Avoiding Speed Cameras Using GPS Now Illegal In Switzerland

from the location-based-service dept

Over the years, drivers have developed various ways of warning each other about speed traps, such as flashing your brights a couple of times, to let drivers in the oncoming lanes know that there's a police car waiting up ahead. As anti-speeding methods have evolved, so too have the counter measures. To deal with the increasing prevalence of speed surveillance cameras, some GPS devices let drivers know when they're in an area that is monitored by these cameras. Now the Swiss government is fighting back, announcing that several GPS devices are now illegal, because they can be used to help drivers avoid these cameras. It's easy to see other governments following suit, just as radar detectors were roundly banned after they got too popular. Still, it's going to be hard to enforce this ban. While they can ban certain makes of GPS devices, it's going to be tougher to prevent someone from downloading the same application to a GPS-enabled handset that sets of an alarm whenever the car nears a danger zone.


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  1.  
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    Chris Maresca, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 8:18pm

    Seems to defeat the purpose...

    If the purpose of a speed camera is to slow people down, then you would want people to know about it in whatever way they choose, as long as they slow down...

    If the purpose of the camera is to make the government money, then you don't want anyone to know about it so you can rack up more fines.

    Pathetic, really.

    As far as avoiding them, that's probably that locals already do anyway, or they slow down. There was a stretch of highway when I lived in Austria near Graz that had a few and everyone (except Germans) would slow down.

    Chris.

     

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    TheDock22, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 8:34pm

    They'll never catch me...

    Glad I live in a state where radar detectors are still legal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 8:51pm

    such as flashing your brights a couple of times, to let drivers in the oncoming lanes know that there's a police car waiting up ahead.

    In NY, that signal usually means "turn your damn brights off they're in my face" or "wake up drunkie you're too close to the yellow divider"

     

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    Talden, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 9:38pm

    I wonder how long...

    ...until it reaches New Zealand. The degree of focus on enforcing speed is getting absurd (the recent suggestions for reduced speed around schools at congestion times make perfect sense)... Staking out long wide straight roads with speed-traps is nothing but a money maker, just another tax. NB: Flashing the 'hi-beams' is a common one in NZ for speed enforcement warnings. Too many idiots drive near the centre-line to warrant the effort of warning those noddies (gee do ya think that maybe those kinds of things'd be better enforcing).

     

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    Moe Palmer, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 9:46pm

    Radar and GPS

    I still use a Radar Detector .... for Safety. Just like the City signs say "For Your Safety, Radar In Use". It keeps a driver alert... and goes off for all kinds of radar bands.. not just by Police. It is fun even when driving at speed level. And good training.. Ditto on GPS, the idea is to get people to slow down, so if it tells people to slow, law is working. And cities should just feed every street into the GPS as Spoof Warnings... Or can peope tell if warnings are true???

     

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    Dane, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 9:47pm

    I'm all for speed traps

    Yes the purpose is to slow people down, but not only in speed camera areas. The problem with knowing where the traps are is that people slow down just in those spots and then speed up again afterwards. If one doesn't know where the traps are, then you're more likely to stick to the speed limit.

    Personally I think it's stupid and selfish to speed. It uses more fuel and is far more dangerous -- and not only for the person speeding. Rather just stick to the speed limit.

     

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    skeezer65134, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    Exactly my thoughts on the matter. However, it's clear that the government, ANY government, doesn't simply want people to slow down. They want to make a buck off the drivers, otherwise cops wouldn't try to hide and be sneaky about the matter. They also wouldn't try to prevent people from knowing when they are being monitored by speed cameras and the likes. If you posted signs saying "police monitoring ahead, watch your speed" and you held to that, people wouldn't speed. Plain and simple..... but that would also mean reduced funds from speeding tickets.

     

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    SimonTek (profile), Feb 12th, 2007 @ 11:12pm

    Turn Signals

    Sheesh, I wish they would enforce turn signals, or my new favorite in Atlanta (I just noticed it in the past few months) is sitting in the middle of the street, hoping you will get thru the intersection before the light changes. Nothing pisses me off more than realizing I can not go cause Idiots are still in the middle of the intersection. My old pet peeve was turn signals. Or what about checking to see your lights work? I have come close to rear ending so many illegals (yes the part I am in is known for it) cause their brake lights don't work. geez. ya I hate traffic.

