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Detecting Tailgaters With Lasers

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-stand-so-close-to-me dept.

Security 1136

stoolpigeon writes "Police in Arizona are using laser range finders to detect and ticket tailgaters. An officer can now measure not only the speed of passing vehicles but also how close they are to one another. The detectors described in the article are built by Laser Technology Inc., a company that provides lasers for traffic control, engineering, and even tactical/military solutions. The article mentions how tailgating is connected to many accidents and incidents of road rage; this observation fits my experience."

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Tailgating (1, Informative)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102808)

My experience, too. Tailgating is far more dangerous than mere speeding. So to with wanton lane changing, but that could be more of a CA thing.

Re:Tailgating (5, Funny)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103204)

Tailgaters aren't that bad, I can live with them behind me.

It's the fuckers that are really close in front of me I can't stand. How the hell am I supposed to be able to stop in time going 80mph when that guy is just 10 feet in front of me?!

Re:Tailgating (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105396)

Like they say, there are only two types of drivers:

The assholes in front of you, and the assholes behind you.

Re:Tailgating (0, Troll)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105536)

I always tailgate people when they are driving to slow.

People drive FAR to slowly in this country. Its is completely unacceptable to be driving 65 on the interstate when everyone else is driving 80-85. And that 70mph speed limit? no one cares, not even the cops.

Dead serious. DRIVE FASTER YOU BUTTHEADS, some people have places to be.

California rules (5, Funny)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105442)

You're supposed to allow 1 foot for each 10 MPH of speed, you inconsiderate clod. And an extra 10 feet if you're watching a movie on the DVD player in the dash, and 10 more feet if it's a porn movie.

Re:California rules (3, Funny)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105514)

Yup, 10 feet seems about enough for the other motorists to avoid crashing into my "huge car"

Re:Tailgating (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105464)

Oh, so *you're* why I always store 300 kilos of concrete blocks in the trunk of my car.

Re:Tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105510)

That could be bad for you =) should your vehicle ever decide to stop without them. hehe!

Re:Tailgating (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105642)

What kind of gas millage do you get with that, eh?

Re:Tailgating (5, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103230)

I always wanted a little TV in my car's back window, so I could show video of cars smashing into each other, bloody bodies flying into the air, etc which could be played when people follow me too closely. Either that or a pneumatic arm with a ballpeen hammer on the end to put holes into the hood of cars following too closely.

Re:Tailgating (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105500)

My idea was a flashing neon sign that says, "back off!"

Problem is, everybody thinks they're a perfect driver, and get very weird when anybody tries to tell them otherwise. Hence all the road rage incidents connected to tailgating.

My strategy is to slow down, but subtly, so they don't register that I'm pissed at them. I don't even brake, I just don't push the accelerator as hard as a normally do. Invariably the tailgater gets impatient and passes, without registering any change in my driving.

It is, of course, frustrating to see bad driving and not be able to communicate your concerns to the other driver. But frustration is better than being targeted by a psycho.

Re:Tailgating (1, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105708)

I don't encounter many tailgaters, but when I do I employ a similar strategy. On my way to work today, I had someone who was following me closer than I've ever had ANYONE following me (I would be surprised if there was more than an inch or two between his bumper and mine). So, I sped up until I got next to a school bus that was doing 35 (on a 65mph highway) and slowed down - kept him stuck behind me and unable to get over for probably 20 minutes- I think the busdriver noticed what was going on because she could have sped up but seemed content to drive right along side me until she apparently had to turn off the highway.
Of course, I really want to piss those people off, maybe they'll have a heart attack and die before they have a chance to pollute the gene pool too much.

Re:Tailgating (2, Interesting)

Osiris Ani (230116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105764)

My idea was a flashing neon sign that says, "back off!"

Like this one? [gadgetuniverse.com]

Re:Tailgating (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105502)

You could always adjust your rear windshield washer to squirt backwards..... if you do not have a rear windshield washer, adjust one of your front ones to squirt right over the car. Nobody likes being pissed on.

Re:Tailgating (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105544)

Did you miss the part about road rage?

Re:Tailgating (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105646)

>>>>"Did you miss the part about road rage?"

Um no. that is why you'd never catch me doing it.

Re:Tailgating (2, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105540)

I just flick boogers.

