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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-bought-the-law dept.
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."

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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain

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  • by lupine (100665) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:57AM (#32496850) Journal
    The reason why they have speed cameras is because they get lots of racing fans because the town is located just south of Bristol Motor Speedway. Nascar racing fans have a general disregard for speed limits and I bet that on a big race weekend one police car could not write tickets fast enough.
  • Use ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <{drew} {at} {zhrodague.net}> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:57AM (#32496852) Homepage Journal
    Y'know, this guy can make back his $90 and then some by putting ads on the site. The PD must have already setup links everywhere, all he has to do it set it up, sit back, and collect a check. What are the chances this guy will be sued?
  • by WilyCoder (736280) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:57AM (#32496856)

    Awesome! I tip my hat to this dude, nice one...

  • Can't... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lorem_Ipsum (759018) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:58AM (#32496872) Journal
    do the fine, don't do the crime!
  • by dward90 (1813520) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:59AM (#32496898)
    Concerns about privacy are serious and stuff, but is this guy just seems like he's throwing a 4-year hissy fit about being scolded by his mommy.

    The guy broke the law (probably) and was observed in a public space doing so. It's not like they put a camera in his residence.
  • How come... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by semmelbroesel (1811610) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:02PM (#32496946) Journal

    How come it's always those who break the rules that complain the most about new techniques to uphold the rules?

    "Speeding cameras are against the constitution" - so? Speeding is against the law and kills hundreds of people. Is your constitutional right more important than a hundred lives you endanger?

    Just shut up and follow the rules!

  • by BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:02PM (#32496948)

    Most of those races see upwards of 60,000 fans, usually over 100,000. They dont need cops to issue speeding tickets, they need cops to direct the stop and go traffic that surrounds such events.

  • Re:Use ads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ICLKennyG (899257) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:04PM (#32496968)
    100% unless the police department has someone smart enough to know about UDRP in which case they will likely get it back without it.

    Hopefully he isn't stupid enough to offer to sell it back to the police station (which would sink his UDRP case).
  • I think that's hilarious and in a true 1980's movie fashion the police would bungle stealing it back, fess-up to getting caught, the commissioner would step-in, and everyone would have a good laugh. ...Or, in 2000's fashion he'll be marked as a terrorist and in the cross hairs of watch-list databases for the next decade.

    Don't screw with the cops man, at best it's a College frat gone bad. However technically right you may be this is playing with fire while surrounded by dynamite.

    -Matt

  • Re:How come... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:10PM (#32497046)

    Thats not really accurate. Speeding by itself is not unsafe. Speeding in sub-optimal conditions is unsafe.

    Also, if the limit is 50, but the flow of traffic is going 70, the few cars that ARE going 50 are impeding the flow of traffic and are themselves a hazard. Arguing whether its right or wrong is moot because its just the way it IS.

  • Re:A Little Advice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:13PM (#32497118) Homepage
    I know you're just a total and utter slashtard and not someone who actually wants to help him out, but since there's not a snowball's chance in hell that he'll actually read your post, why don't you use the email address that he provides (in clear) to send him your inspiring missive? Just a bit of friendly advice.
  • Re:How come... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:14PM (#32497120)

    Ummm, yes. Our rights ARE more important than a few hundred lives. That was kind of the whole point of the revolutionary war.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:14PM (#32497140)
    Except for the fact that the "crime" can be eliminated by simply increasing speed limits.

    The fact is, the law should conform to the will of the people, not the people to the will of the law. Such is democracy, such is liberty, such is freedom. If enough people are "speeding" on a road to "need" a speed camera, either do improvements on the road to make people be able to drive how they want to on there safely, or consider just raising the speed limit.
  • by Useful Wheat (1488675) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:15PM (#32497166)

    I don't understand people that think speed limits are moral imperatives that fall on the same line as murder or arson. You people act like I just raped somebody if I want to go 55 in a 50 mile an hour zone.

    I live in Houston on I-10, and due to a huge environmental/safety push they lowered the speed limit from 70 to 55. It was a joke, the highway is built for speed and it has excellent lines of visibility and intelligently designed merging sections, and they make you crawl down it. Nobody did the speed limit so they upped it to 60, which didn't really help. As a result you get fast swerving traffic trying to move at the natural pace down the highway, moving through slow road bumps.

    If they would pick a reasonable speed limit based on the design of the road, and not the result of some safety pissing campaign then I bet you could get people to actually follow it.

