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

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the I-bought-the-law dept.

Crime 680

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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680 comments

Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (1, Insightful)

lupine (100665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496850)

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.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (5, Insightful)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497040)

Actually people drive like dumbasses here and speed regardless, race fan or no. I can tell you where they don't speed: a 100 foot section of road in front of those speed cameras.

Also I submitted this story 3 weeks ago when it was actually news. Article should also have "slow news day" tag, because this is the 3rd article the paper has run about it.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (4, Insightful)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497434)

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 50 in a 55 mile an hour zone.

Seriously, speed limits are maximums, not minimums. If you tailgate someone because he's not 'doing the speed limit' you are the idiot who is being dangerous, not the person who is going too slow for you.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497496)

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

Are you suggesting that there are several police cars and a full-scale manhunt for every speeding stop? Or are you just being a jerk? Frankly, by even implying that people treat rape remotely the same way as speeding, you should be ashamed of yourself and should be apologizing to rape victims for exploiting their horror for your petty ranting about getting caught breaking the law.

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.

And yet every time I've seen them raise the speed limit on a road to what drivers were doing, drivers responded by raising their speeds by the same amount. I'm pretty sure that you're wrong. (And I'd rather trust traffic engineers about what's a safe speed than some anonymous guy in Texas who apparently has no sense of proportion.)

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497534)

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.

They don't. That's why you get a $90 fine, not a prison sentence.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (1, Troll)

flabordec (984984) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497568)

I don't understand people that think speed limits are moral imperatives that fall on the same line as murder or arson.

I don't think GP said anything similar to that statement

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.

With some googling I found out that in the year 2000 [unitedjustice.com] 15,517 people were murdered while 41,611 died in car accidents. That means that if we could prevent all car accidents the benefit in human lives would be almost three times greater.

You might only be driving 55 on a 50 mph zone, but a lot of people are driving much faster and statistics show it is fairly dangerous.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497680)

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:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (2, Informative)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497196)

I'm no Nascar fan, but, puh-leeze. Citation needed. I'm going to go ahead and assume you think Mario Kart fans have a general disregard for speed limits as well.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (2, Informative)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497346)

"Citation needed."

ha ha ha, and correct.

From what I've seen, stock car fans/crowds are generally better behaved than those at other major events.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (3, Informative)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497430)

keeping the peace is not the same as draconian big brother and a big money making scheme. Notice how all of these speeding camera companies are not non-profits with their CEOs limited to $80k salary? If they want to enforce the speed limit then they should have actual officers there doing the job.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (4, Informative)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497532)

Having been to Bluff City and the Bristol race for many years now,

I can assure you that during race weekend a car goes anything but fast. The traffic in and out of the track is brutal, starting Friday and going well into Monday. 6+ hours before the race, traffic is already backed up for several miles, in both directions. After the race, it can take several hours to get out of Bluff City and be on your way. There are about 500 police officers (local, county and state) and a squad car about every 500 feet for a good mile in each direction because the pedestrian traffic is so heavy. I've arrived at the track 6 hours prior to the green flag and have parked 2+ miles away and walked, just because the traffic so obnoxious.

These camera's in Bluff City have very little to do with Nascar, and I would imagine speeding tickets on race weekend generate but a tiny fraction of the revenue these cameras otherwise generate.

jeff

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (2, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497560)

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.

Have you ever tried to leave a large sporting event or concert? It doesn't matter how fast you *want* to go -- you're stuck going as fast as the repeated failures to merge/yield allow you to go. That is - about 5 mph. This continues onto the highway as well when we're talking 60k + people in a mass exodus.

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497572)

He needs a place to vent about his problem with personal responsibility. I've shed a tear for him, hope he knows that

Re:Bluff City is south of Bristol Motor Speedway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497746)

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.

Do you have any evidence to support this? Sounds great on paper, but I live about 3 miles away from a major raceway and the single road stretching about 2 miles away from the midpoint where the stadium is has a speed limit of 30 mph.

Some facts about the road:
1. It's a four-lane median-separated road, with cutouts for protected left and right turns.
2. Outside of that magic 30 mph zone, speed limit is 40 - 45 for the length of the road before the name changes to something else.
3. There are no crazy curves, no visibility obstructions, nothing short of a few palm trees.
4. On game day, the road is so clogged anyway with traffic and pedestrians that no one is going faster than 5 mph anyway.

