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Old 12-07-2007, 07:50 AM   #15
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Well stated, Roger. I'll never forget a conversation on the law (one might even call it a lecture) I had with my grandfather, who was somewhat of an outlaw himself (during prohibition). I was sixteen years old, and we were on our way back from the Division of Motor Vehicles where I had just obtained my drivers license. He hd taught me to drive out on the farm, so he knew I had a "heavy foot". He was explaining, in some detail, the responsibilities of operating a vehicle, and the importance of avoiding traffic tickets. At the end of the conversation he leaned over and asked me, " Do you want to know the best way to beat the law?" I said, "I sure do, Pop!", to which he replied, "Obey the law".
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster

That said, I still feel that driving a car at a tender young age of 15 is NONSENSE! Not only backed up by statistics, but attitude. Most middle teens can't handle themselves....PERIOD.......and definitely should not even approach a motor vehicle until 17 or 18.

Lew
I wholeheartedly agree with that, Lew. A few years back, Delaware passed some some progressive licensing laws that allows kids to get their license (conditional permit) at age sixteen, but imposed several restrictions and conditions, such as only driving with a licensed adult for a specified period of time, then only driving during certain hours and to certain events, such as school, work, etc. I think it has made a difference.

When my daughter, who would be affected by the new law, found out about it at school, she came home and asked me if I knew about this "outrageous new law". I told her that I not only knew about it, but I had an opportunity to review and make recommendations on it before it was enacted. I wasn't very popular for a while. What really surprised me was that several of her friend's parents chose to ignore most of the conditions of the permit.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:34 AM   #17
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This is a thought provoking thread.

I guess for me its important to understand what is an unjust speed trap versus a community concern. I am a parent of a young child who rides a bike.

Is it a speed trap if its near an elementary school? How about a residential area/subdivision with no sidewalks and lots of kids on bikes like mine? Or a heavily used pedestrian area? How do you know which it is if you are towing through a new town to you? Is it just on highways near speed change signs that it is considered a speed trap?

I have family in a town on the speed trap list, Livonia, Michigan, and people down there drive awfully fast I think they need to slow down too.

OTOH Azflycaster's example sounds like a bummer of a speed trap. I would be steamed too if I got a ticket under those circumstances.

No disrespect intended to anyone, I think everyone has a different perspective and I am sure no one would want to hurt anyone with their vehicle.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:47 PM   #18
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Then, or course, there's this kind of speed trap. I don't know how true this is, but I got it a couple of days ago. Having been caught in a radar trap where the only ones getting stopped, picked out of the traffic and waved over, were those folks with out-of-State licence plates, I could only wish that this happened to those cops.
Barry

Two British traffic patrol officers from North Berwick were involved in an unusual incident while checking for speeding motorists on the A1 Great North Road. One of the officers used a hand-held radar device to check the speed of a vehicle approaching over the crest of a hill, and was surprised when the speed was recorded at over 300 mph. Their radar suddenly stopped working and the officers were not able to reset it.

Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact latched on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet which was engaged in a low-flying exercise over the Border district, approaching from the North Sea .

Back at police headquarters the chief constable fired off a stiff complaint to the RAF Liaison office.

Back came the reply in true laconic RAF style

"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked onto, your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, an air-to-ground missile aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also automatically locked onto your equipment. Fortunately the pilot flying the Tornado recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile systems alert status, and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched and your hostile radar installation was destroyed.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:42 PM   #19
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There is a difference between traffic enforcement and a speed trap, I think that is important to diferentiate. Anytime that a police car is hidden, the obvious goal is not enforcement but to write tickets.

That being said, I was just busted for speeding, the trooper explained it was a 385 dollar fine, then told me "before you say anything", and gave me fix it tickets for registration and proof of insurance, he basicly told me to be quiet and not take them out of the glove box.

In regards to obnoxious speeding, it is incredibly fun. I'll be flamed here, that is ok. I have a 1000cc Superbike, and it comes into it's own at about 125mph, taps out at 170. I know I am a safer rider then any car driver with a phone glued to their ear. The fun part is, well, if you don't ride you wouldn't understand.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #20
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Roger,

With all due respect, eastern Iowa is nothing like the southwest. I don't think I'd consider speeding there ever. I'd be particularly careful around Amana due to all the at grade intersections, farm equipment and animals that get on the road. And I never go faster than 55 towing the trailer.

