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Bill R
01-10-2009, 12:13 PM
I drive 50K +/- miles a year for work on a full combination of roads- highways, secondary roads and little back country tracks.

Starting with the downturn in the economy, I started seeing more and more speed traps- State, County and local. Makes me wonder if they are doing what they can to generate a little more revenue. (tax collection at the point of a gun?)

Has anyone else noticed this, or should I just put my tinfoil hat back on and stop thinking about gub'mint conspiracies?

Phillip Allen
01-10-2009, 12:45 PM
I have complained about this before...on this forum. Calling it an unofficial tax. The only way I can think of to keep municipal robbers at bay is a law mandating the money be sent to their "competitors" (whoever they may be). Court costs are already paid with legal taxes so no added court costs.

I reckon someone will gripe at me again about "not wanting to support the government" which is their way of attempting to shout me down

capt jake
01-10-2009, 01:00 PM
i reckon someone will gripe at me again about "not wanting to support the government" which is their way of attempting to shout me down

GET DOWN FROM THERE BEFORE YOU HURT YOURSELF! :d :d lol

pipefitter
01-10-2009, 01:14 PM
I suspect it's coincidence. Mainly because with driving the interstate systems daily for a number of years, speeding in the last 5 at least has gotten out of hand. I asked a state patrol officer about this and he told me there has been a record number of complaints by the public for more law enforcement on the highways due to abusive and reckless driving. Auto insurance rates have also skyrocketed in recent years to offset accident statistics as well as reported cases of road rage. As cars have gotten more agile and the horsepower to weight ratios much more efficient, 80mph doesn't feel like 80mph like it used to. Look how many of even the most obscure grocery getters are potential sports cars with dual exhausts, fuel injection turbochargers and racing tires which was considered exotic racing equipment not too many years ago.

Personally, I am glad to see it, being that reckless driving and being forced to cruise at higher speeds, does not allow me to realize the working safety range nor any possible economical efficiency of my vehicle and the possibility of my insurance rates increasing if I get stopped by chance of breaking the law while trying to go with the flow and for what, to save 'maybe' 5 minutes on an average commute after basically terrorizing half the people in my way in the process?

Phillip Allen
01-10-2009, 03:40 PM
I don't speed as a rule...that doesn't change the taxation without representation complaint

Paul Pless
01-10-2009, 03:51 PM
to save 'maybe' 5 minutes on an average commute after basically terrorizing half the people in my way in the process?Slacker! I think I used to save at least ten minutes on my commute in my Corvette, terrorizing at least three quarters of the people in my way!:p

Just joking of course, actually I walk to work almost everyday.

Phillip Allen
01-10-2009, 03:56 PM
Slacker! I think I used to save at least ten minutes on my commute in my Corvette, terrorizing at least three quarters of the people in my way!:p

Just joking of course, actually I walk to work almost everyday.

so...what did yo get, 90 day suspension or a full year?

:) (ain't work-release wonderful?) :)

Paul Pless
01-10-2009, 04:00 PM
so...what did yo get, 90 day suspension or a full year?

:) (ain't work-release wonderful?) :)LOL! Phillip I've walked to work for the last 15 years. Nothing to do with a license suspension. I will admit the corvette was a ticket magnet.:eek:

Phillip Allen
01-10-2009, 04:14 PM
just kidding Paul...(be careful saying such things as I did on a construction site though)

Mrleft8
01-11-2009, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure, but I doubt that very much, if any "revenue" is really generated by these traps. The cost of paying a cop to go to court to testify against the people who contest a ticket, would probably nullify the revenue generated by the fine. And..... In my experience, if you take the time to go to court to fight a ticket for a minor infraction, the court will let you go. They have bigger fish to fry.

Paul Pless
01-11-2009, 10:46 AM
In my experience, if you take the time to go to court to fight a ticket for a minor infraction, the court will let you go.Especially, as in my case, if you know the judge.;)

rbgarr
01-11-2009, 10:55 AM
And..... In my experience, if you take the time to go to court to fight a ticket for a minor infraction, the court will let you go. They have bigger fish to fry.

My experience, too. The cop who gave out the ticket called me some pretty ugly things in the hallway afterwards. Worth the trip to court!:rolleyes:

Mrleft8
01-11-2009, 10:57 AM
My experience, too. The cop who gave out the ticket called me some pretty ugly things in the hallway afterwards, too. Worth the trip to court!:rolleyes: You probably could have had him arrested on verbal assault charges.....abuse of authority, threatening, intimidation..... Of course you'd have a target on your car from every other cop in a hundred mile radius after that....

rbgarr
01-11-2009, 11:00 AM
Water off a duck's back. He was the one who'd been frustrated, not me.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
01-11-2009, 11:08 AM
I always drive the limit and wave to the cops as I go by.
They almost never wave back.

Mrleft8
01-11-2009, 11:15 AM
They usually wave back at me.....We have a code I think....Not sure. I wave full handed, palm facing out. They wave back one fingered, palm facing towards themselves....

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-11-2009, 11:20 AM
We can't afford cops for the speed traps - They is automatic.

