Sunday, October 26, 2008

Speed Cameras & Photo Enforcement Cause Crashes/Accidents: The Other Side of the 'Safety' Campaign

Photo Enforcement & Speed Cameras Cause Crashes & Increase Accidents

Not withstanding my long campaign against the profit-driven motives of photo enforcement companies like RedFlex and ATS (among others) to co-opt willing cash-hoarding and due process, civil rights destroying administrations such as that of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, I have also expressed concerns about the negative effects of photo enforcement itself which create additional hazards from their use (stemming from asymmetrical situational awareness) for drivers on the road and the inability of supporting administrations to be truthful with their voting constituencies.

Case in point, just recently, a story (demonstrating speed cameras cause crashes) has surfaced on the Internet suggesting that the internationally acclaimed BBC squashed a story that they prepared which addressed a European speeding crackdown which is utilizing speed cameras (in this instance, photo lidar-based speed cameras).

BBC Report: Speed Cameras Cause Crashes & Increase Accidents

A segment of their story also included some real video footage, taken by these photo-lidar systems, in which inattentive speeding drivers (and their poorly maintained vehicles) crashed as a result of their over-reaction to their approach to these systems.

Instead of giving its viewers a balanced look into the resulting circumstances, the BBC (under what I assume was undue pressure from camera proponents) killed the report.

Even more disturbing is another UK-transport department report that suggests that "panic" braking is a common driver response and that crash rates have increased by a whopping 55% along corridors where photo enforcement speed cameras are implemented.

Speed Cameras Cause Crashes & Increase Accidents

But what is most disturbing are the reports that the department attempted (unsuccessfully) to prevent their report's findings from becoming available to the public.

Arizona would be wise to consider this, as they embark on a most "ambitious" photo enforcement program to saturate certain highways with an unthinkable level of both fixed and mobile speed cameras to augment an already exorbitant amount of red light cameras and speed-on-green cameras, which are not only inefficient/ineffective systems for improving traffic safety, but actually create the same kind of dangerous safety hazards—which stem from asymmetrical situational awareness—which results in the cyclical disruption of normal traffic flow (traffic porpoising).

Unfortunately, I suspect the power of greed will continue to overwhelm sensibilities.

When greed is combined with a false (falsified) ideology, truth is often the first casualty.

In a time when we're all experiencing a global economic crisis and the likely expansion of government involvement and control in our daily lives, I can only hope the day will soon come when these administrations see the error of their (fascist/totalitarianistic) ways.

Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens' lives. Ron Paul, Aug 04.

I wish PBS Frontline would conduct a thorough examination of photo enforcement...

Related Reading:

© 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Ultimate $1000 Windshield-Mount Radar Detector

I have been thinking about posting this one for quite some time and given that Beltronics is soon to release their new BEL GX65 radar detector and that we will soon be entering the extended holiday (shopping) season, I feel perhaps now is the time to post this entry as an addition to my short Santa's list.

Other than the Nikon D3X (or Nikon D4) that I would love to find under my tree this season—as the Hasselblad H3DII-50 is just a bit outside of my price range—I wish Beltronics would finally offer, what I would regard, the ultimate radar detector (in a windshield-mount).

This supreme radar detector would possess the following attributes:
  • The Dual LNA Antenna of the STi Driver/STI-R that would enable the detector to remain invisible to Spectre RDDs while providing unimaginable levels of performance
  • The incorporation of the GPS abilities of the Beltronics Pro GX65 and Escort Passport 9500ix which includes the Cheetah Trinity Database of Red Light Cameras and Fixed/Mobile Speed Cameras w/lifetime subscription to updates
  • The auto-learning and un-learning of identified false locations
  • The absolute reception capability of the Beltronics STi-R
  • Police lidar/laser reception on par with the new Bel GX65
  • The silky-smooth alert ramp-up of the Escort Passport 8500 X50
  • Ka-Band segmentation as currently provided in the Beltronics STi-R
  • Incorporation of the four different metering display options (borrowed from both Beltronics and Escort Passport models)
  • The magnesium chassis of the STi Driver as well as its second-to-none packaging.
  • All of the ergonomic advancements which we have all come to know and love from both Beltronics and Escort models including the nice new double-tone auto-muting at speeds below 20mph.
  • The ability to incorporate with the Cincinnati Microwave Laser Shifter ZR4
  • The potential to alert via a blue-tooth link into new automobile sound systems and/or other mobile devices
I believe there exists a place in the Beltronics line-up for such a radar detector and I suspect that place would be at the $999USD price point.

Such a radar detector could fulfill the vision of providing an incremental approach to buidling a system along the lines of an Escort Passport 9500ci without undermining the positioning of any of the other products offered by either Beltronics or Escort.

In my opinion, such a radar detector could be universally regarded as the most sophisticated and capable (dare I say perfect?) windshield-mount radar detector, yet conceived.

Santa (aka: Beltronics), I don't know if you are listening, but...

I know I am not in Iowa, but I do believe that if you build it, they will come...

Veil Guy