5 August, 2002: Unwise at any speed

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Some enterprising outfit is flogging -- for 400 -- a device which incorporates a GPS receiver and a database of speed camera locations, intended to tell drivers when they are about to be photographed by a safety camera. It is described as being much more effective than RADAR detectors, which is completely believable: I was once in a taxi which was equipped with such a device, and it unfailingly detected the RADAR on top of traffic lights which is used to determine queue lengths, with the result that the driver hit the brakes whenever passing a traffic light. I mentioned this, and was astounded to discover that he hadn't spotted the pattern before -- he seemed genuinely to believe that there were police officers with speed guns hiding behind every traffic light....

Copyright (c) 2002 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.