And Flammable (http://english.controleradar.org/burning-gatso.php)

Phillip Allen
01-11-2009, 11:20 AM
I'm not sure, but I doubt that very much, if any "revenue" is really generated by these traps. The cost of paying a cop to go to court to testify against the people who contest a ticket, would probably nullify the revenue generated by the fine. And..... In my experience, if you take the time to go to court to fight a ticket for a minor infraction, the court will let you go. They have bigger fish to fry.


We once watched a cop at a speed trap next to where we were laying brick on a building. we averaged our count as to cost of average ticket and total number of stops and the single car grossed 4k between 8 am and noon...

elf
01-11-2009, 11:30 AM
Quite honestly I think it's an excellent thing. The cops should be doing it routinely. If they'd figured out the connection between increased enforcement and increased revenue for increased staffing 30 years ago we would have used a lot less gas and maybe even be in hock to the middle east a bunch less.

Punishment for doing something illegal is not taxation without representation in any way. It's simply the cost of doing something illegal.

S/V Laura Ellen
01-11-2009, 11:39 AM
The Provincial Police here were parking unmanned cruisers along the highway to keep the speed in check.
Seemed to work well, visible sign of police presence without tying up the work force.
Manned or unmanned, the effect seemed to be the same, the speed lowered, everyone won.

Mrleft8
01-11-2009, 11:41 AM
The Provincial Police here were parking unmanned cruisers along the highway to keep the speed in check.
Seemed to work well, visible sign of police presence without tying up the work force.
Manned or unmanned, the effect seemed to be the same, the speed lowered, everyone won.
Some town near here tried the same thing a few years ago....Someone stole the car.

paladin
01-11-2009, 11:45 AM
They use the empty car trick here with a twist.....they park it where it can be seen, then a half mile farther one way or the other they hide another staffed car....folks get accustomed to the empty car them speed up and get nailed just down the street.

pipefitter
01-11-2009, 11:51 AM
Slacker! I think I used to save at least ten minutes on my commute in my Corvette, terrorizing at least three quarters of the people in my way!:p

Just joking of course, actually I walk to work almost everyday.

Sad, isn't it? And with me being a gear head somewhat goes against my grain to say nay to speeding. Depends on where one lives too because in the city, the amount of traffic lights ends up making any gains a crap shoot. I did the research over years of driving and the gains seemed to rely more on probabilities and statistics, even while doing 10-15mph over the limit when possible, I would end up hitting all the lights red while the guy I passed 2 miles back cruised right thru as it turned green, passing me again in the process.

But in a bit, I am about to get my jollies in the Simmons so I should be good for a week or two. :D

George Jung
01-11-2009, 12:14 PM
It is funny - seeing the hidden patrol car, too late, of course... then realizing I'm doing 5 under...... after the initial 'start', I'm good!

One small town had a twist on the unmanned cruiser - they had a radar gun, somehow set to send a signal. Lots of folks had detectors back then. Once in awhile, they'd sub out the dummy for the real deal.

Many, many years ago (I believe the statute of limitations has expired), I knew 'someone' whose brother had a 'surplus' radar gun. Rumor has it, it was deployed, transiently, in Minneapolis. Those Porsches and BMW's can sure slow down fast! Good times. Also gives some insight to 'absolute power corrupts, absolutely!'

Uncle Duke
01-12-2009, 10:01 AM
Seems to be true!!!


After analyzing 14 years of data in North Carolina, the pair found that for every 1 percent drop in government revenue, the number of traffic tickets issued per capita increases by 30 percent the following year.

From:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/464966.html

Ed Harrow
01-12-2009, 10:21 AM
http://www.motorists.org/ma/speeding_frenzy.html

The Observer steadfastly refuses to make resolutions or predictions about the new year. Resolutions are a joke and predictions a fool's game.

That said, there is one issue in the coming year that already gives me agita. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority announced before Christmas that it is looking for another $1.2 million in speeding tickets on the Pike in 2008.

What's breathtaking about this news is the bald admission that it's all about money. There's no pretense of safety. I've never heard of anything like this in my life. To be fair, Turnpike people maintain the first priority is always about safety, but that's risible in this case.

This is about money, pure and simple. It's in the budget, for God's sake. How you budget $1.2 million without creating quotas is beyond me, but Turnpike spokesman Mac Daniel contends there will be no such thing.

The Turnpike is, if nothing else, brave by going public with this shocker. Still, this is a bit like saying because Boston is short on dough, the city will start enforcing jaywalking laws to close the gap. In the name of public safety.

Daniel maintains half of the money is to make up for the revenue lost when upwards of 20 State Police troopers were transferred last year from the highways to police work around the Big Dig.

"We're a cash-starved agency," maintains Daniel. "We're not out to buff our coffers."

We get the $600,000 in lost revenue. But what about the other $600,000 to come from the rest of the Pike? That sure looks like a coffer buffer to me. And, while we're at it, is this really the best way to increase revenues? There's a capricious quality to this whole thing that gives me the willies.

We've always known that local police write tickets to help meet local budgets. We accept it. Streets need to be plowed. Fires need to be put out. Anyone old enough to get behind the wheel knows that ticket quotas are as integral a part of our culture as Fenway Franks. But this Turnpike play crosses the line.

