Annoying Traffic Cameras Are No Match for Subversive Technology

I admit to a weakness for anything that, intentionally or otherwise, sticks it to the man. And I really don't like automated traffic cameras that issue tickets to alleged speeders and red-light runners who are often driving at perfectly safe speeds and cornering on too-closely timed yellow lights. The damned things aren't just annoying, they're often optimized less for traffic safety than for generating revenue. So I'm tickled by a newly developed license plate frame that renders traffic cameras impotent.

From Wired:

Jonathan Dandrow has developed noPhoto, which renders the pix snapped by those revenue-generating robo-cams useless. The technology behind noPhoto is fairly simple. At the top of the gadget, which doubles as a license plate frame, there’s an optical flash trigger that detects the flash of the traffic-light camera. That trigger sets off one or both xenon flashes in the sides of the noPhoto, so when the traffic-light camera opens its shutter, there’s too much light and the picture of your license plate is overexposed. Big Brother can’t read your plate.

I'm going to take a wild guess that the powers-that-be won't be pleased by this latest technological development. That likely means a legal response aimed at prohibiting the sale of noPhoto on the open market. But once a technology is out of the bag ...

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  • ||

    Well, it's interesting, because these are all local governments bringing in the cash with the cameras. What legal recourse do they have? Will the city of Podunk, NW sue the company?

  • John||

    A state law banning them like some states ban radar detectors.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Gotta catch me first, copper!

  • Trespassers W||

    Jeez, it costs $350. Even worse, they're out of stock!

  • $park¥||

    Freedom isn't free!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a cunning plan. To end the deficit crisis, Americans are permitted to buy back their liberties.

  • $park¥||

    How on Earth could you end a deficit crisis by selling something people don't want?

  • $park¥||

    Boy am I glad Tulpa showed up to prove my point.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm trying to decide who owned him the hardest. Mad Libertarian Guy, probably.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    How strange that after I disputed the "ownage" he scampered away and didn't respond.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, some people want it. I'd be willing to pay a large sum, if I knew I'd actually get all of my liberties back for good.

  • SIV||

    Think of the "health care" savings alone!
    The only question is which liberties to buy back first?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I missed the right to speed in the Constitution.

  • JW||

    "Pursuit of happiness," Professor Chumbucket.

    It keeps getting away, so I have to go faster.

  • JW||

    If you don't like that, since that's the Declaration, "Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves" works too.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And I missed the part where they took out the part that guarantees my right to question my accuser.

  • Trespassers W||

    JURISPWNED

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I guess you think prosecuting people for burglary based solely on security camera footage is a due process violation, too?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Your whole argument fails because of the tinkering with the lights. That's the main reason this is so bad. They have every incentive to shorten light speeds to increase revenues.

    Which is why your analogy fails, too, because in that scenario, the government doesn't help to make what you're doing into a crime, and there's a subsequent hearing for burglary that's actually meaningful.

    I have a big problem with the way traffic laws are enforced in court because due process has become a joke. That's not just my opinion, either--traffic court is well-known for "truncated" due process, which, given the potential for high fines and even jail time, is contrary to the rule of law.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Tinkering with the lights doesn't affect my argument in the slightest.

    Traffic courts do strip due process down to the bones, but the justification is usually that non-jailable traffic offenses are more administrative matters than criminal ones. After all, you agree to the system when you get a drivers license.

    As I stated before, due process means different things in different contexts. Process that is due for a capital offense is different from process due for a $20 parking ticket.

  • entropy||

    You agree to whatever I say by breathing.

    If you didn't like my terms, you could have chosen to simply hold your breath forever.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And the tinkering with the yellow lights is completely irrelevant if we're talking about right turns on red.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "But traffic laws are a civil matter!"

    -Paraphrasing some douchebag

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except that red light cameras don't record the crime, but capture an image of a car that has been determined, by the camera itself, to have been involved in a crime.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sometimes they do. Sometimes they catch the red light in the picture too.

    And if a store is burglarized, and the security camera in the parking lot only shows you walking near the store entrance carrying a bag full of stuff, that's enough for a conviction usually.

  • Trespassers W||

    Let's flesh out your analogy a bit.

