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biffp 1
These cameras don't tell who is driving or accurately calculate the speed. If you get one in Seattle, don't challenge by mail because the magistrates don't actually bother to review and issue a proper opinion addressing the arguments. You will just be told to pay. I think the mayor's office should address this problem.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
There's nothing "police state" about speed cameras. Driving is a highly regulated activity in which people need to be licensed and it occurs on public roadways. A camera taking a picture of you breaking the law in public is perfectly fine. If we were talking about black boxes in our personal cars, that would be a different story.
Posted by MRM on September 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 3
These are the same dumb fucks who want the government reading their email, "if it means preventing a Boston attack".
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Chris Govella 4
@2 except that speed cameras issue tickets to the registered owner of the car, and it's hard to prove who's driving/speeding/not speeding when all they have is a picture of a license plate
Posted by Chris Govella on September 9, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 5
I don't think this was anti-government Tea Party activists at all. I think this just might be the work of... The Van Buren Boys!
Posted by mikethehammer on September 9, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
What is the hate against the idea of speed cameras? I mean, I can see technical objections like #1's question of whether the driver is identifiable (though some speed camera installations are designed to make the driver identifiable) and whether the speed is correctly measured (though this seems like even more of a technically solvable problem). There are other possible issues, such as where the cameras are sited and their hours of operation. But assuming the cameras could work properly, why not have a cheap, impartial, accurate, documented system to enforce speed limits we've agreed on? Isn't that better than using cops - a system that will always be expensive, biased, inaccurate, and poorly documented? You want to object to speed limits, or argue for dynamic speed limits based on conditions and time of day go ahead (though, please, don't drive dangerously!). You want to critique the implementation of the idea, be my guest. But what's wrong with the idea itself?
Posted by Warren Terra on September 9, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
My problem with speed cameras is they have nothing to do with safety. It's all about revenue. And because you can't fight city hall, it's government extortion. Regressive government extortion that disproportionately fucks poor people.

And it's illegal.

When you are issued a citation, it must be from a law enforcement officer, not a fucking clerk or a private corporate worker-bee in Phoenix.

It's also heresay evidence. Just like aircraft tickets. The cop who sees you committing the offense must be the one who writes the ticket.

I suspect none of this will matter to authoritarian liberals on the SLOG.
Posted by CPN on September 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Report this
biffp 8
@7, in Seattle, I can say from experience that it is just about revenue. I couldn't even tell the driver's gender from the picture, and my argument on the speed was foolproof. There is no challenging the ticket. They only want the money, and they'll just add more fees if I don't pay it even though the mayor's office contacted them.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
JonnoN 9
QQ I got caught breaking the law and don't like the consequences. Cry me a river.
Posted by JonnoN on September 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
Speeders and red light jumpers need to be caught and pay! They take lives!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 11
A "Tagger?"

Oh, you mean a vandal.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 12

It precludes middle aged white men (The Blaze's core demographic) from speeding with impunity. That's what's wrong with the concept.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 13
Red-light cameras and speed violation cameras are an awful alliance between private for-profit business and the state.
Typically manufacturers lease the equipment to cashed-strapped municipalities at sweetheart rates, plus a percent of every fine.
Municipalities get a low-cost cash flow abd the manufacturer gets a tidy profit.

But naturally there's pressure from both parties to get a little more, so the detection gets adjusted to provide more violations.

Case after case has shown the manufacturers will screw with the detection to raise their revenue- to the point of issuing violations when no violation occurred.

Because there's no human operator and because getting the detection correct is hard (and easy to rig improperly) the temptation to get more money out of it by rigging the game is just too hard to resist.

P.s. to Pope Peabrain: no, the cops and the authorities have lied to you. Speed doesn't kill. If it did, why aren't cops, firefighters, and ambulance drivers dying left and right?
Posted by Dr_Awesome on September 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Eastpike 14
So far, I'm told, Speed camera ticketing is only being installed in WA wherever there's been injury accidents that were compounded by a speeding car, or where there's kids crossing. For fuck's sake, haters, think of the dead people's family before you whine about the cameras. Oh, and slow down. You can't just drive whatever speed you want. There's a fucking limit.
Posted by Eastpike on September 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Eastpike 15
@13 would you like some peer-reviewed literature that identifies the causal relationship between speed and risk of life in vehicle accidents? We could provide it if you're open minded enough to believe what you see. As for red lights, they ONLY install the cameras (in Seattle) where there's been injury resulting from red light running. I can't get how there's an argument against that fact.
Posted by Eastpike on September 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
I don't have a problem with speed cameras, and never met a person who had a problem with these things that wasn't an asshole... so yeah, the latter.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
Speed cameras are great. Speed does, in fact, kill. @14/15 is correct; you are whining about your precious 3 MPH atop people's graves.
Posted by Fnarf on September 9, 2013 at 3:23 PM · Report this
I can tell you from experience that the speed cameras in Seattle take the following: 1. A picture of your car right before you crossed the intersection. 2. A picture of your car entering the intersection, along with how long the light had been red. 3. A close up of your license plate, and 4. A video of your car crossing the intersection.