  • Re:How come... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:15PM (#32497170)

    The issue is more where will it stopped. Let's have cameras on all of the street lights "just to protect us". Then, as time passes, "Sir, I noticed that you were watering your lawn at 6:50 AM. You do know that you are breaking an ordinance. Here is your $100 fine." But, heck you are breaking the law. "Excuse me Ma'am. But, we noticed that you put your canary's cage outside. Here is your $10 fine. Yes, I know that the oridnance has been around since 1815, but it is still on the books." It's the law.

  • by networkBoy (774728) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:16PM (#32497184) Homepage Journal

    Actually it's not cybersquatting per se.
    he's using it to complain, not compete.

  • Re:Use ads (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zerth (26112) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:17PM (#32497206)

    He might not got sued. He'll just be unable to drive anywhere in the town without getting pulled over by every cop that sees him, his garbage won't get picked up, and his house will be re-appraised.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:18PM (#32497220)

    speeding is not a crime. is a manufactured crime designed to generate revenue. nothing more.

  • Police, Inc.? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:18PM (#32497226) Homepage

    Is the Police Department now a commercial entity? Why do they buy and privately operate a .com name?

    The police is a branch of the government. For security and trust alone, they should have a .gov in order to avoid being impersonated. And this couldn't have happened either.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:21PM (#32497274) Homepage Journal

    There is an opposite approach to this: it's crime prevention by curbing freedoms, in this case, a freedom to go with a speed that a person considers reasonable from his experience.

    If a person is guilty of a traffic accident while exceeding the _advised_ speed limit, let him suffer more sever consequences compared to that he would get at a lower speed.

    Speed limit is not an undisputed "the only" way to control the safety on the road. Germany for many years did not have one on its autobans (they changed that recently, as far as I recall).

    There is a heavy economic price of speed limit, it cripples the throughput of the roads leading to megahours of wasted time of constituents.

    I see the speed limit in line with a general trend in developed countries of curbing freedoms in the name of safety.

    Speaking of speed, the police should stop people who cannot keep up with the car ahead of them, people that slow down the traffic. It's much easier to detect and it is more beneficial to the society.

    Catch bitches that do make up on the left lane or calling on the cell phone at the speed of the turtle.

    The only reason the local and federal government is so bent over on the speed limits is that it is easy to sell and relatively easy (see above) to detect. That argument (easy to detect) applies to the insane situation with HOV lanes: the logic dictates that the only cars that should be allowed on HOV lane are those with more than one proud owner of the driving license, not the soccer moms with their kids, not the motocyclists. What prevents the administration at least declare that rule (even if it is hard to implement). At least soccer moms should know that they are driving on HOV lane illegally, meaning that their presence on HOV lane does not help to ease the traffic at all.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TomXP411 (860000) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:24PM (#32497320)

    If the speed limit is 50, it was set there for a reason.

    My grandmother was nearly killed by a driver going 70 in a 55 zone. Sure "everyone" drives that fast on that mountain highway, but that means that "everyone" is also running the very real risk of running in to someone turning left in an area with rather limited visibility.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Myopic (18616) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:24PM (#32497332)

    speeding is not a crime. is a manufactured crime

    You actually typed this, which is hilarious.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AltairDusk (1757788) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:26PM (#32497358)

    How come it's always those who break the rules that complain the most about new techniques to uphold the rules?

    "Speeding cameras are against the constitution" - so? Speeding is against the law and kills hundreds of people. Is your constitutional right more important than a hundred lives you endanger?

    Just shut up and follow the rules!

    Speeding doesn't kill anyone, driving beyond your ability to safely handle the car given the conditions does. Depending on the driver and car along with the current conditions that speed limit could be far too low or even too high. I would far prefer to see the limits raised and stricter training/testing required for a license, the things I see done on the roads are downright scary and a lot of these people shouldn't be driving.

  • Re:How come... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swb (14022) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:27PM (#32497382)

    Is your constitutional right more important than a hundred lives you endanger?

    Almost certainly. SCOTUS has been very unsympathetic in the past to prior restraint of constitutional rights.

    Mere "hundreds" of lives could be saved by restricting many of our constitutional rights. Unfortunately it's a slippery slope, and before long we're housed in tents, eating beans and rice and doing nothing else because it "may endanger the lives of hundreds of people."

    Why stop at speeding? And what counts as speeding, anyway? Thousands of lives could be saved by cutting the speed limit to 30 MPH; surely you wouldn't advocate killing thousands just to go 25 MPH faster, would you?