    If someone were prosecuted based solely on security camera footage in which the person can't be identified, but we're quite sure the perpetrator is wearing the person's clothes, and the cost to the person even under acquittal is non-negligible--legal costs, damage to reputation, wasted time--yeah, I think you could make the case for a violation of due process. It sure as hell wouldn't be just.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A license plate is way more precise ID than similar clothes.

  • robc||

    A license plate is way more precise ID than similar clothes.

    No it isnt. It doesnt identify the driver at all. It merely identifies the car owner. And the owner is not responsible for the ticket of a non-owner driver.

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm already granting that the perpetrator was, in fact, wearing the accused's clothes.

  • SIV||

    A visual facsimile of a tag on the person's clothes would be enough.

  • Coeus||

    I guess you think prosecuting people for burglary based solely on security camera footage is a due process violation, too?

    It would be if they skipped the criminal justice system and let a private company level punishment.

  • $park¥||

    Apparently you also missed the part of the Constitution that spells out only what the government CAN do.

  • robc||

    Countermeasures are specifically covered by the 9th amendment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I missed the part where the federal government could require speed limits intrastate, too, not to mention that we're not talking about speeding.

  • JW||

    KOMMERCE KLAUSE!

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, it's a tax. Do try to keep up with constitutional jurisprudence.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Penaltax, PL. I missed the part of the Constitution where it said you didn't have to Tow. The. Lion.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If other people on the same road are traveling interstate it's obviously constitutional.

  • R C Dean||

    I missed the right to speed in the Constitution.

    Perhaps if you could point out the enumerated power authorizing restrictions on travel, we could have a conversation.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    We're talking about state laws here, buddy. No enumeration necessary.

  • $park¥||

    Then why did you bring the Constitution into it?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Fine, you want to look in the state constitutions for a right to speed then?

  • $park¥||

    I'd be satisfied if you could show me any Constitution that clearly spells out that I don't have a right to speed.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If I speed and harm no one, then I clearly have a right to drive at the speed with which I can safely control my vehicle.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If I put a blindfold on in a playground and spin around firing a gun in random directions, and don't harm anyone, then I clearly have a right to do this.

  • $park¥||

    Have you ever made an analogy that made any sort of sense?

  • Coeus||

    Have you ever made an analogy that made any sort of sense?

    Actually, he does every time. But he likes that bullshit one so damn much he just always uses it instead.

  • Randian||

    Firing a gun causes a reasonable apprehension of imminent injury or death. Speeding does not.

  • Paul.||

    Right, because going 39 in a 35 is the same is firing a gun in random directions on a playground. Exactly the same.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Driving a car =/= firing a gun, unless you're saying that a car is inherently and solely a lethal weapon.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    That plan is so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.

    /Blackadder off

  • Pro Libertate||

  • Paul.||

    Never turn Blackadder off. I've modeled my life after Edmund.

  • MisterDamage||

    There's free as in speech and free as in beer. Both are good. Both are delicious. But they're not the same thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    [Laughs a deep, deep laugh like Geoffrey Holder.]

  • fish||

    Thank you for the memory!

  • JW||

    I suddenly feel like having a 7-Up. Weird.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Crisp and clean and no caffeine. Never had it, never will. Ah, ha, ha, ha.

  • BakedPenguin||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hit and Run should have a Repo Man day, where we all watch it and comment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If there is hope. . .it lies in the engineers.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who do you think designed the traffic cams in the first place?

  • Pro Libertate||

    The other engineers.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    OUR DEMISE IS ENGINEERS ALL THE WAY DOWN.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, we need liberty-enhancing technology, probably produced by engineers in space.

  • fish||

    As someone who recently got stuck with a $482.00 fine in Sacramento County for this "offence" (right turn on red without making a complete stop) this development makes me fully turgid!!

  • JW||

    In Maryland the fuckers have started nailing right-turners who don't come to a complete stop at a red light, before turning.

    I kept wondering why I would see the flashes from the cameras on the roads that seemed to have had the green light.

  • John||

    At some point they are just going to start randomly flashing and charging people. It is just a road tax administered by lottery. Death is too good for the people who serve in Maryland government.

