Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tolls and cameras and fees
It started simple enough with a toll on the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Okay I can understand that. You need a bridge built and can't get enough bond money so you throw a toll on it. And then another bridge gets a toll but this time its' replacement isn't even started. Then they got creative and slapped an electronic tolling feature that automatically bills you. On the Narrows bridge it was a transponder card that you had to pay a regular fee for. Not much of a problem there unless like most computer systems do they screw up which they have. But the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge takes a photo of your license and sends you a bill. Think about that the next time you lend somebody your car. Then there's the confusion of out of state drivers who have no idea how our systems work. This should do wonders for tourism. Imagine getting a bill in the mail when you're on the East coast. Or worse going through the toll gate because you didn't understand the system and having to try and fight it half way across the country.
But the biggest set back to our area will be drivers looking for alternatives to avoid having to pay to go to work. There's only so many alternative routes which are fairly clogged during rush hour now. The idea has always been to increase traffic flow not slow it down. So to deter these toll avoiders the powers that be want to put more tolls on other roads. Not a good idea. On any given Friday things are slow enough. Imagine an accident anywhere near one of these collection stations and you'll be lucky to get home by midnight. Not that I drive much these days but eventually things will change.
Then there's the cameras. You can just about have a view of nearly any major road from the Canadian border to Oregon. And if that's not enough there's one at every supermarket, department store and mall. Of course there's the ones at the banks both inside and out. And if that's not enough coverage for you every cell phone seems to have a camera. Seems you can't sneeze in this country without it landing up on the internet. This is not good folks. We're turning into a nation of detached voyeurs. The human psyche was not meant for this. And we wonder why mental illness is on the rise.
I understand that the UK has us beat. There are places there where their overlords can look into apartment windows. I can just imagine the boys in blue ogling the babe in 36 D who just stepped out of the shower. And we know they can from the latest fountain dive at the mall that went viral. The thing is is that their cameras are even better than the cheap shop owner variety used to "nab the nickers" as they might say over there. Wouldn't surprise me if they were able to count the hairs on.... I won't go there. Everywhere you go there are cameras. And you have to ask has it really made anybody safer? Has it stopped crimes or terrorism? Obviously not. There are still robberies rapes and murders. And god forbid you should forget your lunch box or backpack because you know the next thing you know you'll see it on the 11 o'clock news being blown up by the bomb squad.
Cameras cameras everywhere and no place to hide to even take a dump. But hey they even have a camera that you can swallow just in case they want to get up close and really personal. Privacy laws? HA! You didn't bother to read the fine print on that one. They always have an out when it comes to violating YOUR rights. Laws governing THEM they just ignore. That would be too complicated and hard to prosecute. Jeez I just read this and I'm already starting to sound like I'm cracking around the edges. But I think you get the picture (pun intended).