     

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    dorpass, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 11:33pm

    Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Hey Dane, you want to pull out some statistics that prove that speeding is more dangerous? You might be surprised with results if you actually cared to learn about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    You should see this response from one of the post. Hope you will never make such an absurd argument again:

    "Yes the purpose is to slow people down, but not only in speed camera areas. The problem with knowing where the traps are is that people slow down just in those spots and then speed up again afterwards. If one doesn't know where the traps are, then you're more likely to stick to the speed limit."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    How about urself? Did you care to learn about it. Go ahead and speed as you like and kill yourself in the process.

     

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    Steve, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 11:59pm

    to clarify

    To clarify, it is illegal to use a GPS detecter that is updated in real time covering mobile speed cameras. The use of GPS with a fixed camera database is still OK.

    Of course the police issue bulletins announcing where the mobile cameras are, but transferring that information into your GPS is illegal, but listening to the same information on the car radio is not !! Apparently it's to do with the GPS being too accurate.

    More of a concern is the fact that my GPS has now become illegal by the combination of this law and the upgrade from TomTom that now allows the update of mobile speed camera information via my GSM phone.

     

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    hanz, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 1:27am

    i live here

    in geneva, and really its getting to a point where there is one of these cameras every other kilometer. so yeah you can drive slow, but its like walking and never ever tripping, its impossible, the GPS just gives you a heads up for things to trip over. of course now the damn thing is just beeping every two minutes...

     

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    Smokey Steve, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 4:34am

    Flashing Your Lights Here....

    Over the years, drivers have developed various ways of warning each other about speed traps, such as flashing your brights a couple of times, to let drivers in the oncoming lanes know that there's a police car waiting up ahead.

    in Massachusetts means, "I'm driving a more expensive car than you and because I'm a concerned environmentalist and I care more than you, I want that slow polluting hunk of iron outta my way. My Beamer runs better at 95 than at 65". Of course, when they do that to me, I flip on my cruiser's hidden lights and nail their yuppie asses. Oh, I'm a MA State Police officer and drive an unmarked car on the state highways. I love my job!

     

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    Sean, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 4:41am

    Even with all the speed trap avoidance technology people will still speed. People will still get caught. Heck, cops could stand out in the open with a radar gun and people will still speed.

    Everyone complains that a certain speed limit is too low so they will drive 10-15 mph over the posted speed limit, but if the limit were raised by 10-15 mph they would still go 10-15 mph over that.

     

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    BTR1701, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 4:43am

    All about the $$$

    Yes, this law (like so many here in the USA) has absolutely nothing to do with "safety". It's the state trying to keep people from threatening the flow of revenue. The Swiss are actually preventing people from recognizing a low speed zone, apparently hoping that drivers will continue to speed in order to pull them over and fine them.

    So if the Swiss are punishing people for merely for identifying camera monitored areas, will it soon be illegal to speak to someone regarding these areas too?

    Back when I was in college in Austin, Texas, the state police used to have a favorite spot along the highway, screened by some trees, to sit in their cruisers and pick off speeders one at a time. One day, a couple of college students decided to stand on the side of the road about a mile up the highway from the speed trap and hold up a sign saying "Police ahead, slow down." Well, you can imagine what happened. They were arrested for obstruction of justice. However, the Texas Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the kids holding the sign were only encouraging people to obey the law and doing that can never be considered obstruction of justice. They also said that the arrest was a violation of their 1st Amendment right to free speech.

    Bottom line: the state will tolerate a lot but the minute you start to threaten their revenue stream, they'll come down on you like the wrath of god.

     

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    Gzus speeds, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 5:36am

    Greedy Pigs

    Over the years, drivers have developed various ways of warning each other about speed traps, such as flashing your brights a couple of times, to let drivers in the oncoming lanes know that there's a police car waiting up ahead.

