass cameras yet. Do they look like a speed camara, or is it just a video recorder that records all activity in the illegal lane. I dont think Kaohsiung has these.


The Komoto systems from Singapore are software based so they can be used for anything with the same hardware - speed detection, red light cameras, even lane offences etc. They are mainly used for speed detection. Komoto also supplies number plate recognition software so the whole ticketing process is virtually automatic - hence the system's popularity.

They would have no problem detecting bikes but they would have to be rear-facing to 'see' the number plates which in many cases would cause installation and running problems, so cameras are almost always front-facing.

Gatsos are outdated, do not work properly across multiple lanes with multiple traffic streams and need constant maintenance so they are virtually useless for Taiwan. There are two working Gatso boxes I know of in Taichung, all the others have been left to die and/or replaced with modern digital systems.


I hate those speed cameras I hate them. Iv gotten two tickets on the freeway driving to TAichung. They were hidden in the middle of the road (saw from the angle of the picture they sent me). And I got a few in town ones too. A year late I got them. Received two of them basically as a Christmas present.

Stopped by 525i patrol cars 4 or 5 times on the number one but managed to talk myself out of all of them transgressions. Whew. Cant talk yourself out of a speed camera ticket. Only cop I didnt manage to talk myself out of a ticket from was a ticket from a moto cop. Those guys are out in the sun and rain and they mean business.


The overpass camera I saw was a policeman crouched behind the barricade peeking over with his digital camera at the road below. This was at the Keelung/Roosevelt intersection.


Here's another thing I've seen recently and I can't figure it out at all --

Heading North East on highway 1 toward Keelung from Taipei, about 500m before the XiZhi toll booths, there's a pair of newly-installed gantries about 3 meters apart. The last two times I've driven under them, there was a flash - or more like two flashes very close together - something like a regular speed camera flash but a shade more blue-ish and much less bright. In daytime you might not even notice them, but this was nighttime. The first time it happened I may have been going over the speed limit, but the second time I was very careful to be well under (the posted speed is 90 right there) -- and it/they went off just the same. Plus in any case, the flash seemed to go off pretty much directly overhead, so I don't think they would have been able to see my license plates anyway.

I suppose I should somehow try to get over there in daylight and have a good look at the fuckers, but driving past them going the other way in daylight I can't see much of anything. Plus if they're those Komoto bastards, then why would they need two gantries for that??

So wtf? Is this some new system that's being tested? If so, what's it supposed to do? Why would anyone want a picture of the roof of my car? Is it to do with speed or what? Anyone have any ideas?


I hate speed cameras. In most places in the USA, the highway fuzz will turn on their lights and come after you. At least you are getting some action for your 200 US dollar ticket.

Happened to me twice in the last few years. It sucks to get caught though.

Going 90mph on the freeway here can get you a 900 US dollar ticket. Plus your insurance payment goes up by about 1000 a year for 5 years. Going over 100mph in most places get you handcuffed and sent to jail at least for the night, until you post bail. And you could lose your license.

My Audi tended to have a natural speed of 90mph so I had to have an acute sense of fuzz presence. Now my Acura has a natural speed of only 80mph so its better. Even so I try hard to stay under 75mph (they usually dont bother you if you stay under 10mph over the posted).

And yes Im curious, what the heck are those new thingies?


Sure, it sucks getting caught, but wouldn't it suck more if you injured yourself/others because of speeding? There are reasons for certain rules of the road!!! And driving is a privilege, not a right!!!

In Canada and in Taiwan, I've paid my fair share of speeding tickets and I don't complain. I know I deserved them.

There should be cameras and automated systems EVERYWHERE to catch and fine all types of traffic violations; including speeding, running lights, turning when you're not supposed to, stopping over the white line, stopping in the scooter box, parking at red-line curbs, riding/driving up the wrong side of the road, beeping your horn for no reason, cutting across several lanes of traffic, not signaling, etc.


As long as the speed limits are reasonable. I remember driving thru Wanli and the speed limit is only 25 kph. Man is that a crawl my friend. IF the speed limits are scientifically studied and applied, then we should not go faster then that.

I am a very careful and defensive driver. I obey all rules where I can. And where I dont , Im only doing what 80pct of other cars are doing. LIke for example Taiwan freeways had 90kph limit but was ok up to 100kph. Most cars were doing 110 to 120. I did the same. Because I was going with the flow. Much faster above and much slower then the average speed is dangerous and itself causes accidents.

Im not proposing driving like a maniac and breaking laws at will here. Just that speed limits should reflect the higher speed that the road is designed to. I think Taiwan freeways should be limited to 130kph max. And past 140kph a very stiff fine. There is no reason to go faster then 130kph on the Taiwan freeways. And limits on regular country roads should be 60kph and 40kph where applicable and not 25kph except in city streets and other smaller roads.

REasonable speed limits is all i ask. And yes red light cameras are ok, one should never go thru a red light.


Parts of the no. 1 freeway have been changed from a 100km/h limit to 110km/h. Does that mean that previously it was dangerous to go over 100km/h but now it's safe, even though nothing else has changed?

It's legal to do 50km/h outside most schools in Taiwan. Does that mean it's safe? Is 130km/h on a clear freeway (illegal) or 50km/h at chucking out time outside a school (legal) more dangerous? :blah:

All those scooters wobbling about at 20km/h are more dangerous than someone doing 60 on a large highway with a 50 limit. :neutral:


Speed doesn't cause accidents, people cause accidents.

Brand new Gatso installed in Hsinchu a week or two ago, so they are still being deployed.


Speed might not cause, but it is surely a primary factor of accidents. Some folks can drive well, and others can't. That's why we have speed limits and cameras to enforce them. It's for the greater good of the commonweal.

Frankly, I can't for the life of me understand the speed freaks and folks who bitch about getting caught. Driving on a public highway is surely a simple matter of getting from point A to Z in the safest and most secure manner possible. If one wants some rush of adrenalin, then one should take up a more extreme sport far removed from the general public domain.


I vote for recklessness as the primary factor :slight_smile:


Absolutely! That's what we need -- more rules and zero tolerance.

Although I don't think this really goes far enough. Ideally, you should also be watched 24/7 and your facial expressions should be monitored for inappropriate thoughts.

Also, it would probably help if you were arbitrarily snatched off the street and beaten up every now and then pour encourager les autres.

I'm sure you'd soon get used to it - in fact I expect you'd soon be clamoring for more.

And the beauty of it is, all of these social improvements can be paid for out of your taxes.


Cameras fire based in sensors in the road - if something moves over the sensors at a speed faster than designated, the camera takes a picture. The camera is just a camera - it can detect anything. The sensors, however, will only pick up (this will seem obvious) what runs over them. Generally speed sensors are built on top of the center-line of a road (the line with the dashes) and extends a few feet into either lane. In other words, unless your vehicle touches within a few feet of the middle of the road, you shouldn't trip the sensor, and the camera shouldn't fire. All my speeding tickets are taken when I'm in main traffic, never when I'm in a "scooter lane."