defined as driving faster than the legally posted maximum
velocity is necessarily unsafe, why do cops do
of course, is: Because they can.
they can do so with impunity. Who watches the watchmen, after all?
Here is a recent
and particularly egregious example:
Derrick Saunders was caught doing 143 MPH in a 55 while legally
drunk (.089 BAC). The repercussions? A 42 day suspension. At
first, he was at least fired. But Saunders, who like a lot of cops
apparently does not believe that speed kills when he
is the one speeding - appealed his firing. And the police union
backed him up. To repeat: a drunk cop doing 143 MPH in a 55 is demanding
his job back. And the police union is helping him get his job back.
The full story is here.
lets consider what would have happened to a non-anointed Mere
Ordinary in my own state of Virginia:
reckless driving as exceeding the posted maximum speed
by more than 20 MPH or any speed over 80 MPH, anywhere. Note
carefully that ones driving is considered legally reckless
merely as a function of speed. It is not a viable legal defense
to argue that you were sober and in full control of your
car and posed no danger to anyone. Merely to be caught driving 80
MPH of faster ( thats all of 10 MPH over the highway limit
of 70 MPH) or faster than 20 MPH over any posted limit (so,
for instance, 56 MPH in a posted 35 zone) constitutes reckless
driving ipso facto which in Va. is a Class
1 misdemeanor criminal offense, not merely an infraction
like a standard speeding ticket. If convicted, you will have
a permanent criminal record that will be indexed in the NCIC
database (where murderers, rapists and others are cataloged), spend
up to a year in jail, pay a $2,500 fine, and face the strong likelihood
that your driving privileges will be suspended for six months
and the absolute certainty that you will pay extortionate insurance
premiums for at least the next five years.
This is for doing 80 MPH on a highway posted 70 or 56 in
a 35 situations where (as we all know) the average speed
of traffic is typically already close to 80 (in the first case)
and not far below 56 in the second. it is all-too-easy to get slammed
with a reckless driving cite.
But can you
imagine the rain of shit that would descend upon a non-annointed
caught doing 88 MPH over the limit? While drunk? Well,
I can because a local kid on a motorcycle was caught doing
pretty much the same thing as Officer Saunders at least,
speed-wise. The kid was caught doing a mere 126 MPH. He was not
drunk. But he wasnt anointed. The court (in
Botetourt County) sentenced this kid to six months in the Graybar
Hotel. If hed been even slightly drunk, a 3-5 year prison
sentence would not be out of the question.
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an automotive
columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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