Nearly every driver has done it, but we all fear getting pulled over for doing it. No, not speeding. We mean flashing your headlights to warn oncoming traffic of a cop car hidden off the side of the road getting ready to pounce on a fast driver.
Most of us have been told at some point that the practice is illegal, but I once learned that it actually is not illegal, just frowned upon. Apparently, the police in Seminole County, FL seem to have not gotten the memo that there is no law forbidding it in Florida, or any other state, and handed a ticket to a driver for that exact reason. They certainly got that memo in direct fashion as a Florida judge ruled against the Seminole police saying that flashing your lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap is covered under free speech. This court date was just a civil hearing and the driver still has yet to take the ticket to traffic court, which he surely will win.
The worst part of the whole thing is that the police officer gave the driver, Ryan Kintner, the ticket based on Florida’s law banning aftermarket flashing lights on civilian cars. Flashing your headlights is in no way having an aftermarket flashing light on your car. That is abuse of power to a “T,” but we’re not here to debate police and their power.
Now, before you all go out there and start flashing your lights like crazy to oncoming traffic every time you see a cop, make sure to review your state, county and city laws in regards to high beam usage. Every state or municipality has a rule on when you have to dim your high beam lights, most of which are at 500 feet from the oncoming traffic or 200 feet from traffic heading in the same direction as you.
All you speed demons with no regard for road rules better be careful. A new speed camera with state-of-the-art technology is going to be watching your every move, and there’s a pretty good chance that its cameras will capture all your road indiscretions, right down to the smallest of seconds.
The system, which is being called ‘Asset’ – short for Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport – performs a variety of functions designed to detect traffic infractions. Not only can it detect the car’s certain speed at any given point in time, but it can also run your plate number to ensure that the vehicle’s insurance and tax are on the up and up. It can also measure the distance between two cars to determine if tailgating is being done, as well as take photos of the car’s interior to ensure that the occupants, especially the driver are all wearing seatbelts. And the most amazing part? This camera can run through all of those actions in a matter of seconds.
The system’s testing and development is being done at the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland with funding estimated at somewhere around £7million. If everything goes according to the timeline, the system should be up and running in Europe in 2013 with each system costing around £50,000 each.
There is some bad news for those of us who live in Ohio. Not only might we lose LeBron James, but also police offers will be allowed to issue tickets because they ‘think’ a car is speeding.
New police officers in Ohio receive no extra training in estimating speeds. They won’t be using stopwatches, timing devices, or even a wonderful little thing called a radar. Instead, officers in Ohio will be giving out tickets based on a guess.
"There is no formula to apply," said Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission to The Plain Dealer. "It’s kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing."
An Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday has decided that a police officer’s hunch is good enough to issue a ticket. Though guesses have been used for quite some time, most courts in Ohio required more than that. Things like radar readings or comparing the speed of the suspect to that of the police cruiser were all used.
Now though, things have changed. The court ruled that officers trained by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy or a similar academy are now experienced enough to be a judge of speed.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Speed limit billboard in Milwaukee takes different approach in reminding drivers to drive within limits
American law enforcement takes their speeding regulations quite seriously. After all, these people don’t want American citizens to become just another statistic in the growing number of deadly roadside accidents happening all over the US.
As such, some towns have gone to great lengths to ensure their speed limits are carefully enforced and those wishing to violate them should know the
steep price they’re likely to pay.
The Elm Grove Police Department in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has thought of a new way to remind drivers regarding the perils of haphazard driving. Going against the trend of laying out the punishments for would-be speeders, this department has come up with an ingenious way to keep drivers from pushing the throttle, and what better way is there than to remind them just how much money they’ll spend in hospital bills when they tow the line of the speed limit.
Opel’s revelation of a new driver-aid system comes a day after we found a new application for classmate Distonic plus present on the Mercedes S-Class. This technology would support rather than irritate buyers looking for a mid-size car with extra safety features.
Some of the S-Class’s customers complained the Distronic plus along with other safety allies, snatched most of their effort while driving. A group of onboard computers were found guilty for this problem of turning drivers into merely passengers. A car which can brake and accelerate on its own is not a driver’s car after all, is it?
What a driver’s car needs is a device or a group of electronic gizmos to promote driving and not monotony. Opel’s answer couldn’t have come at a much better time.
Opel’s technology uses a camera fixed to the front windshield behind the mirrors, which detects road signs on the go. By clicking and analyzing 30 pictures every single second, the system can detect road signs displaying speed limits. Instead of applying the brakes or setting a constant speed, it will alert the driver by displaying the speed limit on the instrument cluster. If the speed limit changes, the driver is alerted again.
Trapster is a very smart choice for all of you that own a mobile phone with integrated GPS system. Once you have installed the Trapster application (free), your phone will automatically alert you when you come close to law enforcement device such as speed trap, red light camera and other goodies. Their database still need refinement so in case you still get pulled over, you can still help...others by adding your location quickly with their mobile widget. Finally you can put this GPS phone to some use !