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US Traffic Enforcement - was Watch the red light's in DC
uh-oh, he asked for opinions and debate...
I hate to sound like a law and order type, but hafta agree. I don't have any
problem with enforcement of real and good traffic laws. And in fact, one of the
biggest beefs i have with speed enforcement is that it is so random. At least
with the cameras, every violator gets hit evenly. And you can't argue that you
shouldn't get wacked for running a red light, that's dangerous, rude, and
IMHO, if speed enforcement was consistent, so that everyone driving over 65mph
got a ticket, every time, we very quickly would have some kind of adjustment to
our highway rules and enforcement, because lawmakers would be deluged with
complaints and calls for change. (plus, the courts would be swamped...) The
current system is based on the idea that you'll probably get a ticket every few
years which will be enough negative feedback to keep you going 75 instead of 85
which is all the system really cares about.
Another aspect of the speed enforcement paradigm is that it's too hard for
friendly officers of the law to be there to catch a reckless driver commiting
dangerous lane changes, etc., but that speeding is generally a sign of disregard
for the rules and a symptom of a bad driver. Kind of the 'if you're not guilty
this time, you're probably guilty for something i didn't see'.
Cameras on highways enforcing NOT speed, but erratic/unsafe driving in general
might be a significant improvement. Yeah sounds big brother, but laws, cops,
and courts generally are a big brother enforcement of social rules - it's part
of the deal as a social mammal. If the practical choice (based on court burden
and priorities) was between issuing tickets for real hazardous driving
behaviour, and safe courteous driving at 75-80, one would hope the right choice
would be made...