  • JW||

    I was tempted to fight the most recent speed-cam ticket I got, from a new camera, since there were no register lines on the road.

    I checked the MD law and it only spoke of the same "physical landmark" having to be in both photos. I figured I could make the argument of the lack of registration lines, but I I also suspected they would come back with the lane markers as the landmark, wasting my day in traffic court and upping the fine to include court costs.

    There are other challenges you can mount, but frankly, I was too lazy to pursue them.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Just like having a camera pointing down a crime-ridden alley is tantamount to putting cameras in every American's bathroom.

    The drama-queeniness around here is sure ramping up.

  • JW||

    Thankfully, the authority brown-nosing rate here is largely remaining steady, all due to your steely-eyed vigilance.

  • Randian||

    Just like having a camera pointing down a crime-ridden alley is tantamount to putting cameras in every American's bathroom.

    No one said that.

    The drama-queeniness around here is sure ramping up.

    Said the guy who posited that 10,000 addicts in a mine party could get off scot free by killing a newbie.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Yesterday we had the post comparing China putting cameras in Buddhist monasteries to catch political dissenters, to NYC putting cameras in public spaces.

  • Randian||

    I suppose if we're just a hair better than China than it's alllll gooood.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Worry not Professor ChuckleFuck your Peak Derp precedent won't be broken by any of us any time soon. Or ever.

  • Paul.||

    Just like having a camera pointing down a crime-ridden alley is tantamount to putting cameras in every American's bathroom.

    No, I'd say it's more like putting on a blindfold and firing a gun in random directions on a playground.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Death is too good for the people who serve in Maryland government.

    Better yet, they should have to live in a small town, with the Prince George county police constantly patrolling.

    So basically, what you said, only they'd be humiliated and beaten first.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    How hard is it to come to a complete stop?

  • Enough About Palin||

    THIS^^

  • JW||

    I bet you count to full stop for 3 seconds via "piggy-wiggy" too.

    "One-piggy-wiggy, two..."

  • Pro Libertate||

    How hard is it to punish a technical violation less harshly than a dangerous one? How hard is it not to tinker with the timing of the light in order to maximize revenues at the expense of driver safety? How hard is it to retain the concept of due process in traffic violations?

    People are stupid and shouldn't run lights because it's crazy dangerous. Governments are stupid and shouldn't oppress their people or go over the top. Because that's a different kind of dangerous.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The tinkering with the yellow light timing is scandalous and the people need to keep tabs on their govt in that regard. Eternal vigilance and all that.

    I don't see any due process issues. Do recall that due process is an intentionally vague concept.

  • Randian||

    The tinkering with the yellow light timing is scandalous and the people need to keep tabs on their govt in that regard. Eternal vigilance and all that.

    Introducing a quick and easy way to make a fortune increases the amount of vigilance necessary. In other words, the vigilance costs of the red-light cameras, in addition to the reflexive due process violation, outweighs the ostensible 'benefits', which have never materialized, oh by the way.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Police cars also made it much easier for the state to oppress people. So I guess we shouldn't have ever allowed those?

    It's a tradeoff. I would think, by the way, that something like RLC which reduces the need for traffic cops pulling people over is something libertarians would support, given how liberty-endangering the traffic stop is.

  • Randian||

    It's a tradeoff. I would think, by the way, that something like RLC which reduces the need for traffic cops pulling people over is something libertarians would support, given how liberty-endangering the traffic stop is.

    It's a force-multiplier, not a force reducer. I hope you can understand the difference. There is probably little evidence the police are pulling over less people; they just do it in areas where they couldn't get to it before.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Besides, this will all be a nonissue when our cars become mostly or completely automated.

  • KDN||

    when our cars become mostly or completely automated.

    I bet speed limits still don't rise after this occurs. Because children.

  • ||

    Besides, this will all be a nonissue when our cars become mostly or completely automated.

    Then it will be up to the programmers to get around government-mandated car-automation programs.

    ....The OTHER programmers.

  • Big 'Orra||

    How hard is it to come to a complete stop?

    I'll ask a cop; They can't seem to do it either...

