Better Than ASS

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Almost every vehicle made since about five years ago comes standard with Automatic Stop/Start “technology,” or ASS – ostensibly, in order to “save gas.” The engine shuts off whenever the vehicle isn’t moving, such as when you’re stopped for a red light. The system then automatically turns the engine back on when the driver takes his foot off the brake and pushes on the accelerator.

It does save a little gas – at the cost of reduced starter battery battery life and the unpleasantness of the engine shutting itself off and being re-started perhaps a dozen or more times in the course of a single morning’s drive to work.

Legalizing the California Stop would save more gas – and wear and tear – at no cost at all. Except, of course, to the government – which would lose the “revenue” (i.e., the money they extort via threats and intimidation) collected by its agents (people have been conditioned to call them “police”) who write “tickets” (these are the extortion notes handed out by the agents) for not coming to a complete stop at every stop sign, even when there’s no sound reason to do so.

Only a legal requirement to do so.

Getting a vehicle – which is a vey heavy thing – moving again after it has come to a complete stop takes energy; which is another way of saying it burns gas. More gas than just idling the engine while the vehicle sits at a red light. Probably more gas than is “saved” by shutting off the idling engine for the 90 seconds or so wait while the light cycles from red to green and the traffic gets moving again.

Coming to a complete and unnecessary stop only to avoid getting a “ticket” – and because it’s “the law” – also accelerates wear on the clutch (if the vehicle has a manual transmission) and the brakes and the tires. This wear could be reduced – and gas consumption decreased  – if it were legal to not have to come to a complete stop at every stop sign, just because there’s a stop sign.

And maybe a cop, too.

If, that is, drivers were delegated the responsibility of exercising their judgment – as opposed to being presumed incapable of doing that responsibly. The latter being the reason backing the legal requirement that drivers must always come to a complete stop at every stop sign, even those posted at four-ways in the desert where the presence or absence of any potential cross-traffic is visible (or not) for miles in any direction.

Because it’s “the law.”

Because it doesn’t matter – to “the law” – whether there’s any reason to stop. Other than it being “the law.” That is to say, because “the law” is arbitrary. Because reason does not matter, to “the law” – nor to the agents who enforce it.

This tells us that “saving gas” doesn’t really matter.

Because if it did, reason would persuade “the law” – those who write “the laws” – that a not-trivial savings could be achieved at no cost at all by legalizing the California Stop when conditions permit. That is to say, when it is not necessary to come to a complete stop to avoid cross-traffic. This can be ascertained via the exercise of – here comes that dangerous thing again called judgment.

People – which means everyone – cannot be trusted with the responsibility of looking to see whether there is cross-traffic and whether, accordingly, it is necessary to come to a complete stop before proceeding.

People – which means everyone – must be presumed incapable of making a judgment based on the situation because some people might not be.

It is another etiolation of the disease of Safetysim, which is based on the assumption in law that everyone and everything is unsafe. Irrespective of the particular facts in a particular situation. That’s why it’s no defense – either by the side of the road or, later, in court – if you point out that there was no need to come to a complete stop because it was clear there was no cross-traffic and for that reason, safe to proceed without coming to a complete stop. The agent who issued you the ticket can concede the point in court and it will not affect the court’s ruling. You are guilty of having disregarded “the law” – and that is all that matters, in court.

It is the same as regards making a right-on-red when it’s safe – and you caused no harm – but “the law” says it’s prohibited. And when you drive faster than whatever “the law” says is the maximum legal speed.

“Safety” has nothing to do with it – other than as a pretextual hypothetical. Those who write and enforce “the law” will say you might pull out in front of another car and cause an accident. Or you might drive too fast for conditions – or your skill – and not be able to stop in time to avoid being the cause of an accident.