Re:Tailgating (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105800)

Two words:
Sunroof + paintballs

Re:Tailgating (1, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105656)

The real problem is that people don't know how to drive.
My wife and I got hit in our brand new car Friday.
We where stopped at a stoplight, the road was dry, their was no fog, it was on a well light six lane road and the lanes on both sides of us where clear.
A 17 year old kid as he put it was not paying attention and locked up his brakes and hit us.
He was charged with careless driving and allowed to drive HOME!

Had we been crossing the intersection and he had T-Boned us it could have been fatal. If we had been crossing the street it could have been fatal. If I had been on my motorcycle it could have been fatal.

Why did he get to drive home when it was obvious that he couldn't drive safely?

If you are at fault with an accedent you shouldn't be allowed to drive until you learn how to drive. And I don't mean at one of the comedy or other stupid driving schools.

Re:Tailgating (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105778)

Why did he get to drive home when it was obvious that he couldn't drive safely?

Because we don't penalize people for traffic offenses that didn't occur. Rear-ending someone (as I am assuming happened through process of elimination, since you didn't state it outright) is a very common accident type, regardless of age. Asserting that someone shouldn't be driving because they _could_ have caused a serious accident in some other hypothetical situation that did not occur is stupid, since every one of us is potentially an accident waiting to happen (see a poster above who, correctly, asserts that everyone believes they're a good driver, and everyone else is an accident waiting to happen). He rear-ended you, no one was injured, and he got a ticket. That's how it should be, instead of your bizarre thought-experiment traffic law scenario.

Re:Tailgating (2, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105664)

Somehow safety and the issuance of tickets are related? Tickets are primarily a revenue generation system. Any traffic improvement is a mere secondary consideration. If this laser device costs X then ticket generation will increase till the moneys generated are at least X times 10. Then and only then will the program be deemed a success.

Re:Tailgating (4, Informative)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105668)

Tailgating at night is particularly bothersome. I drove a subcompact car, and an SUV or truck on my tail with its headlights in my eyes is blinding. That's a really dangerous situation on the country roads, where I need to have enough vision to be able to watch for deer, fallen branches, etc.

My usual approach is to just slow down to the point where I'm not overdriving my vision, but since this tends to anger the clueless fuckers behind me, they will often respond by getting even closer or turning on their brights, which just forces me to slow down even more. I don't know why they don't pass; apparently it takes an appreciable amount of intelligence to figure out that the guy who is currently driving at 30 but was going 55 when you first got on his tail is probably not going to speed up and it's easier to just get ahead of him if you really absolutely have to be driving 65 at night during deer season.

Re:Tailgating (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105798)

A couple things from this post. First, you need to hit the brakes a lot harder than merely slowing down. You want to lock them up to really get their attention. But of course be sure to have a gun under your seat as this may piss em off. Next point (and you still need a gun for this), you really should be on the off roads during deer season if you are going to be shining deer. You probably don't want to be taking shots if someone is behind you as it may be the game warden.

Re:Tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105684)

see http://ibooyah.com/ [ibooyah.com] for details.

Re:Tailgating (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105724)

So to with wanton lane changing, but that could be more of a CA thing.


Trust me. No. I live near Detroit. Detroit drivers are the worst in this regard. Really.

Re:Tailgating (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105776)

Why do people tailgate though?

I do field service for a living. I can tell you that it's really, REALLY frustrating when you're petering along at 45MPH and some blue-hair pulls out in front of you and goes 30 in the left lane.

I don't agree with the principle of stereotypes, but there are lots of groups that seem to have disproportionate number of slow drivers who remain in the left lane. I've always treated the road where, traffic permitting, slower traffic keeps to the right and faster traffic keeps to the left. Living in Phoenix, it seems that soccer moms, poor Mexicans, and seniors routinely don't follow these basic tenents. Contrast to that, young males and most people driving a brand-new, expensive truck or a lifted truck fall into the category of chronic tailgaters.

Moo (5, Insightful)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104138)

It seems like they could spend money on so many different things. . . . They need to catch speeders more than tailgaters."

Umm, no. Tailgaters are worse. There can be a smart speeder. There is no such thing as smart tailgater. Becauses, it is not speeding that causes accidents, it's the person speeding needs to take extra caution. It can be done, even if it usually is not. Tailgating in-and-of-itself is dangerous.