So the question I'll pose is, why 30 mph? Would you say that's a reasonable speed limit, or that it was designed to be used as a bullshit speed trap justified by "ooh, race fans don't obey the law"?

Use ads (5, Insightful)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496852)

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?

Re:Use ads (2, Insightful)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 3 years ago | (#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).

Re:Use ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497124)

He paid a fine for speeding. He did something wrong.

Now the police department did something wrong by letting thier domain expire. It's just for them to 'pay thier fine' by paying the humility price or buying it back at market prices.

I don't see anything wrong with that at all.

Re:Use ads (3, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

First Congratulations Post (4, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496856)

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

Re:First Congratulations Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497076)

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!

Can't... (1, Insightful)

Lorem_Ipsum (759018) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496872)

do the fine, don't do the crime!

Re:Can't... (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can't... (1, Flamebait)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497590)

What an utterly idiotic argument. So if enough people are "murdering" in a neighbourhood, then the laws should be changed to make murdering legal?

Re:Can't... (2, Insightful)

easterberry (1826250) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497730)

Yes, and if you get rid of the speed limit outright, then NOBODY breaks the law! That's a perfectly valid solution, not rife with flaws.

Secondly, since the USA is clearly floating in excess money, it's plainly obvious that all cities should have a vast abundance of spare funds to put towards rebuilding all the roads. Doing so is ridiculously cheap, easy, fast, and doesn't cause traffic problems in itself anyway.

It's the law. You may not like it, you may not agree with it, but if you knowingly and willingly break it it's your own damn fault. Don't complain to people when you're stuck with a ticket.

Re:Can't... (3, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497220)

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

Re:Can't... (4, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497332)

speeding is not a crime. is a manufactured crime

You actually typed this, which is hilarious.

Re:Can't... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497494)

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

Not just revenue, but since everyone is always "speeding" (as most traffic seems to cruise at about 9mph over the limit, above which you can actually get points) , then the police can still pretty much pull over whomever they like (based on racial profiling or whatever). So it's a nice arrangement.

On the other hand, the speed limits are also probably set 10mph too slow, since they still have to apply to elderly drivers, and in poor weather conditions (though really people should drive slower if they can't see through the torrential downpour / dense fog). But I could see lawsuits coming if they raised speed limits to reasonable levels, but then some dork wipes out on a turn and sues the state because they were trying to "keep up" with the posted limits.

So yeah, speed limits suck. Cope with it :P

Re:Can't... (1)

kick6 (1081615) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497246)

do the fine, don't do the crime!

The "crime" being running afoul of a speed limit set artifically low in order to generate revenue as opposed to a speed limit's real intent which is to prevent accidents. I'm sorry, I can't agree with your statement.

Re:Can't... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497444)

you have the right to face your accuser. How are you suppose to do that with a camera?

Re:Can't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497736)

Not to mention that if the camera does malfunction, you have no way to show it.

Wouldn't want to be him on the next traffic stop.. (5, Funny)

Leebert (1694) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496896)

It's gonna be a real bummer for him when he gets stopped for speeding, he acts "suspicious", they search his car, and then they just happen to "find" some cocaine in the trunk.

Re:Wouldn't want to be him on the next traffic sto (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497024)

I'd hate to see the "live footage" when they strip search him with one of those 'anti-speed cameras'. ;-)

Re:Wouldn't want to be him on the next traffic sto (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497412)

Maybe they already got back at him... by submitting the story to slashdot ;) Wait til he sees his bandwidth bill!!

(And they shoulda been whatever.gov in the first place.)

Was the guy speeding? (2, Insightful)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496950)

So what? Raise your hand if you never speeded. Getting caught is not fun...

He found a clever way to "stick it to The Man"... That in itself is great. Crime of no crime.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497044)

Not everyone agrees with current speed laws, he's protesting the way he thinks is best. Personally, I think he's right.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497086)

Let's say he was speeding.
What's your point?

Laws are funny things. An offense against the State, an imaginary entity, is considered a violation of the law.

Now these laws are designed to keep people safe right?

Did he hurt anyone? The answer is no. He was driving over the speed limit. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. Is there a need for justice? Restitution?

I think the law is stupid and I don't follow it. I also am prepared to pay for the penalties.

I won't follow unjust laws.

This goes with

Re:Was the guy speeding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497260)

That's what I get for typing and taking support calls.

To finish my thought : this goes with many other laws and statutes.

You may now think I don't care about humanity, the environment but quite the contrary. I believe we are responsible for our management and dominion over this earth. We must tread lightly, love equally and sacrifice for others.

