Country Living Series

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Big Brother is watching

Don and I went into Coeur d'Alene this week to do a little Christmas shopping. Cd'A has a population of about 35,000 people, so I guess by urban standards it's considered a mid-sized city.

Don was driving, and as we stopped at an intersection, I couldn't help but notice the traffic cameras. Lots of them. Everywhere.


The more we paid attention, the more we saw. Most intersections had six.



We also saw what looked like little control units.


But strangest of all were these tall stand-alone devices that, at first glance, could be mistaken for street lights.


But they weren't lights. They were often near (not on, but near) large intersections. Anyone have a clue what these gizmos are?


It's a Brave New World out there, a world in which our every move is tracked and recorded... even in a small city like Coeur d'Alene.

29 comments:

  1. The stand alone gizmos are PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm pretty sure the smaller ones attacked to the light signals are for controlling the traffic flow. i did find a link that gives you access to multiple cameras in coeur d'alene.
    http://lovecda.com/news/coeur-dalene-area-traffic-cams

    ReplyDelete
  3. You would want keep track of things as well if you were doing what the government is doing, strange they never used to be this concerned about traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The first ones you showed are infrared sensors for traffic flow control. I thought the same thing as you when they first started popping up around here and asked a few people "in the know".

    ReplyDelete
  5. Those gizmos are cameras too. I work on a college campus and we have those everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's been determined by the PTB that it's definitely easier to protect the liberties and freedoms of their subjects when said subjects are watched and their freedoms and liberties are controlled (for their own good, of course). Similar to it's easier to keep a pet bird in a cage and with cliped wings rather than allow it true freedom to fly and express itself as a bird.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Funny - I noticed the very same thing in Cd'A on Monday when I went to Costco.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The cameras on the traffic lights are used to sense when there are cars at the intersection (they don't record anything). Municipalities used to use wire coils under the surface of the street to sense the presence of cars, but the wires would be destroyed when the streets were resurfaced.

    The stand-alone cameras are "surveillance" cameras in that they observe (and record) the activity in the area they are mounted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I used to work for a major city in Arizona that had a very similar system. The traffic cameras were indeed recorded and also were fed through BOSS license plate recognition software. The video was all kept, terabytes a week, archived and kept in storage.

    ReplyDelete
  10. And we are watching Big Brother. He is hell-bent on controlling us with technology. This is the same government that can't even get a website working.
    Montana Guy

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I don't want the government to misuse their powers as we see the Obama administration doing. On the other hand I believe that I can take a camera and film anything I want to on public property and I believe that the state has that right as well. Further I believe that anyne committing a crime should face justice and if the license plate id system improves the odds that bad people face justice then I'm in favor of it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. They can help syn traffic routes, insuring more drivers get a flow of green lights. They can turn lights green for approaching fire/rescue and give emergency staff a heads up about an accident in the intersection. They can provide after the fact video of accidents helping determine fault and how to make the intersection safer. They can be used to monitor every car license plate and note who drove past and when and, perhaps, note who was visible in the car.

    Good and bad with the cameras.

    For some fear:
    Next time you are in CDA look at the newer high end cars, near the rear view mirror area. Look for the camera. These are build in dash cams. These cars also come with and high speed data cell connection; included in stock config. What if you could just turn them all on in a specific area (GPS chip tells you where they are located). Cover a multi view of a location or look for something.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As noted by other responders the long skinny ones on the traffic lights are for traffic control but I was told they automatically recognized the lights on ambulances and control traffic for that purpose too. This is probably true for police lights too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. In the photo with the control unit - the little light-looking thing on the pole above the control unit - I was told is for the emergency vehicles. Each emergency vehicle has a strobe that pulses (3M opitcom) to turn the light green for the fire trucks, etc., stopping cross traffic for safer entry into the intersection.

    We also have the infrared camera traffic sensors, but when asked for the recording to prove a traffic accident, they were told by my city that nothing is recorded.

    I've noticed the tall stand-alone devices going up on some freeways near my city as well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. They are just another design of camera. I think the round dome housing is supposed to shed rain and snow droplets better and they have full panoramic viewing.