"I've seen people at 0.04 seconds. That is less than half a second," he said.

Talk about enlightening comments. :)

Some of the comments there say that someone else will just pull ahead of you. Ahem, they will then get tickets. That's the point. Then they complain that they're close for a minute and get tickets, well, this complaint and the first complaint are opposites.

I hope these tickets work. Next we can take on gawkers.

Re:Moo (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105172)

Well, if they're going to tag people for tailgating, I want them to issue tickets to the clowns going less than the speed limit in the left lane, too; and those who speed up as you attempt to pass them.

I think the best way to reduce road rage is to eliminate the butt-heads who get in my way :-)

Re:Moo (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105398)

Very very insightful. The only thing that keeps me from tailgating 24/7 is the hope that one day the prick in front of me doing 35 in a 45 will get a ticket for impeding traffic.

Re:Moo (2, Insightful)

QuesarVII (904243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105600)

I agree completely!

People don't tailgate just for fun (at least not most of them)! I feel that if the car in front of me can get the hell out of my way, then the driver is obligated to. Tailgating someone when they have no where else to go is pointless and rude too though.

I don't know how many nights I've driven home on our local 2 lane highway, seeing 2 cars driving side by side at the speed limit or just below, with dozens of cars lined up behind them wanting to pass. The front person in the left lane really should be ticketed for impeding traffic. If not for these bozos driving like morons, traffic would flow smoother, and there would be far less road rage.

Re:Moo (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105812)

They don't tailgate "for fun", but a lot of people do tailgate without thinking about it. That is, they pull right up behind you, and then drive at your speed indefinitely even though the lane next to you is open for passing. If you pull over for them, you'll see that they pass you until the next slower vehicle, and then stay right behind it. In fact, I've seen cars tailgate 18-wheeler trucks. Some people just never learned what a safety distance is.

Re:Moo (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105650)

Don't forget the:

1. Semis dueling down the interstate seeing whose cruise control will win. For FIVE MILES.

2. Speeders who think the speed limit starts at 5 mph over and add an extra 10.

3. Drivers who just like to hang out in the left lane.

Re:Moo (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105790)

I agree. I've wished for years there was some kind of system where I could press a button and report a complaint on a car. You could chose a simple complaint (tailgating, speeding, going too slow, running lights, etc) and then it would be tied to their license plate. These would be agregated and people who get high numbers of complaints (i.e., the worst drivers) could then be "investigated" and ticketed. Bonus points for putting a camera in every car and attaching a little video clip so you can show the guy weaving through 20mph rush hour traffic at 70mph being an idiot so he can be fined.

As is the only way is to call the police and report it, but unless the guy is being REALLY unsafe, it's usually not worth the time (or they wouldn't go after the guy unless a cop just happened to be nearby).

Say what you will about black-boxes in cars, the way the local college students drive I'd vote for them. Heck, forget the college students, look at the general population around here and they seem like a good idea (especially when it gets rainy or snowy and the idiots come out who thing you should driver faster to get home sooner).

Re:Moo (4, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105412)

What bothers me more than tailgaters is tailgaters who avoid EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO PASS YOU, even when there is another lane going the same direction. If they're tailgating when there's no chance to pass, okay, they're annoying me, but I at least understand their position. If they're tailgating me while passing up every opportunity to pass, WTF?

Re:Moo (0, Offtopic)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105474)

I shouldn't have to pass on the right. Get your pokey ass over to the middle or far right lane if you want to drive the speed limit or slower.

Re:Moo (1, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105594)

I also hate people who add baseless assumptions to my post in order to make me look stupid.

Re:Moo (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105674)

This thread has amused me and I am reminded of an excellent site.
Its all about middle lane morons [middlelanemorons.com] .

For the Americans reading, please use a mirror but otherwise it should make sense.

Re:Moo (0, Troll)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105598)

I think that tailgating skill is a requirement to get your H1B....

Re:Moo (1)

skaffen42 (579313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105758)

True. After moving to the US it took me a good three years before I could drive like a big enough asshole to survive in Jersey traffic.

I am still hoping to be able to master Manhattan traffic one day, but I suspect you have to be born with that level of disregard for life, laws and manners. I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that level assholery.