If we were to assign everyone a cop or nun with a gun/ruler to smack us every time we did something wrong we would quickly find ourselves enslaved. I believe we are experiencing slavery on a very new level.

This is a soft slavery where one's will is bent and molded until it is that of the State.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (5, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497096)

Traffic law enforcement is a complicated issue in my mind. I don't have a lot of sympathy for speeders who don't like paying speeding tickets, but I do think there's a reason that speeding is the only moving violation you really see enforced these days (and I don't think "safety" has much to do with it).

That aside, there are lots of things wrong with typical camera-enforcement schemes. They tend to be operated by private firms who profit off of the tickets. (This is a bigger problem with red-light cameras, because light timings can be manipulated for revenue-genration purposes, but I digress...)

Also, they usually don't even try to prove who's driving. For example, here in St. Louis County, a camera-enforced ticket is a non-moving violation. It's like a parking ticket - the ticket is against the vehicle, not the driver. They don't try to prove who's driving and they don't care - the owner of the vehicle gets the ticket. This also means no points on the license; the "enforcement" is purely monitary.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (3, Informative)

Dragooner (1808336) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497348)

It is safety. The faster you go the higher the risk of fatality in an accident.

The U.S. Department of transportation's Federal Highway Administration review research on traffic speed in 1998.[19] The summary states:

* That the evidence shows that the risk of having a crash is increased both for vehicles traveling slower than the average speed, and for those traveling above the average speed.
* That the risk of being injured increases exponentially with speeds much faster than the median speed.
* That the severity of a crash depends on the vehicle speed change at impact.
* That there is limited evidence that suggests that lower speed limits result in lower speeds on a system wide basis.
* That most crashes related to speed involve speed too fast for the conditions.
* That more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of traffic calming.
http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/speed/speed.htm [tfhrc.gov]

Re:Was the guy speeding? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497702)

I think the tricky part comes from the whole 'median speed' issue. In my city, all one has to do is go 5% over the limit to get dinged with a ticket (e.g. going 63 in a 60 zone). They get the full penalty even though no human cop would even notice, much less pull over and ticket the driver. This is clearly a revenue generating device first, and a safety device second.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (3, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497758)

Except that red-light cameras do not have any effect on driver safety, but they do cause a *large* numbers of rear-end collisions. (I've seen claims that they increase the chances of a rear end collision anywhere between 200% and 800%). See this [motorists.org] for an explanation of how camera proponents lie with statistics.

Re:Was the guy speeding? (1)

MaerD (954222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497278)

I find it funny, but do agree. This does smack of being the wrong reaction.
On the other hand, regarding the speed cameras: Just like the red light cameras most jurisdictions classify it as a "civil" penalty with a much lower burden of proof than a criminal charge. Most times it doesn't even make a visual record of who was driving the car, and if you can't provide who "may have been" driving it, you're stuck with the ticket because they don't have to prove the registered owner of the car was the person driving it.

Additionally, most of the revenue for such systems go right back into the companies that make and usually run them (leading to a no law-enforcement involvement in checking the operation, etc) for the state/county/city. In North Carolina they got hung out to dry on this point because any criminal penalties have specific requirements that a certain percentage go to education. Someone successfully argued that speeding was a crime, not a civil action and therefore the money being paid to these companies needed to be redirected. Since they would now have to pay for the program out of local budgets, the programs quickly came to an end.

If they could set these things up in a way that identified the driver, had the same burden of proof as the police officer pulling someone over (ie, operation checked for accuracy,etc) I'd have less of an issue with the idea. As it is, these things are a rights-trampling nightmare.

What a schmuck. (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496904)

Domain hijacking isn't cute, particularly for something so petty as a parking ticket.

I wonder why the city had a .com to begin with - it would've been more appropriate to have a .us or .gov

Re:What a schmuck. (1)

kaptink (699820) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496978)

I think its quite cute given the curcumstances. And it was a speeding ticket which is a fair bit nastier than a parking ticket. Ive had my share of blatant revenue tickets and would love to do the same. He should link it to 4chan for the bluff city pedo department.

Re:What a schmuck. (1)

Thinine (869482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496992)

It's easier to remember a somthing.com than something.city.state.us or something.state.gov, if your state even has a direct .gov domain. Plus I wonder how long it would take for one of those domains to be provisioned. And I agree, this guy is a schmuck. If you don't want to be caught speeding, don't speed.

