Tag Archives: traffic cop headaches

Darkly Creative Public Service Announcement: Text and Drive Billboard


Fake funeral home advertises with ‘text and drive’ billboards [via The Miami Herald]

New York City Real Time Traffic and Fatality Map

As part of a broader campaign to reduce traffic deaths by 50% by 2025, New York City has released several interactive maps that give both real-time and historical information on traffic-related injuries and deaths as well as on general road conditions.

Vision Zero View gives detailed information on driving-related injuries and fatalities going back to 2009. But the main event is a visually impressive interactive map called the Vision Zero Dashboard which has real-time information about traffic conditions, accidents, traffic cameras, weather, and even air quality in NYC.

Different kinds of data is available using the menu at the bottom of the map.  For example, by selecting ‘Traffic,’ you can see a real-time overview of traffic on the city’s streets, with heavy traffic indicated in red. Roads with heavy traffic are also shown along the bottom of the map with information such as the current average speed.  Other options allow you to see the precise locations where accidents or fatalities occurred in the last 24 hours, categorized as pedestrian vs cyclist vs motorist.  The dashboard even lets you quickly access more than 500 traffic cameras to let you see what’s going on in real-time.

Woman Scrapes Along Highway With No Front Tire

Woman drives a vehicle down a highway… for 15 miles… completely missing one of her tires.  Meaning, her front left tire is scraping along at 50 mph on its rim.  As one person on the Internet put it, “I wouldn’t feel safe in my third story apartment knowing this woman is on the road.”  The cops eventually catch up to her and put a stop to her madness.  Hit the jump for the video.   Continue reading Woman Scrapes Along Highway With No Front Tire

Indonesian IT Worker Arrested After Hacking Roadside Billboard to Show Porn, Because He Was Bored Sitting in Traffic

A bored 24 year old IT worker in Indonesia was allegedly bored sitting in Jakarta’s afternoon  rush hour traffic and decided to hack into a roadside electronic billboard after noticing the billboard showed its login credentials.  Apparently, he also hacked into a porn website (as Internet porn is banned in the conservative country) and made it so the billboard played Japanese porno “Watch Tokyo Hot” to the surprise and amusement of passing motorists.  But taken seriously as it was, authorities subsequently tracked the IT analyst down at his workplace and arrested him, and he could face up to six years in jail.  Hit the jump for a relatively tame video of the incident. Continue reading Indonesian IT Worker Arrested After Hacking Roadside Billboard to Show Porn, Because He Was Bored Sitting in Traffic

Cellebrite Developing Portable Device to See if You Were Texting Prior to Motor Vehicle Crash

Screen-Shot-2016-04-11-at-11.53.22-AM-640x394Israeli company Cellebrite is reportedly developing a portable unit that would allow police officers to examine a motorist’s cell phone to determine if they had been texting at a certain point in the past, such as just prior to a motor vehicle accident. The idea is that this may be permissible and not violate the motorist’s Fourth Amendment rights if the device does not automatically access the rest of the contents of the phone. Legislation has recently been proposed in New York which would require motorists to submit their cell phones for such on-the-spot testing. According to the CDC, each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. In 2013, 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, representing an almost 10 percent increase since 2011, and nearly one in five crashes (18 percent) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.

First came the Breathalyzer, now meet the roadside police “textalyzer” [via ArsTechnica]

Smart Roadway Already Here

Glow-in-the-Dark-RoadsIn the Netherlands, a 500 meter section of road near the city of Oss now holds the distinction of having become the first road in thec country to have its lane markings painted using light-absorbing paint which glows in the dark. The special paint absorbs light during the day and then slowly releases this energy at night, during which time it can glow for up to eight hours, clearly illuminating the edge of the road along with other key markings. The technology would be particularly useful for roads where there are no street lamps. The glow-in-the-dark paint was developed by construction firm Heijmans, and though no concrete plans have been set future illuminated roads, the company is said to be very interested in applying the material to other thoroughfares.

First glowing road opened near Oss via [Dutch News]

Can You Buy Your Way Out of a CA Speeding Ticket?

In California, by making a donation to the 11-99 Foundation, you can get license plate frames that say “CHP 11-99 Foundation,” which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Whether this means you can get out of a speeding ticket when pulled over has been a matter of some discussion.

On Officer.com, in a discussion about 11-99 frames (and fakes) mentioned earlier, a number of cops weighed in. Priceonomics is still trying to verify identities, so their statements could be fabrications. But it presents an intriguing perspective of officers’ potential views on the 11-99 frames.

A number of cops reported ignoring the license plate frames when they decided whether to pull over and ticket drivers. One cop describes a driver whose “first words” were about the stickers indicating the donations he made. When the driver insisted that they required big donations, the cop replied, “Well, paying for these citations shouldn’t be a problem.”

But some answers indicate that people have reason to believe that the frames will help them avoid tickets. In addition to the frames, the CHP 11-99 Foundation gives out membership cards to big donors. In reference to secondhand or fake frames, one cop wrote, “Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you, no love will be shown.” Another added, “Ya gotta have more than just a license plate frame or a sticker.” The implication from these officers seems to be that buying a fake license plate frame is useless, but real donors will receive some leniency.

Can You Buy A License to Speed? [via Priceonomics]

Drunk Driving and The Pre-History of Breathalyzers


A really interesting article on the history of the breathalyzer and how it came into being.

The first serious scientific work on mechanizing the determination of whether someone was driving drunk took place in the 1920s. A doctor and researcher in Los Angeles by the name of Dr. Emil Bogen conducted a landmark study in 1927 on how to scientifically determine inebriation. By this time it was fairly well-established that testing blood gave you a solid idea of how drunk a person might be. But by testing urine, blood, and breath, Bogen found that the latter could indeed function as a reliable estimator for blood alcohol content (BAC).

Dr. Bogen’s breath test used a large football bladder that contained sulphuric acid and potassium dichromate. A patient would breathe into it, and as the chemicals in the football bladder changed from yellow to various shades of blue and green, they were compared to tubes of the same chemicals in which different amounts of alcohol had been added. Effective, but not the most practical for a traffic stop.

Drunk Driving and The Pre-History of Breathalyzers [via Gizmodo]