    And while we're at it, let's take a real close look at speed enforcement. We can use the "what is the right speed" as a jumping off point, asking ourselves if the speed limits we've set have any relationship to reality -- do they reflect the safety & engineering of our automobiles? Do they reflect the roadways we drive on (road quality, distractions, traffic levels, etc)?

    When enforcing the speed limit, are we having a long-term impact on driver's speed choices, or merely a short-term impact? Is the enforcement structured around actual long-term "improvement" in speed choices or other criteria, such as revenue, citation volume, employee management (make-work for idle officers, a kind of punishment for politically inept officers, overtime generation for loyal officers, etc)? Is it merely an excuse to stop people at will for further interrogation? What about speed enforcement as it relates to the level of resources available for other kinds police work given that there's never "enough" resources for law enforcement (or that's what they told me when no one would actively investigate my car's theft or a break-in at my home).

    It really doesn't take a ton of time if you think about it to realize that MOST speed enforcement has nothing to do with public policy or safety generally.

  • Re:Police, Inc.? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:31PM (#32497474)
    If they are operating speeding cameras, then yes, they are commercial. They are doing it to generate revenue, not to increase public safety.
  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:42PM (#32497664)

    Also, if the limit is 50, but the flow of traffic is going 70, the few cars that ARE going 50 are impeding the flow of traffic and are themselves a hazard. Arguing whether its right or wrong is moot because its just the way it IS.

    And jumping off a cliff isn't dangerous until you hit the ground. Just because it's not immediately damaging to exceed the speed limit doesn't mean the consequences aren't much greater if and when you do hit someone (or ram a guardrail) at that greatly increased speed.

    As for "right or wrong", it's wrong if the increased frequency and severity of accidents ruins human lives for no good reason other than getting people to work slightly earlier. "That's just the way it is" can never be an adequate response to such pointless, selfish endangerment of other human beings, and I'm disgusted with you for saying such. If you think 50 mph is lower than necessary for a safe speed limit, then say so directly, but the safe, intelligent speed at which everyone ought to travel is not relative to how fast everyone already travels. Would you not have any problem if the freeway nearest your house suddenly traveled at 90 mph? 110 mph?

  • Re:Can't... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by easterberry (1826250) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:42PM (#32497666)
    Exactly the same argument:

    "Except that the "crime" can be eliminated simply by increasing the allowable blood alcohol limits.
    The fact is, the law should conform to the will of the people, not the people to the will of the law. Such is democracy, such is liberty, such is freedom. If enough people are "drunk driving" on a road to "need" a police check program, either do improvements on the road to make people be able to drive how they want to on there safely, or consider just raising the blood alcohol limit."

    The law should conform to the NEED of the people, not the WILL of the people. People are stupid and want to be allowed to do whatever they want. But since I don't want to die while I'm driving I'd appreciate it if you'd follow the damn speed limit.
  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:43PM (#32497680) Journal

    I agree completely that speed limits should be set sensibly to the road, and that it often isn't the case now, but do you really think that lack of enforcement is the best way to solve that problem?

    I know the law is imperfect, but surely it's better to try to fix it than to bitch when technology allows it to be applied thoroughly?

    We have a whole shitload of stupid laws on the books that are rarely enforced (not necessarily saying current speed limits are or aren't one of them), and this just leads to a situation where the cops can easily grab you for something or other if they happen to feel like it. Impeding the enforcement of these laws just allows more to pile up. The only real solution is near 100% enforcement - either the law will be generally accepted or you'll finally manage to piss off so many people that the law is changed.

  • Re:How come... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feyshtey (1523799) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:48PM (#32497774)
    Following this line of reasoning, you'd be perfectly fine with cameras being placed inside your home, right? After all, they are only being placed there to ensure you're not breaking the law. It's really just a reasonable measure to bust the people who beat their wives and have meth labs and such, so no one innocent should have a complaint.

    Think of all the crime we'd stop if every household was required to have cameras? We could eliminate the need for 911 calls in so many cases too! And just think of hundreds of thousands of jobs we could save or create to monitor the video feeds!
  • by LearnToSpell (694184) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:49PM (#32497814) Homepage
    Having worked for the police in multiple cities, and for the government in many more, I can safely say that you'll never get a ticket for going 55 in a 50 zone. Yeah, I know there are exceptions, but just don't use that as an argument. It's silly and wrong.