    There's been a few cases of people getting fines for this i believe

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 5:37am

    Re: All about the $$$

    "However, the Texas Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the kids holding the sign were only encouraging people to obey the law and doing that can never be considered obstruction of justice. They also said that the arrest was a violation of their 1st Amendment right to free speech."

    Then I guess #14 up there needs to stop.

     

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    MA police, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 6:39am

    Re: Flashing Your Lights Here....

    So in other words, what you're saying is that you're a vindictive jackass of a police officer out to 'get' people. Way to serve & protect, buddy.

    You, and many other officers like you, are the reason people are so rude and uncooperative to police officers now. I can only hope you become a road statistic sooner or later, cop or not.

     

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    Wizard Prang, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 6:43am

    Road safety or Revenue? You decide...

    If this is about road safety - ie, slowing down traffic near a known dangerous area - then I'm all for it.

    If not, and it is all about revenue, then this is a tax; last time I looked, tax avoidance was not a crime.

    The only way that I can think of to really settle the argument as to which case applies would be to ensure that the proceeds of the "crime" do not find their way to the folks giving out the tickets.

     

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  21.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 6:48am

    Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    You are clearly confused as to the purpose of speed cameras.

    Its like when a politician does something "for the children". Its just stated to be for that cause so that it will not meet resistance, and the secondary cause (the REAL cause) can be achieved.

    In the case of speed traps, automated or not, the REAL desired outcome is additional city/state income. But its all done in the name of "safety".

    Won't you please think of the children by lowering taxes for the poor parents by having the "criminal element" in a society pay large fines?

    Personally, I am all for large fines for speeding, but the minimums are WAY too low to justify. And if you're not sure of how the speed limits get set (its based on a whole slew of satey factors, right???? WRONG!), take a look at your local jurisdictions zoning laws. Thats right, ZONING laws.

    The same body that determines whether or not your neighborhood is "shady" enough to have an in-law suite is allowed to decide how fast vechicles can travel on the nearby secluded and barricaded interstate.

    (note: this is the case where I live and I only know about where I live, I know not where you live, and I defintely dont know jack about local regulations where you live)

     

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    James, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 7:06am

    Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Yes, and you are an idiot, too. The # 1 reason people speed is not because they want to blast 100 mph (or kpm if you prefer) through some school zone mowing down children. The limits are kept artificially low for two HUGE reasons:

    1 - its a huge revenue driver, esp. in some small towns, this can be their biggest income generator

    2 - some people can't actually handle their vehicle at speeds greater (or even at) the limit that is posted, and (gasp dare I say it) shouldn't even be on the road in the first place

    There is no logical reasoning for a speed limit to be set at some rediculously low limit so that grandma feels safe on the freeway doing 45. If 55 is so safe on a highway, how about 25... surely there would be NO accidents then right? Get a clue.

    And, the next time you advocate some road trap, how about one that catches that woman putting on her makeup, eating a bagel and dealing w/the children, I'm more afraid of her than some person going 10 or 20 miles an hour faster than me who knows how to handle the vehicle.

     

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    Lewis Salem, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 7:23am

    Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Dane,

    Nice comment. The problem is not speed, it's poor driving skills. People like you probably pass on the right, or sit in the left lane. We are already taxed to death, but yet there you are, bowing down to the government like a submissive wimp. Nice.

     

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    Dane, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Fine I retract my statement. What they should do is post variable speed limits so that people who have passed special driving tests can drive faster than those that haven't. Or perhaps they should simply ban everyone from driving that is incapable of driving at some predetermined maximum speed. Of course you can't do this. You need to take into account the weakest links in the system. It's true that some people and some cars will be perfectly safe driving at faster than the speed limit, but the majority of people on the road are actually pretty crappy drivers.

    FYI - I do pass on the right and sit in the left and here it's the right thing to do. And there is no way that it's an income generating machine -- the fines are simply too low here and many people don't pay their fines. So the system here is completely broken. However, they will be implementing a points system soon that will mean people lose their licenses after a certain number of offenses and I think that'll be great.

    Anyway, I think most people just disobey the speed laws for the sake of disobeying them. Sticking it to the man. It's a childish attitude and I'm sure that if most people grow up they'd realise it and just do the right thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:26am

    You know 'Dane' sounds like a mans name, but WHERE ARE YOUR BALLS?

