Tired Of Speeders On Your Block? DIY Speed Tracker!

If you are a parent with small children, you always watch traffic on your block with some concern. I'm guessing most parents have done the stare-down with passing motorists trying to get them to slow down in your residential neighborhood.

Well Paul Reynolds went a bit further and captured data on nearly 30,000 vehicles that have gone past his home in a 25 MPH speed zone.


(Paul Reynolds DIY Speed Cam video)

“You’ll find that almost 85 percent of the cars going by are violators,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds, who spent many years on the faculty of the computer science department at the University of Virginia, installed a camera on his roof and began writing speed-monitoring software after a 12-year-old pedestrian was injured by a car last October.

“We can’t continue to tolerate this speeding every day,” he said.

Reynolds’ camera captures between six and eight hours of traffic each day. Recordings are then processed by software that Reynolds wrote.

“I first did tracking for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration 40 years ago to track the movement of the eyes of hurricanes to predict their course better,” Reynolds said. “I know what I’m doing and this is not a toy.”

Readers may find this an odd topic for science fiction predictions, but you might be interested to know that concern about vehicular speeding and the use of photography to catch speeders is much older than you might think.

In John Jacob Astor's 1894 story A Journey in Other Worlds, there is a reference to instantaneous Kodaks which could be placed on a road for speed control.

The policemen on duty also have instantaneous kodaks mounted on tripods, which show the position of any carriage at half-and quarter-second intervals, by which it is easy to ascertain the exact speed, should the officers be unable to judge it by the eye; so there is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be; neither can a slow one remain on the fast lines.
(Read more about the instantaneous Kodaks)

Via Charlottesville Tomorrow.

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