Creative Workarounds and Red Light Cameras

LED traffic light in Forest Hill, New South Wales.
Image via Wikipedia

Part of building a successful startup is finding creative workarounds. One of the more creative workarounds I’ve heard recently involves red light cameras. A person in Georgia really didn’t like red light cameras and set out to get them banned in the state. After several failed attempts to get them banned via the state legislature someone came up with a creative workaround: pass a law such that lights with red light cameras must add one additional second to the yellow light display.

Adding a simple extra second to the length of time the yellow light is shown seems like such a trivial change but it had a profound impact. See, many of the red light cameras are joint ventures with the manufacturers of the equipment and the local government agency. Well, by adding an extra second to the yellow light the number of tickets issued dropped precipitously (people pressing on the gas to make it through the light successfully do so with higher frequency when they have an extra second). With lower revenue from red-light-running-tickets, it was no longer profitable to manage and run the program at some intersections, so the cameras came down.

Did you have a roadblock in your startup? What are some creative workarounds that worked for you?

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