Warning people of how they will be expected to drive should really be a part of the process of getting an H1. And there should be some form of de-programming available as well to H1s (and other immigrants) that teach you how to drive normally again when you leave the US. I know every time I visit my parents they refuse to let me drive... or at least refuse to get in the same car as me.

Re:Moo (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105638)

Becauses, it is not speeding that causes accidents, it's the person speeding needs to take extra caution.

I used to think that. Three accidents later, I changed my mind.

When you go fast, you have less time to respond to the unexpected, and the results are more severe when the unexpected happens. Anybody who thinks they can speed safely is fooling themselves.

Not the Tailgaters Fault (-1, Troll)

transcender (888893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105290)

People who drive the speed limit in the fast lane (thats the left most lane for some of you) should be fined. Not the people who are trying to drive the appropriate, 10 mph+ over the speed limit and get past these highway artery clogs. Phoenix, specifically has horrible drivers. Too many of the illegals there just do not grasp the concept of "slower traffic keep right" Maybe because they can't read English. So do your part and get over for the people who are in a hurry for no other reason than they like to drive fast (but safe)

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (3, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105458)

Bad traffic in Phoenix has significantly less to do with illegial imigrants who can't read English (sheesh...) and much more to do with the facts that:

(a) Phoenix is too broad for it's own good. People live 30-40-50 miles from where they work.
(b) Phoenix freeway and surface street infrastructre has lagged behind our phenominal growth (see above).
(c) Phoenix is a melting pot. Nobody's actually FROM Phoenix. We're made of EX-somethings. Sure, there's a few natives, but it's NOT the norm.
(d) We have a significant snowbird population (also, see above).

Combine the overloaded bad infrastructure with a nation's worth of driving customs and a constantly supply of new (and seasonal) people, and you're looking at the bulk of what's wrong with Phoenix traffic.

Speeds of 85+ are the norm on I-10 (and 17 and 101/202/60/51) when congestion permits it.

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (2, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105620)

You can replace "Phoenix" with "Atlanta" and you'll get exactly the same situation. I drive 25 miles to work, and the right-most lane goes around 70mph in a 55mph zone. I'm not a slow driver, so that's not a problem for me. However, I do keep my distance. As a result, I get constantly cut off by others, and it usually takes me a few seconds to regain my distance. If during that time I'm clocked as being too close to the car in front of me, I could easily get ticketed even though I didn't tailgate. (Almost said that I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm not that sure about that. A judge told my friend to drive closer to the car in front of him after a driver tried to cut my friend off and he tapped the driver's back corner, sending him into a spin. According to that judge, it is wrong to give people the opportunity to cut you off.)

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105680)

Bad traffic in Phoenix has significantly less to do with illegial imigrants who can't read English (sheesh...) and much more to do with the facts that:

Most people there can't write well-formed English? :-P

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105722)

You've corrected spelling and/or grammar on the internet! You win!

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105460)

The speed limit is the same for BOTH lanes of the road. And "the appropriate 10 mph+ over the speed limit" is a bunch of crap. The only APPROPRIATE speed is to follow the limit as given.

Let up on the accelerator there lead-foot.

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105596)

"The speed limit is the same for BOTH lanes of the road. And "the appropriate 10 mph+ over the speed limit" is a bunch of crap. The only APPROPRIATE speed is to follow the limit as given."

Absolutely. And brush after every meal. And don't eat too much. And not too many sweets. And exercise. And respect each other's opinions. And don't talk back to your elders.

These are all important rules that someone needs to enforce. So that we're all happier.

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (1)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105608)

You, Mr(s)AC, obviously have never driven in Phoenix. 10mph over the posted speed limit is the norm on any of the many freeways crossing the metro area. It's not speeding, it's keeping up with the flow of traffic. I have witnessed many a highway patrol vehicle driving 10 over the speed limit and as long as the traffic is moving, not pulling people over who go past them (as long as they are not flying pass). It's not leadfoot, it's survival!

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (1)

nuOpus (463845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105746)

Whats funny is that the speed limit on the 60 is 65 mph, so people drive around 75-80 even the cops. I HATE it when there are snowbirds that drive 55 mph because that is the freeway speed in their state. THOSE people cause accidents. Like you say ... its survival. Going 65 on a day when EVERYONE is doing 80+ is pretty dangerous too. Heck, often I race a cop going 90 mph all the way home on the US60 in Mesa.