    Having said that, I agree with everything else you wrote. Some of the speed limits around here are insanely slow. Cars are different now - they can handle it. It's just the people I worry about. Everybody thinks they're a better driver than everyone else, but none of them are really as good as I am.
  • by confused one (671304) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:50PM (#32497826)

    Most of those races see upwards of 60,000 fans, usually over 100,000. They dont need cops to issue speeding tickets, they need cops to direct the stop and go traffic that surrounds such events.

    That's what I was thinking... How low is the speed limit there that, in the crush of raceday traffic people are exceeding the limit

  • by Feyshtey (1523799) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:53PM (#32497878)
    It might be playing with fire, but it's worth it to point out that we rely on people putting their own ass on the line to ensure we dont all end up in the fire.

    I'm not suggesting that this particular case is the best example. However, if the cops are overstepping their authority and infringing on the rights of citizens, I damn well hope there's a Mr. McCrary willing to nut up and talk about it.
  • by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:53PM (#32497888)

    You people act like I just raped somebody if I want to go 55 in a 50 mile an hour zone.

    Well, unless by driving recklessly you cause an accident and actually kill someone.

    So, is "reckless driving" related for driving too fast for reaction/stop times or is it related to tailgating, aggressive driving, and weaving in and out of traffic which is what happens when artificially low speed limits are applied on perfectly safe roads?

    I hypothesize that more accidents are caused by said aggressive, distracted, impaired, or unskilled driving outnumber accidents genuinely caused by speed way more by several orders of magnitude. But such a study will never be conducted on the fear that police will lose justification for bullshit speed traps.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:54PM (#32497906)

    No, the real solution is to put the money generated by fines out of the hands of the police department that writes them; you'll see really quick what laws are important to the PD if they aren't seeing money coming in from writing traffic tickets. The only department that should be self funded is maybe the parking ticket guys, since there would be zero incentive to enforce those laws without it (and even that is ripe for abuse). Instead of pulling over people doing 5 mph over the speed limit you'd get them focused on pulling over people driving in ways that are actually dangerous, and of course you'd free up a lot of officers to patrol bad neighborhoods, respond to non-emergency calls (usually took about 90 minutes in Milwaukee at least), and do all the other things that the police should actually care about.

  • Re:Use ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:56PM (#32497970)

    yes, but on whose side?

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AshtangiMan (684031) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:56PM (#32497974)
    I am interested in how speeding cameras are against the constitution. That statement itself seems clearly false. There is no right to drive, rather it is a privilege granted by the various state governments. The use of public roads (and even more so private roads) comes with absolutely no expectation of privacy with regards to the path and speed of the vehicle (contents, conversation within, etc. are clearly different). So to what constitutional right are you referring? Your attitude regarding following the rules is disturbing in light of your apparent regard for this as an unconstitutional law. If it was in fact unconstitutional, would not the patriotic person be obligated to break it?
  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:59PM (#32498032) Homepage Journal

    Except for the fact that the "crime" can be eliminated by simply increasing speed limits.

    The fact is, the law should conform to the will of the people, not the people to the will of the law.

    Well, no. The law should promote the overall well-being of the people. There is a difference.

    One of the basic examples of this is "the commons problem". If you have a shared resource, and everyone has unrestricted access to it, the resource will ultimately be over-used and abused until it is worthless. Basically, there's going to be someone, somewhere out there who will use this resource selfishly and irresponsibly - and so anyone at all who wants to benefit from the resource must do the same, and try to do it first. The more stable, more widely beneficial case, in which everyone uses the resource responsibly, derives a moderate benefit, and leaves the resource in a condition where others can do the same - it's a kind of equilibrium but not what you'd call a stable equilibrium. Therefore, a resource like that must be managed and protected if it is to be of any benefit.

    In the context of speeding limits - one could argue that a higher speed limit serves a few who really feel a need to move faster, while making everyone suffer a higher incidence of traffic accidents (and the resulting traffic jams)

    I don't reject the idea that some speed limits out there are ridiculously low - but when the law follows the wishes of the people, it serves only a few. Therefore I reject the idea that the law ought to serve the "will of the people" in all cases.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:00PM (#32498048)
    There's nothing inherently dangerous about speeding, aka, driving faster than the posted limit. Driving recklessly, on the other hand, has killed a lot of people.
  • Re:What a schmuck. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:00PM (#32498062)

    I think the police department having a commercial domain (.com) is more than telling of their priorities...

  • So do I. Some asshole that puts me and my family at risk so he can save 5 minutes in travel time. Way to go!

    He is either driving stupidly (which can but does not have to involve speeding); or driving well (which can but does not have to involve going the speed limit). In no case does the speed of his vehicle alone make him a risk to you and your family.

