Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Personal Speed Camera

OK, so motorists will hate me
  (+5, -10)(+5, -10)
(+5, -10)
  [vote for,

Combine a speed gun with a digital camera and GPS system. Pictures of speeding motorists (incorporating speed of motorist and place where it's taken),taken with such a device could be taken to the police for a fixed bounty (say £10 a shot).
This device could either be bought or rented from the police for a percentage of the bounty. Since the crapiest roads tend to run through poorer areas this could produce quite an income stream for the poor.
dare99, Jul 29 2002


       Is there some kind of rapid trigger motion, to catch a whole stream of speeding motorists? Yes? In which case how do you stop a guy catching the same offender lots of times, each one 50 yards apart?   

       Also, how do you know that the photo-taker is stationery. If they are moving away, the offender's speed will seem to increase.   

       Also, kind of baked. Speed cameras are now endemic in the UK.
PeterSilly, Jul 29 2002

       On the moving camera front, the GPS system should take care of that. Keeping a few records in the time around the photo will tell you if they have moved far.   

       If they catch the same car repeatedly over a small stretch of road then the police station where they trade in the shots will notice the same number plate cropping up.   

       The speed camera may be endemic here (well, at least near cities), but the man in the street has not yet got a way of profiting from it. Since the speed camera is meant to protect the citizenry of the country it makes sense that they should be the ones operating the enforcement cameras.
dare99, Jul 29 2002

       Radar based speed detectors can already detect their own motion and compensate for it in determining the target's speed. They are very easy to use and very accurate -- but only if the user follows some very strict guidelines to prevent false readings. On the other hand, false readings are extremely easy to manufacture by someone who has a motive to do so (i.e. collecting a bounty). All that is required is a vibrating tuning fork held near the antenna of the radar unit. Proper selection of the fork's frequency will yield any speed reading that the user desires. Instant fraud, with false convictions of innocent drivers as a bonus!   

       Similar schemes can be developed to register falsely high speeds on other speed detecting equipment.   

       By the way, it would be much cheaper to just mount those cameras on stationary poles and use sensors in the road to trigger a reading and snap a photo. Oh wait, that's exactly what they already do.
BigBrother, Jul 29 2002

       Yep, that is what they already do. These camera's are quickly spotted by local drivers who slow down by the camera but drive like maniacs else where.
By putting the cameras in the hands of every day people it'd make radar detectors useless (what use is it if it's going off constantly) and known problem areas would be policed as locals know better where they are.

       A tuning fork? How does that work then? Does it interfere with the radio waves somehow? How do you select the frequency of a tuning fork? I thought they were fixed depending on the size of the fork. If they are that easily foolable then a radar-based system shouldn't be used. How about a laser Doppler system?
dare99, Jul 30 2002

       Why should the man in the street profit from penalising criminals? The whole point about justice is that criminals pay for the damage they have caused to society - not so that individuals can make profit. Any individual targetted by crime should be compensated, but that is different from profit.   

       Also, the police is there as representatives of the //citizenry of the country//. They are there purely to avoid having everybody having their own interpretation of the law and having a consistent mechanism to deal with criminals. The other way lies lots of civil actions, meaning that lawyers are the ones who end up in profit.
PeterSilly, Jul 30 2002

       What I'm proposing is a sealed piece of technology that has a human operator. The criminals will be paying for the crime they have committed in the form of a standard fine. The only difference is that £10 of their parking fine will go to help the person who brought them to justice   

       By the logic in your first paragraph, police, store security officers, traffic attendants and cctv camera operators should not be paid as they are benefiting from criminal activity (or the threat of same).   

       I don't believe that there is a great deal of latitude for interpretation in speeding laws. There is a speed limit, if your vehicle is going faster than that speed limit then the law is being broken. Certain, easily identifiable, emergency vehicles get special dispensation to break speed limits in emergency situations. That's about yer lot.
dare99, Jul 30 2002

       What about the special circumstance of "being Prince Andrew"?
angel, Jul 30 2002

       Then the optional bazooka feature would come into play.   

One less parasite!
dare99, Jul 30 2002

       I don't hate you, I just think it's a really stoopid idea. The idea of using a profit motive to stop crime distorts the efforts being made to away from what is best and towards what is profitable.   

       The UK has recently given police the ability to take a percentage of money from speeding fines providing that they paint speed cameras bright yellow and justify the placement of each camera on safety grounds.   

       The government's idea is to make people slow down on dangerous stretches by making it obvious that there is a speed camera there. This increases safety, saves lives and is a good idea.   

       This on the other hand... (hurls high speed fishbone)
st3f, Jul 30 2002

       My idea would work in the same way by removing persistent re-offenders from the road. Although bright yellow cameras do work as an obvious visual deterrent, it does mean that people slow down on those dangerous stretches. Unfortunately, all that distinguishes a dangerous stretch of road from a safe one is context.
Oil leak on the road?
Children crossing?
All these are transient events that make a safe road into an unsafe one. By having potential cameras every where then all these places could be safe.

       Also, by having people operating the cameras the amount of cameras about will depend on population density. That means on areas where they are more likely to hurt others the cars will be under greater scrutiny.
dare99, Jul 30 2002

       //Also, the police is there as representatives of the //citizenry of the country//. They are there purely to avoid having everybody having their own interpretation of the law and having a consistent mechanism to deal with criminals. //   

       Police is derived from the Latin word Polis, meaning people. Policeman = man of the people.
Mayfly, Jul 30 2002

       [dare99]: The tuning fork works by reflecting the radio wave back to the antenna, but frequency modulated by the frequency of vibration. Radar guns usually work by mixing (multiplying) the received signal (which is frequency shifted by a car) by the sent signal (which is a pure sine wave) to get an audio-frequency sine wave whose frequency is proportional to the speed of the car relative to the radar antenna. The signal processor examines this frequency and displays the corresponding speed.   

