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Aviator47 wrote:
And if it's not OK with my cousin Eugene in Miami? Or my cousin Aaron in west Palm, who is 90 and doesn't drive and feels he has no skin in the game?
I get what you're saying, Al, but lets play in absolutes. If Eugene and Aaron are not OK with the taxpayers footing the bill of this action, they must be OK with the extortion of fines, through wrongful law enforcement. No?
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I'm surprised that this thread has gone this far without anyone commentating on the underlying crime being committed here. I'll sum up my take on this. Some folks were violating a legally enacted law in the State of Florida. The police were in the process of apprehending these folks and issuing citations for this action. Some other folks didn't like the fact that the police were doing their duty and decided to warn the folks that were approaching the location not to violate the enacted law so that the police couldn't catch them.

I think I've got that right so far. The police then observe these folks giving the warning and decide to cite them for doing that. According to the news article posted by the OP the courts ruled that the police "... misinterpreted..." the statute that they used to cite the folks that were giving the warning.

Now some of the posters have referred to this as abuse of power by the police. Really??? Do some of you really think that the folks that were warning others to slow down were acting properly??

Let's take the same set of facts and change the illegal activity a little. If some folks decide to commit a Burglary and some other folks are not involved but are merely "lookouts" and communicate to the Burglars to stop Burglarizing because the police are coming do you think they are guilty of something?

And what's all this stuff about "speed traps". Would someone explain what that really is. I mean does it mean every time the police catch somebody doing something wrong they trapped them? How do you trap somebody into speeding anyway? Entrapment is a legal defense but it always involves some interaction between the defendant and the law enforcement agency before the crime is committed. I'm not aware of any such interaction in cases involving speeding violations.

Full disclosure: I'm a retired cop and about 9 of my 27 years in a major east coast department were spent in traffic enforcement. That said I share the Florida troopers frustration in this case but I honestly don't know how they ever expected to prove that folks were flashing their high beams to warn others of police activity ahead. The fact that the Florida legislature passed a bill specifically making it legal to do this is ridiculous when the courts have ruled that the section used was inappropriate. By passing the bill they are saying that being a "lookout" is legal. I'm afraid that won't stand up to the light of day very long.
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I think the term "speed trap" had nothing to do with entrapment but analogous to an actual trap (like a squirrel trap) that only springs closed under certain conditions. Speeding in this case.

I can't cite it but I think in the original thread there was mention that the police were continuing to use the statute even though it had been previously ruled that it didn't apply to manually flashing headlights. If this was true then I can see the claim of abuse of power.
Quote:
(7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.
The burglary analogy may be flawed as it would indicate that the folks that were not involved and acting as lookouts would of at least had knowledge there was a crime being committed in order to be on the lookout. In the case of flashing lights on the highway there is no direct knowledge of a crime (speeding) being committed unless the flasher had his/her own radar and was specifically flashing those observed going over the limit.

I totally understand the policeman's frustration but the current statute did need to be addressed since it does not specifically address flashing headlights but does leave a reasonable interpretation that they could be included.
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Since we have a retired Florida LEO responding, what's the purpose of a "speed trap"? Is it a way of generating funds from writing tickets, or ensuring public safety by getting drivers to slow down?
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To me, a "speed trap" is a set of intentionally established physical conditions wherein the legal speed limit drops significantly, but the signage notifying a driver does not provide enough visual recognition distance to react and decrease speed to comply, coupled with an LEO waiting to enforce the lower speed limit immediately at the point of the reduced limit.

For example, on a rural road, lined on the right with foliage, with a posted speed limit of 45, as you exit a right bend in the road, you are immediately confronted with a sign "Town of Podunk - Speed Limit 20 MPH". An LEO is waiting for you ready to clock you as you pass the sign.

If anyone can offer logic that this is nothing but a revenue generator, I'm all ears.

That's a "speed trap". Anything else is speed law enforcement
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Grind wrote:
Since we have a retired Florida LEO responding, what's the purpose of a "speed trap"? Is it a way of generating funds from writing tickets, or ensuring public safety by getting drivers to slow down?
I assume this question was directed towards me. I worked in the Northeast, not Florida. I'll assume that when you use the term "speed trap" you mean anytime the police are enforcing the local speed limits by any legal means rather than trapping innocent people just minding their own business.

With that understanding I don't quite get what your asking me. The elected officials enact laws that they think are beneficial to the public. Then they hire folks to apprehend folks who don't comply with those laws. then they hire more folks to prosecute those cases in court for those who believe they were apprehended mistakenly or unfairly. Then they hire folks to oversee this whole process, judges, court officers, stenographers, clerks and a whole range of administrative folks to manage the whole thing. I don't think revenue generation comes into it at all. Traffic enforcement and for that matter any type of law enforcement is a money losing enterprise.

