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PICList Thread
'[OT]: detecting emergency vehicles'
2004\06\14@123617 by Gus S.Calabrese

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Hello Gurus

I think that emergency vehicles are detected at
stoplights.  Is there a standard way this is done
that can be adapted to a PIC ?

Is emergency vehicle detection a patented process ?
Can anyone use it in a product ?

Gus S Calabrese
303.964.9670 vm   303.908.7716 cell no vm
http://www.omegadogs.com
4337 Raleigh St
Denver, CO 80212

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2004\06\14@124654 by Shawn Wilton

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They use a strobe light that flashes at a certain frequency.  Don't get
caught using it on a public vehicle is my only warning...


Gus S.Calabrese wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\14@125126 by Alex Harford

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www.detnews.com/2003/commuting/0310/26/a01-307303.htm

Are you trying to detect the vehicles or trigger the lights?

On Mon, Jun 14, 2004 at 10:34:34AM -0600, Gus S.Calabrese wrote:
> Hello Gurus
>
> I think that emergency vehicles are detected at
> stoplights.  Is there a standard way this is done
> that can be adapted to a PIC ?
>
> Is emergency vehicle detection a patented process ?
> Can anyone use it in a product ?

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2004\06\14@125953 by Edward Gisske

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Gus,

It was patented by 3M Safety and Security division  as the "Opticom" system
a long time ago. The detectors are the little black cylinders about 3" OD x
5" long with 1 or 2 snorkels coming out of them in a horizontal plane that
sit on top of the stop lights around fire stations. They respond to two
different frequencies of strobed infrared light pulse trains. One is for
emergency vehicles and the other one is for alderman and other less
important uses. Yes, I know the frequencies. No, I can't reveal them due to
a non-disclosure agreement. It is a pretty slick system (in all modesty),
and works up to 1/4 mile away.

Edward Gisske, P.E.
Gisske Engineering
608-523-1900
gisskespamspam_OUToffex.com

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@134635 by Shawn Wilton
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Those frequencies are extremely easy to find and iirc both are in the
double digits.


Edward Gisske wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@141749 by andrew n1yew

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I read somewhere you could do it with a video camera I thought... I'm sure
its not too tough =P

andrew
{Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@194704 by David VanHorn

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At 10:34 AM 6/14/2004 -0600, Gus S.Calabrese wrote:

>Hello Gurus
>
>I think that emergency vehicles are detected at
>stoplights.  Is there a standard way this is done
>that can be adapted to a PIC ?
>
>Is emergency vehicle detection a patented process ?
>Can anyone use it in a product ?

Been done.

IR strobe on the EV, to activate all red, or straight through green on the traffic light.

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2004\06\14@201812 by David Schmidt

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Since a lot of intersections have cameras to catch red light runners (at
least here in So. Calif), I wonder if they're also snapping pictures of
vehicles that activate the
green/red light sensors to catch abusers.

Dave

> IR strobe on the EV, to activate all red, or straight through green on the
traffic light.

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2004\06\14@203538 by Matthew Brush

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> IR strobe on the EV, to activate all red, or
> straight through green on the
> traffic light.

This is a good thread, I always wondered how they did
that, I just assumed it was RF.  Sounds easy enough to
build, not that I really need one, I'm pretty patient.

Peace



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2004\06\14@205913 by Shawn Wilton

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Pretty difficult to prove considering it works on IR.


Shawn Wilton
Junior in CpE
MicroBiologist

Phone: (503) 881-2707
Email: TakeThisOuTshawnEraseMEspamspam_OUTblack9.net

http://black9.net


David Schmidt wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\14@210123 by Robert B.

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Are you serious about the cameras on redlights comment?  I always thought
that was just a joke...  If you are, it sounds to me like Californians are
loooooooong past due for a tax-break.


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@210534 by David VanHorn

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At 05:58 PM 6/14/2004 -0700, Shawn Wilton wrote:

>Pretty difficult to prove considering it works on IR.

Near IR shows up nicely on solid state cameras.

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2004\06\14@224612 by Jason S

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> At 05:58 PM 6/14/2004 -0700, Shawn Wilton wrote:
>
> >Pretty difficult to prove considering it works on IR.
>
> Near IR shows up nicely on solid state cameras.
>

Not to mention that the picture is easily enough to get a search warrant to
check if the device is in the car.

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2004\06\14@234341 by Mike Reid

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For many years automated traffic lights have been controlled by
inductive loops buried in the street.  Here in Utah I've noticed that
most intersections now have cameras. I thought they were mainly for
catching speeders. My neighor owns an electrical contracting company
that installs most of the stop and go lights in the state. He said that
the cameras now monitor and control the traffic signals. It's all
software controlled. He also said that some community police departments
have access to the recorded video to use if there is an accident at an
intersection. He said that due to state laws here it cannot be used as a
photo cop system. The state outlawed that years ago.

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@234755 by David Schmidt

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Totally serious.  In fact I think my county (Ventura County) has the highest
number of these 'red light cameras' installed.
Studies have shown that lengthening the time a light turns yellow, plus the
time when one direction turns red before the other direction turns green
actually does more to save lives than these red light cameras, but where's
the money in that?
Dave

> Are you serious about the cameras on redlights comment?  I always thought
> that was just a joke...  If you are, it sounds to me like Californians are
> loooooooong past due for a tax-break.

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2004\06\14@235631 by Liam O'Hagan

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Consider yourselves lucky.

Here we have cameras that take your photo if you speed, run a red light,
drive in a bus lane, or (for heavy vehicles) drive for too long without a
break...

There's one particular stretch of road, and within 2 km it has 3 fixed speed
cameras. It's a 3 lane each way divided road with a speed limit of 40km/hr
(25mph). Each of the speed cameras is covered by a surveillance camera in
case someone tries to take it out. Some of the other fixed speed cameras
have surveillance cameras covering the surveillance cameras covering the
speed camera!

We're not the worst affected though, another state here has a 3km/hr
(1.8mph) tolerance in their cameras, we have 10% + 4 km/hr. Travelling at
110km/hr on the freeway, our cameras kick in at 125km/hr, the ones in the
other state start tagging people doing 113kmhr...

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\14@235834 by Robert B.

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These things are for *our* protection, and we should all unquestioningly
embrace having a 0.001% less chance of death by redlight.  On a side note,
in my hometown about 3 years ago they installed a trial one of these, but it
was continually shot out (I grew up in rural Kentucky).  I never realized
the idea caught on elsewhere...  I read a few online articles about it when
I realized it's for real and I find it disgustingly big-brotherish.  Maybe
its time to take another trip to the ol' gun shop.... you know.... just in
case.... whats that?  they're banning those too?!


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@003955 by Matthew Brush

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> big-brotherish.  Maybe
> its time to take another trip to the ol' gun
> shop.... you know.... just in
> case.... whats that?  they're banning those too?!

Finally a use for guns besides killing stuff.  I knew
there was a good purpose for them.



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2004\06\15@004409 by Robert Ussery

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{Quote hidden}

Jeez... And I thought we had it bad here in Colorado where the speed cameras
are mounted as mobile units. They don't trigger until about 8 MPH over the
limit. I've gone past 'em several times pushing 10 MPH over the limit, and
have yet to get photographed. Same with the cops here. They don't give a
damn as long as you're going less than 10 over the limit (assuming you're
driving normally otherwise - very little tolerance for sloppy or
discourteous driving).

The red light cameras are a different story. There are only a few of them in
town, but they have absolutely no mercy. The minute that light turns red,
you'd better be stopped short of the pedestrian crossing or well on the
other side of the intersection or they'll grab ya. I'm not sure if it's just
my imagination or not, but I think they shortened the yellow light period at
the intersections with the cameras.

Personally, I think these things are a safety hazard. I've seen several near
accidents where the guy in front sees the light turn yellow and threshold
brakes to stop in time, while the guy in the Suburban behind him realizes he
can't stop in time and floors it to get through the light before it changes.
Scary stuff. That's why they invented the folding license plate:
(http://www.miata.net/garage/swingplate.html) for Miatas at least <grin>.
Only moderately illegal, and sure saves some money on both tickets and car
repairs.

TTYL


- Robert

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2004\06\15@045159 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Robert Ussery [EraseMEuavsciencespamspamspamBeGoneFRII.COM]
>
>Jeez... And I thought we had it bad here in Colorado where the
>speed cameras are mounted as mobile units. They don't trigger
>until about 8 MPH over the limit. I've gone past 'em several
>times pushing 10 MPH over the limit, and have yet to get
>photographed. Same with the cops here. They don't give a damn
>as long as you're going less than 10 over the limit (assuming
>you're driving normally otherwise - very little tolerance for
>sloppy or discourteous driving).

In the UK we not only have thousands of fixed cameras, using either radar or
buried strips in the road, we have mobile units equipped with laser speed
dection that video any trangressors and send a Notice of Intended
Prosecution through the post based on the registration number of the car.

Then we have the really nasty one; SPECS, a system of automatic number plate
recognition that times cars over a fixed distance (i.e. can't just slow down
for the cameras).  The cameras are mounted way up on poles with powerfull
infra-red lights so they work at night.  Unfortunately the government are
brainwashing the population into believing that the only route to safe
driving is to drive slowly, never mind the fact that the number of accidents
involving cars considerably over the speed limit are in a very tiny
minority.

The only good and usefull bit of technology our police use (IMO) is a system
called ANPR (Automatice Number Plate Recognition).  This system is fitted to
many traffic police cars and continuously reads in number plates of
surrounding cars, fetches details of the cars owner and the vehicles
taxation and insurance status from a central database.  Not only does this
catch road tax dodgers and the uninsured, they have also caught many people
who have e.g. skipped bail.

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\15@072204 by Russell McMahon

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> These things are for *our* protection, and we should all unquestioningly
> embrace having a 0.001% less chance of death by redlight.  On a side note,
> in my hometown about 3 years ago they installed a trial one of these, but
it
> was continually shot out (I grew up in rural Kentucky).  I never realized
> the idea caught on elsewhere...  I read a few online articles about it
when
> I realized it's for real and I find it disgustingly big-brotherish.  Maybe
> its time to take another trip to the ol' gun shop.... you know.... just in
> case.... whats that?  they're banning those too?!

I feel a moralistic rave coming on.
But not one without good engineering foundation.
Fasten your seatbelts, set your cruise controls, we're off ....

After just having suggested offlist to one poster that he may be treading on
politically shaky ground (not that I care, it's not my stooge he was talking
about :-) ) , I'll
turn to a so far unproscribed area and add my 2 cents worth :-)

I often hear people waxing lyrical over the inequity of speed cameras, red
light cameras, traffic radar and traffic police in general. I do wonder what
such people (and there is of course a range of opinions) would feel
genuinely comfortable and happy with? No traffic rules? No speed limits*? -
or perhaps limits but no enforcement. Maybe limits with very wide
enforcement margins. (50 mph with 30 mph margin = typically 90 mph in town).
I also wonder what they would do that they don't do now to protect their
children under such utopian arrangements.

I note that there seems to be a correlation between speed capacity of
vehicle and probability of radar detectors being fitted. I am aware, of
course, that radar detectors are fitted by responsible drivers to improve
the safety of their driving (I just haven't worked out how that works yet).
I note that a more recent safety improvement is the fitting of GPS and
waypoint memory to radar detectors so that the driving may be even safer
again - and I also so far have not been able to muster the intellect
required to understand the no doubt simple mechanism by which this works.

Social contract (whatever that may mean in this age) says that we give
ourselves certain rights to kill a certain percentage of ourselves in
exchange for the rights to expect a certain level of protection from
ourselves. It's not as if there is some external authority who we are trying
to beat. We are dealing with ourselves. The whole basis for the engineering
of our environment stands on the social contract we have set ourselves. How
clean the air, how fast the cars, how good or how often the safety checks,
how polluted the food or how uncertain we are of what we are ingesting is
set
by ourselves. (We know that Mon$anto and their ilk will try and bend the
rules at every turn in some of these areas, but lets stick to road safety in
this diatribe.)

If we all, or a clear majority, feel that the limits we have set are too
restrictive, then we have the right and ability (in most countries at least)
to stand up
and say so and do something about it. If we think that more children should
die on city streets so that we can get home sooner, or if we think that
changing our driving behaviour won't change how many children die, or if we
think that enforcement mechanisms are inefficient or wrongly targeted,
then we have the right and the ability to do something about it. If we think
we'd rather have arguably safe nuclear power and leave the problems to our
children's children in place of unquestionably
unsafe coal power which gives us problems now then we have a right to do
something about it.

If instead we simply do what we wish, or attempt to, or wish to then we are
stealing, attempting to steal or wishing to steal the benefit of the agreed
social contract from ourselves - or from the portion of ourselves who don't.
If we ALL do this then it's just money in the government's coffers, and
SOMEBODY has to fund us, so who cares. (Less government-ers, tax is
theft-ers, enclave isolationists and others**  may stand up and be counted
here :-) ). And of course, more dead children all round, but if we all do it
then we have just modified the social contract and we're all happy.

The major problem is, that the child struck by the car which
would have been able to stop if it had been travelling at
agreed-social-contract mph, or the person broadsided by the "why shouldn't
I run late orange was-that-REALLY-red-officer? lights if I want to"
free-thinker is usually not the person who has bought into the social
contract initially. Each year the US kills more of its citizens in road
"accidents" than died in the whole Vietnam war, over 10 time as many as died
in "911" and far far more than will die in Afghanistan & Iraq, no matter how
many more
that may yet be. (43,000 auto fatalities USA 2003, almost 3,000,000
injuries.)
 (NHTSA early assessment for 2003 - interesting)
 (    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/PPT/2003EARelease.pdf  )

But, my constitutional rights, it's only done to fill government coffers,
everyone does it, radar
detectors for safety,...  & more mean that's not liable to reduce
appreciably
anytime soon.

For a little perspective, the US death rate per car is less than for France
and half as much as Portugal's. For a bit more perspective, the death rate
per capita (a more real measure) is worse than for France but not quite as
bad as Portugal or Greece. I suppose one could be proud of having a better
death record than Greece. Or Portugal. (Have you ever seen spectators at a
Portugese rally ? :-) !!!! ).
US fatalities per capita which are 2.5 times a high as UK suggests (only
suggests) that the
unreasonably strict tolerances on speeds on their motorways and their
obnoxious bobbies MAY just be doing something. So the USAites can laugh,
NZ's record is slightly WORSE per capita than the USA's.
_______________

Few people (even engineers) seem to appreciate how much more damage a car
travelling only "slightly" faster will typically do to a pedestrian.

Fatality rate (McMahon empirical formula) is approx

% killed = V^2/5000%     V in kph or
% killed = V^2/1800%     V in mph.

Above 100% death is essentially certain.
eg at 50 kph %death = 50^2/5000 = 50%
at 70 kph =~ 100%

A car travelling at 70 kph will kill about 50% of the ball chasing children
that the same car travelling at 50 kph just manages to stop for.

A car travelling at 60 kph will kill over 20% of the ball chasing children
that the same car travelling at 50 kph just manages to stop for.

What may not be intuitively obvious without having thought about it (even to
engineers) but which is obvious on reflection, is that if two identical
vehicles, which have a speed difference of V mph, start braking together,
then
when the slower one stops, the faster one will be still travelling at MORE
than V mph. Possibly much more. This is because the energy in the vehicle
accumulates with the square of the speed and the extra speed adds
substantially more than linear energy. As an example, two cars travelling at
70 & 50 kph start braking together. Assume that the brakes can remove energy
at a constant rate. In practice brake fade etc may make this assumption
invalid - which leads to a worse result. Car A at 50 kph has 50^2 = 2500
units of energy. Car B at 70 kph has 70^2 = 4900 units of energy. When car A
has just stopped car B has (4900-2500) = 2400 units of energy left so is
travelling at sqrt(2400) = 48+ kph (!!!!). ie A 70 kph car will hit at about
50 kph an object that a 50 kph car can just stop for !!!!. Reaction time
makes this worse as during reaction time car B travels further so has less
distance to brake in.

As covered in more detail below -

   Car A CANNOT kill the child which it just fails to hit.
   Car B will kill the child about 50% of the time.

There are some assumptions that vary the end result eg reaction time,
whether the car can decelerate at constant g or at constant energy reduction
rate or .... . Whatever the assumptions - if a 50 kph car JUST stops a 70
kph car will hit at around 50 kph - maybe more.
(Constant energy reduction should be a reasonable assumption. Unless you are
at maximum coefficient of friction point then brakes should be working as
hard as they can which should be a constant rate until they begin to fade.
At brake locking point the best that can be achieved is about 1g (depends on
car) so that could also be used as a best case assumption).

At 50 kph impact you kill 50^2/5000 = 50%
Hey - that's not so bad. 50% odd live!
But every dead child is one outside social contract. If you ever kill one in
such circumstances you should feel (as you are) responsible for the rest of
your life. There are, of course, ways to feel better about this.
Should have looked first, parents didn' bring them up to take care, they
KNOW people drive fast through here, they shouldn't have been allowed to
play with a ball on such a busy street, my car had superb performance and
excellent brakes and my reaction times are so swish hot that an ordinary
car/driver would have killed them anyway,... .

The social contract, as currently implemented, assumes that all drivers and
vehicles are equal. It gives good drivers and good vehicles a chance to
improve the safety of others. I would not like to bet that "good" drivers
with "good" cars only equal out the equation when they decide to make
themselves as dangerous as the average car/driver. The velocity^2 energy
rule brings the BMW into normal territory faster than most would realise.
(if YOU dispute this - do YOU believe the analysis above that says that 50%
of people that YOU would have just missed will die if YOU are doing 70
rather than 50?.)(If not, explain why).

Have I ever hit a person while driving a motor vehicle? Yes and no - I'd
laid the motorcycle on the road by the time I hit the running child - and I
wasn't speeding. And they weren't severely hurt. Still doesn't feel very
nice (for them or me :-) ).
Do I sometimes exceed posted speed limits? yes. Run the occasional red
light? - er,
yes. Make excuses for why I do it? No. It's indefensible.
Is it safe enough? - often, yes. Aren't there occasions when the posted
limits don't make sense? - yes, BUT when they don't make sense and then an
"accident" happens, it's no accident. But of course there are lots of
explanations.
How was I to know that there would be a kid there at that time in a
weekend?! - this place is ALWAYS deserted in weekends !!!
Who would have thought that anyone would have been coming through that
intersection at that time of night?
Hey! - I drive a BMW/Mustang/Lamborghini/Unimog :-) / Have been driving for
60 years/have a clean
record / am a Mason (where'd that come from) ...

Dead. My little girl is dead!? What happened???
Rerun above excuses.

And I wonder how many who feel utterly frustrated by tightly controlled
speed limits (like our British brethren seem to) have worked out how much
difference it actually makes to trip time to travel at say 100 kph versus
120 kph.  Or around town at 50 vs 60 or 70.

In Arizona I'm told that people cruise at 100 mph plus. Didn't see any. May
have been due to the spotter aircraft signs ?

