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Unsportsmanlike conduct

Sunday, March 26, 2006
So there's a decent chance that today, while speeding around town, I got tagged finally by a photo radar van.

Let me back up and describe my day: I spent the night in Eugene for my brother's birthday. I leave for home around noon and encounter not one, but TWO accidents. (Trip Check actually said the second one had a 20 minute - 2 hour delay!). I don't get home until just after 2:30... which means I spent two and a half hours driving a straight line that normally takes me only 95 minutes or so. So my driving day didn't start out pleasantly, needless to say.

Anyway, I'm cruising from point A to point B today, accomplishing my list of "things to do". I'm not even really paying attention until a moment too late when I cruise past a sign that reads "photo radar in use" and then, after I finally figure out what I mean, I already passed the van sitting by the side of the road. Now, I was going anywhere from 39 to 43 miles per hour in a 35 zone. I suspect that if I was going 39 or even 40 I'm okay, but if I was going 41, 42, or 43 I'm pretty screwed. Damn, that sucks.

But let me explain why I really hate photo radar. I'm going to use a fishing analogy: Let's say you've got a really nice rod, reel, and lure and you're out in the stream waiting for a fish to nibble. That's great and some poeple consider that a sport. But let's say you stand out in the middle of a stream and string a net across the entire width of this body of water, catching every fish that passes by? Is that fun? No... it's UNSPORTING.

The thing is that when you have a human doing the job of traffic enforcement (how about getting the tailgators and people who don't use their turn signal!) out there you have a chance. There's a chance that the car next to you is a more attractive target. There's a chance that the cop has already pulled someone over. There's the chance that you're not even speeding (yeah, right.) When it's just you out there versus one cop (or even a couple) you have a chance of making it through safely. They can't pull EVERYone over, right? Well, with photo radar they can,and that's just... unsporting.


Blogger Burton said...

Very true, Rebekah. However, speed limit laws are - in many cases - completely arbitrary. More than once the people of Oregon have voted to raise the speed limit on the highways to 75, yet it's never been done because the governor has blocked it.

I mean, there are many traffic rules that I obey. I don't speed in residential back streets, because I don't know who might be in the road. However, on major throughfares I believe the speed limit is set too low - many times so the police can simply ticket people for a source of revenue.

Can you really compare driving fast (done off the road it's actually a sport) to raping and murdering? I don't think so! :)

10:00 AM, March 26, 2006  

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