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Old 04-29-2014, 11:26 PM   #41
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The first is also completely useless and will make your license plate paint start cracking, alerting everyone around that you thought a can of hairspray could hide your license plate.
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:54 PM   #42
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Just wanted to bump this thread and see if there have been any updates worth mentioning? I received a photo radar ticket this week and while I am usually a very cautious and law abiding driver, I admit there are times where my speed creeps up in relation to the music I'm listening to.

I noticed a vehicle on the road the other day with a clear cover over the plate. I was directly behind them and had trouble clearly reading the license - this is probably illegal, no? It would be nice to have something to detect highway patrol and also when they're parked almost hidden in residential areas - like near CBC on Memorial.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:11 AM   #43
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Just wanted to bump this thread and see if there have been any updates worth mentioning? I received a photo radar ticket this week and while I am usually a very cautious and law abiding driver, I admit there are times where my speed creeps up in relation to the music I'm listening to.

I noticed a vehicle on the road the other day with a clear cover over the plate. I was directly behind them and had trouble clearly reading the license - this is probably illegal, no? It would be nice to have something to detect highway patrol and also when they're parked almost hidden in residential areas - like near CBC on Memorial.
The plate covers are illegal.

The new photo radar causes big problems for detection. It's low power K band I believe.

K band is used tons by cars with adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems, so you will get false alerts constantly if you have K on.

I did a test driving past a new photo radar vehicle with K band on, and even then I was basically adjacent before the detector picked it up, and the signal was pretty weak.

Unfortunately, the most effective way to avoid them is to stare at parked cars looking for little black boxes on the roof.

Which demonstrates how photo radar is fulfilling its mandate of safer streets. We have speeding vehicles operated by people staring at parked cars
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:56 AM   #44
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Which demonstrates how photo radar is fulfilling its mandate of safer streets. We have speeding vehicles operated by people staring at parked cars
I suppose the prospect of driving at a speed that won't require you to closely monitor parked vehicles to the point where you are unable to focus on the road in front of you is beyond the pale?
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:39 PM   #45
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I suppose the prospect of driving at a speed that won't require you to closely monitor parked vehicles to the point where you are unable to focus on the road in front of you is beyond the pale?
I get your point completely. But not all laws make sense - and that's not to say I have a better alternative.

If I receive a ticket for going 42 in a 30, 8pm on a pitch black night when it's -25 - where that 30 is a playground zone - I get frustrated because there's no way there are kids outside playing at that hour in that weather. 42 is not a crazy speed and as long as road conditions are dry, it bothers me that's what I get nailed for. Yes, 60 in a 30 is stupid. Yes 130 in a 110 is pushing it. But there should be times where common sense should prevail. And because it won't, I'd love a way to know when I'm about to be targeted. I look for speed traps anyway - having a system automatically alert me seems safer than constantly being slightly distracted...
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:17 PM   #46
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I get your point completely. But not all laws make sense - and that's not to say I have a better alternative.

If I receive a ticket for going 42 in a 30, 8pm on a pitch black night when it's -25 - where that 30 is a playground zone - I get frustrated because there's no way there are kids outside playing at that hour in that weather. 42 is not a crazy speed and as long as road conditions are dry, it bothers me that's what I get nailed for. Yes, 60 in a 30 is stupid. Yes 130 in a 110 is pushing it. But there should be times where common sense should prevail. And because it won't, I'd love a way to know when I'm about to be targeted. I look for speed traps anyway - having a system automatically alert me seems safer than constantly being slightly distracted...
While I understand your point (and I usually complain about playground zones myself, living near one of the worst), you've decided arbitrarily what the acceptable limits are before you should get caught. You've decided that 42 in a 30 (40% over the speed limit) and 130 in a 110 (18% over the speed limit) are equally worthy of being pulled over. Why?

In the first case, you're right in that the likelihood of seeing a child playing in a playground zone in the dead of winter after dark is unlikely these days. However, setting a uniform time year round does have the benefit of removing any doubt of when you should be going slower. In your specific example, we're not going to be able to see black ice on the road at -25 at night, so I wouldn't want to bet on that in the rare case a kid is actually out there.

In the second case, people's opinions on what is safe on a highway differ drastically. Many people on this forum would say 140 is where things get hairy, but really...at 110 and up, good luck stopping quick enough on a congested Highway 2 when there's an accident in front of you. The only real difference in examples is that you're crashing into a vehicle designed to absorb impacts, instead of potentially a human being in a playground zone who can't take a hit from a car.
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:50 PM   #47
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I suppose the prospect of driving at a speed that won't require you to closely monitor parked vehicles to the point where you are unable to focus on the road in front of you is beyond the pale?
I actually speed to the degree I'd ever have to worry about it extremely infrequently.

To suggest everyone should just do the speed limit, and thus everything will be safer is completely naive, and an extension of the attitude towards enforcement that is currently doing nothing to serve safety.

There is always going to be someone late for something. There will always be 18 year old males. Within the current framework, there will always be speeders on the road.

The question should be, how can we increase safety in that context?

I don't believe the answer is visible photo radar units on the side of the road. You are guaranteed to have speeders scanning the roof of every parked car instead of paying attention.

