With 5 state troopers protecting it last night.
I was driving home late, around 3am. Furthermore, had dropped by a dinner, so had set cruise control to 60mph while I nippled on some homefries and eggs.
I come up to the stretch of 270 just before the exit to state police headquarters.
1 cruiser monitoring southbound. Some distant flashing lights southbound.
One cruiser having pulled someone over northbound just before split into collector/highway lanes.
A beat-up work truck full of what looked like ladders and buckets (painting or window-cleaning maybe) slowly pulls by me at this point. Going maybe 65.
About 30 feet in front of me, bam. Lights come on in the cruiser behind us. As he pulls the guy over, I notice a darkened cruiser sitting on the left hand side.
All of these were the state vehicles. The road must have been very safe to drive on, since there were probably many more cars on the side of the road. I’d like to say this was a crackdown, but it seems that every time I drive through that area late at night, there are between 1 and 3 cars on that section. 5 is just a little higher than normal.
Why do they do it? It brings to mind a sort of predator/prey system. We gazelles are zipping along the highway, and normally the weak/sick members (those moving faster than normal) get nailed by the cops. That way the herd is kept to a uniform speed, and good times enjoyed by all. People tend to move fairly fast in the DC metro area, and that means that average speed on a weekday afternoon is around 70mph.
What I can’t understand is why have so many cars patrolling that one section of highway late at nights.
It seems to me that when you cut down on the number of food sources, the predators get hungrier and hungrier, and attack healthy members of the herd as well (well, normally they would starve, and the cycle continue, but this isn’t a perfectly working metaphor).
How does this work? Can it be cost effective to concentrate so many troops on one section of highway when there is so much of the state to patrol? Or is it just easier to hang out near headquarters?