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Old 06-01-14, 03:00 PM   #76
badrad
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The Stanley park seawall typically from May through to late September is often way too busy for anything other than a casual paced ride. Tourists on rented bikes, novice bladers, kids on training wheels, map and camera wielding oblivions just make for too many obstacles.
I avoid it through this period, and favor the roadway instead, and it's a hoot cranking uphill to prospect point then go gonzo down the west slope.

But in the late fall and winter months the seawall is mostly deserted except for the diehards, it's a blast to zoom full speed through the seawall late at night with lights blaring! The only occasional raccoon, skunk or even otter family might get in your way. We might buzz by the raccoons and otters, but we'll give way to the skunks! Only ridden once through a skunk mist! Dang that was nasty!
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Old 06-03-14, 06:55 PM   #77
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This is a bit of a tangent concerning laws that aren't enforced.

There is a section of the freeway here that had a number of deaths because it has cross streets. The speed limit there is 50 MPH, but it is poorly enforced.

Why couldn't the police have a camera which takes a picture of the license plates of anyone speeding, and send a bill to them automatically. That is, every single person who speeds would get a ticket. The system would easily pay for itself, and there would probably be a high rate of compliance.

Why wouldn't that be practical? When you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you're automatically sent a bill for the toll. No humans are involved.

A similar system with cell phone signal detection and video of drivers would also be technically doable.


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Old 06-03-14, 07:00 PM   #78
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Why couldn't the police have a camera which takes a picture of the license plates of anyone speeding, and sends a bill to them automatically. That is, every single person who speeds would get a ticket. The system would easily pay for itself, and there would probably be a high rate of compliance.
They could, but what would happen? Drivers would soon figure out the location of the camera, slow down in that area, and resume their speed once they've passed the camera. There would be some ignorant "victims" (being new or from out of state or something), but that wouldn't be enough to justify the system.
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Old 06-04-14, 04:21 AM   #79
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This is a bit of a tangent concerning laws that aren't enforced.

There is a section of the freeway here that had a number of deaths because it has cross streets. The speed limit there is 50 MPH, but it is poorly enforced.

Why couldn't the police have a camera which takes a picture of the license plates of anyone speeding, and send a bill to them automatically. That is, every single person who speeds would get a ticket. The system would easily pay for itself, and there would probably be a high rate of compliance.

Why wouldn't that be practical? When you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you're automatically sent a bill for the toll. No humans are involved.

A similar system with cell phone signal detection and video of drivers would also be technically doable.
We have speed cameras all over the place here in the UK. What tends to happen is that some people support them unwaveringly, other people loathe them unwaveringly, and they tend to have diminishing effectiveness over time.

Because of the cost in setting them up there's inevitably a tendency to site them to maximise the revenue they generate with consideration for actual road safety being a secondary concern. So sometimes we see a situation like an urban 30mph road widening out into a dual carriageway and the speed camera sited shortly before the 70mph limit sign. So anyone starting to accelerate before the 70mph sign gets a speeding ticket. Yes, they were technically breaking the law but it's hard to see how doing that on an empty road is dangerous. This sort of situation highlights the problem of using cameras as enforcement - the camera has no capacity to reason. If the speed limit is 70mph the camera will issue a ticket to the person doing 80 on an empty road in good conditions while ignoring the person weaving through traffic and tailgating at 69mph, in heavy rain and freezing fog, who is so tired they are struggling to stay awake and who has been drinking. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which driver is more dangerous.

The other issue is that people get to know where they are. You can buy databases of where the speed cameras in the UK are posted, and when driving the satnav beeps to give you warning that they are there. On a road near me there is a 50mph limit enforced by cameras and the normal speed of traffic is more like 60mph. People slow down for the camera, then speed up again. When the camera was new it caught a few people - driving along the road at night every once in a while you'd see a flash-flash in the distance followed by everybody else braking. So in a whole stream of traffic breaking the speed limit, one person would get a ticket and everybody else would slow down for the camera, then speed up again after passing it.

We also have a problem here in the UK that has grown out of using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). If you can find a car that's the same make, model and colour as your own you can have a copy of their number plate made, put it on your car, and then you can break most of the road laws with total impunity. If you run red lights, break speed limits, fail to pay the congestion charge for driving into London, drive away from the fuel station without paying, the person whose car you cloned gets the bills and has the devil's own job trying to prove it wasn't them. Of course it's illegal to do that, but when most of the road laws are enforced by cameras it's unlikely the culprit will be caught. These days the police do take some action to try and catch cloned cars but sometimes that just adds extra inconvenience for the victim if they get pulled over suspected of being the clone.