Anything is possible – and that’s true, of course. It’s also a problem if you believe in liberty – as well as “saving gas” and reducing unnecessary wear and tear – because when it is conceded that anything is possible, someone might make an unsafe right-on-red or California Stop into cross traffic and you’ve agreed in principle that everyone should be disallowed from doing it. Even when it’s safe to do so.

If it saves even one life . . . 

An actual would be preferable, in terms of holding people responsible for their exercise of judgment. If you make an unsafe right-on-red by pulling out in front of another car that runs into your car on account of it, you ought to be held responsible for that. Just the same as the person who fails to come to a complete stop when it is necessary, as when there is cross-traffic present.

But it’s insulting and dangerous to presume no one is capable of exercising judgment responsibly – and on that basis one-size-fits-all’ing everyone into the same presumptively irresponsible box of deplorables.

Not to mention all that gas that’s being wasted for no good reason.

. . .

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  1. I’m late to the party here, but I have a couple of thoughts. If the stop has a lot of traffic, then it’s best to come to a complete stop, so as to get a good look before proceeding. Studies have shown that, when a driver comes to a complete stop, he can more accurately assess the situation. I’ve found this to be true, particularly on my motorcycle; when I put a foot down and take a good look, I see more and make a better, safer decision as a result.

    Also, if you can’t see very far from a particular stop, then coming to a complete stop is the safer call to make.

    OTOH, if it’s an all way stop with little traffic or no traffic, then there’s no harm rolling through with no one else there. As a cyclist, I can appreciate how much energy it takes to get rolling again from a complete stop vs. rolling through even at a slow speed; that goes double if there’s a hill just beyond the stop, where every little bit of momentum I can carry approaching the hill can make a huge difference.

    I can see both sides to this issue; it’s more nuanced, not black and white. That is to say that it’s always best to come to a complete stop-or not. It all depends on the situation.

  2. One of two good things to come out of California – the “California Stop” and lane splitting for motorcycles!

  3. There is no good reason why AI can’t help with traffic flow problems. There is a ton of efficiency that could be gained by a “smart” traffic light system that knows how much traffic is in every location and determine the most efficient use of stoplights. It’s very frustrating to see a stoplight change to red for a bunch of traffic, only to let a single cross traffic vehicle through. Or the frustration that results from waiting at a red light when there is no traffic for miles.

  4. Hi Eric,

    It is said that the rulers of this planet are archons, or robot-like entities with no soul or free will, unlike us people, and they hate us and want to turn us into robots, too. Hence this insistence for us to follow all the rules everywhere, even if they don’t make any sense. Will they be able to turn us into robots? I don’t know, but it sure as hell looks like they are getting there.

    • Hi Yuri,

      Yup; it’s an interesting and even plausible hypothesis. Who knows? It certainly feels as though there is “something” behind all of this; something organized and interlocking that transcends merely bad people behind things.

      • I stick by the hypothesis that AI has been fully developed and very advanced for many years. An AI plan has been formulated for the future of mankind, and has been adhered to by all of those in power.

  5. Another easy change to ACTUALLY save gas would be the night operation of blinking yellow traffic lights starting at about 9 pm and going to like 5-6am (blinking reds on the cross streets) instead of 24/7 red green cycling. It’s madding when I come home from work at 10 pm to have to wait at red lights connected to roads with shopping centers and office buildings that are closed and no traffic is coming out or in. If it was a blinking yellow I could just keep going. It would save truckers time and diesel since it’s a truck route, and maybe get more of them to drive through my area at night.

    A few states like Michigan have night yellow blinking lights and it works fine.

    Another way to save some electric too, the removal of unnecessary stop lights. Just in my own town about 10 intersections have gotten stop lights in the last couple years, and to be honest, none of them should have been put in. Even with LED’s (its not the lightbulbs themselves that suck lots of power) it can cost at least $30,000 to operate it (the electric bill).

