Big Brother is watching!!! — um, well, not any more…

The City of Albuquerque recently decided to re-implement speeding cameras on several of its high-trafficked streets.

The city had used the speed cameras several years ago, but ultimately took all of them down after a series of complaints, legal challenges and questions about their effectiveness.

Speed camera

Apparently some drivers still aren’t warming up to the idea that they’re being watched so closely. Just 17 days after the new cameras were put into place, someone carefully removed one of the speed cameras at the corner of Lead and Cornell just south of the University of New Mexico. All that was left was the mounting pole, some dangling wires and a few bolts that held the device in place.

The city said it plans to re-install the camera, but this time with more tamper proof hardware to keep it in place.

I’ve had friends who were nabbed by the speeding cameras in Albuquerque, but I never got targeted for speeding where they were located. 

However, I know they are effective. Several years ago, while visiting our son in southern California, I accidentally ended up on a toll highway without paying for the privilege to drive on it. I was in a rental car, so I figured that they’d never figure out who was driving it.

Wrong. About two months after my illegal usage of the highway, I got a letter from the California highway department asking me to pay for using the road. The agency had managed to track the license plate on the rental car on the date that I drove it, find my rental agreement and then procure my name, address and driver’s license number on the document. They sent me a nicely worded suggestion that I pay up ASAP or face the consequences. It didn’t cost that much, and I grudgingly paid it. But I quickly learned that you just can’t hide in today’s high tech, someone’s always watching world.

And I’ve always wondered why the Border Patrol has those cameras on the opposite side of the highway from where the checkpoints are located. Just to be careful, I always flash a friendly smile when I drive past them. If Big Brother is watching, maybe they’ll think my smile is a sign that I’m no threat — or maybe that I’m trying to hide something. 

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