This is just my guess but I'd say if you wanted to make money from traffic enforcement you'd have to charge about $2000 to $5000 per ticket issued in anything other than a small town operation. At those prices more folks would hire expensive legal help to represent them. This would lead to a decrease in revenue due to successfully defended cases and the local governments would have to increase the fines even higher or hire more talented prosecutors. I don't see any way to ever make money on this process.

That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
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Grind wrote:
Since we have a retired Florida LEO responding, what's the purpose of a "speed trap"? Is it a way of generating funds from writing tickets, or ensuring public safety by getting drivers to slow down?
Grind, enforcement has several purposes, and I would offer two: One is to catch offenders, the other is a deterrent to committing the offense in the first place. If LEO did not enforce speed laws, what would be the incentive for complying? Good citizenship? A sense of social responsibility? If fines were not associated with speeding offenses, what other incentive to obey the law would you suggest.

Folks have already justified putting the burden of a large class action settlement on uninvolved or uninterested taxpayers, because that will get their elected official's attention. Is it not reasonable, therefore to assume that the potential of a fine for speeding, charged directly to the speeder, might get drivers' attention to comply with speed limits?
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Aviator47 wrote:
And if it's not OK with my cousin Eugene in Miami? Or my cousin Aaron in west Palm, who is 90 and doesn't drive and feels he has no skin in the game?
There's an old phrase, something to the effect of "the people get the government they deserve". I do not think that we as Americans collectively do a very good job of making informed decisions when it comes time to select our governance, nor of demanding better from the governance we have. In my mind, this does rightly fall on the taxpayers shoulders.

That said, the burden on your cousins in Florida is microscopic, in the grand scheme of things. In fact, because you're a good guy, I will personally refund your cousins share of this settlement.
Aviator47 wrote:
I do think that there could and should be a better way, that's all.
What's the better way, when the police as an institution continues to act with flagrant disregard of the law? Who should we throw in jail here?
Aviator47 wrote:
Rooting for huge punitive damages may be emotionally pleasing
Again, I think you've misunderstood which part of this is emotionally pleasing. It's not the huge punitive damages. It's the fact that the state is now motivated to do something about the illegal activity of its police officers. That's what is so gratifying.

I do not think that simply refunding the fines is a satisfactory remedy. The state failed in its job of governance. The state should be punished for wrongdoing.
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jimf41 wrote:
I worked in the Northeast, not Florida.
Oops! Sorry, I misread that.
jimf41 wrote:
That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
If the purpose of a driver flashing his lights at other drivers is to get them to slow down, aren't they, in essence, helping law enforcement officers?
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jess wrote:
The state failed in its job of governance. The state should be punished for wrongdoing.
Tell me jess, how do you "punish the state"? By creating a burden on all the taxpayers? That is the only source of money the "state" has. Does transferring a half of a tax dollar from each of a few million people to a couple of thousand motorists and a bevy of lawyers punish "the state". One could almost call that a tyranny of the few. While Eugene and Aaron pay 50 cents to get a more enlightened government, 1,100 motorists get thousands each in damages.

I stand by what I said. There has to be a better way. If not on the books, then elect reps who will create a better way, rather than handling "failure of the state" one subject and one civil case at a time, a method that puts the decision of taxation of all in the hands of 12 unelected people, and 12 people alone (six in some states)
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jess wrote:
StooterBoy wrote:
You can flash them on a Vespa. Push the switch back instead of forward
Works on Piaggio bikes. Doesn't work on the Vespa (unless the switch is dodgy).
I can't wait to try this out on the BV!!
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jess-

Would you support a judgment in this that would find a patrol officer liable for 10% of the fine collected on every erroneous ticket he or she issued, with the taxpayer picking up the rest? That would at least punish the "instrument of the state" that actually did the wrong doing, and make an LEO think twice about "arbitrarily", as alleged, applying the law. After all, for the affected "class" in the FL case in question, to prove one was "harmed", one would need the citation or court records, which would identify the officer.
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Aviator47 wrote:
Tell me jess, how do you "punish the state"? By creating a burden on all the taxpayers? That is the only source of money the "state" has.
You seem to be indicating that I don't grasp this fundamental relationship between taxpayers and the money the state possesses. I do, so let's put that to rest right now.

But in short, yes. The only meaningful punitive measures in existence for non-person entities are financial. I defy anyone to come up with even a theoretical punishment for a non-person entity that has any impact whatsoever on that entity.

