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We'd Like to Take This Opportunity to Congratulate Ourselves for Our Unsubstantiated Role in Ending D.C.'s Most Notorious Traffic-Camera Speedtrap

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In February, Reason.tv released a video that shed disturbing, sound-effect-heavy light and noise on one of Washington, D.C.'s most notorious speedtraps (see below). Local celebrity chef Geoff Tracy, whose restaurant is in the area, had been nailed so many times there, he hired a sign-spinner to warn motorists and potential customers they were likely to be hosed by Big Brother.

Some good news:

The stationary speed cam in the 1900 block of Foxhall Road NW issued tens of thousands of tickets and was made famous by celebrity chef Geoff Tracy after he launched a Twitter protest against the camera….

…the camera remained in place across from the German embassy, issuing more than 20,000 fines in just one month….As of last week, the speed camera disappeared. All that remains is a concrete pad and a few wires coming out of the ground.

Hooray—for now.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department says the camera was relocated to South Dakota Avenue NE because of construction along Foxhall Road.

The camera isn't gone for good. Police plan to install a new one along a different stretch of Foxhall Road in the near future.

More here.

Thank you, Chef Geoff, for at least a temporary reprieve from the long arm of the law (automated ticket division). Keep on spinning into the future.

Watch Chef Geoff vs. DC Traffic Cameras now:

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45 responses to “We'd Like to Take This Opportunity to Congratulate Ourselves for Our Unsubstantiated Role in Ending D.C.'s Most Notorious Traffic-Camera Speedtrap

  1. “And I repeat, I speak of rights! A machine has none. A man must. My client has the right to face his accuser, and if you do not grant him that right, you have brought us down to the level of the machine! Indeed, you have elevated that machine above us! I ask that my motion be granted. And more than that, gentlemen – in the name of a humanity fading in the shadow of the machine – I demand it. I demand it!”

    1. point of order ur honor – our leased machine carries our corporate rights equal to any citizen!

    2. I agree with Mr. Cogley. We should use trained monkeys instead of machines. Instead of photos, fines, and bureaucratic nonsense, the monkeys will apply instant justice by casting feces at cars that run red lights. In addition, the monkeys will be networked so that anyone who runs one red light will have feces cast at his car at every intersection for one day following his offense.

      1. Also the monkeys have been shown to shoot far fewer dogs.

        1. but one cant mistakenly hand one’s military ID to a monkey & hope for a warning!

          1. How many robo-cops have shot how many puppies?
            Beat how many homeless people?
            Tasered how many diabetics to death?
            Lied in how many testimonies?

            Robots are Our Friends!

            1. Robots don’t have feces to throw.

              1. In the future they will, if I have my way.

                  1. No, just robots that poop.

    1. Seriously. Deduct it from the taxes I’ve been overpaying for the last 10 years.

      1. The UK may be fucked well on it’s way to Orwelltonia, but at least it’s yobs have more balls than our malcontents.

        1. It’s all the fake Burberry, track suits, Council House facelifts and cheap booze.

          Stoopid =/= Balls.

          1. Hey, whatever works.

    2. So, there is a function for Chavs after all…makes them almost tolerable.

  2. My favorite speed cam is the new one on NB 16th Street, near the MD border.

    The light and camera were oriented away from the road weeks ago and no one has bothered to fix them. Still, everyone slows down to 10 MPH under the speed limit. IT TELLS YOU WHAT THE SPEED LIMIT IS ON THE SAME FUCKING SIGN TELLING YOU THE CAMERA IS THERE. THERE ARE NO SPECIAL PRIZES FOR GOING ANY SLOWER.

    1. We don’t have them yet. One of the vanishingly few advantages to living here.

      1. I have a suspicion that here in West Texas, a speed camera’s last reading would probably be a small object travelling 2000 fps.

        1. The west Texas town of El Paso?

          1. That’s more Mexico than West Texas, these days.

            1. Often referred to as North Juarez.

        2. So you don’t have a problem with destruction of property that doesn’t belong to you?

          1. They belong to everyone, Tulpy-poo. I’m just burning my portion.

      2. I’ve never seen a speed camera here in Michigan either… or a drunk driving roadblock. As much as a “blue state” Michigan craves to be, the high redneck and hunter contingent still manages to keep things sane.

  3. Local celebrity chef Geoff Tracy, whose restaurant is in the area, had been nailed so many times there, he hired a sign-spinner to warn motorists and potential customers they were likely to be hosed by Big Brother.

