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Old 07-09-2007, 06:43 AM   #61
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Virginia Traffic Fines

Driving Safety
Here in Norfolk Virginia we have a Security Force, NOT the police force we are paying for.
According to uniformed officers that I have spoken to proactive policing stopped ten to fifteen years ago.
What does this mean?
1. Reduced Police visibility.
2. Increased perception of criminals that they will not be apprehended due to lack of lack of police on the streets.
3. Officers only respond to crimes that have taken place.
4. No perceived deterance.

The former mayor of New York proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the following has a posivite effect on crime.
1. Ticket the obvious, you don't have to look hard. By that I mean, in New Yorks case no sleeping or sitting on sidewalks, no loitering, pandering/begging
2. Enforcment of simple infractions. (red light runners, stop sign runners, bad licence plates, no right turn on red etc)
With the increased Police presence came the perception that getting away with it would be far more difficult.

Now Virginia has started installing the cameras (just like in Europe) to free up the officers for other duties (which were not specified). Excuse me but we rebelled from European ways over 200 years ago.
Just blowing off
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:07 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by boatdoc
Hey Lew;
Thank you for relieving me from posting differences between European drivers education and ours. My Dad was stationed in Germany after the war and this is where I grew up and got my first drivers license. Aside of the fact that they drive fast, they drive responsibly. If any of us had to take their driving test today, having only US mandated course of driving, I would be surprised if 2% of us would pass the the test in Germany. I drove Autobahn many a times and as recently as last year. Careless driving will land you in jail. Their rules of the road are obeyed at all times for their own safety. With that in mind, we cannot compare it to our driving habits.
Thanks "Boatdoc"

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Old 07-19-2007, 10:31 AM   #63
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This subject has made the NY Times: High Fines for Speeding Anger Virginians - New York Times

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Old 07-19-2007, 12:41 PM   #64
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Turns out that the fines are only assessed against Virginians, and sounds to me like the penalties will be earned only after the dope drivers get multiple chances. But a tempest in a teapot, anyway.

Since the fines won't apply you those of you who are out-of-staters, please buy some lottery tickets as you visit. Those work too.

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Old 08-06-2007, 07:33 PM   #65
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Just stumbled on this topic, have to throw in my 2 cents worth.

1. The highway death rate (deaths per 100 million miles driven is the usual statistic) appears to decline by about 50% every 20 years or so - and this has been the case since the 1920s. In the 1950s the rate was about 7.0. In the mid-'60s it was about 5.5. In the 1970s, the rate was 3.5. In the early '90s, it dropped to about 1.7. It's about 1.4 now.

2. The German highway death rate is very similar to the US interstate death rate.

My conclusions:

1. Highways are getting safer;
2. Highway speed limits and speed limit enforcement, in and of themselves, are simply not relevant to highway safety; and,
3. The only practical purpose of a speedometer is to avoid speeding tickets.

I believe that what really matters is good equipment (cars that actually handle and brake well), proper driver training (and standard driver training for teens doesn't count!), knowing and driving within one's personal limits (which includes an ability to comprehend and react to risk factors), and most importantly, a fundamental attitude of courtesy and respect toward other users of the highways.

An aside - Germany wasn't unique with its "free speed" approach. With the exception of the UK, this was the norm on Western European highways prior to the 1973 OPEC-induced energy crisis. The Italians seem to still drive that way, and I think the French would too if it weren't for photo radar.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:30 PM   #66
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In my younger days!!

Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
I should remind people that 20mph over the limit in Virginia was an automatic 'reckless driving' charge and the penalty began with a night in jail after the vehicle was impounded and a Felony charge lodged against them.

I think this new system is meant to encourage Law Officers to routinely issue +20mph citations instead of an almost automatic judgment call of reducing charge down to the next <20mph-over-the-limit level to keep merely exuberant drivers from experiencing the criminal courts system.
This is a great point. About 20 years ago I recieved a speeding ticket near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The posted speed was 55 and of course I was traveling 75. No worries huh?

Well beside the horrible fees/fines (which I deserved) I didn't realize this was wreckless driving based upon the law. Guess car insurance company dropped me like a hot potatoe

Moral of the story? I slowed down my driving habit and agree with this law.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:38 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by AlbertF
Just stumbled on this topic, have to throw in my 2 cents worth.
I'm very glad you did. It's always a pleasure to read such a well-written, fact based, contribution to a discussion. After acting as a road traffic accident investigator in the UK police at many serious road traffic accidents, I can say that my experience supports your views. A large bucket of karma is on its way to you.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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