Yes, that means the taxpayers bear the burden. They elected the state officials, and the state officials acted with disregard for the law of the land. That's the reality of the situation, and I make no apologies for it.
Aviator47 wrote:
Does transferring a half of a tax dollar from each of a few million people to a couple of thousand motorists and a bevy of lawyers punish "the state".
Yes. It does. And if the state is paying attention, they will now remedy the underlying problem.
Aviator47 wrote:
One could almost call that a tyranny of the few. While Eugene and Aaron pay 50 cents to get a more enlightened government, 1,100 motorists get thousands each in damages.
You know, I'm not really inclined to sympathy here. States should be held accountable, just as all other person and non-person entities are held accountable. Excusing the state from any punishment because the taxpayers must bear that burden isn't acceptable. If the taxpayers don't like it, they can elect better officials next time.
Aviator47 wrote:
There has to be a better way.
But there isn't, and saying that there should be won't change that. This particular remedy is on the books, and is a recognized method of gaining the compliance of a non-person entity. If you have a better one, I'm all ears. I don't think it exists, though.
Aviator47 wrote:
Would you support a judgment in this that would find a patrol officer liable for 10% of the fine collected on every erroneous ticket he or she issued, with the taxpayer picking up the rest? That would at least punish the "instrument of the state" that actually did the wrong doing, and make an LEO think twice about "arbitrarily", as alleged, applying the law.
I would support that, yes. That remedy doesn't currently exist, though, and it is unlikely to ever exist, IMHO. But yes, I would support it. That said, the proposed remedy does nothing to address the willful disregard of the institution, that is, the chain of command from the police officers all the way up to the governor.
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jimf41 wrote:
That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
If the purpose of a driver flashing his lights at other drivers is to get them to slow down, aren't they, in essence, helping law enforcement officers? [/quote]

I'll go back to the underlying point I made before. If a lookout warns his cohorts to stop their criminal activity are they helping the police? If flashing headlights gets people to slow down then I think we should all do it all the time.
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the state should give the money[the fines] back, that it obtained from such action. not bilk the taxpayer...if LE continues to write citations contrary to the regulations, then they need to be prosecuted...and fined.

the burglary analogy, doesn't' work for me. wouldn't neighbourhood watch organisations be behind bars?...

and what grind said about 'helping' LE by warning off drivers makes more sense. my thoughts parallels that. people need to realise that with budget cuts happening all across the board, LE has been given the task to enforce as much as they can[get away with] and let the judicial sort it out.
our judicial system[being driven by for profit privatised prisons] will be a pox on all of us.
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Aviator47 wrote:
To me, a "speed trap" is a set of intentionally established physical conditions wherein the legal speed limit drops significantly, but the signage notifying a driver does not provide enough visual recognition distance to react and decrease speed to comply, coupled with an LEO waiting to enforce the lower speed limit immediately at the point of the reduced limit.

For example, on a rural road, lined on the right with foliage, with a posted speed limit of 45, as you exit a right bend in the road, you are immediately confronted with a sign "Town of Podunk - Speed Limit 20 MPH". An LEO is waiting for you ready to clock you as you pass the sign.

If anyone can offer logic that this is nothing but a revenue generator, I'm all ears.

That's a "speed trap". Anything else is speed law enforcement
I'd really like to disagree with you that situations like this exist. Unfortunately this is the case in some rural areas. I was once caught in one myself.

But these are very rare situations IMO and do not represent the way speed enforcement is addressed in this country. Most folks when they receive a summons for speeding would rather tell their friends "The cops got me in a speed trap." thereby evoking a little sympathy and comradeship. You don't get much sympathy when you tell them "I was traveling 60 mph in a 30 mph zone on a residential street with little children playing on their front lawns when I was given a summons by the police for being an idiot."

BTW, CA law does define a speed trap and states they can't be used by the police. It refers to a time/distance calculation mainly used by LE using aircraft to catch speeders. A tactic that is both inefficient and very expensive IMO.
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The remedy of holding the LEOs accountable for their actions may very well exist if the broad culpability you ascribe is true. Civil law suits go after the "deep pockets" (juries love tapping deep pockets, but not shallow ones), but at times will also target individuals within the institution for personal liability. That's why there is such a thing as "directors' insurance". Our yacht club in WA state carried that to protect the elected and "appointed" officers in the case of a liability lawsuit. Unless state law specifically grants immunity to state officials and employees for dereliction of their duties, a suit can pierce the veil.
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richardsan wrote:
the state should give the money[the fines] back, that it obtained from such action. not bilk the taxpayer...if LE continues to write citations contrary to the regulations, then they need to be prosecuted...and fined.

the burglary analogy, doesn't' work for me. wouldn't neighbourhood watch organisations be behind bars?...

and what grind said about 'helping' LE by warning off drivers makes more sense. my thoughts parallels that. people need to realise that with budget cuts happening all across the board, LE has been given the task to enforce as much as they can[get away with] and let the judicial sort it out.
our judicial system[being driven by for profit privatised prisons] will be a pox on all of us.
This a quote from the article listed by the OP

"Soon after the lawsuit was filed, the Florida Highway Patrol told troopers to stop issuing tickets to drivers who use their headlights to warn other motorists."

