Monday, September 13, 2010
You're Not Idiots, They Treat You Like One: Speeding
Driving for 6 plus years I had yet to be stopped for speeding, so I was due. Last week I was stopped in a speed trap on our trek to Michigan's opener against UConn. I was written a ticket for driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone in Everett, PA. The cop didn't ask me any questions but rather took my license and registration and wrote a ticket. I actually wasn't that pissed despite the $137 charge. My only concern was do I get points because I can't afford to take off from work drive 3 plus hours to Whogivesashit, PA. I'm still not certain how that works but I'll bet they just wan the money. If any of you have gotten a ticket recently you can probably see the breakdown. Only $52 of the ticket was for the offense, the rest went to Medicare, Emergency Medical Services, and the courts. Obviously this is crap but the real issue is that police are so desperate to raise funds they are handing out more tickets. As usual I have a better idea using common sense.
If you have enough cops to set up speed traps, you have too many cops. Goodbye, here is your pink slip. I'll give the police departments the benefit of the doubt that they crunched the numbers and believe that monetarily handing out X amount of tickets equals a profit. Amid the costs of the cop's salary, fuel, and radar detector,court, and clerical costs they may still turn a profit. However, do you really need to be breaking the balls of decent citizens by issuing tickets. Does anyone under the age of 25 have a good opinion of cops? Do many people over it? How many times have officers truly protected and served you for the salaries you provide to them? I'll be happy to here someone make a counter argument, but I do not feel that overall its in the best interest of anyone to have cops in speed traps. Its just not worth being the bad guy. When I hear people raising money for municipal organizations I never help because taxes dollars already assist these groups.
The new policy for getting people for speeding should be if a cop happens to be on the road he can pull you over for speeding. It should not be the cop's sole job though. There will still be the element of obeying the law because you never know if someones watching but it wouldn't be this sneaky gotcha bullshit.
Speed Limits also need to increase in the northeast. Other states have wised up. I realize death rates go up when speed limits rise, but that couldn't surprise me less. People need to be able to go faster on Turnpikes when no one is around. If you can safely operate your vehiciles at high speeds than what's the problem. throw in another driving test on the highway and you will have lines out the door at the DMV longer than the ones now. Go ahead and put sticker's on the back of the license plates to allow the good drivers to go faster (it was OK to profile teenagers wasn't it New Jersey), you could even charge an extra fee for the right to speed. That will be sure to generate some income. That's the whole point anyways isn't it?
As an aside, I was charged a convienience fee to pay me bill online after I was told would I like to add this ticket to my cart? Apparently I was ordering tickets through Ticketmaster.