Wednesday, January 12, 2005

That's Not the Ticket...

OK, here's my rant o' the day:

Dallas' police chief favors a change in the state law that prohibits traffic ticket quotas:
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said [last]Wednesday that he favors repealing certain aspects of a state law prohibiting traffic ticket quotas to hold his officers more accountable for what they do while on patrol.
But civil rights and police groups believe tinkering with the state law could lead to officers writing some tickets backed up with little or no probable cause just to get better evaluations.
(Read the whole thing).

Anyone else think this is a bad idea? It's been my experience that, more often than not, the presence of ticket-writing officers on a busy highway may be a nice revenue stream for whatever governmental enitity the officers represent, but it does not fulfill its stated objective of making the streets and highways safer. If anything, it seems that more often that not, by being there, they make the roads even more dangerous, since traffic often grinds to a halt whenever the officer is spotted, increasing the potential for accidents.

Don't get me wrong, I"m not a chronic speeder or anything (I've had but one ticket my entire life, on a rural highway, in a brand-new car whose power was still being discovered). I'm just saying that our streets are clogged enough as it is without something else thrown into the mix. Sure, catch and ticket the drivers going 90 and weaving in and out of lanes, but otherwise, just let people go with the flow. Otherwise, traffic gets as annoying as an overly-officiated high school basketball game, where the refs keep stopping the game every thirty seconds instead of just letting the players play.

And besides, the whole quota thing could get out of hand, what with the potential for racial profiling, stopping young drivers for DWT (driving while teenaged), and so on. There's just too much potential for abuse.

Am I all wet here? I'd love to hear some comments on this one, especially from Eric, who observes this stuff for a living.

So happy to be in America: The Communist government in North Korea has been issuing propaganda messages on state-run TV exhorting men to get their hair cut "in accordance with socialist lifstyle." The campaign stresses the "negative effects" of long hair on "human intelligence development", noting that long hair "consumes a great deal of nutrition" and could thus rob the brain of energy. (via Dave Barry's Blog)

Hmm, this might explain Carrot Top, though...

A "schnappi" little tune: Yesterday morning on the radio, I heard a snippet of a really unusual song. Evidently, a 4-year-old German girl's made-up song "Snappy the Little Crocodile" is at the top of the German pop charts at the moment, beating out industry veterans Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams. The song (with it's hook-laden chorus "Schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp") was originally posted on the family's website and eventually got picked up by a radio station in Cologne, and MTV Germany has made a dance remix that is being played in some German clubs. The girl, Joy Gruttmann, now has her own website where Snappy merchandise is being sold. (Listen to an mp3 here.)

Hmm, maybe Joy should've done the Orange Bowl halftime instead of Ashlee Simpson...

1 comment:

Eric Grubbs said...

Traffic ticket quotas: a very sharp double-edged sword. I have received only one speeding ticket in my driving life. I was going well over the speed limit and I got caught in one of those "cop-hides-on-a-bridge-while-motorcycle-cops-await-the-call" speed traps. Not fun, but then again, I was speeding. It was the end of the month, so they were out in full force that day. I realized that day that speeding tickets happen to all of us eventually, no matter how much we say we're safe drivers.

In some ways, I see this possible change in quotas a lot like the panhandling ban in Dallas. It curbs a nusiance but may cause a whole other set of nuisances. Right now it's at the speculation phase and even it happens, I wouldn't worry too much. But that's just me.