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"Only" Reason for Traffic?

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  • "Only" Reason for Traffic?

    Another member posed the thought:

    "After a couple years on a beat you realize that the only reason for traffic stops, is get warrants or dope."

    Although I understand the viewpoint, the word "only" leads me to disagree.

    Thoughts?

    K9

  • #2
    The facts are that there are more people killed in traffic accidents because of speed and/or alcohol than any other crime in the nation. If there was no traffic enforcement, the numbers would double, in my opinion. Enforcing traffic laws for that reason alone is enough to justify it.
    Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

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    • #3
      Originally posted by K9 Police
      Another member posed the thought:

      "After a couple years on a beat you realize that the only reason for traffic stops, is get warrants or dope."

      Although I understand the viewpoint, the word "only" leads me to disagree.

      Thoughts?

      K9
      Sounds like this member is burnt-out and needs to find a new line of work.
      Blame it on the Trunk Monkey!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Seen a few shot, cut, etc ... see homicides and suicides (even one that jumped off overpass into line of tractor trailers), etc ... but by far ... the vast majority of deaths (and injuries) that I have investigated or helped with either as simple backup or in reconstructions were the result of traffic crashes.

        Often times, it is the innocent child or other driver, etc that dies.

        My family rides or drives those roads. My friends and their loved ones ride or drive those roads. People who are strangers (yet whose safety is important top me none the less) ride or drive those roads. I ride or drive those roads both on and off duty.

        You bet, traffic enforcement is important for it's own sake. I don't believe it has to be heavy handed in all cases ... I agree that often a simple warning or an explanation as to why a law requires certain things will suffice. There are things people do that could earn a ticket that are acts of ommision and that may be mistakes ... and there are things they do that entail intent , that are acts of commision that more often do earn a ticket.
        There are times when a violation is committed (like rolling through stop signs for example) that demonstrates a bad habit (and when they say they did stop ... they tell me that they indeed have done it so long that they have developed a habit and I'm there to help them break the habit with some encoragement, maybe a "road side safety talk" or "ticket", not both.).
        There are times when a violation is committed (like running 30mph over the limit as they overtake me) that demonstrate an intent to violate or disreguard the law (and thus ... their responsability to all of us other users of that roadway) which is virtually assured to earn a ticket.
        Adios amigos.

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        • #5
          http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=31

          K9

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          • #6
            Originally posted by keith758
            The facts are that there are more people killed in traffic accidents because of speed and/or alcohol than any other crime in the nation. If there was no traffic enforcement, the numbers would double, in my opinion. Enforcing traffic laws for that reason alone is enough to justify it.
            Completely agree. To me, traffic enforcement is crucial. Not just in terms of other illegal activities that are often revealed, but in terms of a safety standpoint for everyone.

            My current department, as well as my last, have done surveys in regards to what the most common complaints from citizens are. Perhaps one might believe that it is drugs, or assaults, or even possibly homicide. Top of the list always has been traffic. More citizens come to me in my squad car about traffic enforcement in their neighborhood than any other complaint.

            I believe in serving our citizens, even in regards to the most common traffic complaints. Traffic enforcement saves lives. Conducting traffic stops for the sole sake of warrants and dope is asinine.

            K9
            Last edited by K9 Police; 10-04-2005, 03:13 PM.

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            • #7
              Here are some basic numbers...

              Averge homicides in the US - 15,000 to 16,000 per year

              Average traffic fatalities in US - 40,000 per year

              Approximate number of soldiers killed during ten years in Vietnam (sources vary) - 50,000 to 55,000

              So we accept almost as many americans killed in one year in traffic deaths vs the number of soldiers lost in Vietnam.

              Is traffic enforcement important? Based on the numbers we certainly could do better and improve safety on the roads for everyone.
              Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lucky Seven
                Here are some basic numbers...

                Averge homicides in the US - 15,000 to 16,000 per year

                Average traffic fatalities in US - 40,000 per year

                Approximate number of soldiers killed during ten years in Vietnam (sources vary) - 50,000 to 55,000

                So we accept almost as many americans killed in one year in traffic deaths vs the number of soldiers lost in Vietnam.

                Is traffic enforcement important? Based on the numbers we certainly could do better and improve safety on the roads for everyone.

                How much enforcement would make say a 10% reduction in the 40K traffic deaths in a year? How much enforcement to make a 20% reduction?

                IMO traffic safety begins and ends with the operator, out of the 40K a year I wonder how many had zero culpability in their demise?

                IMO you could increase the number of traffic cops by 100% and the reduction would be statiscally insignificant, doubling the eyes and ears would make little if any difference. Again IMO.
                Trooperden, akman75, & azmichelle ignored

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 6233108
                  How much enforcement would make say a 10% reduction in the 40K traffic deaths in a year? How much enforcement to make a 20% reduction?

                  IMO traffic safety begins and ends with the operator, out of the 40K a year I wonder how many had zero culpability in their demise?