    In nearby Gary, they have been removing (or at least turning them off) unnecessary stop lights as they can’t afford (or get parts for the really old ones) to fix them, and the traffic volume has dropped to the point they are below the traffic counts needed to even have them so they can’t get grants to replace them. So they are doing the right thing for the wrong reason… to love how government operates…….

  6. i Eric,
    Based on your extreme aversion to “unnecessary” stopping, you should LOVE those traffic circles, that are popping up all over. Tell you what though, most of the locals hate them. Me too.

    • Hi Mike,

      I do hate those traffic circles! But the main problem with them is the inculcated incompetence of all-too-many “drivers” who can’t (apparently) deal with the Great Task of smoothly merging without stopping and waiting.

  7. So egregious are the insurance mafia’s depredations, that they are driving up the core CPI (Consumer Price Index), leading the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates higher for longer:

    ‘Taking a closer look at the latest CPI release, a couple of things leapt out of the services section. Transportation services inflation has this year surged higher to a massive 11.2% yoy rate (transportation services = 6.5% of overall CPI and a hefty 15% of core CPI ex shelter). This is the key and by far biggest driver of rising super core services inflation.

    ‘Let’s take a quick look at some of the key components of transportation services inflation. Currently the main driver is vehicle insurance inflation at an eye-watering 22.6%.

    ‘The surge in insurance costs appears to be going on far longer than might reasonably be justified by the initial post-pandemic rise in prices for vehicle parts and equipment, and maintenance and repair costs. As Albert Edwards of Société Générale jokes, “We all now understand the key role (no pun intended) played by the theft of keyless cars in driving claims higher. Who says all advances in technology are a good idea …’

    So we are all paying for easy-to-steal Kias, and black box signal repeaters that can pick up key fob broadcast signals from inside the house. Now auto manufacturers are employing countermeasures, such as accelerometers in fobs so they stop broadcasting after a couple of motionless minutes. But this whole keyless fob ‘innovation’ was their stupid idea. Now the rest of us have to pay for the crime wave they enabled.

  8. “Excess speed” is driving faster than the driver’s capabilities and/or attention span at the time. Some would also call that “reckless driving.”

    And when it comes to “lane discipline” I know of one touristy areas that likes to keep things running smoothly (moving tourist money around the county), and the police have a practice of ticketing “left lane clovers” for impeding traffic on the main highway. What a refreshing change.

  9. This article and subsequent comments sums up why we can’t have nice things.

    Humans are flawed.

    Trying to use “the law”, tyranny and authoritarianism to change human nature is folly.

    I usually visit this site to cheer up my day. The comments from some of you are utterly depressing. Go hang out on Jalopnik, you would be more at home over there!

  10. Out here in CA we have 2 main interstates I5 and I80 and i can tell you that speeding on I5 is tolerated in fact the average speed on the 2 lane section between Galt and Kettleman City is 85. The trucks take the right lane so you are kind of encouraged to drive in the left lane and then you dang well better keep up with traffic or get mowed down. It is very efficient!

  11. Roundabouts fix this. Roundabouts and universal connectivity. Insurance companies should be given the power to issue tickets remotely. Its the only way to stop this scourge. It most certainly will save just one life.

    • They have a few new-ish Roundabouts in The City, while I like them (the idea is great) what I don’t like is that long well before the intersection (& quite a bit after) they dial down the speed limit to 20 m.p.h. and frequently there’s a cop about handing out speeding tickets.

      There’s no trees around, nor bushes, visibility is wide open, yet ‘they’ demand everyone suddenly drop down from 45 m.p.h. to 20 m.p.h. and I imagine one of the biggest reasons is because of the numerous people who cannot grasp the concept of a Roundabout & how it works. Probably the same people who have difficulty zippering (merging) from the on-ramp onto the Interstate?

