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Illinois has officially passed a law that will prohibit municipalities from requiring police officers to meet ticket quotas.
Being a judge has certain perks, but dismissing your own traffic tickets isn’t one of them.
A Pennsylvania judge has learned that her job’s fringe benefits don’t include dismissing personal traffic tickets – she faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to get out of paying various driving violations.
According to Attorney General Linda Kelly, Magisterial District Judge Kelly Ballentine of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is up on charges of conflict of interest, tampering with public records and obstruction. The tickets in question include parking violations in front of her home and an expired registration on her BMW.
After summonses were sent to Ballentine when she didn’t pay her tickets, she accessed the online court system records and dismissed these summonses. She has been arraigned and released on a $25,000 bond.
If you like to drive with the top down on your Mercedes-Benz SL convertible, you’re more likely to get pulled over for a traffic ticket and are cited four times more often then the average U.S. driver, says a report out by Verisk Analytics Inc.
The report, put out by the insurance data company, goes on to say that three Mercedes models are among the 10 most-cited per mile driven. Also ranking high on the list are the Toyota Solara and Scion tC, coming in with the second- and third-highest violation rates.
Verisk also notes that cars that make the most-ticketed list are magnets for drivers who like their speed, as well as younger, less-experienced motorists. Among the least-ticked vehicles to drive are those that are designed to transport more people. Down at the bottom of the list with the fewest violations were eight sport-utility vehicles and minivans. The winner of the lowest rate of tickets goes to GM’s Rainier SUV.
“Carrying passengers, and possibly younger passengers in car seats, makes a noticeable difference in how one drives,” Verisk said. “SUVs and hatchbacks showed lower violations on average than traditional two- and four-door vehicles.”
Twitter is great for keeping abreast what’s going on in the lives of the people you follow. You can find out what’s going on in the world, learn what people are eating for breakfast and get the good news and the not-so-good news as it happens. And if you’re in California, chances are you’re going to tweet about the speeding ticket you just got.
Freeinsurancequotes.com has recently analyzed how many Twitter users take to Internet to complain about their traffic tickets. And the results are in: California leads the US in ticket tweets, with 14 percent tweeting about tickets. Not surprisingly, 44 percent of those Tweets came from Los Angeles. Following behind California is New York (8 percent), Texas (7 percent), Florida (6 percent) and Ohio (5 percent). Rounding out the top states at 4 percent are Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Georgia.
We’re not sure what good Tweeting about your traffic ticket is going to do – venting, calls for donations, proclamations of your innocence. But we’re sure most Twitter users would agree that they are much more interesting to read than those about the cute things your cat is doing.
Sometimes, you have to admit, posted speed limits are so unfair. Well, you’re not too far off – if you’re in Michigan. It seems that speed limits in this state may be illegal. So, does this mean you can start setting your own pace and challenging police to a high speed chase? Not quite…
When it comes to safety, researchers have found that speed limits should be set at the 85th percentile traffic flow speed. In most cases, drivers tend to cruise at what they consider a safe speed, regardless of the speed limit. By that theory, speed limits should be raised to what 85 percent of drivers are moving.
And Michigan legislature knows about this tidbit of information, that’s why in 2006 they passed a law that reflects these traffic studies. So where does the illegal part come into play? It turns out that most Michigan municipalities haven’t complied, so that means there are plenty of speed limits posted that are themselves unlawful.
So why not change them? It may be because these municipalities want the revenue the speeding tickets bring in, so they don’t conduct the required speed studies which allow them to keep enforcing the lower speed limits.
And you know something is wrong when even the cops don’t agree with it. Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section, finds it “reprehensible” that communities are not following the law. “In many cases, the problem is the speed limit, not the motorist,” said Megge. “Communities have to obey the law, too.”
Sound unfair to you? You can do something about it – because of the law, drivers have started to challenge their speeding tickets and had them dismissed, if no traffic study had been done in that municipality.
Let’s hope that bringing awareness to the issue will force these municipalities onboard with raising the speed limit.
[Source: Detroit News]
Everyone knows about the “California Roll,” right? Whatever they call it in your neck of the woods, it’s when you roll slowly through a stop sign instead of coming to a complete stop. This author was recently unfairly ticketed by a Redondo Beach, CA Police Officer, who witnessed yours truly perform this very move, on a 50cc Vespa, at about 3 mph.
According to Gary Lauder, Stop and Yield signs are outdated and inefficient, wasting both time and energy. In the video above, taken at this year’s TED conference, Lauder makes his case, and has us totally convinced. Check it out and share your thoughts….
Pick a number between 0 and 100. That’s the game cops are allowed to play when giving out speeding tickets. A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court has just ruled the police officers can now give traffic citations by using his or her best guess on how fast a vehicle is going.
Radar guns are going to be put away in their holster, now that cops can say you’re going over the posted speed limit. There’s no trick to it – there’s no timing of cars over fixed distances, no special methods of determining an actual speed, no stopwatches required. All they need is an “educated” guess.
“There is no formula to apply,” said Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. “It’s kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing.”
State standards call for officers to use four principles to estimate vehicle speeds: their own knowledge and experience in watching traffic, watching vehicles move past stationary objects, seeing if a vehicle is moving in an unusual way like bouncing or the driver is driving erratically.
There’s not very much training required to properly assess a vehicle’s speed just by watching it. In fact, visual assessment is a small portion of the five-hour course on traffic enforcement. In that part of the course, instructors bring recruits to various traffic situations and have them guess speeds, while the instructor uses the radar on the vehicle in question so the recruit can compare results.