Re:What a schmuck. (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497406)

something.com is easier to remember than city.state.gov? In what world? I find it particularly difficult to forget the city and state I live in, yet you think it easier to have some weird city abbreviation coupled with a non-standard abbreviation for some department in the city followed by the .com (commercial) domain name. Hell, I'm not even sure I wouldn't think a .com domain wasn't in fact a parody or scam site. Government websites should be under .gov.

Re:What a schmuck. (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497740)

Well, knowing governments everywhere it's likely the domain wouldn't be police.somecity.somestate.gov but rather pdcity.somecounty.scity.state.gov...

Re:What a schmuck. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497238)

Domain hijacking isn't cute

Nor is it what happened.

Re:What a schmuck. (2, Informative)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497442)

This isn't domain hijacking. Hijacking is when you impersonate the legitimate owner to have the domain transferred, use some sort of DNS poisoning attack to redirect the traffic to an alternate site or use some other nefarious method to deprive the legitimate owner of the use of the domain. The domain owner allowed the domain to expire. McCrary purchased it legally and legitimately. No high jacking involved.

How come... (1, Insightful)

semmelbroesel (1811610) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496946)

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!

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

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:How come... (2, Insightful)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:How come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497396)

maybe there should be no "state" speed limit; each road should just have its own. many roads are *safe* at 70-80mph. Many roads (eg. narrow mountain roads) are suicidal at 30 (and yet the speed limit is 30). Then there's also the type of car you're driving... speed/turning is *very* different for a small sporty car vs a big top-heavy suv---so `safe' speed for each one is different.

Institutionalized reckless driving, my favorite! (2, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:How come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497078)

The point is that speeding cameras aren't against the constitution. Please don't rip up the Constitution so quickly.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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:How come... (1)

minor_deity (1176695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497146)

Yes.

If you ignore the constitution in one place, then why not ignore it in others? Who's to say that your right to free speech should really be protected, or your right to liberty? All murderer's are free until they are caught, and murder is illegal. Clearly we should lock everyone up to prevent murders.

Re:How come... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497384)

I almost logged in and modded you up for that response, until I expanded the comment and saw you made a terrible analogy. You should have just stuck with "yes."

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:How come... (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497214)

Speeding never killed anyone. Being stupid behind the wheel of a car, however, has killed a lot of people.

Re:How come... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497566)

Speeding never killed anyone

Bullshit.

Sure, the limits are often inappropriate, over-enforced and often used as a way for the police to make money rather than for their stated purpose but are you seriously saying that driving fast has NEVER led to someone's death? No-one has ever taken a corner too fast and lost control? No-one has ever underestimated their speed and been unable to stop at a corner they did expect?

Re:How come... (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497274)

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... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497292)

"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?

Wow. You fail at freedom and America. America was founded on liberty, not security.
How do you even know people were endangered? Speeding cameras are most often placed on ofter deserted streets!

Re:How come... (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497716)

How do you even know people were endangered? Speeding cameras are most often placed on ofter deserted streets!

Really? Since their main purpose is to generate revenue, putting a speed camera on a deserted street makes no sense. Here in the Old Pueblo, the two camera vans are always parked on the busiest roads, and there are permanent cameras on a couple very busy roads.

Re:How come... (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497318)

"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?

You lost me here. If it is indeed unconstitutional (I'm not convinced it is, but I could see a conflict with the right to face your accuser), then why wouldn't that right be more important? Not the right to speed in particular, but the right to be found guilty for your speeding fairly.

Let's rephrase the proposition: Is the city's desire for a lazy way to catch speeders more important than your constitutional rights?

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

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:How come... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497400)

You don't see murderers and rapists complaining about CCTVs in other people's buildings.

If a rule or law is injust, then it's up to us, the populace to complain until it can be rectified. It's as simple as that. In the US, the populace has very little power, except that of speech. We like to use it as much as possible against the things we disagree with.

Civil disobedience has been a long-standing tradition against tyranny in the US. We're not sheep that will just blindly do whatever other people tell us to do, especially for reasons unknown or invalid.

Re:How come... (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497428)

Well, IF this were a constitutional issue, then yes that would be more important than hundreds of lives.

But this isn't a constitutional issue, this is merely an issue of extremely bad and unpopular policy.

And I don't know about you, but I complain about plenty of rules which I bother to follow, but wish I didn't have to.