But, I did like the autobahns * :-)


           Russell McMahon
           (who really hopes he won't now go & do something stupid in a car
and kill anyone  in the next while)


_______________________________

For a NZ article that explains that increased speed does NOT result in more
deaths, see

       http://www.investigatemagazine.com/july00speed.htm               :-)

______________

* In Germany on the autobahns there are indeed no speed limits. And it all
looked and felt very safe. When we were there last year, cruising at 130 -
140 kph (80-90 mph) we had people passing us at 100+ kph deltas (!). Sit in
the outside lane more than a few seconds too long at 130 kph and you have
a Mercedes glued on your rear bumper until you pull into the "slow" lane.
While there are no speed limits, there are definitely rules AND everyone
seems to abide by them. The roads are built to suit. When they do have
accidents, and of course they do, the probably have less problems with
getting people to hospital than we do here. Elsewhere in Germany there are
very strictly controlled speed limits - some quite conservative. Heavy
vehicles have their limits for each class of road displayed prominently on
the back so authorities can see at a glance whether they are doing as they
are intended to.

** I thought about saying "... other whingers ..." there, but I'll leave it
to the footnote readers to decide if that was wise :-) .

*** Congratulations if you got this far :-)

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2004\06\15@080022 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Russell McMahon [apptechSTOPspamspamspam_OUTPARADISE.NET.NZ]
>
>For a little perspective, the US death rate per car is less
>than for France and half as much as Portugal's. For a bit more
>perspective, the death rate per capita (a more real measure)
>is worse than for France but not quite as bad as Portugal or
>Greece. I suppose one could be proud of having a better death
>record than Greece. Or Portugal. (Have you ever seen
>spectators at a Portugese rally ? :-) !!!! ). US fatalities
>per capita which are 2.5 times a high as UK suggests (only
>suggests) that the
>unreasonably strict tolerances on speeds on their motorways
>and their obnoxious bobbies MAY just be doing something. So
>the USAites can laugh, NZ's record is slightly WORSE per
>capita than the USA's.

Unfortunately the UK's previous excellent road safety record is no longer
so.  Our road death rate was falling every year from sometime in the 1950's
to around 1993, whereupon it leveled out, and now remains at around 2400 pa.
A quick look at the goverments road saftey policy reveals that at exactly
this time, they started their unjustified crusade against motorists, and
speed camera use started to become widespread.  Along with the increase in
the number of cameras has come a significant decrease in the numbers of
traffic police.  In their naivety, the government appear to think that a
speed camera can replace a police officer.  This policy, guided by narrow
minds and utter stupidity is actually costing us lives.  Testement to this
is the now record number of drunk drivers, uninsured/unlicensed drivers and
unroadworthy cars on UK roads.  A secondary effect is the disgust and
general alienation of the police by the majority of UK motoring public.
Penalty points on the licence, and speeding fines are now virtualy an
accepted way of life.  Even insurance companies do not load premiums for
minor speeding offences.

For an excellent summary of how attacking "speed" as the primary cause of
road accidents will backfire massively, take a look at
http://www.safespeed.org.uk

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\15@085455 by Brian Clewer

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Mike, I see your point here, but I think there is one think motorists don't
think of.  That is the formula for kinetic energy is   1/2Mass times
Velocity squared.

If you hit a person and you are going 30mph, you will do a certain amount of
damage, lets say 30 squared is 900.  If you are going 35mph the damage goes
up 36 percent to 1225...

I am not saying I have never broken the speed limit, but 5 mph over the
limit is enough to easily kill someone, rather than just break their legs.
Or if you put it another way, you have to get rid of 36% more energy to stop
the vehicle from hitting someone.

Brian.



{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@094139 by David VanHorn

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>
>I note that there seems to be a correlation between speed capacity of
>vehicle and probability of radar detectors being fitted. I am aware, of
>course, that radar detectors are fitted by responsible drivers to improve the safety of their driving (I just haven't worked out how that works yet).

I have one in my large dangerous SUV (The one I use for storm spotting, part of the effort that certifies our county as "storm-ready" and gets everyone in the county a discount on their insurance. I also use it to take patients to dialysis during winter storms, freeing up ambulance crews that would otherwise be unavailable, and for my volunteer work with county emergency management.)

I haven't had a moving violation (or any other sort) since "disco duck" was in the top-10.  Back in the 70's, I had three tickets for speeding.
One, for 22 in a 20 zone (I confused the tach with the speedo in my alpha) One for speeding while passing a bus, which had been running way under the limit on a 2 lane highway for a very long time, and one when I was not speeding, under conditions that seem insane to this engineer (over a hill, around a bend, singled out in five lanes of traffic)..

Since then, I've had a habit of watching how and where speed traps are deployed.

What frosts me, is how the focus of speed enforcement is tilted almost entirely at revenue enhancement, and not a bit on road safety or plain old law enforcement.

IMHO, if the sign says "55" then you should be looking at a ticket at 60, allowing some margin for speedo error.
Then again, I used to live on a military base, where the limit was 20, and they ticketed at 22.  When I went to driver's ed, I was taught that this was a "do not exceed" number, and that it was the driver's responsibility not to exceed it.

Why do I have a radar/laser/traffic safety detector?
Because it amuses me to do so.

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2004\06\15@094140 by David VanHorn

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> Even insurance companies do not load premiums for
>minor speeding offences.

Boy, there's a major clue that there's no correlation.
I've never seen an insurance company pass up an opportunity to charge more, or deny a claim.

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2004\06\15@100313 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Brian,

Unfortunately that is the only thing that the government DO think of.  They
are speed obsessed, but all that formula proves is that *if* you do hit
something whilst speeding, it's going to be worse.  At the end of the day
it's a balance, drive too quickly, hit something and probably cause deaths,
drive too slowly, attention wanders, hit something, serious injuries or
deaths.  Drive at the right speed, minimise the risk of hitting anything.

The money they are spending on speed cameras, would be far more worthwhile
in implementing a training/education for drivers and pedestrians (who are
hardly blameless, at least in the UK).  The problem on our roads is the
quality of driving, not the speed.

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\15@100315 by Anthony Toft

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> For an excellent summary of how attacking "speed" as the primary cause of
> road accidents will backfire massively, take a look at
> http://www.safespeed.org.uk

OR take a look at Central Florida drivers...

<rant>
Last year my folks came over to see me (I am ex-pat) and the two pieces of
advise I gave my Dad was...

     1) Green _does not_ mean go, it means proceed with _EXTREME_ caution
        because around here..

     2) Red does not mean stop.

The reason (I beleive) is that unless you are involved in an accident, you WILL
NOT get anything worse than a speeding ticket. I mean, for crying out loud it's
an offence (in most states) to drive without a seatbelt on (the one part of the
car that's specific role is to save your butt in a wreck) yet, if you aren't
wearing it, the cop can't stop you.

So in the end everyone's insurance goes up, I pay $1100 for 6 months on two cars
for bare minimum insurance.

</rant>

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2004\06\15@102737 by Michael Olson

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> I often hear people waxing lyrical over the inequity of speed cameras, red
> light cameras, traffic radar and traffic police in general. I do wonder what
> such people (and there is of course a range of opinions) would feel
> genuinely comfortable and happy with? No traffic rules? No speed limits*? -
> or perhaps limits but no enforcement. Maybe limits with very wide
> enforcement margins. (50 mph with 30 mph margin = typically 90 mph in town).
> I also wonder what they would do that they don't do now to protect their
> children under such utopian arrangements.

I think you are mischaracterizing the oppositions arguments here. It inot
that we feel that enforcement is a bad thing, it's that we feel
enforcement and regulations are being set up to generate revenue rather
than enforce the law.

Really. I'm all for improving traffic safty, but why not:
1) Fix the light timings. (cheaper)
2) Target dangerous intersections with the camera lights. (Seems more
  effective to me.)
3) Do studies to make sure you havn't just relocated all the accidents a few
  feet away from the lights?

I also object on general principle to having corporations involved in law
enforcement. These things should be run by the Town/City/State that has
them.

As for RADAR detectors, never had one, and only had two speeding tickets.
And I am called gramps by some of my co-workers because I generally
don't speed.

One for doing 65 in a 55 in OH. I drove right past the cop blithely
thinking I was doing the speed limit, my fault, should have paid better
attention to the signs, I'd just gotten used to the 65 MPH speed limit
dominant on most of my trip. Fair enough. I paid it.

The other however, was just wrong. I was going over a hill in West
Virginia and as I came over it the speed limit dropped 20MPH and there was
a cop at the bottom. He got me for 8 over. The ticket had a web site on it
where I could pay with my choice of credit card. I've seriously considered
getting a RADAR detector for travelling out of state since that happened.

It seems wrong to me also, to focus on ticketing travellers and tourists.
For instance in the VA papers we are often warned of upcoming speeding and
safty belt crack downs on certain heavily used by tourist roads. Why are
you warning us? Also, I've noticed that people with out of state tags seem
to be targeted by our city police (who are also well known for pulling
people going through yellow lights, never happened to me but I've seen it
happen right in front of me twice, I tend to go slow approaching
intersections here in case it goes yellow). What is up with that? My
guess is they don't want people who can fight it in the courts.

These are the reasons people dislike traffic enforcment the way it's being
done today.

And for the kickers...

While all this is going on, the police leave the following stuff going in
my area.
1) Rampant speeding in Residential areas.
2) People driving (at serious speed) down the shoulders during traffic
  jams.
3) People disregard solid lines (especially in our bridge tunnels),
  HOV lanes, you name it. If it isn't a stop light, they disregard it.
  Put some cameras in tunnels and let the cops nab them on the other
  side.

Oh, and the final insult.

If someone is brutally speeding, tailgating etc.. Odds are good they're
one of the city police. (Asides from warning locals of enforcement times,
our State Police are pretty nice, perhaps to nice.)

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2004\06\15@113302 by Robert B.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Toft" <spamBeGonetoftatspamKILLspamCOWSHED.8M.COM>

> I  mean, for crying out loud it's
> an offence (in most states) to drive without a seatbelt on (the one part
of the
> car that's specific role is to save your butt in a wreck) yet, if you
aren't
> wearing it, the cop can't stop you.

I'm very thankful that they can't stop me if I choose not to wear a
seatbelt.  Government's job isn't to protect me from myself.  I wear one
anyway due to the obvious safety enhancements, but the idea of it being
mandated really rubs me wrong.  Now for children or non-adults I think its a
wise law to require them, so that they may some day grow old enough to make
their own decisions. But mandating a thinking, voting, draftable adult to do
something solely for the purpose of bettering roadside death statistics
seems like an over-reaching law to me.  By all means publish the studies,
issue safety alerts, or whatever else - just don't pass it into law.

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2004\06\15@114133 by Jake Anderson

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till you have a traffic accident
become brain damaged and a burden on society and those around you.
Or you get catapulted out of the car and die ruining the life of the other
person in the accident.
there are any number of reasons why seatbelts affect people other than those
wearing them.
my philosophy, you can do whatever you want so long as it dosent negativly
impact sombody else.
being a burden on society negativly impacts me though, keep that in mind


the government seems to need to legislate in cases where common sense proves
yet again to be not as common as we would hope.

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@115421 by Robert B.

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That is a good point, but hardly (imo) worth passing a law over.  Just in
case, I'll be sure to sign the organ donor thing on my DL, and put it in
writing to can me if I'm a veggie.  Along your line of reasoning, you could
make an argument for regulating any potentially dangerous (i.e. everything)
activity, too.  Where does it end?  I'd love to argue the finer points with
you but this probably isn't the best place, so maybe we can take it offlist?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <.....grooveeespam_OUTspamOPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
To: <TakeThisOuTPICLIST.....spamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 11:40 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> till you have a traffic accident
> become brain damaged and a burden on society and those around you.
> Or you get catapulted out of the car and die ruining the life of the other
> person in the accident.
> there are any number of reasons why seatbelts affect people other than
those
> wearing them.
> my philosophy, you can do whatever you want so long as it dosent negativly
> impact sombody else.
> being a burden on society negativly impacts me though, keep that in mind
>
>
> the government seems to need to legislate in cases where common sense
proves
> yet again to be not as common as we would hope.
>
> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@121629 by Robert Ussery

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pic microcontroller discussion list [TakeThisOuTPICLISTKILLspamspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]
>On Behalf Of Brian Clewer


>Mike, I see your point here, but I think there is one think motorists don't
>think of.  That is the formula for kinetic energy is   1/2Mass times
>Velocity squared.
>
>If you hit a person and you are going 30mph, you will do a certain amount
>of
>damage, lets say 30 squared is 900.  If you are going 35mph the damage goes
>up 36 percent to 1225...
>
>I am not saying I have never broken the speed limit, but 5 mph over the
>limit is enough to easily kill someone, rather than just break their legs.
>Or if you put it another way, you have to get rid of 36% more energy to
>stop
>the vehicle from hitting someone.

Your point is a good one, but it's often carried to an extreme. Let's face
it... realistically, driving will never be a safe activity. Even if all
speed limits were dropped to 20 or 30 miles an hour (can you imagine the
commute between Denver and Ft. Collins, where I live? 50 miles at 30 mph -
Yikes!), there would still be traffic deaths. At some point, I think we need
to say, you drive your car and take your chances. This may just be the
attitude of someone who drives a tiny car (Miata) in a world of SUV's
(Colorado) since I know that nearly any accident over a mild fender bender
will leave me seriously crippled or dead.

That said, I think reckless driving and other activities which needlessly
raise the risks of driving should be severely punished. Drunken driving,
sloppy driving, erratic driving, and careless driving should all be major
offenses. I personally like the way people drive here in Colorado. Everyone
is courteous, the majority of drivers are competent, use their signals, and
behave predictably. However, nearly everyone drives 10 mph over the speed
limit. The one type of speeding I have little or no tolerance for is the
person, usually from my age group, who absolutely *has* to be going at least
10 mph faster than everyone else, and is weaving in and out of traffic,
slamming on his brakes to avoid collisions, and behaving unpredictably.

I think the ultimate solution for all of this is increased training, and
recurrent training for at-risk groups (namely, young folks and old folks).
IMHO, defensive and performance driving classes should be strongly suggested
and rewarded by governments and insurance companies, if not actually
mandated for licensing. IMHO, even teaching simple techniques like threshold
braking would save many more lives each year than the hundreds of speed
cameras being installed.

Just my thoughts...


- Robert

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2004\06\15@122457 by Lindy Mayfield

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> till you have a traffic accident
> become brain damaged and a burden on society and those around
> you.

For me this line of reasoning isn't logical.  It is thinking that things done should be for the good of the whole (society) as opposed to everything for the good of the individual.  I think societal harmony lies in a careful balance between the two.  If I think to myself, is this good for me AND the people around me, then I come up with better decisions.

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2004\06\15@124120 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face
OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors? I'd
sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per
hour over the speed limit...

Harold

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2004\06\15@130928 by Robert Ussery

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pic microcontroller discussion list [.....PICLISTspamRemoveMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU]
>On Behalf Of Harold Hallikainen
>OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
>aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors? I'd
>sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per
>hour over the speed limit...

A cheap radar detector!
Many of the cheaper radar detectors are tripped by the unshielded
oscillating circuits of other cheap radar detectors. Fun!

- Robert

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2004\06\15@132601 by Dwayne Reid

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At 05:20 AM 6/15/2004, Russell McMahon wrote:

>I often hear people waxing lyrical over the inequity of speed cameras, red
>light cameras, traffic radar and traffic police in general.

I do *not* like or approve of either red-light cameras or
photo-radar.  What I'd much rather see is offenders pulled over and
ticketed on the spot.  This has several direct benefits:

1) Repeat offenders begin to acquire a deep-down understanding that if you
violate traffic laws, you have to pay.  You commit a violation - you know
you committed it, you get caught, you get lectured, you get ticketed.  Much
more effective than simply receiving a ticket in the mail several weeks
after the fact.

2) Repeat offenders who get ticked by police officers get to pay
substantially more insurance.  This does not happen with either photo-radar
or red light tickets because the registered owner of the vehicle is not
necessarily the driver at the time of the offence.

3) Repeat offenders who acquire too many offence points lose their driving
license.  Same as (2) above - no such penalty with either photo-radar or
red light cameras.

None of the above benefits occur (at least in Alberta, Canada) with either
red-light cameras or photo-radar.  As one person who habitually runs red
lights puts it: the red light ticket is just part of the cost of doing
business.  Quite frankly, that is the type of person who I'd like to see
removed from traffic.

One other interesting item: there recently was some controversy over the
fact that some 10 million dollars was going to be paid over a three year
period to some Texas firm as commissions or license fees for the
photo-radar and red light camera installations.  Why the hell isn't that
money being kept in the city to pay for more police officers who's sole
duty is to catch and ticket traffic offenders?  3 million dollars per year
pays for at least 30 extra police officers.  I'm quite sure they can bring
in ticket revenue exceeding their cost.  And if they do in fact manage to
get the habitual offenders to either mend their ways or lose their driving
privileges, all the better.

Finally: photo-radar and red-light cameras are perceived by the public at
large as a "cash cow" or revenue source rather than educational.  That is
most definitely not the case when a police officer taps on your window and
asks you if you know why you were pulled over and stopped.  The little 3
minute lecture you get before getting your ticket does make a lasting
impression.  It did for me and for everyone else that I've asked.

dwayne

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2004\06\15@134920 by Dwayne Reid

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At 10:41 AM 6/15/2004, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
>aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors? I'd
>sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per
>hour over the speed limit...

Do a web search for "trolling for tailgates".  What you are describing is
on-going serious fun for a few mental midgets on American highways.  I'm
seriously considering joining the party <grin>.

dwayne

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Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
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Celebrating 20 years of Engineering Innovation (1984 - 2004)
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2004\06\15@135336 by Shawn Wilton

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It's also quite illegal.

Dwayne Reid wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@135336 by Shawn Wilton

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Not to mention dangerous.

Dwayne Reid wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@135958 by David VanHorn

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At 09:41 AM 6/15/2004 -0700, Harold Hallikainen wrote:

>OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
>aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors? I'd sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit...

Most microwave door openers operate on the X and K bands, and are legal part 15 devices.  As a ham, I'm licensed for 1500W on very close bands.

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2004\06\15@140207 by David VanHorn

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At 11:48 AM 6/15/2004 -0600, Dwayne Reid wrote:

>At 10:41 AM 6/15/2004, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>>OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
>>aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors? I'd
>>sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per
>>hour over the speed limit...
>
>Do a web search for "trolling for tailgates".  What you are describing is
>on-going serious fun for a few mental midgets on American highways.  I'm
>seriously considering joining the party <grin>.

Laser guns emit IR pulsed for a few uS on, at a rep rate of around 100 Hz.

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2004\06\15@141243 by Fred Hillhouse

picon face
Reminds me a friend in the policing business driving a unmarked car. He
mentioned that he liked to play games with owners on radar detectors. He
would flip on the radar and trigger the detector; the driver would slow
down. Later, the driver would speed up. He would repeat the process as long
as he was around him. Once, a radar detector owner finally picked up the
detector and throw it out the window. He got stopped for littering and
throwing things from the car. He was let off though after he went back and
picked it up. Sounded like fun.



