The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-20-2006, 12:28 PM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,870
Is it illegal for cops to hide to catch speeders?

I've heard that they must be in plain view and not hiding in the grass or behind trees like snakes. Is it true that they must be in plain view? If not, what are the laws for them to be visible/not visible to motorists?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-20-2006, 12:33 PM
Loach Loach is offline
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 17,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
I've heard that they must be in plain view and not hiding in the grass or behind trees like snakes. Is it true that they must be in plain view? If not, what are the laws for them to be visible/not visible to motorists?
Untrue. At least in New Jersey. I can't answer for the other 49 states. Of course you need a good line of sight to aim the radar/laser. I know this has been asked several times already but I'm not going to attempt a search. The Dope is going at a snail's pace right now as it is.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-20-2006, 12:36 PM
Crotalus Crotalus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
I believe that this would vary from place to place. Since it is legal to monitor speed from airplanes and stop lights using unmanned cameras, I think it is safe to say that hiding a cop car behind some bushes would be legal anywhere.

On preview, Loach is a professional in NJ, so he is speaking authoritatively for that state.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-20-2006, 01:59 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Hub of the sports world
Posts: 15,405
I'm going from memory here, but I think California has strict laws about where cops can catch speeders from. They may have the most restrictions on cops.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-20-2006, 02:30 PM
Carlyjay Carlyjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
AFAIK, it's illegal for police to hide in Ontario to catch speeders. And areas that had speed cameras instead of officers had to be clearly marked, as do "red-light" cameras.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-20-2006, 02:36 PM
A.R. Cane A.R. Cane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The great PNW.
Posts: 3,636
Some jurisdictions have made it illegal for speed cops to conceal themselves. This is an age old argument and I can remember it from 40+ years ago. It's been demonstrated over and over that police visibility is much more effective as a deterent to speeding, than it is to use concealment to catch speeders.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-20-2006, 03:10 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlyjay
AFAIK, it's illegal for police to hide in Ontario to catch speeders.
I'm glad I live in Wisconsin, they'll never see me from Ontario.

FYI in Wisconsin they do hide. Behind bushes, bridge supports, over the crest of hills etc...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-20-2006, 03:10 PM
Baffle Baffle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlyjay
AFAIK, it's illegal for police to hide in Ontario to catch speeders. And areas that had speed cameras instead of officers had to be clearly marked, as do "red-light" cameras.
Do you have a cite? I'm from Ontario as well, and never heard of anything like this.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-20-2006, 03:11 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,885
I should add, that since a car 'parked' on the freeway, is by law (I think), supposed to have it's flashers on and be visible from 500 feet on either side, I don't think it should be legal for a cop to hide under a bridge at night on a very dark stretch of highway to monitor traffic. IMHO that's more dangerous then someone going a few MPH over the limit.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-20-2006, 03:17 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 45,640
Virginia does not forbid cops from concealing themselves to run a speed trap.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-20-2006, 03:55 PM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Several times over the summer, the police here set up lawn chairs. Once, the officer with the radar gun was sitting right in the median. The chase cars were lined up at the next cross street. There were five chase cars and they were kept very busy.

You don't need to hide to have a speed trap.

