Fortress mailboxes

I have been reading about fortress mailboxes (a topic raised here). A couple of conclusions:
1. At least in some places, and possibly but not necessarily, near
highways, fortress mailboxes may be illegal. Call your building and zoning department to find out.
2. I doubt the morality of installing a fortress mailbox (but I am not certain). Two cases come to mind:
- a few years ago, near my old house, a car swerved off a road due to ice and was almost buried in a huge pile of snow in my yard. The teenager in it was very apologetic and I dragged his car out with my pickup. He did not have any ill intention, he was simply an inexperienced driver on an icy road.
- Last year, same thing happened in my new house, very near my mailbox. Some bad young driver hit a big pile of snow that I made, stopping inches away from my mailbox. That was during a sunny day with me in my yard. Surely it was not intentional. I would rather have him knock my mailbox down than suffer any meaningful damage. Especially since he was my neighbor.
Unless I had a repeating problem with mailbox vandalism, I would definitely not install a fortress mailbox.
If I had such a problem, I would keep a wimpy breakable mailbox, but would perhaps make the first 8-12" or so off the ground to be made of something very strong, like a large I beam or some such, to damage the vehicle, but not the occupant. Around that, I would install a fake fortress made of plastic that looks like bricks (sold as room decor at Home Depot), to make the mailbox an unattractive target.
If some vandal hits your mailbox, dies, and you lose thousands in court, you are not a winner in the situation. If an unfortunate driver dies, there would be a moral guilt element in addition to the court judgment.
i
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 19:04:03 GMT, Ignoramus5275

Yes, by all means strive for "bad driver friendly".
Yet, while declaiming responsibility and morality, you still seek to deceive with a car-gutting lower support and/or fake plastic bricks.
There is certainly nothing irresponsible, deceptive or immoral about making a mailbox and post that look strong because they are strong. It is no more a public hazard than a tree.
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And where did *this* topic pop up from? Somebody's been reading the archived posts, sounds like.
Jim
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wrote:

Yes, indeed I would try to be bad driver friendly, especially since I still consider myself a bad driver.

I am not sure if you are seeing some immorality in having fake bricks, but if you think so, I would love to hear why that may be immoral.

If installing fortress mailboxes is illegal, then it is just plainly stupid to install a fortress mailbox. You can complain about laws all you want, but violating this law would be quite unintelligent for obvious reasons: if the mailbox is not hit, you wasted money, and if it is hit, you lose a lawsuit and lose even more money.
Installing fortress mailboxes is illegal in many towns.
Where it is not illegal, I certainly would not do it if my mailbox was not repeatedly vandalized. If it was repeatedly vandalized, I would do something that would preferably not kill the vandal.
i
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I've never been a mailbox vandal, and I've always lived in urban areas where such actions aren't really possible, but it seems to me that mounting the mailbox on a large spring (coil spring from a truck, for example) would make it pretty hard to knock down, but would allow it to yeild to a vehicle.
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Maybe that's the answer; carve your mailbox out of a chunk of 24" dia oak tree, buried many feet. It looks like a tree, acts like a tree. Anyone dumb enough to ram a tree deserves what my daughter got when she totaled my car on a roadside tree. The tree survived.
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Why not go the other way, a wood 1x2 with a plastic mail box. If it gets hit...so what, nobody hurt or damage done and costs a buck to repair. I can't imagine somebody getting hurt or their car damaged by my trying to prove a point.
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I saw that someone mentioned a mailbox mounted on a garage door spring, it would just spring back. That was quite clever.
i
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Ignoramus5275 wrote:

Add to that thought that even when the vandalism is intentional many such young punks grow out of their foolishness and become productive citizens -- sometimes above-average productive citizens. Since there's really no way of knowing when they're whacking your mailbox whether they're turds or just good kids being thoughtless and stupid you should be careful of going to any extremes.
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I've deleted the original post now, but in reply... Last I knew, willful destruction of a mailbox was still a FELONY. If it is a recurring problem, a video camera or web cam set up to snap a picture every few seconds aimed to maybe get a plate number would be a good way to go. You've lost another mailbox, but at least the people who did it can be procecuted.
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You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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yep
A fun Rec.Crafts.Metalworking project would be a camera actuated by an event of a mailbox being destroyed. Should not be very difficult, to use a relay that closes when signal current is interrupted.
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Ignoramus5275 wrote:

X10 proximity detector connected to a webcam should be pretty cheap. You'd have daily pics of the postman and your wife. Hopefully not together :)
And sure as you went to this trouble, your new mailbox would remain untouched for many years.
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 21:10:02 GMT, Ignoramus5275

I've thought about the mailbox surprise from time to time. Even though destroying a mailbox is a felony doesn't mean it's a good law or that kids who go out and whack mailboxes should pay a huge price for doing so. There are hardly any people who have not done something equally as bad and gotten away with it. That said, if my box got whacked I'd sure like to see the varmints pay. But replacing the box and maybe 1/2 a day hard labor splitting wood or pulling blackberry bushes would be just. Where I live we have episodes of crushed mailboxes. I have thought that a digital camera that takes a picture of every car that passes would be easy to set up. But destroying somebody's mailbox sure doesn't rate jail time or anything. Unless it's a mailbox in your front door and an M-80 is used. ERS
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Ignoramus5275 wrote:

If you do that, for extra fun you should buffer the last 20 seconds of video on an old PC, then if the signal is interrupted automatically save the footage to disk.
There was an experimental scheme (I can't remember where) which did this at accident blackspots. This used a microphone which picked up the noise of a collision, and then the computer would save the footage for the police.
There was also a guy who lived near me who kept having his PC stolen. Being a programmer he set up a webcam which took a picture every few seconds, and if a program detected any motion the computer would e-mail the pictures to him. He got a hilarious picture of a guy stealing his computer, which the police showed to the burglar when they arrested him. Here's the link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/4272041.stm
Chris
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Has anyone built a "tupperware" mailbox. I am thinking a polyethylene with a sunlight protecting dye would be permanent and durable. I know it is not metal but in some cases... Randy
I have been reading about fortress mailboxes (a topic raised here). A couple of conclusions:
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Rubbermaid builds a 'tupperware' mailbox...
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Emmo wrote:

Yeah. The problem is that it looks more like a "Fisher-Price" mailbox. Not everyone wants something like that in front of their house.
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wrote:

I think its the same one used on Windows XP default setting. The one with the Fisher-Price theme.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Gunner Asch wrote:
<snipped>
Does this one do anything for you Gunner?
http://sblom.com/mailbox/texasmailbox.jpg
More creative mailbox photos submitted by visitors are one directory back on this guy's page. Some of them look like fun projects for chipmakers:
http://sblom.com/mailbox /
Jeff
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On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 17:08:36 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Some really Way cool! mail boxes. Im particularly impressed with one be the Chiropractor
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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