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    How hard is it to confront be able to confront your accuser and have jury trial for anything over 20$, and inform the jury of their duty to nullify if they find the application of the law to be immoral?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    How necessary is it to come to a complete stop?

  • JW||

    10 PRINT "IT'S THE LAW."
    20 GOT 10
    30 END

  • JW||

    GOT = GOTO

    Stupid lack of preview.

  • PapayaSF||

    Seriously. How much gas would be saved if stop signs were replaced with "5 mph through the intersection" signs or something like that?

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    While we're at it, how about "smarter" traffic lights. It seems a waste to have to come to a complete stop for the non-existent cars coming from the other way.

    ... Hobbit

  • KDN||

    Yellow Lights At Some Camera-Equipped NYC Intersections Too Short

    ...

    “We’re at Amsterdam [Avenue] and 72nd [Street] northbound, we found 2.9, 2.8 [seconds],” Robert Sinclair with AAA New York told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

    They should make it to the outer boroughs; Staten Island's lights are rarely longer than two seconds. It's common to see people with NY plates in NJ slam on their brakes as soon as a light turns yellow and get passed for 5 seconds before the light goes red.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Are we sure that all traffic cams use a flash? It seems like a flash would be useless coming from across an intersection.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you focus the light enough it could work.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But CAN you focus the light enough? The plate on my pickup is a shit load higher than on my old Subaru, or a motorcycle.

  • Paul.||

    Speaking for where I live, the traffic camera will only catch people driving through a particular direction. If they want both directions, they have to put up multiple camers. If I understand your question.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Most or all valid license plates in the United States these days use reflective material on either the base color or text, which increases contrast between the base color and text. The camera flash provides enough ambient light throughout the image field, they don't need to be focused on a precise spot.

  • rts||

    We went through this debate in BC a long time ago (as evidenced by that web design). As you can see, the laws changed (of course):

    Motor Vehicle Act Regulation 3.03
    Prior to July 19, 1996, it read:

    3.03 A number plate shall be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material and so that the numbers thereon may be plainly seen and read at all times.

    As a result of Regulation 185/96 on July 19, 1996, the regulation was changed to:

    3.03 A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times and so that the numbers and letters may be accurately photographed using a speed monitoring device prescribed under section 83.1 of the Act.
  • mad libertarian guy||

    I wasn't aware that light is a foreign material.

  • WTF||

    How do they catch you if the plate can be read just fine under normal circumstances, but can't be photographed with a red light camera?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Put a flash camera on the hood of a police car which feeds photos onto a screen inside. If it comes up unreadable, flip the sirens on and ready the tasers.

  • Trespassers W||

    Malum in se, malum prohibitum, are tasers ever the wrong answer? I DON'T THINK SO.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Shit. That might just work. Could the sensor of the license plate device have an intensity pre-set that it can't exceed to activate the flash?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The license plate covers that supposedly only made the plate invisible from a high angle (eg, a camera mounted on top of a traffic light), while leaving it normal looking from ground level, would defeat that technique.

    But it appears that they don't work anyway.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Just have it on a switch; when you approach an intersection with a red light camera, flip it on. Otherwise, leave it off.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Just have it on a switch; when you approach an intersection with a red light camera, flip it on. Otherwise, leave it off.

  • Generic Stranger||

    fucking squirrels.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's more of a hassle than just coming to a complete stop when you're supposed to.

    Unless you're totally blowing through the light, in which case I say screw you, endangerer of the public.

  • ||

    That's more of a hassle than just coming to a complete stop when you're supposed to.

    And when someone's accused of a crime, it's more of a hassle to plead innocent than guilty. Therefore, we should all plead guilty.

    The effort involved isn't the point, obviously. Well, obvious to practically anyone else here.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Sometimes it's actually not safer to come to a complete stop; sometimes it simply isn't necessary (an intersection empty except for yourself, for example). Oftentimes the city dicks with the light settings in a way that creates violators who were not purposely running a red light specifically to generate more revenue. There's a lot of reasons to despise red light cameras, and I don't see anything wrong with trying to circumvent them, so long as you aren't doing it just so you can blow through red lights.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sometimes it's actually not safer to come to a complete stop

    Like when? I mean, I suppose there's some imaginable situations, like if there's a high-speed chase going on behind you and you just need to get out of the way. But those are exceedingly rare and can't be used to justify the laziness and bad habits that cause 99.9999% of failures to stop.

