Trusting citizens, rather than encircling them with more and more rules

My run-in with a sting and a red-light camera — all in one week — got me thinking about the way in which the law doesn’t trust us to make common sense decisions in ordinary circumstances.  And it got me thinking about this video, which I posted some time before:

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  • Robert Arvanitis

    Thank you for sharing a well-done video.
    It notes but under-stresses the idea of 85th percentile.  Use the “wisdom of crowds.”  See how fast the next thousand drivers go along any stretch.  Set the limit so that 850 of the thousand went at or below that speed.
    That’s the right way to set speed  limits, and it offers a solution to the current nanny-state oppression.
    We must learn from the successes of the Second Amendment restoration campaign, especially applying the “shall issue” rule.
    National legislation that the presumptive speed limit is always the 85th percentile value, and there must be a thoroughly documented case for anything less.
    No more default to weepy nanny staters crying “for the children.”  No more dogmatic warmists imposing bad economics.
    Side note – it costs me just a little more to drive 75 versus 55 mph, and I save time.  Suppose I slow down.  The dollar savings divided by the time lost works out to LESS than the federal minimum wage, so I guess it must be ILLEGAL for me to drive at 55…

  • Ymarsakar

    Zombies kill, watcha mean speed kills? The heck. Fast, slow, zombies can all kill. Don’t need no stinking speeding zombies.

  • jj

    The most interesting part to me is the part about the difference between a yellow advisory sign and a white ‘absolute’ sign – and the clear and inevitable conclusion that the cops do not know the law.  Sergeant Whatever stations himself at an advisory sign, not an absolute sign, and then with his little radar gun (last calibrated in 1996) claims that people are speeding because they’re exceeding the 50 kph of the advisory.  The law says that the white sign is what counts.  It says 60 is the speed limit, and to be exceeding it in an actionable way the law says you have to be doing 40 kph beyond that.  This jerk’s all set to impound someone’s car on the spot, at the side of the road, who’s doing 91 – which is less than 40 kph over the 60, and is therefore – granted, at the high end, but still – a perfectly legal speed.  And they pay this idiot to enforce rules he’s never read, or if he did read them, didn’t understand them.  The cops do not know the rules or the law, they never have, and they never will.  You should probably take the time to go fight every ticket you ever get for a moving violation, because 9 out of 10 times the cops will not have it right.  Or they’ll be engaged in a scam of which the judge will likely be quite properly skeptical.
    Our state cops here were engaged last summer in a fairly hilarious war with the kids who work at the local theater.  The theater sits by the side of the road right before a large S-turn as you come into town from the east, where the speed drops from 55 to 45, for no particular reason.  It’s a favorite hideout for the state guys.  The theater has a big electronic sign at the edge of the road, that scrolls through what’s playing on the five screens.  When the cops hid in the trees around the first turn to get people, the kids would adjust the electronic billboard by the side of the road, so it would announce a movie, then change and announce another movie, then change and announce “state cops hiding just ahead behind the trees,” then  another movie, etc.  It took the cops a while to figure out this was going on, and when they did they got all bent.  Turns out there was little they could actually do about it: it’s perfectly legal.  And, (as was pointed out), it slowed people down – what’s your problem?  The commander of the local state barracks backed down when he realized he had about zero support, everybody in the county was on the side of the kids in the theater.  Haven’t seen it yet this summer, but we shall see.  (Tourist season is all that counts, the locals all know the cops are there.)
    In the ten years we’ve lived here, I have never – not once – seen anyone pulled over by other than a state cop.  We are up to our ears in cops – town cops, the sheriff’s department, tribal cops, NPS cops, ICE cops – and, out of principle because they all hate the state cops almost as much as ‘civilian’ drivers do – they never pull people over.  (I know this because I have a good friend who’s a deputy.  Think I’m bad?  You should hear him on the subject of the state cops.)
    Down in Marin it sounds like you have to get control of these wanna-be storm troopers.  (Historically the cops have always been the first allies of fascists of all stripes.)  The idea that they feel perfectly free to set up stings, and run outright scams the way they do really ought to be insupportable to those who (over)pay them.