      • Yes to both of those, Helot! Our DOT discovered round-a-bouts, and have put them in everywhere. Never mind what a bitch they are to navigate around when it is icy, many still cannot figure them out. As for the speeding up and merging with the flow of traffic? Forget it, drivers up here take the “you have to move over and ‘let me in'” attitude, even though no one is under any obligation to do so (per our state laws)

      • Our are visible in all directions as well. Speed limit is 55, down to 20 and they have like 5 or 6 in a row over about 10 miles. Its been years and people still cant figure it out. Even when they’re empty you have people coming to a California stop, sometimes you’ve even got clovers inside the ring stopping to let people in, which causes all kinds of issues.

        Its the same issue with people who slow way down to let people merge onto the interstate. The people who cant get up to speed become angry if you didn’t show them that courtesy of letting them in. Then they always seem to find their gas so they can get by you or right behind you flipping the bird and going apeshit.

        Best strategy since you never know what kind of dipshit is in front of you, pick the lane that has no one in front of you as you approach. 40ish is about as fast as I can go in my truck, as I learned the other day when the road was wet. The back end was sliding out, but still in my lane.

  12. Back in ’78 the wife and I went to the 6-Hour Camel GT race at Watkins Glen. We camped in a state park on top of a hill. I came down the hill to the main traffic circle in the park one evening and with no one around I put my ’77 Bug convertible into first and rolled through the stop sign. The park ranger pulled me over, berated me for over an hour. At one point he said he didn’t care if I was going 1 mph or 100 it was all the same to him. He confiscated my license and I had to see a magistrate the next morning. I told the magistrate what he said about 1 or 100 but, I still got hit with a fine that wiped out our available cash.

    I hope those bastards had weeping pustules on their genitals for the rest of their miserable lives.

  13. It’s been my experience that most People aren’t as responsible as Eric gives them credit for. Most will kill you, (and do in many cases), just to “save” a few minutes to sip a cup of coffee at work. Many cause accidents they are unaware of due to their belligerent driving.
    So how can the LAW determine who is and who is not responsible on the fly? It cannot,,, so it tries to force responsibility upon those that have none. Many will go to the extreme. A wreck caused by a person not stopping or even slowing for a yield sign on the road in front of my house caused a death of one and another to be crippled the rest of her life.
    They changed the Yield to a Stop. Now they fly through the Stop. Usually young drivers. It will happen again.

    A method to see how many are responsible and courteous compared to those whose belief is ‘only the brave and strong survive’ is at a light that is not working that is supposed to be treated as a 4 way stop. It’s chaos!

    Sorry, but I’ll have to take the laws side on this one. A full stop at a stop sign… or red light.

    • Ken, if they won’t stop for a stop sign, why would they stop for a light?

      Don’t think that sociopathic idiots are deterred by logic.

      • No doubt, Mark in BC. There’s a, ‘one stop sign town’ near me. Livestock truckers blow through the sign at night (doing 50 m.p.h.?). One night a truck smashed into a car, the airbag went off & the dust in the airbag covered a 10yr. old girl wearing polyester clothing. The dust caused the polyester to melt onto the girl’s skin. An older couple who lived at the intersection put the girl in their shower to help & try & wash it off.
        The couple’s response to that disaster was to lobby their small blink-burg to get an electronic stop sign with flashing red LED’s around it.
        …How that changes anything, I don’t know.

        The couple said for the last 30 yrs there’s probably been only one wreck from someone blowing through the stop sign, yet for the last four years there’s been many such crashes. …I wonder what changed over the last 4 yrs vs. the last 30? Hmmm.

        • [I wonder what changed over the last 4 yrs vs. the last 30? Hmmm.]- Helot.

          Respect for life in general,,, too many people. Covid/Bird Flu/Pneumonia Mrna shots are causing what I call covid Zombieism. This is being hidden by law enforcement,,, medical groups/hospitals/doctors and governments.