If after the HQ at Florida State Police told their troopers not to do this anymore and they continued doing it then they should be punished in some way.

As far as the folks that were ticketed incorrectly that's up to the local courts and governing authority to decide. I wouldn't think that a lot of these tickets were issued so it wouldn't cost much to send refunds for the fines but that would normally be done on an individual appeal basis. I think it would be fair if the fines were refunded. As I understand the statute in question I wouldn't think there would be any points involved as it doesn't appear to be a moving violation. As far as the troopers who issued these summonses before they were advised not to I don't see any reprimand or punishment as they really just followed the law until a court corrected them. It happens all the time, nobody gets punished for doing what they incorrectly but unknowingly thought was the right thing to do.

As far as neighborhood watch groups, the way I understand it they look out for suspicious activity and report it to the police. I don't think they warn law breakers not to break the law in their neighborhood at this time because the police are around. Little bit of a difference there IMO.
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jimf41 wrote:
Grind wrote:
Since we have a retired Florida LEO responding, what's the purpose of a "speed trap"? Is it a way of generating funds from writing tickets, or ensuring public safety by getting drivers to slow down?
I assume this question was directed towards me. I worked in the Northeast, not Florida. I'll assume that when you use the term "speed trap" you mean anytime the police are enforcing the local speed limits by any legal means rather than trapping innocent people just minding their own business.

With that understanding I don't quite get what your asking me. The elected officials enact laws that they think are beneficial to the public. Then they hire folks to apprehend folks who don't comply with those laws. then they hire more folks to prosecute those cases in court for those who believe they were apprehended mistakenly or unfairly. Then they hire folks to oversee this whole process, judges, court officers, stenographers, clerks and a whole range of administrative folks to manage the whole thing. I don't think revenue generation comes into it at all. Traffic enforcement and for that matter any type of law enforcement is a money losing enterprise.

This is just my guess but I'd say if you wanted to make money from traffic enforcement you'd have to charge about $2000 to $5000 per ticket issued in anything other than a small town operation. At those prices more folks would hire expensive legal help to represent them. This would lead to a decrease in revenue due to successfully defended cases and the local governments would have to increase the fines even higher or hire more talented prosecutors. I don't see any way to ever make money on this process.

That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
I think most all know what a "speed trap" is. In my state it got to be such a problem that the legislature enacted "speed trap" laws, aimed at curbing some of the virtually immoral behavior of some small towns. Think "Boss Hogg", here. These little towns derived a tidy profit by setting up hapless motorists for "the kill" by arranging speed reduction requirements in such a way as to all but guarantee violations, mala prohibita, not mala in se. Interestingly, the locals very rarely were cited by these officers.
One small town was proven to have deliberately miscalibrated their radar units so as to increase "the take" when issuing citations (this, from officers sworn to uphold the law). The ensuing judgement against the town nearly bankrupted them, and would have if not for the mercy of the state.
Yes, there are many little Barney Fife wannabee types, both officers and towns, who engage in a kind of "gotcha", like a spider catching a fly. They are there only to enhance revenue by virtually extorting the populace.
These sycophants justly draw the hatred of those citizens whose only real crime is to be unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They then have to pay for what would otherwise be a no-harm no-foul situation. These same "officers" would feel themselves ill-used if they themselves fell victim to such a "noble law enforcement endeavor" Even a kindergartener has a basic sense of right and wrong. There is a big difference between citation-to-enforce-the-law-and-help-prevent-reckless-actions, and citation-'cause-this-here-badge-and-my-Boss Hogg-mayor-gonna'-let-me-whupp-yer'-ass-...right-in-the-wallet (or the purse, as the case may be)-cuz'-we-want-the-rev'nue.
Just a few days ago I encountered a six or seven year old boy who asked me if I was "a cop". "Yes" I replied, to which he responded "I don't like cops!". At his age, where the hell did he learn this? Surely it wasn't from people who have effectively been mugged by the "gov'mint" and now harbor resentment.

