Area drivers looking to outwit police speed traps and traffic cameras are using an iPhone application and other global positioning system devices that pinpoint the location of the cameras.
That has irked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who promised her officers would pick up their game to counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints.
“I think that’s the whole point of this program,” she told The Examiner. “It’s designed to circumvent law enforcement — law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives.”
As a geek, this is COOL. But aside from that, what is the whole point of the cameras in specific and “law enforcement” in general? It’s to make people follow the rules; in this case, the speed limit.
Lanier said the technology is a “cowardly tactic” and “people who overly rely on those and break the law anyway are going to get caught” in one way or another.
The greater D.C. area has 290 red-light and speed cameras — comprising nearly 10 percent of all traffic cameras in the U.S., according to estimates by a camera-tracking database called the POI Factory.
Lanier said the cameras have decreased traffic deaths. Red-light and speed cameras have been a hot topic in Montgomery County since Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill in May allowing local governments to place speed cameras in school and highway construction zones.
Not for nothing, but what I think is cowardly is hiding cameras, taking pictures of speeding cars and then mailing out a ticket. THAT’S cowardly. But other than that I am stunned by Ms. Lanier’s comments. It’s as if she is more interested in capturing people who break laws than in motivating them to not break laws. I mean, all she has to do is ask herself how those cameras decreased traffic deaths? Is it because cameras allow drivers to view video on poor driving and make better decisions? Is it because drivers are able to see video of traffic accidents and get scared [think drivers ed]? Or is it, because when people know that a camera is there they SLOW DOWN!
So, does Ms. Lanier wanna catch bad guys or have people slow down.
You know, back in college I was all ready kinda on to this. So, we did a lot of driving back and forth between home and school. Sometimes to my place, other times to my buddy’s. And we had a “fuzz buster”. You know that little device that detects police radar and beeps or screams at you. Well, every time, EVERY SINGLE time that we heard our little gadget even chirp we promptly brought our speed right to the speed limit. And we smiled. We thought we were out thinking the law. But one night it occurred to me that we were doing exactly what they wanted us to do; slow down. THEN it occurred to me why they even ran squad cars at all? Why not just prop up a radar and turn it on. Drive away and plant another one? Us silly stupid college kids would slow down for each one.
Anyway, these cameras act exactly like a radar detector, except they are announced. Why this police chief should get upset that people are advertising where to slow down, then slow down, is beyond me.