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post #1 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 6:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Control the population?

I know we have some representation on the site from the legal and law enforcement areas. I would be interested to know what people think of the electronic methods used to control us ..... oops I mean police the population. We have speed cameras fixed, mobile, hidden, they are bringing in new methods that actually photograph and time vehicles point to point. I've seen recently cameras that have been imbeded into parking spaces that record how long you stay - if you go over the time limit the parking officer is alerted and he comes along a writes you out a ticket. There is no sport in it anymore. My thoughs on the whole thing are that police should be highly visible on the streets but maybe I am living in the past, the point is despite all of the new revenue producing technology you can still argue the roads are no safer.
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post #2 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 8:55 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

There was recently a big hoopla in Iowa over traffic cameras. In most of the cities that have them it isn't considered a moving violation if the camera catches you so it is just a $30 fine or something like that. However if a cop catches you doing the same thing then it is $75 and a moving violation. Also the cameras here only get a picture of the plate so you can't prove who was driving the car. It actually went to the State Supreme Court and the traffic cams were deemed to be unconstitutional because you can't have two different punishments for the same offense. It was decided that the cams were only there for revenue purposes. It was actually an off-duty cop who was caught by the camera that took it to court. The cities in question are trying to figure out what they need to do to their city code to legalize the cameras.

Also it came out that the cameras here don't catch anywhere near enough people to ever pay for themselves. Iowa drivers are just to darn safe.
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post #3 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 9:08 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

I read recently that they installed the first stop sign cameras, that can ticket a car for not coming to a complete stop before taking off again. I'm inclined to believe a lot of it is just for revenue. Red light cameras are ok by me, but I'd be interested to see if cameras have actually reduced the number of accidents in places they're installed, or just increased the amount of ticketed violations.
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post #4 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

In New Mexico the fine is $150 for the first offense but it's not a moving violation.
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post #5 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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Re: Control the population?

In Edmonton they did a lot of research a few years ago because there are a rediculous number of accidents here every year and more traffic fatalities than you can shake a stick at (In a city of slightly less than a million there are typically 25 - 35 fatalities annually). They found that a very large percentage of accidents hapen in intersections as a result of drivers running amber and red lights (not a huge suprise). Now around town there are a few intersections with cameras installed to photograph drivers if they pass through the intersection past a certain time interval after the light has become amber. There was of course a big deal made of it, but I figure if you're not running lights it won't effect your life one bit. Speaking out just identifies you as part of the problem. It's not about cash its about safety so I can respect that.

I do have a small problem with photo radar (which is common here. The police actually have several mobile photo radar vehicles that they leave parked by the side of the road to simulate an abandoned vehicle and it just sits there snapping away) because really it doesn't deter anything. It does pay for more officers and once again if you don't speed it won't affect your life one bit. I do speed some on my bike and I know that there's a good chance I'll get dinged now and again. You have to pay to play.
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post #6 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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Re: Control the population?

A few years ago in the UK all speed and mobile patrols were hidden and intended to be sneaky in the methods of catching offenders, the law was reviewed and now all speed cameras are coloured bright yellow and must be visibly seen and a lot of these are front facing cameras so us bikers get a bit of a reprieve if we don't see them.

All mobile patrols must now be visible and within a 1km range of a camera warning sign, although all this is supposed to be for safety reasons and not revenue, it does however alert people to accident prone areas which is a good thing.

So after hearing your plight across the pond, things are not that bad here after all.

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post #7 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 1:09 PM
 
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Re: Control the population?

Oh...and they jacked up the cost of fines a couple years ago. It's really expensive to get caught speeding here.

From the local paper...
"The amendment passed by the Conservative Cabinet comes into effect on October 31, 2005 with fines for speeding starting at $100 for exceeding the speed limit by 1 km/hr. Exceeding the limit by 5 km/hr now has a fine of $116, 10 km/hr has a fine of $136, and 15 km/hr has a fine of $156."

More than 20 over is an automatic court appearance.
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post #8 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 2:12 PM
 
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Re: Control the population?

not a fan of most of these but i have to say i like the red light cameras, anything that makes me less likely to get plowed by a cager trying to squeeze out that last millisecond of yellow is fine by me
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post #9 of 52 Old 08-03-2007, 2:26 PM
 
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Re: Control the population?