But having said that, there are places where I feel comfortable going a lot faster in the right car. My wife and I were driving back from southern CA through Arizona on I-10 the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We were in my Porsche 911 (with brand new wheels and tires, by the way). We'd been keeping up with a line of about 15 cars for about half an hour. I was keeping about 9 to 10 seconds back from the Nissan Sentra in front of me. We were going about 82 in a 75 zone. We came over a hill and saw around 12 police cruisers pulliung people over. Not surprisingly, I got pulled over, but the Nissan with the AZ plate got away.

On that stretch of I-10, you can literally see for 10 miles in every direction. The road is smooth and wide. If there were any large animals living in that desert, you could see them well before they got to the road. I think my car was more safe at that speed than many I see here in town going 15, especially given that I have plently of experience blasting down the Autobahn at 150 in far lesser vehicles. As far as I'm concerned, that was nothing but a money-making opportunity for the locals. Next time, I'll have a radar detector.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:15 PM   #21
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AgZep....If and when you come to Washington state in your 911 don't be fooled by good hiways and wide open spaces that you can see animals on the roads for miles. It is not the ones you can see that are the problem its the ones that JUMP you that you never see. Deer, Elk, Coyotes, Dogs, out of the sage brush or from behind a tree. That 911 and an elk at 82 miles an hour would be bad news. It would be the one you NEVER see that gets you. Friend of mine traveling along hiway 395 on a wide open area had a deer jump on His hood and smash trough his windshild and totalled his NEW GMC truck. He only recieved minor injuries. He said HE never saw the animal. It jumped from the side of the road from the sage brush. ASK JANET...about the animals that can ambush you here. She will probably back me up here. From rabbits to STATE patrol that like to hide in the brush. One of em will get ya if you push it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacarape
In regards to obnoxious speeding, it is incredibly fun. I'll be flamed here, that is ok. I have a 1000cc Superbike, and it comes into it's own at about 125mph, taps out at 170. I know I am a safer rider then any car driver with a phone glued to their ear. The fun part is, well, if you don't ride you wouldn't understand.
I rode a BMW R100RT 60,000 miles in three years. I understand. Not to worry. Darwin called that phenomenon "natural selection". I just hope you don't take anyone else with you when you go. The average road bike at 100 miles an hour can cut an '87 Lincoln TownCar in half. Ask me how I know. By the way, you can't ask either of those drivers any more. I'll bet that the rider of that bike thought he was a safer than any car driver too.

Roger
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFord79
AgZep....If and when you come to Washington state in your 911 don't be fooled by good hiways and wide open spaces that you can see animals on the roads for miles. It is not the ones you can see that are the problem its the ones that JUMP you that you never see. Deer, Elk, Coyotes, Dogs, out of the sage brush or from behind a tree. That 911 and an elk at 82 miles an hour would be bad news. It would be the one you NEVER see that gets you. Friend of mine traveling along hiway 395 on a wide open area had a deer jump on His hood and smash trough his windshild and totalled his NEW GMC truck. He only recieved minor injuries. He said HE never saw the animal. It jumped from the side of the road from the sage brush. ASK JANET...about the animals that can ambush you here. She will probably back me up here. From rabbits to STATE patrol that like to hide in the brush. One of em will get ya if you push it.
Yeah, I've been there many times, and having lived in WY and CO, I know all about elk. Thing is, in southern AZ, it would be hard for a rabbit to find anything to hide behind, much less an elk. The only vertical objects to be seen for miles are suguaro cactus, and I've yet to see an elk small enough to fit behind one of those.

My point was that one needs to consider conditions. I wouldn't go faster than the bare minimum in a school zone, but I'm just not very excited by any safety lectures about the perils of driving on a flat road through a desert in broad daylight.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:33 PM   #24
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Speeding

"Anybody who drives slower than you is a poke. Anybody who drives faster than you is a lunatic!"
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:37 PM   #25
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Roger,
Thanks for the sage advice and insite.
Thanks for the reason and thoughtfulness of your comments.

