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Old 12-13-2005, 05:31 AM
sweetjazz sweetjazz is offline
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Default Speeding and punishment

I think most of us -- at least those that own a car -- speed on a not too infrequent basis. I am interested in what people think about these matters:

(1) How much more punishment (if any) should a person receive for killing someone in a car accident (vehicular manslaughter) when driving 10 mph over the speed limit than driving at the speed limit?

(2) What punishment should a person receive (if any) for driving 10 mph over the speed limit?

(3) What differentiates someone who regularly speeds when driving from a common criminal (say, someone who deals drugs on a city street for a living)?
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

1) just add the speeding ticket..

2) just the speeding ticket, whatever it may be

3) with the exception of excessive speeds, speeding can be much more easily reasoned as not dangerous (and possibly true) and is widely accepted as not very dangerous, whereas drugs are widely accepted as dangerous.

---speeding penalties don't matter unless they are widely enforced, which they won't be. Hey, if there were some conspiracy on a highway you could get everyone going 100 mph without a problem.

everyone knows that the real speed limit is to not go visibly faster than everyone around you when a cop could be watching.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2005, 05:50 AM
New001 New001 is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

[ QUOTE ]
everyone knows that the real speed limit is to not go visibly faster than everyone around you when a cop could be watching.

[/ QUOTE ]
Tell that to the police in Redmond, WA. 55 in a 30, my ass. [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2005, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
everyone knows that the real speed limit is to not go visibly faster than everyone around you when a cop could be watching.

[/ QUOTE ]
Tell that to the police in Redmond, WA. 55 in a 30, my ass. [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

**check one off on this month's quota**
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2005, 09:27 AM
Ray Zee Ray Zee is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

people speed for lots of reasons and risk others lives for it. a fitting punishment for the casual speeder is to make him sit in his car pulled over for two hours.
plus insurance costs for having a ticket or two go way way up.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2005, 09:36 AM
nicky g nicky g is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

"3) with the exception of excessive speeds, speeding can be much more easily reasoned as not dangerous (and possibly true) and is widely accepted as not very dangerous, whereas drugs are widely accepted as dangerous."

I disagree, especially depending on what drugs. Furthermore, the people who take those drugs are only putting themselves at immediate risk in health terms (they may be indirectly putting other people at risk due to teh possibiolity of addiction and having to turn to crime or whatever, but that's mainly a consequence of the illegality of the drugs), while the speeder is putting other people at increased risk.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2005, 11:21 AM
sternroolz sternroolz is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

Its something of a falacy that so many people die due to speeding. I would be curious to see the actual numbers of people who died due to excessive speed vs. DUI vs. accidents that occurred at normal speeds.

But it does make for good politics. For instance, City of Los Angeles has introduced law to severly punish street races, including the impound and selling of the street racers cars, without charges even having to have been filed. Thats right, your car can be sold even if you are found not guilty, and you will not recieve compensation for the car.

So how many deaths in City of Los Angeles each year due to street racing?

20. At most. Usually less.

As way of comparison, Los Angeles has 350 dedicated gang enforcement officers. 3% of the officers in LAPD. There are 20,000+ gang members in Los Angeles. They are responsible for in the neighborhood of 800+ deaths per year. But somehow, the city simply does not have the money to add more gang enforcement officers.

Not sure what I am missing here.

Penalties for speeding are currently sufficient.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2005, 01:57 PM
sweetjazz sweetjazz is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

[ QUOTE ]
1) just add the speeding ticket..

2) just the speeding ticket, whatever it may be

3) with the exception of excessive speeds, speeding can be much more easily reasoned as not dangerous (and possibly true) and is widely accepted as not very dangerous, whereas drugs are widely accepted as dangerous.

---speeding penalties don't matter unless they are widely enforced, which they won't be. Hey, if there were some conspiracy on a highway you could get everyone going 100 mph without a problem.

everyone knows that the real speed limit is to not go visibly faster than everyone around you when a cop could be watching.

[/ QUOTE ]

Speeding both increases the frequency of accidents by reducing the time we have for our reflexes to act in those rare instances where something unusual is happenning that could lead to an accident, but accidents are also much more likely to be fatal as speeds go up (due to the increased likelihood of a high impact collision).

I do agree that there is a perception that speeding is not dangerous and drugs are very dangerous, but is that a reflection of actual facts? Or is it because most people who think that way speed regularly (and now conveniently have a rationalization for their behavior), but don't use drugs.

I think it is clear that speeding is much more dangerous than recreational drug use. There are other aspects of drugs than recreational use, and I don't want to get sidetracked about how dangerous drugs are.

The point is that speeding IS dangerous and it IS illegal, but people rarely have the same anger over it as a crime as they do other crimes, such as drug use. People would never go for a "3 strikes" law that gave mandatory life imprisonment to every caught speeding three times. Is there a good reason behind that, or is it simply due to the fact that there is some chance such a law could be applied to them or somebody they know and love?

As a side note, there are ways that speeding laws could be enforced better. They typically involve issues with privacy rights and I am not sure they are necessarily a good idea. My only point is that while it is certainly true that speeding laws are not enforced very seriously, they certainly could be in principle.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2005, 02:30 PM
Borodog Borodog is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

The system of traffic enforcement in the United States (and I'll wager anywhere that has as vigorous a system as the ours) is little more than a giant revenue generation racket. It's a wonderful racket because it can easily be sold to the public as being beneficial.

You can easily understand that it's a scam by looking at how traffic enforcement often works. Patrol cars are often unmarked, often hide in shadows, behind trees and roadside signs, etc, so that they may surprise unwitting motorists. If the point of speed enforcement were truly to slow down the average speed of the traffic, the patrol cars would be extremely conspicuous, constantly lit up like Christmas trees so that motorists would know they were there and a ticket could be imminent. Clearly, the object is not to reduce the speed of traffic, but to snag 1 car in thousands so that their $300 to $800 per hour of revenue can be generated.

Furthermore, once you get to traffic court, you can again see that reducing speeding is not the object. Tickets are routinely "pled down" so that the drivers' insurance rates (and hence their ability to stay on the road, speeding, and generating revenue) is least likely to be affected, while of course the fines and court costs remain the same.

Quotas and "ticket drives" are common in law enforcement. Work zone signage often goes up weeks (sometimes months) before construction projects begin and after they end, in order to extend the duration that increased fines can be made.

Even the construction of highways is designed to maximize enforcement revenue. Lanes are made wider and wider with the justification that this makes them safer. In actuality the wider the lane, the safer the driver feels psychologically, and the faster the average driver will drive. Meanwhile the higher speeds increase the frequency of accidents and their severity (because the energy of a collision goes as the square of the speed).

Traffic enforcement is probably the archetypical local government revenue racket. I've talked with several police officers who openly admit it.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2005, 02:32 PM
nicky g nicky g is offline
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Default Re: Speeding and punishment

"You can easily understand that it's a scheme by looking at how traffic enforcement often works. Patrol cars are often unmarked, often hide in shadows, behind trees and roadside signs, etc, so that they may surprise unwitting motorists. If the point of speed enforcement were truly to slow down the average speed of the traffic, the patrol cars would be extremely conspicuous, constantly lit up like Christmas trees so that motorists would know they were there and a ticket could be imminent. Clearly, the object is not to reduce the speed of traffic, but to snag 1 car in thousands so that their $300 to $800 per hour of revenue can be generated."

Hardly, unless there were enough traffic cops to monitor all traffic all of the time. If they didn't stay hidden, people would simply speed when they weren't there and hide otherwise. If they stay hidden there's a possibility that you're of being caught at any time, and hence have an incentive to never speed.
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