Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ban Them Already

The rumors are, Arizona Considers Ditching Speed Cameras.

Well, long overdue.

The Valley Of The Sun is a funny place.

Within a week of arrival back in 2000, I had to negotiate a kneehole desk that materialized in the middle of I-10 as I was driving down. Within another week, I saw a TV news report about a massive pileup on I-17 which was caused by a truck that lost a love seat. Countless times, I saw pool guys sending plastic buckets, usually filled with the tools of the trade, flying over the interstate, understandably, into windshields of cars following them. Once I saw a bucketful of groceries spilled at the intersection of 7th St & Thunderbird Rd. I've lost three windshields to rocks, two of them on two new cars within a month from the moment they were bought. People get injured by garden tools flying off gardeners' trucks. A woman died few years ago, impaled on a steel pipe that catapulted from the eighteen wheeler in front of her car.

At the same time, I had to deal with the attitude of drivers, which, while being totally cool in comparison, to, say, drivers elsewhere, is not quite, should I say, respectful, or, should I say, thoughtful - and to add insult to injury, cellphones seem to be surgically implanted into their hands and skulls.

So, what do I find now that the Valley is full of cameras, in addition to all the drivers?

Same crappy drivers.
Driving down same crappy roads.
Having same crappy driving etiquette, and attention span of a one year old.

Only this time, not only I have to watch for them, and the obstacles they create, but I have to also watch the cameras - because the design speed of the Valley roads is somewhere north of 80, and the speed limits, you know, were conveniently lowered from 65 to 55.

I don't know where those people got the idea that if you make crappy drivers drive slower, they will be driving safer. No, they still drive crappy. Just slower. Taking away the irreplaceable time of my life, one mile per hour at a time.

In other parts of the world there is a superstition - those whose deeds are criticized. hiccup every time it happens. I believe that had that been true, the people responsible for speed camera installation would have died of respiratory failure by now.

UPDATE: corrected the link.

UPDATE 2: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 5-2 to recommend approval of House Bill 2106, which would force the removal of the cameras now installed on Interstate 10, Loop 101 and other highways. DO NOT RUSH YET, though, because it has to be voted by full House first. Update will follow promptly.

1 comment:

  1. a) One senator proposing - ain't gonna happen (nice to dream though). Now let speed cameras catch few of them - and things might change...
    b) To be fair - they don't lower the speed limit (unless road is under construction, which kind of semi-permanent on the Valley freeways anyway, but I digress). I remember golden times when I-17 kept 4 lanes all the way down to the Glendale Ave and 55mph was THE speed limit on it from downtown up to 101. When western part of 101 opened and speed limit was to 65mph - that was big deal.