Glenn
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:59 PM   #26
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Obviously this is an emotional issue. Since the national speed limit of 55 was repealed, I haven't gotten a ticket. A radar detector is a good investment. I thought of the 55 limit as an additional fee on driving.

I think we will see more and more tickets being issued as photo radar spreads. It's just too tempting as a revenue producer. When we were in Arizona a couple of weeks ago we heard on the news that the state was buying photo radar for state highways—I don't know whether that was for the interstates or all rural state highways. What fun to get a ticket in the mail a few weeks later. When Denver went into the photo radar revenue business in the '90's they tried mailing tickets, but the courts ruled they had to be served personally. I think a lot of jurisdictions try to get around that procedural rule and hope no one goes to court. When you're stopped by a cop, you know whether you are guilty or not, but when you get a photo radar ticket weeks later, how can you remember what you were doing?

All those computers in cars record your speed—they use them to adjust fuel/air mixture and feed all the digital readouts. If you have something like Onstar, your speed can be reported. The data can be used if you are in an accident as it is stored for a while in the auto computer. Some car rental companies have used it to fine people for speeding; I think in Connecticut the courts ruled against the rental company. In parts of Europe, insurance companies will give you a lower rate if you subject yourself to speed monitoring. I'm sure that will come to the US. So, if you pass someone on a two lane, you are usually violating the speed limit—if a satellite is watching you, or photo radar, too bad. What if you go one mph over? Will eventually everyone's speed and location be reported to state and federal computers—too much data for now, but computer storage keeps getting bigger.

It's always seemed to me traffic police have to prove they are working and the easiest way is to write speeding tickets. It's a lot harder to catch someone weaving down the road or going slow in the left lane while jabbering on a cellphone. People weaving in and out of traffic trying to get ahead of everyone, or tailgating to intimidate me when I'm traveling 10 miles over the limit are very dangerous, but I never see a cop going after them.

It's difficult to speed while towing (except in California where the limit on interstates while towing is 55), but we all drive other times, and speed traps are available to everyone. A lot of speed limits are set too low by DOT people with little knowledge of what they are doing, or under political pressure. I've seen plenty of cops speeding or driving badly. Those problems cause disrespect for the law but the police will not police their own.

You can add to the speed trap list:
1. Hotchkiss, Colorado, bills itself as "The Friendliest Town Around". A 25 limit through town on a wide main street (Colo. 92) seduces people to go 30 or even 35; leaving town to the north on Colo. 133, the speed limit goes up by 10 mile increments in short spacing—beware if you speed up before a sign or don't slow down fast enough after coming down a long grade; coming into town on 92 from the east, the cop sometimes hides just around the curve. One town council member told me the speed limit should be 15.
2. US 50 between Delta and Grand Junction was recently rebuilt as a 4 lane through uninhabited desert with a speed limit of 65. The Colorado air force comes out from time to time since half the vehicles are going 75.
3. Denver used to use photo radar liberally, obviously for revenue. I don't know whether that's still going on.
4. Anywhere in Colorado: the state troopers have two jobs—investigate accidents and "traffic enforcement" (speed traps). Their usual habitat is interstates. They used to be called the "state patrol", but they convinced the legislature some years ago to change it to "trooper" even though they have no other law enforcement authority. A lot of us thought they just wanted to wear those cool trooper hats.

Do I speed when not towing? I have the right to remain silent. Anything I say may be used against me…

Gene
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:49 AM   #27
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My Illinois community is on their list. We have been known as a speed trap for years. It would seem traffic tickets are a way to balance the budget on the backs of outsiders. All the locals know where they hide and therefore rarely get caught. I have seen the Wisconsin police pull the Illinois plates over on the weekends while letting the Wisconsin plate go by at the same speed. In some commuinities it becomes more likely toward the end of the month if they have not met their quota. Many local taxing bodies are hurting for funds and it is very tempting to raise "fees" and fines rather than getting the legislators or people to approve raising "taxes". The voting public may not reelect people who raise "taxes".
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:10 AM   #28
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All of the rationalizations for breaking the law by speeding. Ain't it amusing.

Let's assume that many speeding enforcement efforts are motivated by revenue enhancement. So what? In these cases, speeding tickets are the same as enhancing revenue via licensed gambling: they're a voluntary tax that reduces the need for higher property taxes. I applaude it.
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