About the dead beat Dad's.
or those that haven't read. There are camera systems popping up that can scrutinize thousands of license plates er hour and are linked to state, and national data bases. The articles noted, of course, that not that many cars usually pass one of the police vehicles, in that case, with the camera system in an hour.
Just a few comments on this "real policing" or "real crime" stuff from a different perspective - do you mean "real policing" like catching bank robbers, burglars, drug users, dealers, and transporters, stolen cars, weapons violations, parole violators, all manner of people with outstanding warrants up to and including for violent crimes, that sort of thing? Good, because those are just a sampling of things I arrested people for out of traffic stops in my twenty-two years of law enforcement, because oddly enough, crooks drive and ride in cars, too. FYI, Timothy McVeigh was apprehended after being stopped for a simple traffic violation.
That's not to mention hundreds of drunk and drugged drivers, people with no license or insurance and all kinds of other issues whom I caught over the years just out of simple traffic stops.
Among many other incidents in my career, I still frequently think about one afternoon when I clocked a car at 90 mph the opposite direction on a busy stretch of urban interstate. I was about to turn through the median and go after it when I clocked another one not far behind the first one at 98 mph, so I went after the faster one. He saw me turn on him of course and immediately tried to duck off an exit and lose me in traffic. After an intense few minutes, I was finally able to get him cornered, cuffed, and stuffed. Dispatch then told me they had just gotten a call from his wife advising that he had threatened to kill her in an earlier domestic disturbance. She fled the scene in fear for her life, and he had been chasing her down the freeway when they passed me. Obviously, she was the driver of the first vehicle I had clocked and was about to pursue. She saw me go after him in her rear view mirror, so she got off the interstate farther up the road and called 911 (this was the late '90s when cells weren't very common). He admitted they had had a fight and he was chasing her but he denied threatening to kill her, of course, although we searched his car and found a knife under his seat. I still to this day wonder what would have happened if I hadn't been there clocking traffic when they came by and he had caught her, which he most likely would have eventually. Is that policing "real" enough?
Those kinds of examples are common in police work, which is why I was taught from basic academy onward, my FTOs and supervisors always stressed it, and I later stressed it when I became an FTO and a patrol supervisor, work traffic in your slack time because it can easily lead to other things.
That's not to say that enforcing traffic law and being visible is by itself an undesirable thing, quite the contrary. We had a stretch of Interstate that had seven fatals in a very short period of time, including a triple fatal, high speed crossover crash that left a scene of devastation more like a plane crash than a traffic incident, and to which I was the first responder within a few minutes of impact. Granted, many times we were busy running from call to call and couldn't be proactive, but after that incident, when we had some time, I would sometimes gather up a few units and go out on that stretch of interstate and work some laser for about 20 or 30 minutes. It was a 65 mph zone and we didn't take anything unless it began with at least an "8" (90+ wasn't unusual), and we would knock them down just as fast as we could write 'em. I got sick of picking up pieces of people out there and we needed to slow people down, if only for a few minutes at a time.
As for the detector issue,, they are very easy to beat with both laser and radar. In fact, probably close to half of the vehicles I stopped for speed over the years had them, and if they had one (there are ways to know one is in use even without seeing it), their chance of getting a warning was nil, and the presence of the detector was noted on the citation for the benefit of the prosecutor and/or judge if and when the cite was contested.
So yes, for all of those reasons, a live officer is generally better for working traffic than a camera, but as mentioned, many times we did nothing but go from call to call, and even when we did have some time to be proactive, we tended to be stretched very thin. Obviously, a camera can be there far more often, if not all the time.
I know a young woman that last year had lost her drivers license. One day she went to get her mail and in it was a ticket for driving without a license. Seems one of the cops wives had told her husband that she saw her driving. So, the cop wrote her up a ticket and mailed it to her. (So much for having proof) Anyway my friend was able to prove she was somewhere else at the time and got out of the ticket. Thankfully she was seen by other people in a different location or she would have had to pay for something she didn't do.
Must have been in one of those little towns where the local cop does anything he wants. That wont hold up in any legitimate court
2000 Ford F-350 SRW 4X4 PSD Jayco Super Lite 29.5RKS (31') 5th wheel 50 gal X-ferflow in the bed tank. Banks big exhaust and Stinger kit.
A good friend of mine was a policeman once and told me a story about pulling a guy over for speeding through a residential subdivision. The guy called him all kinds of names and then said "can't you give a guy a break". He said man I am giving you a better break then the four year old girl that I helped pick up after being ran over by someone like you just a block away from here! Enough said!
2000 H.R. Imperial 38wds rr8r roadmaster, isc 350 cummins
2007 Chevy Trailblazer, Blue ox towbar
Ready Brake with breakaway.
Most studies I've read seem to indicate the traffic cameras are used more for revenue enhancement than in actually trying to reduce accidents and increase law compliance. That is why there are so many companies out there willing to "foot the bill" for a traffic camera system (for a "small" percentage of the proceeds/profits). It is a VERY profitable business to be in right now.