  • Generic Stranger||

    If, say, slamming on your breaks to not run the light would cause the person behind you to run right up your ass, that would be a situation in which it is safer to not actually stop.

    In fact, that exact situation happens fairly often; rear-end accidents go up dramatically whenever a red-light camera is installed at an intersection. This if often because the time between the yellow and the red is drastically lowered; sometimes the interval is less than a second.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "totally blowing through the light, in which case I say screw you, endangerer of the public"

    People who are accustomed to traffic lights are a danger to themselves by thinking the device is right all the time.

    No traffic laws and no traffic control devices would be safer.

  • rts||

    Beats me! You don't think our MLAs actually think this stuff through, do you?

  • KDN||

    I'm going to show the research page to my wife the next time she claims that my speed is dangerous. Averaging 15 MPH over the speed limit (aka 15 kph more than average) gives me a lower crash risk than driving like the average person as she does. Science!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Any sort of alteration to your license plate or frame to make it unreadable by traffic cameras is already illegal in a lot of states. They don't need to pass a new law.

    And the cops can and do easily detect things like that by attempting to take a flash picture of your plate when they happen to get behind you.

    In any case, I'll remember this the next time Reason (rightly) complains about cops covering their badge numbers when they commit acts of abuse.

  • Randian||

    In any case, I'll remember this the next time Reason (rightly) complains about cops covering their badge numbers when they commit acts of abuse.

    Why? I should not have to operate on the same standards as the state.

  • robc||

    +++

  • Pro Libertate||

    This shows a disturbing viewpoint. See, I can't imprison the state. I can't tax it. I can't tell it how to live. I can't take its property. The state actor must be held to a different standard than a common citizen, because the state actor has been granted limited power that needs to stay limited.

  • ||

    The state actor must be held to a different standard than a common citizen...

    The state actors ARE held to a different standard.

    A much, much lower one.

  • robc||

    If the cops were a private organization, I would have no problem if they chose to cover their badge.

    If you dont understand the government employee distinction, you are an idiot.

  • Randian||

    Did you know that CEOs aren't term limited, robc? The HORROR!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Of course this is no alteration to either.

    The noPhoto comes like that without alteration, and I wouldn't have altered the plate either.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's an alteration to the area of the plate, so I'm sure they'd bust you for it. Maybe you can get a lawyer to argue otherwise, but I wouldn't risk it.

    Plus, I care about this minor thing called the rule of law that libertarians used to revere.

  • Randian||

    What do red light cameras have to do with rule of law?

  • Randian||

    It's an alteration to the area of the plate, so I'm sure they'd bust you for it. Maybe you can get a lawyer to argue otherwise, but I wouldn't risk it.

    Plus, I care about this minor thing called the rule of law that libertarians used to revere.

    So if someone successfully argued that it was not an alteration to the plate, would you jump for joy or what?

    The question I have is that if these things are perfectly legal, then what the hell is your problem with them? And if we can make a solid case that they are legal, why are you reflexively dismissive?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Even if they are legal, they are immoral if installed with the intent of using them for lawbreaking.

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa lectures us on morals. Next up, Episiarch lectures us on emotional restraint and Nick lectures us on why he never wears leather.

  • Randian||

    So, in actuality, you aren't all that interested in Rule of Law and your protestations to the contrary are just a canard.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The law definitely says that you have to stop at a red light. That's the law whose rule I'm concerned with here.

  • Randian||

    The law definitely says that you have to stop at a red light. That's the law whose rule I'm concerned with here.

    Yes, but a colorable argument can be made that this light contraption is legal, and you fell back on morals to argue against it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What are you, Daneel Olivaw? With a justice circuit that says law = morality? Tell me, is there such a thing as an unjust law?

  • SugarFree||

    An unjust law must be obeyed, otherwise mumble mumble.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Of course there are unjust laws. The law that says you have to stop at a red light isn't one of them.

