THE ENFORCEMENT BUSINESS,
IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY
By Darol Dickinson
May 27, 2012
It doesn’t take but a few miles on an interstate to see the “courtesy patrol” in action presenting a traffic violation ticket. Some people chuckle while watching others slapped by the strong hand of law enforcement.
Once in her life, my wife received a speeding ticket in New Mexico — I got out and took a photo of the officer wrapping up the deal. That was a mistake on my part, which accompanied more emotional pain to me than the price of the fine.
Personally, I hurt seeing a trucker getting ticketed. I know that he has a great responsibility, is a trained professional, and about 3 tickets will remove his license, end his job, and he goes without the benefits of employment. I hurt seeing a highway patrolman circling a truck like a hungry buzzard on road kill. Enforcers know trucks are a real plumb to capture. They are instant cash — it is all about the money. If for instance, a bunje cord is broken and a small tarp corner is not attached a ticket can be written for “unsecured load” or “oversized load” both can remove points from the driver’s license plus a hefty fine. If one light is not working, its a ticket, a fine and points — “an unsafe vehicle.”
Patrolmen watch for truckers and salivate over the possibility of instant cash — fast money. In order not to hold up a shipment with a critical delivery date drivers carry bank draft cash checks. They can provide a patrolman an instant bank draft and drive away. It is all about the money, and the cost of collection.
Continually fine-tuning the harvest methods, truck stings are planned to weigh and check every truck on the road at well designed points of busy travel. On these staged attacks to facilitate fast cash transactions often vans loaded with a judge, clerk and notary make the payments rapid and lucrative. No driver wants to be held up by an enforcement dispute, so they pay and go. This, of course is passed on to all consumers — that would be me and you.
Lawmaker, Bill Friend, of Indiana, understands the potential budget enhancements of inflated “work zone enforcement.” His House Bill 1289 is designed to create a program where no construction exists and yet a 65 mph speed could be quickly dropped to 45. The “fines double in work zones” signs make inflated income for the state. Out-of-state motorists fall right into the trap. HB 1289 outlines that fines can be up to $1000 and no construction need actually be taking place in the trap zone. Welcome to Indiana!
In Washington state a trooper disguised as a surveyor, with hard hat and reflective vest, looks like he is a legitimate construction worker. He is not looking for level land, but actually has a tripod and laser speed gun clocking speeds just past a “fines double in construction zones” sign. A little ways down the road nearly a dozen patrol cars are taking turns snatching the victims. This planned attack on private citizens recorded more than one ticket per two minutes — averaging $210 each. That is better than $8000 per hour. Welcome to Washington!
Signs cleverly posted entering the city limits around Colorado Springs subtly serve notice to drivers that “CITY SPEED LIMIT 25 UNLESS OTHERWISE POSTED.” It forces a driver to remember when they saw the last sign and to guess how far the authority of the last sign goes — which is impossible. Therefore, local patrol cars can pick their spot and nail anyone without a photographic memory once they enter an unposted zone. That is crass — enjoy your visit to Colorado Springs.
To reduce fuel and man hours the intersection mounted cameras allow a wholesale ticketing to increase revenue at minimal costs. The city of Dallas found that by shortening the yellow signal from a standard 4.3 seconds to 1.3, one intersection alone generated photos of drivers slipping into a red light to the tune of 9407 tickets worth $705,525 from a period of 8 months. Now that is some real coins — welcome to Dallas.
To keep the revenue rolling the red light camera industry’s latest move has been to ticket drivers who are actually stopped — the photo doesn’t record the speed. Photos don’t lie, right?
Out of state travelers are less aware of local speed traps. In fact, out-of-staters receive the highest percentage of all tickets. Like myself, if I get too many points I would rather turn it over to a competent attorney to fight a legal battle than have my license lost and or my auto insurance go through the roof. It just makes sense. Interestingly, an out-of-stater will normally just send in the payment for a simple surrender, right or wrong, rather than go across several states to fight the damage. More local people will show up for traffic court which causes the patrolman to have to leave his lucrative ticketing job and appear as a witness. In the business of enforcements, a trucker from out of state is a double-plumb — a sweet tender treat — cash money — bully fun!
Professional people who drive over a hundred thousand miles per year are at increased risk. They have more chances to be trapped by the clever patrol scams. These are the people who are employed, people working, paying taxes and building businesses. To the opposite, people who hang around home are minimally exposed.
You fly into Denver, Colorado, rent a car and hit the road — there is an important meeting to make. The National Speed Trap Exchange reported there was a fake construction zone set up at the exit of Denver International Airport. The posted speed is 45 mph and around a quick curve it drops to 25 mph. Thanks to the “Fines double in construction zone” tickets average $300 each. No one has ever seen any construction, but a line of patrol cars are ready to serve the public like cab drivers waiting on a fare. Welcome to the Mile High City — you be careful out there!
As tax money dwindles, governments of all sizes are being forced to tightening their belts — but they hate it. They love to spend lots of money, increase taxes and give the mayor and sheriff a needed raise. (Check out http://speedtrap.org/) Traffic enforcements are the profitable solution and it’s working. The little town of Bluff City, Tennessee, despite a lawsuit and temporary shutdown, have netted nearly $1.6 million from their speed cameras. Welcome to Bluff City — notice those shiny new patrol cars?
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable!
© 2012 – Darol Dickinson – All Rights Reserved
Darol is a serious advocate of down sizing all governments. His opposition of NAIS and ADT to protect livestock producers from bureaucratic inspired psychopathic enforcements has been his main challenge for the past few years.
He has written and or illustrated several books involving livestock and marketing including PHOTOGRAPHING LIVESTOCK, COLOR OF HORSES, FILLET OF HORN and the new eBook promoted by Amazon, FILLET OF HORN II.