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (1)

BIZKeT (636677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105738)

Um... People driving the speed limit in the far left lane are obeying the law. The slow lane is not for people doing 60, but people doing 50 or 40 in a 60 zone.

And just to be an ass... It warms my heart to piss of folks when I do the posted speed in the fast lane. To see all your little faces get scrunched up in anger. All I can think of is how you will have a heart attack soon while you drive 20 mph over the speed limit while talking on your cell phone, drinking your coffee and eating your breakfast. Leaves more room on the road for me later.

Re:Not the Tailgaters Fault (1)

DAharon (937864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105750)

I agree with you; people driving in the "fast" lane really piss me off. But I would just like to say that you are in the wrong too. Maybe you are just using slang, but there is no such thing as a "fast" lane! There is a PASSING lane, that's it. If you are not passing anyone, you have no business being in the passing lane. No matter what your speed. And that is, what I believe, to be the crux of the problem. For some reason people think that the left most lane is the "fast" lane, and since they don't want to think of themselves as slow, they MUST be in the "fast" lane.

Possible problem (0, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105374)

What if the people using the device selectively target who they pull over based on its readings?

Oh, wait, that applies to everyone who will be using it.

yawn (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105616)

like that doesn't already happen with radar guns for speeding, or license plate frames, or things hanging form your rear view mirror.

heck, i got pulled over once for 'taking a left turn too hard', then having my car searched for drugs (none found as none were there)

this device isn't going to make any difference one way or another as far as your comment is concerned.

Laser Technology Inc (2, Funny)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105392)

The detectors described in the article are built by Laser Technology Inc.,


Wow, what a name. Wonder how they came up with it? I guess they're just creative.

Re:Laser Technology Inc (4, Funny)

wfberg (24378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105484)

The detectors described in the article are built by Laser Technology Inc.,

Wow, what a name. Wonder how they came up with it? I guess they're just creative.


Yeah, but that name was already taken.

They don't ticket for this anyway! (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105394)

They never ticket for this anyway. What is the point of detecting it, and how is it better than eyeballs,or even a digital picture?

Re:They don't ticket for this anyway! (1)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105634)

You can't just glance at two cars and know if they rear car is following too close.

IIRC, most laws define tailgating by the ~time~ between two cars, not the distance. In Utah, at least, it's the two second rule.

So tailgating at 20 MPH is very different than tailgating at 80 MPH.

The laser can calculate in an instant if the rear car is breaking the law and by how much. Much less subjective. By eye you could only pull over the most blatant tailgater's.

Re:They don't ticket for this anyway! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105710)

Driving less than one car length behind another car at 70+ MPH is clearly tailgating and the police will just shoot the front car with his speed gun to see if he's speeding. I've seeing it hundreds of times. They don't pull over any tailgaters. Anyway, you should start with teh most blatant ones anyway. Of course.

Re:They don't ticket for this anyway! (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105666)

Yes they do, be careful if ur comin through nc during busy driving times cause they have "aggressive driving enforcement areas" where they do crack down on tailgating (officially: following to closely). A laser would hold up much better in court than eyeballing it and even more than a picture since you wont need an "expert's" interpretation.

Hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105400)

I've seen people at 0.04 seconds. That is less than half a second," he said.

True. But it's a lot less than he thinks.

If they really want to improve road safety (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105446)

They can just ban the SUV. No fancy lasers needed.

Now that is a good idea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105462)

Tailgating doesn't get anyone to where he wants to go even a milisecond faster. In fact the car in front needs to slow down to accomodate the unsafe driving situation. Tailgating must be one of the most dangerous bad driving practices there is, but I think tickets for it are rare because, without some kind of laser thingy, it's probably hard to document. I'm sure tailgating is a lot more dangerous than speeding.

Re:Now that is a good idea (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105556)

In fact the car in front needs to slow down to accomodate the unsafe driving situation.


In fact, this is *exactly* what I tend to do. Tailgating me only makes you go slower.

Only half of the point... (0, Troll)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105466)

I don't tailgate people just for kicks. I do tailgate them when they're going the wrong speed in the wrong lane, and refuse to get over... especially the ones that get pissy when you flash them.

In Germany, I believe, they ticket lane violations as well as tailgating. Why not track the entire problem, not just half of it?