    "people lose their licenses after a certain number of offenses and I think that'll be great."

    you faggit... learn to drive ang get the fuck out my way

     

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    Gzus kills, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    I think you're the kind of person I'm always tempted to shoot as I boil over with rage stuck behing your slow ass. You're gonna be a road statistic

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:33am

    Re: I'm all for speed traps

    so you're that prick thats driving 35mph with 30 cars behind you? and we are selfish? k, fine, I'm selfish... NOW GET OUT OF THE WAY.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    "Anyway, I think most people just disobey the speed laws for the sake of disobeying them. Sticking it to the man. It's a childish attitude and I'm sure that if most people grow up they'd realise it and just do the right thing."

    yeah, next you'll say I speed cause my mommy didn't hug me enough. People don't speed to stick it to anyone moron... its to get where we are going in a reasonable amount of time.

     

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    Dane, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    I drive at the speed limit. If you want to pass me then pass me -- I'm not stopping you from being a retard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    "I'm not stopping you from being a retard."

    .. ya, you should defiantly worry about stopping yourself before anyone else.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    but if the limit were raised by 10-15 mph they would still go 10-15 mph over that.

    False. People drive at a speed that they are comfortable with, which for most people is the 85th percentile which translates to between 65 to 75 mph on suburban/rural freeways.

     

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    Chris Maresca, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    Because the majority of cars on roads actually respect speed limits?

    There is a very large disconnect in the speeds people drive and the speeds authorities post. Speed cameras are usually used in places where people either speed excessively, or where there have been a lot of accidents. In fact, in most countries, the guidelines for selecting speed camera locations explicitly require both of those things.

    Before engaging in ad-hominy attacks, you really should try to understand both sides of the issue.

    Chris.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Anyway, I think most people just disobey the speed laws for the sake of disobeying them.

    Yes, that is exactly what I am thinking when travelling on the portion of Highway 401 between Windsor and Tilbury here in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

    You see this part of the 401 is flat and relatively straight. Most of it was recently widened to three lanes with a concrete media and paved shoulders. The posted speed limit is 100 km/h or 62 mph. A more reasonable speed limit is 120 km/h or 75 mph. And the majority of drives travel between 115 to 125 km/h because that is the 85th percentile speed not because they are sticking it to the man.

     

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    Chris Maresca, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    So, I have an SCCA racing license, does that mean I can drive fast? The truth is that it's quite the inverse. People who spend a lot of time at race tracks don't generally drive that fast on the road.

    BTW, by doing the things you state, e.g. staying on the left at the limit and passing on the right, you are a very dangerous driver, unless you live in the UK, Australia or Japan.

    It's speed differential and unpredictability that kills, not speed itself. Germany, with no speed limits on some stretches of road, has the lowest accident rate per mile, while the US, with some of the lowest average speed limits, has one of the highest.

    What's the difference? Well, for one, people don't behave like you. They are very disciplined and predictable (e.g. slow cars on the right, passing only on the left, etc).

    Chris.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    A large difference between the posted speed limit and the actual speed usually indicates that the posted speed limit is not based on the 85th percentile.

    For example, I live at the corner of two residential streets. My house faces your typical 28 foot wide side street. The other street is wider at 38 feet and acts a local collector within the residential area. Both streets have elementary schools and sidewalks. The wider street has two bus routes. Yet, the wider street is posted at 40 km/h and my street is posted at 50 km/h. How many people drive at 40 km/h on the wider street? Not many.

    Speed cameras generate revenue. If politicians and the police were really interested in reducing the average speed they would look at redesigning the road (introduce on-street parking, construct roundabouts, reduce lane width, eliminate lanes and replace with bicycle lanes, etc). But that requires spending money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Flashing Your Lights Here....

    Yep, I hate when the police do the job they are hired for....grow up, you know the speed limit, you don't like it, so you say "f**k it, I am the best driver on the road, I will do as I please."

