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Ron Cruger
Where are the cops?
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            Have you noticed that each year we see less traffic cops on our roads and highways. We see more and more of those electronic cameras on poles at intersections, you know, the ones that take a flash photograph of the car, driver and license plate of any care that turns right without stopping first when facing a red light. You’ve seen the flash go off when someone in a hurry bolts through the intersection just as the light turns red. These are the people that are in a hurry to go shopping at Target or they’re late to pick up their kid at the baby sitter or they’ve just had too much coffee and they have a bad case of the jitters and shouldn’t be driving a car.
          As the country remains mired in an unhealthy financial condition we find more and more cities, counties and states cutting back on their police and fire personnel. Some police departments, after cutting back on their own numbers, warn their constituents that their officers may not be able to respond to crimes that don’t involve violence. Citizens in these locations are urged to leave a phone messages or are told to e-mail the police with a report of the crime. You know, like when you call your cable company – “Please press one if you’ve been held up. Press two if your car has been stolen. Press three if you’ve received a death threat. Press four if your wife or husband has been missing for more than 48-hours. This call may be monitored…”
          I like it when I see cops, sheriffs or Highway Patrol cars sitting half-hidden at an intersection, at the ready to write a citation to any traffic offenders. Tends to keep all of us a bit more honest and prudent in our driving when we run the risk of getting a traffic citation from an authoritative, well -dressed (and armed) officer of the law.
          With increased numbers of people distracted for one reason or another from driving safely, courteously and non-aggressively we need more law enforcement personnel on our roads – not less.
          It would be better if these cities that are reducing their police forces would keep the cops on their beats and get rid of some of their councilmen, assistant managers and desk jockeys.
          With fewer police officers and Highway Patrol guys patrolling our streets and highways I feel more vulnerable to the actions of those over-caffeinated, rude, and dangerous drivers that consider our byways their personal byways.
          All this and I haven’t mentioned the people on the streets who are too old to drive safely, those who are on prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol dependency , those who have mental difficulties and those who because of physical limitations should not be behind the wheel of a 5,000 pound missile on wheels with cup-holders and TV sets.
          It’s time for our creative geniuses to come up with a chip that will be placed in all new cars that will report any traffic violation directly to the police and a citation will be automatically sent (probably e-mailed) to the law breaker.
          Speed, go through a red light, change lanes carelessly, cut off another car, park with an expired meter or display dangerous driving methods and the chip will send notice to your local police station and you’ll get a traffic ticket. That ought to keep all of us more honest in our driving.
          I don’t look on these methods as infringing on my rights. One of my rights is to leave the house and return to it in one piece.
          
                   
          
          
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