    • Then there is this: “GLENVIEW, Ill. – A Northbrook man is facing charges for allegedly speeding and causing the crash that killed a beloved Glenbrook South High School senior on Mother’s Day.”
      “Prosecutors said Kim was driving 131 miles per hour seconds before the crash and that he’d turned his headlights off”
      “Niketic was turning left when the two collided. He was later pronounced deceased at the scene and his car was split in half”
      “Niketic’s girlfriend was in his passenger seat at the time of the crash and suffered severe injuries, including a brain bleed, a broken pelvis, and she reportedly had a seizure”
      “Prosecutors said Kim had alcohol and marijuana in his system and that his own dash cam video recorded him running a red light and speeding from downtown Chicago to suburban Glenview”

      This is just one of many daily stories recording the fact that there are many, many crazies out there. Well maybe not in your area.

      • Oh they’re here in WA as well, this one didn’t make your 131, he was thru the red light at 112. He did kill four though. There was a video of the crash on one of the local news sites that video is gone now, it literally was the mom in the van traveling into the intersection then a blur and the van was gone. Of course multiple crashes of the little bastard before this, shame he survived.

        Story I’ve related before, neighbors niece killed by a hit and run DUI. Finally caught, multiple prior DUIs. Got 3 1/2 years.

        So, the small fraction of us that drive sanely are subject to this mayhem from those that have no moral guardrails. Now that we’re into ‘equity justice’ the mayhem will just get worse. The majority of the population only will behave under the threat of swift punishment, that’s gone now so good luck out there. ‘Course we are fair game for a slow roll thru a stop sign this whole thing is upside down.

        • Here in northwest Indiana, we had a woman driver hit and kill a pedestrian, (a well liked recent high school grad) along with hitting and destroying 4 other cars, damaging another 6, in a massive crash (that I heard over a mile away, over the sound of my lawn mower!!, I am partly deaf to boot!) injuring nearly a dozen other people, 4 critically.

          To this day this “driver” still claims she was driving in the other direction, wasn’t driving 80 miles an hour, did not run the red light (crashing through people actually stopped for that red light). That, in spite of the video evidence from SEVERAL camera’s, and many eyewitnesses saying otherwise, that she was claiming to be the victim of the first car she hit (who were NOT even moving!).

          She was arrested, her license suspended, but as she awaited charges and a trial (like a year and a half later) caused a SECOND fatal crash not even three miles away ON THE SAME ROAD! Killing a doctor in her car (who had the right of way) when she once again ran through a red light going 80 miles an hour.

          People in town were outraged to find, not only was she still driving (without a license), she hadn’t even gone to trial for the first crash because she hadn’t actually been formally charged yet! A few days later (probably due more to the bad press than anything), she was finally charged for the first crash. However the prosecutor was so incompetent she was acquitted in spite of the large amount of evidence!

          Medical exams ordered by the court during the trial found that “driver” has medical issues that should have precluded her from ever driving (and being licensed) in the first place (she denies that as well, saying she is totally competent to drive).

          She was charged with the second crash and was convicted of that. Only got 5 years in prison for that.

          • There was a young boy mowed down in a school cross-walk and was killed in my neck of the woods. The woman was hopped up on prescription drugs, and could barely speak English. She did not even get 3 years for taking that boy’s life.

            • Hi Shadow,

              Awful. That woman – and people like that woman, who cause harms like that – ought to be held responsible for the harms they cause. Three years for a life taken is not being held responsible. It is a slap on the wrist – and our faces.

              That said, I think it’s important to keep in mind the truism that hard cases make bad law. When something like the above happens, the natural response is “there ought to be a law.” And then we get one – that inevitably increases in scope to the point that the offense becomes absurd and contrived and no longer requires that any harm has been caused or even plausibly threatened.

              • “There ought to a law”

                As noted by others and by me, it’s the lack of enforcement of existing laws with long term punishment for these outrageous acts – now we’re 180 off from a healthy society. Pinch us for the occasional 5 over or a stop sign roll but the truly dangerous are not controlled.

                Much more of this and vigilantism will rise, that’s not a healthy solution but people have had about enough of “equity justice” BS.