{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@143242 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yeah, we're all babies and need the government to play mommy....  or
maybe automobiles should be banned completely, along with any powered
vehicle and even bicycles.  maybe we should be locked inside our houses
and have food sent in by pneumatic tube...

life's a bitch!  freedom isn't free, part of the cost is always paid for
by others, part of the cost is always paid in blood.  frankly, i'd
rather pay in blood for my rights and liberties than have to spill blood
to get them back.  maintaining freedom is a lot cheaper than getting it
back later.  grow up.  the worlds a dangerous place.  you pick your dice
and throw them, adults should have the right to throw whatever set of
dice they prefer until it's grossly irresponsible and hazardous to
others, like drunk driving or building your own nuclear reactor in the
back yard.

please, i'm sick of the government trying to protect us from ourselves.
it's not their job.  the rightful role of government in a society that
claims to be a democracy and wants to move in that direction is to
protect the weak from the strong, the individual from corporations etc.,
not the other way around as it's becoming.  maybe you shouldn't be
allowed to have matches or solvents in your house, after all you could
start a fire that could spread to someone else's house.  yeah, it sucks
when the public has to pay for accident victims care in hospitals, but
it sucks a lot worse for the victim, get some perspective.

taking care of people with aids or hepatitis is expensive as well,
perhaps we should ban sex, we would certainly all be a lot safer.  maybe
cars shouldn't be allowed to go more than 5 mph and should have 2 foot
soft squishy bumpers all around.  everything you do potentially has some
negative impact on others, particularly the idiots that think it's your
fault when they worry or don't agree with your lifestyle.

hey, i'm honestly very, very annoyed by lawnmowers and am very allergic
to lawn clippings, it would be really nice if everyone had to mow the
lawn on the same day, it would have a lot less impact on me, but you
know i just don't think i have the right to force or expect that kind of
compliance.  if people mow randomly and there is usually someone mowing
on any given day it impacts me, if people were banned from having lawns
or had to mow them all the same day with sophisticated clipping/dust
collectors it would impact on them.  we all have to tolerate a little
inconvenience if we want to be free ourselves which inevitably has
negative impact on some.

perhaps electric power generation should be banned.  after all it
creates a lot of pollution which shortens lives of millions, and there
are those occasional railroad or other directly related activities that
kill people occasionally.

it's about balance, it's about having some respect for others.  it's
about realizing that different have different needs and susceptibilities
to harm from others choices, you just have to tolerate the cost
associated with freedom.

besides, the legal system in this country is a crock and getting worse
frankly.  there are good cops, good judges, and perhaps even good
prosecutors, but there are many, many more who are bad including some
who are truly out of control.  there are 3 major gangs in the U.S., the
crips, the bloods, and the badges, frankly the badges do the most
damage.  at the same time i'd like to see a lot more police on the
force, but they need to be better trained, more responsible for their
actions, and they need to worry about real problems.  things like
domestic violence that is still often ignored that does real damage to
individuals and society and leads to much death directly and indirectly.
we don't need more laws, we need some of the current laws to be
properly and aggressively enforced, and uniformly enforced independent
of who the victim and perpetrator are.

weighed against societies problems that law enforcement could actually
have a positive impact on things like speeding hardly warrant automated
and unsupervised systems.  we must not put "justice" in the hands of
machines and corporate america, unless we want massive corruption.
corporations try to rip people off all the time, they occasional
deliberately mis bill people's credit cards because many people won't
notice and they can steal some extra $$.  our satellite service has done
this, tried to charge us for pay per view movies that were never ordered
(the system isn't even connected to the phone line and we don't waste
money that way).  sure, if you complain they take off the fraudulent
charges, but a lot of people don't notice or don't fight it and get
ripped off.  frankly i think this kind of credit card fraud is rather
wide spread at a low level.  at the very least it temporarily helps
their cash flow and solvency, it can be a free signature loan until
contested and credited.

you really don't want to go down the road of taking away freedoms and
regulating everything to death just to save some health care or other
cost.  there's a balance ideally, and we are headed away from freedom
rather than towards it sadly.  honor those who fought for your freedom
by not giving those freedoms away or asking that they be taken from
others.  fascism usually starts slow, and then all of a sudden the
police are randomly searching any house or person they want and holding
people in secret locations without even allowing them access to a
lawyer, i.e. what our wonderful government is doing right now.  i
believe in the constitution, bill of rights, and the declaration of
independence.  i'd like to see more law makers caring about this
countries origins and a more enlightened public.  more enlightened about
the many historical and ongoing abuses of power that have and are
happening here, now.  go ahead, stick your head in the sand, just don't
be surprised when someone comes up behind you and pulls your pants down...

and i'd like to see more enforcement of many of the driving laws, but it
has to be done by people, those people have to be responsible and
accountable.  there has to be proof and a witness, not some automated
system that's easily corrupted or abused (just think about it, if a
company becomes responsible for issuing and collecting on all speeding
tickets the owners can speed at will, and others can be fined even when
not guilty, just to make a profit).

by legal definition corporations are fictitious persons, which is how
those who make decisions avoid liability for their acts.  a fictitious
person, a corporation has no soul and there for can not help but be evil
in the majority of cases.  lets not privatize government, lets actually
have government agencies doing their jobs rather than making others rich
and avoiding responsibility for the outcome.

Jake Anderson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@172046 by Jason S

flavicon
face
I'm kind of surprised that would be illegal, or at the very least enforced.
It's illegal to use a radar detector here, but in areas where they are
allowed, I can't imagine the police would like them.

If people do use devices to trigger radar detectors, it will make speeders
slow down, and all the false alarms will make them trust their radar
detector less, so they're more likely to still be caught by police.

Both results seem to be things the police (if not the politicians) would
like to encourage.


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@180844 by Shawn Wilton

flavicon
face
www.hooverfence.com/catalog/entry_systems/fs2000.htm
yarchive.net/security/traffic_light_sensors.html
www.svbxlabs.com/pages/projects/opticom/
http://www.plans-kits.com/kits/

Seems to be 10 and 14 hz.  YMMV though.



Edward Gisske wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@183132 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> >OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
> >aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors?
I'd
> >sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles per
> >hour over the speed limit...
>
> Do a web search for "trolling for tailgates".  What you are describing is
> on-going serious fun for a few mental midgets on American highways.  I'm
> seriously considering joining the party <grin>.

One Google hit :-(. But enough :-)

Search on Zapper radar detector
Care needs to be taken to ensure these are run legally.

       RM

__________________________

General info & discussion at.

       http://exo.com/~rbarron/zapper.html

Note his interesting 4 point summary of the pros and cons of this argument.

One such device is called 'The Zapper"

June 1995 Popular Electronics has a build it yourself article.

One user refers to these as "brakelight controls". Point the "remote" at a
car that has passed you and watch the brake lights come on.
Other advice - do not use while the 18 wheeler is passing you - they tend to
dive in on top of you.

_________________________

Here's a NZ article on attempts to jam NZ traffic radars ! :-)

       http://www.radar.co.nz/nz/report8.html

They say: In the last 12 months we have had a number of very distressed
customers that have purchased, then brought their Phantom, Phazer, VRCD and
Mirage 2001 radar jammers to us to test against our own Hawk and Hand gun
radars, only to be shown that their jammer is useless.

and:
There are no Radar Jammers that jam to-days digital mobile or camera radar."

Some traffic radars have jammer detection alerts. Just imagine the reception
such cars get :-)

__________________________

"MEDICAL" Zapper
Note that there is also a fringe / alternative medicine device of the same
name.
All it does is apply phase shifted squarewaves to two electrodes.
While at first glance it strongly SEEMS to fall into the kooky use of
electronics class, there also just MAY be something in it.
Outline, including two construction articles. (Why is the 555 etc on the
OUTISDE of the box ? :-) )

       http://www.newtreatments.org/doc/Energy%20Healing/61

           (The energy/healing gives a clue BUT ... ? )

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2004\06\15@184857 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> >> OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
> >> aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar detectors?

> > Do a web search for "trolling for tailgates".  What you are describing
is
> > on-going serious fun for a few mental midgets on American highways.  I'm
> > seriously considering joining the party <grin>.

> It's also quite illegal.

No. It is easily possible for such a device to be illegal.
But also possible to be legal.

Note that many radar detectors are superhets and radiate RF energy and yet
are still (perversely) legal. A radar detector jammer may radiate similar
energy levels and still interact with them. It's a matter of fitting in with
the applicable regs. Discussions on this available on web.

       RM

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2004\06\15@195749 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yeah, you can trip them by flashing your brights during the day and
possibly at night, though you are looking for a ticket that you
definitely deserve.  people who don't pull over for emergency vehicles
really upset me.  after all, someone's life may very well be at stake, 5
seconds may matter, most drivers can really spare the time to pull over
far more than the poor person in the meat wagon can tolerate the delay
of trying to get around idiots.  i'd love to see more police cars
trailing/escorting emergency vehicles and writing tickets, those are
tickets people justly deserve!  it's a far more serious and dangerous
crime than speeding a little.

Shawn Wilton wrote:
>
> www.hooverfence.com/catalog/entry_systems/fs2000.htm
> yarchive.net/security/traffic_light_sensors.html
> www.svbxlabs.com/pages/projects/opticom/
> http://www.plans-kits.com/kits/
>
> Seems to be 10 and 14 hz.  YMMV though.
>
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2004\06\15@200521 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yeah, and when you cause an accident because someone slams on their
breaks without thinking, i really, really hope you get caught and sued!
you're F**king with people, you deserve the same in response.  yeah,
it's fun to mess with people, if you aren't the people, but it's
obnoxious and antisocial at best, and it does only cause more problems.
just imagine what happens when a car slams on his breaks before he
remembers a semi is tailgating him, that could easily be a fatal joke,
not very funny, but we are living in a grossly sick society.  be nice to
others, honestly it's far more rewarding.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@201348 by hilip Stortz

picon face
actually, there are approved devices that do similar things and they are
sometimes used in physical therapy.  you can distract muscles and stop
spasms, you can also greatly reduce minor pain.  i used one all the time
after my third back injury and even drove with the wires under my shirt,
two electrodes on the low back on two channels with the other end of the
circuit being an electrode on each hand by the thumb (at the acupressure
or acupuncture points, and those spots on the hand actually do become
tender when the back acts up, and pressing on them does make the back
hurt less, the brain is wired in some odd ways, there seems to be
serious cross talk).

very effective at reducing pain until after my last back injury (in
conjunction with muscle relaxants and pain meds), now the irritated
nerves are too deep for surface stimulus to get to very much.  you just
have to remember to always adjust the level of a given channel with the
hand on the other channel!  it's really hard to turn back down if you
accidentally bump it too high on the hand that's on the control!
unfortunately other than sometimes also helping muscle spasms they don't
seem to promote healing, but pain relief is important.  the insurance
company bought me mine and it's a nice one, well they finally bought me
a good one after 2 cheap ones failed within a month or so.  it actually
produces more complex wave forms than you mention, my favorite is pulses
at and increasing rate that then top out and drop back down in speed
every coupled of seconds, and there are other patterns depending on the
type of pain and the individual.  they are a simple circuit and just use
a transformer to isolate the output so you can have 2 or more
independent channels.

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2004\06\15@204506 by David VanHorn

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face
At 03:08 PM 6/15/2004 -0700, Shawn Wilton wrote:

>www.hooverfence.com/catalog/entry_systems/fs2000.htm
>yarchive.net/security/traffic_light_sensors.html
>www.svbxlabs.com/pages/projects/opticom/
>http://www.plans-kits.com/kits/
>
>Seems to be 10 and 14 hz.  YMMV though.

I found frequencies, but they were specified to four decimal places.

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2004\06\15@205337 by David VanHorn

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At 05:56 PM 6/15/2004 -0600, Philip Stortz wrote:

>yeah, you can trip them by flashing your brights during the day and
>possibly at night,

The activation frequency is very narrow, I seriously doubt it.

> i'd love to see more police cars
>trailing/escorting emergency vehicles and writing tickets, those are
>tickets people justly deserve!  it's a far more serious and dangerous
>crime than speeding a little.

I agree, and occasionally they get called in by the drivers, and picked up later by the cops.

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2004\06\15@213020 by Robert B.

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face
In Tennessee a few years ago along the Natchez highway the police had
installed multiple devices under bridges or behind signs to spew Ka-band
radar signals onto the roadway, doing pretty much what you're asking about.
It was effective for about, oh, the first 3 times you drove the route, then
it was mentally noted and very predictable.  I guess this application never
really caught on, since I haven't seen them around for quite a while.


Russell McMahon wrote:
> >
> > > >OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is anyone
> > > >aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer radar
detectors?
> > I'd
> > > >sure like to have one in my car as people pass me at 20 or 30 miles
per
> > > >hour over the speed limit...
> > >
> > > Do a web search for "trolling for tailgates".  What you are describing
is
> > > on-going serious fun for a few mental midgets on American highways.
I'm
{Quote hidden}

argument.
> >
> > One such device is called 'The Zapper"
> >
> > June 1995 Popular Electronics has a build it yourself article.
> >
> > One user refers to these as "brakelight controls". Point the "remote" at
a
> > car that has passed you and watch the brake lights come on.
> > Other advice - do not use while the 18 wheeler is passing you - they
tend to
> > dive in on top of you.
> ---------------
>
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2004\06\15@214301 by Herbert Graf

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> Totally serious.  In fact I think my county (Ventura County) has
> the highest
> number of these 'red light cameras' installed.
> Studies have shown that lengthening the time a light turns
> yellow, plus the
> time when one direction turns red before the other direction turns green
> actually does more to save lives than these red light cameras, but where's
> the money in that?

       I've never understood this "complaining" about red light cameras, photo
radar, etc. People scream "it's a cash cow" or "it's just another tax".
Well, to the first I respond: Of COURSE it's a cash cow, but if you do the
right thing all the time you'll never pay it (why are people complaining
about paying because THEY RAN A RED LIGHT. Why ARE they running red
lights????).

       To the second I answer: if all taxes were those you could avoid by doing
the right thing this world would be a far different place.

       I say bring on the photo radar, bring on the red light cameras. And yes, I
drive, every single day. TTYL

----------------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

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2004\06\15@220004 by Robert B.

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The main issues with photo-radar and stoplight cameras (in my book, at
least) are the privacy and accountability issues.  If I run a red-light or
speed and get caught, yeah sure pay the fine, whatever.  The reasons I'm
going to complain about automated systems are because they don't reliably
identify the perpetrator, they are *ripe* for abuse, they can't be used to
link the crime to the person, and because I think the $ could be better
spent elsewhere.  The basis of US law is centered around being innocent
until proven guilty, and these systems seem to bypass identifying the
vehicle operator and go straight to identifying and fining the vehicle owner
under a presumption of guilt.  The issue at large is not getting caught with
a hand in the cookie jar, its with the sacrifices made by society (and me)
in order to allow such automated data processing to take place.  It sounds
like the systems could be adapted to track vehicles or keep tabs on
suspicious people, and beyond a doubt puts way too much power at the
fingertips of any one person.  I'm not willing to sacrifice any of my
freedoms to tame a few speeders, and I hope I'm not the only one.  If so,
lets all just get barcodes and RFID tags implanted at birth.  I'll bet you
could really catch some speeders then!  Maybe even killers and rapists if
you looked at the data long enough...


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@221037 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In Tennessee a few years ago along the Natchez highway the police had
> installed multiple devices under bridges or behind signs to spew Ka-band
> radar signals onto the roadway, doing pretty much what you're asking
about.
> It was effective for about, oh, the first 3 times you drove the route,
then
> it was mentally noted and very predictable.  I guess this application
never
> really caught on, since I haven't seen them around for quite a while.

THEN you randomly and variably scatter real radar equipment with real
enforcement officers just past the static beacons and find out what speed
people really travel at when they aren't worried by nasty radar traps.
Entirely as a research exercise, of course.

       RM

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2004\06\15@223325 by David VanHorn

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At 09:43 PM 6/15/2004 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:

>> Totally serious.  In fact I think my county (Ventura County) has
>> the highest
>> number of these 'red light cameras' installed.
>> Studies have shown that lengthening the time a light turns
>> yellow, plus the
>> time when one direction turns red before the other direction turns green
>> actually does more to save lives than these red light cameras, but where's
>> the money in that?
>
>        I've never understood this "complaining" about red light cameras, photo
>radar, etc. People scream "it's a cash cow" or "it's just another tax".
>Well, to the first I respond: Of COURSE it's a cash cow, but if you do the
>right thing all the time you'll never pay it (why are people complaining
>about paying because THEY RAN A RED LIGHT. Why ARE they running red
>lights????).

Because the next thing that happens, is that they monkey with the yellow timing, making it shorter and shorter, so as to make more money.

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2004\06\15@223740 by Jake Anderson

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face
personally i think fixed speed cameras are a bit silly, everybody always
slows to go through them.
what i think is needed is massive wide spread booking for anything 5km over
the limit.
fine is $1 payable at a police station or somewhere equally inconvinent.
you would have near instant compliance i would think and it penalises rich
and poor alike.
those who are willfully drastically speeding can have their licence revoked
and if they keep it up their car sold with the money going somewhere
usefull.

people need to be aware that the cops are "everywhere" and that they are
watching. But at the same time its obviously *not* revenue raising.


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\15@224155 by hilip Stortz

picon face
they may be specified that way, but in practice they aren't.  remember,
the detectors have to work reliably over a wide temperature range, and
the flash sources have to work over a wide temperature range as well,
from a poorly regulated vehicle power supply and the flash is usually
generated by strobe lights.  i'd be very, very suprised if they actually
had only a 1% tolerance on the frequency in terms of what the detectors
will actually recognize.  also consider that this system has been around
for a long time, i think it was around when i started driving around
1980, and stoplight controllers etc. were not terribly sophisticated
then but these systems were available as add ons.  considering they are
put at all the major intersections they have to be reasonable priced.

given the abuse emergency vehicles have to take, and that they are
already expensive i doubt very much that the strobes are crystal
controlled, though they may at least be synchronized with each other.
also remember the value of disinformation to the manufacturers, they
want and need to deter people from cracking the system to cheat, and to
try and discourage competitors from making thier own compatible systems.
bogus specs that are widely available are a good way to send people
down the wrong path.  there's also the matter of how many correctly
timed flashes have to be detected, if it's only 3 or 4, or 4 out of 6
with correct timing you could do it by hand.

you can dial a pulse telephone by hand by banging on the hook, i've done
it and dialed 2 digits of a number for a computer from a terminal that
had a lock on it's phone so you "couldn't" dial 9 to get off campus and
make long distance calls.  phone pulses are at 10hz, and the dials have
governors to regulate the speed.  it's a pain to dial by hand, and it
would take real practice to dial 7 digits by hand, but i've done 2 out
of 7 with fair repeatability.  so if the frequency is 10 or 15 hz, doing
it by hand should be possible.  there may also be old systems and newer
systems with the newer systems being more sophisticated and harder to
cheat, they may even require 2 frequencies that have a phase locked
relationship.  but remember, cost and reliability are big issues, if
they didn't care about cost it could be done much more securely with rf
and much more consistantly (though it might be harder to spot cheaters,
but proving it would be a lot easier when you had thier magic box in
hand).

on the other hand, there is probably some need for the new systems to
work with the old ones, particularly when one cities
fire/police/ambulance services help out anothers.  i suspect it's not
that hard to cheat, though the person who claimed they could do it by
hand may have been lying or just mistaken (after all, the light could
have been about to change anyway).

best not to mess with this system unless you have a good reason, most
juries and judges would rightly hang you out to dry if you were caught.

David VanHorn wrote:
>
> At 05:56 PM 6/15/2004 -0600, Philip Stortz wrote:
>
> >yeah, you can trip them by flashing your brights during the day and
> >possibly at night,
>
> The activation frequency is very narrow, I seriously doubt it.
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2004\06\15@225855 by hilip Stortz

picon face
you've conveniently forgotten a large part of the argument, the part
about privacy, abuse, and corruption.  may you find yourself at the
wrong end of the abuse of discretion some day, and hopefully you'll
learn something from it.  and you are also obviously far too perfect a
person to be tolerated, the kind of person whom when something does
finally go kapluey in their life goes completely nuts, i hope i'm not nearby.



