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Re: Should We Challenge a Speeding Ticket if We Know We're Guilty?


In response, I have included protions of a private e-mail to Steve on this
very issue: 

Pete writes:
> Are there not reasonable grounds to question the ethics and motivation
> of someone who privately admits guilt but nonetheless asks the
> government to prove it? 

True, but we must also question the motives and ethics of those that
write, support, and enforce said laws.

Everyday people to choose what laws they follow and which they don't. We
all do (priests and judges included). You'd be surprised to learn that
many things we consider private matters are considered illegal. I
appologize if this is a little crude, but as an example, oral sex (a very
private matter) is illegal in most U.S. states. In Florida it is
punishable by up to 20 years in jail (that is more than what you would get
for murder). In fact, about 10 years ago (if memory serves me), a Texas
man was charged and sentenced to 5 years (without parole) for engaging in
said activity with his wife; when it was revealed in the court testimony
for an unrelated charge.

If I felt that I did something dangerous or stupid (i.e. went through a
red light because I wasn't paying attention) I would plead my guilt. In
this case, I was caught for doing something that I don't consider wrong or
dangerous by a trap designed to generate revenue and not promote safety. I
will therefore insist, on principle alone, that they prove my guilt.

There are numerous examples that can be made here; including the
(generally) negative correlation between "speeders" and accidents. Which
insurance companies use to generate higher profits - they are allowed to
charge a driver who is less likely to file a claim (than than the
statisticly more dangerous driver who drives below the speed limit) more
for the same policy.

Recently, in Ontario, it was the insurance companies who were the most
vocal group against the government's prosal for raising speed limits on
the 400 series highways. If it were a matter of accidents increasing, as
they claimed, it wouldn't be an issue - they would raise everyone's rates.
Raising the speed limit means less speeders, which translates to lower
profit margins. 

Pete writes:
> How we as citizens and human beings respond to such issues speaks
> volumes about our perceived relationship to society and sense of right
> and wrong.   I for one think they are well worth contemplating, though
> perhaps not any further in this venue.  Off line, maybe?

I am not opposed to the enforcement of laws if the motives are just and
advantageous to society. 

I was very opposed to the installation of photo radar on Toronto highways.
The Toronto Star reported that traffic deaths went up 4 fold over norm (I
believe this was the number they quoted) for the period in which it ran.
It is not a comforting feeling to know that they goverment and its police
forces generated profit off the lives of their citizens. 

-> all replies off-line please <-

- 94 S4