28 February 2013

"I Thought You Were Someone Else"

One of my household chores growing up was the garbage.  I was supposed to collect it from the various wastebaskets in bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchen and garage and make sure it all ended up in the two metal fifty-gallon cans on the concrete pad in the backyard, in time for the garbageman to fetch them on garbage day.

Back then--this is forty years ago--people didn't set their cans out on the street.  Men rode on the side of the garbage truck and went to where the cans sat and carried them back to the truck.  In our case the man had to walk down a narrow sloping concrete walk on the west side of the house to the back patio.  There was none of this curbside robot claw stuff.

Garbage day was once a week, Wednesday, I think.

25 February 2013

Another One Bites The Dust

Red light cameras are supposed to save us from ourselves.  They are supposed to decrease red light running and hence decrease collisions, but it just doesn't work that way.  It's just another wonderful theory mugged by reality. ( I explain why this might be so in an earlier post). 

The latest rude awakening is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where two intersections have been data-mined for ten years: five years BCE (Before Camera Era) and five years after (ACI).    And guess what?  Collisions and injuries went up after the red snappers were hoisted.  The theory also posits that t-bone type angle collisions will go down.  They stayed the same. 

13 February 2013

No Camber in That Amber

The rule of thumb for yellow light intervals is one second for each ten MPH of the speed limit leading up to the intersection.  AAA found that the city of New York has been shaving that interval by as much as half a second and therefore not giving drivers "...ample time to get through the intersection."

Seems the city that never sleeps also never stops trying to suck money out of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  The city brings in a lot of tribute from those pole cameras.  There are 170 cameras snapping happily away at 150 intersections.  They bring in nearly $50 million each year and...and...Mayor Bloomberg wants to up the covered intersections to two hundred and twenty-five. 

08 February 2013

"Bang Goes The Flash, Bang Goes My Cash"

Here are the lyrics to that SPEED CAMERA song I showcased a couple of posts ago.  I couldn't find the words on line, so I made the herculean effort to transcribe them by ear.  There are a few gaps so if anyone out there can fill them in, or correct any mistakes, please feel welcome to comment.


by  Unlucky Fried Kitten

     I don't drive my mototcar for pleasure any more
     If I did I probably couldn't take no more
     I don't really want to drive my car anymore

Come and Get Me, Copper!

Did you know your mailcarrier is above the law?  "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night (nor the Dark Knight),  nor sleet, nor Robo-Cop with a flash camera, nor traffic laws, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Seems the USPS can dish it out,  but they can't take it; as it relates to red light and speed camera tickets.  Yep, they'll gladly drop the tickets in your mailbox, but when one comes to theirs it is RETURN TO SENDER. 

07 February 2013

"Driving At The Speed Of Light"

I stumbled over this delightful song by Unlucky Fried Kitten.  I especially like the inciteful lyrics:

"Speed Camera, Another three points in the can
Speed Camera, Meanwhile someone mugs my Gran"

The police seem to have the wherewithal to pinch drivers, but not to cage muggers and protect the pensioners

This group must be from England--either that or the whole trip is viewed through a mirror.  I've never heard of them, but I like their attitude and the "driving" beat. 

05 February 2013

Running Lights

Red light cameras are supposed to enhance traffic safety.  Red light runners cause a lot of accidents and injuries, and if we can decrease this scofflawry, we'll save lives and property.
The theory that handing out redlight camera tickets will decrease red light running and actual accidents and injuries, bears closer inspection.  The evidence suggests that the stop line cameras do no such thing, They may cut down on light runners, but the accidents actually increase.

Let's reason together as to why this might be so.  There are two kinds of drivers who run lights:  the kind who does it purposely, and the kind who does it accidentally. 

03 February 2013

Red Freeze

If an Ambulance or other emergency vehicle is coming up on you and you are stopped at a red light, you are supposed to pull over and let them pass.  But you might have to move forward into the intersection to get out of the way.  You would be breaking a traffic law; entering the intersection against the red light.  It's for a good cause; you may be saving some person's life, and a real cop would recognize that and give you a pass. 

But what if the intersection is infested with red light cameras?  Would you still roll forward and pull over, knowing you will get flashed, ticketed by mail and then have to take time off work to go explain yourself to the traffic judge?  The judge would probably dismiss the ticket, but you are still out the time and aggravation.