And Justice For All? – A Driver’s Diatribe

Here is a little essay I wrote in March of 1997 regarding years of
harassment I faced at the hands of suburban traffic cops while
driving an ugly old car as a college-aged blue collar worker in a
snobby county of predominately upper middle class SUV / luxury
sedan / sports car drivers. Enjoy!

…And Justice For All?

I. Preamble: A Treatise on the Absurdity of the Traffic Cop
II. Political Ranting
III. Suggestions for Successful Traffic Law Violations

I. Preamble: A Treatise on the Absurdity of the Traffic Cop

Isn’t it sad that some people, instead of getting a real job like
the rest of us who are struggling to make it, decide to become
traffic cops (a.k.a. Highway Bandits)?

I cannot begin to express my disgust at the current state of law
enforcement in this sad and twisted country we call “United”. If
we are united, why are some people chasing and stopping others
to make up for a lack of self esteem and purpose?

The following is a brief and logical summary of how stupid paying
tickets really is:

A cop, whose salary is paid with my tax money, and who makes more
money than I do for persecuting innocent citizens, riding in a car
purchased, fueled, and maintained by my tax money, stops me, while
I am driving a car I pay for, with gas, license, inspection, registration,
maintenance, and insurance that I pay for, riding on a road paid for
with my tax money. This man, whose family I feed, my employee, my
slave, has the legal right to write me up a bill, without asking if I
want it, to fine me for not being able to afford insurance (while my
taxes pay his), not being able to afford inspection (while my tax
money keeps his car maintained and inspected), or for driving my
car on my road following my rules instead of his.
See “III.” For my rules…

All of this is to put more money in the hands of the rich, lazy,
corrupt bureaucrats who pretend to be looking out for my
well-being, while they spend on prostitutes, yachts, jets, limousines,
lunches, and parties, not to mention more cops and more cop cars
to write more tickets to make more money. Ad infinitum…

II. Political Ranting:

Membership has its Privileges:

If I was rich, or even if I could get cushy, part time, $30/hr. security
jobs like cops do, I might only object on a theoretical level to the police
and their highway robberies.

However, when you are struggling to pay your bills and carve out a meager,
sub standard existence, it really offends when someone making more than
you holds you up with a gun and steals your hard-earned dough.

And another thing, I worked as a security guard at one of the busiest
electronics stores in the U.S., and only made $6/hr. and didn’t even get
a gun. How is it that these weasels get these great deals anyway? I guess
bullies in groups with weapons (cavemen, military, street gangs, and cops)
have always gotten a free ride off of society. Police are the Vikings of
suburbia, looting our wallets, raping our dignity, and pillaging our
freedom.

Why can’t everybody drive as fast as they want and carry guns and
wave badges and flash lights and be overbearing authoritarians?

The Shortest Straw:

I was the proud owner of a 1978 Buick LeSabre for about three years
in the early 1990s. It took all of my meager resources from the pitiful
slave wages I was earning after high school to keep this car moving.

I was frequently followed and pulled over just out of curiosity, as police
enjoy harassing people with big, old, and/or ugly cars.

Also, being a young adult male made me the target of dozens of
unwarranted cat and mouse sessions, especially since I always had either
long hair and a beard or a shaved head and a goatee. Cops do not like the
fact that non-cop males are allowed to let their hair grow naturally, since
this is forbade them by their fat old superiors.

