Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Crazy Day on the Roads in Orlando

Today started cold and turned colder as the day wore on. And it wasn't just the temperature. I started the day as usual by traveling up Apopka-Vineland road on my way to ride the 408E on into work near U.C.F. Just before I got to the end of Apopka-Vineland, one of Orange County's finest leaped out into the middle of the road in a stylish neon yellow vest, a radar gun in his left hand while he waved a stiffened right arm at the traffic that was slowing and trying to avoid hitting the idiot. He would swing stiff-armed down one side, then turn and swing stiff-armed to his left, until he found the cars he wanted to pull over and ticket. Fortunately for me I was in the passing lane and traveling at the posted speed limit. Which was kind of interesting, as I wasn't alone on the road, and if I was traveling at the posted speed limit, then so was everyone else around me. I remember such things.

In any event I immediately crossed over to a turn-off lane and stopped, pulled out my trusty E-P2, put my 50mm on it, and shot a few photos to add to my earlier speed-trap photo from this area. After chimping what I'd captured, and satisfied with the results, I got back in my car and joined the other commuters headed into Orlando on the 408E.

Hiding around the cornerSpeed trap victims

It wasn't long before I was passing through downtown, and wouldn't you know it, I got to witness one of the FHP's finest go after another scofflaw speeder. I watched as he leaped on his shiny motorcycle, sped it up as quickly and as wobbly as possible, then managed to get behind and pull over his target. I'd have taken a couple of shots of that but for the fact that it's dangerous to pull over and shoot photos, especially after widening the 408 to five lanes and narrowing the pulloff lane on the left.

Morning turned quickly into early afternoon, and I was back on the road to attend a meeting away from my office. Wouldn't you know it, but another pair of county mounties set up yet another speed trap on Corporate Blvd at the intersection of Corporate and Quadrangle Blvd. This time, I pulled off into a parking lot, and with the E-P2 and 50mm I went out again to take their picture.

This isn't the first time they've set up a speed trap here. The first time I was able to catch them, it was a pair on motorcycles. I photographed them with my E-3 and 50-200mm at 200mm. I was able to stay out of sight. Unfortunately, this time I had to walk across Quadrangle and onto the grassy knoll to get close enough for the 50mm to capture reasonable detail (the 50mm is primarily a macro lens, and even at the crop factor of 2, 100mm is not a long telephoto). As to be expected I was spotted. There were two offices, a male and a female. The male motioned to me to come over. I stood where I was for a split second, then shook my head no and walked back across the street and into the parking lot, where I got back in my car and left the area. Unless they had X-ray vision they didn't see me, as the parking lot is surrounded by a three-foot continuous hedge, and my little econobox disappears behind such obstacles.

Second Speed Trap

One more stop on the way over to the meeting, and I picked up a couple of shots of another dead business on University. The local Boston Market is empty now, a victim of the ongoing Great Recession. If you thought it was over, you're wrong. I'll have another post in March about what's happened to a number of the dead businesses over the past year.

Boston Market Out-of-business NoticeBoston Market Out-of-business

After the meeting I headed home and passed, for the forth time that day, my final speed trap, this time on the 408W. Again, traffic being what it is, I just passed on by. This time it was an unmarked SUV (save all the blue and white lights hidden discretely in the regular light wells and inside behind the front and rear windscreen).

I don't know what's going on with cops and speed traps, except it is the end of the month. And it's the same spots. These are favorite haunts that seem to generate plenty of tickets. Which makes you wonder what it is about those particular roads.

I hate speed traps. They serve absolutely no useful purpose other than to crowbar large wads of cash out of your wallet, cash you (or at least I) can ill afford to loose. I can't do much about what I see as a petty abuse of power except to document and warn. So if you're living in Orlando, watch out. They really are out to get you.


  1. Its funny... The only tickets I've actually gotten in this area have actually been at the beginning of the month, and always in Winter Park.

    Over there they have roads which should have 45-55MPH speed limits, but are mostly 35MPH. They're the sort of roads where you'll probably get rear-ended if you even try to go close to the limit. (or go over long before you even realize it)

    Of course as far as tickets go, its really not so much the cost that bothers me. Its infrequent enough that I can easily stomach that. Its really the whole deal with license points, and wanting to avoid them (insurance reasons, etc), and having to deal with all the crap necessary to do so.

  2. Funny story. I was one lucky speeder back in January. We were headed to a day at Disney with my Mother, Wife, and 7 and 9 yr old in the car. Heading East from our home in Lakeland we exited I4 on World Drive, made the exit turn, back over the interstate and tag, 61 in a 35. Two Orange County cycle cops got. Thought for sure I was done but they gave me a warning. I guess the mouse does rule if you are near his house.


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