Disclaimer: I do issue traffic citations on occasion. I have no quota to fill and when I stroke someone, they by-gosh need strokin'! I have never had an issued citation tossed out by the courts.
I believe in law, order, and responsibility....for everyone..governments included.
Sorry for the rant.
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LAWDOG small world but "boss hogs" had a summer home about a half mile down the road from me in NY where i grew up. He was a skinny guy who was known for his Broadway theater stuff. So what's his claim to fame? Laughing emoticon His character on the Dukes. Haunted him until he died.
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jimf41 wrote:
jimf41 wrote:
That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
If the purpose of a driver flashing his lights at other drivers is to get them to slow down, aren't they, in essence, helping law enforcement officers?
I'll go back to the underlying point I made before. If a lookout warns his cohorts to stop their criminal activity are they helping the police? If flashing headlights gets people to slow down then I think we should all do it all the time.[/quote]

I am guessing you missed when I originally posted under your first post. Or just thought it was wrong. Could be.
Quote:
The burglary analogy may be flawed as it would indicate that the folks that were not involved and acting as lookouts would of at least had knowledge there was a crime being committed in order to be on the lookout. In the case of flashing lights on the highway there is no direct knowledge of a crime (speeding) being committed unless the flasher had his/her own radar and was specifically flashing those observed going over the limit.
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Judy, I'm starting to think there is no place you haven't either lived, or been to! And I mean this in a most complimentary way: you've been around! Razz emoticon
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Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
jimf41 wrote:
Grind wrote:
Since we have a retired Florida LEO responding, what's the purpose of a "speed trap"? Is it a way of generating funds from writing tickets, or ensuring public safety by getting drivers to slow down?
I assume this question was directed towards me. I worked in the Northeast, not Florida. I'll assume that when you use the term "speed trap" you mean anytime the police are enforcing the local speed limits by any legal means rather than trapping innocent people just minding their own business.

With that understanding I don't quite get what your asking me. The elected officials enact laws that they think are beneficial to the public. Then they hire folks to apprehend folks who don't comply with those laws. then they hire more folks to prosecute those cases in court for those who believe they were apprehended mistakenly or unfairly. Then they hire folks to oversee this whole process, judges, court officers, stenographers, clerks and a whole range of administrative folks to manage the whole thing. I don't think revenue generation comes into it at all. Traffic enforcement and for that matter any type of law enforcement is a money losing enterprise.

This is just my guess but I'd say if you wanted to make money from traffic enforcement you'd have to charge about $2000 to $5000 per ticket issued in anything other than a small town operation. At those prices more folks would hire expensive legal help to represent them. This would lead to a decrease in revenue due to successfully defended cases and the local governments would have to increase the fines even higher or hire more talented prosecutors. I don't see any way to ever make money on this process.

That leaves the second part of your question. Are speed traps used to get people to slow down? I can't think of any other reason.
I think most all know what a "speed trap" is. In my state it got to be such a problem that the legislature enacted "speed trap" laws, aimed at curbing some of the virtually immoral behavior of some small towns. Think "Boss Hogg", here. These little towns derived a tidy profit by setting up hapless motorists for "the kill" by arranging speed reduction requirements in such a way as to all but guarantee violations, mala prohibita, not mala in se. Interestingly, the locals very rarely were cited by these officers.
One small town was proven to have deliberately miscalibrated their radar units so as to increase "the take" when issuing citations (this, from officers sworn to uphold the law). The ensuing judgement against the town nearly bankrupted them, and would have if not for the mercy of the state.
Yes, there are many little Barney Fife wannabee types, both officers and towns, who engage in a kind of "gotcha", like a spider catching a fly. They are there only to enhance revenue by virtually extorting the populace.
These sycophants justly draw the hatred of those citizens whose only real crime is to be unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They then have to pay for what would otherwise be a no-harm no-foul situation. These same "officers" would feel themselves ill-used if they themselves fell victim to such a "noble law enforcement endeavor" Even a kindergartener has a basic sense of right and wrong. There is a big difference between citation-to-enforce-the-law-and-help-prevent-reckless-actions, and citation-'cause-this-here-badge-and-my-Boss Hogg-mayor-gonna'-let-me-whupp-yer'-ass-...right-in-the-wallet (or the purse, as the case may be)-cuz'-we-want-the-rev'nue.
Just a few days ago I encountered a six or seven year old boy who asked me if I was "a cop". "Yes" I replied, to which he responded "I don't like cops!". At his age, where the hell did he learn this? Surely it wasn't from people who have effectively been mugged by the "gov'mint" and now harbor resentment.