    All of the posts in the past have talked about how good a driver the poster is. That is irrelevant, you also have to worry about every other driver on the road. Open your eyes, realize that it is great you can drive backward at 200 mph and still be better than me. But when the guy in the lane next to you doing the speed limit moves out to pass the guy not doing it and you are suddenly screwed remember these posts....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    You are the type of driver that shouldn't be on the road.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Wrong...absolutely wrong. The roads in Germany are monitored like a bank vault. They have cameras all over the place and you get fined for every thing you do wrong, including giving the finger and f**king with something while you should be driving. You want to look through your CD collection, better not be seen by a camera or a cop.

     

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  39.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:54am

    Bit hot in here init?

    The usual flame war regarding speeding I see "I'm safe, I'm a GOOD driver..." etc etc

    Personally I can see both sides - those who are posting that 65mph is far too slow for a freeway but also those who state that speed cameras are supposed to be there for the public good

    My problem with the cameras is exactly what people are stating, that the way they are used in my local area (i'm in the UK incidentally) they certainly seem to be used as revenue generators rather than safety enhancements - none anywhere near schools and all on pedestrian free dual carridgeways (which have also had their speed limits correspondingly dropped recently)

    Fact is though that the cameras are supposed to be there to enforce the law full stop - go 1mph over the law and you are breaking it, I don't like it either but its true. A sensible system usually allows for a bit off leeway (unlike the granny getting busted for a $50 gambling ring) but you own the system, if you don't like it lobby and change it - the problem isn't the cameras themselves, its overly restrictive speed limits in inappropriate areas and the mindset of the civil servants placing them.

    Change the limits and fire the civil servants

    Fact is speed kills, the faster a car is going when it hits you the more likly you will die - the liklyhood incidentally is exponential for the speed

    So keep the limit low in residential areas and outside schools etc but raise them elsewhere

    I actually agree with the ban however for other reasons - why should some yuppie who can afford to shell out a few hundred $ be effectivly allowed to circumvent the law? The other problem is from my experience the owners of these systems tend to try to keep their journey times the same as before and they do this by slowing down at the cameras then speeding up even more than before when they are past them...

     

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    tychism, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    I typically drive a bit over the speed limit, but what's the big deal about someone who doesn't? All of a sudden people who drive the speed limit are pussies? The places I have lived (between Portland, Or and LA) there have always been plenty of places to pass if you are simply patient enough to wait it out. I have never been in such a hurry or so impatient to the point of getting angry with someone who is driving the speed limit in front of me.

    Driving ridiculously slow, such as below the posted speed or nonsensically "safe" is far more annoying. Really though, driving is still considered a privilege. It should be enforced as such not only with people who abuse the limits in excess, but also those who neglect them through deficiency (unfit to drive).

     

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    Dane, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Yes I live in a country where we drive on the left. That was what I meant by it being the right thing to do... Anyway, I think other posters have made my point better than me -- one of the reasons it is unsafe to drive so fast is that other people are obeying the laws of the road and can, rightfully, expect you to do the same. I also liked the point about the people owning the roads. If you object to the posted speed limits then make some noise somewhere where someone who counts will hear it.

     

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    Dane, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    ".. ya, you should defiantly worry about stopping yourself before anyone else."

    I love it when people do this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 10:48am

    omg a typo NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO your argument wins now

     

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    BTR1701, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 11:36am

    Re: Bit hot in here init?

    > My problem with the cameras
    > is exactly what people are stating,
    > that the way they are used in my
    > local area (i'm in the UK incidentally)
    > they certainly seem to be used as
    > revenue generators rather than
    > safety enhancements

    Another problem with the cameras (at least the way they are operated in Washington DC) is that you don't get your ticket in the mail until about a month after the violation occurs. Unlike being pulled over by an actual cop, where the mitigating factors are fresh in your mind, you now have to think back over 30 days just to try and remember why you were on that road in the first place.

    Also, by delaying the delivery of the ticket for a month or more, the state knows that the driver probably doesn't even realize there's a camera there and if it's a route they travel regularly, they could conceivably end up being ticketed 60 to 70 times before the first one even shows up in the mailbox. This leads to massive revenue windfalls for the government and at the same time can effectively bankrupt a person when $500 to $1000 in fines suddenly drop into their mailbox all at once.