They also use shadow cars. Unmarked cars that radio ahead to marked cars to pull over speeders.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-20-2006, 04:39 PM
PoorYorick PoorYorick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.R. Cane
Some jurisdictions have made it illegal for speed cops to conceal themselves. This is an age old argument and I can remember it from 40+ years ago. It's been demonstrated over and over that police visibility is much more effective as a deterent to speeding, than it is to use concealment to catch speeders.
Which would explain the empty police car parked off the interstate just outside of the west side of New Orleans. I know there's no one in it, yet I find myself reflexively tapping the break every time I approach it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-20-2006, 04:43 PM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baffle
Do you have a cite? I'm from Ontario as well, and never heard of anything like this.
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act makes no such provision. Police must follow conventional Provincial Offences Act rules for catching traffic law violators. There are exceptions for Photo Radar (Part XIV.1) and Red Light Cameras (Part XIV.2) because there is no warrant card holder (i.e. police officers) at the scene making the charge. However, there is no prohibition against a police officer "hiding" in order to catch speeding drivers in Ontario.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-20-2006, 04:46 PM
ChiMagnet ChiMagnet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
I would think that the signs saying Camera Enforcement is also to make people slow down. I would think people would read it and slow down.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-20-2006, 04:57 PM
A.R. Cane A.R. Cane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The great PNW.
Posts: 3,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorYorick
Which would explain the empty police car parked off the interstate just outside of the west side of New Orleans. I know there's no one in it, yet I find myself reflexively tapping the break every time I approach it.
There was a TV news story a few years ago about some town using a, life sized, cardboard cutout of a police car to deter speeding. It worked, and when people began to get used to it, they just moved it to another part of town.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-20-2006, 06:50 PM
PoorYorick PoorYorick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
No cite, but I seem to remember reading something (in Reader's Digest I think) about a strategy used somewhere in Japan. They would line up several mannequins in police uniforms along the side of the road. Occasionally, they'd replace one of the mannequins with an actual police office with a radar detector. So when you're driving along and spot the mannequins, you could never be sure whether you were getting beamed or not.

I don't know if this is true, but it sounds ingenious enough to be a Japanese idea.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-20-2006, 07:34 PM
Operation Ripper Operation Ripper is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Skylab
Posts: 1,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
I've heard that they must be in plain view and not hiding in the grass or behind trees like snakes. Is it true that they must be in plain view? If not, what are the laws for them to be visible/not visible to motorists?
Like snakes? They are out there to hopefully keep nitwits from killing us. I think this is kind of like that urban legend that undercover narcs can't lie to you when you ask them if they are cops. Speed kills.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-20-2006, 07:56 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 9,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorYorick
They would line up several mannequins in police uniforms along the side of the road.
I don't know about Japan, but we have mannequins here in Pennsylvania. It's usually just one mannequin in a car beside the road, but sometimes they'll have a few of them up and down the main road near here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Like snakes? They are out there to hopefully keep nitwits from killing us.
Unfortunately, there are many times when they are out there for income generation and not public protection.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-20-2006, 08:30 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
I've heard that they must be in plain view and not hiding in the grass or behind trees like snakes.
What if they're hiding in the trees like snakes?

Huh. You're right. It wasn't that funny.

Anyway. One argument against hidden-cop speedtraps is the safety issue. Having a cop car or bike speeding out from a hiding spot can be pretty hazardous. I have no idea if this was a WAG or a serious line of reasoning, but I can appreciate the logic.
__________________
I've spent the last few years building up an immunity to bullets. - Angus McGuire
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-20-2006, 08:44 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
FYI in Wisconsin they do hide. Behind bushes, bridge supports, over the crest of hills etc...
I'm hiding behind your couch with a radar gun right now.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-20-2006, 10:24 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Voting anti-obamanation
Posts: 10,300
Why do so many dopers want to either (a) argue the legality of a LEO doing their job or (b) argue aspects of the law being enforced as opposed to (c) driving at the speed limit? Is this a brain buster?
__________________
Crows. Keeping our highways clear of roadkill for over 80 years
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-20-2006, 10:30 PM
groman groman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Speed kills.
So don't drive.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-20-2006, 10:38 PM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
A homeowner just outside of Harpers Ferry WV used to have a Chevy Crown Vic, in nonfunctional condition parked in the gravel in front of his house. He had a tomato juice can nailed to a one by two sticking a foot or so out of the window.

Numerous complaints were filed. The local Justice of the peace said it was not illegal, and besides, accidents were down on that stretch of hiway, so he thought it was a good idea.