Disclaimer: I do issue traffic citations on occasion. I have no quota to fill and when I stroke someone, they by-gosh need strokin'! I have never had an issued citation tossed out by the courts.
I believe in law, order, and responsibility....for everyone..governments included.
Sorry for the rant.
+1. We've all seen situations in which police set up in certain locations, not out of a concern that people might be travelling fast, but in the hopes that people are travelling too fast in order to raise revenue through ticketing. That's a speed trap.

What about the somewhat analogous situations that received some publicity a while back where various municipalities made it illegal for people to feed the parking meter for a car that did not belong to them, with the transparent motive of punishing those who hindered the police from generating revenue through ticketing? Do those people deserve to be punished since they are allowing people to get away with not getting back to their cars fast enough?

Brendan
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stickyfrog wrote:
I'll go back to the underlying point I made before. If a lookout warns his cohorts to stop their criminal activity are they helping the police? If flashing headlights gets people to slow down then I think we should all do it all the time.
John-

Does flashing headlights "stop" speeding, or just "pause" it? I wrote the following back on the original thread about this in Aug 2010
Aviator47 wrote:
While it sounds warm and fuzzy to say that warning folks of a radar site "helps reduce speeding", for how long does that "help" last?

A highway patrol captain high school classmate of mine decided to see for himself several years ago. When the state set up a routine speed logging point to monitor speeds on the interstate, he had one of his teams set up a radar enforcement check point four miles upstream for two hours. They served the normal amount of tickets for speeding, and the % of cars exceeding the speed limit four miles later was virtually the same - before, during and after the two hour radar enforcement.

Ever wonder why patrol officers are sometimes grumpy?
In short, even the issuance of tickets at the radar enforcement point did not reduce speeding 4 miles (4 minutes at 60 mph posted speed) later, as recorded by the speed logger (doesn't issue tickets, just makes a record of passing vehicle speeds). Once people passed the "threat" of being caught, speeding patterns resumed - within 4 minutes.

I'm willing to bet that flashing your headlights produces the same result - maybe 4 minutes of "good behavior".
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Wait Al that wasn't me. jimf41 messed up his quote tag. Mine was a counter to his. My words below.
Quote:
The burglary analogy may be flawed as it would indicate that the folks that were not involved and acting as lookouts would of at least had knowledge there was a crime being committed in order to be on the lookout. In the case of flashing lights on the highway there is no direct knowledge of a crime (speeding) being committed unless the flasher had his/her own radar and was specifically flashing those observed going over the limit.
This was in response to his first post and then I reposted again when he went back to that same analogy.
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stickyfrog wrote:
Wait Al that wasn't me.
OK, you are off the hook.

However, I would still offer that whoever says flashing your lights "reduces speeding" is stretching reality. Reducing speeding tickets, perhaps, but not speeding overall. Nothing innately wrong with reducing ticketing, but that's a far cry from claiming any greater benefits such as increased "safety".
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Aviator47 wrote:
In short, even the issuance of tickets at the radar enforcement point did not reduce speeding 4 miles (4 minutes at 60 mph posted speed) later, as recorded by the speed logger (doesn't issue tickets, just makes a record of passing vehicle speeds). Once people passed the "threat" of being caught, speeding patterns resumed - within 4 minutes.

I'm willing to bet that flashing your headlights produces the same result - maybe 4 minutes of "good behavior".

...post merge...

However, I would still offer that whoever says flashing your lights "reduces speeding" is stretching reality. Reducing speeding tickets, perhaps, but not speeding overall. Nothing innately wrong with reducing ticketing, but that's a far cry from claiming any greater benefits such as increased "safety".
Sounds like you're making an argument for how ticketing for speeding can do nothing more than generate revenue. That whoever says ticketing for speeding "reduces speeding" is stretching reality.
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crazyinnyc wrote:
That whoever says ticketing for speeding "reduces speeding" is stretching reality.
I would absolutely agree with that. In the UK we have in many places static speed cameras - everyone slows down for those, then everyone speeds up again.

Now they've introduced 'average speed cameras' on some stretches of road. These multiple cameras work very well indeed at keeping speeds reasonable, and don't preclude going over the 'limit' for a short stretch (say an overtake) and then settling down again. Also, when they introduce those, they very often raise the allowed 'average speed' by 10 mph for those stretches. The A13 into London is a good example. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12315512
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crazyinnyc wrote:
That whoever says ticketing for speeding "reduces speeding" is stretching reality.
The premise is that enforcement increases compliance and punishes non-compliance. Obviously, every person who speeds does not get caught, but some do. The threat of detection leads a fair number of drivers to stay within the speed limits. As I said previously, just as an argument is being made here that a financial burden will make Florida clean up its act on the "light flashing" fiasco, the financial burden of a traffic fine (and other potential inconveniences) motivates some people to stay within the speed limit. If revenue was the main goal of traffic tickets, then states would not suspend or revoke the licenses of repeat offenders, would they? Nor would they establish reciprocity to communicate traffic offenses between states for that same purpose.

