Search The Virtual Driver
Tagged for Your Convenience
1940 Ford Coupe 1961 F1 season 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 2012 Ford Explorer 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2012 Toyota Camry 2012 VW Beetle 2012 VW Passat 2013 Chevys 2013 Ford Explorer 2013 Ford Focus Electric 2013 Ford Fusion review 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2013 Infiniti JX AWD 2013 Lexus ES 350 2013 Lexus GS 2013 Mercedes GLK350 2013 NAIAS 2013 Nissan Altima 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014 Detroit Auto Show 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Kia Forte 2014 Lexus IS 2014 Mazda CX-5 crossover 2014 Mazda3 2014 Mercedes S-Class 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 2014 NAIAS 2014 Toyota Corolla 2014 Toyota Corolla S 2014 Toyota Highlander 2015 Camaro 2015 Chrysler 200 2015 Ford F-150 2015 Ford Mustang 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Lincoln Navigator 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 Mustang 2015 Porsche Cayenne affordable carbon fiber airbag technology Alan Mulally Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 4C ALMS AMG SLS E-Cell AP Racing Radi-CAL ArmorAll AROnline Aston Martin Atlanta Motorsport Park Audi Audi bicycle Audi R18 Austin Powers Autocade automotive porn automotive safety systems Avro Vulcan barn finds Battle of Britain Beverly Rae Kimes Big Bang Theory BMW BMW 2 Series Active Tourer BMW 3 Series BMW i3 BMW i8 BMW i8 luggage BMW M4 video BMW X4 BMW1 Series Bob Lutz BorgWarner Breitling watches Brembo British Motor Heritage Bryce Hoffman Buick Regal GS Buick Verano Cadillac ATS Cadillac CTS Cadillac CTS-V Cadillac CUE Cadillac XTS CAFE standards Camaro Z28 Camaro ZL1 Car Spy book Carroll Shelby Cars in Context Television Cars in Context TV Caterham Caterham Seven Center for Automotive Research CES Chevy Cruze diesel Chevy Sonic Chevy Volt Chicago Auto Show China Auto 2012 Chip Foose Chrysler Clarion C-Max Hybrid CNG Cobra Jet Mustang Controlled Power Technologies Corvette C7 Corvette sinkhole Craftsman CTX tractors Dale Jr Dallara GP2 hillclimb Dan Gurney Dan Wheldon De Lorean Derek Warwick Detroit Auto Show Detroit Electric diesel engine Dodge Dodge Avenger Dodge Challenger Dodge Dart GT domestic energy donuts drag racing DRB-Hicom driver alert Ducati 899 Panigale Ducati Monster Ducati Museum Eagle GB Eddie Rickenbacker Edsel Ford electric bike electric vehicles EPA Evanta F-150 SuperCrew federal bureaucracy Federal-Mogul Ferrari Ferrari dog kennels Ferrari F12 FEV Fiat 500 Abarth Fiat 500 furniture Fiat-Chrysler Ford Ford Edge Ford Explorer Sport Ford F-150 EcoBoost Ford F-150 Tremor Ford Fiesta ST Ford Focus ST Ford Fusion Ford Mustang Ford S-Max Ford Transit Connect Formula One Formula One rules Forza Motorsport Fq hybrid braking Frankfurt Motor Show Geneva Motor Show Global RallyCross GM GM recalls Goodwood Festival of Speed Group Lotus HANS device Harley-Davidson