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RE: California and Florida front license plates
Following up on what Gary Lewis and Steve Buchholz have said, in LA they're
just starting to install cameras at some of the worst intersections for red
light violators. For those of you elsewhere in the country, you're
probably not aware of how bad it is in LA. The Bay Area pales by
comparison; even Orange County is much better. I've seen people run lights
2 or 3 seconds after it's turned red. I saw a woman the other day in Santa
Monica slow down so she wouldn't T-bone a car making a legitimate left turn
as the light turned from yellow to red, and then she hit the pedal and
raced through well after it turned. My girlfriend works at Marvin Davis
companies, which is full of very well paid and spoiled entertainment types.
In a discussion about the cameras at intersections, several of the BMW,
Porsche, Mercedes set (I'm leaving Audi content out here) announced they
were taking off their front license plates. So she said to me, "See, these
cameras won't make any difference. Look what my co-workers are already
doing." To which I replied, "Bullshit. They can take their license plates
off, but when enough of those photos come back with no plates visible,
they'll seriously crack down." There are such things as threshold effects,
and I suspect this will be one of them. As Steve pointed out regarding
Milpitas, police will enforce if they're losing enough revenue (and those
cameras DO cost a lot of money.) They want their money back.
>From my perspective, I don't much care about front license plates, except
as it concerns safety. If these sobs continue to run lights here, and
occasionally injure and kill people in the process, I want 'em nailed.
Unfortunately, it may mean extra enforcement for those who don't run lights
and don't like license plates, but at least in LA, some people only
appreciate civility when the law is breathing down their necks. I learned
to drive on these freeways and left here for 20 yrs, seven of which I spent
in Texas (the most polite drivers I've ever encountered, by the way). 4
years back here and I'm amazed at the decline in civility and common sense.
As for red light runners, I can draw no generalization with respect to
race, age, or sex. I have a rough hunch that the drivers of the fancier
cars and the sport utes are slightly worse violators. But then these
drivers and their destinations are more than the rest of the planet.
Regarding front license plates: When Jaguar introduced the E type in '61,
R&T tested the coupe's top speed. Jaguar claimed 150mph, but R&T couldn't
get there. Then they took off the front plate, and reached just over
150mph. Jaguar had designed that front plate bracket to swivel to a
horizontal position at speed, but it still slowed the car about 1 mph.