Herbert Graf wrote:
--------
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@231518 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>you can dial a pulse telephone by hand by banging on the hook, i've done
>it and dialed 2 digits of a number for a computer from a terminal that
>had a lock on it's phone so you "couldn't" dial 9 to get off campus and
>make long distance calls.  phone pulses are at 10hz, and the dials have
>governors to regulate the speed.  it's a pain to dial by hand, and it
>would take real practice to dial 7 digits by hand, but i've done 2 out
>of 7 with fair repeatability.

I've done 7 out of 7 repeatably, but look up the tolerances.
Pulse dialing cadence is very forgiving.


>  so if the frequency is 10 or 15 hz, doing
>it by hand should be possible.  there may also be old systems and newer
>systems with the newer systems being more sophisticated and harder to
>cheat, they may even require 2 frequencies that have a phase locked
>relationship.

The current systems are coded to recognize many individual IDs.


>best not to mess with this system unless you have a good reason, most
>juries and judges would rightly hang you out to dry if you were caught.

I agree. You'll note that I never gave any frequencies?

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2004\06\15@235836 by hilip Stortz

picon face
you are kidding right?  or are you just blissfully ignorant?  it would
not punish the rich equally, the rich have chauffeurs, and the
chauffeurs would be the ones driving, also interestingly, in colorado
chauffeur licenses have twice as many points as an ordinary license,
though they need a regular license for when they aren't actually
chauffeuring, meaning the rich can afford to have someone else speed
more than you can afford to speed or violate other traffic laws.

secondly, yeah, and the death penalty would be even more effective, but
it still wouldn't be right.  you don't get to cause people an
arbitrarily large amount of inconvenience for violating minor laws,
which is what speeding laws are.  most studies have concluded that speed
differentials are dangerous, but going a little faster isn't that
dangerous.  also, here in the u.s. and probably in most places, city
streets are deliberately assigned a speed limit 5 mph slower than the
traffic guys think is reasonable on the assumption that many people will
speed by about 5 mph, thus ensuring it's still relatively safe since
most people still aren't going too fast for the road.

those who speed repeatedly in this country do lose their license to
drive.  while some drive without a license, the penalties do go up steeply.

and what's your solution if they don't happen to own the car they are
using?  what if they borrowed the car from someone who didn't know they
didn't have a license (you'd have to be pretty stupid to let an
unlicensed friend borrow your car, though like all stupid things it does happen).

can you be a little less simplistic?  are you 12 or 13?  or have you
just not experienced much in life?  i'm 41, and i've experienced a lot,
including seeing a lot of stupidity and occasionally being stupid myself.

far, far more serious a problem than speeding is people going too fast
for conditions, speeding down the snowy possibly icy highway, driving
too fast in fog when they can barely tell where the lane is, these are
the things that lead to serious accidents, not going a little faster
than you are supposed to down the highway or most city streets, though
obviously people should take speeding in residential areas more seriously.

Jake Anderson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@001026 by hilip Stortz

picon face
well, the recognition of many codes may well be why someone was able to
fool it, since it increases the number of success verses failure
outcomes, and i do believe there is still an older, simpler system
around, or perhaps that some have been loosend up as equipment aged.
such often happens on bill changers, i.e. the technician or owner
loosens the tolerances as they feel safe because of where the machine is
at or the "class" of people who usually use it and wants it to stop
rejecting some of their perfectly good money and costing them sales.  of
course they usually find it full of photocopies one day, as most people
who try that don't do it just once to a machine, when they find a
machine they fill it with paper and empty it of metal.  i do more or
less agree with your not posting of the frequencies, more or less, then
again if it became a big problem i'd want it cracked down on.

David VanHorn wrote:
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2004\06\16@001638 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
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> can you be a little less simplistic?  are you 12 or 13?  or have you
> just not experienced much in life?  i'm 41, and i've experienced a lot,
> including seeing a lot of stupidity and occasionally being stupid myself.

This is called (sometimes) "slippery slope".
The end result is usually one or both of an interesting thread being
abruptly curtailed by the moderators and/or a flamer or two being thrown off
the list (rightly or wrongly).

I suggest that such Ad Hominem attacks, whether posed as conceivably valid
questions, or more openly couched, be avoided.
This is an interesting subject (to some anyway) and it would be a shame to
see it die for the wrong reasons.


       Russell McMahon

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2004\06\16@005414 by hilip Stortz

picon face
you are indeed correct, sorry for the excessive zeal.  i do prefer to
avoid flames and engage in intelligent discourse.

Russell McMahon wrote:
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2004\06\16@011640 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
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<- tries out inline replies
yay me ;->


> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [@spam@PICLISTRemoveMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Philip Stortz
> Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 1:58 PM
> To: EraseMEPICLISTspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles
>
>
> you are kidding right?  or are you just blissfully ignorant?

no i'm not, eh a little ignorance is good for the soul

> it would
> not punish the rich equally, the rich have chauffeurs,

nothing us mere mortals devise will work against the people with that level
of money.
by rich i mean the person on $100k a year and by poor i mean the starving
student.
hell if anything it would harm the rich person more because as a rule their
time and schedule are more important.

> and the
> chauffeurs would be the ones driving, also interestingly, in colorado
> chauffeur licenses have twice as many points as an ordinary license,

I have thaught about this before, here interstate truck drivers have the
same points as ordinary drivers (afaikr, though its more stringent even when
they arent driving a truck). I am unsure of the answer these people drive
much more than we do, so odds are they will have more minor oopses than we
do. by the same token they are meant to be profesional drivers so they
shouldnt be making the mistakes...
all the solutions i come up with wind up being complicated with multi tiered
points systems and the like

> though they need a regular license for when they aren't actually
> chauffeuring, meaning the rich can afford to have someone else speed
> more than you can afford to speed or violate other traffic laws.
>
> secondly, yeah, and the death penalty would be even more effective,

well if you want to get silly about things yes i spose it would

> but
> it still wouldn't be right.

no it wouldnt be, which is why it'd be silly

> you don't get to cause people an
> arbitrarily large amount of inconvenience for violating minor laws,

why not? people as a rule are driven by concequences. they *know* they are
breaking the law, they *know* the punishment.
at the moment the punishment is too harsh to be handed out all the time
(well it is here anyway) and it dosent work on people with high incomes
untill they are about to loose their licence. (that one i have had much
first hand experience of). Something that takes time out of your day, makes
you wait in line, get disaproving looks from the person behind the desk etc
and has no real financial cost seems to be the most equitable way of doing
things. you could try singapores approach too, fines are a % of your yearly
wage, though a few years ago kerry packer paid around $32 in taxes so that
isnt what i call fair either.



> which is what speeding laws are.

Says you. anything that other people do to place my life at greater risk
without my permission is pretty important to me

> most studies have concluded that speed
> differentials are dangerous, but going a little faster isn't that
> dangerous.

great so everybody should just drive at the speed limit and there are no
problems

>  also, here in the u.s. and probably in most places, city
> streets are deliberately assigned a speed limit 5 mph slower than the
> traffic guys think is reasonable on the assumption that many people will
> speed by about 5 mph,

the reasonable assumption that people are going to break the law?

> thus ensuring it's still relatively safe since
> most people still aren't going too fast for the road.

that is just so wrong lol i dont really know how to reply to it.
"everybody does it so it must be ok" ?

> those who speed repeatedly in this country do lose their license to
> drive.  while some drive without a license, the penalties do go
> up steeply.
>
> and what's your solution if they don't happen to own the car they are
> using?

its happened to me, i was driving sombody elses car, thaught it was an 80
zone it was in fact a 60
got booked for doing 76 in an 80 zone. (now i do have an argument about
revenue raising here, in the photo you can actually see the 80km sign about
50 meters in front of me, that is pretty flagrant if you ask me, though it
was legal, i paid the fine $150 or so, which as a student hit me *hard*, but
our neighbour who was on 100k a year had 4 of them in about 3 months when he
got his new mx300 and it didnt bother him one bit (well till he had 2 points
left on his licence, after that he was a good little boy))

what happens is included in the envlope with the fine is a form in which you
say you wernt the driver and this person was, you send that back in and the
fine gets re-issued. if you want to argue about it it winds up in court.


> what if they borrowed the car from someone who didn't know they
> didn't have a license (you'd have to be pretty stupid to let an
> unlicensed friend borrow your car, though like all stupid things
> it does happen).

Then that person shouldnt have been driving the car, if the owner knew they
were unlicenced they would have some culpability, if not then they didnt,
give em a stern talking to.
I assume you are talking about selling the car? perhaps i was making
assumptions that you would fill in the specific case if i outlined the
general case.
there are exceptions to every rule. even speeding, i'm pretty sure your
allowed to do that here in case of a medical emergincy.

> can you be a little less simplistic?
why would i want to be? it takes a lot of work to come up with the simplest
solutions and they are generally the best.
especially when you are dealing with "people"

> are you 12 or 13?

21 actually

>  or have you
> just not experienced much in life?

thats entirley possible but this is sounding rather like a personal attack,
hopefully my faith that individual persons (as opposed to people) arent
prone to being petty, silly and otherwise daft, will override that feeling.

> i'm 41, and i've experienced a lot,
> including seeing a lot of stupidity and occasionally being stupid myself.

i have experienced my fair share of being stupid, i mean everybodys got to
be good at something

> far, far more serious a problem than speeding is people going too fast
> for conditions, speeding down the snowy possibly icy highway, driving
> too fast in fog when they can barely tell where the lane is, these are
> the things that lead to serious accidents, not going a little faster
> than you are supposed to down the highway or most city streets, though
> obviously people should take speeding in residential areas more seriously.

as was pointed out earlier KE = mv^2
a little faster = a whole lot more KE, and when you are in a SUV to start
with well.


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2004\06\16@015445 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
>
> > In Tennessee a few years ago along the Natchez highway the police had
> > installed multiple devices under bridges or behind signs to spew Ka-band
> > radar signals onto the roadway, doing pretty much what you're asking
> about.
> > It was effective for about, oh, the first 3 times you drove the route,
> then
> > it was mentally noted and very predictable.  I guess this application
> never
> > really caught on, since I haven't seen them around for quite a while.
>
> THEN you randomly and variably scatter real radar equipment with real
> enforcement officers just past the static beacons and find out what speed
> people really travel at when they aren't worried by nasty radar traps.
> Entirely as a research exercise, of course.

Our City police did exactly that.
The regularly set up a photoradar van, followed a short
distance down the road by a LIDAR gun. They do a booming
business as people speed up thinking they have passed the
'obvious' radar van.
The Cops have also taken to using their LIDAR gun from
parked City utility vehicles (e.g. dump truck), and
again do a booming business nailing people speeding through
a 'construction zone'.

Whatever it takes to make people slow down for safety.
The Cops recently clocked people doing 160km/hr in an 80
zone. That SHOULD be an automatic license suspension, but
it isn't, yet. It IS an automatic court appearance.

R

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2004\06\16@015652 by Shawn Wilton

flavicon
face
David VanHorn wrote:
> At 03:08 PM 6/15/2004 -0700, Shawn Wilton wrote:
>
>
>>www.hooverfence.com/catalog/entry_systems/fs2000.htm
>>yarchive.net/security/traffic_light_sensors.html
>>www.svbxlabs.com/pages/projects/opticom/
>>http://www.plans-kits.com/kits/
>>
>>Seems to be 10 and 14 hz.  YMMV though.
>
>
> I found frequencies, but they were specified to four decimal places.

Ok.  Would you like a pat on the back?  Or perhaps a treat?

>
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2004\06\16@025128 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004, at 22:13 US/Pacific, Jake Anderson wrote:

>> the rich have chauffeurs

So where do you draw the line for 'rich'?  I'm rich;  I have a fair
number of friends who are rich.  None of us have chauffeurs.   I get
very tired of everything being blamed on the rich...

Agatha Christie is supposed to have said that in her childhood she
never imagined she would be rich enough to own an automobile, or too
poor to afford servants.

Chauffeurs these days are a sign of someone trying to impress, not of
mere wealth...

BillW

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2004\06\16@030827 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Harold Hallikainen [@spam@haroldspam_OUTspam.....HALLIKAINEN.COM]
>Sent: 15 June 2004 17:42
>To: spamBeGonePICLISTEraseMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles
>
>
>OK, WAY off topic, but MAYBE it could be done with a PIC... Is
>anyone aware of a LEGAL transmitter that would trip consumer
>radar detectors? I'd sure like to have one in my car as people
>pass me at 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit...
>
>Harold


Why?  Have you decided that you want to be in law enforcement now?  Leave
that to the cops.

Mike




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2004\06\16@032545 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Philip Stortz [RemoveMEmadscientist.at.large@spam@spamspamBeGoneEARTHLINK.NET]
>Sent: 16 June 2004 04:58
>To: .....PICLIST@spam@spamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles
>
>far, far more serious a problem than speeding is people going
>too fast for conditions, speeding down the snowy possibly icy
>highway, driving too fast in fog when they can barely tell
>where the lane is, these are the things that lead to serious
>accidents, not going a little faster than you are supposed to
>down the highway or most city streets, though obviously people
>should take speeding in residential areas more seriously.

Finaly someone with the clarity of mind to see the real cause of accidents.
I fully agree with everything you have said in the thread (bar top posting
:)

Mike




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2004\06\16@045552 by hilip Stortz

picon face
sorry, it's late, but i'll reply.  first of all, here in the u.s., when
the national speed limit was temporarily 55 even on roads designed for
70, the fine in montana was something like a flat $5 until you exceeded
90 mph.  it worked very well.  i've never had a real problem with most
people speeding as long as they weren't being reckless as well, in which
case i don't care if they are following the limit.  now in most places,
if you double the speed limit they have to arrest you, and they always
have that option depending on how ridiculous your' speed was.  there is
also a charge of reckless driving which could be charged depending on
circumstances.  i don't know about the highways in australia, from what
little i've seen i gather some are not divided, i.e. both directions of
travel are only separated by a line, in the us., anything above 55 mph
is generally a divided highway, and the risk of someone making it
through the dividing trench and into opposing traffic is slim.

yes, most people do speed in the united states, hence the marking of
speed limits bellow what is safe for the low end of average driver to
compensate, and coincidentally (mostly because the police don't want to
go to court either) speeding by 5 mph or less is rarely ticketed.  yes,
i think a fine based on net worth, without a way to cheat would be a lot
more fair, for most crimes.  frankly, if it's on the highway and people
aren't' begin sloppy i don't mind speeding beyond that level, and the
police often ignore 10 mph over the limit, sometimes more but nobody
counts on that.  frankly, on divided highways, under low traffic
conditions like we usually have in wyoming i'd like to see the limit
raised.  in colorado to the south it's always busier, and 70 seems
reasonable on most highways.

in town, i agree people should definitely be held to stricter standards,
and that includes most careless and sloppy driving that you see all the
time, but the police don't worry about until there's an accident even
though it probably is a far better predictor of a problem driver headed
for an accident than a little speeding is.  it's a tough one.  frankly,
i don't think deterrence is always that effective, and enforcement is
always biased (at least here, i know relatively wealthy people who drive
older cars and are good drivers, and very politically conservative, and
even they say the police target people in older cars assuming lower
income).  in any case, the inconvenience of of going down town also
varies in it's impact greatly.  if someone has to take time off work, or
try to find a baby sitter, it's a big deal, if they are job hunting or a
student on vacation maybe it's not that big a deal.  fairness is always difficult.

Jake Anderson wrote:
>
> <- tries out inline replies
> yay me ;->
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@051045 by hilip Stortz

picon face
thanks, it's nice to know there is another highly intelligent, logical,
and observant person on this list, even if they don't agree with me on
everything (actually, i'd be alarmed if anyone ever agreed with me on
everything).  it's nice to know my mind is still usually fairly clear
these days, must not have had a headache today.

Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
>
> >{Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@053610 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 20:35:22 -0400, Matthew Brush wrote:

> > IR strobe on the EV, to activate all red, or
> > straight through green on the
> > traffic light.
>
> This is a good thread, I always wondered how they did
> that, I just assumed it was RF.  Sounds easy enough to
> build, not that I really need one, I'm pretty patient.

Here in Britain they did experiment with an RF-emitter
mounted under the front bumper, detected by a loop in
the road, but they found it wasn't very useful because
at a lot of lights there wasn't time to safely cycle
through to green, especially in towns, and because of
traffic levels it usually ended up with the emergency
vehicle trapped behind a queue of cars trying to work
out what to do to get out of the way at the sudden
green.  A contributing problem is that people develop a
feel for the rhythm of the lights, and an unexpected
change can catch them out.

Nowadays emergency vehicles tend to cross over to the
wrong side at traffic lights, because it gets them past
the queue and means they are head-on to traffic so
everyone can see each other - but they don't go against
the red "flat out" because of possible crossing traffic.

Incidentally, in the USA if it's common for emergency
vehicles to change the lights to green their way,
howcome so many "World's worst police videos" show the
suspect vehicle running a red light, just in front of
the police car?

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England.

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2004\06\16@054853 by hilip Stortz

picon face
actually, most of the systems change it to all red so no one is moving
(at least in my area, it's certainly possible or even likely that there
isn't a nation wide standard), which also takes care of people trying to
turn.  and if the chase vehicle has to follow someone who keeps turning
the system may not have time.  emergency vehicles here do pretty much
whatever they want, i was shocked once in denver on a one way 4 lane
street when a large fire engine was coming at me head on!  they usually
cross intersections here by going around on the wrong side as well, it
works very well as long as people are actually paying attention for a
change.  i can see that rf would be bad for changing lights, since that
needs to be done well ahead of the vehicle and directionally, i was
suggesting an rf signal to allert drivers who for whatever reason didn't
hear it as quickly as they should.

Howard Winter wrote:
--------------
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2004\06\16@060147 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Robert,

On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 23:57:57 -0400, Robert B. wrote:

> These things are for *our* protection, and we should all unquestioningly
> embrace having a 0.001% less chance of death by redlight.  On a side note,
> in my hometown about 3 years ago they installed a trial one of these, but it
> was continually shot out (I grew up in rural Kentucky).  I never realized
> the idea caught on elsewhere...  I read a few online articles about it when
> I realized it's for real and I find it disgustingly big-brotherish.  Maybe
> its time to take another trip to the ol' gun shop.... you know.... just in
> case.... whats that?  they're banning those too?!

Well here in Britain they've been banned for a number of years - I know because I used to shoot  :-(

However, google for the words:  Gatso Vandalism  and see what people do to get their own back on speed cameras
(Gatso being the name of a company that makes the most common, radar-triggered, type).

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@080608 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Brian,

On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 13:53:32 +0100, Brian Clewer wrote:

> Mike, I see your point here, but I think there is one think motorists don't
> think of.  That is the formula for kinetic energy is   1/2Mass times
> Velocity squared.

I'm sorry, but I think this misses the point, and is the basis of the "speed kills" attitude of the UK
authorities.  I don't think of the equation of energy when I'm driving because I concentrate on not having the
accident, rather than the consequencies of doing so.

> If you hit a person and you are going 30mph, you will do a certain amount of
> damage, lets say 30 squared is 900.  If you are going 35mph the damage goes
> up 36 percent to 1225...

