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Snarky Sack
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Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:15am
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Safe from having too much money in my bank account, I guess.

So there's a bridge over Lake Houston that leads from one suburb to another.  The lake is named after General Sam, not the City of Houston.  It's is well outside Houston City Limits. 

But thanks to a Texas law, large cities can annex nearby small, unincorporated communities in part or in whole at will.  Houston annexed a mile wide strip encircling lake Houston.  Why?

The bridge I speak of is smooth, wide and more than two miles long.  Posted speed limit is 55.  Nobody drives that slow.  So HPD simply hides in "ghost marked" patrol cars just past the bridge and trolls for "speeders," which are easy to catch coming off a bridge like that.

No, they didn't catch me.  I lucked out and pulled into the car wash where they were hiding in their gas-guzzling SUV instead of "speeding" past it.  But while I was washing my car, I saw them hit the lights and go after another "dangerous criminal."

Not blaming the officers for this.  My son is about to be a cop, and I'm very proud of him.  I just hope he doesn't wind up sitting in speed traps for too much of his career.  I guess every cop has to go through that nonsense until we finally get government under our control instead of vice-versa.
  

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GEMorton
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #1 - Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:41am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:15am:
The bridge I speak of is smooth, wide and more than two miles long.  Posted speed limit is 55.  Nobody drives that slow.  So HPD simply hides in "ghost marked" patrol cars just past the bridge and trolls for "speeders," which are easy to catch coming off a bridge like that.


Many small town cops set up speed traps, because the fines collected make up a substantial part of their budget.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2018/06/05/lawsuit-shows-how-tra...

But large cities seldom engage in those shenanigans; their police departments have too many other problems to deal with. Just guessing here, but I'd bet the speed trap you mention was a response to complaints about speeders from merchants and residents at the end of the bridge, or to a high accident rate or a particular fatal accident there.
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #2 - Sep 2nd, 2018 at 2:48pm
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I dislike speeding tickets for the same reason I dislike the way civil lawsuits work in the real world.

Speeding tickets allow the rich to break the law and they don't care. It's pennies to them. Meanwhile the roads are made unsafe because half the population is permitted to drive far faster than the other half, leading them to weave, which is dangerous.

Civil lawsuits as they work in our world allow the poor to maintain a slippery driveway while a rich person cannot. The poor person won't be sued, so he may break any civil "law" he wishes. Again, half the population is permitted to do what the other half is not.

It may be right, but it's not fair.

Personally, I would rather live in a world that is fair, rather than one that is right.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #3 - Sep 5th, 2018 at 11:52am
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GEMorton wrote on Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:41am:
Many small town cops set up speed traps, because the fines collected make up a substantial part of their budget.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2018/06/05/lawsuit-shows-how-tra...

But large cities seldom engage in those shenanigans; their police departments have too many other problems to deal with. Just guessing here, but I'd bet the speed trap you mention was a response to complaints about speeders from merchants and residents at the end of the bridge, or to a high accident rate or a particular fatal accident there.


That's very doubtful, since it's dense with merchants and apartments on one end and very lightly populated with few merchants on the other.  Police were hiding on the lightly populated end because is it harder to get up any speed on the other end due to a traffic light about an eighth mile past it.  You had no way to know that.

What we do know is that police were not sitting on the roadside as a very visible deterrent to speeding.  They were hiding so they could right tickets to random people who were going no faster than the cars around them. 

That's not for safety, that's for revenue.


  

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Jeff
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #4 - Sep 5th, 2018 at 4:55pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 5th, 2018 at 11:52am:
That's very doubtful, since it's dense with merchants and apartments on one end and very lightly populated with few merchants on the other.  Police were hiding on the lightly populated end because is it harder to get up any speed on the other end due to a traffic light about an eighth mile past it.  You had no way to know that.

What we do know is that police were not sitting on the roadside as a very visible deterrent to speeding.  They were hiding so they could right tickets to random people who were going no faster than the cars around them. 

That's not for safety, that's for revenue.


"Lightly populated"?

A good place for children to be out playing, except for the people speeding off the bridge?

Any blind driveways?

I think GE is almost certainly right. People complained, maybe for years, before the police finally got around to stopping people from speeding through their neighborhood.
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #5 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 1:19pm
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Jeff wrote on Sep 5th, 2018 at 4:55pm:
"Lightly populated"?

A good place for children to be out playing, except for the people speeding off the bridge?

Any blind driveways?

I think GE is almost certainly right. People complained, maybe for years, before the police finally got around to stopping people from speeding through their neighborhood.


They're not trying to stop them from speeding.  They're hiding in a car wash hoping to ticket them for speeding.   If they didn't want them to speed, they would be visible as a deterrent.

Your childlike faith in police is touching until one realizes that you are allowed to vote.


  

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Jeff
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #6 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 7:15pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 6th, 2018 at 1:19pm:
They're not trying to stop them from speeding.  They're hiding in a car wash hoping to ticket them for speeding.   If they didn't want them to speed, they would be visible as a deterrent.
It's a much better deterrent when people see someone pulled over getting a ticket, and it puts individual speeders on record, so if it's found that they are repeat offenders, perhaps they can be prevented from driving at all, which will certainly keep them from speeding through neighborhoods. Smiley
  
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Jeff
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #7 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 7:17pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 6th, 2018 at 1:19pm:
Your childlike faith in police is touching until one realizes that you are allowed to vote.


You're a hoot! Thanks.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #8 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 6:47am
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Is this on topic?

http://reason.com/blog/2018/09/06/law-and-order-hate-crimes-launches?utm_medium=...

Are you being kept safe from hate crimes in Houston?
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Houston Police Keeping Me Safe!
Reply #9 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 8:44am
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Jeff wrote on Sep 7th, 2018 at 6:47am:
Is this on topic?

http://reason.com/blog/2018/09/06/law-and-order-hate-crimes-launches?utm_medium=...

Are you being kept safe from hate crimes in Houston?


I actually have no problem with the concept of "hate crime" if it is thoughtfully applied.  By that I mean that something which is already a crime, from vandalism to murder, can have increased  penalties if the motive is hatred for an ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. 

What I disagree with is trying to criminalize the hate itself, absent any aggression motivated by that hate.

  

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