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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Speedtrap




Maybe you are like so many people:

You know every speedtrap, cop hangout, and fuzzbuster shop in your city.

Oh, you're not one of those reckless, thoughtless drivers who speed all over your hometown, but maybe, say for the sake of argument, you like to tear around Pinecrest doing 42 on a 30 mph road.

Hypothetically, you understand. I myself NEVER EVER go above 30 mph. Miss Law & Order, that's me. I am also a proud contributor to the Police Booster Society. I love me some cops!

(Are they gone, yet?)

So, it was with great astonishment that I saw one of these little geegaws tucked discretely in a side street here in Miami, not too far away from the Clots Christmas House, in fact.

Now, Pinecrest police are super nice, not like City of Miami police who can be rather full of their own power; City of Coral Gables coppers who stop you if you merely give them eye-contact; City of South Miami finest who ticket you if so much make a rolling stop at a 4-way stop sign; or Miami Beach police who are way way too lenient, and really should crack the whip down hard on that pillock midget, Ludacris.

(I haven't a bad word to say about Miami-Dade County police. Oh, they've stopped me all right, but each time, I was able to con, I mean!, worm myself out of the ticket)

But usually, you know, the cops are actually there to issue citations, and the like.

This gadget above, which I presume clocks your speed, takes a photo of your licence plate, which is then used to send you a speeding ticket to your residence address, THIS worries me.

I can't charm a radar gun, bat my eyelashes at an aluminium casing, or flash my pearlies and cleavage at the cute officer, even though it might be a lady cop (please, like they're so heterosexual).

Just looking at it, all impersonal, humourless, and possibly uncorrupt, gives me the creeps.

I will be avoiding this road from hereoin.

It's George Orwell 1984 come to life, people. Be afraid, be very afraid. And eavesdrop at Dunkin Donuts.

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10 Comments:

  • Vic, where is that road? I didn't know that they were allowed to do that here in Florida! I may have to slow down a bit.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Tue Feb 13, 08:48:00 am GMT-5  

  • I don't really see a camera on it but it can probably pick up uhf/vhf channels. Coffee, donuts and tv, what more can you ask for?

    We had photo radar here with cops in vans using radar/photos to catch speeders but the Libs promised to get rid of it during an election campaign and actually followed up on it for once.

    By Blogger Renato, at Tue Feb 13, 12:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Vic, where is that road?

    Creo, CREO that it's near 152nd and Ludlam.

    There is a synagogue nearby, because not too far away from it, I saw these Jewish people walking to temple (the men dressed in black, with yarmulkes).

    I didn't know that they were allowed to do that here in Florida! I may have to slow down a bit.

    I don't KNOW for sure. But when I later described what I saw to a cop in Miami Beach (when I saw him having coffee at a convenience store!), he said California already has that capability -- of snapping a photo of you speeding, and sending you a pic of your licence plate.

    But note he didn't say that's what it was -- probably just a radar gun measuring the average speeds of motorists in that area.

    Since it's heavily residential though...I wonder how much of a problem speeding is there?

    But also, the contraption looks a bit flimsy -- although that detector thingie looks expensive enough.

    Could it be that they chose Pinecrest because it wouldn't be stolen or vandalised as easily?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 13, 03:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I don't really see a camera on it but it can probably pick up uhf/vhf channels. Coffee, donuts and tv, what more can you ask for?

    LOL! I did think of that -- that is to say, our much heralded project of building a Wi-Fi booster. :)

    Who knows what this thing really is.

    Did you get a load of that container on the bottom? Sheesh.

    We had photo radar here with cops in vans using radar/photos to catch speeders but the Libs promised to get rid of it during an election campaign and actually followed up on it for once.

    Yeah, I also think that is a bit much. And the cops don't like 'em, I bet.

    No job security with those cop-robots around.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 13, 03:52:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I don't really see a camera on it but it can probably pick up uhf/vhf channels. Coffee, donuts and tv, what more can you ask for?

    Yeah, you need a camera to identify the vehicle, so it would look more like this. It's probably some sort of counting device. If there's a cable/hose running across the road, it's likely just counting traffic load or else it's got something to do with water, sewer, or some other infrastructure.

    The whole speed and red light camera thing is problematic because of the impersonalness you describe. They've been challenged many times because while they can identify the vehicle, they may not be able to prove that the vehicle owner (the person who receives the ticket in the mail) was driving at the time.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Tue Feb 13, 06:24:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Yeah, you need a camera to identify the vehicle, so it would look more like this.

    OOOOH. Creepy-looking.

    It looks like a sentry with binoculars, ready to yell "Achtung!".

    Or, if you're Cuban-American, it's like the president of your neighbourhood comité (the official block spy), keeping his eyes open for the least sign of counterrevolutionary disruption.