                • Exactly, Sparkey –

                  Years ago, back when I worked at The Times in DC, I got to know Sam Francis – the brilliant writer. He was the one who coined the term, “anarcho-tyranny.” What he meant by it was anarchy – no or minimal accountability – for the truly criminal, on the one hand – and tyranny for the responsible people, who are expected to obey every law, no matter how petty and inconsequential, to the letter and mercilessly punished when they commit some “offense” against the “authority” of the state.

                  An example: If I get caught driving my truck without the insurance I am told I must buy, I will suffer extreme repercussions, even though I’ve caused no actual harm to anyone. On the other hand, an illegal alien blows a light and kills someone, sans license and insurance, what happens? Probably next to nothing. Because the illegal has no assets to seize, so he’s worthless to the state.

          • Hi Rich,

            Horrendous. I have one like it. Herewith a True Story:

            About 12 years ago, GM sent me a Hummer to test drive. The delivery driver (and his wife) came to pick it up, as they’d been doing for years. They were a nice older couple who did this in retirement for fun. Anyhow, they came to collect the Hummer and left me another vehicle. I took the keys to the vehicle they left, went inside and flopped onto the sofa to read for a little bit. About 15 minutes later, my friend who lives down the road came hauling ass into the driveway to “find out what happened.”

            What? As far as I could tell, nothing had happened other than I’d pretty much finished my lunch.

            As it turned out, the old guy who picked up the Hummer had a senior moment and didn’t see the stop sign at the T intersection that you come to at the end of the road that leads to my house and where you stop to turn onto the main road. He blew right through the intersection and directly into the path of a Tahoe coming from the left doing probably about 60 something (55 MPH speed limit). The Tahoe was destroyed and so was the Hummer and another car that was parked at the little grocery store across the street. Total loss for the vehicles alone prolly at least $150k – and that’s not counting the medical costs for the people injured (luckily, no one was killed).

            I never saw that old man again.

  14. In the bigger city near me, over the last decade or so, amazingly ‘they’ changed the way left turn & right turn signal lights function at busy intersections – in a positive-ish way.

    The arrow lights for the turns blink yellow much of the time, especially at night, thus turning the lights into yield signs.
    Makes driving so very less annoying.

    Are ‘they’ doing that in many other cities, too?

    • Right now there is only one 3 way intersection in our town that has this feature. It is really cool, it is set-to flashing yellow all the time but has some kind of traffic flow monitor that enables it to switch to regular red light when the traffic is heavy. It works really well and saves drivers a ton of time.

    • Yes in my nearby small town as well, I was shocked this was done, how dare they help traffic flow and cut down unneeded waiting? Also took away my fun of “left on red” if no opposing traffic.

      • We have those flashing yellows too. Unfortunately in one location I pass regularly, there is almost never a green arrow anymore because of it, which can cause a backup (some drivers don’t understand them to boot and won’t make a turn sitting though a few cycles).

  15. In Colorado, a bicyclist can perform a “safety stop” when faced with a stop sign:

    The Safety Stop
    As of April 13, 2022, bicyclists and users of “low speed conveyances” in Colorado may perform the Safety Stop.
    When an intersection is clear and they already have the right of way, bicyclists ages 15 and older may now treat stop signs as yield signs and treat stop lights as stop signs. Younger bicyclists may perform the maneuver if an adult is present.
    Additional details of the new law include:
    • Bicyclists can yield and then proceed through stop sign-controlled intersections at up to 10 miles per hour.
    • Intersections where bicyclist-specific lights or signs are present that prohibit the maneuver are exempt from the new law.
    • The bill defines “low speed conveyances” in Colorado law. These are small profile, low-speed vehicles that people use for transportation and recreation, including bicycles and electric bicycles, electric scooters (not including mopeds), and wheelchairs.
    • The Safety Stop does not impact the current right-of-way. People on bicycles can proceed straight, right, or left at a reasonable speed of no more than 10 miles per hour only when the coast is clear.”

