Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, November 3, 2008

Megan, Interrupted

Megan is finally awake and working. Not on economic posts, of course, but I'm sure her erudition and volunimous research will pay off very, very soon.

"Apparently, if you pass a stopped emergency vehicle (including a trooper on a traffic stop) without pulling into the left lane, you can be liable for a huge ticket in Virginia. DC area drivers(In other words, I or someone I know just got a ticket.), take note; they can pull you over even if you're going to the limit (Do you mean under?) and not endangering the trooper. (You mean you can't argue your way out of trouble? Life isn't like grad school?) I don't know about other parts of the country, but around here governments are partially dealing with their revenue shortfall by upping their traffic enforcement to outrageously persnickety levels (Proof?); my sister got a ticket the other day for stopping at a stop sign for three seconds instead of the apparently requisite five.(Writers should edit their work. After they lean how to do so.) There were no other cars around--except for the cop who handed her a gigantic ticket. (Rules are for the little people?) "

I actually agree that traffic laws could be set up to fleece people when the city needs money. I do not, however, think that only my family should be exempt.

UPDATE: McArdle informs us, "I can't prove that cops are ticketing more in order to make up other revenue shortfalls, of course, but it certainly seems true from anecdotal evidence. " Well, there you go, then! No proof needed.

That MBA is sure being put to good use.


Anonymous said...

A local news station here did an expose a few years back about a bunch of cities in the area installing those cameras that snap your license plate when you run red lights, having discovered that they deliberately shortened the length of yellow lights so that more people would get busted. I can believe cities would do that kind of thing to raise revenue. But for Megan to write that her sister got a ticket for not stopping as long as she was supposed to while there were no other cars besides the cop, as if this were some defense, is just plain stupid. You don't get to ignore traffic laws just because nobody's around.

Susan of Texas said...

Maybe they should put a sign in the window of their cars telling everyone how much their parents paid for their schooling. That will teach the hired help to show some respect.

Anonymous said...

I already assumed they had bumper stickers for their designer schools stuck on the back. But I can vividly see Megan giving the "don't you know who I am? I write for the Atlantic! I'm going to bring you down!" speech.

Susan of Texas said...

Heh, through the mighty power of her blog, she will create a Randian paradise!

Anonymous said...

This would be perfect to send to the Freakonomics guys and let them run their calculations. What kind of revenue return could a municipality expect by increased (and alledgedly picky, picky, picky) traffic enforcement? And what percentage of ticketed drivers would have to fight* the ticket in court for the municipality to hit the point of diminishing returns.

*Fighting a ticket in court ties up the cop's time (and may even mean overtime pay) and also generates extra administrative costs for the town.