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    Thread: America could use these cameras too

    1. Member
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      12-03-2019 09:56 AM #1


      Even though I've never been nailed by one & probably never will, I can understand sometimes why people might have their problems with red light cameras. On the other hand, I'll find it hard to feel any sympathy, empathy, etc. if they ever got nailed by these cameras that detect cell phones. I understand how scary this might be when you think that big brother is watching you but since you dug your own grave, I'm happy to see him watching you here.

      It’s not often that we notice anything Driving related from Australia. The land Down Under is home to strange things like Holdens and ‘roo bars, vehicles and accessories we thankfully don’t have (or need) here. But the state of New South Wales — home to the capital city of Sydney — just unveiled the world’s first cameras that can automatically detect if you cell-phoning while driving.

      Motor Mouth takes a look at how the system works, how effective the program will be, and not surprisingly (because it’s the government), the big whack of cash they’re going to raise.

      Australian rules
      Similar in concept to photo radar and red light cameras, Australia’s cell phone detection cameras use automatic high definition lens to peer inside your car. What’s different about iPhone detectors, however, is that the resultant images are then reviewed by artificial intelligence (AI) to ascertain whether you have a cell phone — or, at this initial stage, anything remotely iPhone-ish — in your hands while driving. If Big Brother determines there’s a possibility that you were indeed texting/surfing/hands-on calling, your file is then passed off to a human inspector who then confirms that the object AI detected you were holding — or indeed, under Australian law, just touching — was indeed a communications device. If so, the owner of the car is automatically found guilty.

      How the cameras work
      What’s unique about that the cell phone detection cameras is their resolution and their location. Unlike photo radar that simply need to be able to read a license plate, cell phone detection cameras have to be of high-enough resolution that AI can estimate that an iPhone was indeed in use. Said resolution also have to be sufficient that the image can be blown up so a human operator can unequivocally determine, again, that the object the drive is holding is a communication device.

      And, because the cameras have to peer into the cabin at a downward angle to catch said illicit communications, they’re all set up on overpasses. Indeed, according to lifehacker.com.au, because they have to capture photos into every vehicle travelling under said overpass, there’s one camera per lane. Which means that while the government claims the program’s goal is increased safety …

      We might want to follow the money
      According to the NSW Centre for Road Safety, the new cameras are “a component of the overall strategy to achieve the Government’s target of reducing road fatalities and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2021 (compared to 2008-2010 levels).” Sounds laudable, doesn’t it? Especially when it cites statistics that, in New South Wales alone, there have been 182 casualty crashes “involving a driver/rider using a hand-held mobile phone” in the last seven years. Horrible, right?

      Except that those crashes resulted in just 13 deaths. Yes, two per year. Digging a little deeper into the government’s calculations, it turns out that, in a pilot project conducted over six month prior to the Dec. 1 official implementation, 1.8 per cent of drivers were found to using their cell phones while driving. Now factor in that Australia’s mandarins say that the government’s goal is to take 135 million photos per year. Do the math and that’s almost 2.5 million offences per year. Keep your calculator out and multiply that by the AUD$344 (AUD$457 in school zones) fine. That’s $835 million Down Under bucks, or $760 million in Loonies. Per year. Am I the only cynic wondering what is really motivating politicians — saving just two lives or three-quarters of a billion dollars?

      Lest you think I am over the top with the Big Brother insinuations …
      Not only does Australia hope to take $135 million cell phone-detecting pictures every year, within five years it hopes to have photographed every driver in the country. Revenue New South Wales says it has “strict obligations to ensure the personal information of NSW road users is protected in accordance with statutory requirements,” though hacking into government systems seems like child’s play theses days — Baltimore and Nunavut computers were ransomwared just this year, to name but a few.

      More frightening is that the cell-phone detection cameras join Australia’s photo radar and red light detection cameras. If you’re getting the impression that the Australian government is watching its citizens’ every kilometre, well, you’re not far off. And how big an epistemological jump is it that the data being collected might be someday used to ban driving altogether, the only way NSW’s Centre for Road Safety can possibly guarantee its secondary goal for this program — reducing casualties to “zero by 2056”?

