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  1. #1
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    Odd
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    Police Chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users

    Ok so I cut off the headline - seemed better that way to me

    Kind of a moldy story at this point, but since Drudge finally picked up on it, well, let's see if LE finds it nearly so interesting as bloggers do. To me, this is more a story about threatening red-light/speeder camera revenue. I hate to actually side WITH someone else making a profit on the other side since their motives are as inherently tainted. Me, I don't get paid either way. Never even driven in DC. No plans to. Great place to visit.

    Chief says they save lives, and maybe they do in this instance, the stats don't support that for cameras elsewhere and there are multiple other problems with them...like being (contracted with the majority of profits going to the vendor) cameras instead of officers.

    What's your take?


    Police chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users monitoring speed traps

    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."

    The new technology streams to i-Phones and global positioning system devices, sounding off an alarm as drivers approach speed or red-light cameras.

    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.

    Montgomery County police did not respond to calls and e-mails for this story.

    Ralph Ganoe of Silver Spring said he uses detection software from a Washington-based company, PhantomAlert, to avoid speed traps and crowded intersections.

    "Well, my pocket has money in it," Ganoe quipped, when asked about the software's impact on his driving record. "Everybody's got a heavy foot. ... Now I don't have to worry about where [the cameras] are at."

    PhantomAlert mimics radar detectors which are outlawed in D.C. and Virginia by alerting drivers of nearby enforcement "points of interest" via global positioning system devices. PhantomAlert keeps up to date on traffic enforcement through its users, who contribute information online.

    Founder and CEO of PhantomAlert Joe Scott claimed nine out of 10 police departments across the country support his software.

    "If police come against us, it's going to make them look like they are only [after] revenue" from the camera-generated citations, he said.

    Photo radar tickets generated nearly $1 billion in revenues for D.C. during fiscal years 2005 to 2008.

    In the current fiscal year, Montgomery County expects to make $29 million from its red light and speed cameras. Lanier said efforts to outlaw the software would be too difficult.

    She said, "with the Internet and all the new technology, it's almost impossible to stop the flow of information."

  2. #2
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    As someone who hates red-light and speed cameras, I think that this chief needs to wipe the sand out of her vagina. Her complaining just sounds pathetic. Technology is a two-way street. Sometimes it sucks, what with the advent of cell-phone cameras being used to film police activity in such a way as to make us look bad, etc. But when you use technology to target violators, you have to expect them to use technology to outwit your tactics. And if anyone tries to nanny-state the software developers by trying to outlaw the applications, then that's going a little too far for my tastes. It isn't as if they're hacking into super secret databases...the information is being provided by users who see the cameras in plain sight.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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  3. #3
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    Motorwaycop is offline Retired Plod
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    These cameras are now called safety cameras here. Roads on which they are used have to have signs indicating they are present. The cameras have to be cleraly marked and visible with reflective material.
    All GPS and road maps now also indicate where the cameras are sighted.
    HOWEVER, the mobile vans can't be plotted on GPS etc for obvious reasons.
    Plus we as police use unmarked vehicles as well as marked,people still don't see you in our extremely visible vehicles!
    The main problem as always is that it's the honest majority who correctly register their vehicles etc who end up paying the tickets while the usual miscreants get away with it, but that's where real police are required its amazing how many simple speeding tickets turn into decent arrests, something a camera can't manage!
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  4. #4
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    The town I reserve in used to have a stealthy speed sensor and license plate camera just as you entered town on the freeway. It was a cash cow.

    The state finally made them dismantle it before I started working there, but you can still see the speed sensors - they were permanently implanted in the road surface.

    They were making so much money that the State made them get rid of it when someone sued - It is a State highway that it's installed on, and I think the State was jealous because they weren't getting any proceeds, yet they were the target of the lawsuit

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  5. #5
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    Red light cameras are for revenue, pure and simply.

    I've been there for the discussions and heard the evidence, with city employees slavering over the moneys the cameras will pour in.

    I almost lost my lunch at one woman who kept saying "who cares about that, how much money?"
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  6. #6
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    What's wrong with technology reminding you to obey the law? Voluntary compliance.

    Screw the cameras!
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

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  7. #7
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Red light cameras are for revenue, pure and simply.

    AMEN!!

  8. #8
    Kpdpipes is offline Master Officer
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    If she was REALLY that concrned about safety she wouldnt mind the camera locations being "outed" that would tell people where to slow down, especially since the cameras are supposed to be situated in Problem areas. its Twa...umm i mean Twits like her that start the "Uniformed Tax Collector" cracks about ut.

  9. #9
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    "The purpose of traffic enforcement is to obtain voluntary compliance."

    I swear I've heard that somewhere before...

    H'mm... folks notify someone of speed enforcement, and so people slow down. (Aren't those speed/red-light cameras supposed to be in areas where there are traffic problems?) Seems like voluntary compliance to me. Seems like the goal has been met...
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  10. #10
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    "The purpose of traffic enforcement is to obtain voluntary compliance."

    I swear I've heard that somewhere before...

    H'mm... folks notify someone of speed enforcement, and so people slow down. (Aren't those speed/red-light cameras supposed to be in areas where there are traffic problems?) Seems like voluntary compliance to me. Seems like the goal has been met...
    Exactly! And the city panicking over people complying is evidence the cameras are about revenue generation, not public safety.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

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  11. #11
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kpdpipes View Post
    If she was REALLY that concrned about safety she wouldnt mind the camera locations being "outed".
    I agree - In fact, a couple of cities around here have actually erected signs warning that the next intersection has red light cameras - I'm pretty sure that actually does prevent accidents, and it shows me that revenue isn't those citys' primary goal.

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