Tag Archives | highways

Fake Signs On California Highways Warn Of Enforcer Drones

fake signs

Would you bat an eye if you saw this sign? Via NBC News:

California commuters may have been alarmed last week by highway signs that warned them that they were being watched by missile-equipped drones. But the signs were fake, installed by an artist from Napa, and have quickly been taken down by the California Highway Patrol.

“The motivation is partially political and partially a prank,” the artist Stephen Whisler, who lives in Napa, Calif., told NBC News, explaining why the “Speed enforced by drones” signs he put up last Monday show a Predator firing a missile.

The California Highway Patrol was still investigating the issue, and has yet to decide if they’re filing charges. Meanwhile, Whisler has been waiting. “I’m sort of surprised, I’m expecting them to show up any moment,” he said.

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Satanist Group Wants To Adopt New York Highway

satanic templeOnce signs are erected signifying that that highway is under the care of the Satanic Temple, will the religiously devout steer clear? The New York group has unveiled a surreal video as part of their Indiegogo campaign to raise the $15,000 needed to "promote a message of Satanic civic pride and social responsibility":
Help The Satanic Temple spread their message as they enter the adopt-a-highway program in New York City where they will maintain voluntary beautification of a stretch of public highway for at least 2 years by way of litter cleanup and landscaping. Once approved, the New York Department of Transportation will erect a blue-and-white sign acknowledging The Satanic Temple as the adopters of the designated piece of highway.
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Drones Soon To Be Used To Watch Over U.S. Highways

Ah, the open road…no one around but you and the drone watching you. Via Yahoo! News:

Drones could help human workers safeguard the 4 million miles of U.S. highways crisscrossing the country. The flying robots could inspect bridges and roads, survey lands with laser mapping, and even alert officials to traffic jams or accidents.

One such project focused on studying the use of drones recently received $74,984 from the Federal Highway Administration and the Georgia Department of Transportation. Researchers plan to spend the next year figuring out how drones could help workers as they go about inspecting and maintaining the safety of public roads and highways.

Georgia represents one of several states considering how civilian drones could do some jobs for transportation departments, the police and firefighters. Drones of all sizes and shapes could help safeguard state roads and bridges, said Javier Irizarry, director of the CONECTech Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Global Corporations Eye The Privatizing Of Highways

As they say, as goes California, so goes the nation. The News Review reports:

It slipped under the public’s radar, but a couple of years ago, Caltrans formed a unique contract that effectively privatized a major Northern California roadway traversed by millions annually. Now, more privatized highway projects might be approved over the next several years as major financial corporations and lobbying groups eye California as a potentially lucrative market for infrastructure, especially highways.

These so-called public-private partnerships, or P3s, are a multibillion-dollar global business. One Swedish corporation has called the United States the “trillion-dollar opportunity” for privatized highways and other public infrastructure.

Critics and union groups, meanwhile, argue that Californians should be wary of privatization of their roads. They remind that the reason California got rid of its P3 laws the first time in 2004 was because of bankruptcies and messy contractual clauses that suggested privatization might not be in the public’s best interest.

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Brazil Announces National System Of Mandatory Radio-Frequency ID Chips For Vehicles

Brazil’s new roadway surveillance system, the administration of which apparently involves private contractors, is dubbed SINIAV, and involves installing antennae at strategic points across the country to detect details of all passing cars via windshield-mounted RFID chips. On Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow explains:

In Brazil, a new regulation requires drivers to add radio ID tags to their car windshields, which broadcast “vehicle year or fabrication, make, model, combustible, engine power and license plate number.” This will be read by checkpoints throughout the country, and centrally processed and retained, in a system called Siniav.

The administration claims that this system will be “confidential and secure” because its contractors will sign confidentiality agreements.

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Killer on the Road: The Uneasy Connections Between Serial Killers and America’s Highways

Picture: Serial Killer Ottis Toole, Jacksonville Police Department (PD)

Interested in serial killers and the darker side of the American myth of progress? Check out a short video from the BBC on Ginger Strand’s new book Killer on the Road. Here’s a description of the book:

Killer on the Road tells the entwined stories of America’s highways and its highway killers. There’s the hot-rodding juvenile delinquent who led the National Guard on a multistate manhunt; the wannabe highway patrolman who murdered hitchhiking coeds; the record promoter who preyed on “ghetto kids” in a city reshaped by freeways; the nondescript married man who stalked the interstates seeking women with car trouble; and the trucker who delivered death with his cargo. Thudding away behind these grisly crime sprees is the story of the interstates—how they were sold, how they were built, how they reshaped the nation, and how we came to equate them with violence.

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