      If you’re not guilty, you might have to snitch out your wife
      Or you kid. Like all such automatic fine systems, the problematic legality here is that there is no proof that the registered owner of the vehicle is behind the wheel; the angle of the camera makes it difficult to capture the faces of all but the shortest driver. Such “guilty until proven innocent” jurisprudence, of course, rankles constitutional experts and civil rights activists.

      The Australian government’s solution — and guys, if this doesn’t convince you that Big Brotherism is truly upon us, nothing will — is to let you rat out someone else. Officially, Australian legalese calls it “nominating” as in, “the legislation allows the registered operator (owner) of the vehicle to nominate the person responsible for the offence.”

      Methinks “Honey, were you driving my car last Thursday?” just became grounds for divorce.

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    3. I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!! patrikman's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:04 AM #2
      The last thing we need is more cameras, I don’t care what they are trying to “solve.”
      this signature kills fascists.

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    4. Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:11 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      The last thing we need is more cameras, I don’t care what they are trying to “solve.”
      Yup.

      Increase penalties and enforcement by police, the same result would be accomplished.

    5. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:15 AM #4
      I agree that more needs to be done to punish cell phone users, but this isn't the answer.

      I want to know how it determines that you deserve a citation, and how solid the logic is.

      What if I have a candy bar in my lap?
      I keep up with traffic with only 90 hp. What's your superpower?
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      12-03-2019 10:20 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green View Post
      I agree that more needs to be done to punish cell phone users, but this isn't the answer.
      The only way you're going to be able to punish them is to detect them in the first place, which is all the more reason these cameras are needed.


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      12-03-2019 10:28 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      The only way you're going to be able to punish them is to detect them in the first place, which is all the more reason these cameras are needed.
      Did you even read the second half of the article you posted? MORE than enough reason NOT to have them.
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    8. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:31 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      The only way you're going to be able to punish them is to detect them in the first place, which is all the more reason these cameras are needed.
      My hatred of cell phone users doesn't change the fact that the lowly subjects still deserve due process.
      This isn't a radar gun in a box that is simple and trusted technology (that STILL makes mistakes). This is going to give out a lot of invalid tickets that innocent people will have to fight.
      I keep up with traffic with only 90 hp. What's your superpower?
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      12-03-2019 10:33 AM #8
      The only time more cameras are acceptable is when your boys at tri-lamb need some extra photos to win the fund raising portion of the Greek games.

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      12-03-2019 10:36 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green View Post
      My hatred of cell phone users doesn't change the fact that the lowly subjects still deserve due process.
      Fine, let them battle it out in court then, along with the drivers who were nailed by red light cameras too.

    11. 12-03-2019 10:38 AM #10
      More surveillance, the NSA approves.

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      12-03-2019 10:38 AM #11
      So many people are buried in their phones while driving it's stupid. There's no demographic it's everyone.

      Here in Philly the red light cameras are administered by a private company out of Arizona, they're paid off of each ticket written.
      That company, as part of their contract, also gets to shorten the duration of the yellow lights.
      It causes more accidents when people are expecting a certain amount of yellow and there's a fraction of it.

      Additional cameras and private companies getting paid to surveil us is a dangerously slippery slope my friends.

    13. Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:50 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Gitcha Sum View Post
      So many people are buried in their phones while driving it's stupid. There's no demographic it's everyone.

      Here in Philly the red light cameras are administered by a private company out of Arizona, they're paid off of each ticket written.
      That company, as part of their contract, also gets to shorten the duration of the yellow lights.
      It causes more accidents when people are expecting a certain amount of yellow and there's a fraction of it.

      Additional cameras and private companies getting paid to surveil us is a dangerously slippery slope my friends.
      Exactly.

      Unless private companies are somehow not involved -- expect outcomes like this every time.

      There's no reason a plain clothes cop couldn't stake out a few big intersections, or, ticket them on the highway.