    How many times do you have to be caught there before you slow down while you fight the good fight of getting rid of it?

    1. The key word here is “celebrity”. They should get special plates.

    2. Two summers ago, my college aged son started a new job in MD. He went through the same trap doing 35 in a 25 mph zone every day and got the first notification letter more than 2 weeks later. He had a fine for EVERY SINGLE DAY. He also swore he would never move to or work in MD again.

      1. I racked up probably about 50 tickets on that trap. Since I lived in VA, worked in MD, had CA plates, and a HI driver’s licence (yes I know that’s very illegal), I just ignored DC. I ran a risk cutting through DC every day on the way to work, and when i visited the girlfriend or participated in social activities in DC. Managed to scathe by. Hell, I even parked illegally in an alley in DC every tuesday night.

      2. Jefferey Dahmer didn’t get a citation from the government for murder until he’d already killed a dozen people or so, and yet they still charged him for every one of them! How unfair.

  4. Tallahassee has red light cams that, as best I can tell, send no tickets and require the contractor to be on-site 3x/week “calibrating” it. Or at least there’s some dude sitting in a truck with a laptop and an ethernet cable attached to the camera. I’m starting to think its a false flag operation to screw the city out of a couple million dollars without ticketing anyone. (Or it could just be a more common hapless government operation.)

    1. Probably the latter. If you’re the kind of person who would make money fleecing the government, then you’re also the type of person who would take pleasure in making others’ lives miserable. Contractor is probably the Mayor’s brother-in-law, anyway.

    2. Weirdly, Maryland has removed a good number of their red-light cameras.

      I presume that the camera maker’s cut got too big, but I haven’t heard the reaosn for their removal as yet. Zod only knows it isn’t because it’s the right thing to do. This is Maryland, after all.

      1. Not around me. There are dozens of them all around and every red light has a camera on the pole. And yeah, everyone slams on their brakes and goes 10 miles slower than they have to. And the camera won’t even go off unless you’re doing 10 miles over. Damn, people are stupid. Spray paint.

  5. Knew a guy (in the AF) who got a ticket in the mail the day prior to him leaving Germany. It includes a picture (clearly him) with his speed in the corner.

    He took a picture of his money and returned that to the authorities as payment.

  6. What kind of an idiot keeps speeding past a traffic camera that he knows is there? “Oh, it’s not going to get me this time!”. Click.

  7. You’ll be so fast that mother nature will be like “slooooowww dooooowwwn” and you’ll be like “FUCK YOU!” and kick her in the face with your ENERGY LEGS!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazs

  8. I fail to see the connection between libertarianism and opposition to speed cameras.

    1. “Fuck You, That’s Why.”

    2. * speed limits are set unreasonably low (far lower than the actual average driver on a given road actually drives)

      * this rule gets maintained because normal people don’t have the time and inclination to note the speed limit on every single road

      * most people who speed on a given road don’t get pulled over. Therefore, they don’t care about the relatively tiny minority that DOES get pulled over–until it happens to them.

      * Since MANY violate the law, but only FEW are punished, the enforcement of the law is arbitrary. (The setting of the speed limit was arbitrary as well.)

      * Arbitrary law enforcement becomes more frequent as the government needs more money.

      * Arbitrary enforcement of the law is the exact opposite of just law enforcement.

      1. Uh, doesn’t the speed camera make enforcement less haphazard?

        The arguments you’re making apply even more to police cars sitting on the side of the road with radar gun in hand and their lights off, yet Reason doesn’t get its panties in a bunch about that. Plus, as I note in most of these discussions, the camera doesn’t try to search your car for drugs or shoot your dog when it catches you speeding.

        I can’t imagine it’s pure Ludditism on Reason’s part, but I’m running out of alternative explanations.

  9. Alas, I drove by there today, and it turns out those clever dogs just traded the bulky trap for a sleek camera and moved it to a less-conspicuous spot on the other side of the street. Tricky bastards.

  10. Even worse than DC’s prolific use of speed cameras is the fact that local voters are banned from weighing in on their continued use. I tried creating a ballot referendum that would outlaw their continued use. Yet DC’s government, which is hugely supportive of the city’s unofficial motto “taxation without representation,” would not let me create such a referendum. The reason? Because it could negatively impact its budget. I’ve since started a petition that I was going to link to, but the system keeps saying my comment is “invalid.” If anyone is interested in signing, just search for “Allow DC” on Change.org

  11. Hey, I’ve been to Chef Geoff’s during restaurant week. Pretty good food. Not outrageous prices.

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