This assumes that transfer of energy is the sole cause of injury - there are many more factors involved,
including the shape of the vehicle, the physiology of the latter (children tend to go under the front of the
car, adults tend to go over), and so on.  Getting run over by a steamroller would be pretty-much 100% fatal,
even at 1mph!

> I am not saying I have never broken the speed limit, but 5 mph over the
> limit is enough to easily kill someone, rather than just break their legs.
> Or if you put it another way, you have to get rid of 36% more energy to stop
> the vehicle from hitting someone.

Sorry, you're pulling a single factor (and some very dodgy assertions) out of a very complex situation.  There
will be some cases where 35 in a 30 limit might kill someone, but others where someone stepping out from the
roadside missed the 35mph car because it was passing at the time, whereas they'd taken another step to be in
front of the 30mph one, too close for it to stop.  It really isn't anywhere near as simple as "speed-limit =
safe, speed-limit + 5 = fatal".

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@081645 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Michael,

On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 15:03:01 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones
wrote:

> The problem on our roads is the quality of driving,
not the speed.

Amen to that!  I think we should be working towards
improving the standards of driving, and I would be in
favour of ongoing training after passing the test,
perhaps even with periodic re-tests.  And further
training and testing following convictions for driving
offences.  It would improve everything on the roads, not
just safety!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@090429 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Sorry, you're pulling a single factor (and some very dodgy assertions) out
of a very complex situation.  There
> will be some cases where 35 in a 30 limit might kill someone, but others
where someone stepping out from the
> roadside missed the 35mph car because it was passing at the time, whereas
they'd taken another step to be in
> front of the 30mph one, too close for it to stop.  It really isn't
anywhere near as simple as "speed-limit =
> safe, speed-limit + 5 = fatal".

Of course not.
But reality demonstrates that the simplistic case "just so happens" to do
extremely good job of modelling what really happens.

Statistically, taken over a year's results (or even a week's) you'll find
that pedestrian fatalities increase approximately with the square of vehicle
speed (see my "longish" post on this recently).

And very importantly, a "slightly" faster vehicle will typically be
travelling *much much* faster at collision time than an initially slightly
slower vehicle, all other things being considered. This surprising fact was
covered in detail in my prior post.

Most people who seek to justify "slightly excessive speeds" completely
ignore the above fact.

To recap a key part of that - if a 50 kph typical car JUST manages to stop
in an emergency, an identical car that was doing 70 kph will collide at 50
kph+. This is perhaps unintuitive but true and was numerically demonstrated
in my diatribe. If the collision is with a pedestrian then ON AVERAGE 50% of
the pedestrians will die. Even a 60 kph car will collide at about 35 kph and
kill on average over 20% of pedestrians.

And, fwiw, your example of being hit by a 30 mph car and just missed by a 35
mph car because it has already gone past borders on the ludicrous. I know
that that may not have been obvious when you gave the example - its easy to
say things like that without seeing what's involved.
Consider. The 35 mph car must go at least about (if I can mix those 2 terms)
15 feet further to achieve the above - or more. The differential speed is 7
feet per second (44 fps at 30 mph, 51 fps at 35 mph). So there must be over
2 seconds elapsed (15 feet / 7fps) between the time the decision to cross is
made and when the user steps into the cars path (or not) OR the user must
start to cross and walk for 2 seconds into the cars path (or not). During
this 2 seconds the user must not look again or reassess their decision.
Anyone who behaves in such a manner will indeed become random road fodder at
any speed. But they are not fit example subjects for serious discussion of
this topic.

ASIDE: NEVER run at an angle away from a car to seek to avoid being hit by
it. Always run at 90 degrees across its path (if you must do such things).
The geometry is not favourable to an angled path as long as your velocity is
lower than its. This will usually not be the case, unless it is a steam
roller :-)


       Russell McMahon

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2004\06\16@092200 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 14:24:28 -0700, Jason S wrote:

> I'm kind of surprised that would be illegal

It's quite simple - you cannot transmit a radio signal
without a licence, or without a waiver for the
particular frequency/power (like PMR) being in place.

The illegality has nothing to do with what effect it
has!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@093714 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 21:34:21 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:

> Because the next thing that happens, is that they
monkey with the yellow timing, making it shorter and
shorter, so as to make more money.

Can't do that in Britain - the amber timing is specified
at 2 seconds, and they are not allowed to shorten it.
Apart from anything else, it would make the junction
more dangerous!  It would also not be a legal set of
lights, and you could contest it successfully if they
did it.

The red-light cameras here only trigger after the red
has been showing for one second, and the photo includes
the timing since amber and since red showed.  So in
effect, you have a 1-second "grace" period of red, even
with a camera!  And the cameras are pretty easy to see,
so if you get done by one you are not only driving
dangerously by going through the red, but not paying
attention to your surroundings in failing to spot the
camera.

My opinion is that while speeding is a technical
offence, since you may be over the limit but be driving
safely, but going through a red is definately dangerous
and should be pounced-on!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@094359 by Mike Reid

picon face
-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[.....PICLISTSTOPspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of Michael Rigby-Jones
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 1:08 AM
To: PICLISTEraseMEspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


{Quote hidden}

Why?  Have you decided that you want to be in law enforcement now?
Leave that to the cops.

Mike




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2004\06\16@094813 by Mike Reid

picon face
Years ago in engineering school (back in the 80's) we came across a
radar jammer circuit that was basically a 555 timer with a darlington
transistor output on pin 3 with a gun diode microwave transmitter. The
timing setup on the 555 had 3 settings to choose from. I seem to
remember that the doppler frequency shift was 31.8 hz per mile an hour.
The timer had a 3 position switch that jammed at 25 mph, 45 mph, and 555
mph.  Obviously back then there weren't as many bands of radar in the
USA to contend with.

The article was featured in Road and Track or some other auto magazine,
along with a current sensor circuit that triggered when your radar
detector went off. The jammer would then spurt out a 10 second burst.
The author seemed to enjoy what was then called "trolling for brake
lights."  He would turn on the jammer and watch all the brake lights
appear.  The biggest concern for the unit was the amount of microwave
energy it was spewing forth into the environment as police radar guns
were coming out with smaller transmission wattages.

A group of students planned to build one to test but we never got around
to it.

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2004\06\16@101548 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Would the radar guns sold to measure the speed of baseballs, for example,
trigger radar detectors in cars?

Would it be legal to use one to (for the fun of it, of course), measure the
speed of fellow drivers?

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Reid" <spamBeGonemikecreid@spam@spamMSN.COM>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@102552 by Mike Hord

picon face
>         To the second I answer: if all taxes were those you could avoid by
>doing
>the right thing this world would be a far different place.

Like the lotto...it's a tax on being bad at probability.  ;-)

Mike H.

_________________________________________________________________
Get fast, reliable Internet access with MSN 9 Dial-up   now 3 months FREE!
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2004\06\16@103335 by David VanHorn

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face
At 10:14 AM 6/16/2004 -0400, Bob Ammerman wrote:

>Would the radar guns sold to measure the speed of baseballs, for example,
>trigger radar detectors in cars?
>
>Would it be legal to use one to (for the fun of it, of course), measure the
>speed of fellow drivers?

I can't see why not.
Of course you'll get the relative speed, not absolute.

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2004\06\16@112659 by Robert B.

flavicon
face
lol - what a terrible and great web site that turned up.  The "objective"
documentation and wording make it so obvious who the vandal is.  On a side
note, do you feel safer now without any boom-sticks?  I don't want to get
into anything political, I'm just curious.

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@120753 by Shawn Wilton

flavicon
face
In oregon, the lights go green.  I read on another forum that this is
safer because if an emergency vehicle traverses a red light and gets in
an accident, they're automatically considered at fault.  That was posted
by an EMT.

Philip Stortz wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@122415 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
> At 10:14 AM 6/16/2004 -0400, Bob Ammerman wrote:
>
> >Would the radar guns sold to measure the speed of baseballs, for example,
> >trigger radar detectors in cars?
> >
> >Would it be legal to use one to (for the fun of it, of course), measure
the
> >speed of fellow drivers?
>
> I can't see why not.
> Of course you'll get the relative speed, not absolute.
>

Of course, but I bet you could get a lot of people to slow down when their
detectors started screaming. You could almost create a 'safe speed zone'
around your own car :-)

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

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2004\06\16@132604 by gtyler

flavicon
face
An interesting point....  Here in South Africa in the 80's we had a feul
boycott and thus restrictions. The speed limit was dropped from 120
Km/hr to 80 Km/hr.
Guess what? Accident fatalities dropped to +-50%!
   It's a long time ago and I don't remember the exact figues but there
was talk of keeping the limit because of the safety aspect.

George Tyler

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@141845 by hilip Stortz

picon face
and that was tragic, the gun ban i mean!  immediately after that huge
mistake violent crime INCREASED drastically, surpassing U.S. crime rates
for the first time, and continued to rise sharply.  gun crimes also rose
sharply.  criminals love gun bans, it means if they have a gun they have
little to fear as they know their victim doesn't!  seriously, most
police and police unions don't support gun bans.  we don't need new gun
laws, we need some of the existing ones to be better enforced, just like
with most crime problems there are plenty of laws on the books.  while
we have a surplus of laws, we have a shortage of detectives and prison
space for violent offenders, violent offenders who are often released
early to make room for non-violent criminals!  the priorities are all
screwed up.  a department of justice report on tracing crime guns gives
a disturbing example (though they don't comment on it in the report), a
federally licensed gun dealer illegally sold several hundred guns,
falsifying the documents and saying they were sold to previous customers
(with their names on the paper work!) and he sold them directly to
people who were reselling them to violent felons!  what did he get,
about 2 years!  for diverting hundreds of guns and putting the names of
innocent customers on the paper work!  remember, this is someone who's
federally licensed and who's business and records are subject to search
by the atf at any time.

they finally figured it out when they started recovering some of the
guns at crime scenes and went to talk to the "owners", i.e. the poor
people who's name was on the paper work but had usually never even seen
the gun involved!  doubtless these people were harassed and their houses
searched etc. before it happened enough times for law enforcement to
realize what was going on.  as far as i'm concerned, the guy should be
doing life, he was an accessory to murder and lessor crimes before the
fact, hundreds of times, not to mention what he put the people who's
identities he stole through (better than being shot yes, but something
that will always show up in a background check of people who've never
committed more than a traffic violation in their life).  this type of
thing happens all the time with serious crimes.  more prisons, more
cops, and fewer people in prison who don't really belong there, rather
than letting out violent criminals (after a short course on crime while
in prison and more reasons to be violent) in order to confine minor non
violent criminals.  like i said, the law has little to do with logic, as
little as possible it seems.

gun control laws cost lives and liberty, they increase crime and are the
criminals dream come true, making law abiding citizens sheep ready for
the wolf.

Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@143546 by hilip Stortz

picon face
i've believed for nearly twenty years that the insurance companies
should base your rates on how you do in a simulator, i.e. actually
measuring the persons driving skill rather than looking at things that
don't tell the whole picture, like age or gender, or not having gotten
any tickets when the driver in question rarely drives while some one who
drives a lot and gets one speeding ticket gets more.  guess who's most
likely to injure or kill someone and destroy property, probably the one
with the least skills, probably the very occasional driver.  the high
mileage driver has in fact demonstrated their skill while the other
driver hasn't logged enough miles to make any conclusion from their
driving record.  sadly insurance companies are notoriously conservative
in every way possible.  i really, really would like to see things done
this way one day, and not just because i think my rates would plummet.

Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@150701 by hilip Stortz

picon face
please provide a single reference supporting this statement (one based
on data collection and proper statistical analysis).  frankly, i find
that very, very hard to believe in the general case.  pedestrians are
often careless, and so are some drivers, especially when turning (i see
people start to make a turn all the time and then slam on the brakes
when they see a pedestrian in the cross walk, they just don't bother to
look where they will be going).  getting knocked down and run under the
tires is likely lethal at any speed.  human bodies are very fragile, it
doesn't take that much energy to damage them terminally.  the
implication of this if integrated to it's limits is that nearly no one
dies from low speed vehicle pedestrian accidents (which isn't true,
children and others are run over in parking lots by people backing up
and not looking) and at the other limit roads with high speeds, i.e.
highways should have a very, very high death rate when few pedestrians
die on highways.  i think you made this up, i hope not, but i'd like to
see a source, i'd like to see how they cooked the statistics to come up
with that conclusion.  besides which, you can't possibly collect enough
data in just one week to make a proper and supportable analysis with
that conclusion.  one of the critical things when analyzing a large body
of data is to look for things that correlate with others and confuse the
determination of which factor has what significance.

there are 3 kinds of lies, ordinary lies, damnable lies, and statistics.
if you don't understand how the numbers were collected and processed
the single number that comes out of the  process is meaningless.

even studies done by law enforcement and insurance companies haven't
supported a link that strong (and that's an extremely strong link for
any 2 things), and presumably both of those were seeking a high positive
correlation.  at least those i've heard of haven't supported it.  also,
don't forget that statistical correlation does not prove cause and
effect, no matter how strong, at best it suggest a good thing to study
to find the causal relationship if any.  indeed, for one full 11 year
sunspot cycle in the 70's and late sixties the length of women's skirts
was very, very well correlated with the sunspot activity, and then they
stopped tracking each other.  there was no causal relationship, but
there was a very, very high correlation (i've seen a graph of the two,
it's amazing!  even the "noise"  looks the same).  not that it isn't
valid to suspect a linkage between speed and death rate, but just
because something is reasonable doesn't make it so, and it doesn't tell
you how strongly one causes the other.  in the case of pedestrians, i
really, really doubt that it's directly proportional to the square of
the speed over any significant range and number of events, for one thing
that isn't reasonable (though that doesn't rule it out, it does suggest
rigorous research before reaching that conclusion).  seriously, one good
source would be appreciated, or just one source with some detail so i
can tell you how they cooked the numbers, it's very, very easy with
statistics by choosing the right subsets and defining your terms in the
right way (and not necessarily in the way that most people would,
meaning you are deceiving them no matter what the final result if you
don't explain the details of the methodology).

even with bullets from rifles or pistols or shotguns, kinetic energy
alone is not a good predictor of lethality (despite the common
misconception that it is, this fact is taken from writings of ballistics
experts who have worked for the military and have done a lot of well
controlled experiments and whose aim was to increase the lethality, at
least in some cases, there is also the popularity of wounding rather
than killing in battle as it neutralizes more people.  a corps is a
corps, a wounded comrade is down and tends to get attention from several
others, not to mention the psychological impact of hearing them scream
in pain).  sure, the geneva convention says you aren't allowed to
inflict "unnecessary" pain, but people being people they have found loop
holes, proving the lack of honor involved.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-----------

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2004\06\16@150949 by jsand

flavicon
face
Hello Russel & PIC.ers,

>Date:    Tue, 15 Jun 2004 23:20:24 +1200
>From:    Russell McMahon <spamBeGoneapptechspam_OUTspamRemoveMEPARADISE.NET.NZ>
>Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles
>
>> These things are for *our* protection, and we should all unquestioningly
>> embrace having a 0.001% less chance of death by redlight.  On a side note,
>> in my hometown about 3 years ago they installed a trial one of these, but
>it
>> was continually shot out (I grew up in rural Kentucky).  I never realized
>> the idea caught on elsewhere...  I read a few online articles about it
>

<major snip>

Digital electronics applied to cars or transport systems for the
purpose of making the driver's life a happier / more comfortable / safer /
less tiring experience is dodging the *real* issue.
Maximum engineering effort should be applied to irrevocably getting rid of the
number one cause of all road accidents and fatalities.

The bl*!#*dy driver.

Once that's done, all other objectives fall in place.


The following somehow comes to mind:
**********************************

Then there was a battle taking place, between two armies who were slugging it
out with bows and arrows.

Along comes a machine-gun salesman, and asks for an interview with one of the
generals.

General: "Can't you see we're busy! I haven't got time to talk to you, we've got
a battle to fight!"


***********************************

           bestos,   John


email from the desk of John Sanderson.
JS Controls, PO Box 1887, Boksburg 1460, Rep. of S. Africa.
Tel/Fax 011 893 4154,
Cell 082 741 6275,
web    http://www.jscontrols.co.za
Manufacturer & purveyor of laboratory force testing apparatus &
related products & services.

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2004\06\16@152155 by hilip Stortz

picon face
2 seconds!  i'm glad i don't drive there.  in colorado, at least when i
knew a few years ago, it had to be 2 seconds plus 1 second for each 10
mph of the speed limit, or something like that, i.e. a minimum time plus
more time proportional to the speed limit.  geeze, 2 seconds for a
yellow at 45 or 50 mph sounds like a recipe for accidents.  the yellow
light timing and other things definitely need to be standardized in the
U.S..  some traffic engineers also just don't get it.  i remember a stop
light on a highway for the turn off to a mall.

the mall street made it a "T" intersection.  they actually set it up so
that pedestrians would get the walk signal at the same time people were
getting a left turn arrow telling them it was fine to run over anything
in the crosswalk.  this was a little exciting the first time i crossed
that street and realized the turning cars and me both had the right of
way, in theory at least.  it was like that for months before someone
caught on and fixed, i think they got it before someone was run over,
though i suspect someone came very close to being run over (or more
likely a child) and that a loud complaint was made.

geez, 2 seconds to try and stop or decide to go through, that very
little distance at the higher speeds and a bit tight at the slower
speeds on city streets, even without traffic.

Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@152637 by hilip Stortz

picon face
many years ago with the older, higher power speed guns, wyoming state
troopers were getting testicular damage!  it seems they tended to rest
them in that area on the seat when not pointing them out/through the
window and they either didn't shut down completely or there was a
tendency for bored troopers to keep fiddling the switch, not terribly smart.

Mike Reid wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@154156 by Fred Hillhouse

picon face
So basically you are saying: Without data, you are just another clown with
an opinion.



-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[.....PICLISTspamRemoveMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Philip Stortz
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 3:06 PM
To: PICLISTspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


please provide a single reference supporting this statement (one based
on data collection and proper statistical analysis).  frankly, i find
that very, very hard to believe in the general case.  pedestrians are
often careless, and so are some drivers, especially when turning (i see
people start to make a turn all the time and then slam on the brakes
when they see a pedestrian in the cross walk, they just don't bother to
look where they will be going).  getting knocked down and run under the
tires is likely lethal at any speed.  human bodies are very fragile, it
doesn't take that much energy to damage them terminally.  the
implication of this if integrated to it's limits is that nearly no one
dies from low speed vehicle pedestrian accidents (which isn't true,
children and others are run over in parking lots by people backing up
and not looking) and at the other limit roads with high speeds, i.e.
highways should have a very, very high death rate when few pedestrians
die on highways.  i think you made this up, i hope not, but i'd like to
see a source, i'd like to see how they cooked the statistics to come up
with that conclusion.  besides which, you can't possibly collect enough
data in just one week to make a proper and supportable analysis with
that conclusion.  one of the critical things when analyzing a large body
of data is to look for things that correlate with others and confuse the
determination of which factor has what significance.

there are 3 kinds of lies, ordinary lies, damnable lies, and statistics.
if you don't understand how the numbers were collected and processed
the single number that comes out of the  process is meaningless.

even studies done by law enforcement and insurance companies haven't
supported a link that strong (and that's an extremely strong link for
any 2 things), and presumably both of those were seeking a high positive
correlation.  at least those i've heard of haven't supported it.  also,
don't forget that statistical correlation does not prove cause and
effect, no matter how strong, at best it suggest a good thing to study
to find the causal relationship if any.  indeed, for one full 11 year
sunspot cycle in the 70's and late sixties the length of women's skirts
was very, very well correlated with the sunspot activity, and then they
stopped tracking each other.  there was no causal relationship, but
there was a very, very high correlation (i've seen a graph of the two,
it's amazing!  even the "noise"  looks the same).  not that it isn't
valid to suspect a linkage between speed and death rate, but just
because something is reasonable doesn't make it so, and it doesn't tell
you how strongly one causes the other.  in the case of pedestrians, i
really, really doubt that it's directly proportional to the square of
the speed over any significant range and number of events, for one thing
that isn't reasonable (though that doesn't rule it out, it does suggest
rigorous research before reaching that conclusion).  seriously, one good
source would be appreciated, or just one source with some detail so i
can tell you how they cooked the numbers, it's very, very easy with
statistics by choosing the right subsets and defining your terms in the
right way (and not necessarily in the way that most people would,
meaning you are deceiving them no matter what the final result if you
don't explain the details of the methodology).

even with bullets from rifles or pistols or shotguns, kinetic energy
alone is not a good predictor of lethality (despite the common
misconception that it is, this fact is taken from writings of ballistics
experts who have worked for the military and have done a lot of well
controlled experiments and whose aim was to increase the lethality, at
least in some cases, there is also the popularity of wounding rather
than killing in battle as it neutralizes more people.  a corps is a
corps, a wounded comrade is down and tends to get attention from several
others, not to mention the psychological impact of hearing them scream
in pain).  sure, the geneva convention says you aren't allowed to
inflict "unnecessary" pain, but people being people they have found loop
holes, proving the lack of honor involved.