What it doesn't show? Who was driving- which is important when you leave on vacation and the person house sitting for you runs a red light in your car. It didn't matter that I could clearly show that I was out of town, I still had to pay it and then pressure my friend to pay me back. (Also these tickets are akin to parking tickets, not moving infractions, so it doesn't affect insurance... I have a feeling that's how they weasel out of the whole "officer writing you the ticket" part.)
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on September 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
biffp 19
It's cameras or death is a false dichotomy. In any case, my problem is with the lack of due process in Seattle Municipal Court, and whether it is sufficient can be decided in court.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
biffp 20
@18, I only got two pictures showing the time difference. Based on that and the length of my vehicle, the speed was 20 mph. The magistrate didn't even address the argument, just wrote one sentence that I owned the car and was therefore responsible. I don't see how that passes muster.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
@18 I got mine 2 years ago, so maybe they've changed their policy regarding what they give you since then? I dunno.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on September 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Eastpike 22
@19 nobody was trying to say that cams are the silver bullet. For my part, I was responding to the trope that "the only reason for these things is a revenue booster, they have nothing to do with safety" which is popular because it appeals to a sense of justice, or lack thereof. Only problem is that it's not true, and repeating it in blog comments hasn't made it any more true.
Posted by Eastpike on September 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Martin H. Duke 23
@12 FTW.

These are the same people who have zero sympathy for lawbreaking when it comes to illegal immigrants (in the act of crossing the border), and are just fine with incarcerating a generation of African-American males with unjust drug laws. But when they're the ones threatened with (minor) consequences, it's all about the Bill of Rights.
Posted by Martin H. Duke on September 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Rigidly drive the speed limit and you'll observe the most bizarre behavior from almost every other car struggling to get around you, laws be damned. It's time to use a GPS with a wireless modem for 100% enforcement. Google car can't get here soon enough.
Posted by MikeB on September 9, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
biffp 25
@22, you make a fair point. I was reacting to the 'it's cameras or death' comment. I'm not sure there's proof they do improve safety, but safety may be a secondary concern. Having been through ticket challenge process, I'd say the City of Seattle cares about revenue, and not whether there is a violation or that the right person pays.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
If your family and friends won't pay for the tickets they get while driving your vehicle, you might want to rethink who you let drive your car.

Posted by searunner on September 9, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
lolorhone 27
Apparently Teabaggers really hate it when a method to commit suicide/homicide/manslaughter is restricted by law.
Posted by lolorhone on September 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 28
@15 (and 16-17).
No, thank you. I have peer-reviewed studies showing that people, in fact, are capable of self-selecting the safe speed appropriate for the road and the driving conditions. The "speed kills" trope is a lie. Or rather, a ridiculous oversinplification of a complex issue and you aren't helping.
What kills are distracted or incompetent drivers making bad decisions. Usually at the conflict points at intersections, then at curves.

Speed cameras do nothing to solve that and time and time again they have been shown to be miscalibrated to artificially increase revenue.

Speed limits are not, of themselves, some magical number guaranteed to make a road safer. Hell, a dry straight road safe at 45the during the daytime might be quite risky on a dark rainy night with no moonlight. Add some ice now, and the road may be unsafe at 25.

When WSDOT widened highway 9 just north pf Woodinville the road went from two narrow lanes with no shoulders to a wide five lane boulevard with eight foot shoulders and protected left turn lanes. People felt safer driving faster on the new road and did so.

So WSDOT had the State Patrol go out e ery weekend and write up everybody going 5over.

Safety? No. Revenue.

Because an identical stretch of highway 9 just a few miles north was never widened. It is still two narrow lanes, no shoulders, no medians, nothing separating northbound and southbound traffic. And its speed limit is ten higher than the new stretch. 55 instead of 45.