Tris
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-20-2006, 10:40 PM
groman groman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithcats
Why do so many dopers want to either (a) argue the legality of a LEO doing their job or (b) argue aspects of the law being enforced as opposed to (c) driving at the speed limit? Is this a brain buster?
I'm going to need a cite that says that people who argue these things do not drive at the speed limit. You don't have to break the law to be pissed off about it and it's effect on others who do.

I have a feeling this thread is going to quickly degenerate into GD-style flamewar, but speed limits are fundamentally an issue of trade-off between safety and availability/convinience. The safest speed limit is 0 - ban driving, punish it severely, watch the traffic accident statistics drop like a rock. Nobody wants that, so you must weigh public opinion versus public safety and that guarantees that speed limits are not going to be acceptable for all nor are they going to be anything other than arbitrary numbers.

Any speed limit greater than 0 is going to kill somebody. What's an acceptable death/injury/property damage rate for you? Is it going to be the same for me? Or for everybody else? We just don't have enough info to even plot this graph and it's such a heated issue getting some sort of a consensus, even scientific or engineering, on it is impossible. Scientists and engineers can agree on things that most do not care deeply about either way, but speed limits just seems to be one of those things that you either feel it's too high, just right or too low. I'm yet to meet a person who drives daily and would still say "Eh, I wouldn't really care if they raised it or lowered it by 30mph".
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-20-2006, 11:27 PM
amarone amarone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,523
In Georgia the cops have to be in plain view for at least 500ft. And they cannot ticket you unless you are going at least 10 over the limit. This applies just to local police - state troopers can be more strict (I got a ticket for 9 over from a state trooper).
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:06 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone
In Georgia the cops have to be in plain view for at least 500ft. And they cannot ticket you unless you are going at least 10 over the limit. This applies just to local police - state troopers can be more strict (I got a ticket for 9 over from a state trooper).
Cite?
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10-21-2006, 10:54 AM
amarone amarone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,523
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites
Cite?
10 mph
500 ft
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:02 PM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Like snakes? They are out there to hopefully keep nitwits from killing us. I think this is kind of like that urban legend that undercover narcs can't lie to you when you ask them if they are cops. Speed kills.

Yes, snakes hide really well. That's all I was implying. And no, it's no urban legend, there are some counties that don't allow cops to hide, as you can see in this thread.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:24 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone
Wow. Those are freaking ridiculous.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:41 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites
Wow. Those are freaking ridiculous.
Well, the 500-foot thing makes a certain amount of sense; as others have pointed out, a visible police presence does more to reduce accidents and fatalities than merely issuing tickets in ambush. However, I agree the 10-MPH rule is ridiculous. They may as well increase all nonexempt posted speed limits by 10 MPH and be done with it.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:59 PM
groman groman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Well, the 500-foot thing makes a certain amount of sense; as others have pointed out, a visible police presence does more to reduce accidents and fatalities than merely issuing tickets in ambush. However, I agree the 10-MPH rule is ridiculous. They may as well increase all nonexempt posted speed limits by 10 MPH and be done with it.
I think under 10 mph might be arguably within margin of error of whatever measuring system is in place.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10-21-2006, 02:04 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
I think under 10 mph might be arguably within margin of error of whatever measuring system is in place.


I can eyeball a vehicle's speed to well within 10 MPH--probably closer to 5 MPH. Radars and LIDARs are typically accurate to within 1 to 2 MPH. I don't know the accuracy of visual systems like VASCAR, but if used properly, I'd have no problem believing they were accurate to within 5 MPH or so, at least.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10-21-2006, 02:17 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
I think under 10 mph might be arguably within margin of error of whatever measuring system is in place.

The operator manual of most radar units I've used over the past 25 years had indicated that it was accurate within 2 miles per hour. This is consistently testified to in court when defendants try to claim that the radar is off. 10 mph would be a grossly inaccurate unit.

