cares about revenue and control. It posts speed
that is, assuming benevolent if condescending intent
they are posted based on the least common denominator: The abilities
(rather, the lack thereof) of the most inept Clovers possessed of
a license to drive. If one old lady cant handle a curve without
reducing her speed by 20 MPH or execute a safe passing maneuver
without needing an entire mile of perfectly straight road to do
the deed then everyone else must be compelled to operate
at her level, rather than expect the old lady (and Clovers, generally)
to up-rate their skills to an acceptable level.
of this dumbing-down of expectations is enforcement based not on
actual harm done or even plausibly threatened bur
rather on the fact of a statutory violation (as is true of
90 percent of law in this county today).
are routinely ticketed for no reason other than their having
exceed an arbitrarily set and often deliberately under-posted
is a reason: To collect revenue.
were truly at issue if all these technical foul infractions
were in fact dangerous then offenders would be dealt with
quite appropriately criminally. The system
does not ticket people who brandish firearms and then send
them on their way with their weapon, on the brandishers
promise never to brandish again. Yet the system as a matter
of routine issues millions of tickets every single day to
allegedly dangerous drivers who are in possession of an implement
potentially as or more lethal than a firearm and is happy
to let them continue driving, so long as they keep on paying.
It is only
failure to pay that results in them deciding you must be prevented
from driving. Note that even DWI offenders almost always have their
driving privileges restored provided they pay
the fines and pay to attend the ASAP classes and pay
the insurance mafia what it demands.
So long as
you pay, you are a-ok.
and always has been all about the money.
is one other thing: control. Deliberately under-posted speed
limits (and other ridiculous traffic edicts, such as mandatory buckle
up laws) provide a ready excuse for the states enforcers
to pull people over almost at will. This, in turn, gives these enforcers
the opportunity to look for other violations
which may and often does lead to more revenue sometimes,
even the vehicle itself under the war on some drugs
asset forfeiture laws.
though, it is a way for the state, via its costumed enforcers, to
assert its authority over us. To remind us As Lenin
once put it who does what to whom.
It is a characteristic
of unfree societies that laws and their corollary,
enforcers are ubiquitous. Impossible not to
encounter merely by dint of existing and trying to function.
is to keep people in a state of perpetual apprehension. And by people
I mean ordinary everyday citizens not the always small element
in any society that is actually criminal in the common law (natural
law) sense of creating victims via their actions. These people
the real criminals, who create real victims are incidental
as far as the state is concerned. Theres no money in
them. Or control, either. The sweet spot, for the
coercive authoritarian state, is the average person just
trying to go about his life.
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
Best of Eric Peters