Snohomish County has forbidden red light cameras and speed cameras within its jurisdiction (but what incorporated cities within the county do is different).

"Speeding" is a highly charged term, but roadway safety is a complex thing with many, many factors. Speed cameras appeal to people for the wrong reasons, they are a crude and not effective tool because going after "speeders" fails to address any real root causes. Couple that with the ease at which they are misused, and the ire they generate (re biffp's story) to see how awful a solution they are.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on September 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 29
For every Slog poll, you need to include the option: "I understand the dynamics of society, and understand that complex human interactions, especially about the balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of society as a group are complex, and cannot be reduced to simple thought bubbles or one-sentence answers."

But then, showing off your ignorance and the desire to reduce everything into the simplest terms possible is such an act of American patriotism, that to do otherwise would just let the commies win, right?
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on September 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
The majority of these infractions are typically "California Stops"

"The act of slowing down but not fully stopping at a stop sign when turning right on red".

Technical violation, but easy pickin's for Traffic Camera Companies who get most of the $$$.

At crowded intersections during the day maybe it makes sense for safety reasons but at other times it's just a cash grab and why my city kicked the cameras out.

Posted by Just Another Knowall. on September 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
biffp 31
@30, that's a good point. While handing out $189 tickets to the owners of cars allegedly doing 23 mph in school zones, I've nearly been hit with my kids in the crosswalk three times this summer by people who didn't even look up. People do 50 mph on Green Lake Way, and I've never seen a speed trap. People don't signal turns, and stop in the middle of street for turning traffic. The priority is the $189 tickets.
Posted by biffp on September 9, 2013 at 5:55 PM · Report this
In Washington, speed cameras (as opposed to redlight cameras which half the posters above are railing about) are only allowed in school zones (or similar).

I got one of these 3 years ago in Lynnwood for going 28 in a 20 school zone while I was lost. My only complaint is that there were no children present. I distinctly remember thinking there were no kids around when I drove through the zone and there were none visible in the photos sent with my ticket.

The rules in Lynnwood at that time were that if the lights are flashing, the lower limit applies. It's bullshit because it was at a time when kids would have actually been in class as opposed to coming or going along the sidewalk.
Posted by decidedlyodd on September 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM · Report this
So perhaps the biggest asshole is the one creating a poll to generate trolls and incendiary discussion on the slog forums.
Posted by xizar on September 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this

To further your point a bit:

There have been numerous studies throughout the years that suggest that the optimum speed is termed, 'the 85th percentile,' or the speed that 85% of the people would naturally drive at if there were no speed limit at all.

When the artificially determined speed limit is significantly above or below the 85th percentile, traffic accidents increase. The studies have shown that most speed-related accidents are caused by the slowest 5% and fastest 5% of drivers as it relates to the 85th percentile.

I call this common sense. On places like 99 South of downtown, I call it a speed trap.
Posted by CPN on September 9, 2013 at 6:15 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 35
I'm not okay with Glenn Beck obsessives' shining ideal of "civil disobedience". People tend to die. In this case, it's pretty minor for Tea Party trash.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM · Report this
Eastpike 36
There's a mountain of solid, unbiased research that is very easy to access on the internet that shows that speed cameras increase safety. Here's one link:…

It's totally fucked that some of you try to say that this evidence doesn't exist. I'd like you to tell that to someone's face who has lost a son or daughter to a speeding vehicle. Tickets influence behavior. If getting a $200 ticket doesn't influence your behavior, you're either insane or filthy rich. The rest of us slow the fuck down after we get one in the mail.
Posted by Eastpike on September 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
That link doesn't go to the data you say it does.

The only time the US had roads with no limit, fatalities went down. When limits were re applied, fatalities went back up.
Posted by mage on September 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
If you take a motorcycle to a race track, you're required to cover the speedo. For safety.

Your natural perception of the speed is the safest way to judge how fast you should be going.
Posted by mage on September 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
@31 luckily we have excellent inventory on those $189 tickets.

Welcome to the automation and privatization of our criminal system.

Safety ......... Ha Ha!
Posted by Just Another Knowall. on September 10, 2013 at 8:51 PM · Report this
thanks for sharing this nice interesting and helpful information.I like you post very much..It is really good post shared by you.please post more i am waiting your article..…
Posted by machine vision lens on October 27, 2014 at 4:13 AM · Report this

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