    Note motorcycles still must come to a complete stop, even though should the rider lay down a cycle it would be much more of a problem than someone pulling an Artie Johnson maneuver by not clipping out of their pedal in time.

    This basically just decriminalized the act. Everyone’s seen a spandex speeder blowing through intersections without any thought of cross traffic. The majority of them won’t touch the brakes, and now Denver PD will just let them go. And BTW, this is basically a Denver/Boulder problem. Everywhere else in the state cyclists either know to stay in their lane (Grand Junction) or have free rein over the town (Aspen). Because when playing steel/paper/plastic, physics says truck beats laws and helmets every time.

    • The more urban a location, the more bicyclists will ignore traffic laws. At least that’s what I have observed. Guessing the higher speeds of vehicles in suburbs and rural areas probably have something to do with it.

  16. I find many law are the result of “once upon a time, a thing happened” scenarios. Even with stop signs and traffic lights, accidents still happen, so the idea of needing to stop 100% for 2 seconds doesn’t eliminate accidents. Why is it the law then?

    It is irrelevant if safety is enhanced. All traffic laws are pretexts to stop you to snoop around.

    Does a cop really care that you almost stopped when there was no other traffic? No, because I watch them let that slide consistently near my house. So, almost stopping is ok.

    It’s the blatant offenders they go after in the hopes they are DUI or some other bigger crime.

    Traffic laws are selectively enforced to benefit whatever the government employee feels like is important that day.

    • In this neck of the woods, Dan, I have (I kid you not) had people literally sitting there on the side roads at their stop sign, and then wait (all the while I am getting closer to them) until the last minute to pull out in front of me! With not a soul behind me, of course! So, making someone sit there at a right-on-red light, or a stop sign, is not going to make anyone any “safer”, if the damned fool is still going to not watch out for oncoming traffic, just does not give a damned, or has a hard-on for getting in front of you and being first. Hell, I nearly got side swiped by a lady the other day who did just that (and then would not stop when I honked at her). And when I did honk and swerve around her, she had the balls to look surprised…

      • That’s the old sail fone stop thingy. They pull off the road to yada yada yada their extremely important national security call then jump back on when their call is done and you better be damn ready. Same at Stop signs/Red lights. When THEY’RE ready to go you better be ready to avoid. I’ve seen coppers do this very thing as well.

  17. The “thin blue line” is there to harass and profit, not serve and protect. That meme of the fat buzzcut cop says it all.

  18. Was in a big box store yesterday to get some stuff, the work never ends.

    Anyhow, a Grand Wagoneer came to a stop to back up to enter into a parking spot. The Jeep stopped running, had to be re-started to go into reverse.

    It ain’t the driver, it’s the car that is in control.

    And LexisNexis, those guys are watching everything.

    • Not too long ago around here they replaced a ton of “yield” signs with “stop” signs, and as if that wasn’t bad enough there was no notice given, just one day there was a stop sign there. Of course everyone that had driven there for years didn’t notice the change and the AGW’s had a field day writing extortion notices aka “tickets”. I got one too, and wasted a day going to court to contest it, which was a waste of time indeed. The “just us” system works great for the parasites in “law enforcement”.

      • Oh yeah, reminds me of back in the 80’s when ‘they’ changed the direction of the 2-lane one-way street going around the downtown area.
        Multiple & numerous tickets given out to locals who drove the wrong way.
        I think it was the only time I was given a warning.

  19. Same with stupid traffic lights that cycle all night in a small town that rolls the streets up at 9 pm. I come thru at mid night and am expected to set there like some braindead moron because a light said so…..

    • There are a host of lights in my city that I will pull thru the red after checking for oncoming cars (and watching enforcement). Frequency they are no turn on red or a red left arrow when you can see pretty far down the road.