Detecting the cellphone signal and taking a picture of the driver might work but you'd need to work out the logistics of just how it would work. A picture of the driver like you posted (I removed it for brevity) would be useless without the license plate of the car. If you've got the camera positioned to show the license plate of the car you'd need to make sure it also showed the driver using the cellphone or it provides no evidence other than the presence of the car at a given place and time.
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Old 06-04-14, 06:17 AM   #80
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Why couldn't the police have a camera which takes a picture of the license plates of anyone speeding,...
Besides this issues contango raised, there are also issues of not knowing who was driving (eg, mom, dad, daughter, friend, etc). I think, in the U.S. anyway, the only way for them to really be effective is to move them around so that they're not in a fixed location and at an angle that minimized window glare so that the driver can be identified.

I think that a far better solution is to design roads properly. If you want people to drive 30 mph then don't give them a mile long straight lane that's 11' wide. Narrow the lanes, put in some bump-outs and street posts, a jog here or there, raised pedestrian/bike crossings, etc.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:51 AM   #81
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Interesting issues, but I'll bet with a little cleverness, most could be resolved (moveable cameras, dummy cameras, photo of driver, etc.).

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Old 06-04-14, 08:02 AM   #82
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Besides this issues contango raised, there are also issues of not knowing who was driving (eg, mom, dad, daughter, friend, etc). I think, in the U.S. anyway, the only way for them to really be effective is to move them around so that they're not in a fixed location and at an angle that minimized window glare so that the driver can be identified.

I think that a far better solution is to design roads properly. If you want people to drive 30 mph then don't give them a mile long straight lane that's 11' wide. Narrow the lanes, put in some bump-outs and street posts, a jog here or there, raised pedestrian/bike crossings, etc.
This is very true. We refer to that as traffic calming over here. If you want people to slow down, break up sight lines, introduce a few things they might not expect, and just make it harder to go faster. It's far more effective than having a road where you could probably drive it at 50-60mph safely for most if not all of the time and then putting a 30mph speed limit on it. Even something as simple as planting trees close to the edge of the road can break up sight lines and make the road feel slower than it might otherwise be.
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Old 06-04-14, 08:05 AM   #83
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Interesting issues, but I'll bet with a little cleverness, most could be resolved (moveable cameras, dummy cameras, photo of driver, etc.).


Perhaps, but I can easily see someone claiming that plate didn't match their car. What you'd really want is a picture that shows the person holding the phone behind the wheel and the number plate, all in one picture. Since at least some states don't require license plates on the front of cars it's hard to see how it would work at all.

So that leaves the solution of putting police on patrol to watch for people breaking any of the laws, rather than cameras looking out for very specific driver behaviours regardless of circumstances.

Taking cellphone use as an example, it's clearly far more dangerous for someone to be driving through a built up area talking on their phone like the person in the picture, than driving on an empty interstate typing a text. So it makes sense to use more resources to stop the former than using ever-more technology to catch the latter.
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Old 06-04-14, 09:08 PM   #84
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Perhaps, but I can easily see someone claiming that plate didn't match their car. What you'd really want is a picture that shows the person holding the phone behind the wheel and the number plate, all in one picture. Since at least some states don't require license plates on the front of cars it's hard to see how it would work at all.

So that leaves the solution of putting police on patrol to watch for people breaking any of the laws, rather than cameras looking out for very specific driver behaviours regardless of circumstances.

Taking cellphone use as an example, it's clearly far more dangerous for someone to be driving through a built up area talking on their phone like the person in the picture, than driving on an empty interstate typing a text. So it makes sense to use more resources to stop the former than using ever-more technology to catch the latter.
Well, here's my thinking. Let's say the person says "Hey, that's not my plate, you've got it mixed up with someone else."
So, the police say, "Lying to to police is a felony (?). Are you sure that isn't your plate? We can send an officer over to make sure."
If the person is lying, they will probably stop at that point. If that is a picture of them, and is the correct plate, who is going to take a chance of going to jail, since it would be easy in court to show that the person, car, and plate all match up.

And note that this is exactly how it's done for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently that works, and they have a way of dealing with people who lie.

