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[aprssig] Star Wars..

KA8VIT ka8vit at ka8vit.com
Wed Feb 1 17:40:41 UTC 2006


Why would they do that?

Most places will opt for speed/traffic cameras.

Why prevent us from driving over the limit when,
they can fine us for it instead!

Here in Cleveland, Ohio, speed and traffic light cameras
have become a BIG money maker for the city.

Funny though, the recent headline did NOT say,
"Ten lives saved by traffic cameras"

It said...

"Cameras bring in $285,000 in first six week of operation"

But, ya know, it's all about safety... (yeah...right).

73,

Bill KA8VIT

AA3JY at Winlink.org wrote:

>Now..does this sound familiar..?
>
>Star Wars Speed Trap
> 
>GPS being used to catch speeders
>By ERIC  PETERS
>
>Like tearing off that sticker on mattresses that  warns us not to 
>"under 
>penalty of law," most of us don't pay much attention to  speed limits. 
>Five to 10 
>over is the rule, not the exception -- as any survey of  average 
>traffic 
>speeds will confirm. We vote with our right foot every time we  get 
>behind the 
>wheel, countermanding the diktats of the local bureaucrats who  erect 
>limits that 
>are frequently well below what large majorities (better than  85 
>percent, if 
>you want an actual figure based on traffic surveys) consider  
>reasonable rates 
>of travel.
>
>But what if driving faster than the  posted limit became an 
>impossibility?
>
>For years, this has been “The  Dream” of safety-badger types, who 
>equate any 
>deviance from often  arbitrarily-set posted speed limits with mowing 
>down 
>small children in a  gigantic SUV with really loud mufflers, one hand 
>on the 
>wheel, the other  clutching a half-empty fifth of Jack Daniels. They 
>pushed for 
>mechanical  governors (which never flew) and even managed, briefly, to 
>get a law 
>passed that  required all new cars to be fitted with speedometers that 
>read 
>no faster than 85  mph.
>
>Now, however, the technology exists for a great leap forward --  or 
>backward, 
>depending on your point of view.
>
>The Canadians are  testing out a system that combines onboard Global 
>Positioning Satellite (GPS)  technology with a digital speed limit map. 
>It works very 
>much like the in-car  GPS navigation systems which have become so 
>common on 
>late model cars -- but  with a twist. Instead of helping you find a 
>destination, 
>the system, prevents  you from driving any faster than the posted speed 
>limit 
>of the road you happen  to be on.
>
>As in a conventional GPS-equipped car or truck, the system  knows which 
>road 
>you're on, as well as the direction you're traveling. This  information 
>is 
>continuously updating as you move. But in addition to this, the  system 
>also 
>acquires information about the posted speed limit on each road, as  you 
>drive. 
>Once your vehicle reaches that limit, the car's computer makes it  
>increasingly 
>difficult to go any faster.
>
>Ten vehicles equipped with  this technology are currently being tested 
>in the 
>Ottowa area; if the trail is  "successful," a wider series of tests is 
>planned. And it's a sure bet the entire  thing will eventually be the 
>object of a 
>very strong-armed push aimed at making  it mandatory equipment in every 
>new car. 
>"We are trying to assess the  operational acceptance issues," says 
>Peter 
>Burns of Transport Canada's road  safety directorate.
>
>But is all of this really necessary -- or even a  good idea?
>
>For one thing, if current speed limits are so sensible,  why do so many 
>of us 
>disobey them routinely? Are large majorities of us simply  indifferent 
>to our 
>own safety and that of others -- even though we seem capable  of 
>behaving 
>responsibly in other aspects of our lives?
>
>Or are speed  limits often set unrealistically low?
>
>And if they are, wouldn't it  make more sense to adjust them so that 
>they 
>reflect a more reasonable consensus  -- based upon how we actually 
>drive -- 
>rather than constantly pushing for new  ways to compel compliance with 
>limits that 
>most of us clearly think are too  low?
>
>Bear in mind that for 20-plus years, we were relentlessly nagged  by 
>the 
>self-styled "safety lobby" (and its profiteers in the insurance 
>industry)  that to 
>exceed the sainted 55 mph limit was "dangerous speeding" that put  
>ourselves 
>and others at risk. Yet when Congress finally repealed the 55 mph  
>limit in 
>'95 -- and most states raised their highway limits to 65, 70, even 75  
>mph in 
>some cases -- highway fatality rates did not increase as predicted. In  
>fact, 
>just two years after the majority of states increased their maximum  
>highway 
>speed limits, the total national highway fatality rate reached an  
>all-time 
>record low of 1.64 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled  
>(VMT).
>
>This proved that driving 65 or 70-something mph on a highway  was not 
>"unsafe." The big difference post-'95 was that you no longer had to  
>worry about 
>getting a ticket for doing it.
>
>The same issue exists on  many secondary roads, where under-posted 
>limits are 
>routinely ignored by most  drivers -- but vigorously enforced by radar 
>traps. 
>Like the tickets issued to  people under the double nickel, the use of 
>radar 
>to nab motorists exceeding  these under-posted limits is justified on 
>the 
>basis of "safety" -- even though  most of us know that driving five or 
>10 mph 
>faster doesn't in and of itself  constitute unsafe driving any more 
>than doing 65 
>or 70-something mph did under  the old 55 mph NMSL.
>
>And sometimes, it's necessary to accelerate  rapidly in order to avoid 
>an 
>accident -- even if it means momentarily exceeding  the posted limit.
>
>But Canada's little experiment could bring a  screeching halt to all 
>that -- 
>literally. Dumbed-down limits -- and dumbed-down  driving -- would 
>become much 
>more than the law of the land.
>
>They  would become an inescapable way of life.
>
>Some might welcome a world  in which driving faster than whatever the 
>speed 
>limit happens to be is  impossibility. But it might be more 
>common-sensical to 
>post realistic speed  limits -- and deal with the handful of drivers 
>who won't 
>or can't drive  reasonably -- than to treat every driver on the road 
>like the 
>irresponsible  one.
>  
>
-- 

Bill Chaikin, KA8VIT
USS COD Amateur Radio Club - W8COD
WW2 Submarine USS COD SS-224 (NECO)

ka8vit at ka8vit.com
http://ka8vit.com
http://www.usscod.org

QRP-L NBR: 2596
FP#-1043






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