I think that if photo radar isn't completely obscure, it is dangerous. I'd rather have permanent and well signed speed cameras at problem locations, as I could at least buy that they are possibly contributing to safety.

Having drivers play "Where's Waldo?" at the wheel is a terrible idea.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:44 PM   #48
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To suggest everyone should just do the speed limit, and thus everything will be safer is completely naive, and an extension of the attitude towards enforcement that is currently doing nothing to serve safety.
I think if they really wanted everyone to do the speed limit they would start fining at lower speeds like 5-10 km/h over, not 15 km/h over. Personally I don't mind as I usually put the cruise control at 10 over on highways. This basically means I get passed by everyone in the National Parks, but then pass everyone outside of them thanks to how people drive.

To be completely honest, the more you talk about the so-called dangers of the photo radar setups, the more I'm reminded of motorcyclists telling everyone that their stupid loud tailpipes are also in the name of "safety". It sounds more like a convenient excuse to not be a responsible user of the road. I feel like you're drastically overestimating the effort it takes to keep an eye out for speed traps. Is your face buried in your dashboard in playground zones because it's so difficult to stay at 30 km/h?
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:35 PM   #49
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While I understand your point (and I usually complain about playground zones myself, living near one of the worst), you've decided arbitrarily what the acceptable limits are before you should get caught. You've decided that 42 in a 30 (40% over the speed limit) and 130 in a 110 (18% over the speed limit) are equally worthy of being pulled over. Why?

In the first case, you're right in that the likelihood of seeing a child playing in a playground zone in the dead of winter after dark is unlikely these days. However, setting a uniform time year round does have the benefit of removing any doubt of when you should be going slower. In your specific example, we're not going to be able to see black ice on the road at -25 at night, so I wouldn't want to bet on that in the rare case a kid is actually out there.

In the second case, people's opinions on what is safe on a highway differ drastically. Many people on this forum would say 140 is where things get hairy, but really...at 110 and up, good luck stopping quick enough on a congested Highway 2 when there's an accident in front of you. The only real difference in examples is that you're crashing into a vehicle designed to absorb impacts, instead of potentially a human being in a playground zone who can't take a hit from a car.
Decided might be a bit strong. More like, made up numbers off the top of my head. And I'll be the first to admit I can be a major hypocrite. I get frustrated quite easily when I see someone fly through a 30 zone (at speeds obviously way too fast, like 60+). And I prefaced what I said by saying I don't have a better alternative. I know why the zones are they way they are year round and that changing it up can be confusing and/or costly.

But you can't tell me there aren't times you're surprised at your speed? Whether you're going faster or slower than you thought you were? Maybe it's fatigue level; driving a vehicle you don't normally drive; hell, even different footwear. It happens. Being locked on a speedometer isn't safe either.

Whatever. I'm going to pay my ticket without challenging it. And it sounds like investing in a detector might be useless now. So I'll continue to drive as I feel safe and comfortable according to conditions and traffic, and I guess occasionally get the odd speeding ticket. Weird I never get one for slowing down traffic nor have ever heard of anyone else getting one - equally dangerous and against the law but I guess that kind of safety is ignorable.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:12 AM   #50
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Is your face buried in your dashboard in playground zones because it's so difficult to stay at 30 km/h?
Not at all, and I don't find that a huge problem.

But the guy going 60km/h in the playground zone, are his eyes glued to the parked cars because he knows there is a good chance of radar? Are they as likely to see a kid or animal jump out form the other side of the road?

I agree with you on the motorcycle noise issue too.

I'm not saying people that engage in these behaviors aren't reckless idiots. I'm saying that we don't improve safety by just saying "stop being a reckless idiot".

I think there are lots of ways to combat this. For one, I wish residential streets were built narrower in Calgary. It's pretty rare to find someone going 50km/h on an extremely narrow street. Design safety into things.

I guess the point is, so you find mobile photo radar increases or decreases road safety? Or neither?

If the answer is neither or decreases, would other things like permanent speed cameras, differently designed roads etc do a better job?

I don't think photo radar is the devil and killing children, I just really don't think its doing much to help anything besides generating income, and I wish things were done out of a safety motive instead.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:49 AM   #51
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If we really wanted to increase safety in playground/school zones we'd have the signs with the flashing lights that turn on for the time when the zone is active. Then we could have sane times, and different settings for different seasons and weekends. Our current blanket everything is a playground zone is silly.


But this would make sense.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:23 AM   #52
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Glad to see this thread back, not so much to see that it's now to debate the tired old holier-than-thou "Why don't you just do the speed limit?" quip that pops up every time this subject is mentioned.

I am interested to hear if there are any new developments on the laser jammer front. Might be picking one up this spring, and a new detector as well.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:39 PM   #53
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Glad to see this thread back, not so much to see that it's now to debate the tired old holier-than-thou "Why don't you just do the speed limit?" quip that pops up every time this subject is mentioned.

I am interested to hear if there are any new developments on the laser jammer front. Might be picking one up this spring, and a new detector as well.
I'll admit it wasn't necessary of me to butt into this thread with my comment. I wasn't a fan of the argument of safety being twisted towards something I felt wasn't as big an issue as it was being made out to be (accommodating speeding drivers eyes glued to parked cars), and it got to me.
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