Re:Only half of the point... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105566)

What's the point of doing that? If someone tailgates me I slow down. Eventually it gets into their thick little heads that the tailgating's not doing anything.

Re:Only half of the point... (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105678)

And tailgating helps your situation? If there's another lane that they could be using and won't, just use it to pass them. Being a dangerous dick doesn't help anyone.

Re:Only half of the point... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105700)

sample question from the driving theory test in the UK (paraphrased):
"You are travelling at the spped limit. A car comes up behind you and flashes their lights at you requesting to overtake. Do you:
a) Speed up
b) Slow down
c) Maintain your speed
d) Sound your horn"

The correct answer is c. Frankly, when you go about trying to blind the person infront of you by flashing full beams into their rear-view mirror (particularly at night) for doing nothing more than following Driving Standards Agency advice, you deserve everything you get. Up to and including a stinger missile.

Re:Only half of the point... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105714)

I don't tailgate people just for kicks. I do tailgate them when they're going the wrong speed in the wrong lane, and refuse to get over... especially the ones that get pissy when you flash them.


So, in other words, you're part of the problem.

Here's an interesting ratio (2, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105718)

Take the number of people driving below the speed limit to the number of people who are tailgating. My estimate is that this ratio is about 1:5000.

I love tailgaters! (4, Funny)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105472)

Especially BMWs.

(I have a tow-ball.)

Re:I love tailgaters! (1)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105770)

Heh Heh. The tow ball on my truck ripped the hood off of a VW Sirocco when he rear ended me after tailgating me on icy roads. My repair bill was $125 for a new bumper (I wouldn't have replaced it, but his insurance was paying, so I took it). His car was totaled.

wth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105488)

Ive never needed a silly laser to see when someone is tailgating someone else! Way for the police to buy any new technology that comes their way despite its ridiculousness

Leave it to us! (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105490)

We have all sorts of crap in Arizona for traffic now. Cameras are on the streets, intersections, and even the highways here in AZ. They even do the mobile van units to photograph speeders. While some may it works and lowers speeds, it is total BS. Everyone around here knows it is about the money and the new stations even report on the nice boost of income the cities have seen from photo tickets. As a result many(at least 30%) have some sort of flash reflective cover on their plate to prevent the camera from getting the plate number.

Then again when it comes to tailgating, I am all for this new technology, especially if it remains the duty of an actual officer to issue the ticket. This photo crap has got to be limited to red lights or something.

Re:Leave it to us! (1, Interesting)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105690)

I'm all for photo-cop whenever it can work reliably. Set the threshold high so that only the worst (and most dangerous) offenders are ticketed.

The point of a speed limit is safety. Revenue is a nice side-effect (and necessary, both as a deterrent and logistically).

That frees up cops to do real police work. Heck, they may even have enough free time to enforce other laws, like immigration.

What I hate... (4, Insightful)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105496)

I try to be a safe driver. So, I drive with the intention of leaving a couple of car lengths between me and the car in front. What happens? Someone sees that as an invitation to merge on over!! Next thing I know my "safe space" is down to inches. Best thing to do then...I upset the guy behind me and slow down opening up more of a gap trying to manage between not letting someone over and making sure I have some room to stop.

I need a laser to wich says get out of the way :) (1)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105524)

Well i've been thinking a couple of times now to create a device to project a text on a front driving car, so i could say speedup, or i could sa Get out of the way you slow driving people, or to say your light is broken, or to say watch out there cops overthere. :)) no i'm not speeding, it's just that i live in democratic country and i have voted for a diference speed, and i still represent my fraction hahaha :))

Why? (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105526)

We seemed to have stopped wondering and asking why people behave badly in the first place.

How many times do I have to tell you, officer? (4, Funny)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105538)

It's not tailgating, it's drafting! Have you seen the fuel prices these past few years?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105550)

I, for one, welcome our laser range finding overlords.

Tailgater's don't cause accidents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105552)

Drivers that slam on their brakes do. Why not just let the person pass?

How do they tell the speeder from the tailgater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105558)

The driver with the retinal damage gets the speeding ticket and the guy with the intact vision gets the tailgating ticket.

Road Rage. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105564)

Good now all we need to do is attatch a missle to that laser....Problem solved...right guys?.....r....right?

