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Should traffic stops be abandoned ?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by S&W 910, Mar 5, 2006.

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  1. S&W 910

    S&W 910 Well-Known Member

    What do think ? Does traffic stops cause more harm then good ?


    1.For most honest citizens who dislike cops,thier only bad expereince comes through traffic stops dealing with an officer with an unpleasent attitude

    2.It might be the most dangerous part of a police officers job.A high percentage of police injurys and deaths result from traffic stops, from accidents to criminals shooting them

    3.It takes officers away from doing more important police work such as patroling high crime areas etc

    4.It puts citizens at risk.alot of citizens have been hurt or killed on side the road while waiting to get a triffic ticket,thier only crime going 10 miles over the speed limit

    5.With more and more citys using red light and hidden speeding cameras,there is less need to tie up police officers from doing this.

    6.with rader dectectors and the ability to pay a lawyer 50.00 to a 100.00 bucks to take care of a ticket,is it worth it economically ?

    Of course there are cons to not having them,but i was just watching cnn and they were doing a story on the CA highway patrol who recently loss alot of officers from triffic stops(six officers in 5 months),and when i hear of poilce shortages and rising crime rates and see 10 cops during the day sitting on side the road giveing out tickets .......i just think, is it worth it ?
  2. nhhillbilly

    nhhillbilly Well-Known Member


    How else do you get drunk driver's off the streets unless they crash and kill some one?
  3. S&W 910

    S&W 910 Well-Known Member

    i would say have a dwi unit patrol at night

    i dont think they should stop completly,but haveing 10 cops in a close area just setting speed traps for 10 hrs a day ist worth it imo
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    i kinda agree

    most speed limits are dumb, as well as seat belt laws.
    imho dui laws are rubbish as well.
    if some one cant drive then pull them over but if a driver is over .08
    but stopping at stop signs and using turn signals etc
    then they should mind their own biz
  5. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    DWI Ignition for autos :)

    There have been DWI Ignition for autos for some time now. Maybe they should (somehow) be available for ALL vehicles. How could they be integrated to work as quickly as a simple key? Furthermore, DWI should be a MAJOR crime, same as carrying a loaded gun and killing someone accidentally with it. Kill someone with that weapon, go to prison for a VEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY long time.

  6. S&W 910

    S&W 910 Well-Known Member


    cameras ,cameras,cameras

    the the red light camera has stopped me from running yellow lights more then anything

    if they were at stops signs i would come to a complete stop there as well

    seatbelts should be a personal chioce,except for kids imo

    and theres no need for the sarcasm,its just a dissusion on the pros and the cons

    dec 2005,completely agree
  7. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    There are many potential problems with the DWI ignition switch idea. For example; You're out fishing with your young son and he's bitten by a cottonmouth. While fishing, you've had 3 beers.
    Car won't start - son dies.
    Just one of many possibilities.
  8. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    Its All Part of the Industry

    The Industry meaning perpetuating Government. If you live in a small town, go down to the courthouse, watch the cases being brought up. Look at who are in jail and their economic status. Cases can go on for months, years even with discontinuances, etc. Keeps Judges, DA's, clerks, jailers, bondsmen, cops in business. More business, more money, keeps the "Industry" going. Cynic, you bet your life. :mad:
  9. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Well-Known Member

    Traffic stops are really a department-specific issue. An understaffed department won't do as many traffic stops as a fully staffed one. For example, SCHP is understaffed, so for the most part they don't pull people over unless they're speeding excessively. My department does very few traffic stops, maybe 2 per shift, because checking property and actively patrolling problem areas is more important*. Richland County SD officers don't usually pull people over for minor violations, especially if they aren't in the Traffic division.

