February 2, 2015

310 words 2 mins read

Maybe Police Officers Would Rather Be Tax Collectors

Do people become cops just so they can write speeding tickets?

According to the National Sheriffs’ Association, writing speeding tickets is a police officer’s noblest calling. People and technologies that help drivers drive more safely and obey the law interfere with that noble mission of revenue generation, and the NSA is out to stop it.

According to the Associated Press, the National Sheriffs’ Association wants to crack down on the popular traffic navigation app Waze™ so that people will drive faster and cops can write more tickets.

Here’s the cops’ logic. Waze™ warns drivers of speed traps. Drivers slow down, so the police don’t get write tickets.

I know this sounds like I’m explaining it to a child, but don’t get offended. I’m going to explain traffic safety to the people at the National Sheriffs’ Association, and they seem to be a rather slow lot.

The reason we authorize police to write speeding tickets is to discourage people from speeding. Some people think that speeding increases danger. If we could find a way to discourage speeding and encourage safe driving, we wouldn’t need police writing tickets.

Waze encourages safe driving by warning drivers of hazards, including speed traps. If driving slower and paying attention to hazards reduces the number and severity of accidents, then Waze works better than speed traps.

I know it’s politically correct to say that police don’t want to be speed-trap queens; they want to protect and serve the public. But the National Sheriffs’ Association clearly wants to write more tickets. And to write more tickets, they must encourage people to drive dangerously.

I would love for my many friends who are current or former police officers to answer this question: do you want everyone to drive safely or would you rather write lots of tickets for dangerous driving?

I’ll send your answers to the National Sheriffs’ Association.