Finally, I'm not willing to concede that texting on an empty interstate is at all reasonable. It could be empty except for one cyclist: you.

The camera/automatic citing system would be much cheaper and more effective than patrolpersons. I'm not saying it wouldn't have glitches, but I am saying it's better than the current system in which many people flout the law. Stand at an intersection, and I'll bet you can't go 10 minutes without seeing at least one person on his/her cell phone.
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Old 06-05-14, 03:38 AM   #85
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Well, here's my thinking. Let's say the person says "Hey, that's not my plate, you've got it mixed up with someone else."
So, the police say, "Lying to to police is a felony (?). Are you sure that isn't your plate? We can send an officer over to make sure."
If the person is lying, they will probably stop at that point. If that is a picture of them, and is the correct plate, who is going to take a chance of going to jail, since it would be easy in court to show that the person, car, and plate all match up.

And note that this is exactly how it's done for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently that works, and they have a way of dealing with people who lie.

Finally, I'm not willing to concede that texting on an empty interstate is at all reasonable. It could be empty except for one cyclist: you.

The camera/automatic citing system would be much cheaper and more effective than patrolpersons. I'm not saying it wouldn't have glitches, but I am saying it's better than the current system in which many people flout the law. Stand at an intersection, and I'll bet you can't go 10 minutes without seeing at least one person on his/her cell phone.
The Golden Gate Bridge is different in that crossing the bridge at all is what generates the charge. If your car crosses the bridge you pay the toll, end of. If you've got a photo that shows a license plate and a different photo that shows someone on the phone what's to stop the person saying they are two different photos, one or both of which was taken when the car was stationary? If the picture of the car on the Golden Gate Bridge was taken when the vehicle was stationary it makes no difference, because the fact the car was there at all at any speed means the charge is payable.

My comment about texting on an empty interstate was based on it being actually empty, and also on being the sort of road where non-motorised vehicles are prohibited. In the parts of the US I'm most familiar with it's not uncommon to see "motor vehicles only" signs on expressways. Obviously if you've got the potential for pedestrians and cyclists the dynamic is different.
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Old 06-08-14, 05:20 AM   #86
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Old 06-09-14, 02:25 PM   #87
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The Stanley park seawall typically from May through to late September is often way too busy for anything other than a casual paced ride. Tourists on rented bikes, novice bladers, kids on training wheels, map and camera wielding oblivions just make for too many obstacles.
...
Using negative descriptors like that implies that you don't think people have a right to casually wander about on a path like that taking pictures and counting on cyclists to ride safely given the reality of the proper use of the path? Proper use including wandering around taking pictures.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:40 PM   #88
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Using negative descriptors like that implies that you don't think people have a right to casually wander about on a path like that taking pictures and counting on cyclists to ride safely given the reality of the proper use of the path? Proper use including wandering around taking pictures.
I don't have a problem with people wandering around taking pictures. It doesn't seem so much to ask that people pay some attention to their surroundings though.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:48 PM   #89
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Using negative descriptors like that implies that you don't think people have a right to casually wander about on a path like that taking pictures and counting on cyclists to ride safely given the reality of the proper use of the path? Proper use including wandering around taking pictures.
The bike path is specific for bikes and skates and well marked. There is a walking path that runs parallel, and bikes and skates are not allowed there. Most participants seem to know the rules fine. I have seen a few tourists that I suppose don't have a wide enough angle on their cameras, and have backed themselves totally oblivious to the bike lane and sometimes just miss colliding with bikers and skaters.

Yes, there are some that are just oblivious to their surroundings.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:52 PM   #90
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The bike path is specific for bikes and skates and well marked. There is a walking path that runs parallel, and bikes and skates are not allowed there. Most participants seem to know the rules fine. I have seen a few tourists that I suppose don't have a wide enough angle on their cameras, and have backed themselves totally oblivious to the bike lane and sometimes just miss colliding with bikers and skaters.

Yes, there are some that are just oblivious to their surroundings.
Sorry, I didn't realize there were separate walking and rolling paths. I take my comment back. They can be as oblivious as they want on the walking path, but not on the bike path!
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Old 06-09-14, 05:08 PM   #91
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Sorry, I didn't realize there were separate walking and rolling paths. I take my comment back. They can be as oblivious as they want on the walking path, but not on the bike path!
Even if it's just a walking path it's antisocial to back into other people because you weren't paying attention to your surroundings.
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