Thursday, January 24, 2013

Defending speeders, criminals and adulterers

These motorists didn't need a sign to tell them they were going nowhere during the rush hour on the Garden State Parkway north, which narrows to three lanes from five.

The Road Warrior column on Wednesday raised the possibility of electronic ticketing, using data from individual E-ZPass tags and global-positioning systems, and called it "Big Brother."

Well, for the vast majority of sane, law-abiding drivers, such a system couldn't come fast enough, given the dramatic decline in the enforcement of traffic laws.

The Record's John Cichowski gives voice to drivers who believe Dynamic Message Signs are "an invasion of privacy."

Rich Pederson of sleepy Bloomingdale (the town, not the store), is quoted as saying, "This information had best not be stored in a database somewhere."

E-ZPass account information has been used to impeach the testimony of a criminal defendant who claims to have been home watching TV at the time of a crime.

And I'm sure E-ZPass information has been used in divorce cases.

The rest of us have nothing to worry about, especially Cichowski, who has mastered the art of using reader e-mails as the basis of numerous columns written from the comfort of his desk.

For another take on Wednesday's Road Warrior laugh-fest, consider the comments of a reader concerned about all of the inaccuracies in the column:

"The Road Warrior embellishes reporting around inane questions, discredited conspiracy theories, and comments that defy common sense and facts in his Jan. 23 column about Dynamic Message Signs, which display updated driving times to points down a highway.
"The Record does NOT appear to care about its integrity or have oversight to stop publishing unsubstantiated and unqualified feedback that does not belong in a Road Warrior column. 
"Please direct these people & their feedback to one of The Record blogs.
"Road Warrior also repeatedly likes to scare readers with his unsubstantiated "dark conspiracy" theories.
"Most drivers understand the benefits and reject any fears about Dynamic Message Signs."

See the full e-mail sent to management at:

Road Warrior paranoia runs rampant 

Originally posted from my iPhone at the Riviera Bakery in Newark's Ironbound.

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