7.7 Magnitude Quake Hits British ColumbiaPosted by samzenpus on Sunday October 28, @05:40AM
Sorry! Sorry! We didn't realize you were an EFF supporter, God! We'll retract the bill, you just...stop...the earthquakes...
Honestly, I think we need fleets of undercover cops, so that maybe we could curb some of the worst of the "road belongs to me" behavior. Ive even seen metro busses blocking intersections, I dont think youre aware of how bad it can be.
This all just goes back to the fact that if you wanted to curb that behavior, a fleet of very visible cop cars would be far more effective. Cops can only pull over 1 (ish) car at a time. The number of cars will always outnumber the number of cops, so if the behavior is really as rampant as you say, you will quickly saturate your number of undercover cop cars. If the unmarked cop car has pulled over one car, the other 99 cars that go by can do whatever they want. On the other hand, one marked cop car can force good behavior on all 100 of those cars. It's analogous to the case of a gunman and a crowd. If you have one guy with a gun and a 100 bystanders, no one will do anything, because even if the guy can only shoot one person (or 6 or whatever), no one wants to be that one person. Once the guy fires the shot (or 6 or whatever) though, one person's day is ruined but the other 99 can rush him without fear.
What, is your reaction time like 10 seconds? You cant see the hills coming? Your car does not just abruptly jump up 5 mph on a downhill unless it is a very severe grade, and even then if youre engine braking / riding the brake you should be able to hold one or two under the limit very easily. I do it all the time with and without cruise control, claiming its impossible is absurd.
The 5 mph window is allowing for reaction times, paying attention, and speedometer inaccuracies. If each can account for 1-2 mph, then to guarantee that you don't cross 60, you need to be at 53-55, which was what my point is. I'm not saying that it's not possible to drive 60 +/- 1; sure it is. I was saying that in order to guarantee that you were not "breaking the law" by "speeding" (i.e. going 1 mile over the limit), you'd have to drive impractically slow. And if it's a law that is going to be strictly enforced and that should be strictly enforced, it should not be difficult or impractical to abide by. I have no problem not stabbing someone with a knife while walking down the street; it's not exactly hard to avoid doing that. If you force people into a situation where they can't drive less than 60 ('cause it's dangerous) and they can't drive even a bit more than 60 ('cause it's illegal), it's very hard to not commit a crime.
Some states have laws allowing that. Some do not. Ultimately, being part of society means you agree that society makes the rules, rather than you deciding which rules feel right for you.
As per my other comment to you, the fact that something is the rule doesn't mean that it's right, nor does it means that it's moral. If no one ever spoke up and said "I don't agree with this rule," we'd still be living in some sort of feudal monarchy with no rights whatsoever. (Note: what sort of society it would be is irrelevant; please do not respond to this saying that you disagree that it would be feudal/a monarchy/etc.)
Bull. People regularly slow down at the sight of cop cars or traffic cameras, but speed right back up again once they know theyre past them. It doesnt deter anything, it just postpones it.
Yes, that's my point. People don't commit crimes in front of cops. And frankly, in my experience, if people are speeding and have a narrow run in with a cop, they tend to drive much more carefully for a significant time after the encounter, but that's anecdotal; not sure if anyone's done a study on it. Now you can claim that we should have all cops be undercover, wiretap everyone in the country, and put hidden video cameras everywhere, let every crime happen that's going to happen, and then throw all the criminals in jail. Or, you can have very visible cops, etc. and try to keep most of the crimes from happening in the first place. I'm merely saying that it's not immediately clear that one approach is superior. I personally would rather have less crime and more criminals in the wild then more crime and fewer criminals, but that's my personal preference. I believe that prevention is more important than punishment, though of course the threat of punishment is necessary for prevention.
Oh the horror, cops going after folks for violating the law.
Just because something is illegal doesn't mean it should be. I apologize in advance for the following Godwin, but were we supposed to applaud when the SS arrested people for being Jewish? When people with different skin colors got arrested for sitting in the wrong place? By no means am I trying to equate traffic violations with such heinous civil rights violations, but the examples serve to demonstrate that making cops more effective at "going after folks violating the law" can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what the law in question is.
...Im pretty sure there is a phone number you can dial to have a cop on the scene in around 5-10 minutes. Im pretty sure the chances of just "happening" to see a cop in that time are pretty low, at least based on my experience in and around DC (where one MIGHT see a cop in 10-20 minutes of driving around the capital and RFK stadium).
5-10 minutes does me little good if I'm getting attacked now, and not everyone in the world has a phone on them 100% of the time. It doesn't matter whether the odds of happening to see a cop if you need them are low. The fact is that they are a lot lower if the cops are unmarked. And frankly a 5% chance of having a cop around to help is better than nothing at all.
Regardless, I am done with this discussion, since I have nothing more of value to add. There will always be differences of opinion, and that's fine, but this has all been irrelevant to my initial point that these are unmarked cars, not undercover cops, and I never intended to debate the merits of speed limits or unmarked cars.
Yes, the "stealth" is often not particularly stealthy though.
Additionally, due to inaccuracies in speedometers and poor reaction times (e.g. to changing slopes of hills), it's impossible to drive at or under 60 without having your speedo sitting more like 53-55, in which case you will in fact be driving dangerously by going significantly slower than the flow of traffic. The problem with speed limits/speeding is that speeding is not inherently dangerous (at reasonable speeds; certainly driving 150 is). Rather, moving at a significantly different speed than the flow of traffic is dangerous. I am in fact putting myself and those around me in more danger by driving at 60 if everyone around me is going 75 than by driving 75 with them. The answer certainly isn't to abolish speed limits, but the point is that strict enforcement of speed limits increases revenue, not safety.
But the fact of the matter is that the focus of the police should be on preventing crime, not on increasing revenue. A clearly marked police car is the most effective thing there is for ensuring that everyone around is driving safely. You stick a cop car in the road and people will drive quite carefully. Unmarked cars are specifically meant to not be observed by people so that they will commit crimes in front of them and thus get ticketed, crimes that potentially would not have been committed if the car had been clearly visible. To me, this is like making the argument that police officers shouldn't wear uniforms so that muggers will beat up people in front of them and get caught, rather than the beatings never happening in the first place. I understand and respect that you can make an argument both ways here, that there is the potential for the mugger to commit crimes later, etc. but in my personal opinion, it is of dubious morality to allow people to be injured today in hopes of avoiding injuring people tomorrow. When I'm being assaulted, I want to be able to look around and run to the nearest cop car, not to miss it 'cause it's unmarked.
Ultimately, my complaint is that the motorists who get "caught" by unmarked cars who wouldn't by marked cars are the 5-10 over motorists. If someone is truly driving dangerously, they're not going to stop because of a marked car. If you're driving 100 on the freeway, you can't slow down fast enough upon seeing a cop car to not get caught. If you're driving drunk, you can't magically sober up because you saw a cop. The people get caught by unmarked cars rather than marked ones are the 5 over motorists, so I fail to see how they provide sufficiently valuable service to outweigh the crimes they fail to prevent.
Anyways, it's all anecdotal, and there are arguments for both sides. YMMV.
yum install gnome-tweak-tool
Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.