    In addition, do you discount your own attentiveness so readily? If so, I pity your family. As I posted a couple of days ago - most two-party accidents require TWO people not doing what they should be -- even if legally only one person is at fault. If you drive defensively and alertly, even his potential stupidity should be something you take into account and react to. At no point should your alertness falter -- even idling at a stop light, it's *still* your responsibility to be alert and check your mirrors (unless you don't value the lives of you or your family).

    I say this all as someone with a family of my own - and who's gotten into an accident where someone else was entirely "at fault". No matter whose insurance paid out, it was *my* responsibility to be aware of the fact that the other driver was being dumb and adjust accordingly. (Note that this doesn't excuse the other drive for being dumb in the first place - it's just being aware that I played a role too -- and from there learning to play that role better.)

    Take responsibility for yourself. Someone else's stupid driving should very rarely put your family at significantly higher risk unless you let it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:01PM (#32498080)

    You people act like I just raped somebody if I want to go 50 in a 55 mile an hour zone.

    If you just want to go 50, GET OFF THE FUCKING FREEWAY.

    We need to reinstate the minimum speeds on the freeways. If you can't or won't drive any faster than the frontage/service/whatever you call it road's speed limit, then just take the next exit and enjoy cruising along out of the way of people who have somewhere to be. Around here, the frontage roads are 50 mph and the freeways are 65. That gives us 3+ lanes where people can drive 55, 60 and 65 and pass each other (without exceeding the speed limit... but let's be honest here, everyone does 70 in the left lane). Except that every day there's SOMEONE who thinks they should tow their car at 40mph up the center lane of the freeway. Or drive a cement mixer 30 MPH up one side of the overpass and 60MPH down the other.

    At least we've got rules that keep the overloaded dump trucks out of the left lane.

  • by Jer (18391) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:04PM (#32498130) Homepage

    I agree with you completely. Let's take away the money from fines and donate it to the homeless shelters in the city (if you let the city have it it just becomes part of their budget and the incentives for how fines are generated don't change).

    Now, how much of a tax increase can I put you down for? Police departments aren't cheap you know, and recently it's become a fact of life that money from fines has to replace money lost from income and property taxes. Especially with unemployment high and people losing their homes. So - a 5% increase in your city taxes? 3%? How much extra are you willing to pay to recover the budget money lost from losing those fines?

    Although I completely agree from an ideological perspective that the whole thing is stupid, I'm also perfectly content to drive the speed limit religiously in areas that I either don't know well OR know to be speed traps/covered with cameras and let the fools who like to take chances make up for my tax money. I'd be willing to go along with a tax increase to cover my own ideological problems with the whole setup - I have no ideological problems with paying money for services, and a functional police department actually provides a valuable service to a community - but I doubt I could get my neighbors to go along with it. For some reason they hate taxes more than they like cops.

  • If I live in a small down, and I buy an empty lot on the corner of Main and McDonalds, it's a good business decsions, but if I do it with a domain name, I'm an extortionist.

    Please, someone bought all the land in a hope that it will become valuable letter. The fact that you paid 1000 dollars means it had a value of 1000 dollars, not 6 dollars.

    If the price went up, then there would be less new sites. It would in no way hurt the people smart enough to grab something that might go up in values.

    They paid the price, they aren't stealing. IN fact, they aren't squatting by any real definition of the word. No more then someone who paid rent is squatting in their apartment.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:06PM (#32498168)

    Because its dangerous to identify with criminals.

    Sex offender registries have gotten way, way out of hand in the US. kids that sent other kids pictures of their parts are now on lists, and can never, ever be near children again. It will haunt them the rest of their lives, can't live near schools, show up on job searches, neighbors will see them on the sex offender registries, etc.

    Some states, they retroactively put people on the lists that have already served their time. Sometimes, it was kids that had a birthday, and they were just a few days too old to be doing things with their bf/gf, sometimes it was people drunk, urinating in public.

    Yet when you think of Sex Offender registries, you think of creepy guys in vans. Some people are trying to speak up against this unfair (and sometimes unconstitutional) treatment, but nobody listens, because in the public's mind, those people are all murderers that drive vans, and prey on kids.

    If you have never been tagged by a speed camera, what do you care, in your mind, your a law abiding citizen, and those are the dangerous speeders..

  • by 2short (466733) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:15PM (#32498354)

    "Traffic cameras are a slap in the face of freedom."