Harley-Davidson Breakout Harley-Davidson LiveWire Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Harley-Davidson SuperLow Harley-Davidson Switchback healthcare Honda ATVs Honda endurance engine Honda motorcycles HondaJet Husqvarna hybrids Hyundai Hyundai Accent Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Elantra GT Hyundai Genesis Hyundai Genesis Coupe Hyundai Veloster Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indy 500 IndyCar Infiniti Infiniti Q50 Infiniti QX56 inflatable child seat J.D. Power and Associates Jabuar Jaguar Jaguar C-X16 Jaguar E-Type Jaguar F-Type Jaguar luggage Jaguar XE Jaguar XJL Jeep Cherokee Jeep concepts jet prropulsion Jim Clark John Krafcik Kia Forte Koup SX Kia Rio Kia Sorento Kia Soul Lamborghini Land Rover LR2 Le Mans lead-acid batteries Lexus ES350 Lexus GS350 F Sport Lexus LS LExus LX 570 Lincoln MKC Lincoln MKX Lincoln MKZ Lincoln Motor Company Lingenfelter Lola LMP1 Lotus Lotus SUV Lucire Lyonheart K Maserati Tipo 250F replica Mazda Mazda chair Mazda2 McLaren McLaren MP4-12C Spider McLaren P1 McLaren P1 interior Mercedes Mercedes 4Matic Mercedes CLA Mercedes comic book Mercedes diesel pistons Mercedes GL Mercedes GLA Mercedes pickup trucks Mercedes van Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-Benz furniture metal matrix composite brakes MG wrist watch Michael Schumacher Mike Hawthorn Mini Mini Countryman Mini Coupe Mini Roadster Mini Vision Mitsubishi Mopar shaker hood muscle cars MyFord Touch NAIAS nanoslide coating NASCAR NASCAR heating scandal New York Auto Show Niki Lauda Nissan BladeGlider Nissan Leaf Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Skyline history Nissan Smart mirror Nissan Versa Note Nnissan Quest Nurburgring OnStar FMV Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Peter Wright Peugeot 108 Pininfarina Pope Benedict XVI Porsche 917 Porsche 918 Spyder Porsche 988 Porsche P1 EV Porsche Panamera powertrain technology Prius c Prius v racing Ram Ram 1500 Ram ProMaster Ram Promaster City Range Rover rebuildable batteries Renault F1 engine Renault Twingo restomod Ricardo Engineering road repair funds Roger Penske Rolls Royce Bespoke Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Rush movie Saab safety technology Santa SBU V3 Scion FR-S Sir Malcolm Campbell Siri smart Speed sport sedans Sportster Subaru BRZ Subaru Forester Suzuki SX4 Team Lotus TechShop The Aresenal of Democracy touchpad technology Tour de France Toyota Toyota 4Runner Toyota iRoad Toyota Prius c Toyota Tacoma Toyota Venza Toyota VenzaMcLaren MP4-12C Tracks novel Triumph Speed Triple TRW TRW touchpad U.S. Air Force Museum UAW Udvar-Hazy Center unionization vaporware Vehreo fabric Visteon Volkswagen Volvo Volvo Drive-E Volvo S60 R-Design Volvo XC90 VW VW Beetle Convertible VW Beetle TDI VW Golf VW GTI VW Jetta Hybrid VW MQB VW Passat TDI VW Touareg TDI winter driving XPEL Yamaha anime
« Instrument Panel Impalement | Main | Snow Blindness »
Thursday
Feb142013