Russell McMahon wrote:
>
> > Sorry, you're pulling a single factor (and some very dodgy assertions)
out
> of a very complex situation.  There
> > will be some cases where 35 in a 30 limit might kill someone, but others
> where someone stepping out from the
> > roadside missed the 35mph car because it was passing at the time,
whereas
{Quote hidden}

vehicle
> speed (see my "longish" post on this recently).
-----------

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2004\06\16@155442 by Shawn Wilton

flavicon
face
That's hilarious and reminds me of a scene in "Super Troopers".  If you
haven't seen that movie yet, go rent it tonight.  Be forewarned, it's
not for the kids but it's fricking hilarious.


Shawn Wilton
Junior in CpE
MicroBiologist

Phone: (503) 881-2707
Email: EraseMEshawnRemoveMEspamSTOPspamblack9.net

http://black9.net


Philip Stortz wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@163427 by Matthew Brush

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I think this is the busiest and most Off-Topic thread
I've seen so far on the PIClist.  Good thing Yahoo!
increased my inbox size to 100MB.

In an attempt to bring it back on topic (or at least
to involve myself in the discussion), what does
everybody think about cars that can "drive
themselves".  For example, where there are RF markers
along the highway (or GPS systems, etc.) which
communicate with your vehicle and keep the proper
speed limit, and update your vehicle with data about
the surrounding vehicles and their destinations, stop
lights, etc.

It would at the very least stop speeders, get people
off to the side of the road when emergency vehicles
are coming, keep people from running red lights, and a
whole lot more.

I know many people don't like the thought of not being
able to control their vehicle, but I bet there would
be less fatalities caused by computer glitches than
caused by human glitches (ie. speeding, driving drunk,
not paying attention, cellphones, etc.).  It would
probably also save on insurance.

Any thoughts on this, and maybe ideas for implementing
such a system?

Cheers


=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\06\16@164636 by D. Jay Newman

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> In an attempt to bring it back on topic (or at least
> to involve myself in the discussion), what does
> everybody think about cars that can "drive
> themselves".  For example, where there are RF markers
> along the highway (or GPS systems, etc.) which
> communicate with your vehicle and keep the proper
> speed limit, and update your vehicle with data about
> the surrounding vehicles and their destinations, stop
> lights, etc.

I would not want to be the company that designs the system (or
perhaps rather their insurance company).

I like the concept and think that it would save more lives than
it hurts, but we still have a long way to go. Cars would have to
be able to do their own "defensive driving" if an unregulated car
got on the highway. In addition, there would have to be some
protection against hackers; any system that man makes will be abused
by somebody.

> Any thoughts on this, and maybe ideas for implementing
> such a system?

The implementation would be more than somewhat difficult. Our current
robotic technologies don't seem to scale to that level of complexity.

Perhaps a distributed-heirachical system might work. Parts of systems
like this are already in place, but they normally only control traffic
lights to keep the traffic at an "ideal" level.

There is a project to put major highways *under* Boston. This will have
computer control of the lights and some sort of accident detection so
that traffic can be rerouted. No, this isn't control of vehicles, but it
is a start.
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2004\06\16@182622 by David VanHorn

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>
>Of course, but I bet you could get a lot of people to slow down when their detectors started screaming. You could almost create a 'safe speed zone' around your own car :-)

Use K band, X is widely ignored. Of course an optical implementation would be paid close attention, and not involve any radio emissions.

PRR about 100 Hz, pulse width <10uS

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2004\06\16@185355 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face
Optical wavelength? Could an LED be used for omni coverage, or would a
laser be required?

Harold

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2004\06\16@190432 by David VanHorn

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At 03:54 PM 6/16/2004 -0700, Harold Hallikainen wrote:

>Optical wavelength? Could an LED be used for omni coverage, or would a
>laser be required?

Around 900nM, no problem with leds, other than output power.
Of course you don't need to go a mile and return off a crummy reflector that subtends a tiny angle, you just need to illuminate a lot of angle at not much elevation.

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2004\06\16@203149 by Jake Anderson

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face
LOL now thats rich
America has the highest rate of gun crime in the world.
and the highest rate of gun deaths
lol 40 000 americans die due to guns each year
20000 of those are homicides.

I spose that i understand why you dont seem to care about speeding now,
america is such a violent place to live in the first place it seems.
well good luck, heres hoping you have a natural death in a long long time.

> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@203812 by Robert B.

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face
If you're going to post at least get your statistics right.  In 2001 there
were only 17,000 total homicides, and about half of those were gun related.
None of them were because of guns, but all of them were because of the
criminal misuse of guns.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <spamBeGonegrooveeespam@spam@OPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 8:31 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> LOL now thats rich
> America has the highest rate of gun crime in the world.
> and the highest rate of gun deaths
> lol 40 000 americans die due to guns each year
> 20000 of those are homicides.
>
> I spose that i understand why you dont seem to care about speeding now,
> america is such a violent place to live in the first place it seems.
> well good luck, heres hoping you have a natural death in a long long time.
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@204020 by rixy04

flavicon
face
Can you provide a legitimate reference to that fact?
Rick - N.R.A. Certified Firearms Instructor


Jake Anderson wrote:

> America has the highest rate of gun crime in the world.
> and the highest rate of gun deaths
> lol 40 000 americans die due to guns each year
> 20000 of those are homicides.

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2004\06\16@204230 by Robert B.

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face
Oops, I forgot to mention my own source: the FBI UCS report:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <grooveeespamspamOPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
To: <spam_OUTPICLISTspam_OUTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 8:31 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> LOL now thats rich
> America has the highest rate of gun crime in the world.
> and the highest rate of gun deaths
> lol 40 000 americans die due to guns each year
> 20000 of those are homicides.
>
> I spose that i understand why you dont seem to care about speeding now,
> america is such a violent place to live in the first place it seems.
> well good luck, heres hoping you have a natural death in a long long time.
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@205301 by Robert B.

flavicon
face
Correction:

"The FBI's Crime in the United States estimated that 67% of the 16,204
murders in 2002 were committed with firearms"
(Department of Criminal Justice Statistics)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert B." <piclistspam_OUTspamNERDULATOR.NET>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> If you're going to post at least get your statistics right.  In 2001 there
> were only 17,000 total homicides, and about half of those were gun
related.
{Quote hidden}

time.
> >
> > > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@003248 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
eh i could be wrong i didnt look into it in that much detail
thats still a whole heck of a lot of people who are killed each year no?

i spose it isnt specifically guns
america has one of the highest murder rates in the world per capita and guns
just serve to make in convineant.

heh i wonder how many americans would do what i just did (my impression is
few would) i was helping my neighbour with his computer so i was around his
place for about 4 hours our house was empty and the main front door open
(the fly screen was closed but not locked). It seems from an outsiders
perspective that most americans lock their doors while they are inside their
houses too??

> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@021243 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004, at 17:53 US/Pacific, Robert B. wrote:
>
> "The FBI's Crime in the United States estimated that 67% of the 16,204
> murders in 2002 were committed with firearms"
>
Heh.  Also in 2002,  42,815 traffic fatalities.
  ( http://www.dot.gov/affairs/nhtsa3203.htm )
41% were alcohol related.  59% weren't wearing seatbelts.
4808 pedestrian fatalities (it's not clear whether that's included in
the 42k number.)

The fatality rate is 1.51 per 100 million vehicle miles.

Please let this NOT turn into a gun control debate!

BillW

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2004\06\17@062243 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 11:27:50 -0400, Robert B. wrote:

> On a side note, do you feel safer now without any boom-sticks?

Not really any change - I didn't feel unsafe beforehand and I don't now - the main effect was the loss of a
hobby and the money I'd spent on it.  There was very little compensation for the guns themselves, and none for
the rest of the equipment.

The tragedy of it is that it hasn't (as predicted by everyone who was thinking clearly at the time) reduced
the incidence of gun crime - it's been rising steadily and there wasn't even a glitch when gun ownership was
banned.  Don't get me wrong, gun crime is still very rare indeed here, but the idea that getting rid of
legally-held guns would stop the illegal posession and use of them is ludicrous.

You can't stop something that's already illegal by making it *more* illegal!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\17@072002 by Robert B.

flavicon
face
To set the facts straight, I'd like to present some real data.  It turns out
both Australia and Britain are *more* violent than the U.S.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=21902

http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2002/intl-comparisons-crime/section-9.html

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/784575a4da2d1b51ca2569bb00164f7b!OpenDocument


I'm sorry to break up your preconceived notions, but most of what you've
been saying is just plain wrong.

As for leaving your doors unlocked, I think its irresponsible and begging
for crime.  I live in a very nice area, and many of my neighbors doors are
always unlocked.  Mine are always locked.  Why not?  It only takes about 10
seconds to do.  Arguing that an area is "safer" because doors are unlocked
is ludicrous, it reflects merely on the mentality or perception of safety of
the people living there and not on the real numbers.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <spam_OUTgrooveeespamKILLspamOPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 12:32 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> eh i could be wrong i didnt look into it in that much detail
> thats still a whole heck of a lot of people who are killed each year no?
>
> i spose it isnt specifically guns
> america has one of the highest murder rates in the world per capita and
guns
> just serve to make in convineant.
>
> heh i wonder how many americans would do what i just did (my impression is
> few would) i was helping my neighbour with his computer so i was around
his
> place for about 4 hours our house was empty and the main front door open
> (the fly screen was closed but not locked). It seems from an outsiders
> perspective that most americans lock their doors while they are inside
their
> houses too??
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@073247 by Robert B.

flavicon
face
I also would like to quote the ICVS (International Crime Victimization
Survey) study:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <KILLspamgrooveeespamspamBeGoneOPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
To: <PICLISTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 12:32 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles


> eh i could be wrong i didnt look into it in that much detail
> thats still a whole heck of a lot of people who are killed each year no?
>
> i spose it isnt specifically guns
> america has one of the highest murder rates in the world per capita and
guns
> just serve to make in convineant.
>
> heh i wonder how many americans would do what i just did (my impression is
> few would) i was helping my neighbour with his computer so i was around
his
> place for about 4 hours our house was empty and the main front door open
> (the fly screen was closed but not locked). It seems from an outsiders
> perspective that most americans lock their doors while they are inside
their
> houses too??
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@074910 by hilip Stortz

picon face
there great for making holes in paper as well, which is in fact what
most bullets fired wind up doing.  not that there aren't times when
being able to kill is a good thing, guns are great for self defense and
have in fact saved many, many lives, most media just aren't as excited
about reporting those stories.

like when a drunken ex husband shows up wanting to beat a women and her
child and won't go away, and forces himself into the house.  i have
details of just such an incident, and the drunken fool didn't stop after
the first time he was shot, she actually had to kill him to stop him
from killing her and/or her child which was his intent, and he was very,
very determined to do so.  guns are great, they are the great equalizer
(more or less, there is still a skill and willingness component, many
victims aren't willing to protect themselves that forcibly when the time
comes), a little lady with a gun can take care of the teenage thugs that
break in in the middle of the night meaning to kill or rape and rob her,
or at least beat the heck out of her and possibly kill her, this too has
happened many, many times, and it's a good thing.

like all things, there are pros and cons, and misuse is rampant, but
that's no reason to abandon something, just because some misuse it,
indeed when it also combats such mis use it's a fine reason to embrace
it fully.  when every one is well armed, very few will choose to mess
with each other, when politeness fails or is absent, force is a fine
backup.

by the way, hand gun wounds are only fatal 10% of the time on average,
which is good when they are misused, and a good wound is enough to stop
most people, and usually does.  while most people will stop and fall
from a handgun wound, it's predominately a psychological response, there
is rarely enough physical damage done to disable someone from one shot.
to disable someone physically, you have to cause massive blood loss
causing shock, hit the spinal column producing paralysis, or hit the
head having a similar effect often, though some do continue after some
head shots, with or without being on drugs.  a determined attacker with
high adrenaline levels is a dangerous foe, for they feel little and
often have to be stopped by physical damage beyond what they can ignore
or compensate for.  this is also why the second shot that hits someone
usually has a lot less effect than the first, they have released
adrenaline which makes it far less bothersome, this is often a problem
for police when the first shot fails, or when the criminal involved has
had actual combat experience and knows that they can fight until very,
very dead.

Matthew Brush wrote:
---------
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2004\06\17@075121 by hilip Stortz

picon face
i wonder, since i'm an organ donor, and in the case of organ donors in
general, if that doesn't affect the cost equation if i have an accident
and am not wearing my seat belt (which i do wear).  after all, e.r.
people commonly refer to motorcycle riders without helmets as organ
donors.  this surely compensates for much of the burden of caring for
those who do survive.  parts are expensive for people, very expensive
and in short supply.  one could argue it would be more responsible, and
even truly generous to go around without a seat belt and to ride a
motorcycle without a helmet, very civic minded and philanthropic for an
individual to risk that sacrifice for the benefit of others.

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2004\06\17@084800 by hilip Stortz

picon face
that makes a lot more sense to me.  also, that way vehicles in the way
are already moving and it's easier for them to get out of the way.  cars
stopped at a light usually can't move to the side easily unless they are
the ones in front, otherwise they are pretty well pinned in by the other
cars.  in any case, i'm usually one of the first people to move out of
the way of emergency vehicles, people just don't realize how it
complicates things and how little they benefit by waiting a little
longer to pull over and out of the way.  sadly, some people are really
selfish and care very, very little about other people, even when it is a
matter of life and death.  i happen to care about the well being of my
fellow man (person), i find it odd and puzzling that others don't.

Shawn Wilton wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@084801 by hilip Stortz

picon face
people slowing down for no good reason hardly creates a "safe zone" of
any kind.  in fact it makes an accident far, far more likely as someone
may not be paying attention, in which case you have caused a collision,
and should rightly be held liable for all damage and injury done.  at
the least, you would be impeding traffic, which also increases accidents
by increasing congestion.  not to mention, i really don't appreciate
extra rf exposure with no benefit.

Bob Ammerman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@084802 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yes, to state a mathematical equation, without support, is basically
manufacturing data, or put another way, lying.

rant on/ you should instead say: "i believe that" rather than stating it
as a fact.  i have no problem with opinions, stated as such.  when
people state opinions as documented fact, i have a big problem, it's
lying, it's dishonest, and shows an appalling lack of respect for the
audience and fact and reality as well.  there is a large, large
difference between opinion and substantiated, measured fact.  the
statement you made as fact is absurd, and since it was stated as
documented fact, i'd like to see the documentation, or have it clarified
that it's an opinion, not the result of mythical studies.  people do
this all the time, and it's appallingly rude to make facts up.  it leads
to wrong conclusions and bad decisions that affect many people.  it's
lying, it's fraudulent, and it's disrespectful, far, far more
disrespectful than me asking you to back it up with data.  having an
opinion doesn't make someone a clown, stating it as fact supported by
data does make one something not good, but i really, really don't wish
to call names.  i'd just like documentation if it is "fact" or a
clarification that it is an opinion.  honest there is a difference, a
very, very large difference which sadly many don't seem to realize or
care about.

i generally trust that you are a well meaning person, but please, please
differentiate between fact and opinion and don't confuse the two or
represent one as the other.  when you say "statistically" you are
claiming there is data, in this case there obviously isn't.  you deserve
to be called out on this.  you made an absurd statement and claimed it
was at least statistically valid without even having statistics.  that's
like me saying "i've been to the moon, and it is made of cheese" and
then getting upset when someone else ask for proof, any proof or
supporting evidence.  if i say something absurd and claim it's fact, i
damn well expect to be called on it, and if i'm not i'll have to assume
the audience is full of fools or those who don't care that people are
making things up. /rant off

Fred Hillhouse wrote:
>
> So basically you are saying: Without data, you are just another clown with
> an opinion.
>
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2004\06\17@090232 by hilip Stortz

picon face
i don't think so. there were less than 300 accidental deaths from guns
last year, and i doubt the police shot nearly 20,00 people to death.

we have gun crime because we have social problems, not because we have
guns.  switzerland has a gun in nearly every house, and very little
crime, but they also have very little crime.  the sad fact is our
society is falling apart, fix that and crime will drop dramatically.
hope reduces crime, desperation greatly increases it, we have a lot of
very desperate and frustrated people in this country, and in most cases
it's because of things they can't control that are going down hill rapidly.

if criminals didn't have guns, they'd still commit crimes and still kill
people.  if people don't have guns but criminals do, it makes for easy
grazing for criminals. you solve crime problems by removing the
motivation, not by removing the currently popular and easily substituted
for tools, and not by regulating what non criminals can do.

by definition, criminals violate laws, therefore laws are not very
effective at changing criminal behavior or methods.  frankly, i'd much,
much rather be shot than stabbed, it's a lot less lethal and damaging,
and someone with a knife can do unlimited damage, witness the model who
had her face slashed up with a knife.

solve problems on the front end, rather than trying to clean up the mess
on the back end.

as far as rates of gun crime, i doubt we are the highest, probably just
the highest where it's reported, and well reported.  i'm sure that in
many poorer countries the gun crime rate is much, much higher, as is the
crime rate, it's just not well documented and recorded.  take
afghanistan when the taliban was in charge, they weren't the official
government, every thing they did with guns was illegal, but they didn't
collect statistics on it.

probably my last off topic post, since, again, i obviously don't
understand the rules, but i should be able to respond to comments on my
post, i think and i hope so at least.

Jake Anderson wrote:
>
> LOL now thats rich
> America has the highest rate of gun crime in the world.
> and the highest rate of gun deaths
> lol 40 000 americans die due to guns each year
> 20000 of those are homicides.
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2004\06\17@090644 by hilip Stortz

picon face
here here!  lets not make numbers and "facts" up, please.  it's highly
disrespectful to the audience whom you are treating like fools, and
making things up to support an argument suggest a problem with the
argument, or that you don't think we are smart enough to understand the
real reasons.  either way, you're calling us morons, you just aren't
using the word, but it's the same thing, just not as obvious to some.
if you are going to treat me as a moron, please have the courtesy to
call me a moron directly, rather than by expecting me to believe made up "facts".

