Wednesday, May 9, 2012

good morning!

A few weeks ago, IT guy Chris from school came down to the crosswalk in the morning to "film the speeders".  Apparently the school is lobbying for a camera down there.  Not necessarily a red-light-runner camera, but just a surveillance camera for just in case something goes awry. 

He didn't have much luck recording speeders.  I noticed while he was there all out in the open with his camera and tripod, the traffic behaved quite well.  I think it was the effect of having a guy on the side of the road with a video camera.

So I did a little psychological study.  Now, I've brought the helmet cam to the crosswalk before.  I've always sort of had the thing hidden, but this morning, I brought it with me and stood loud and proud, helmet cam a-recording!

Yep, just as predicted, it had the same affect as when Chris was there.  People noticed.  They slowed down.  They probably didn't like me.

As I stood there with the camera up next to my eyeball for all to see, I realized I could probably wield a cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper and get the same results. It's not the fact that they're being filmed that makes the motorists behave, it's the possibility that they're being filmed. 

I used to give some of them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they were unfamiliar with the area and just didn't notice the flashing lights and the big fluorescent signs and me (really?).  But now I realize that most of them just don't give a hoot.

What's worse, distracted ignorance or shameless disregard? 

Thing is, I got so caught up in my "study", I even distracted myself!  At least my friend NinjaBoy got me back  on task.


ShadowRun300 said...

Good to see you're back to your regular crosswalk post. Funny how a camera has such an effect on the drivers. Makes me wonder if there has ever been talk about putting up one of those speed readers (that flashes your speed as you drive by). That would make people aware of their speed, and not use any extra manpower.
Or better yet, Chaco could develop some sort of robot to "stand" there with a camera. Then you could focus on your job again. :)

Scott said...

That'll do it! My first ticket was for speeding in a school zone. But I should have contested it. There was no flashing light, and there was no sign posted. I wasn't going over the speed limit already, just didn't slow down because there was nothing to indicate that school was letting out, not even children crossing yet.

Speeders can be dangerous, of course--but the most dangerous drivers are those who aren't paying attention to their driving, no matter how slowly they're driving. I still feel that cellphone usage while driving should be banned, not to mention texting--but also eating, playing the stereo too loudly, looking down constantly at something in the seat, or even talking too much with a passenger. I have found, from experience that the most important rule in driving is to focus on one's driving, keeping one's eyes on the road at all times.

brandy101 said...

wow, that looks like quite a busy road. Beautiful weather you're having!

agg79 said...

Smile! You're on Abby Camera!
It is funny how people will be have (or drive) when they think somebody is watching them. We've got a couple of those stationary speed readers like SR300 mentions that will post your speed limit as you pass. It flashes if you are going over the limit and flashes red when you are way over the limit (It wasn't my truck, officer). You sure seem to get a lot of traffic at your little crossing.

Abby said...

Oh yeah, there used to be a speed reader just up a ways from the crosswalk. I heard it had the opposite desired effect. Some people would see it and be all, "Oooh, let's see if we can make it start flashing!" SIGH.

I like the idea of putting Chaco to work on it. Then maybe he won't be accidentally blowing stuff up in the back yard (for another post...)

Abby said...

I agree that drivers are just way too distracted. I never talk on my phone in the car. Texting while driving is illegal here, but it's not like it can really be enforced.

Abby said...

Yes, this is a nice time of year to be an Outsider. Great to "see" you, Brandy!

Abby said...

Yes, we had speed reader fail on this road (see above). People often speed through there even when it's not school crossing reduced speed. The road is wide and long with good visibility. It's pretty much a bullet bike raceway throughout the summer!

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm jealous of your lovely weather!

I loved the way the kid avoided being on camera. I'd be like that too. :D

Anita said...

Good ending on the film. Hearing you say, OMG... FUNNY! Poor kid. His angel had his back.

That was a good experiment.