The Authority, quite simply, is creating one long speed trap from West Stockbridge to Boston, which, to twist the words of James Taylor, may no longer seem dreamlike on account of that frosting.

Half of the dough is to come from the 12-mile stretch of the Mass Pike from the Weston tolls to Boston. That's six hundred grand in tickets. Fifty grand a mile. I wouldn't want to run that gantlet twice a day. Why not terrorize commuters from other points of the compass as well?

No one comes out for speeding, but everyone knows the whole speeding thing is off its runners. A ticket for driving 5 miles per hour over the posted limit on the Mass Pike gets you an annual spike in your auto insurance, already a root canal of a thing, for six years before you return to a clean bill of vehicular health.

This is wildly excessive. You used to address the arresting officer "Kind Sir," pay your fine, and drive slower. But this surcharge scheme, to the great benefit of those warm and fuzzy folks in the insurance biz, metes out punishment that simply does not fit the crime. In the name of safety.

I called the State Police to see if they'd throw me any crumbs about their new tactics. What are we walking about here? More unmarked cars? More speed traps. More tickets for driving 68 on the Pike? We've always traveled with the traffic flow just below 75 mph without getting nailed. Is this practice gone with the wind?

Sergeant Robert Bousquet referred me to Chapter 90: Section 17 of Massachusetts General Laws, which states that any speed over the posted limit shall be prima facie evidence that such speed is greater than is reasonable and proper.

So if I go 66 in a 65 mph zone, I can be stopped? Absolutely. Will I be stopped? Maybe.

Consider this: Since you can never go over the posted speed limit, ipso facto you can never top 65 on the Pike to pass another vehicle. It is impossible to overtake an 18-wheeler going 50 without busting the speed limit for a few seconds. So now you stay at 50, mile after mile.

Section 17 goes on to say that you can also get a speeding ticket for driving under the speed limit, say in bad weather, if a cop decides your speed is unreasonable under the circumstances. You could be going 50 on the Pike and still get nailed. That's a lot of discretion for a trooper charged with helping hit the $1.2 million ticket target.

Bousquet adds that you can even get a ticket for exceeding 15 mph within one-tenth of a mile of a vehicle used in hawking or peddling merchandise with amber lights flashing.

Like what? Like an ice cream truck. But if it's stopped, why limit me to 15 mph as I pass it? It might not be fully stopped. But how can you sell ice cream from a moving vehicle? It could be going very slowly as it comes to a stop.

It is at this point that I'm reminded of the Dirty Harry line: "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

We don't know how bad it will be on the Pike next year. But how good could it be with a $1.2 million ticket mandate in the budget?

Sam Allis can be reached at allis@globe.com

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

I don't drive on the pike all that much these days, and I confess to not seeing much in the way of radar traps, patroling cars, or police and stopped cars on the side of the road.

Eons ago, when life was different, I was stopped at ~3AM on the MassPike, coming home from UKnowWho's. ;) I won't bore you with the details, but ~92mph in the Plastic Pig got me a warning to never be caught doing these sorts of things again...

Phillip Allen
01-12-2009, 10:35 AM
Elf...read Ed's post above...this is what I'm talking about but much more detailed.

It's an exaggeration but useful to say that a lynching helps keep the price of housing down...the same as undeclared taxes help pay for government...

who among us can keep the line from blurring

paladin
01-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Well...just maybe, I'll dig into my 30 year old files and ressurect some old drawings.....the echo on the police radar is shifted 1 hertz per megahertz per mach speed.... and translated into a numerical value for display.....
Many years ago I built a small microwave transmitter, 10.245 gigahertz, and then a small amplitude modulator which would give an echo that was variable...equivalent to 45 mph or 250 mph for fun....then I used an old radar detector and changed the little relay out (too slow) with an electronic switch...when detecting an incoming radar signal it would blip one back on the same frequency, only stronger to capture the police radar......lotsa fun.....

Phillip Allen
01-12-2009, 12:48 PM
there have been times when I would like to have been able to do that with many things beyond simple police radar...

George Roberts
01-12-2009, 02:40 PM
In Oklahoma we have few problems with speed traps.

First, local governments are limited to the amount of revenue that they can raise from traffic fines. If they surpass that limit, they lose the right to issue tickets.

Second, most local governments make public where they will have increased enforcement. Still people speed and get caught.

Captain Blight
01-12-2009, 03:01 PM
This is why I call cops "pigs." And why the citizenry needs to be in the City Council chambers during budget meetings (I know, I'm slack on that myownself) because let's not forget--and let's not have them forget--that THEY WORK FOR US.

hokiefan
01-12-2009, 05:03 PM
I usually set the cruise about 6 miles over the limit, except in construction zones. When the limit is 70, I pass about 1/4 of the cars, the police pass me routinely. When the limit is 55, I don't pass anyone, the police fly by me.

Cheers,

Bobby

Phillip Allen
01-12-2009, 05:37 PM
cruise control is 1 or 2 mph's over the posted limit...works fine