Re:How come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497528)

>Speeding... kills hundreds of people

No it doesn't! The sudden stop does! Why aren't there laws against sudden stops!?!?!

in all seriousness though, a lot of the problem isn't speeding, it's the quality of the road, and how opposing directions can have head to head collisions that makes our roads dangerous (go look at the fatality rate of the Autobahn)

Re:How come... (1)

fatray (160258) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497562)

"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?

Let's forget about all the other freedoms that might potentially cause a problem, too. That pesky freedom of the press, or assembly, or speech, or right to bear arms, or due process, etc. could cause a problem sometime, too.

Re:How come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497598)

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

Ummm, yes. Actually, it's worth hundreds of thousands of lives, and it's what members of the military are sworn to uphold, even at the risk of death.

Re:How come... (1)

Reeses (5069) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497626)

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

Sadly, yes, it is.

Someone's gonna get in trouble... (4, Insightful)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496974)

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

A Little Advice (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496976)

First of all, I love the idea. This guy is my hero.

Everyone's a critic, but I feel like this guy's website could use a little help. I know he is a network engineer and not a web developer so I'm going to try not to be a prick about this.

1. Choose a font. Times New Roman is the ugliest font ever. It's the default web font to remind you to pick a font.

2. Just one page? this isn't MySpace. There is enough content on this site for a nice small multipage site. It would definitely make it easier to navigate and find content.

3. Pictures - Find some legal images to use on your site. the badge holding the dollar bill is a good start. Put that as many places as you can.

4. Work on the formatting. The variable width thing is not working for this site. It looks like an unformatted term paper.

Anyways - just a bit of friendly advice. Good work buying the site so the pigs can't have it. Hope you turn it in to something great.

Re:A Little Advice (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497118)

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.

How Is This About Rights Online??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497000)

Or any other rights offline, other than the fact that he is basically a cybersquatter?

I know slashdot has this anti-authority, anti-police bias, but posting this story as some kind of heroic act on the part of a convicted speeder is ridiculous.

Slashdot should be a little more professional and above this.

Re:How Is This About Rights Online??!! (2, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497184)

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

Re:How Is This About Rights Online??!! (3, Interesting)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497624)

Technically, squatting isn't competition. It's extortion: they're forcing you to pay an excessive amount for something that should cost $6. I was looking for a business domain a while back, and I couldn't believe how many domain names were being squatted on. Anything even remotely related to business was already taken, most of them by squatters. We ended up paying a squatter $1000 to get the name that this business legally owned a trademark to. I wonder what would happen if the first-time registration costs for .com was raised significantly and the "free refund" policy was revoked, forcing squatters actually pay for resources they're effectively stealing. Apparently, a lot of squatters play the float - they register and then unregister domain names just inside the free refund period. Between that and the $6 registration fee, one person can tie up hundreds of domain names very cheaply.

Uhh.... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497110)

This guy spent $80 on the domain name and website after his $90 ticket...

Re:Uhh.... (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497388)

Plus, if he has car insurance; he's probably going to pay more than $90 extra annually in jacked-up insurance rates.

Re:Uhh.... (5, Interesting)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497536)

He gets enjoyment for the $80. He got nothing but frustration for the $90. Sounds to me like the former is money well spent, and the latter not so much.

Due Process (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497174)

Not sure how their "speed" tickets or red light tickets work, but in Missouri, we had a problem with the way the city of Springfield (not homer simpson's home) did it's red light cameras. A RETIRED highway patrol officer was caught in one, he did not claim he didn't run the light, he ADMITTED it, but he had a problem with they way the process worked. You ran a light, the BACK of your car was photographed, and the registered owner of the vehicle was mailed a 100 dollar ticket in the mail. Ok, TWO things. 1. You were PRESUMED guilty, the ticket was considered a "civil infraction" 2. What if it was a commercial vehicle, your son or daughters car that was registered in the fathers name, you let someone borrow the car. Did not matter, the REGISTERED owner got the ticket. He protested the ticket, since he was not allowed due process, it worked it's way up the ladder and the supreme court through it out, refunded him the ticket (he donated the money to the MADD organization) The supreme court said in no small part that you cannot presume someone guilty without due process, and told the city to turn off the cameras until they change the ordinance. Not only did that happen, but the EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS they collected in less than a year (yeah, I'll give them that, this city DOES have idiots that run lights), is being refunded via the same attorney that defended him, via law suits. No one really had a lot of problems with the cameras, IF THEY DID A COUPLE THINGS. 1. Snap the FRONT of your car, showing who was driving the car. 2. Run the ticket through the normal court process, where you can challenge the ticket.

