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To Serve And Collect

Every now and then, someone trots out the old saw that traffic enforcement is all about public safety, not about revenue. That the point is to get more people to obey the laws and drive safely, not to rake in the bucks.

As the old saying goes, whenever someone says it's not about the money, it's about the money.

In Massachusetts, at least, they're up front about it. They had to pull cops off the highway and have them help keep people safe after a chunk of the Big Dig tunnel's roof collapsed, killing a motorist. As a consequence, their revenues from traffic tickets took a hefty hit, so they're pushing the cops to write more tickets.

Of course, it's ALL in the name of public safety, of course...


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Comments (10)

Ever since they passed the ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Ever since they passed the RICO laws it has been about the money.

Given how catastrophically ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Given how catastrophically bad Massachusetts drivers are, they should be giving out more tickets, not less.

I'd have to say traffic enf... (Below threshold)

I'd have to say traffic enforcement falls into that realm of there is a good reason and then there is the real reason to do it.

Just like Columbus used the good reason of opening up new trade routes for Spain, the real reason was to get rich.

I guess it always is about the money after all.

The problem with that point... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

The problem with that point Heralder, is that they give tickets to out of staters in disproporionate numbers.
I used to live in NH and have family and friends in NY so I drove through that lovely state a lot, and I lived in the Boston area for a year.
I got a ticket once doing 67 in a 55 on the Mass Turnpike. At the time the cop clocked me, I was in the right lane being passed by people with Mass tags. Seriously.
I got a ticket for running a stop sign. I stopped in the correct place, looked and went. The problem? The taxi in front of me pulled out into the intersection, sort of slowed a little before continuing on. So in other words, he ran the stop sign, I didn't. But I got the ticket.
First time, NH tags, the second time, NY tags.

They sit in the parking lot of NH fireworks dealers and pull over Rhode Islanders, Connecticutians and NYers and bust them for transporting fireworks as they drive through the state. Check out the news next year around the 4th. You'll see people complaining about it and they will all be out of staters calling it "Taxachussets".

All good points, Veeshir. <... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

All good points, Veeshir.

I was hoping everyone caught the sarcasm in my post though.

Veeshir is correct...Mass c... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Veeshir is correct...Mass cops LOVE outa staters, but I thought that was nation wide phenomenon..

"Given how catastrophically bad Massachusetts drivers are, they should be giving out more tickets, not less."

Being a mASShole, I resemble that remark!!!!

Heralder, I got your sarcas... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Heralder, I got your sarcasm, but I tried to reply to the underlying point. I do that a lot.
Knightbrigade, I've lived in 5 states and driven across the country a few times and up and down the east coast and somewhat inland a lot and I've found Mass to be the worst practitioner.

Well, except for Georgia and people with NY tags. I have a friend who got a ticket for doing like 56 or 57 in a 55 zone on 95 in Georgia.
That was funny.
Now? I have Virginia tags and they don't get targeted anywhere except, briefly, in NJ. Some NJ state troopers had a tiff with VA state troopers after Katrina. They went down to New Orleans and on the way back, through VA, they were driving like maniacs and the VA police tried to get them to calm down. They wouldn't and there was quite the brouhaha.

They wouldn't have this pro... (Below threshold)
Tim:

They wouldn't have this problem if the cops weren't required to sit around doing nothing at every construction zone. If there's a cone, there's a cop with nothing to do.

As PowerFasteners and the c... (Below threshold)
Uncle Pinky:

As PowerFasteners and the construction teams are responsible for the collapse, why are they not responsible for the shortfall?

If it was all about safety,... (Below threshold)
someguy:

If it was all about safety, they'd enforce "safe following distances" and not speeds.

As long as you have enough space in front of you to stop in an emergency (if, for example the driver in front of you slams on his brakes), you can safely travel at rates even faster than the legal speed limit.

If you're watching what's going on in traffic ahead, and in optimal conditions you maintain a two second following distance, you're very unlikely to have a crash.

If you're an idiot, plodding along in the left lane with a quarter-mile or more gap in front of you, you're much more likely to plow into the car in front of you (if, for example traffic slows down, then speeds up a little - you might miss the brake lights).

I do think there should be speed limits - but what was safe for 1960's cars is more than safe today - or would be if cars were designed to protect from higher speed crashes - and the Autobahn's safety record (safer per vehicle mile traveled than US freeway system) pretty much proves that it can be done.




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