      Why?

      If the speed limit itself is not the problem, how does the technology of the enforcement mechanism make any difference? I don't understand why having a human issuing tickets protects freedom. It just seems more expensive and potentially less impartial.

  • by harl (84412) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:22PM (#32498508)

    Your evidence contradicts your premise.

    Your evidence clearly states everyone going really fast is just as safe as everyone going really slow. It also states that not speeding can be dangerous.

    Also your evidence doesn't even address fatalities yet your premise mentions it.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Myopic (18616) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:22PM (#32498510)

    Yes, from context I agree that is a good assumption. His message would have thus been more correct if he'd left out the first sentence.

    I was just pointing out how funny it is to phrase it that way.

    But to be absolutely clear, I COMPLETELY agree with the sentiment: speed limits are purposely set artificially and needlessly low for the dual purposes of generating revenue and providing police an excuse to make contact with arbitrary members of the public any time they want.

  • by CdBee (742846) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:23PM (#32498532)
    I believe the road should be designed for the speed limit. Lane markers, traffic islands, bollards and margins all delineate an area in which the driver in a car feels they have complete right of movement, and given a clearly marked lane ahead will accelerate to the speed they feel most comfortable with.

    if you make the way ahead less obviously marked and force drivers to approach each corner or junction with an eye to where it is safe to drive you force a slowing-down through common-sense that is hard to enforce by law
  • Right... Because I can control the other driver's speed. And their state of mind and mental condition. Also, I have direct control and final say about the mechanical condition of their vehicle.

    Of course you don't. (And still this focus on speed as somehow causing trouble - it's not the speed, it's the driver.) By being aware that you DON'T know these things, and by specifically being alert to the situation most likely to "go wrong" for any given combination of road and vehicle conditions, you can avoid accidents -- even those that wouldn't have been your fault to begin with.

    No. I AM NOT in any way responsible for the stupidity of other people or their stupid actions.

    You're right, you are not.

    All I can do is be aware and alert.

    Agreed.

    People need to smarten-up and take responsibility for their own actions.

    Yes they do. But failing to respond to a potential hazard on the road is an action too. Responding to those situations is nobody's responsibility but yours. Would you sit still in the intersection when you saw somebody bearing down on you without slowing down? Probably not. The only difference is that not all hazards are that obvious -- but your responsibility in them remains the same.

    Tell me, do you check intersections for cars even though you have a green light? When you get t-boned because you weren't looking to see the person about to run the light, your "right of way" doesn't make you any less dead. In that scenario the other driver is clearly at fault; but if you could have avoided it with a little more attention (as you could have in this hypothetical case), you also bear some measure of responsibility.

    As I said, your own responsibility does not abrogate the responsibility of the other driver -- but convincing yourself that it's all on their shoulders; or that you can rely on people doing what "the law" says is just ignorant. And dangerous.

  • The only real solution is near 100% enforcement - either the law will be generally accepted or you'll finally manage to piss off so many people that the law is changed.

    That's the perfect solution. I really hate it when people spend all this time and energy to get around laws, to complain about laws, to fight the lawful punishments for those laws, but nothing on getting the laws changed. If this guy's so eager to get the law changed, start a Paypal or something similar to get donations to fund a road study. Take those results (assuming it says the speed should be upped) and a petition signed by voters in the area, and get in front of the city council to get the limit changed. But no, it's easier to buy a domain, setup a website, and whine.

    Same thing with the kids in schools where the parents get all huffy when their son or daughter gets suspended for a zero tolerance policy because they took aspirin to school without a note from a doctor. Why didn't they hire a lawyer to fight the rule when it was proposed instead of waiting till their kid gets popped for the offense?

  • Re:How come... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:25PM (#32498576)

    If the speed limit is 50, it was set there for a reason.

    And usually that reason is arbitrary zoning, not how fast you can drive safely. Two local examples:

    There's an interstate highway running through my town, and an interchange was recently completed, with a divided 4 lane street going over the highway. On the north side of the interchange, there's an elementary school, houses and apartment buildings. On the south side, nothing has been built yet. There is literally nothing around for miles - except for back the way you came.

    And yet the speed limit is set at 35 for the entire length of the street. How does that make any sense whatsoever? On one side you have kids crossing the street to go to school, and on the other there's still farmland as far as the eye can see - the speed limit could easily be 70 mph instead of 35 mph.