                  IMO you could increase the number of traffic cops by 100% and the reduction would be statiscally insignificant, doubling the eyes and ears would make little if any difference. Again IMO.

                  I believe that changing attitudes about traffic safety is the first step. If a consensus of the population were to become "safe" drivers who actually thought safety vs anything and everything else while driving, then a change in statistics would result.

                  In my experience, most drivers do not think of the ramifications of their actions prior to the accident. There seems to be a numbing of public perception regarding traffic safety. It's not a problem, it won't happen to me, and it's no big deal to (insert violation here).

                  So just because "traffic is no big deal", even to a percentage in LE, we let alot of things go or don't take enforcement action, which in turn reaffirms public perception of acceptable behavior while driving.

                  If you could prevent 10% of the homicides in this country would that be a worthwhile goal? Then why is preventing a traffic fatality any less of a worthwhile goal?

                  As a side note...I recently learned of an area where the traffic accident numbers dropped by 20% in one year. This accomplishement seems to have derived from enforcement action and education. If we could take those numbers and apply them nationwide then approximately 8000 people could still be with their family and friends.
                  Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't forget the revenue generated by it too. Cities love it.

                    TGY
                    Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

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                    • #11
                      I dunno. I take both points of view. Traffic is necessary for its own good, and also to get stuff out of it. I will stop a car if I know I can get something out of it (dope, etc), but I also enjoy making stops to scold people (like the lady who blatantly runs my green light because she is talking on her cell), for DUIs, and for other stuff, including speed at times.

                      Sometimes because I am bored and want to keep from parking and watching a DVD or taking a snooze. I get grief for it by some guys on my shoft. but they are the ones who do the above behavior, and because I have a work ethic I like to fill in the down time with traffic. Its just you dont need to write everyone you stop an actual ticket. I think that is the main point of contention people dont realize when you talk about making stops. Those of us who like to do traffic stuff vs those that dont- they seem to think you are just writing tickets all day long otherwise. I may make 5-15 stops in a day and maybe write 3.
                      And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”- Romans 8:28

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                      • #12
                        I agree with OffDuty, I do traffic if I can get somthing out of the stop unless you are doing something completly stupid or speeding appr 13 MPH over the speed limit. The laws I think are set up so we can stop cars to get things out of it, I mean come on an air freshner dangling from the rearview! I think traffic works both ways in getting stuff off the streets and lowers the fataliite rates. Just b/c they brake a traffic law dosnt mean they always get a ticket. I catch some flack from my fellow Ofcs b/c I cant sit still and play video games while workin or watch DVD's myself. I guess to them I am making them look bad and making our stat average higher. Oops, oh well, do your job!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by keith758
                          If there was no traffic enforcement, the numbers would double, in my opinion. Enforcing traffic laws for that reason alone is enough to justify it.
                          In Alabama the state has severly cut the number of troopers. Today can driver across the state and never see one on the interstate. Interestingly enough, there has been a direct corrolation between the reduction of troopers and the increase in traffic related deaths.
                          "They keep creating new ways of celebrating mediocrity" - Mr. Incredible

                          The future is not some place we are going,
                          it is one we are creating.
                          The paths are not to be found,
                          they are to be made.
                          And the activity of making them
                          changes both the creator,
                          and the destination.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would hate to do traffic for a single reason, I always "look beyond the ticket". The problem is that it is not a politically correct to work traffic. One of the Sheriff's I worked for said that the only reason cops make traffic stops is they like to bother people (I mentally place voters in place of people). Both Sheriff's departements I have worked for were the same, it was 100 times more important to serve a paper than stop a drunk driver. The County I live in now Deputies have recieved written reprimands for arrseting drunks, not that they ignored a call, not that there was any other thing other than sit in the office to do, just stopped and wrote a drunk. I got fired from the last city I worked for, because I wrote a kid a 63 in a 35 (Aldermans nephew) and then had the audacity to write the out of state contract foreman on a city project a DWI causing the project to be 2 days behind, as it was his eighth DWI, all in different states, probably a couple I did not find, and hw was sitting in Jail.

                            I find that working traffic helps me keep my edge, and nets arrests that we would never have, We also get all kinds of information about who our dirtags hang with and make other cases not directly related to traffic stops.
                            Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My take is this. Traffic is very important. Speed does kill and drunk drivers kll. Persons who make illegal "U" turns in a busy intersection kill. But like said a few times there is more to our job than issue of a summons or warning for a traffic violation. We have to look at everything going on. We all know that when you stop a car, you have no clue what that person just did, is planning on doing, or is doing while your talking to them. You have no way to know if this person is a brother officer or a cop killer. So brothers always look beyond that summons. Take another min. to ask yourself if this person who is getting a summons is just a traffic violator, or is there more to them. Even little granny can become a dangerous stop in seconds. ALWAYS WORK IN YELLOW STAGE. Be alert. Be safe. Go home the end of your shift.

                              Comment

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