--2 Blue Corn: Speedy on Gonzales
Sept. 24, 2017
Blue Corn: Speedy on Gonzales
Robert Basler

Blue Corn: Speedy on Gonzales

Police photo enforcement units are a game that’s rigged in your favor

October 9, 2013, 11:00 am
By Robert Basler

I have to laugh when I hear people complaining about those Speed-Enforcement SUVs that we see parked on city streets here in Santa Fe.

I really do.

When someone says, “I got caught by one of those damned SUVs,” what I hear instead is, “I am just WAY too stupid to live!”

Friends, this is the most one-sided game in town, and it’s entirely rigged in your favor. You can’t lose! Here, just off the top of my head, is a partial list of your advantages in thwarting these snooping vehicles:

• The city publishes an online list of their daily locations.

• If you can’t be bothered to check that out, the daily newspaper prints the list, too.

• In most locations, portable signs are posted just ahead of the SUVs to warn you of their presence.

• There are plenty of major thoroughfares here where the SUVs aren’t even allowed to operate. Stick to those, and you’re safe.

• The enforcement technology only kicks in if you’re going 10 miles over the speed limit, or four miles over the limit in school zones. What, that’s not fast enough for you?

• The distinctive white SUVs are almost unmistakable, even from a distance, and when they have to substitute a black one, they warn you about that, too.

• There are only three of these Speed SUVs out there in all of Santa Fe, so like, what are your chances, anyway?

Basically, apart from hiring that doofus who stands on Cerrillos and tries to lure you into Whoo’s Donuts, I’m not sure what more could be done to call attention to these SUVs and protect our speeding dimwits from themselves.

Despite all of the above, last year, when a guy in a nightshirt famously pulled up to a speed SUV on Bishop’s Lodge Road and fired at least five shots at it, the video went viral and some folks hailed him as a hero. I’m not kidding.

In comments about that case, some local drivers said the SUVs were a violation of their rights.

Huh? The right to speed? Because I’m not aware of that one.

Some people even compared the Speed SUVs to “Big Brother.” Oh, really? Have you people actually READ 1984?

The officials who run the speed enforcement program have heard every feeble response from drivers. On their website, they even feature what amounts to a “Don’t Waste Your Breath” list of excuses that won’t work.

Here’s the thing. I want my Blue Corn column to become a useful reader service, so here are some little-known steps you can take to protect yourself from getting tagged:

• If you see a speed SUV ahead, don’t slow down, speed up. If you’re going faster than 160 mph, the SUV can’t photograph you.

• Always cover your rearview mirror with aluminum foil. That will make you invisible to the cameras.

• Never drive anywhere without having a Santa Fe mayoral candidate in the passenger seat as a spotter. Don’t worry, there are plenty to go around.

• Every morning, call 911 and report your car stolen. Then, when the SUV photographs you racing along Gonzales Road, feign total surprise.

As usual, SFR is not responsible if you take this advice. Oh, and there is one other ploy to consider.

The next time you shop for a new car, buy a Ford Escape, paint it like a speed SUV, put some metal tubes in it to look like cameras, and bingo! You’re safe, because these vehicles sure aren’t going to ticket each other, are they?

I know. Brilliant, right?

Robert Basler worked for Reuters in the US and Asia as an editor, reporter, manager and blogger. He now lives in Santa Fe with his wife, and way too many rescued dogs and cats. Blue Corn appears twice a month. Email the author: bluecorn@sfreporter.com 


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