Matt D
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Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:10 am,1413,205~12220~1501734,00.htmlSo let me see if I got this straight:

They're using helicopters to "patrol" looking for 'unsafe' drivers. Ok, fine, I have no problem with looking for people/vehicles that present a real threat to the public.

All it takes is a half million dollar Bell JetRanger helicopter, Jet-A and repairs, a pilot, and an airborne officer, plus an actual officer on the ground to issue that citation.

What would be the added cost to the taxpayers if the driver pleads "not guilty" and shows up at court demanding a trial, requiring all of those people to come testify?

It absolutely amazes me what we get rammed through our collective throats whenever it can be linked to "safety".

Safety, my ass. Using an airplane or helicopter to catch speeders is not only counterproductive in terms of cost, but serves little more than to stoke the egos of the officers as well as their hierarchys. As if we didn't already have enough cops who wear their badge on their dick, now we have this to deal with. The cops are already whining that they have adversarial relationships with the public. Well this sure as shit isn't going to do anything to help.

But at least it allows them to put out lofty press releases like this.

I don't know which is scarier: the helicopters or the public that will actually be sold on the idea that this is "for their own safety".

Don't get me wrong. I support LEGITIMATE safety concerns as much as the next person, but why not chase the problem at the source? Like being a little more selective on who we issue drivers licenses to-or addressing the root causes of such behavior-like not setting up so many roadblocks or onstacles, or lobbying the trucking industry to give the drivers more time to make their runs?

Oh wait...there's no ego boost or profit in such things.

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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:15 am

Kind of silly, this method of "patrolling." And did you know, the last time I was in a Bell 206 Jetranger I asked the pilot approximately what the hourly cost is and she said about $800!!! An hour!

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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:34 am

Meanwhile, the guy who called 911 3 hours ago because his house was robbed, or he was in a car accident, or he got shoot in the chest 4 times wonders what is taking so long.
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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:19 am

I like flying low along a road (not illegally low!) and watching all the speeders slam on their brakes thinking I'm a cop.  Big thumbs up

Well, not all of them do it, but some do!
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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 7:01 am

Matt D:
I agree 100% on this!
We society is so frikkin paronoid that we beg for our tax dollars to be wasted on crap like this.
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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 9:48 am

The law enforcement focus on speeding will continue as long as people just plead guilty and pay the fine. If everyone decided to plead "not guilty" and demand a trial, then the system would be in ruin.

If everyone simply stopped speeding (yeah, right), then the system would be in ruin.

With all of this news of local and state budgets being in a crisis, you can bet that more speed traps are going to be set. I see them every day going to work and back. Then again, with the increasing traffic and congestion in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, it may actually be getting harder to speed anyway. How are they going to pull anyone over when it becomes impossible to go over 55?
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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:44 pm

Two slightly related questions...,

1. Do traffic cops have ticket quotas??

2. Do cops target out of state speeders more because its much less likely that the speeder will be able to protest it logistics wise in most cases???

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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:02 pm


No to both.

Yes to both.

Confusing? Sure is. There is no "official" quota and traffic officers are told to not be selective. Yet, they are graded on the number of tickets they write and the percentage of fines collected. Knowing that a person from several hundred miles away will likely just pay the fine, an officer will choose to write the citation to the out of state car. Matters not a bit that said car was being passed by 15 cars, it's a slam dunk close.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:14 pm

When will they realise that speeders are going to speed regardless... especially here in Canada, where the loop-holes are so far and wide you can fit many 747s inside.

I'm not sure how it works in each individual state, but here if one is given a ticket (and I've had my fair share) you have 30 days in which you can dispute. Most of the retarded general public happily pay their ticket, watch their insurance rates go up, all the while probably don't regularly drive more than 8-10mph over the limit. But, if you dispute, you get a court date anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (yes, 24 months!!) after the "allegded" violation. Most of the times, cops don't show up (because either their quota was met, don't give a shit, etc) - and you win your case automatically. The funny thing is, all the young speeders know this, and dispute, and win... and continue to happily speed. While the people that generaly don't do any real harm (I'm talking the people that might do 62 in a 55 zone here...) get caught, and pay. How does this solve the problem? It doesn't, and it's actually quite a laugh.

You know there are problems in the US when rapists get 5 years in prison, and a guy stealing $150US worth of video games gets 2 consecutive 25-year sentences (regarding the 3-strikes rule) - meanwhile, taxpayers have to pay millions to keep these guys in jail for doing pety crimes. Hmmm... makes you shrug your shoulders reallll bad.


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RE: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Speeders

Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:52 pm

I read a book that said that most of the signs posted that say "highway patrolled by aircraft" are B.S., as most police departments don't want to fork out the money for this. But anyway, tickets are HUGE revenue for the jurisdiction which cites you. So if a cop in a Cessna 172 overhead can catch, say, 10 speeders per hour, the cost of such an operation could be easily justified (given that the operating costs of a C172 are pretty low).

BTW, I wonder if the traffic laws would be enforced more fairly if the cities didn't get to keep their ticket revenue (i.e. it goes into a general fund for the state to pay for highway projects, etc)??? There would no longer be incentives for cops to bust scores of safe drivers doing a few miles over the limit to meet their "quotas", but on the other hand, cops would still want to write tickets for serious offenders (because it's their duty, don't want unsafe drivers in their cities, etc.) In other words, I'd like to see the emphasis returned to safety as opposed to dollar generation.
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