    A few miles away, there's a rural highway with a 55 mph limit that forms a T intersection with another street, and the speed limit drops down to 45 mph. Except that other street is currently being converted from 2 lanes to 4, and is totally impassable. Not only is the speed limit still 45 mph, but they haven't turned off the stoplight at the intersection!

    People justifiably bitch about speeding tickets because:

    1. Limits are seldom based on safety, and usually on arbitrary zoning
    2. Limits can be set deliberately low on purpose, in order to rack up more tickets
    3. Which means that most speeding tickets aren't about safety, they're a sin tax

    I do, however, enjoy listening to anti-all-taxes Republicans bitch about speeding tickets, though. Vote to deny your state and local governments necessary funding, and they will look to other sources....like speeding tickets.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:33PM (#32498698)

    Exactly the same argument: "Except that the "crime" can be eliminated simply by increasing the allowable blood alcohol limits.

    This is an illogical rebuttal to the argument that the law should support the will MAJORITY; most people don't drink and drive, nor do they want the BAC limits increased.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 2short (466733) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:45PM (#32498936)

    Yes, because we don't live in a democracy where we can have any effect on what the laws are, or whether bad ones get repealed.

    Your answer is not to get rid of bad laws, but rather to oppose any effective enforcement mechanism that removes potentially biased humans from the system?

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:49PM (#32499020)

    Sorry, I still feel it makes more sense for the city government to decide how big the police force should be, rather than have the police force decide their budget and then fund it by fining people for things that 99.9% of the population are guilty of, including the officers writing the tickets (including when they're on duty). What you're basically saying is that the police department is payed for by a tax on the stupid, that might make a large number of people feel warm and fuzzy, but in my opinion it's a horrible and unfair way to run a government office.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @02:14PM (#32499540) Homepage Journal

    No, it's not. That why cops and criminal citations were invented. You might want to ask the camera-using governments why they have turned their backs on this tried and true technique.

  • Re:How come... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Binkleyz (175773) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @02:22PM (#32499668) Journal
    That reason being what?

    I'm not trying to troll here, it just seems to me that there are many reasons a jurisdiction might set a speed limit to a specific number.

    I don't imagine that it is outside the realm of possibility that a jurisdiction might set an artificially low speed limit to:

    1. Generate ticket income. [tinyurl.com]

    2. Increase gas mileage. [tinyurl.com]

    3. Reduce CO2 emissions. [tinyurl.com]

    4. Encourage use of public transportation. [tinyurl.com]

  • by KronosReaver (932860) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @02:32PM (#32499816)

    The cameras in question are nearly 10 miles before the speedway, on one of the two main roads leading to the speedway.

    11E is a 4 lane divided highway with a speed limit of 55 or higher except where it passes through stoplights. Bluff City conveniently has a total of 2 stoplights on 11E, although neither one is really necessary.

    The two cameras here, along with many more that have been placed in the region over the past couple of years have only been placed in high traffic areas where the speed limit drops below the normal for a very short distance. Those areas have historically been some of the safest & most accident free stretches of road in the area.

    The problem, and the common complaint about the cameras and their placement is that the various law enforcement agencies in the area are focusing on generating income by way of fines rather than focusing on reducing accidents and increasing highway safety.

    Disclaimer - I live not just in the area, but less than 1 mile from another of the unnecessary set of cameras. I am also familiar with Bristol Motor Speedway, the cameras in question, and the traffic on race weekend from having provided network/server support to the speedway in the past, including during race weekends.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mmaniaci (1200061) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @03:03PM (#32500348)
    Its not the right or privilege to drive a car that AC was concerned about. We have fucking cameras watching us and we are prosecuted on what these cameras see. That is NOT right.
  • Re:How come... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Binkleyz (175773) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @03:41PM (#32500952) Journal
    You know, I've always heard that, but it took some perspective as an adult to realize what unrealistic crap that is.

    Unless you happen to live in an area with an excellent public transportation system, and also happen to work somewhere with one, it seems like driving is positively necessary to, you know, pay the bills and all.

    You might argue that one could walk or ride a bicycle or something, but that simply does not reflect the way that the vast majority of people get around. The average commute in the US is 16 miles [amazon.com]. That is a distance that is not casually covered in anything but a motor vehicle.

  • Re:Can't... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @03:55PM (#32501128)

    speeding is not a crime that I agree with. if I don't agree with it, it must be wrong.

    There, fixed that for you...


    As I see it, if you don't like it, work to change it. Until it's changed, however, it is still a law.