Anyway, one year my land-barge failed inspection. I was making about
50 bucks a week and saved up money to repair all of the things I was
told that I needed to. Basically, some agency wanted me to pay money to
let them look at and rate my car, then they failed me, then they told me
to go and buy parts from some other agencies and come back for another
automobile interrogation. I decided to cooperate, although I knew that
none of the things they complained about had or would cause a safety
problem for myself or others, and were instead cosmetic (replacing a
hard to find and only slightly cracked taillight cover, etc. I was buying
parts as I could afford them, and putting them on myself to save money.
I got stopped two weeks after the inspection expired and the cop gave
me a ticket. He did not understand my plight, as his car is maintained
with the tax dollars I pay even though I can’t afford to. I explained
that I had fixed some things, and that I was going to fix more next
payday, and that if he fined me, I would not be able to afford to repair
and inspect it. He suggested that I not drive until I get it inspected.
He did not realize that the car was my only way to work and work
was the only way to pay them. He fined me, so the next payday, I
spent my whole check to pay the ticket. The next day, I was fined
again for the same thing. Again, the cop did not care that I was
struggling financially and suggested that I not drive until I get it
inspected. These guys are as out of touch with the citizenry as the
guys in Washington D.C.

I finally passed inspection after two and a half months and two tickets.
Without the tickets, it would have happened only two and a half weeks
late. Those wonderful publics servants, always hard at work to ensure
inept inefficiency and domestic despair.

Proposals for Traffic Law Reform:

Question 1:

If I am driving on a multi-lane, flat white cement surface with few
curves and hills, with stop signs or red lights on all cross-streets, and
generally resembling a major interstate thoroughfare, but named lane,
street, road, boulevard, drive, avenue or something other than
“Expressway”, “Highway”, or “Freeway”, why must I drive at only
two-thirds “highway speed?

Answer 1:

Speed Limits are set arbitrarily and lower than seems natural for any
given driving surface and surroundings, so as to increase the numbers
of drivers who are in violation of the posted limits.

Speed Limits are not set according to test drives, physics equations,
cross traffic estimates and popular opinion, as they should be.

Proposal 1:

Several private-sector, independent research laboratories should be
contracted by a group of citizens, not by the U.S. Government, to
determine safe speeds for certain vehicles on certain representative
roadways. Then, if necessary for efficiency and brevity, these
calculations could be used to make estimates for other roadways,
thus replacing the high handed edicts thrust down our throats.

Question 2:

If I am an alert, quick thinking, well educated, healthy adult with good
eyesight, hearing, and hand-eye coordination, driving a well maintained,
reliable, high performance vehicle, why is my speed limit on any given
surface in any given conditions the same speed as an elderly, adolescent,
or physically or mentally disabled individual in a lesser vehicle in poor
condition?

Answer 2:

Speed Limits are set arbitrarily and do not take into account the driver’s
ability to cope with external stimuli, the specific capabilities of modern
day vehicles, or driving conditions.

Proposal 2a:

Persons who enjoy getting to their destinations in a relatively short
amount of time, rather than crawling along with the mindless masses of
subservient sheep in Uncle Sam’s flock, could be designated certain lanes
on roadways where space permits. Much as there are H.O.V.s (high
occupancy vehicle lanes), there could be H.V.V.s (high velocity vehicle
lanes) for would-be jet pilots like myself who are skilled enough to
judge following distance at high speeds to allow for proper braking
and other maneuvers. There could even be a slight toll to sweeten
the pot for the fat cat politicians whose domain it would be to approve this.

Proposal 2b:

Similarly, those of us who are better, faster drivers than the average
person could be issued a speeders license. Instead of stopping us to
waste our time and billing us hundreds of dollars all at once, which
can be financially devastating but does not really act as a deterrent
to those of us with any resolve, we could be billed $400 or $500 a
year (in $10/week or $40/month increments) and issued a highly
visible decal or other insignia for our vehicles so that officers will
know not to stop us for speeding and so that other snail-like drivers
will stay out of the way and thus not endanger us or themselves.

This could be a narrow front and rear window banner plus special
license plates, and could even incorporate a passive broadcast of
our status and bar codes on our bumpers. every driver could be
given a bi-annual or tri-annual test incorporating a regimen of
exercises to determine the specifics of their abilities, and could
then have a speed limit table printed on the back of their speeder’s
license detailing their safe speed ratings on different surfaces in
different conditions.