"Robert B." wrote:
>
> If you're going to post at least get your statistics right.  In 2001 there
> were only 17,000 total homicides, and about half of those were gun related.
> None of them were because of guns, but all of them were because of the
> criminal misuse of guns.
>
> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@091659 by hilip Stortz

picon face
67% of 16,204=10,856 approximately half of 20,000.  i trust someone just
needs to read more carefully. also, note that it's an estimate rather
than a detailed counting and could easily be wrong in either direction
depending on the assumptions made.  accuracy in measurement is very
important in engineering and science, and really in all things.  the
lesson is to be accurate, or be prepared to look careless at best
whenever quoting numbers.  by the way, my source for the crime and gun
crime rate in the uk rising sharply and surpassing the u.s. for the
first time in history after guns were banned is the u.s. justice
department, sorry i don't have a link hand for the specific report, but
it's easy to find on their site or with a search engine.  the justice
department collects a lot of accurate statistics and publishes a lot of
them, indeed they are obsessed with statistics.

"Robert B." wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > > > {Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@093310 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Even insurance companies do not load premiums for
>>minor speeding offences.
>
>Boy, there's a major clue that there's no correlation.
>I've never seen an insurance company pass up an
>opportunity to charge more, or deny a claim.

Agreed. They certainly remove the no claims bonus in the UK for any speeding
ticket.

Luckily I have needed to tell them of any offence, as there has been no
offence to tell them of.

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2004\06\17@093518 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yes, we do tend to lock our doors while inside, certainly while we are
sleeping.  in some areas people do still leave their doors unlocked,
particularly during the day.  as doors have locks, it seems foolish not
to use them while sleeping since they provide a significant barrier and
deterrent to "random" crime, though little deters directed crime.  it is
a lot of people killed, and it is very, very unfortunate.  i did read a
study on suicide methods where some suspected ready gun access increased
successful suicide rates, the authors concluded that where people don't
have guns they mearly substitute equally lethal means, i'd suggest the
same is true of deliberate murderers and those committing a crime who
incidentally wind up killing someone (i.e. an armed robbery, be the arm
a knife, a gun, or a brick where murder isn't the primary goal but often
happens as the situation develops).  i'd like to see a lot less violent
crime, treating people with respect and having some concern for the
plight of your' fellow man is a good place to start.  sadly, many in
this country have given up on society and even themselves at the very
time that we have the resources to help each other and in so doing help
ourselves.  people do all sorts of things to get rich while making
others more poor failing to realize that while they gain wealth they
lose security and safety for themselves by making others more poor and
desperate.  responding to people's problems by dismissing them and by
poor treatment of each other makes for a lot more violence, and much,
much more deadly violence.  people who feel they have nothing to lose
are as dangerous as any animal when cornered.  society is often violent
with people considered undesirable or criminal, this violence only
increases the problem.  putting violent criminals in prison where they
are raped and exposed to a culture where life has little value only
makes them more violent and more effective in their violence.  we need
to reform people, which means giving them opportunities for improvement,
not punish them just because we enjoy it.  punishment all too often
becomes a form of societal violence, violence that's endorsed by the state.

besides, concentrating on murders alone ignores many other very serious
violent crimes, like rape, which rarely involves firearms and often
involves only brute strength.  over all, i think i'd rather have a minor
gunshot injury than be raped violently, far less damaging psychologically.

Jake Anderson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@093948 by hilip Stortz

picon face
agreed, people are far too emotional and not nearly rational enough on
this issue, on both sides.

William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@095006 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Really. I'm all for improving traffic safty, but why not:
>1) Fix the light timings. (cheaper)

Because then people will run/jump the red light as they will now know, or
soon learn, that there is slack in the timing. There is also a case in the
UK of a major intersection in London where the traffic was always snarled
up. One traffic engineer made his name in the business by realising that the
timings of the lights were very badly screwed up, and nothing was moving for
about 7 seconds in each cycle. He changed the timings to eliminate the
delay, traffic moved a lot more freely, and the snarlups almost disappeared.
Slow timing does not necessarily help things.

>2) Target dangerous intersections with the camera lights. (Seems more
>   effective to me.)

Is this not what red light cameras are doing anyway? I remember when the
first ones were installed in New Zealand. The main route out of Auckland CBD
was always snarled up during the evening rush hour as it fed straight onto
one of the motorway on-ramps. The motorway was always snarled up as it had
an inadequate number of lanes for the traffic density, so the traffic just
banked up right down into the CBD. Vehicles would clog up the intersections
because as soon as the lights went green they would enter the intersection,
even though they could not exit it. Then the intersection was blocked solid
when the lights turned red, and the traffic on the side roads could not do
anything. Immediately the red light cameras were introduced they were
installed on this outlet, and the traffic flow totally changed as cars would
enter the intersection unless they could exit it, for fear of getting caught
on camera. Traffic flow improved immensely on all roads around the area, not
just the side roads.

Incidentally my boss at the time told us that some young lads in Melbourne,
Australia worked out how to fire off the red light cameras there, and
proceeded to use up the film in them by mooning their backsides at the
cameras in the dark of night.


>3) Do studies to make sure you havn't just relocated all the accidents a
few
>   feet away from the lights?

Interestingly in the UK in the last couple of days there has been comments
made about how this seems to be the case with speed cameras. A number of
cameras have actually resulted in an increase in accidents at black spots.
The reasoning goes that you see the camera, slow down for it, look in the
rear vision as you pass to see when it is out of range, and miss seeing the
accident looming large in front.

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2004\06\17@095202 by hilip Stortz

picon face
Thank you!  i and no doubt others greatly appreciate honesty and truth.
though it is unfortunate.  tragically, u.s. reporters and media are
terribly, terribly fascinated by violence of all types.  perhaps this
extensive media coverage is partly responsible for the misperception
that the u.s. is one of the most violent places, not that there isn't
plenty of room for improvement.  a zero murder rate would be a truly
wonderful thing.

"Robert B." wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@100513 by Mike Reid

picon face
I live in Utah and we are one of about 40 states in the USA with a
concealed gun permit law. Statistically crime has dropped in states with
concealed carry laws. The required class deals mostly with the do nots
vs. what you're allowed to do.  What many people throughout the world
don't realize is that even under the US constitition, you have no basic
right of being protected by the government. If my home is burgled and
I'm hurt by the intruder, I have no legal recourse against the
government or police department. However, our Constitution recognizes
that we are endowed with inalienable rights. In the broadest sense, that
is a write that originates with God or a higher power. Since our
republic is based on the peopled giving the government power and not the
other way around, the basice right to protect myself and my family is
inalienable. It is not a civil right, or one given to me by my
government.

Many countries approach this subject with the attitude or with a
constitution that focuses on the rights the government allows the people
to have, vs. the US approach that the rights really do come from the
people.

I am truly free. If I want to own firearms, I have a constitutional
right to do so. As for concealed permits owners, Utah has tens of
thousands and not one has every killed a person or committed a serious
crime. There have been a few publicized accounts of road rage where a
gun is flashed and subsequently the permit is revoked if the person acts
foolishly.

The National Rifle Association has compiled thousands of stories where
armed citizens have successfully stopped crimes.  It's a fact that is
not talked about much by the liberal media.

I also have read many statistics about increases in crime in England and
other countries with very strict laws.  Again, crimes rates have dropped
in the US in states with concealed weapons programs. Of course the big
cities like Chicago and New York have strict laws against gun ownership
so they have higher crime rates.



{Original Message removed}

2004\06\17@101133 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Robert,

On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 07:19:06 -0400, Robert B. wrote:

> To set the facts straight, I'd like to present some real data.  It turns out both Australia and Britain are
*more* violent than the U.S.

These are not facts, they are statistics!  :-)

> http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=21902

The idea that 26% of the population of England & Wales has been a victim of a violent crime (or more than one)
within a single year is frankly ludicrous, and doesn't accord with experience.  For example, one of my cousins
was a victim of a "road rage" attack about ten years ago, which resulted from two car-loads of young lads
"having a go" at each other.  Apart from that nobody I know or am related to has been a victim of a violent
crime, ever!  Those statistics would lead you to believe that everyone is a victim on average once every four
years... I can't imagine this happening without at least a public outcry!  (Not to mention everyone being
afraid to go out).

The tone of the article above seems to be rather anti-british - the phrase "America's former master -- Great
Britain --" is pretty strange if the writer is unbiased, and in each case Britain is mentioned first
(including in the heading) when Australia was in fact the "leader"!  And the numbers don't add up: If 3.9%
were victims of "contact crime" and 2.8% of burglary, I wonder what the other 19.3% were victims of?
Presumably these two were the highest individual percentages, so there must be many others with small
percentages.  It would be interesting to see the whole set of data.

> http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2002/intl-comparisons-crime/section-9.html

Now this is interesting!  Notice that each section is using the comparison-county's definition of violent
crime, giving these comparisons (all per 100,000 population, for the year 2000):

Comparison:   NZ figure:
USA   506.1    132.6
Aus   941.9   1036.4
Eng  1390     1204.5
Can   981.7    551.1

Now the actual crimes happening in NZ must be the same in each case, so this leads to the interesting
conclusion that the crime rate that is 13% less than England is also 75% less than the USA, except that the
E&W figure is 2.6x the USA one!

There must be a terrific difference between the way that "violent crime" is defined and reported in the UK &
USA.

So the ratios USA : NZ and UK : NZ give:

506.1 / 132.6 = 3.82
1390 / 1204.5 = 1.15
which means that the  USA : UK  = 3.82 : 1.15 or 3.3 : 1

So the USA figure comparable to the UK's 1390 is 4587!

From the above figures it suggests that the USA may define and record only about 11% as many of the incidents
that would be recorded as violent crime in the UK...

Also, if there are 1390 crimes per 100,000 population, that's 1.39%, unless a crime involves more than one
victim.  To get to the above-claimed 26% figure, this shows that each crime must involve an average of 18.7
victims...

And what all this *really* shows is that statistics are a *very* dodgy way to prove something - and that the
best conclusion you can draw from seeing statistics presented is what the presenter is trying to prove!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\17@101345 by hilip Stortz

picon face
and please, please don't go pointing lasers at people, visible or
otherwise.  you can damage vision rather easily even if it isn't visible.

David VanHorn wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@101754 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>Many countries approach this subject with the attitude or with a
>constitution that focuses on the rights the government allows the people
>to have, vs. the US approach that the rights really do come from the
>people.

Citizen vs Subject?

>I am truly free. If I want to own firearms, I have a constitutional
>right to do so. As for concealed permits owners, Utah has tens of
>thousands and not one has every killed a person or committed a serious
>crime. There have been a few publicized accounts of road rage where a
>gun is flashed and subsequently the permit is revoked if the person acts
>foolishly.

And a good example of the fact that the system works, and does what it should do.

I also have read many statistics about increases in crime in England and
>other countries with very strict laws.  Again, crimes rates have dropped
>in the US in states with concealed weapons programs. Of course the big
>cities like Chicago and New York have strict laws against gun ownership
>so they have higher crime rates.

I've never really agreed with the "just hand them the money" philosophy.
It's probably safer for me, but not for us.

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2004\06\17@103041 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Please note the SMILEY!

> people slowing down for no good reason hardly creates a "safe zone" of
> any kind.  in fact it makes an accident far, far more likely as someone
> may not be paying attention, in which case you have caused a collision,
> and should rightly be held liable for all damage and injury done.  at
> the least, you would be impeding traffic, which also increases accidents
> by increasing congestion.  not to mention, i really don't appreciate
> extra rf exposure with no benefit.
>
> Bob Ammerman wrote:
> > Of course, but I bet you could get a lot of people to slow down when
their
> > detectors started screaming. You could almost create a 'safe speed zone'
> > around your own car :-)

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2004\06\17@103045 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>And what all this *really* shows is that statistics are a *very* dodgy way to prove something - and that the
>best conclusion you can draw from seeing statistics presented is what the presenter is trying to prove!

What it tells me, is that people are spinning the data from both sides.
Not very surprising.

In the end, are WE safer with or without armed citizens, given that:

1: Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws, so making something illegal will not stop a criminal from doing it.

2: Making citizen ownership of guns illegal does not prevent their use by criminals. (or seem to make much of a dent in it at all imho)

3: If the criminal can make the assumption that you aren't armed, and he is, his odds of success would seem to be better.


You also have to factor in the irrational person, who won't think about laws, odds of success, or risk/benefit, when he's plotting his crime.


Sanity check:  When did you last hear of a cop being mugged?
Even Britain's cops are now swinging twoard being armed again.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Police

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2004\06\17@103246 by hilip Stortz

picon face
sadly, statistics are probably the fastest route to being mislead,
whether the person who compiled them intended that or not.  definitions
are chronically abused and rarely coincide with how most people would
define things.  one particularly bad example, including 19 year olds and
criminals shot by police in statistics of "child" deaths from guns, yet
this has been done, and few who looked at the statistics realized it or
consider 19 year olds to be children, or think that criminals shot by
police is a problem though it is included in numbers claiming to show
the extent of a problem.  lies, dammdable lies and statistics, the 3
kinds of lies, statistics are the worst.  if you don't clearly
understand the denominator and the numerator you do not understand the
meaning of a statistic.  surveys are even worse, wording influences
people, as do the often tragically simple thinking behind questions with
only simple predefined answers offered as choices.  few (hopefully)
people think in such simple terms in real life, in real situations.
life is complex, so are statistics which tend to hide life's complexity.

Howard Winter wrote:
>
> Robert,
>
> On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 07:19:06 -0400, Robert B. wrote:
>
> > To set the facts straight, I'd like to present some real data.  It turns out both Australia and Britain are
> *more* violent than the U.S.
>
> These are not facts, they are statistics!  :-)
>
--------

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2004\06\17@105038 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
part 1 7897 bytes content-type:text/plain; (decoded 7bit)

Summary:

I demonstrate (I believe), using 'real; data,  that Phil's statements that

"the statement you made as fact is absurd" and
"it's lying, it's fraudulent, and it's disrespectful" and
" ... when you say "statistically" you are claiming there is data,  in this
case there obviously isn't." and
" you made an absurd statement and claimed it was at least statistically
valid without even having statistics."

are, to use his terminology,  obviously absurd.
I'm not sure if they are disrespectful etc :-)

Two examples of chapter and verse are provided.

(European Traffic Safety Council / University of Zurich / Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology)
Google sufficeth for more such.

"New directions in speed management: a review of policy"
UK Government Road Safety and Environment Directorate, Review of Speed
Policy.

It MAY, perhaps, be that Phil will realise that he was attacking something
that I was not saying.
Maybe not.

______________________________________________

So:

Phil got somewhat upset that I said:

> > > Statistically, taken over a year's results (or even a week's) you'll
find
> > > that pedestrian fatalities increase approximately with the square of
> > vehicle
> > > speed (see my "longish" post on this recently).
> > -----------

Hmm - this seems to be me that you are, er, waxing philosophical, about.
The man you are replying to about it aint the guy who wrote it.

When joining a list its probably wise to soak up a bit of the ambience and
found out who says what about what and how reliable people are and how prone
to factuality and .... before coming out all guns blazing (or even with half
your guns blazing). AGB may work, or you may end up with egg on face (if I
may mix metaphors).

I could point by point address your concerns, but I'll (largely) stick to
one which was the main basis of my other points.


Do note the "see my ...".
FWIW I would have thought that, to an engineer, the claim would have a
somewhat intuitive feel on reflection.
Indicivual accidents vary widely. There's high and low bumpers, tall and
short people, over the bonnet, glancing blows and full frontal, (I and my
motorcycles have been subject to both of these), through the windscreen etc.
Some accidents are somewhat energy independent - if you get run over  the
vehicle speed is liabl;e to be less important than the crushing effect. But,
for most accidents, the energy that is impatrted to your body is liable to
be a significant factor in the damage done - both when the vehicle adds
energy and when the road etc subsequently removes it. FWIW In my two car
versus bike accidents I got more damage at the time that I had energy added.
As energy added to you is related to velocity squared you would expect a
degree of correlation.

But you say, and I don't know why -

"yes, to state a mathematical equation, without support, is basically
manufacturing data, or put another way, lying."

& (ignoring various castings of doubt upon my veracity & respectfulness ...
:-) )

> the statement you made as fact is absurd,

& (re the affect thereof)

> it's lying, it's fraudulent, and it's disrespectful,

&

> ... when you say "statistically" you are claiming there is data,
> in this case there obviously isn't.

&

> you made an absurd statement and claimed it was at least statistically
valid without even having statistics.

&

> if i say something absurd and claim it's fact, i damn well expect to be
called on it,

So, consider yourself called :-)
I suggest that before you getso involved ina  response that you:

- make sure of the context and claim.
- do a sanity check on the physics
- Use Google
- Use Google again.
- Remember that Google is your friend.

You will, with digging, be able to find enough on this to satisfy you, but
here's a start:

European Traffic Safety Council 1995, University of Zurich and Swiss federal
Institute of Technology 1986.
Cited by Geetam Tiwari, Traffic Flow and Safety: Need for new models for
Heterogenous  Traffic.

   <http://www.iitd.ac.in/tripp/publications/paper/planning/gtfiwoco.PDF>

Figure 2 on page 73 is an approximately square law graph and the supporting
text notes -

"As illustrated in figure 2, small reductions in travelling speed result in
large reductions in injuries and fatalities in both urban and rural areas.
This is because the stopping distance of a vehicle under braking is related
to the square of the original velocity and
the damage to human beings is related to the square of the impact velocity."

He provides typical fatality versus speed figures.
I present these below along with those predicted by my rule of thumb
empirical formula.
(This rule of thumb empirical formula, was referred to in my subsequent post
which you objected to.)

Speed    My % fatal    His % fatal

30        18            5-8
40        32            25
60        72            > 85

It will be noted that his figures rise from below mine at low speeds to
above mine at high speeds. My curve is square law - his is somewhat steeper
than square law.

So, it seems, that in this case at least, the tabulated matches the sensibly
expected.

________________________

Lets have one more bite at it -

"New directions in speed management: a review of policy"
UK Government Road Safety and Environment Directorate, Review of Speed
Policy.
? ~= year 2000

Whole report as PDF


http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/pdf/dft_rdsafety_pdf_504682.pdf

OR
Report top level


<www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsaf
ety_504682.hcsp>

Section of especial relevance.


<www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsaf
ety_504682-03.hcsp#P87_10088>

which contains ...

_______________

Speed and injury severity
41.The likelihood of being seriously injured in a collision rises
significantly with small changes in impact speed. The impact speeds at which
this increase is most pronounced are lower than most would think. The
probability of serious injury to a belted car occupant in a front seat at an
impact speed of 30mph is three times greater than at 20mph. At 40mph it is
over five times greater (Hobbs and Mills 1984), see annex.

42.For pedestrians and cyclists the reality is even more stark. At-the-scene
investigations of collisions involving pedestrians and cars or car-derived
vans found that 85% of fatalities occurred at impact speeds below 40 mph
(Ashton and Mackay 1979). This compared with 45% which occurred at less than
30 mph and 5% at speeds below 20 mph.

43.About 40% of pedestrians who are struck at speeds below 20 mph sustain
non-minor injuries. This rises to 90% at speeds up to 30 mph, see annex. The
change from mainly survivable injuries to mainly fatal injuries takes place
at speeds of between about 30 and 40 mph (Ashton 1981). Elderly pedestrians
are more likely to sustain non-minor injuries than younger people in the
same impact conditions.