Do you regularly park in a handicapped parking space without a handicapped permit in NYC, crazy? If not, is the $180 fine part of your reasoning?

Speed limits are part of an overall regulatory effort to make the flow of traffic as safe, orderly and efficient as possible. Other than the now defunct 55 mph "conserve fuel" max speed limit, there is actually some technical investigation put into setting speed limits on roads in most states. The system may not be perfect, but it is generally consistent and coherent.
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The problem is that exceeding the speed limit is as popular throughout the U.S. as jaywalking is in New York. If general deterrence in this area were so important, law enforcement could have been using existing technology (GPS, surveillance cameras, etc.) on a wide scale basis for years to fine everyone exceeding the speed limit. Presumably, that would have very quick results in stopping people from speeding. But they don't, because that would be extremely politically unpopular, so instead we have an inefficient and haphazard enforcement system that essentially amounts to a cat-and-mouse game. Under those circumstances, it's not hard to understand why people treat it like a game too.

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I got aticket for running a red light on a bicycle, the cop asked me indirectly for some form of identification like say a drivers license. I was so niave.
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cheetohh wrote:
I got aticket for running a red light on a bicycle, the cop asked me indirectly for some form of identification like say a drivers license. I was so niave.
The police need the identification to write the ticket, but if you don't show some form of identification, you increase the risk of being taken into custody until your identity can be confirmed.

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jess wrote:
Except that it's not an arrest. It's a ticket. And I'd be surprised if there were any laws that punished police officers for writing bad tickets.
Perhaps there should be such a law. Right now, I know that public officials cannot be prosecuted for anything they do in their official capacity and I would imagine that includes writing a bad ticket. For example, if you a prosecutor tries to prosecute you for a crime where he had the slimmest of evidence and even used extremely poor lawyering skills in investigating the case & forming the prosecution, you cannot sue him for that. At least you can bring a malpractice suit in private law but on something like this they get prosecutorial immunity or something like that.

Frankly, I think it's BS for the really crooked officials out there. I can understand that you wouldn't want an honest official sued for doing his duties in good faith and was just wrong but not having something like this really just encourages bad behavior be those in charge.
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Aviator47 wrote:
crazyinnyc wrote:
That whoever says ticketing for speeding "reduces speeding" is stretching reality.
The premise is that enforcement increases compliance and punishes non-compliance. Obviously, every person who speeds does not get caught, but some do. The threat of detection leads a fair number of drivers to stay within the speed limits. As I said previously, just as an argument is being made here that a financial burden will make Florida clean up its act on the "light flashing" fiasco, the financial burden of a traffic fine (and other potential inconveniences) motivates some people to stay within the speed limit. If revenue was the main goal of traffic tickets, then states would not suspend or revoke the licenses of repeat offenders, would they? Nor would they establish reciprocity to communicate traffic offenses between states for that same purpose.

Do you regularly park in a handicapped parking space without a handicapped permit in NYC, crazy? If not, is the $180 fine part of your reasoning?

Speed limits are part of an overall regulatory effort to make the flow of traffic as safe, orderly and efficient as possible. Other than the now defunct 55 mph "conserve fuel" max speed limit, there is actually some technical investigation put into setting speed limits on roads in most states. The system may not be perfect, but it is generally consistent and coherent.
We were talking about the practical effect of speed enforcement on interstates specifically, not all traffic tickets and not intentions.

No, I scammed a placard from my grandmother, like those people on Dateline.

Don't see much dedicated handicap parking in Manhattan, they just park wherever they want, mostly in commercial muni-meter parking which is everywhere in midtown with almost no exception... So essentially, yes.

If you want to make the flow of traffic as safe, orderly and efficient as possible...target people who fail to yield for the speeders coming up behind them.
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hendon wrote:
The problem is that exceeding the speed limit is as popular throughout the U.S. as jaywalking is in New York. If general deterrence in this area were so important, law enforcement could have been using existing technology (GPS, surveillance cameras, etc.) on a wide scale basis for years to fine everyone exceeding the speed limit. Presumably, that would have very quick results in stopping people from speeding. But they don't, because that would be extremely politically unpopular, so instead we have an inefficient and haphazard enforcement system that essentially amounts to a cat-and-mouse game. Under those circumstances, it's not hard to understand why people treat it like a game too.