III. Suggestions for Successful Traffic Law Violations:

1. Drive no faster than is safe for you, always taking into account:
A. Your reaction time
B. Your vehicle type and condition
C. Visibility and traction
D. Amount of hills, curves, and cross-streets
E. Ambient speed of traffic (also known as flow of traffic)
F. Pedestrians
G. Other, less intelligent, less capable drivers on the road, who can be
counted on to change lanes and turn without signaling, get in front of
fast cars and go slow, tap their brake lights, tailgate you, change
lanes erratically for no reason, change lanes into the side of your
car, cross the yellow line and hit you head on, etc.
(Notice than an arbitrary speed rating set by an inanimate, unthinking
sign is not listed here, as those signs have nothing to do with safety,
but rather are set slower than is necessary, and slower than people
will fell comfortable driving, so as to increase the number of people
exceeding their arbitrary limits, and thus resulting in more possible
tickets.)

2. Always use your signals, yield the right of way, and watch out for
pedestrians.

3. Always look for police who want to steal your money for any reason.

4. Slow down to 3 to 5 MPH before all “Stop” signs and red lights, then:

Stop if there is someone coming from one of the other directions or
you see a cop.

Don’t stop if no one is there; Don’t let an inanimate, unthinking sign or
light make decisions for you and make you waste your time sitting at
empty intersections.

5. When a cop is rolling along below the speed limit, don’t be afraid to
pass the bullying, intimidating, sheep herding “lawman”.

6. Although Rule 5 is more fun, it is sometimes more prudent (and just
as entertaining) to get right behind the cop and match his speed exactly.
However, if you have been speeding along behind the hypocritical,
authority abusing speed demon and he suddenly slows down to let you
pass, make every effort to stay behind him, even if it means stopping
completely.

7. Familiarize yourself with the cop’s hidden speed traps in your area.
Suffering multiple tickets around town is the least pleasant, but most
certain way to learn these spots.

8. Don’t try to explain anything when they ask you why you were speeding,
as they are just wasting your time and talking down to you. Just have
your license and insurance ready and answer their questions in a stern
and formal manner. Be sure to give them demeaning looks to let them
know you understand that you are being screwed over. Also, when they
start asking you to vocalize information that is on your license and
insurance, ask them why they didn’t read all of that information while
they sat back in their car for so long, with their bright lights in your
mirrors, wasting your time, trying to make you feel guilty, and holding
up traffic.

(Please note, these techniques will probably guarantee a ticket, but they
will save face and let you feel better than if you smiled and were nice
to the cop like a happy little lamb being led to the slaughter.)

9. Feel free to express your subversive opinions on the irrationality
of traffic law, and argue your points with the officer logically. Often,
this fresh approach confuses the cops, who aren’t used to people with
guts, and they sometimes even get so shaken up that they let you off
the hook so they can go get a donut and think about what you said. For
example, explain that you do not believe in the concept of speed limits
and that you don’t think someone else should be able to tell you how to
drive. Also, telling the cop that you don’t want to argue and to just
give you a ticket so you can leave is an effective approach. I have had
both of these techniques work for me.

10. Drive carefully, have fun, and watch out for:

“Cops – Public Servants turned Ravenous Financial Predators”

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I am a logical, open-minded, liberal, progressive, radical, green, independent individual living in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, amongst apparently brainwashed conservative southern Baptist Republican zombies. I'm tired of the lies of the government and their media mouthpieces and their corporate masters. I'm tired of the cheating and the stealing and the killing. I'm ready for the future. But the only way we are going to fix things is to all band together and say NO MORE! We have to start punishing the rich white collar criminals as harshly as the poor black blue-collar criminals, if not more so. And I'm tired of cults (AKA religions). They are dangerous, divisive, and delusional. We should evolve past religions towards a global humanitarian ethics. We should move away from a new world order and get back to city states with local democracy, power, food, and water.

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Posted in corruption, harassment, justice, law enforcement

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March 1997
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Mark Baland


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