Important Announcement

Haphazard moved to a new home.. Feel free to visit :)

Status Update

    follow me on Twitter

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    The Art of Sitting Ducks

    Saher, for the those of you who don't know, is a traffic monitoring system that, basically, slaps you with a good 500+ SR fine when you break a traffic law. If you ever drove in any asphalted grounds in Saudi Arabia, you'd know that such a system is seriously needed, if not something much stronger and maybe more on the nuclear side. According to the latest numbers officially announced by the government, the number of car accident deaths has been on the increase for the past 5+ years.

    Since early Ramadan, Saher was announced to be fully implemented in Jeddah by end of the month. It's now almost two months later, and we're still beta testing.

    Someone might suggest that it takes money and time to install such advance technology (as if) and we shouldn't rush this. Umm.. Ok. I personally think that the well-studied level of sophistication of Jeddah's infrastructure might be a reason. Because, one, am being sarcastic, and two, THERE IS NO INFRASTRUCTURE TO BEGIN WITH, thus making the implementation that much enjoyable.

    Maybe opt to create an infrastructure for the sake of those you want to protect? No, try the next best thing, keep things in beta until further notice.

    So, how would you keep it beta despite the delays with the suggested time line proposed by the government? Well, in Saudi Arabia, keeping up with timelines is not a favorable trait, to get that out of the way,  and it is never fully recognized, unless there is a football semi-finals at risk. I wonder, though, with our over fascination and extreme love of football we'd be good at it to say the least. Then again, i shouldn't, because we're not.

    A N Y W A Y S

    You'd keep it by taking a quick look at the police's approach of testing the system is very interesting, am sure you'll agree with me on this:

    • To test the system, you basically choose two main roads in the city.. .. That's it.. It might be a shocker and hard to believe, in a city with several main roads and a hundred streets, to just stick to two roads, but that's why i opt to call the police our own "special" forces. The fact that both of these roads happen to be in close contact with the royal family has nothing to do with it, am sure. Shhh.
    Best thing is, you get caught once, and that's a hard lesson for you to know exactly when to slow down your car, and when to speed back again. Consider it a mandatory slow-down zone, until further notice.
    • To test the system, you install the camera+radar combo in family SUV's parked to the side of the road, and parked right under a light pole. Sometimes, they leave the hazard blinking lights on, just for the sake of it.
    Unless I missed the "Sitting Duck" chapter in the Saher manual, am sure parking the car there where everyone can see it would never let violators slow down, cruise at speed limit, and then double the speed away from the area..

    And this issue of "invisibility" seems to be a hard puzzle for the police to understand. You can notice this, even on the highways, they're parked to the side of the street, with their safety lights on, and wait for anyone dumb/blind/messed-up enough to speed by at 140 km/h (sometimes they do come across a couple of those cases, which makes me shudder at times)

    And my favorite..
    • To test the system, place those SUV's a 100 meters after a police check point, or right before a roundabout.
    So unless my extreme sports car can break the speed limit of 110 km/h in less than 4+ seconds, I still can't understand this point. Makes me laugh, though.

    In my humble ways to think positively, let me try to better understand this, because I never seem to do it right with these guys. To better test the system, and how it takes pictures of violators, and how it catches those violators, is by being EXACTLY where anyone would suspect you to be? To be more obvious than a bad joke on Saturday morning? and to help everyone notice you?

    Is there something am missing here? Because, all am seeing is when you find several cars slowing down at once, chances are they saw what they suspect to be a Saher-SUV, and managed to warn anyone within an eye-sight distance.

    What's the definition of Beta testing?
    What's the reason behind Beta testing?
    What's the need to Beta test something that is not doing what it should?

    What the hell are these guys smoking? I don't want some of it, but i'd like to know..

    Anyways, I feel like intentionally losing 500 SR of my next salary, so am going to speed by a Saher SUV just because am that bad ass. See you on the other side.



    1. Haha so you'll be beta-testing the beta-testing. Keep us posted.

    2. Funny thing is, sometimes, when am rushed a "bit" over the speed limit and it's too late to slow down, I take a pose for the picture.. That was almost a month and a half ago..

      Until today, that wasn't fined on my account.. Why do I have a feeling I'll have a great new year because of this?