    > Fact is speed kills

    Speed doesn't kill. Differential speed kills. If everyone is moving at roughly the same speed, then safety increases. It's when one person drives 40 MPH on the highway and another is driving 80 MPH that problems arise. Traffic is a fluid dynamic like any other. A fast-moving river is nevertheless calm so long as all the water is flowing at the same speed. Once you throw some rocks into the mix causes some water to flow faster than others in places, you get violent rapids-- the equivalent of a traffic backup or car crash.

    > I actually agree with the ban however
    > for other reasons - why should some
    > yuppie who can afford to shell out a few
    > hundred $ be effectivly allowed to
    > circumvent the law?

    But he's not circumventing the law by slowing down when he knows a camera is present. Or he's at least circumventing it less than he would otherwise. Your statement assumes that the law requires people to speed past these cameras and be fined. It does not. By slowing for the cameras, he's at least obeying the law where the cameras are, even if he speeds up again between them.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Xiera, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Seems to defeat the purpose...

    Chris seemed to hit my exact thoughts in the very first comment. Incredible. To recap, though:
    - People are being caused to slow down, which is prevention, rather than punishment (studies show that punishment is not as likely to change behaviour as reinforcement -- here, the cameras are a sort of reinforcement mechanism)
    - Government prefers punishment because they profit from it, once again proving that government doesn't -really- give a damn about its citizens

     

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  46.  
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    dorpass, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Yes Dane, I learned about the "evils" of speeding. It has been shown time and time again that increasing speed limits DOES NOT cause higher accident rate. In US it's been shown when the limit was changed from 55 mph to 65 and then up to 75 on some interstates. It was prophesied that the accident rate would go up many times, yet it has only been decreasing as measured accidents per mile driven.

     

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  47.  
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    tired of this, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 1:40pm

    STOP WHINING

    get over it...

     

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  48.  
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    Mary Land, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Flashing Your Lights Here....

    That was YOU in that "police interceptor crown vic with the uhf antennas and black sidewalls and hub caps (not wheel covers) and post-mounted spot light" so-called unmarked car doing five over the speed limit?

     

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  49.  
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    Dane, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Okay -- so increasing the speed limit doesn't increase the accident rate. How about increasing the death rate from those accidents? There was an ad campaign in the UK where they said that a child hit by a car going at 30mph has a 90% chance of surviving. A child hit by a car going at 60mph has a 90% chance of dying. (I think those were the figures)

     

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  50.  
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    dorpass, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Death rate per mile driven also has been going down for almost two decades. Get off of it.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: Bit hot in here init?

    Another problem with the cameras (at least the way they are operated in Washington DC) is that you don't get your ticket in the mail until about a month after the violation occurs

    That sucks - In the UK there is a period where if they haven't got the ticket out to you they have to retract it (can't remember it exactly) - apart from anything else so that you have a chance to remember who was driving

    Speed doesn't kill. Differential speed kills

    True but if you are travelling at 65mph your differential speed to that lamp post or pedestrian is 65mph, and 130mph compared to a car travelling in the opposite direction. No you aren't going to aim for them but in a crash cars are nudged into them all the time

    It's when one person drives 40 MPH on the highway and another is driving 80 MPH that problems arise

    Couldn't agree more - I've nearly wiped out trying to overtake after merging into a motorway and realising at the last minute that the car in the middle lane is actually only doing 20mph, in my book this constitutes dangerous driving and should also be against the law although this would probably take a human being to enforce...

    But he's not circumventing the law by slowing down when he knows a camera is present. Or he's at least circumventing it less than he would otherwise. Your statement assumes that the law requires people to speed past these cameras and be fined. It does not. By slowing for the cameras, he's at least obeying the law where the cameras are, even if he speeds up again between them.

    Sorry perhaps a better way to put this would have been he is allowed to break the law with relative impunity. OK the law is not being broken at the exact moment he passes the camera but it allows him to break it relatively safely for the rest of the journey, and like I say people seem to speed up between the cameras a lot more when they do this, which definitely disrupts the fluid dynamic

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Bit hot in here init?

