Thursday, August 19, 2021

Walking and Taking Photos and Wondering Why People Do Stuff

Out on a walk and I noticed this extremely odd situation ... a cellular tower or something like it rising up in someone’s backyard ... what exactly is going on here??

A closer look ...

Trying to imagine the scenarios here ... you either bought the property with that cancer-factory monstrosity in the yard, or you as property owner allowed someone to install it, with some form of monetary compensation I would hope ... but still.

Yuck. Electromagnetic radiation, it’s a thing. Good luck with your health, and as a seller of that cursed property someday.

On the same walk I saw one of these annoying things:

I get why they use them — too many drivers speeding on a stretch of road, ostensibly causing dangerous conditions for bikes and pedestrians and little kids. This is on an arterial road with side streets crossing it, so it is exactly the kind of place we are used to seeing them. Yay for public safety, and all that. I’m on board.

However. They set these things to rudely flash your speed at you if you go even 1 MPH over the limit. ONE MILE PER HOUR. 

Let’s review. My car does not suddenly become a dangerous missile on the transition from 30 MPH to 31 MPH. The very idea is idiotic. 

We all know the actual problem is drivers who go 40+ in a 30 MPH. Even law enforcement admits that. But by setting it to flash my speed at me when it’s just 1 MPH over, you’re putting me in the same bucket as those that go 45+, the actual dangerous drivers. This is not just insane on a practical level, it’s annoying as hell.

On another street not far away, they cut the speed limit to 25 MPH for the same reason. And cops started camping out in strategic spots to pull people over and give them at least a warning for going — I kid you not — 26+ MPH. 

Guys. Don’t do this. You’re criminalizing normal and safe driving to reduce the amount of 40+ MPH drivers. 

Here’s what you should be doing: ignore the 26-35 MPH drivers, because I’ll bet you $100 right now you cannot quote me honest traffic studies that show attentive, suburban, responsible drivers — mostly moms in vans, let’s be honest here — are dangerous at any of those speeds. But target *all* of your efforts in this area to nail the 40+ MPH drivers, since that is where the danger arises. 

Those are two very distinct groups, and we all know it, because we all see it with our own eyes every day. It’s not a big mystery how this works.

By doing it this way, you’re training people like me to laugh at and ignore this idiocy. I am not your problem. Don’t treat me like one. 

For me this is just another reminder of the way policy makers and law enforcement ignore the incentives they create in everyone who is not the target of their genius plans. 

There’s a downside to that: building distrust one small thing at a time, a “death by a thousand cuts” kind of thing. Law enforcement is facing quite a headwind with certain segments of the public these days; this obviously is a very small piece of the puzzle, but rebuilding law enforcement’s public image starts with small adjustments to actual enforcement practices. 

A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.

All photos in this post owned by me, copyright applies, etc.