    14. I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!! patrikman's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:54 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      Fine, let them battle it out in court then, along with the drivers who were nailed by red light cameras too.
      Guilty until proven innocent. Brilliant.
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      12-03-2019 10:59 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by CostcoPizza View Post
      Exactly.

      Unless private companies are somehow not involved -- expect outcomes like this every time.

      There's no reason a plain clothes cop couldn't stake out a few big intersections, or, ticket them on the highway.
      A cost accountant would certainly differ with you on that issue. Here in my parts, I'd rather have them investigate all the shootings and other forms of homicide. In fact we're already over the 500 mark this year, including a 7 year old girl who was shot dead while trick or treating. https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...565022112.html


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      12-03-2019 11:06 AM #15
      This thread is relative to what Cammisa was saying in his VW video. It's becoming scary to take a vehicle you love out on public roads. No one cares, they're all eating, putting on makeup, or on their cell phones. (Or all three)

      It bothers the hell out of me, especially since my commute is so far. I'm driving 46 miles one way, on two lane highway. Every. Single. Day. I have to honk and often swerve in order to avoid being hit head on. They're always on their phone.

      It's terrifying. I don't like cameras, but if it makes it easier to enforce the laws and actually get people to get off their phones, I'm all for it. Make the first offense $500 and a restricted license for 120 days. Second offense $2,000 and no license for six months. Third offense you get jail-time and lose license for two years.

      This is, at this point, scarier than drinking and driving. Simply because there are *so* many people doing it, who don't seem to understand the risk involved. "Oh it's just a phone"
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      12-03-2019 11:08 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      The only time more cameras are acceptable is when your boys at tri-lamb need some extra photos to win the fund raising portion of the Greek games.
      All you need to install them is a silencer on the drill. Nobody will ever know!
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    18. Member KevinC's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 12:17 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      America could use these cameras too

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    19. Geriatric Member absoluteczech's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 12:51 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      The last thing we need is more cameras, I don’t care what they are trying to “solve.”
      This. We don't need more surveillance.

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      12-03-2019 02:00 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by absoluteczech View Post
      This. We don't need more surveillance.
      While people keep ignoring signs like this & accidently kill your mother while texting and driving.


    21. Geriatric Member absoluteczech's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 02:04 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      While people keep ignoring signs like this & accidently kill your mother while texting and driving.

      Camera's wont stop it. Just like red camera's didnt fix the issue either, in fact accidents increased.

    22. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 02:12 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      While people keep ignoring signs like this & accidently kill your mother while texting and driving.
      "They never saw it coming!"
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      12-03-2019 02:13 PM #22
      If you want more cameras, London is calling.

      As for here, the less the better, no matter how convenient their use may seem.

    24. Member Elite_Deforce's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 02:16 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      Fine, let them battle it out in court then, along with the drivers who were nailed by red light cameras too.


      Sure, add more frivolous and time-wasting administrative items to an already-packed court docket.


      The real answer has been said time and time again, more enforcement, steeper fines. People*that still offend after racking up a couple of those tickets either don't care and have money to burn and will never change anyway. Suspend their licences.
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      12-03-2019 02:20 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by absoluteczech View Post
      Camera's wont stop it. Just like red camera's didnt fix the issue either, in fact accidents increased.
      They may have increased certain types of accidents but I believe in general they have decreased death and injuries.

    26. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 02:22 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      The real answer has been said time and time again, more enforcement, steeper fines. People*that still offend after racking up a couple of those tickets either don't care and have money to burn and will never change anyway. Suspend their licences.
      The enforcement has to be actual enforcement though.

      We live in an environment where with a little bit of cash (I'm not talking rich) most traffic enforcement fines don't deter much of anything. Take DUI's anymore, if you can afford a lawyer you can basically make the first one disappear with no major hiccups. Most people would concur that a DUI is a much worse offense than a cell phone ticket. Change that attitude, make people pay out the ass, make them live without a license for a while. Make the texting while driving a scarier ticket than DUI/DWI.
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