  • by Raul654 (453029) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:06PM (#32501268) Homepage

    People who deal with public policy have to deal with the world as it is, not the world as they would like it to be. In a perfect world, people would leave enough room in front of them so that if the other driver panic stops, they don't rear-end them. The problem is, won't don't live in a perfect world, and saying "Oh well, I'm going to pretend it is" (which is essentially what you are saying) does not make for good public policy.

    Or, to point out another real world analogue to what you are saying: From a public health perspective, it would be great if everyone was monogamous and had protected sex. By your logic, it would be perfectly OK to cut public funding for AIDS testing and notification because, after all, if everyone is monogomous and has safe sex, there's no reason anyone would ever need AIDS testing or notification. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this approach is flawed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:40PM (#32501738)

    Since when were the tailgating, aggressive driving, and weaving a necessary consequence of lowered speed limits? Have a little self control and don't do it, problem solved. You act like humanity is incapable of self determination.

    If the speed limits are higher, you'd have the same "aggressive, distracted, impaired, or unskilled" drivers now legally able to do their stupid things at faster speeds.

    People will push whatever speed limit you give them - if you raise it, they'll think "gee, now I can go five miles per hour over this one too" and push it some more. Be realistic, people are impatient. Until you break that impatience, setting the speed limits low is the only way to keep them going at a reasonable speed. As long as you keep speeding, the people who set the limits are going to say "the average person drives X mph over the limit, so we need to set it that far below where it belongs." And as long as that says true, the cops are going to have a legal excuse to give you tickets if you can't get a grip on your patience and just do it.

    Honestly, what stops you from choosing to drive the speed limit and almost entirely eliminate the chance you'll get a ticket?

  • by slashqwerty (1099091) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:17PM (#32505942)

    wait until you or one of your family members get in a hit and run from an illegal person that does not have insurance

    How would you know the person lacked insurance or was here illegally if they fled the scene? I have no doubt there are countless prejudiced people who blame every hit and run on "an illegal person that does not have insurance". Regardless, what does a person being in the US illegally have to do with an auto accident? I can certainly understand how making it illegal for that person to be in the US will encourage them to flee the scene before the authorities arrive.

    Wait until you go to the hospital with a broken finger and you are 19th in line behind the many illegals there for exaggerated minor care or major care because they did not handle the problem when it was minor

    When you go to the emergency room a triage nurse performs triage [wikipedia.org]. The nurse will put you ahead of the "many illegals there for exaggerated minor care".

    Again, how do you know these people are 'illegals'? Can you just look at them and magically tell they are illegal immigrants? Even if they are, would your emergency room have a higher doctor/patient ratio if all the illegal immigrants were kicked out? The emergency room is staffed based on demand, not based on the number of local legal residents.

    Yes, some of that increase in local business does support come back to the community as a whole but it does not even out with the drain from other areas.

    The economy is not a zero-sum game. Total wealth increases as more people contribute to the economy. The economy is global and complex. It is doubtful you have done the math to support your claim, even at the most basic level. Supposing your claim were true, local businesses do not operate in a vacuum. You can be quite certain that the moment the cost of operating locally exceeds the cost of moving operations to another country those businesses will shut down their local operations and move the jobs elsewhere.

    I don't necessarily have an opinion one way or the other on immigration but your comments demanded a response. It looks like your opinion is driven, not by evidence, but by prejudice.

  • Re:How come... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:18PM (#32505958)

    And usually that reason is arbitrary zoning, not how fast you can drive safely.

    While this is often true, the object of speed limits is not always just how fast you can drive safely. The next most common reason for speed limits is traffic control -- for example, either setting a low limit discouraging people from taking a particular route (for example, a shortcut through a residential area that could connect two highways) or lowering speed to allow for a greater traffic density.

    The latter is particularly important on densely traveled highways at rush hour, which is the reason behind those variable speed limit signs you sometimes see. If everyone is traveling at 30 mph through a zone with things like merges, lots of exits and entrances, etc., they can travel closer together safely and thereby increase the effective throughput. If you decide that it's "safe" to travel 50 mph there during heavy traffic, and then end up slamming on the breaks when someone merges, you can create a traffic wave that ultimately grows and slows traffic to "stop-and-go." Basically, a 30 mph traffic flow may be stable, while a 50 mph one is not for that traffic density.

    In that circumstance, the people traveling 20 mph above the posted speed limit actually make the traffic worse for everyone.

    Anyhow, this may not be relevant to your particular examples, but it's important to realize that speed limits aren't always just about safety. Most people don't think about this, and we all suffer through traffic jams because of it.

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