      If I’m ticketed eventually I’ll have already saved lots of time. Not to mention, if my car is gone by the time the intersection timer cycles through to give me a green light, it’ll prevent the traffic signal from changing and stopping the cars on the other road. Sometimes humans can just decide better than timers.

      Cops in my town haven’t really enforced this stuff since the George Floyd national riots, anyway. I wish they’d crack down on the major speeding (know multiple people who have died lately at the hand of excessive speeders) but otherwise it’s been nice.

      • Hi JSR,

        I’d like to dissect what you wrote about “excessive speeders.” How is that defined, exactly? It seems to me to be entirely a matter of opinion and thus subjective. And that’s why I don’t like it. More finely, I don’t like the idea of punishing people on the basis of subjective criteria absent any harm caused.

        A good example of this being the way the highway speed limit was subjectively reduced from (typically) 65-70 to 55 in 1974. After 1974 – and until about 1994 – it was “speeding” to drive at speeds that had previously been legal and “excessive” (and “reckless” in my state) to drive just slightly faster than what had been legal speeds (e.g., when the limit was reduced to 55, driving 76 was statutory “reckless driving” in my state. Today it is only minor “speeding,” because the limit is back to 70).

        That’s why I oppose all speed limits and favor speed advisories.

        But what if someone wrecks? Well, then charge them for loss of control or even reckless driving. Not “speeding.”

        • I’d be much more amenable to letting people do whatever speed they wished if they’d have some common sense about it. Like the daily occurrence of attempting to pass a truck. Usually I’ll check the passing lane to see if anyone is coming up behind, and check again just for good measure, before heading in. Then inevitably a milquetoast passer in front of me (and 5 other cars) gets the heebie-jeebies and won’t pass at a reasonable speed, doing the one MPH faster thing. By now someone comes in behind me, trying to hook up to my ball hitch. Clearly they can see from their lifted RAM 1500 that I’m not the problem, but they feel it necessary to announce that I’m an impediment to their travel. OK, fine, I’ll get over. Except by now there’s usually no where for me to go, the right lane now filled up with other vehicles (it’s rush hour and drivers abhor a vacuum). Where am I supposed to go now bud? If I can get out of Vin Diesel’s way I will, sometimes thanked with the middle finger wave.

          That seems like reckless driving (as does the root cause of the timid passer leading the convoy), but try to get a cop to hand out a ticket for either behavior (and I suppose mine too, even if there’s no way I could move out of the way).

          The biggest problems on US highways are lane discipline and tailgating. Until drivers figure this out I don’t think there’s much hope. Police can get a conviction for speeding because the machine is supposedly a neutral device, not subject to the whims of man’s emotions. Without breaking out tape measure and wheel, it’s difficult to determine how many car lengths people keep, or allowances for excess speed when passing a vehicle that’s accelerating. Like Jesse Helms looking at the June 1985 Playmate of the Month, you have to know it when you see it.

          • Amen, RK –

            But we get what we expect, eh? If people were expected to behave responsibly – and held accountable when they didn’t – I think most people would behave more responsibly.

            • “Speed” is rarely the issue. It’s people not paying attention and pulling out without looking or going out of turn, or doing something unpredictable. Just look at the YouTube crash videos, most of them wouldn’t happen if people would just look (and then not pull out into traffic and hit somebody).

              And many times, being “nice” and letting someone in out of turn leads to a crash, and people need to stop doing that. Those people just need to wait for their turn. Unfortunately, most of the time they don’t realize they caused a rear end crash three cars back, but it’s still their fault because they did something unpredictable. But they will never be found.

        • “excessive speeding” is wholly in the eyes if the beholder. If an AGW pulls you over for driving one MPH over the speed limit, in their eyes you were speeding excessively.
          “I oppose all speed limits and favor speed advisories.”
          If most “laws” were put forth as advisories or recommendations, instead of the word of God, we might all benefit from them.
          Or not.


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