When radar is inaccurate it is usually by a percentage, not a set mph. Reflections, angles, cosine errors, and other anomalies are reasons for that.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10-21-2006, 02:30 PM
seenidog seenidog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
As a former cop from Wisconsin, I can tell you the way it was fifteen years ago, but as far as I know nothing has changed. We could do just about anything, but could not park on private property without permission. I had two favorite tricks. One was just to pull off he road and turn on the "Cherries and Berries" and announce to the whole world I was there. Soon someone would go flying by figuring "He is busy". By the time they realized there was not a car in front of me it was too late, they were clocked and locked. Second trick was to pull over and open the trunk lid. The truck lid hid the lightbar on the roof. Car goes speeding by, so I put the petal down and when spinning tires go from gravel to pavement the trunk lid slams itself shut.
hey they didn't pay me to fight fair, just to win. In my own defense, I never wrote for less than 12 overthe limit. Anyone can "creep up" 5 or so over the limit, but by the time you are going 10 mph over the limit, you know you are speeding and are fair game.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 10-21-2006, 03:17 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Saw a picture (purporting to be from Pasadena, Texas) of a police officer sitting on the side of the highway with a radar gun.

On a horse.

Something I've noticed is that if I see a car that is the same shape as a police car, like a regular Crown Victoria, I tend to slow down. One time I was driving down the highway, and saw what I think was a decommissioned Crown Vic, still had various bumps and such from where the antenna and lights used to be. I couldn't decide if I should pass them or stay behind them.

I've seen plenty of cops hide out in the open, in places where you wouldn't look for them, and pull people over. This has included such spots as on the median of one of the main streets (on a motorcycle) and in the parking lot for the County Constable's office (yeah, saw a cop car sitting in the parking lot peel out of his spot and immediately pull someone over who had just run a red light. In front of the Constable's office. )

Also, on at least one occasion, I have seen what looked like a Cessna painted black and white with "POLICE" painted on the undersides of the wings lazily making it's way up and down a length of highway known for speeding and fatal car accidents in the town I used to go to school in. It's REMARKABLY difficult to conceal a piston pumper plane ambling along at 1000 feet on a clear day, but I really doubt the majority of folks driving on the highway ever noticed it.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 10-21-2006, 03:26 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Incomplete thought, there has been a couple of things that cops did that annoyed me. I was driving up a quiet stretch of I-35 late one night going to Dallas, and almost rear-ended a police cruiser doing 45, with all his lights off. I slowed down because I felt something was ahead of me more than because I saw anything, and then noticed the car in front of me. Seeing that he was a police car, I decided it might be unwise to pass him, but I didn't want to be the creepy guy tailgaiting a cop in the middle of the night either, so I eventually switched lanes and crept past him. When he showed no signs of being about to pull me over for passing him, I went ahead and sped up to the regular speed limit of 65.

Still can't figure out what the heck that was about.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 10-21-2006, 03:29 PM
filmyak filmyak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker
Virginia does not forbid cops from concealing themselves to run a speed trap.
I used to live in Virginia -- where radar detectors are illegal -- and the argument was made that this was therefore a form of illegal search, much like a warrantless wiretap, as people had no way of knowing if they were being watched (due to the ban on radar detectors).

IIRC, the workaround was that the police had to list all the locations of the day's speedtraps in the newspaper. That way the traps weren't secret. But enough people didn't read the paper that the speedtraps were still effective.

Anyone know if that's true? Is it still in use? (I lived there over 20 years ago...)
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 10-21-2006, 03:30 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raguleader
Still can't figure out what the heck that was about.
Car trouble, maybe? In any case, I don't understand why you think he'd pull you over for passing him. If he was going 45 and the speed limit is 65, you have every right to pass him if conditions are safe to do so and there were no signs or markings to prohibit passing.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-21-2006, 04:00 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Car trouble, maybe? In any case, I don't understand why you think he'd pull you over for passing him. If he was going 45 and the speed limit is 65, you have every right to pass him if conditions are safe to do so and there were no signs or markings to prohibit passing.
Right, but also, a big part of it is that I've got a type of personality that has been in the past described as being that of "An unusually smart sheeple". If the cop was driving 45, I was inclined to believe there was a good reason to be. But I still was quite puzzled by the no lights thign going on. Might have been he was having some sort of electrical problem in his car, and was driving slow to avoid an accident in the dark (which, of course, made it all the more likely someone else might run into him).

