On a recent cross-country road trip, I was surprised by the sheer number of state troopers pulling motorists over for “speeding.”
It seemed actually rather un-American the way in which intimidation is used to fleece citizens in order to cover various state budget shortfalls. I was getting pulled over for going so minimally over the speed limit as to raise serious doubts as to whether taxpayers should continue funding such levels of high police presence on our highways.
Louisiana was the absolute worst. At many points, we would see 3 or 4 state troopers with their lights on, pulling over motorists and handing out tickets en masse in a manner that seemed almost indiscriminate.
It was highway robbery.
My dad was pulled over at one point during this unpleasant leg of the road trip, and his speed was so marginally above the posted speed limit that the officer refused to tell him how fast he was, in fact, going.
Now, I completely understand the need for legitimate enforcement of our traffic laws — but what is happening today on our interstate system is frankly not that, in my view. It’s crass intimidation and “revenue generation.”
I don’t see why taxpayers should pay for officers’ salaries if those officers are primarily tasked with handing out tickets, rather than keeping the peace.
I’ve taken long road trips in America before, and have never encountered this before. It is clearly a nefarious side effect of declining state revenues and the ongoing recession.
There’s something about it that feels desperate and frankly pathetic. This sort of fleecing might be expected in a failing third-world nation rife with police corruption. It is not expected, nor acceptable, in the United States of America.
States, find a better way to attack your massive deficits, or spend less. Blurring the lines between law enforcement and taxation is not legitimate.
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