More than 50 years ago, the director of a Florida police academy told me the entire rationale for police traffic enforcement was supposed to be safety and only safety. Enforcement should be keyed to specific “accident” causes.
Nevertheless, as any motorist can attest, almost universally the object of traffic enforcement at the local level always has been revenue enhancement, with rare exceptions and sometimes harassment, which takes several forms, including DWB or driving while black.
This practice flies in the face of the responsibilities of the public safety officials charged with reducing crashes and their resulting injuries and deaths.
At the local level, these are the police accident investigators, whether beat cops or specially trained crash experts.
At the national level since 1970, this has been the mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is currently enmeshed in a controversy about its effectiveness arising from its handling of Toyota pedal entrapment and unintended acceleration matters, where as many as 60 fatalities are alleged. (Click Here for: Is NHTSA Underfunded?) (more…)