       A frequency-modulated reflection from a tuning fork gets mixed in the same way, and it also produces an audio-frequency signal whose frequency matches the vibrational frequency of the fork. The signal processor examines the frequency and displays a speed that corresponds to that frequency.   

       If a fork with the right frequency is chosen, and if its reflection is stronger than the car's (remember that the fork is centimeters away whereas the car is meters away) then the radar gun will claim that the car is moving at a falsely high speed.   

       You can adjust the frequency of a tuning fork by cutting the tines shorter (to raise the frequency) or by adding mass to the tips (to lower the frequency). Yes, this requires that you start with a fork that is close to your target frequency. But it can be done.   

       Your laser version can be falsed by a bit of stretched mylar, a small piezo speaker, and a tone generator.
BigBrother, Jul 30 2002

       [st3f]: very laudable support for the latest road safety measures in the UK. However, I'd bet 12 points on my licence that you don't live in Northamptonshire. Go around talking like that in the local pubs there is likely to get you lynched.   

       Having said that I agree with you about this idea, it's a privatised police force by any other name. Fish.
TwoSheds, Jul 30 2002

       Finding an invisible tuning fork that will not show up in the picture may be tough for our imagined fraudster. Like wise the mylar foil, piezo speaker and tone generator. You could see them in the shot. How about a combination of radar, laser doppler and double photograph where the size of the car will give away it's speed (easily foolable by a series of paper cutouts of different models of car in different sizes!)
dare99, Jul 30 2002

       dare - the main thrust of your argument appears to be that crime should pay for the people who arrest/convict. The police are there as a service to the community - they have to operate in a cost-efficient manner and are not separate from the community. While forces are measured on conviction rates, their cost-effectiveness is actually more important. The police and the other security personnel are paid because it takes time to protect other people. Not paying the police means no police force - and where do we go then? Read my profile!   

       I partially agree with your comment about safety being dependent upon context. However, speed is not the only factor. Safe and considerate driving is the most important thing - speed may or may not be a factor.   

       Also, what makes you think the police want to be deluged by wannabees? It's hard enough trying to detect personal vendettas without wanting to throw in some financial reward!   

       Given up - you have been penalised a fishbone...
PeterSilly, Jul 30 2002

       Creating a system where people profit from the crimes and misdemeanors of others is quite simply wrong. How can you justify this? Fishbone.
waugsqueke, Jul 31 2002

       Can we use the same system to give tickets to people who go under the speed limits? You know, the ones who clog up the road for a quarter mile or so. Are these people aware that time is a limited resource? It really sucks to throw away several minutes of time a day to some inconsiderate motorist going under the speed limit.
jamesxi, Oct 11 2002

       Several minutes? Are you talking about people driving 5mph?
bristolz, Oct 11 2002

       [Didn't see this when I posted...] Civilian speed camera:   

       Distribute a civilian camera with which you can prove that someone was wildly driving
(0) [vote for, against]

       You have to buy the unit (so doesn't cost the police anything) and you get a percentage of the fine.
Only applicable to catch wild drivers. The system will be able to check your speed (to show that you weren't speeding), and to prove your position through GPS (so that you can show what the speed limit was).

       You'll have to show at least 10 cars in same 10 minutes that were significantly slower, or possibly even in speed limit :-(   

       Have it emit shooting noises so it's fun to operate.   

       Then the wild drivers won't be getting away. Again, the point is that people would pay to buy and operate them, so it doesn't cost the police anything. And since the machine can give GPS readings which are timestamped and digitally signed (and not even stored in the machine but transmitted to a central station) there can be no fraud.   

       Could be used for extreme slow drivers on fast roads too.
pashute, Nov 04 2002

       There may be practical problems associated with implementing this idea but. ideally we should be able to devise ways to prevent people injuring themselves and others. Dual carriageways prevent people driving on the the wrong side of the road. Police are rare, in some areas traffic control is quite effective, working radar entering a 30mph limit and leaving provides little opportunity for drivers to break the speed limit. The answer lies in education. Part time work for some people to use radar devices seems like a good idea. I occasionally use a flash gun in my car, it does affect traffic speed.
uked, Feb 08 2003

       There are phone numbers you can call if you see someone driving dangerously. They get a nasty little note in the mail and the person who called in remains anonymous. All's well in happyland.   

       However, I'd imagine that if your idea were implemented, the snitches would occasionally be lynched.   

       Gonna have to make it a -9.
rapid transit, May 24 2003

       Ok, we haven't yet got personal speed cameras, but the likes of Cycling Mikey are making this one a reality for bad drivers.   

       (Hi guys, what've you been up to for the last 20 years! :)
dare99, Jan 17 2024

       Ok, we haven't yet got personal speed cameras, but the likes of Cycling Mikey are making this one a reality for bad drivers.   

       (Hi guys, what've you been up to for the last 20 years! :)
dare99, Jan 17 2024

       //what've you been up to for the last 20 years//   

       Sitting by the side of the halfbakery with a frequency-of-posting counter, waiting for you to turn up again
pocmloc, Jan 17 2024

       Bickering, nit-picking, obsessing and occasionally bursting into poetry. See the "random" link for details.   

pertinax, Jan 17 2024


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