One word on tailgating - (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105580)

Caltrops [wikipedia.org]

Re:One word on tailgating - (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105696)

Caltrops
On the off chance that you are serious or some impressionable idiot might read your comment, unless you have devised some delivery method that either ensures all of the caltrops are absorbed by the target's tires or somehow become inert if the target misses, the unused caltrops will remain on the road and will pose a lethal threat to innocent drivers (and motorcyclists) behind your target.

Liars (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105584)

"The majority of the reactions I get from drivers are that they don't realize they are tailgating."

Pyeah, right...

Re:Liars (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105698)

It's possible. I've been tailgated when there's no room for me to go anywhere. I can't imagine what they might be trying to accomplish.

need these in CA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105606)

mount them on the center median with cameras and ticket people for (a) tailgating and (b) driving slow in the left lane.

Does this work (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105610)

Is the ticketting reducing the number of accidents?

If it fails to do this then it's taxation rather than law enforcement.

a different solution (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105614)

If cars came with LED sign-boards on the front that said things like "MOVE OVER AND LET ME PASS" (but in reverse for the mirror-effect) whenever a button is pressed, perhaps fewer people would use tailgating to communicate that point.

Really, I hardly ever have tailgaters on me. But I don't drive slow in the passing lane. And I don't go slower than the damn speed limit on 1-lane roads.

Re:a different solution (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105692)

Oh, bullshit. I gave up driving in the left lane (except to pass) because I got tired of dealing with assholes like you. I still get tailgated all the time.

Wow, really new technology -- not! (1)

dens (98172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105652)

It always amazes me when we see some "new" technology like this in the U.S., when it's usually something that has been used in other countries for a long long time. For example, red light cameras that give tickets have been used in Germany since I was a kid (and that's been a while now ).

In related news... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105660)

...Chicago is preparing for business to grind to a halt as the entire city's population is simultaneously pulled over to be ticketed for using the "two-meter" instead of "two-second" rule.

Will there ever be an end? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105662)

Will there ever be an end to all the money, effort and legislation directed at making it more efficient for police to arrest, ticket and fine you? Seems to me we could, at some point, direct some of our resources somewhere else. Why for example is virtually every highway in the US under construction until eternity? Isn't getting that job finished at some point maybe something we should do? Come down to Wake County NC courthouse. Every single day the building is in firecode violation because Wake County hands out 10's of thousands of tickets a week and arrests thousands. Why don't we just call all this what it is - a revenue source.

Little White Rabbit (1)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105720)

Here's an easy solution to being tailgated that ALWAYS works for me.

1. Wait for a tailgater to get within two seconds of your bumper.
2. Immediately yell "OH, MY GOD THE BUNNY!" and slam on your brakes.
3. As soon as the driver realizes what has happened, speed up and let him know he's number one.
-- or --
3. Exchange insurance information and file a claim.

Viola! No more tailgater.

.

Shouldn't be enforced in the fast lane. (2, Insightful)

gumpish (682245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105744)

On divided highways, tailgating rules should not be enforced in the fast lane if the state law requires slower traffic to keep right. In such cases, people holding up traffic in the fast lane should be pulled over and cited.

In all other cases though, I support the enforcement of laws against tailgating.

How About the Left Lane Squatters? (1)

IgnacioB (687913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105768)

Spiffy technology, but how about the left lane squatters out there? For every person that's following too close what are the odds that the person in front should be in the right lane because they're not actively overtaking somebody.

more often than not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105784)

it's foreign drivers who've immigrated who ride tail on the road...
because in their country you get out of the way if you are holding up traffic...
instead of slamming on your brakes because 'You were there first and are going the speed limit'...

If people practiced common courtesy and paid attention while they drive a LOT less accidents would occur of ANY KIND

Damn tailgaters! (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105786)

My favourite method of dealing with tailgaters is to send them into a panic by tromping on my brakes hard enough to make the car dive, but for a short enough period of time that my speed does not change measurably.

Get the fuck off my tail.

And while you're at it, take out those goddamn ultra-bright blue headlights.

Heavy Traffic (3, Funny)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105792)

In heavy traffic, if you constantly change lanes, tailgate anyone in front of you, shake your fist in fury, you will get most places a lot faster.

About goddamn time! (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105804)

I hope they roll this out nationwide.
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