To Whom It May Concern

By Al Vinikour

It's called a turn signal. Use it or pay the fine.To whom it may concern:

Unless you read automotive columns and auto-related websites you probably wouldn’t be familiar with my name. Truth be told I’m a hard-working journalist and freelance economist. (That means I’m poor, too.) I have watched municipalities by the tens of thousands drop down to such desperate financial shape that many have actually had to do away with city services such as police and fire protection, school bus service, garbage pickup and a host of other things. Yet there’s a lot of laws that, if enforced, your town would be out of the dumper in a week. I’m talking about ticketing drivers. If the way out of this morass wasn’t so clearly defined I could almost find some sympathy. I’m going to assume those communities have never read my weekly rants because, if they had and followed my advice, no community would be short on law enforcement or any other vital asset. Listen up because the town you save could be your own.

Simple Solution:   Enforce the laws already on the books. You’re a police chief, not another detached Congressman. There is a law that’s broken so many times during a day that if who fail to use turn signals. I have spoken to hundreds of police officers in dozens of states and each locality apparently has a mandatory turn signal edict. You’d never know it, however, by the little attention paid to this violation. I’ve been told that there’s not the manpower to make this feasible. Oh, really?! If you’d take some officers off of speed trap duty and assign them to simple driving enforcement like I’ve mentioned, proceeds would skyrocket. But apparently it’s more NYPD-Blue to stop a driver doing 6 MPH over the speed limit while cruising down a four-lane road than it would to pull over some guy who either doesn’t have the energy or the desire to use his turn signal lever.

You don’t have to be a great mathematician to run the numbers. Let’s say that the fine for failure to use a turn signal is $50 (I don’t know what it is, quite honestly). Depending on the size of the village, if police officers wrote 50 tickets per shift — which isn’t really that many — a minimum of $7,000 per day would be totally realistic. Furthermore, it’s a lot more dangerous for car to make a non-indicated turn and have a Buick creep up its rear-end than it is the aforementioned driver doing 46 in a 40.

The fine should be doubled if the driver is on his cell phone as he’s making a turn that wasn’t preceded by use of a turn signal. If this person can multi-task enough to steer his vehicle and talk on the telephone then he still should be able to find an available finger, knuckle or other body part to flick the stem up or down. Either way it will eventually turn itself off so the driver is really “done working” after the signals are on.

The second most dangerous and violated traffic law is running, or turning left on, red lights. There are more t-boned vehicles than there are t-bones. The body damage wasn’t caused by wild squirrel sex, my friend. It was caused by either the wounded vehicle running a stop light… or the vehicle being the victim of a driver who had run a red light. If this happens once it should be at the discretion of the judge as to what punishment to mete out. The second time should result in a four-figure fine. If there happens to be a third time, then it’s obvious the person is not only a menace to himself but endangering the lives of those around him. Consequently he should lose his driver’s license for a period up to 10 years, and immediately forfeit his vehicle to the town, which will later be sold at a sheriff’s auction. Think how many speeding tickets and how many hours it would take to match the money collected.

The third suggestion of this financial hat trick is to take a “no tolerance” policy towards drunk driving – particularly serial intoxicated motorists. As I’ve said before, if one of my family members has his or her life shortened because of the actions of a drunk driver there would be a job opening at the defendant’s workplace, if you get my meaning. The first arrest should result in a very heavy fine. If there’s a second offense then it clearly indicates the drinker is a killer in waiting. His license should be suspended forever and unlike these bastards who lose their license and wind up driving home from the courthouse, a chip should be implanted in the arm or chest so a 24-hour-per-day surveillance can be maintained. I don’t know much about high-technology —I’m still awed by the engineering marvel of a wheelbarrow — but the tracking device could easily be programmed to indicate the observed driver is operating a motor vehicle. If that’s the case then a strict prison sentence should be administered. The second offense would result in a life-without-parole fine.

The big kahuna in fines would be if innocent parties were killed as a result of a drunk driver. The driver will immediately be held in jail without bail; upon a guilty verdict he (or she) will immediately be carted to a hardcore state (or even federal) prison and all properties of the driver — cars, homes, jewelry, etc — would be confiscated and sold, with the proceeds given to the victim’s immediately family  minus a 20% share going to the municipality in whose jurisdiction the incident took place. 

If I can come up with various revenue-producing scenarios like I’ve listed — and I can’t even come up with a plan to pull myself out of the hole — then what are town councils and law enforcement agencies doing such that they can’t see their way clear to institute such plans?

This column should be read aloud during every police roll call at the start of a shift… and at the council meeting of every community in this country. The answer of what will make your cities safe and financially sound is already in the statutes. If you aren’t going to use them, then stop siphoning off public funds that could be used to employ someone who will.

Cordially,

Al

A. D. Vinikour

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>