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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday May 29 12:15 AM

May 29th, 2016: Big Sister is Watching

Canada's getting out of hand.
They outlawed radar detectors in all vehicles years ago(boo), mandated DTLs(day-time driving lights)(good) years back, and
now this ridiculous shit.

RCMP in B.C. are rolling out the powerful new lenses over the May long weekend, aimed at catching drivers texting or otherwise
being distracted while behind the wheel. "Absolutely, we've got a viewing distance greater than 1,200 metres," Const. Melissa
Wutke said on The Calgary Eyeopener. The scopes are "strategically placed division-wide in B.C.," she added.
"Traffic services have used spotting scopes for years but the new part of this technology is now we have a spotting scope we
can actually attach a DSLR camera with 24.2 megapixels and a 50-millimetre lens," Wutke said.
Ok, for texters and such, I think sniper rifles are more appropriate, but their method is way over the line.

That lets officers spot drivers long before drivers are able to see them, especially if the driver's eyes are on their mobile device
rather than the road in front of them. "It's not always safe or it doesn't always make sense to stand where drivers can see us,"
said Wutke. "So we'll stand back where we're not necessarily being noticed right off the bat and we'll train the scope on the
windshield of the vehicle so as vehicles are coming up, stopped at a light or stopped at a stop sign, we can be looking inside
that vehicle and then, when we see a violator, we can have them pulled over once they're back on their way again."
"We have it trained on a set location because we're looking so far down the road it would be difficult to catch the moving vehicles," she said.
"When [an officer] sees a violator they can snap a still shot then radio to another officer to pull that vehicle over
"We would have to see that electronic device in the picture, however, if I am the officer operating that scope from 800 metres
back and I see somebody looking down at their lap, we will have an officer sometimes who will be close to that intersection
where the officer can simply walk out and have a look and if they see the electronic device that person will be waved out
of traffic and issued a violation ticket."
I had to read that 4 times and pinch myself to believe it. Unless my reading comprehension has gone to hell, or I don't understand
Canadian, she said they'll take a picture of you checking your messages, adjusting your GPS, or changing your menu on Spotify that's
playing through the car stereo, WHILE YOU'RE SITTING, STOPPED, STONE STILL, NOT MOVING, AT A RED LIGHT, then pull you over
and fine you. That ain't right, that even close to right.

Now I'm in favor of nailing "distracteds"(see sniper rifles), especially ones on the phone leaving 5 cars lengths on a left turn arrow.
The penalty for distracted driving in B.C. is going up June 1 to $543 for a first offence and $888 for a second one. And it's not
just electronic devices police will be looking for. "Putting on makeup, eating a bowl of cereal, reading a novel — we see all sorts
of things as people are sitting in traffic," said Wutke. "Ultimately we're doing this in the effort of safety. We want everybody to
get to their destination safe and distraction has become a real problem." Over the May long weekend last year, Wutke said
police in B.C. handed out more than 200 distracted driving tickets for drivers using phones alone.
Wait, you mean coming home with burgers I can't sneak a couple fries out of her share? That's un-(north)American!

footfootfoot  Sunday May 29 01:39 PM

I was once driving into Manhattan on the West Side Highway, during rush hour, and saw a guy practicing his trumpet. 70MPH.

Gravdigr  Sunday May 29 03:07 PM

Maybe his car horn wasn't working.

Was he blowing a G?

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday May 29 04:36 PM

Yeah, I've seen a guy reading a hardbound book on the Jersey Pike, and a lot of crazy shit. I'll bet Pam could shock us for hours with horror stories. BUT, sitting at a light? That's unadulterated bullshit.

Pamela  Sunday May 29 11:24 PM

I gotta agree with Bruce here. This is a bit much. What's to stop the officers from redirecting the lens to my backyard, when I am sunbathing and rubbing lotion into my.... n/m.

Then we have somewhat similar things happening here, albeit minus the long lenses. And don't get me started on automated license plate readers.

You remember the old NRA joke about why I carry a gun? (Because a cop is too heavy) Well, we may be on the way to a mandatory carrying of a cop (at least electronically) in the future.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday May 29 11:36 PM

There is plenty of technology available to record video or stills of people distracted driving while actually moving. This is just laziness and wrong.

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