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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 Rebekah said...

Oh, you big baby!!! You could try OBEYING THE LAW!!!! ;-p Law enforcement is not a sport or contest; imagine if the law were a bigger one, like rape or murder. We don't intend to let some rapists or murderers get away with it because it's "more sporting". Ideally, we want to catch every single one!

2:13 AM, March 26, 2006  
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  
Blogger Rebekah said...

But we weren't talking about a 55- or 65-mph zone, we were talking about a 35 mph zone! Not, then, I think, arbitrary. And yes, I can compare it to raping and murdering, since I'm not suggesting you do jail time or suffer the death penalty. Be sensible! I'm merely illustrating that just because the law is a smaller one doesn't mean it's implied that some people are supposed to get away with breaking it!

Besides, fair or not, it's the LAW. There are lots of laws I don't agree with, but I abide by them because they ARE the law. It's the difference between living in an ordered society vs. anarchy. If you don't like the law, you do what you can to change it, or move. Or pay the price for breaking it. Because I'm your friend, though, I hope you DIDN'T get caught, and won't have to pay. Truce? :-)

12:20 AM, March 29, 2006  

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