    > OK the law is not being broken
    > at the exact moment he passes
    > the camera but it allows him to break
    > it relatively safely for the rest of the
    > journey, and like I say people seem
    > to speed up between the cameras
    > a lot more when they do this, which
    > definitely disrupts the fluid dynamic

    Which is exactly why these cameras make things *more* dangerous, not less. In Washington DC it was recently reported that the accident rate along one stretch of New York Avenue where a speed camera has been operating has increased since the camera was installed, not decreased. The reason? Because all the commuters who drive the route daily know about the camera and routinely hit their brakes as soon as they get to that stretch of road. And the other drivers who don't know about the camera are suddenly caught by surprise as traffic speed drops 20 MPH and accidents ensue.

    Faced with the almost indisputable evidence that the camera is making things more dangerous for drivers and not less, the Washington DC government, not surprisingly, chose to do nothing and leave the camera in place. Why? Because the camera generates millions of dollars in revenue per year for the city and that's the *real* reason it's there. All the talk about "safety" and "concern for children" is nothing but flowery rhetoric design to mask a crass money-grab.

     

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  53.  
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    Vincent Clement, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Dane: Any public ad or 'education' campaign that uses children should be soundly rejected. Those type of campaigns rely on emotions not science to make their point. How many children are killed, let alone injured, by speeding vehicles on local streets?

    I found a 'report' in pdf format at Right of Way that talks about 'car violence' in New York City between 1994 and 1997.

    On page 44 it states that between 1994 to 1997, 39 children were killed by automobiles. That is 10 children per year in a city with population of 7.2 million in 1996. Tables on pages 26 and 27 show speeding accounting for 11% of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in 1997. Using this percentage, just over 1 child per year in New York City was killed by a speeder. And this is based on data by an organization that uses the term "car violence".

    Speed enforcement should not be required if the road is designed for a predetermined speed limit. You don't build a road for 60 mph, then put a school on it and expect everyone to drive 30 mph. You want slower speeds in school zones? Then design the road so that drivers have to slow down. Narrow the lanes. Use chicanes or speed humps (not bumps). Permit on-street parking. Bring sidewalks right up to the road. Etc.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    No big deal so long as those people drive in the right-most lane of multi-lane road.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anon, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Wrong argument. Speed often kills an innocent person. Perhaps you, if you're riding in the car that some speeder smashes into

     

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  56.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Bit hot in here init?

    Sorry if I didn't make myself clear in the previous posts - I am actually not in favour of speed cameras, its just I am not in favour of the GPS things telling you where they are either

    They encourage the very brake slamming behaviour you are on about

    In general though I still think the "I had to slam my brakes on to obey that pesky law" excuse is a bit weak. Either you're driving too fast or the limit needs to be changed

    Problem is that would require a bit more effort than plugging in a GPS and slamming on the breaks...

     

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  57.  
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    BTR1701, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bit hot in here init?

    > In general though I still think
    > the "I had to slam my brakes
    > on to obey that pesky law"
    > excuse is a bit weak.

    It's not an excuse. It's a reality. It's what people will do no matter what you or anyone else thinks they *should* do in a perfect world. Wishing for a world in which everyone drove slowly everywhere instead of only in the camera zones is like wishing for world peace. Nice fantasy but that's all it is: fantasy.

    And once you accept the reality of the situation, you'll see that many (if not all) of these cameras actually make the roads more dangerous. The empirical data sure supports that conclusion. So if safety is the reason for the cameras (as all the politicians tell us it is when they're hyping them), then the cameras should be removed in the name of making the roads safer.

    Of course we all know that safety *isn't* the reason for the cameras. It's a bald-faced lie told to us to make us feel better about their new and exciting tax scheme.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 9:42pm

    On percentiles and differentials

    At the end of the day it's a voluntary tax though -- you speed you pay, you don't speed, you don't pay.