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cheetohh wrote:
I got aticket for running a red light on a bicycle, the cop asked me indirectly for some form of identification like say a drivers license. I was so niave.
I hope it was a huge ticket and I wish more bikers got ticketed. If you're going to use the roads, you need to obey the rules of the roads just like anyone else. Somehow bikers don't think red lights or stop signs apply to them and that's bullshit.

It really pisses me off when bikers somehow have the mentality that traffic laws doesn't apply to them.
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jess wrote:
StooterBoy wrote:
You can flash them on a Vespa. Push the switch back instead of forward
Works on Piaggio bikes. Doesn't work on the Vespa (unless the switch is dodgy).
Vespa's don't have flash to pass? That's odd.
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phuocsandiego wrote:
jess wrote:
Except that it's not an arrest. It's a ticket. And I'd be surprised if there were any laws that punished police officers for writing bad tickets.
Perhaps there should be such a law. Right now, I know that public officials cannot be prosecuted for anything they do in their official capacity and I would imagine that includes writing a bad ticket. For example, if you a prosecutor tries to prosecute you for a crime where he had the slimmest of evidence and even used extremely poor lawyering skills in investigating the case & forming the prosecution, you cannot sue him for that. At least you can bring a malpractice suit in private law but on something like this they get prosecutorial immunity or something like that.

Frankly, I think it's BS for the really crooked officials out there. I can understand that you wouldn't want an honest official sued for doing his duties in good faith and was just wrong but not having something like this really just encourages bad behavior be those in charge.
LEO's operate under, and are protected by, their "scope of authority". This will hold them harmless ONLY if they are determined to have been acting under constitutional authority. An officer is sworn to operate within the allowable framework of the Constitution. If one does not, they can, and often will be, civilly sued, as well as criminally prosecuted.
For example, look at the many federal civil-rights tort claims raised against LEO's. When found to be violating the Constitution, they will also be determined to have been operating outside their "scope of authority" by their commissioning agency, and thus will have no protection afforded them by that agency.
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phuocsandiego wrote:
Perhaps there should be such a law. Right now, I know that public officials cannot be prosecuted for anything they do in their official capacity and I would imagine that includes writing a bad ticket. For example, if you a prosecutor tries to prosecute you for a crime where he had the slimmest of evidence and even used extremely poor lawyering skills in investigating the case & forming the prosecution, you cannot sue him for that. At least you can bring a malpractice suit in private law but on something like this they get prosecutorial immunity or something like that.
Phuoc-

There is most certainly "prosecutorial misconduct", and it can result in a anything from a successful defense for the accused to contempt of court punishments to criminal penalties for the prosecutor, based upon the nature and severity of the misconduct.

As Route 66 Lawdog wrote, public officials do not enjoy unlimited immunity.

For more expert input, perhaps one of the experienced prosecutors (I know who a couple of you are, so we do have them) might weigh in.
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Aviator47 wrote:
phuocsandiego wrote:
Perhaps there should be such a law. Right now, I know that public officials cannot be prosecuted for anything they do in their official capacity and I would imagine that includes writing a bad ticket. For example, if you a prosecutor tries to prosecute you for a crime where he had the slimmest of evidence and even used extremely poor lawyering skills in investigating the case & forming the prosecution, you cannot sue him for that. At least you can bring a malpractice suit in private law but on something like this they get prosecutorial immunity or something like that.
Phuoc-

There is most certainly "prosecutorial misconduct", and it can result in a anything from a successful defense for the accused to contempt of court punishments to criminal penalties for the prosecutor, based upon the nature and severity of the misconduct.

As Route 66 Lawdog wrote, public officials do not enjoy unlimited immunity.

For more expert input, perhaps one of the experienced prosecutors (I know who a couple of you are, so we do have them) might weigh in.
Prosecutorial misconduct unfortunately is not as you described it! A prosecutor can hide exonerating evidence and will still not be held liable. Hard to believe, I know but that's the way it is. See here:

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/03/supreme_court_strengthens_pros.php

Other stories on this topic: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120098210

Now, if an LEO physically beats a subdued suspect, that's all together different than writing a ticket that they know is BS. The former they'll get busted for and rightly so (but only if there is evidence!) while the latter they can plead ignorance and at most you'll get your ticket overturned.

But all of this is not in the constitution or anything. Laws can be made to counter this although there would obviously be another side to it... would you take on the job of district attorney if you can be personally liable if you made an honest mistake? But I have serious issues with any officials acting under the color of law and abuse their powers. If proven guilty that to me deserves the death penalty. I might very well get some negative karma for that view but if your job is to protect & serve than you better damn well do that rather than go on an ego trip.

But that's just me.
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