Re:Due Process (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497720)

In a lot of places, you aren't even in front of a judge if you want to contest the ticket.

They make you show up, contest the ticket, have it rubber stamped anyway, and then appeal before you can even get in front of a real judge. It's one of the things the NMA is fighting against right now, to try to restore the right to have a normal trial for these speed and red light camera tickets.

Of course things like "due process" cut down on the profitability of these automatic tickets, which is why they try to keep you from getting a fair trial. If enough people fight these tickets, they will go away. Remove the profit and they won't keep doing it.

Police, Inc.? (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497226)

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:Police, Inc.? (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497474)

If they are operating speeding cameras, then yes, they are commercial. They are doing it to generate revenue, not to increase public safety.

Hurrah for Speed Cameras! (1)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497250)

I used to hate the idea of speed cameras until I saw how they were slowing traffic on a major street near my home. Now I wish they'd install them on my street. Maybe I could walk across the street without taking my life in my hands. Don't want a ticket? Then slow the f*ck down!

Re:Hurrah for Speed Cameras! (-1, Troll)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497376)

I used to hate the idea of speed cameras until I saw how they were slowing traffic on a major street near my home. Now I wish they'd install them on my street. Maybe I could walk across the street without taking my life in my hands. Don't want a ticket? Then slow the f*ck down!
There's a reason your home was so cheap, it was on a poorly designed street. Don't want to die? Then move B*tch get out the way.

PPS. Captcha retard

Re:Hurrah for Speed Cameras! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497504)

You are a weak human.

You want more laws to avoid being singled out by Darwin.

Re:Hurrah for Speed Cameras! (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497708)

There is a difference between driving fast and driving recklessly. Sometimes they go hand-in-hand, but not always -- and a bright-line speed limit is not the way to make the decision.

Saw this and other stories today (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497294)

In addition to this story, I also read about another "somewhat related" story where another municipality had a 20+% decline in ticket revenues from the previous year. They are blaming some new software installed on their police network indicating that it is so slow and cumbersome that it decreases the number of tickets that can be issued by a single officer in a day.

While this story might give further cause to grin or giggle, I have to take issue with the use of the word "revenue" in conjunction with the penal system. It is unquestionably a "revenue stream" for government. But let's just call it what it is before we go on to attack it. The fact is, various government bodies persist in telling lies to the people that the purpose of these red light cameras, speeding cameras and officers on the street is to collect money, not to make the roads safer. Either they have to behave as though their lie is the truth and respond to complaints and studies (For example, most states in the U.S. that once made radar detectors illegal had to eventually acknowledge the fact that people who use radar detectors are actually SAFER DRIVERS because they are actively watching the road as part of the "game" of using a radar detector... the game, of course, is "find the cop." The result of their acknowledgment is that most of those states lifted their bans on radar detectors... all but the State of Virginia and in the District of Columbia.)

These government entities want to "punish more people" in order to collect more money. That is an abuse of the legal system in ways that I find to be simply horrific. If you want to tax the people to get more money, fine! Do that! Risk being unpopular. But the fact is, taxes can be made legal and offer a better guarantee of revenue streams. But using the [CRIMINAL] JUSTICE SYSTEM as a means to bring in more money? It's just wrong on so many levels and it is also a somewhat unfair means of doing so as it often unfairly targets specific demographics while at the same time providing a means for "certain individuals" to get released from their burdens if they have the right connections or position in society.

If we try to kill this problem locally, we will have to keep fighting this same battle at every local government again and again and again. If we kill it at the U.S. Federal government level, we only need to kill it once. It needs to either be ruled unconstitutional to use the criminal justice system as a revenue source or law must be written to prohibit the use of such money as revenue for the state, county or other local governments.

Whaaa! (1, Troll)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497454)

He speeds.

Gets caught.

Complains.

Why is this even on Slashdot? So he pulled a prank on a police department, its not even an original one.

It doesn't mater "that everyone goes over the limit", it is law, don't like it work to change it. I don't like getting speeding tickets any more than the next person but when I see people going 40mph in a school zone or down a residential street with children around I would love to see some cameras in place. I have a friend who has lost members of his family to cars due to a casual disregard for the residential speed limit.

If you don't want to get a speeding ticket, don't speed. If you get caught, that is the breaks. You play, you pay.

NMA (3, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497580)

Make driving laws about safety and engineering, not revenue creation.

Join the NMA [motorists.org] .

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