    And if you're breaking an unjust law as a matter of civil disobedience, you shouldn't be trying to avoid being caught.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Now just who here is advocating that there shouldn't be traffic laws? Besides Episiarch, I mean.

    I suppose I'll have to think about whether the private road system in Libertopia would need traffic laws, but, for the moment, let's let that pass.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A private road system would probably have most of the same traffic laws we do, they'd just be called rules or policies instead and enforced in a different manner (eg booting you off of their roads if you DUI).

  • robc||

    A private road system would probably have most of the same traffic laws we do, they'd just be called rules or policies instead and enforced in a different manner (eg booting you off of their roads if you DUI).

    So lets just skip to the private roads and problem solved, everyone will be in agreement.

    This is like public school arguments. The ONLY ANSWER is separation of school and state. Ditto for road and state.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I would just like ordinary streets and roads to revert to their common law status- owned by adjacent property owners, but open to everyone for any method of legitimate travel.

    The people who use the roads can sort out how to voluntarily facilitate improvements if they want them.

  • Cytotoxic||

    In any case, I'll remember this the next time Reason (rightly) complains about cops covering their badge numbers when they commit acts of abuse.

    Plus, I care about this minor thing called the rule of law that libertarians used to revere.

    Oh yes please bring this up in the future should we ever get bored. The entertainment you provide is priceless.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Which law do you worship the most? I like civil forfeiture.

  • Trespassers W||

    I'd like to hear this definition of "rule of law" that would have been approved of by libertarians in the past, but is rejected by libertarians in the present.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Libertarians loved Jim Crow laws. Didn't you get the memo?

  • Pro Libertate||

    And slavery. Everyone knows that libertarians love slavery.

  • ||

    And monarchies. We've always loved those too.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Lynching was a non-government activity that violated the rule of law.

  • ||

    Yes Tulpa, murder is considered unacceptable by libertarians. Are you saying that's something libertarian's have supported? What's your point here?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Considering the number of people here who seek to be above the law, it's pretty flerking obvious they don't truly believe in tRoL.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, to be legitimate, a law has to be a permissible one under the Constitution. I'd say 99% of the commenters and editors here think that many laws are not, by any sane measure, constitutional. Because the federal government has usurped powers never granted to it in the first place.

    It's a different matter with the states to some degree, but respect for the rule of any law is not the same thing as respect for the rule of legitimate laws.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    But the red light laws, as you noted above, are laws that very few people, even here, consider illegitimate.

    If you seek ways to more easily break a law that you consider legitimate, you ipso facto do not favor the rule of law. It's not even mere ignorance or negligence in this case, if you're taking actions in advance to avoid the consequences of breaking this law.

  • Coeus||

    But the red light laws, as you noted above, are laws that very few people, even here, consider illegitimate.

    You are probably the only person here who considers burning through a red light at 2:30am when there's no one for miles to be breaking a legitimate law. Or right on red, for that matter.

  • Trespassers W||

    Do let me know the next time a cop is successfully prosecuted based solely on the eyewitness testimony of a robot.

  • Whahappan?||

    Acts of abuse ≠ "speeding" or turning right on red.

  • Trespassers W||

    Now that's just crazy talk.

  • R C Dean||

    Any sort of alteration to your license plate or frame to make it unreadable by traffic cameras is already illegal in a lot of states.

    This license plate frame doesn't alter the license plate at all.

    Nor does it alter the "area" of the plate, whatever that means, which would be irrelevant anyway unless the statute said "area of the plate". If you cared about "rule of law" you would care about applying the law as written.

    The due process problem, of course, has to do with proving up the validity of the evidence, which for ordinary proles requires testimony of an actual human being.

  • R C Dean||

    Here's Snopes on the Texas law on this topic. Under Texas law, this frame would be perfectly legal.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics.....splate.asp

  • Scooby||

    What about Transportation Code 502.409(a)(6):"has an attached illuminated device or sticker, decal, emblem, or other insignia that is not authorized by law and that interferes with the readability of the letters or numbers of[on] the license plate number or the name of the state in which the
    vehicle is registered;"?