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Originally Posted by Charles486 View Post
not a fan of most of these but i have to say i like the red light cameras, anything that makes me less likely to get plowed by a cager trying to squeeze out that last millisecond of yellow is fine by me

That is exactly how I look at it.
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post #10 of 52 Old 08-05-2007, 1:07 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

I think speed limits should be put to referenda in each jurisdiction...And, there should be no penalty for splitting lanes; and there should be no money penalty at all. Gov't is not a business so stop trying to raise money...And time should be the penalty...Cleaning up after accidents or picking up garbage or dog poop, or hand-washing old-peoples' soiled clothing...

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post #11 of 52 Old 08-05-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

Population control is never a problem in the country. Everyone knows where the speed traps are and they are called gravel roads. Besides that, the best twisties are out here too...
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post #12 of 52 Old 08-10-2007, 6:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Control the population?

I just don't think you should take the police out of police work, you don't maintain the respect of the people. When people are in trouble they don't yell "quick call the speed camera".. There needs to be a line drawn in the sand.
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post #13 of 52 Old 08-11-2007, 2:21 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

Sure, but someone going 5 or 10 MPH over some arbitrary "limit" doesn't cross that "line." I am not saying remove the cops, but don't have them enforcing laws the majority doesn't want, especially when the rule/law/reg is NOT about a fundamental right...

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post #14 of 52 Old 08-11-2007, 5:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Control the population?

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Originally Posted by analogbear View Post
Sure, but someone going 5 or 10 MPH over some arbitrary "limit" doesn't cross that "line." I am not saying remove the cops, but don't have them enforcing laws the majority doesn't want, especially when the rule/law/reg is NOT about a fundamental right...
Hey I am with you on this. Electronic law enforcement is taking us down a disgusting path, the laws should be in place to protect the population not rob them. I grew up with a certain level of fear and respect of the police. People don't respect cameras, they breed resentment. Red light cameras are a good thing I agree but when you have hidden speed cameras behind bushes, in garbage bins add in this new "point to point timing" and motorists are being fined for going 5% over then it's just wrong. Point to point I think is especially bad because the message it sends is not one of safety, you can double the speed limit and slow down or park, then take off again, it screams revenue not policing. Police need to be visible.
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post #15 of 52 Old 08-11-2007, 7:37 AM
 
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Re: Control the population?

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Originally Posted by analogbear View Post
Sure, but someone going 5 or 10 MPH over some arbitrary "limit" doesn't cross that "line." I am not saying remove the cops, but don't have them enforcing laws the majority doesn't want, especially when the rule/law/reg is NOT about a fundamental right...
Thing is that someone needs to draw a line.
Is 5 over ok, 10, 15, 20, 40??

And dying on the roads is the mostly cause of death for most of the age brackets below 40.

So yeah - Id like some rules to help keep me safe. And some amount of enforcement to back up the rules.

Now I think there is a lot of revenue raising at times. But there is also a lot of effort to keep the road stats down.
But hey - I come from a place where you can be randomly stopped and asked to take an alcohol breath test. I probably get stopped once or twice a year. Im guessing this would be considered a huge infringement of rights in the USA - stopped for no reason other then being the next car/bike. But it did a huge amount to lower the death rate (it came in in the early 80s)

Red light cameras - yup, think they are great.

My problem is more about speed. Yes I know its a major factor in safety and while it might not be the cause of an accident it is usually a factor in the severity of any accident.
But while they tell us that "any speeding is not safe" they also restrict new rider/drivers to lower speed limits and hence artificially generate speed differences. And its often speed differences that are the biggest problem rather than absolute speed.

And our last state without a speed limit had one introduced this year. Their road deaths were quite high but alcohol and not wearing seat belts was a much bigger factor than other states.
It was interesting driving out there. A highway with 1 lane each way, not divided. No speed limit and trucks with 3 trailers!!
At times I would be doing possibly 60mph faster than another vehicle (someone towing a caravan) and thats some serious closing speed.


Oh well - Im wandering all over the place now.

Basically - Im happy for there to be laws and for them to be sensibly enforced. Im very happy we have random alcohol breath testing.
Now if they would just crack down on people with high beam or badly aimed lights...
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