30 June 2009

The reve-noo-ing regime

It is evident that the great apparatus of "traffic safety" which the State imposes through its statuatorial series of fines, penalties, and other depredations on productive folks are but a gigantic farce, a game played by law enforcement officials and their unwitting victims alike both in full knowledge of the futility of it all, a game which the police know has nothing to do with making the roads safer and all about generating revenues for the gleaming State monster through the backdoor taxation of selective enforcement.

Case in point:

EBR Parish has instituted red light cameras at major intersections, ostensibly for the purpose of increasing traffic safety and reducing accidents. This arrangement is conducted through one of those wonderful "public private partnerships" which are supposed to make the State more palatable for us.

The firm is based in Cincinnati, and receives a cut of every fine incurred through this program. They allow easy payment through mail or the web so it makes it that much more convenient for you to happily sign away your extraction to the State.

Cheery does it, eh?

In a few months the traffic engineering folks at the EBR public works department are supposed to "evaluate" the program to measure its "effectiveness" at curbing traffic accidents, or whether it is simply working as a revenue raising tool. Take one guess at what they will find, and take another guess as to whether this will make any impact towards the continued existence of the Orwellian eyes of the State.

Real life scenario:

It's 8:30 am on a Saturday morning and the freeways are bare and bereft of traffic. The newly modernized Interstates have been widened and made more efficient for your driving convenience. The speed limit is set at the 85th percentile of average speed, so it is inevitable that it will be exceeded. There is no danger posed as traffic on this limited access facility is minimal, and otherwise engaged in proceeding at the same speed you are for the most part (unless you happen to find a welfare cow in a used Cadillac cruising the concourse after a long night of binge consumption of various harmful substances).

The state troopers make their nests in hidden crevasses along the freeway. Every now and then they select a passing motorist for their undue exaction via the magic of the radar gun. How the process of selection is undertaken is unknown given the similarity of speeds amongst all motorists that day. The state trooper is disarmingly polite, to the point that one wonders if one has stepped inside a restaurant or other service business. The entire business proceeds in a surreal state, as both parties recognize the pomposity of it all.

The hapless motorist knows damn well that the time and money spent defending oneself from all these matters exceeds the level of exaction at hand. So he inevitably gives in, pays the fine, and accepts the massive increase in his auto insurance rate that follows.

Is traffic safety the end product? Tens of thousands continue to die in automobile accidents. The problems revolve around the inadequacy of government maintained and constructed roadways and the arrogance of a tiny proportion of reckless drivers who for one reason or another are inexplicably ignored by the State to process endlessly through the cycle of inebriation, drunken driving, accident, and tragic "accidental" death caused by negligence.

Private roads in private hands which held a reputation for danger would quickly lose patronage. Entrepeneurs would thus have a vested interest in removing the potential for accidents and the attentions of the reckless moronic set.

But such a easy option is of course verboten amongst the priests of subsidy for which every life problem can be solved by increasing costs and paperwork, so that all are impoverished and no one is benefited, save the fat civil service protected sows whose comatose carcasses warm the seats of the vast Bureaucracy. 

No comments: