By Paul Ranger
Although police, City and State officials have always denied there are quotas for officers to write a certain amount of tickets each month, I have always remained suspicious. In my mind, I would question, why wouldn’t any city or state require their officers to write a certain amount of tickets knowing it is a way to raise money. They know that human nature is to ignore/disobey laws if they think they can get away with it, or that, some people will occasionally become careless, distracted and brake traffic rules even if they didn’t intentionally set out to do so.
Officials pretend that they write tickets/summons only for the purpose of keeping us safe from violators who would put the rest of us in danger. If that good intention was the original goal of the first municipality that chose ticketing writing as a law enforcement tool, I don’t think it has remained the only reason. As a matter of fact, I believe for many cities and towns it seems it’s a very big part of their revenue raising activities. If you don’t believe me, try going through a small town like Starke, Florida on U.S. 301 at just one to five miles over the speed limit at a certain time of the day, and I promise, you stand a very good chance of being pulled over.
From my own experience in Starke, one officer deliberately slowed down in front of me, and when I passed him, he pulled me over, his main complaint besides the fact that I passed him at 2 miles above the limit was that I had the nerve to pass him. Oh, what arrogance on top of more arrogance.
What has fueled my latest suspicion is the following report from MSNBC about certain cities are removing and thinking about removing their automatic license plate picture taking intersection traffic cameras, which capture images of vehicles running the red signal. When people know that a camera is there, they will obey the law, and, the cities are losing money because there are fewer traffic offenders to give tickets to. Read the story that has me steamed here, then return and comment!
Another situation that has caused me over the years to doubt the sincerity of local government’s claim of only trying to protect the public is, The Synchronization and timing of the traffic lights in the city where I live, more specifically Brooklyn.
Take a ride down Atlantic avenue at the local speed limit of 30mph. Now, If you are close to the intersection when the light turns yellow, but, you are too close to intersection to complete a proper stop (behind the cross walk), before you clear the intersection, you will be in violation because, the light would have turned red before you can if you are traveling at the speed limit.
Many people knowing this, just simply speed up when the light turns yellow in order to clear the intersection before the light turns red, thus, violating the speed limit while trying to beat the ill-timed red light. I have noticed this is not a problem at the same speed limit when I leave New York City. I’m sure they know this, they aren’t idiots, It is set up to trap you. They want you to violate the law so they can issue summonses. It’s not about safety. It’s about raising money.
Speaking of raising Money, check me next time when I tell you what I think of Mayer Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. For those of you who don’t know, It is New York City’s Mayor’s plan to (following London, England) charge vehicles $8.00 and more to enter midtown Manhattan during a certain time of the day in order to relieve traffic congestion. I won’t elaborate on my opinion of his plan now except to say, New York is not London and London is not New York. Stay tuned!