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Friday, February 24, 2006

Big Brother has been around awhile

For those of you who have been paying attention the last twenty years or so, and are not blind, you should already know this: Big Brother is already here!
Unless you are totally clueless, to the government, law enforcement agencies, advertisers, and everyone selling things on the internet, nobody is anonymous there.
It does not take much to find out where someone has been on the internet. All you need is their IP address. Anybody on the internet can be tracked. It happens all the time.

Companies like Wal-Mart and Target keep track of what sells at each store. Amazon keeps track of who buys what and adapts their marketing accordingly. They do this to keep costs down and profits up. Any company that doesn't do this has a much better chance of going belly up.

With the red light cameras, if you are not doing anything wrong, you should not have anything to worry about. Better markings, signs, and more visible stop lights only work when people are paying attention (i.e not talking on their cell phone). All the collisions that you site in your article happened not because of the cameras. The cause of the collisions was driver inattention. Notice I use the word collision, not accident. Accidents cannot be avoided. They just happen. Collisions are usually easely avoided. That said, most incidents on the road can be avoided, so the correct word would be collisions.

I have seen many incidents in my home town of Holland, Michigan where a red light camera would have come handy. The only way for people to learn the error of their ways is to make the lesson an expensive one. If that does not work, take their license and their vehicle. That drivers license has never been a right, anyway. It is a privilege and one that, if abused, needs to be taken away.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The cameras are not the problem

In the current issue of Popular Mechanics, I found an article that was written about the pros and cons of using traffic cameras to enforce speed limits and stop lights. According to the article, using cameras to enforce stop lights decreased the number of collisions do to running the red lights, but the occurance of rear-end collisions increased by a factor of 140%. Because of this, people have been against the use of traffic cameras.

The cameras are there for the safety of the drivers on the road. They are not there to make money for the communities that use them. According to popular opinion, that is not the case. The increase in rear-end collisions was caused by drivers not paying attention to the road. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to blame the governments and the cameras. American drivers have not learned to take responsibility for their own actions.

People have to be reminded that no matter how much they rely on it, the ability to drive a motor vehicle is NOT a right, it is, and always has been, privilege.
Abuse it and it gets taken away.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Two extremes of drivers

In the last few weeks of driving to and from work, I have come to realize that there are two extremes of drivers. Both of them can be extremely annoying. I hate sharing the road with both of them. Of course, there is not much choice but to deal with them.

On one side, you have the very aggressive drivers. They are the ones who go plowing through red lights and stop signs like they are not even there. You always have the people who cut everyone else off. Of course, you can't forget the ones who are so wrapped up in their cell phone conversations that they can't be bothed to watch where they are going.

Case in point, a couple of days ago, I was on my way to work when I noticed a group of ambulances and police cars at an intersection. Apparently, a truck driver didn't see a red light. I must also mention that he did not see the car RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, a guy who had actually bothered to stop at the light. Unfortunately the driver of the car did not survive. Also unfortunatlely, that truck driver did. My condolences to the families involved.

On the other hand, we also have the extremely timid drivers. These are the ones who can't seem to make up their mind what they want to do. They always seem to hold everyone up deciding which way to go. These are the people that always drive 10 mph under the speed limit.