________________

Fatality comparison my formula versus UK reported figures.

MPH    Me% Them%

20    22%    5%
30    50%    45%
40    88%    85%

Again, their rise is slightly MORE than square law.

The attached GIF, which is based on the data from the UK report (not of my
drawing) is a bit tiny as I wanted to keep its file size down, but shows
clearly enough the non-linear rate of fatality increase with impact speed.
(fatalities are the right hand curve, middle curve is non-minor injuries, lh
curve is sum of other two).


Enough for now I think.


       Russell mcMahon


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part 2 9425 bytes content-type:image/gif; (decode)

2004\06\17@105249 by hilip Stortz

picon face
in my experience (including 6 months working graveyard shifts at a
convenience store and calling 911 once a week..) the dumb criminals are
always the more dangerous ones.  they make poor plans, things go wrong,
they use the simple solution, violence.  a well planed crime is one that
isn't detected at all, or one that isn't detected until after the fact.
smart criminals plan well and usually avoid any perceived need or use of
violence beyond the threat at least, and have things planed well enough
not to get into a desperate situation.  once a building is surrounded,
there really is only one smart choice, surrender and hope a nervous cop
doesn't shoot you, every minute a stand off goes on the chances of the
criminals and victims being killed only increases.  we rarely hear about
those smart enough to surrender, we do hear about those dumb enough to
take 10-20 hours to surrender, finally and whose delay has hardly helped
them or anyone else.  sadly, desperation often breads foolishness and
the pursuit of poor plans a more rational person would reject
immediately.

(ot): i've nearly witnessed this myself, i did see the top of the head
of the body on the road covered with a blanket.  an idiot in the back
seat of a car panicked just as the police were done with the traffic
stop and tried to shoot the cop, he missed, and was shot dead on the
spot (i think he tried to get out of the back seat of a 2 door car and
shoot, like he could surprise anyone that way).  the moron did have an
outstanding felony warrant, but the cops were done.  they didn't ask for
his id, since he was just a passenger and it was a casual, minor traffic
stop.  the moron panicked, and got himself killed, and endangered others
when there was no need or benefit from it.  by the way, the car had been
stopped just at the entrance to our subdivision, which i'd say is
normally a very safe area, but with a highway running by, anything can
happen.  i seriously doubt our house will ever be broken into, or that
an intruder would be dumb enough to break in at night when we are home,
but i do keep a loaded clip next to my gun, just in case (i do usually
keep my gun in a locked box in my room, i am responsible and don't want
a child or untrained moron to 'play" with it).  note that i don't keep
my gun loaded, but it would take about 2-5 seconds for me to insert the
clip and rack the slide and take off the safety, fast enough.

i'd hate to ever have to kill someone, even someone who was threatening
my life, but i'd rather feel guilty about having to kill someone in self
defense than be dead.  this also means i'd be careful, and depending on
the threat level might hold them for the police rather than shoot,
depending on how they were armed and how far away they were.  far away
with a knife, i'd give them a chance to not be stupid, close with a
knife or a gun, i wouldn't give them the chance to kill me first.  it's
my house, if they aren't supposed to be here they'd best not be very
threatening.  i've even discussed it with a sheriffs deputy when we had
to call them about a harassing phone call, and that's about how he put
it as well.  we are just outside of town, trouble is unlikely, but you
never know who will wonder through and be stupid.  and i do plan to get
a concealed carry permit, after the rightly required training, though i
don't plan to need it or to "carry", it's nice to have just in case, and
training is always good.  i also think anyone who abuses these rights
should lose them and be properly punished, you can't shoot someone who's
already running away or other wise not a threat, or you are the criminal.

David VanHorn wrote:
-------
>
> 3: If the criminal can make the assumption that you aren't armed, and he is, his odds of success would seem to be better.
>
> You also have to factor in the irrational person, who won't think about laws, odds of success, or risk/benefit, when he's plotting his crime.
>
--------

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2004\06\17@111909 by hilip Stortz

picon face
well, if that was the result they got, i'd definitely like to see the
data.  but i'll drop it, before it gets personal.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\17@113236 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> well, if that was the result they got, i'd definitely like to see the
> data.

1.     Follow the links below (from my prior post)
They don't publish any data other than what I listed in each case, but no
doubt the raw data is available from the authorities concerned if you wanted
to check their conclusions.

2.     Google is marvellous.


           RM



> >
<http://www.iitd.ac.in/tripp/publications/paper/planning/gtfiwoco.PDF>

> >
http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/pdf/dft_rdsafety_pdf_504682.pdf

> >
<http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsaf

> >
<http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsaf

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2004\06\17@125837 by Michael Olson

flavicon
face
On Thu, 17 Jun 2004, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >Really. I'm all for improving traffic safty, but why not:
> >1) Fix the light timings. (cheaper)
>
> Because then people will run/jump the red light as they will now know, or
> soon learn, that there is slack in the timing. There is also a case in the
> UK of a major intersection in London where the traffic was always snarled
> up. One traffic engineer made his name in the business by realising that the
> timings of the lights were very badly screwed up, and nothing was moving for
> about 7 seconds in each cycle. He changed the timings to eliminate the
> delay, traffic moved a lot more freely, and the snarlups almost disappeared.
> Slow timing does not necessarily help things.

Well, Around here the cameras usually target areas with high approach
speeds, short yellows, and often an inclined appoach. In other words, the
situations in which the people running the light simply didn't have enough
time to stop. Fairfax County, VA (very near me) gave the yellow time on a
camera light a miniscule tweak (1 or 2 seconds) and the number of runs
(and measured by camera issued tickets) droped over 90%. I'd say thats
good results.

> >2) Target dangerous intersections with the camera lights. (Seems more
> >   effective to me.)
>
> Is this not what red light cameras are doing anyway?

If they were, there would be less complaining here. Nope, they often pick
out of the way low accident lights to target. Why? Because the
*contractor* who runs the lights helps them pick the ones most likely to
generate signifiant amounts of money.

> >3) Do studies to make sure you havn't just relocated all the accidents a
> >few feet away from the lights?
>
> Interestingly in the UK in the last couple of days there has been comments
> made about how this seems to be the case with speed cameras. A number of
> cameras have actually resulted in an increase in accidents at black spots.
> The reasoning goes that you see the camera, slow down for it, look in the
> rear vision as you pass to see when it is out of range, and miss seeing the
> accident looming large in front.

I'd think speed cameras would be less of a problem for causing accidents
than light cameras. Here they often cite a reduction in accidents by not
counting the approaches. Also, they often compare the number of accidents
in the intersection area with past accident counts which include the
approaches. Anything to make the numbers look good.

I imagine some towns and cities specifically target high accident lights,
try to do their best with the timings, and are honest in their evaluations
of the effectiveness of the cameras. When my locality does the same, I
will have no complaints.

-- Michael Olson

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2004\06\17@131748 by Anthony Toft

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> If they were, there would be less complaining here. Nope, they often pick
> out of the way low accident lights to target. Why? Because the
> *contractor* who runs the lights helps them pick the ones most likely to
> generate signifiant amounts of money.

Near where I grew up, _all_ the lights had the camera mounting posts, and they
moved the cameras every week or so. The idea being you ran none of the lights
as you where unsure if you'd get caught.

They also had a fancy "wave flow" system to try and ensure you didn't hit reds
very often, worked as well as long as you didn't go too fast or too slow.

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2004\06\18@052302 by Peter L. Peres

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> In an attempt to bring it back on topic (or at least
> to involve myself in the discussion), what does
> everybody think about cars that can "drive
> themselves".

How many lives is it going to cost to remove the more obvious bugs out of
that system ?

Peter

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2004\06\18@054756 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> 2) Repeat offenders who get ticked by police officers get to pay
> substantially more insurance.  This does not happen with either
> photo-radar or red light tickets because the registered owner of the
> vehicle is not necessarily the driver at the time of the offence.

I think that the owner is responsible, unless he names the driver -- then
the driver is responsible. A car is such a dangerous weapon that whoever
owns one needs to have the responsibility to know whom he lets drive it.

> 3) Repeat offenders who acquire too many offence points lose their
> driving license.  Same as (2) above - no such penalty with either
> photo-radar or red light cameras.

Rather than taking this argument as a given, why not do away with the
"camera benefit"? After all, getting pulled over because a cop doesn't like
how I drive is a lot less factual than an image taken with the
corresponding speed measurement or traffic light cycle.


> Finally: photo-radar and red-light cameras are perceived by the public at
> large as a "cash cow" or revenue source rather than educational.

I don't get this point. I mean, if you are under the speed limit and don't
run red lights, there is nothing a camera can do to you. If you were over
or did run it, you shouldn't have done it. If you think the speed limit is
ridiculous, work to get it changed. I wonder why raising speed limits
rarely is an election campaign issue, even though there seems to be a
majority that really doesn't like to obey speed limits, or that they are
being enforced.

Maybe because it's something people like to do "under the cover"?

Gerhard

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2004\06\18@060702 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Gerhard Fiedler [RemoveMElistsspamspamCONNECTIONBRAZIL.COM]
>
>I don't get this point. I mean, if you are under the speed
>limit and don't run red lights, there is nothing a camera can
>do to you.

Actually not true.  There have been several cases in the UK were a Notices
of Intended Prosecution have been sent to owners of cars that have been
"caught" by radar based speed cameras (Gatso) when they haven't been
speeding.  In some of the cases the reported speeds were obviously wrong.
Apparently they are susceptable to reflections from other traffic.  They
actually take two picture, which combined with markings on the road are
supposed to verify the speed.  I suspect this is only done if you appeal a
ticket, rather than for every ticket.

There have also been rather too many cases of mobile speed units operating
in the wrong places, and drivers receiving tickets for doing nothing wrong
at all.  Most people just pay up, but when one person fights these cases and
wins, the rest of the motorists aren't automaticly pardoned, they each have
to go through an appeal process.

>If you were over or did run it, you shouldn't have
>done it. If you think the speed limit is ridiculous, work to
>get it changed. I wonder why raising speed limits rarely is an
>election campaign issue, even though there seems to be a
>majority that really doesn't like to obey speed limits, or
>that they are being enforced.

Because it simply won't happen, at least not in a reasonable timeframe. The
government have been driving home the "speed kills" message for years, and
despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, plenty of the population
believe this rubbish. The people with enough intelligence and motivation to
do something are therefore in a relatively small (but growing) minority (and
branded as irresponsible child murderers by the pro-camera lobby).

What politician would give an election promise of higher speed limits when
most of the potential voters have been brainwashed into believing this will
kill hundreds more children?

The bottom line is that the government wants to remove as many cars as
possible from the roads, making life as awkward and unpleasant as possible
for the driver is just the first step along that road.

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\18@061114 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> In the end, are WE safer with or without armed citizens, given that:
>
> 1: Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws, so making something
> illegal will not stop a criminal from doing it.
>
> 2: Making citizen ownership of guns illegal does not prevent their use
> by criminals. (or seem to make much of a dent in it at all imho)
>
> 3: If the criminal can make the assumption that you aren't armed, and he
> is, his odds of success would seem to be better.
>
> You also have to factor in the irrational person, who won't think about
> laws, odds of success, or risk/benefit, when he's plotting his crime.

I think it's more a cultural thing, rather than a factual thing. I
definitely feel safer in most places in Europe, and I never even saw a live
gun until I went to the US for the first time. There it didn't take two
days until I had a few of them pointed at me :)

Burglars in Germany are known to not take firearms with them on purpose --
because if they get caught with one, the penalty is severely higher than
without one, according to the perceived violence that's inherent in having
a gun with you. I'd rather confront an unarmed burglar without a gun than
an armed one with a gun...

This is not to say that I think gun bans would change anything, on either
side. But a culture that is less focussed on guns probably is a safer one.
But then again, guns are only a part of the story.

Gerhard

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2004\06\18@104302 by David VanHorn

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>
>I don't get this point. I mean, if you are under the speed limit and don't
>run red lights, there is nothing a camera can do to you.

You're missing the point.

Frequently, when red light cameras are installed, they also reduce the yellow light length, so as to create more revenue.  This is not law enforcement, this is entrapment.  Same as speed traps with the speed limit changing drastically at the bottom of a hill, with sometimes partially obscured signage..

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2004\06\18@105058 by David VanHorn

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>
>I think it's more a cultural thing, rather than a factual thing. I
>definitely feel safer in most places in Europe, and I never even saw a live
>gun until I went to the US for the first time. There it didn't take two
>days until I had a few of them pointed at me :)

In my whole life, I've never had a gun pointed at me in anger, and I only know one person who did.  He was in a gun store when an attempted holdup went down. He was carrying, and he was a good part of the reason that this was an attempted holdup, rather than a successful holdup.  No shots fired.


>I'd rather confront an unarmed burglar without a gun than
>an armed one with a gun...

Be sure to post this on your door, so they will respect your choice.
:)

>This is not to say that I think gun bans would change anything, on either
>side. But a culture that is less focussed on guns probably is a safer one.
>But then again, guns are only a part of the story.

Have you no murders then, or serious assaults?


I understand your point on the gun escalating the severity of the punishment, we have that here as well.

When I first went to taiwan, I heard on the radio that two bank robbers, and an accomplice, had been sentenced to death. (it wasn't a long drawn out affair like it would have been here in the US)..  The two robbers tried an armed robbery, but it was the accomplice's part that got my attention. HE LOANED THEM THE BULLET.

Taiwan also has compulsory military service, so I would assume every healthy male can handle a firearm properly.

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2004\06\18@113222 by M. Adam Davis

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Unfortunately in today's litigous climate, and in no-fault states such
as Michigan (where my insurance pays my bills, your insurance pays
yours) you could still try to sue me even if the accident was your
fault.  If you weren't wearing your belt, then your damages would be
much greater, and you might blame those additional damages on me as
well.  It may seem far fetched, but stranger cases have gone to court
and won.

-Adam

Robert B. wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\18@114429 by Robert B.

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Please end this thread as requested by James.  Contact me off list if you
have anything more to add, and I'll gladly read and respond.


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\18@161209 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
>> I don't get this point. I mean, if you are under the speed limit and
>> don't run red lights, there is nothing a camera can do to you.
>
> You're missing the point.

Maybe because you didn't address your point... :)

> Frequently, when red light cameras are installed, they also reduce the
> yellow light length, so as to create more revenue.  This is not law
> enforcement, this is entrapment.

I agree. But if and where that is the case, the length of the yellow light
is the problem, not the camera. So to address the problem with the yellow
light by removing the camera seems to be missing the point, doesn't it?

Another problem is probably the administration person who did this. And
rather than removing the camera, but leaving the too short yellow phase and
the inept person in charge, it seems to me that leaving the camera alone
but focus on getting a decent yellow light length back and removing the
responsible person from the post would be more prudent.

Gerhard

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2004\06\18@162700 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
>> I think it's more a cultural thing, rather than a factual thing.

>> I'd rather confront an unarmed burglar without a gun than an armed one
>> with a gun...
>
> Be sure to post this on your door, so they will respect your choice.
> : )

See, the thing is that it's not my choice, it's sort of a collective
choice. These are things that are very difficult to compare and even
describe out of context.


>> This is not to say that I think gun bans would change anything, on
>> either side. But a culture that is less focussed on guns probably is a
>> safer one. But then again, guns are only a part of the story.
>
> Have you no murders then, or serious assaults?

Where I live now (Brazil), we have both galore. But talking about Germany,
of course there are, too -- much fewer, though. The thing is that since
there are fewer guns around, there also seem to be fewer guns involved in
the "normal" crimes, the ones that happen around us. And it seems to me
that crimes where no gun is involved have a tendency to be less damaging.

See, I understand the point that guns can help to prevent a crime, or help
to interrupt a crime. But that's only part of the story. This is in a way
similar to the mutually assured destruction theory of the cold war. There's
something to it, but it also has a touch of insanity :)

> HE LOANED THEM THE BULLET.

Now this personal responsibility in action :)

Gerhard

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2004\06\19@050016 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Actually not true.  There have been several cases in the UK were a
> Notices of Intended Prosecution have been sent to owners of cars that
> have been "caught" by radar based speed cameras (Gatso) when they
> haven't been speeding.  In some of the cases the reported speeds were
> obviously wrong. Apparently they are susceptable to reflections from
> other traffic.

Doppler jamming by vibrating structure ? Any coherent audio frequency
range vibration in the car body will send the doppler readout a good way
towards the speed of sound and may obliterate the full body return. I do
not think that the current speed guns know how to handle a doppler line
split due to vibration of the target. Vespa clocks at >400kph ? ;-)

Peter

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2004\06\19@050019 by Peter L. Peres

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>I agree. But if and where that is the case, the length of the yellow
>light is the problem, not the camera. So to address the problem with the
>yellow light by removing the camera seems to be missing the point,
>doesn't it?

Government must increase its revenues both as a result of improvements in
life quality as well as a result of its worsening, to better manage
either. Government expenditure is probably *the* exception from economical
demand/supply elasticity laws. It gets away with it legally, using laws it
elaborates itself, and sells to voters largely by misrepresentation and
false promises made during election campains, which promises everyone with
half a working neuron knows cannot be kept even if miracles are counted
upon to happen daily. I am not suggesting anarchy, but ...

Peter

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2004\06\19@113635 by Gerhard Fiedler

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>>I agree. But if and where that is the case, the length of the yellow
>>light is the problem, not the camera. So to address the problem with the
>>yellow light by removing the camera seems to be missing the point,
>>doesn't it?

> *the* exception from economical demand/supply elasticity laws.

Those are not laws, they are theories :) -- and mostly not very consistent
ones.

> false promises made during election campains, which promises everyone with
> half a working neuron knows cannot be kept even if miracles are counted
> upon to happen daily.

And coming back to the stoplight cameras: as a means to separate those with
half a working neuron from those without one, and giving the ones with half
a neuron a tax break, I fully support them :)

Gerhard

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2004\06\22@033504 by jsand

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Hello Peter & PIC.ers,

>Date:    Thu, 17 Jun 2004 16:00:00 +0300
>From:    "Peter L. Peres" <EraseMEplp@spam@spam@spam@ACTCOM.CO.IL>
>Subject: Re: [OT]: detecting emergency vehicles
>
>> In an attempt to bring it back on topic (or at least
>> to involve myself in the discussion), what does
>> everybody think about cars that can "drive
>> themselves".
>
>How many lives is it going to cost to remove the more obvious bugs out of
>that system ?
>
>Peter

Well, I'd guess we can't expect perfection straight away.
There *will* be some accidents. I'm sure some people will be injured,
and die too.

What that has to be compared against, is just how many lives are lost
and misery created by what we are living with presently.
I don't envisage a step-change in the automobile landscape, probably
there'll be the first stage of approved systems for land-trains where the
vehicles in a train are linked by telemetry and *tested, compliant* software.
Vehicles in such trains would naturally be stock standard but with
bolted-on capability for the periods they are engaged in a train.

Once proven successful, and most importantly there exists enthusiastic
public support, we could tackle the next stage.
What might that be....    ..mmm... it's not obvious just off-hand.


       bestos,   John


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2004\06\22@034335 by Wouter van Ooijen

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>> what does everybody think about cars driven by people?

> How many lives is it going to cost to remove the more
> obvious bugs out of that system ?

we are still debugging...

Wouter van Ooijen

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