Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Driving in the USA - Speed Cameras

I drive a lot on a weekly basis. By a lot I mean just under 600 miles a week, sometimes more depending on what I get into on weekends. Accordingly, I have to watch out for a lot of things to keep my traveling expenses as low as possible. There are many things that can ruin my day during a (should be) one-hour trip to or from work; traffic, ill-timed traffic lights, slow drivers on one-lane roads, poor weather conditions and those too scared to drive normally and safely in it...the list goes on and on. Now a days, however, speed cameras (fixed or mobile) are the newest obstacle to slalom.

Now understand that I have no problem with speed limits or needing to slow down traffic in situations which could become dangerous, but since the inception of speed cameras (and red light cameras for that matter) in the DC & Baltimore Areas I've been cynical of the true intentions of these devices. On a daily basis I make it a point to locate and obey the mobile speed camera units that occupy I-95 construction areas, always trying to stay out of the rolling shot frame that some unaware motorist is cruising into, as well as ensuring no un-speed-camera-aware big riggers speeding downhill to save fuel is behind me, to avoid accidents and/or needing to fight a ticket I don't have time for. One of these days I'll record my ~53 mile trip to work and put it on ROTLtube, but until then trust me when I say it's a jungle out there.

One of my favorite daily automotive news coverage programs on the web, FastLaneDaily (see the 'Web Entertainment' page on the top right), has a Thursday only program called The Road Testament. This weekly program covers a variety of interesting and discussion provoking topics and wouldn't ya know it, they had an episode on speed cameras last week. Take a look.

While part of me says I shouldn't piggy back on their video and steal interaction between their viewers an them, I'm fine with it in this case as would've come to this point anyway with or without backup from outside sources. I planned on having a whole series on sht that pisses me off while behind the wheel, when I came up with the idea for this site, but I've bit my figurative tongue due to the inherent need to revise the manner in which I did so first. I recommend you all to subscribe to FastLaneDaily, because I think you all will enjoy it. If this video speaks to you, comment on youtube to share your views with FLD. On our side of things, for all our ROTL readers here, I want to start discussions about things like this on our FB page (I'm one step ahead of ya), but you can feel free to answer the following question in the comment section below this post as well.

While I'm very proud to say ROTL has over 50 countries represented in our readership (hell yea), this discussion is mainly for those of you in the USA. To our foreign friends, feel free to chime in on the matter, but please state the country you're from in your posts for clarification. On to the question then; in my opinion, the quality of drivers in this country has dropped drastically over the past 10-15 years that I've been driving. Why do you think that is? How can this be turned around?

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