    Wouldn't this be an "attached illuminated device" "not authorized by law" "that interfere with the readability" of the plate? I'm not going to look through the transportation code for the definition of the illuminated devices that are "authorized by law", but I'd assume they are limited to the license plate illumination lights, and don't include strobes.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Bull. You can get convicted of burglary with no witnesses and only security camera footage.

  • robc||

    No you cant. Witnesses have to watch the camera footage first.

    No human watches the RLC footage and identifies the driver and then sends them a bill.

  • Paul.||

    To be fair (To Tulpa-- yeah, I know) in Seattle, a human operator watches the video clips identified by the system as 'offences' (notice the spelling?) and makes the final determination.

    My complaint with the red light cameras is they don't increase safety, they're purely revenue generating devices, and in some instances and my own anecdotal observation from the red light cameras installed in my neighborhood, they can dramatically decrease safety in the intersection.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    How dare you be fair to a disliked person.

  • Loki||

    That trigger sets off one or both xenon flashes in the sides of the noPhoto, so when the traffic-light camera opens its shutter, there’s too much light and the picture of your license plate is overexposed.

    I remember there was a Mythbusters episode where they tested various ways to "beat" the speed cameras. I can't remember if something similar to this was tested or not, but IIRC, none of the methods they did test actually worked. Will the company reimburse you for any tickets if it doesn't work?

  • Paul.||

    I'm suspicious about the effectiveness too. I'd like to see some real tests.

  • Loki||

    Also, it seems pretty easy for the cops to beat this by simply switching to night shot cameras that use an IR flash instead for night time, and no flash during daylight hours.

  • Paul.||

    I give this a month before states start passing laws.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I pass the laws that make you hit the brakes.
    I pass the laws for cash and union breaks.
    I pass the laws that make the young girls cry.
    I pass the laws, I pass the laws.

  • mr lizard||

    A better system would be a manually triggered one. The advantage is that it would just be two directed bulbs above the license plate as opposed to the cover based ones like the LED screen blank out types. It is hard to outlaw things like that especially if they are faired into the top license housing. Although the flashing lights at night would attract attention.

  • Paul.||

    I would like two 'theater curtains' on either side of my plate. As I approach the intersection, I can close them, then reopen them when I'm through. Tie it to my GPS system (which I have programmed to *ding* when I approach red-light camera intersections where I live) so it closes on the warning and then opens after passing through.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    My "sovereign citizen" license plate and Gadsden's flag bumper sticker do the same thing.

  • noLimits Enterprises||

    Hi all,

    I'm Jon, inventor of the noPhoto. I'll do my best to respond to as many comments as I can, but it's hard to keep up with the sheer volume! To start, this video should address your performance concerns in terms of timing, range, and daylight performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTTxzA1S1xU

  • Coeus||

    Thanks for stopping by. Always good to get our questions answered straight from the source. Have you done all the legal research yet? What states already have applicable laws banning this type of technology?

  • Calidissident||

    The sad thing is red light cameras actually create more danger than they prevent. But as long as it's intended to preserve "law and order" it's ok

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Rear end collisions have increased in some places, but that's the fault of people following too closely. If the car in front of you suddenly stops, you should be able to stop without hitting it. If you can't, you're following too closely and deserve to suffer the consequences of your reckless tailgating.

    Also, T-bone and head on collisions, which are much more dangerous, have decreased at the RLC intersections that Balko et al have reported on. Oddly they don't emphasize that point.

  • 16th amendment||

    (1) Please see http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d03/vc5201.htm which says that in CA these devices are illegal

    (g) A casing, shield, frame, border, product, or other device that obstructs or impairs the reading or recognition of a license plate by an electronic device operated by state or local law enforcement, an electronic device operated in connection with a toll road, high-occupancy toll lane, toll bridge, or other toll facility, or a remote emission sensing device, as specified in Sections 44081 and 44081.6 of the Health and Safety Code, shall not be installed on, or affixed to, a vehicle.

    (2) There are other products. For example http://www.phantomplate.com/ has a spray costing $30 that covers 4 license plates. I don't if this product even works. Of course, I have not tried it.

    (3) Some cameras take videos. I know people who get $480 tickets for doing a rolling stop right turn on red. A video takes the picture. I don't think a flash is involved.

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