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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in highway video surveillance

With summer driving at a peak you’ll most likely be spending some more time on the highways in the coming months—sometimes in a slow roll.

Pictured above are security cameras often overseeing highways, parking lots, etc.

You’ll have time to take in the sights around you.  You may even notice surveillance cameras that you otherwise don’t get a chance to see because you’re typically driving by at higher speeds.

Ever wonder if you’re being monitored?   What about off the roads?

If you’re a business owner and you’re worried about a recent rash of thefts spreading to your business, you may not mind seeing security cameras installed by the police perched up in the parking lot lights and ultimately monitoring you.

If you’re a resident in the same town, having those same cameras on your quiet street may seem a bit over the top.

Where do we draw the line?  Well in certain states that’s an easy question—on the highways.  I can’t image too many people enjoying the fact that they’re being monitored while driving on the highway.  However some people might prefer cameras on the highway if it’ll keep speeds down of others who drive aggressively, or help them to get identified if they break down.

The problem is, however, that many drivers don’t know if their state uses highway surveillance or not—they’re not even thinking of those cameras as they’re driving out of control.  That’s the insidious part.  Should those states who use video surveillance on the highways make it more public and less “big brother”?

As security integrators, we often get requests by our customers for more security signs and stickers to post the fact that a system is in place.  This is for obvious reasons—thieves will see it and hopefully move on.

The same can hold true on the highways.  If signs were posted blatantly telling people they are being monitored, it would most likely affect their driving for the better.

This surveillance is of course mostly used for traffic patterns, accident reporting and other non-violation reporting usage.  But even though it’s relatively less punitive to the drivers, it does have what many feel is a “big brother effect” and therefore they may want to be notified of the filming.  And again, it may have a secondary effect of slowing people down.

In New Hampshire, for instance, it’s simple.  Enter Section 236:130 - “Highway Surveillance Prohibited”.

Not surprising coming from the “Live Free or Die” state and one that requires no seatbelt usage over the age of 18.

But just below the border in Haverhill and Lawrence, MA, for example, things have a bit of a different sentiment.

In Haverhill, MA surveillance cameras are already in city hall and Haverhill High School.  And the Mayor, as of a February 24th 2008 article in the Eagle Tribune, was intent on installing cameras on traffic lights to catch those drivers who run red lights.

In Lawrence, states the Eagle Tribune article, Police Chief John Romero uses cameras in secret locations that are mobile to catch people dumping things like appliances, for example.

As alluded to earlier, some would think posted signs indicating that surveillance was underway would have a positive effect on driving.  In these cases, when it’s being done for traffic monitoring for instance, signs are rarely posted.  So people don’t get the chance drive better.  Why not post the signs?

Thanks for spending some time with us today.

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