Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red Light Camera Removal

An Exercise In Pure Speculation

As many of you know, I'm an unpublished (so far) author, and in a calculated C.Y.A. move, I'm letting you know I'm working on a novel about some really bad, evil misanthropes with ethnic-sounding names with an excess of consonants that choose to disrupt our wonderful, peaceful society for nefarious purposes... and here's one of the major plot points from the novel. Yeah, you heard me, it's just a work of fiction... No conspiracy plans here, just move along, Mr. Asst. District Attorney with a lackluster conviction rate and fading political aspirations...

Now, I'm not advocating that anyone actually deface, damage, destroy, fold, spindle or mutilate one of The Man's spiffy new red light cameras, but after giving it some thought, here's how a successful camera-killer in this work of fiction might choose to go about it...

Be advised, just reading this might classify you as a domestic terrorist... You might want to hit the Eject Button!

For the brave souls that remain...

This is the model I see popping up all over town:

It's cylindrical, mounted on a single pole bracket, and there's usually one on each stoplight bar, so all directions of traffic are covered.

There's a single wire going into the rear of the camera. An aluminum shield covers the whole shebang.

When I saw the metal shield covering the camera, I was initially worried that it would require too much gun to penetrate the metal, making the bullet-launching device too loud to easily suppress. The risk would be that too light a bullet might get deflected in directions that could cause unwanted collateral damage.

As it turns out, the guard is designed more for rain & sun shielding than as a barrier against high-speed objects! The camera body is probably aluminum as well, judging by the construction and anodized coating.

I have no idea what the depth of focus is on these cameras, so potting the lens from 200 yards out in a down-the-throat shot is probably a no-no. It seems the easiest angle that keeps you an Eeevil terrorist out of the traffic lanes is an oblique shot from a nearby parking lot, a la DC sniper Lee Malvo. Pulling the back seat out of a sedan and shooting through a hole in the trunk seems to be an unnecessary PITA, when you an Eeevil terrorist can pick up an old panel van or serial-killer van for very little money. This also eliminates the need for an accomplice. I've got a few (very few...) friends I'd trust with my life & liberty, but it's my experience that 95% of the human race would sell their mother to the Esquimaux as walrus bait in order to get out of a felony beef. So, it's probably best to work alone.

My the Eeevil terrorist's initial choice for a camera-popper would probably be a suppressed AR platform in .300 Whisper. It's a subsonic round, and gives you an Eeevil terrorist sufficient bullet mass & velocity to effect a through & through hit on the camera body & weather shield. Naturally, backstopping is an issue. Ideally, you an Eeevil terrorist can work out an angle that puts the stoplight mounting pole or a utility pole directly behind your aiming point. Barring that, the Eeevil terrorists should look for the nearest water tower. (snerk!)

To get a hard kill, here's your the Eeevil terrorist's aiming point:

You The Eeevil terrorist should be able to take out the camera body, the connector and the connector socket with one solid hit. A hit anywhere to the camera tube will kill the camera, but I'd An Eeevil terrorist would recommend screwing up the ability to refurb the camera while you're they were at it. Adding insult to injury, as it were.

As an alternative, there might be a controller box mounted in a visible location that controls all 4 cameras. This is what one model looks like, your mileage may vary.

For those Eeevil terrorists interested in doing some monkeywrenching, but who are not wanting to break the felony barrier & wish to remain safely in misdemeanor-ville, I suppose those pansy milksop nancy-boy terrorists could always go for the lenses using a paintball gun and a Nixon mask!

Happy Hunting!