Not that my thought processes were functional enough that late at night to formulate these theories on the spot.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-21-2006, 08:38 PM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithcats
Why do so many dopers want to either (a) argue the legality of a LEO doing their job or (b) argue aspects of the law being enforced as opposed to (c) driving at the speed limit? Is this a brain buster?
Maybe its because the speed limits are often too low or badly signposted?
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 10-22-2006, 12:25 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenidog
As a former cop from Wisconsin, I can tell you the way it was fifteen years ago, but as far as I know nothing has changed. We could do just about anything, but could not park on private property without permission.
Nothing has changed. However, I assume that by "private property" you mean driveways, fields, etc.. "Private property" that is accessible by the general public (like a grocery store parking lot) is usually fair game to sit in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by filmyak
the argument was made that this was therefore a form of illegal search, much like a warrantless wiretap, as people had no way of knowing if they were being watched
Preposterous. This argument would also make unmarked squads illegal. You have no expectation of privacy when you are out in a public place (like a highway). There are no similarities between an officer hiding while clocking cars on a public road, and placing a bug onto a private telephone or room.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.R. Cane
It's been demonstrated over and over that police visibility is much more effective as a deterent to speeding, than it is to use concealment to catch speeders.
Pulling someone over is also a good deterent. They can't speed while pulled over on the side of the road. Just detering someone when a squad is around isn't always good enough. Some people need to get cited, maybe several times, before they start driving responsibly on their own, even when there is no police car present.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 10-22-2006, 12:59 AM
633squadron 633squadron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triskadecamus
A homeowner just outside of Harpers Ferry WV used to have a Chevy Crown Vic, in nonfunctional condition parked in the gravel in front of his house. He had a tomato juice can nailed to a one by two sticking a foot or so out of the window.

Numerous complaints were filed. The local Justice of the peace said it was not illegal, and besides, accidents were down on that stretch of hiway, so he thought it was a good idea.

Tris
A lot of neighborhoods in my area now have the automatic radar units posted instead of the ordinary speed limit sign. These show you your speed, and flash if you're over it. I think this is valid, and seems to be working; more and more of them are going up. Dashing down the freeway with the pedal on the floor is dangerous enough. Speeding through neighborhoods puts everyone at risk: small kids, bicyclists, people pulling out of driveways, etc. On surface streets, *slow down*.

We also have photo radar/ticketing. Alas, people are always trying to beat red lights at intersections, particularly on left turns. I don't know any other way to cut down on the accidents except to post lots of police officers, which is both expensive and diverts them from other duties.

On California freeways, the police are pretty reasonable. I used to zoom around at 80 mph; that will get you ticketed (as it did for me). Most of the time, though, the cops are too busy chasing after people who treat 101 or 280 as their own personal Laguna Seca. *That is dangerous*. True, you're most likely to kill yourself, but you may also take out someone completely innocent.