    Type in Live traffic cam on your laptop and it is simply amazing how many come up that you can watch.

    We have become a well observed society.

    It makes one so happy to get home if you have along private driveway and thick forest cover.

    Keep warm and I hope your all wintering well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. yep, that big brother has got his eyes and ears open-watching and eavesdropping on us all...those eyes and ears are everywhere..latest warning is to put a bandaid or piece of paper over the lens of your web cameras that are on your computers as the government can now turn those on without the computer camera appearing to be switched on...cell phones and autos now have gps and if we are not careful we will all be "chipped" if the government has its way. I am seriously ready to go "galt".

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thought you might want to know, tattler lids is having a Friday 13th sale. 24 hours 50% off. It's on their Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hmmm? Extra full choke and #5 turkey load anyone???

    ReplyDelete
  19. You seem suprized?... Did you not think you too would come under Gov control/ scrutiny? What have ppl all over been saying ... It's not fiction anymore, soon my friend soon

    ReplyDelete
  20. Have you noticed the camera on the highway at the foot of the Benewah Rd? It is set up w/ a weather station but nobody seems to know who's it is (not a county camera). Hmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I thought at least some of those gizmos were for the traffic lights that are on a trigger vs. timed. There's one light near me that's timed, and a total pain in the rear - I wish it were triggered by side street traffic as well so we didn't have to wait during five minutes of no highway traffic. It's not like the lights are correctly timed up or down the highway at any rate (we've wanted to get our hands on the local traffic engineers for years, they're not the brightest bulbs in the pack).

    ReplyDelete
  22. I live on Long Island in New York and these have been around for a few years at high volume intersections. They are red light cameras used for issuing tickets; if you run the red light you will receive a ticket in the mail. It records the license plate number of the vehicles that are directly under the traffic light when it turns red. The first time fine is $50.00, and increases with each offense. The cameras are on the increase out here and you have to be aware every time you are approaching a light that turns yellow

    ReplyDelete
  23. The object on the tall pole is also a camera, it can rotate 360 degrees inside that glass bubble. My company uses the same cameras in our building and parking lot...

    ReplyDelete
  24. It sounds like a lot of you want government to keep you safe as opposed to keeping you free. Do you not see the difference between photos and surveillance? Wake up! The road the tyranny is being paved each day with your demands for greater safety. Take heed in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    Thousands of folks here in the America Redoubt believe that asking Big Brother to keep you safe is like asking the fox to guard the hen house. Ridiculous you say? OK, if so, why did Big Brother not tell you about the THIRD tower that fell on 9/11?
    Montana Guy

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can't believe this is happening to my beloved CDA. I left Athol in '98 when it had a pop of 350. I would do my "city" shopping in CDA. I'm so bummed now. Love reading your blog it brings back great memories of a simpler time in my past. Idaho Bill

    ReplyDelete
  26. The hell they don't record anything. My daughter received a ticket for not stopping fully at an intersection. We were able to go online and see her little VW passing through. Then, my husband received a ticket in the mail for speeding on a bridge in Marble Falls, TX. It showed the front of his truck and his face...plain as day. I feel like I need to wear a burka to drive anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Bad News is = It's the Govt's. version of 'the All Seeing Eye' -circa 2013!
    The Good News is = GOD Still Reigns!
    Aloha! to Everyone! "Mele Kalikimaka!/Merry Christmas! ea Hauoli Maka Hiki Hou!/Happy New Year!"

    ReplyDelete
  28. If drivers would obey the laws and practice courtesy there would be no need for cameras. Over 15 years ago cameras were installed in the northern VA area to ticket drivers who squeezed through yellow and red lights causing all kinds of trouble and accidents. After the cameras were installed traffic flowed smoothly and accidents were almost completely eliminated. It is an eternal principal of truth that obedience brings freedom and disobedience brings bondage (and surveillance, etc). Obviously the cameras started out as an impartial device to control traffic, but once in place can easily devolve into something used for control of more than traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  29. We live in a town of 10,000 and have no traffic cameras. And yet there are very few accidents. These are not really to deter accidents but to allow the government to monitor you and fine you for the slightest infraction. Brave new world indeed!

    ReplyDelete