    Not that I'm reading overmuch into this thing, or anything.

    It's probably some sort of counting device. If there's a cable/hose running across the road, it's likely just counting traffic load or else it's got something to do with water, sewer, or some other infrastructure.

    No, I checked!

    I specifically looked down, because I was aware of these types of things in the past.

    The whole speed and red light camera thing is problematic because of the impersonalness you describe. They've been challenged many times because while they can identify the vehicle, they may not be able to prove that the vehicle owner (the person who receives the ticket in the mail) was driving at the time.

    So, wait, Ploorian -- do you mean to say that if I get a ticket, but I can prove it wasn't me, say that I have an evil twin doppelganger, I don't have to pay the ticket?

    My God, have I been done out of hundreds of dollars in the past!

    Now where to get an evil twin doppelganger?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 13, 06:48:00 pm GMT-5  


  • No, I checked!

    I specifically looked down, because I was aware of these types of things in the past.


    I would bet it's something quite non-sinister, but without opening the control box there's no way to really tell what it's function is. It's solar powered and RF connected, but that green box is quite enigmatic.

    So, wait, Ploorian -- do you mean to say that if I get a ticket, but I can prove it wasn't me, say that I have an evil twin doppelganger, I don't have to pay the ticket?

    Possibly. I know they had some red light cameras here that they had to get rid of for just that reason. I'm not sure if those who received tickets had to pay them or not.

    My favorite is when they put those cameras up and then just turn them off. The mere presence of the camera is usually enough to change people's behavior. Jerks.

    My God, have I been done out of hundreds of dollars in the past!

    I dunno, are you a horrible, egregious vehicular scofflaw?

    Now where to get an evil twin doppelganger?

    I think Sharper Image carries them.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Tue Feb 13, 07:13:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Looks like your standard pole-mount camera.(we have a couple of hundred on our campus) The green box is likely a transmitter housing (note the microwave antenna on top of the pole)

    My favorite is when they put those cameras up and then just turn them off. The mere presence of the camera is usually enough to change people's behavior. Jerks.


    We put out our signs for Drunk Driving enforcement from time to time. Sometimes with a team, sometimes not (depends on the grant money)


    Now where to get an evil twin doppelganger?

    I think Sharper Image carries them.


    Neiman-Marcus, in the catalog next to the Electronic Dog-Polisher.

    word verification: sclump

    (i've been called worse...)

    By Anonymous BrotherDarryl, at Wed Feb 14, 12:08:00 am GMT-5  

  • Possibly. I know they had some red light cameras here that they had to get rid of for just that reason. I'm not sure if those who received tickets had to pay them or not.

    I always challenged my tickets, either way.

    You know how they say that the cops sometimes don't show up at the Courthouse?

    Well, that never happened to me -- they showed.

    But each time, the judge dismissed the case, without me having to pay court costs, even.

    100% record, I have (3 times). I'm guessing that the average person doesn't contest the ticket, and also, ahem, they don't sound like me.

    As the cop next to me squirmed visibly, one judge said that he had never had such an articulate defendant in court before.

    Thank God I wasn't black, else I would've taken offence. :)

    My favorite is when they put those cameras up and then just turn them off. The mere presence of the camera is usually enough to change people's behavior. Jerks.

    LOL! So true.

    I dunno, are you a horrible, egregious vehicular scofflaw?

    Until 2001, I was a speed demon. Then, well, I guess I grew up.

    I think Sharper Image carries them.

    I got the pink one.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Feb 14, 12:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • Hey Darryl! Check out a few posts down, which you might like. ;)

    Looks like your standard pole-mount camera.(we have a couple of hundred on our campus) The green box is likely a transmitter housing (note the microwave antenna on top of the pole)

    Okayyyy.

    So it's Big Brotherism, of the private citizen kind?

    I was telling Renato on the phone just now, that private cams are no big deal, and in fact, we're all used to them.

    But look at this contraption closely.

    It's not INSIDE a person's property, behind that enormous hedge -- but rather is right next to the fire hydrant, on city property.

    And I know the City doesn't allow monitor devices, or cams, outside like that. (Also, it's not a gated community -- just a regular street).

    We put out our signs for Drunk Driving enforcement from time to time. Sometimes with a team, sometimes not (depends on the grant money)

    At the main campus at the Univ of Miami, they have Drunk Driving Buddies -- kids who are "on call" to pick up other students, if they need a ride home. That's nice, I think.

    They'd go bankrupt in the UK.

    Neiman-Marcus, in the catalog next to the Electronic Dog-Polisher.

    You leave Neiman alone! I plan to be buried there, so then, my friends can visit me at least 3 times a week.

    word verification: sclump

    (i've been called worse...)


    Thanks for commenting, sclumpy.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Feb 14, 12:17:00 am GMT-5  

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