yeah, I don't like the "snooping" nature of speed traps. I think it's more and more necessary to provide even a small margin of safety, not just against pure speed, but against unreasonable speed in heavy traffic.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 10-22-2006, 01:16 AM
Black Train Song Black Train Song is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Off the point really, but I think that speeding might make an accident worse or even be the cuase of an accident. But I also think that being behind someone who is clearly sruggling with their own self esteem while trying to merge onto a highway can be equally as dangerous.
It all boils down to predictability for me. You don't expect someone passing you like you're standing still and you don't expect to have to pass someone who IS standing still.
People expect to be passed by cars going 10mph faster than they are and they also expect to pass people going slower. The focus should be on drivers who don't expect to be sharing the road with others.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 10-22-2006, 01:19 AM
seenidog seenidog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
To PKbites, yes, you are correct, privately owned but public open places were fair game. I never saw the need to use them, but I know of one officer who would pull his unmarked car into a used car lot at a corner with a stoplight, and get red light runners. And as far as traffic enforcement, most of us were all in favor of radar detectors. they are great. We could be at the dounut shop, leaveour radar units on, and everyone slows down while we eat jelly-filled bismarks. The idea was to slow down traffic. if eating donuts worked into it, swell. Unfortunately we had to write tickets too. Nobody with a soul likes handing someone a piece of paper that says half of your pay this week goes to the state so they can party hardy. Part of the reason I got out fifteen years ago. The flip side is there has to be some control over traffic, about a year and a half ago I got nailed by a Wisconsin State Trooper, going 67 in a 55 zone. First ticket in 28 years. Thething that sucks is I was guilty as hell, and I was in a hurry and knew I was guilty. Plead not guilty, then plead to ten over, same fine,three points instead of four.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 10-22-2006, 02:19 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenidog
Nobody with a soul likes handing someone a piece of paper that says half of your pay this week goes to the state so they can party hardy.
It depends. Some dipshits need to be relieved of a few bucks. And not all cites are traffic. During the summer I write so many public urination & disorderly conduct tickets I think my hand is going to fall off.

But I'll tell you what: I write very few speeding tickets and I've yet to write a seatbelt cite. My bounty hunt is red lights. And improper registration. Dumbasses that have 9 or 10 "year" stickers all over the plate so that the plate can't be read. God I flunkin' hate that!
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 10-22-2006, 02:47 AM
seenidog seenidog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
to PKbites, Lmao! what you say is so true!I was a street officer, not stricty a traffic cop, and Itake it you are the same. Yes there are a lot of dipsticks out there! Istarted the job thinking I was a bit above average intelligence, but soon leaned that average intelligence was about the same as a box of rocks. You are right, some just beg for a little smackdown. And the ones that give a hard timeon a traffic stop make it easy, you never feel bad giving a ticket to the loudmouth. It in polite ones that you feela little sorry about havingtogive a ticket to. And by the way, Are you the one who gave a ticket to the guy in the blue Lesabre on hwy 81?
__________________
I have this all thought out, what could possibly go wrong?
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 10-22-2006, 02:52 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenidog
And by the way, Are you the one who gave a ticket to the guy in the blue Lesabre on hwy 81?
Probably not. I work for a department located in Milwaukee County.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 10-22-2006, 03:07 AM
seenidog seenidog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
to PKbites: actually the guy who nailed me(and I was guilty) is the husband of the lady that made the wedding cake for Mrs. Seenidog and I. He was just doing his job. And I thank you for still putting on the blue suit, like I said I gave it up fifteen years ago. It is a lot less dangerous fixing computers. You have my utmost respect, I know it is not an easy job.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 10-22-2006, 03:17 AM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenidog
To PKbites, yes, you are correct, privately owned but public open places were fair game. I never saw the need to use them, but I know of one officer who would pull his unmarked car into a used car lot at a corner with a stoplight, and get red light runners. And as far as traffic enforcement, most of us were all in favor of radar detectors. they are great. We could be at the dounut shop, leaveour radar units on, and everyone slows down while we eat jelly-filled bismarks. The idea was to slow down traffic. if eating donuts worked into it, swell.
Wait, so the "American Cops eating Doughnuts" thing isn't just a movie cliche?

(Not attacking you, seenidog, I just thought it was one of those things that existed only as a cliche and not in real life. I've never seen a uniformed police officer in either Australia or New Zealand with a doughnut, FWIW.)
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 10-22-2006, 03:24 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield
Wait, so the "American Cops eating Doughnuts" thing isn't just a movie cliche?

Doughnuts provide a ton of fats and carbs. These provide a catalyst for the caffeine in coffee and: ZOOM! Enough energy for overtime.

I, for one, don't eat doughnuts as they upset my otherwise cast iron stomach. Must be the lard they contain and/or are fried in.

But coffee? The nectar of the Gods!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.