    Small departments in low crime areas are a little different. This is where you run into speed traps and people getting pulled for having their blinker only flash 3 times instead of 4 before they turn. These departments and the towns they serve often have very low budgets, and writing tickets is a form of revenue. South Congaree is an example of this type of place. They made front page news last year for DOUBLING the city's revenue by writing tickets for minor violations (37 in a 35). They even wrote tickets where no law was broken when they thought they could get away with it ("Illegal tinting" when the tinting met state requirements, etc). It got to the point where many people would drive 20 miles out of the way just to avoid going through that particular area.

    Of the stops that we make for traffic violations, we let off about 90% of people with a verbal warning. If an officer writes a ticket, he must then go to court. If court is on a day where the officer is working, the shift is short an officer - we like to avoid that.

    The point of all this is that traffic stops are not the problem - they definitely serve a purpose, especially on major drug routes like I-95. When departments view traffic stops as a way to make money, THAT is where the problem arises.

    * The exception to this is on weekend nights when we pull over a lot of vehicles on the corridor from the bar area to discourage DUI. Still, most of these people get off with a warning - we just like to make our presence felt in the hopes that people will be concerned about getting caught since concerns about driving drunk have obviously slipped their minds.
  10. jd25q

    jd25q Well-Known Member

    Here's another perspective.

    Compare my agency to one of a similar size closeby. Both serve a population of 30-40,000. In one particular year we had 4 traffic related fatalities, they had 23. We have more miles of major highway than them. This was not an anomaly, but the statistics were similar for other years. Guess which one focused on traffic enforcement? The chief said that his men had more important duties than radar. I don't know what, nothing else (that LE could deal with anyway) was killing 23 of his citizens in a year.
  11. Fly320s

    Fly320s Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, no.

    Why do we have traffic laws?

    I think that we have traffic laws to protect people. Who are we protecting, the speeder or everyone else? I say that we are protecting everyone else, and that we don't really care about the speeder.

    The traffic laws are there to create order; to create a predictable traffic flow. That order and predictablitiy leads to safer conditions to drive in, which leads to fewer accidents. The speeder gets pulled over and ticketed to discourage the behavior that leads to chaos and decreased safety margins. Sometimes, the traffic fines are used to generate revenue for the local police department, but I think that is the exception rather than the rule.

    Now, with all that disclaimer in place, I think that in a perfect, free libertarian-type society we wouldn't need the traffic laws. Or at least we wouldn't need to enforce them, as each person would be 100% responsible and accountable for his own actions.

    As much as I dislike a large, intrusive government I dislike chaos more. And since we can't get people to be responsible and accountable, we have to have some rules to persuade people to straighten up and drive right.

    One more thing: If there is only one car on a road (or at least no other cars close enough to be affected), then traffic laws should not apply to that car and driver since there is no one else to be protected, public property not withstanding.
  12. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Well-Known Member

    well said.

    why is it that most departments focus more time and energy on traffic enforcement than on deterring violent crime? same reasons they spend more on drug enforcement. both provide the agency or government entity to which they are responsible a substantial form of revenue. both APPEAR to the public to be menaces that must be controlled. both allow intrusion into what should be private life. the fact is that traffic laws, drug laws, gun laws, noise ordnances, etc. serve one purpose: to control. some like this control. some folks feel it's necessary to promote order. i don't. or rather i don't value order more highly than my own liberty. i propose this: do what you want but if you hurt someone, be prepared to suffer as badly as them; if you damage or steal property, be prepared to pay for it.

    it seems impossible, though for man to form and keep a minimalist government. we seem unable to resist the urge to tinker with a perfectly good system.
  13. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    I object to traffic stops as a revenue measure.

    I know, it's difficult to define when that line has been crossed, but my general rule of thumb is that if you cannot detect any difference in behavior between the person selected to be pulled over and the other guys in the vincinity, the person is question is not driving dangerously, and the traffic is otherwise flowing along in an orderly fashion, pulling the person over does not serve the interest of public safety.
  14. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    The single biggest responsibility most people have is the way they drive their automobiles. The simple fact that we still have, what, 50,000+ fatalities a year on the roads means there is not enough enforcement IMO. Penalties should me more, not less, severe. Especially for drunk driving.
  15. Crosshair

    Crosshair Well-Known Member

    I dislike many Minnesota cops because they are glorified tax collectors. The fine for 10 over the limit is $119 and the speed limits are all too low. North Dakota cops are nice. They leave you alone unless you are doing something VERY stupid.
  16. m14rick

    m14rick Active Member

    Behave yosef, and get a life!