    I've been thinking about some of the other arguments on here that the pro-speed camp is making. Essentially the 85 percentile and the speed differential argument. So the 85 percentile thing says that the limit is set based on what 85 percent of the population finds to be a comfortable speed to drive at right? So presumably none of those 85% of the population are speeders, meaning that 15% of the population are the only potential speeders. Also, I doubt that they're all speeding, meaning that it's even a smaller percentage that are currently breaking the law. Raising the speed limit will then result in only more of that 15% driving faster, while the remaining 85% will stay at or below the old speed limit, because that is what they're comfortable driving at right? The end result of this is that there will be more speed differential on the road -- thus more dangerous right?

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2007 @ 12:53am

    On Road Statistics

    Everyone known that there are lies, damn lies and statistics and I suspect that the stats shown by either side of the argument are very dodgy. It's hard to believe that increasing the speed limit actually results in fewer accidents and deaths. Easier to believe (although only marginally) is that it has no effect. Essentially the problem here is that the correlation described here does not imply causation -- i.e. there are hidden factors that are influencing the results. Perhaps safer cars, for both drivers and the people/objects they hit have improved death rates. Perhaps more people on the road means that despite the increased speed limit, congestion is actually forcing people to drive slower. Perhaps driver education has resulted in better drivers? I think it's an incredibly complex situation, although the one argument that I can't fault is that the severity of an accident is proportional to the speed that a car is going.

     

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  60.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Feb 16th, 2007 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bit hot in here init?

    OK last post on this subject from me but

    Read the previous posts - I am not *for* cameras, I am just *against* GPS and speeders in the first place

    If you feel you have to speed on a certain stretch of road then the limit is too low. The limit is imposed by your society *which you are a member of*

    I'll wait.....

    So if you don't like the limit the answer is to change it, to lobby and have it altered. This goes for any law or limit imposed on you by your government, they are *your* government and they work for *you*. So the answer is to change the law to something more reasonable, not to just feel free to break it and not expect anything in return

    You may find you get support and the limit changes, you may find an unexpected number of people are happy with it - if this happens, tough. Its one of the downsides of living in a democratic society

    If you then continue to speed then again, tough, you are breaking the law and any device sold to assist you in this is wrong

    The argument "I have to suddenly slow down to obey the law and this causes accidents", is akin to a bank robber saying "I wouldn't have accidentally run over that kid if the cops hadn't got to the bank so fast". Its still *your fault* you, not the camera and not the fast cop, you were breaking the law and to avoid a penalty you had to perform an act which brought someone else into danger

    So in conclusion my answer is if you don't like a law, change it and if you can't change it and hate it enough MOVE

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Feb 16th, 2007 @ 4:20pm

    Re: On Road Statistics

    May be instead of believing or not believing, you should read the actual studies complied over decades. Thanks.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2007 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: On Road Statistics

    I have actually looked at a number of them and there's not one that's definitive. Feel free to point me towards one that you feel shows something conclusive and I'll admit I'm wrong (if there's nothing wrong with the study).

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    jane, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    "speed cameras"money exercise or life saver?

    hi i live in Switzerland where we have just aquired motorways full of radars,they have been well placed,(accident blackspots,entrances and exits of motorways)but i cant help thinking now some months on "they are dangerous".At the beginning it was fun watching "break "lights coming on in rapid sucsetion by unsuspecting drivers(not respecting speed limits)but now everybody respects the speed on aproaching radar,but watch your self STERLING MOSS because once past any risk of photo,its like a grand prix just till the next radar-all of 8km away,so now we have stop/start speeding,its still speeding.I have driven all over the world during the last 32 years and here is the place i hate to drive the most.there is no respect for distance between cars,speed limit,drink/driving (though has improved since new drink limits introduced) We can only sit and wait,in the meantime dont buy sat-nav,radar detecteur(illigal).good luck if you visit here and as they say BONNE ROUTE.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Me, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm all for speed traps

    Intresting but what was the speed limit in highways 30 years ago in most European countries? Around 120Km/h. And today? Well also 120 Km/h. Are cars safer now? Well yes. Are cars more ecological than 30 years ago? Well yes. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to use the excuse of safety and ecology. I could buy the ecology but really not the safet at least in Highways (that are also safer and better today than 30years ago!). In urban zones I think the speed limits are ok but really in the highways they should be adapted to evolution in cars and roads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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