The need for speed: a double standard for cops

It comes as no surprise to anyone who received a speeding ticket in Florida that it is a big deal for the state. Millions of dollars a year fill the pockets of cities and fill the coffers of state and local government offices. Take a look at any municipality’s books, and assuming they’re accurate, you’ll see where traffic ticket revenue helps cover budget deficits. When you think about it, the question arises as to whether local governments should rely on lawbreakers to meet their tax obligations. Of course, reflecting on government actions can often open a can of worms on issues such as right, wrong, fair and unfair. Such is the case with speeding tickets.

There is no denying that the funds that accumulate speeding tickets are excellent, but one segment of speeding offenders that is not quantifiable is that of speeding cops. It is not quantifiable because a police officer is seldom arrested for committing the same speeding offenses for which other drivers are ticketed, at least not when driving a police vehicle. Even when stopping in a personal vehicle, it is highly unlikely that a police officer will receive a speeding ticket once the policeman initiating the stop realizes that he is dealing with one of his fellow “boys in blue. “.

Surely, we have all experienced the frustration of driving in heavy traffic while trying to obey traffic laws (not always an easy task) when suddenly a police officer passes us. He’s not running with lights and / or siren, and it’s about time for a shift change, so you know he’s just come home. Watching cops get away with it for no good reason and suffer little or no ramification can be infuriating. This is especially true if you’ve received a speeding ticket … or two.

It’s no wonder that most of us have a little spark of joy in our hearts when we hear that a police officer was arrested for committing the same violations that he seems to enjoy fining the rest of us for. Unfortunately, this seems to happen infrequently and only when they commit major violations or repeatedly. However, occasionally, rapes between police officers are so egregious or events become systemic in a given area that they attract the attention of those who are willing to do something about it. YouTube is rife with videos of people recording police officers speeding up or abusing the power entrusted to them.

Fortunately, we can still rely on news sources to conduct research on such behavior. The Sun-Sentinel conducted an investigation in 2012 that resulted in the censorship of 44 Miami-Dade police officers. The investigation revealed that these officers were constantly driving vehicles at speeds of more than 90 miles per hour. Fifty percent of the time, these police officers were off duty when they committed these violations. I don’t know what’s more outrageous, the fact that half the time they were breaking this particular law was while the taxpayers were paying them, or that the other half of the time they were breaking the law and putting others at risk. your personal time.

The investigation also revealed that, while on duty, many of these police officers exceed the limits allowed even by their department policy during crucial conditions. These seem like pretty serious infractions to me, but the only penalties most of these officers suffered were briefly losing the privilege of driving county vehicles home after their shift and / or taking an 8-year driver safety training course. hours.

In addition to those findings, the year-long investigation also found that nearly 800 police officers from a multitude of agencies drove between 90 and 130 miles per hour according to SunPass records. Unfortunately, media involvement was required to expose these serious problems, which in turn prompted the various law enforcement agencies to conduct individual investigations. The result of these investigations was that 138 agents were sanctioned not only by their respective agencies, but also by the counties in which they operated. Unfortunately, the discipline they received was seriously lacking in force in the sense that, with only two exceptions, the sanctions issued were nothing more than reprimands.

There are cases where police officers who violate traffic laws face harsher penalties, including firing or imprisonment, but these actions are often reserved for “rogue” police officers who commit more serious crimes. Such was the case of a Miami police officer who was arrested for running from a Florida state trooper for more than 18 miles at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Why was he in such a hurry? He was apparently on his way to his second job while driving his Miami city police cruiser.

The way in which police officers like the ones I have mentioned here abuse their power is outrageous. Any additional driver training they receive doesn’t necessarily make it safer for them to speed up and justify taking the welfare of others into their own hands. The fact that they are entrusted with the power to determine whether or not the average citizen is acting within the limits of Florida traffic laws makes it even more critical that they hold themselves to a higher standard of care. Combine that responsibility with the fact that these speeding violations often occur in police vehicles that are paid for with our tax dollars, as well as the gasoline that fuels them and the insurance that covers them, and it’s easy to get upset about the knowledge that these cops seldom see the same consequences as we do for committing the same crimes.

Most of us are taught at a very young age to respect police officers, comply with their demands, and operate within the limits of the law. It’s a bitter pill to continually try to swallow when we feel that the standards by which law enforcement operates are different from what the rest of us are expected to meet. If you receive a speeding ticket or any other type of traffic citation, call us at 954-967-9888 for a free consultation. We believe that protecting your rights is as important, if not more so, than the rights granted to police officers who impose traffic tickets on you.

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