TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Radar Detectors

Re: Radar Detectors
10 Dec 2004 08:06:11 -0800

Ron Chapman wrote:

> Ah. So maybe you can explain to me why cities that employ these
> devices:

> (a) pay nothing for them, and receive commissions from the PRIVATE
> OPERATORS who place them; and

That is not true. The cost of the machines is deducted from the net
revenue of the fines received.

Everybody supposedly thinks its good when govt "privitizes", and here
is an example of govt doing just that.

> (b) change the timing of the lights with such devices, in order to
> DRAMATICALLY shorten the time of the yellow light, a change which
> drastically increases the likelihood of your getting caught by the
> device?

I find that very hard to believe.

As as the claim of "revenue enhancement", allow me to note:

1) One city is installing the cameras at intersections with a
seriously high accident rate. I'm familiar with these intersections,
and motorists routinely keep going even after the yellow goes to red.
In other words, these aren't questionable instances, but rather the
motorists entered the intersection clearly after their light went to
red. The sloppy driving of motorists brought this enforcement onto

2) My own town set up a speed trap and I watched it work. The speed
limit was 25 mph on a narrow residential street and prominently
posted. They set the flag cutoff at 40 mph. Despite it being 40,
they still cited many drivers flying through.

3) At city council meetings, residents regularly come in to complain
about speeders on their local streets and demand the cops do something
about it. City govt is under pressure from such residents.

The reality is that motorists, for a variety of reasons, are just too
damn impatient and drive too fast and recklessly.

Advocates for higher speeds claim roads are safer because fatalities
are down. That is true, but fatalities are down because cars and
roads get safer--airbags, more people using seatbelts, better road
crash protection, less drunk drivers.

What the advocates don't say is that the basic accident rate
(including minor ones like 'fender benders') is sky high and total
property damage in dollars continues to climb.

I wish the cops didn't need cameras and speed traps, but motorists
have only themselves to blame.

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