    As an ex peace officer, I can agree that alot of revenue is produced by traffic enforcement. That being said, I obey speed limits, traffic signals, keep all my lights working, and nothing louder than a Flowmaster series 70 muffler on my vehicles, and I am not bothered by the enforcement agents of the various county and municipal and state police.
  17. MrTwigg

    MrTwigg Well-Known Member

    My $.02

    I doubt if “most honest citizens” have a disliking towards law enforcement. If a person has a “Bad Experience” with a LEO it most likely a direct result of their own unplesant attitude. The LEO who just stopped you might have had a gun pulled on him earlier this tends to make most folks a bit jumpy.

    Yes, this is arguably the single most dangerous thing a LEO can do during his (or her) shift. Are you suggesting; in order to prevent injuries to LEO’s we have them NOT do their job ? I know several LEO’s and every one of them understands the dangers inherent with the job.

    So if a LEO spots someone driving erratically, they should not stop them. What if the driver had just robbed a store or raped and killed your mother ? Oops, he can’t stop the driver... “Not Important” !

    Please post your research source to back this up. 10 MPH over the limit can mean the difference between a controlled stop and a rollover. I live in a rural town on the main road, posted limit is 30 MPH. In the past three years I have lived here I have witnessed five accidents on the straight road in front of my home. Two were rollovers, in one a pickup truck ended in my yard less than six inches from my front door, in the other a car rolled over after striking a tree and slid upside down into my driveway. The two were rear ended and one was head on in an attempt to pass over the double yellow line. All were at 10 MPH over the limit according to local P. D.

    This records the vehicle, not the driver and fails to take into account reasons discussed in question #3.

    A radar detector is not a license to speed, it is a tool to notify you of possible radar surveillance in the area, when it goes off slow down. I have one and use it.
    $50.00 to $100.00 to “A lawyer” will not “Take care of” your ticket. You are personally responsible. The total cost of your violation needs to be considered; there is the cost of “A lawyer”, the fine, increased insurance premiums for several years, court costs, and lost wages. That’s unless your speeding caused an accident, then there’s more.

    For myself, the answer is; Yes, it is worth it. It's about quality of life. There are departments which do focus on generating revenue and we live in a capitalist country.

    +1 !
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  19. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    I think they are usless personally. If I am traveling down the road doing sixty and my vehicle is under control and I'm not driving to fast for conditions (raining, high traffic that means Im getting on bumpers or switching lanes constantly) I don't see the reason for bothering me, the one exception to this being a residental area cause kids sometimes have a bad habbit of not knowing better then to run out into the road, if you see a ball roll into the road might as well hit your breaks now cause theres a good chance a kid is gonna be following shortly. But a highway and a road in the middle of no where see no need for speed limits and rather then speed traps they should be looking for reckless driving and such. Look at Germany, their highways have fewer deaths then ours (and the numbers were done to account for the lower numbers of people and miles of highway, can't quote them right off the top of my head though) and they manage without speed limits on much of their highway, in fact going to slow or riding the left lane so you hold up traffic will get you into more trouble then speeding by a cop at 150 so long as you have control of your vehicle. Some traffic laws are fine, but most are idiocy and money makers IMO. And also IMO it would be better served to have fewer cops handleing traffic and the ones that are patroling rather then in speed traps.
  20. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I wish there were more traffic stops. But I would like to see "speed traps" discontinued, and the traffic officers instructed to apprehend the nuts who drive much faster than the flow of traffic, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, and generally drive like they don't care if they survive until tomorrow.

    Don't even get me started about traffic cameras. I think they are unconstitutional and should not be allowed.
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