Almost everyone I speak with - most of whom admittedly know my personal biases - have been commenting on the number of Police they are seeing everyday 'protecting our "SAFETY"' by stopping those of us evil traffic violators that speed, and/or violate some inane sign somewhere.
Safety is now deemed of vital importance to national safety by the American Society of Civil Engineers, who several years ago in an effort to promote highway and roadway construction projects introduced their version of "Safety Day". Apparently Elmer the Safety Elephant has long ago retired, and in this morbid black era of government interference, overindulgence and overreaching, they appropriately named their annual celebration each October 10 as "Fatalities Day". (See http://www.brakesonfatalities.org/)
Well I would never consider the civil engineering community the epicenter of social policy making wisdom. And I can hardly fault them for their attempt at developing an awareness campaign that gives lawmakers another good reason to spend money on Civil Engineers....
But it doesn't seem to be working that way.
In fact, the way I learned about "Fatalities Day" was through our state's websites where they are using the engineers attempts at statistic bundling to justify the ever growing need for more enforcement, more police, and more public abuse by people who are supposed to be "protecting" us. It appears that this kind of protection - like so many others - keeps breaking, and we keep ending up with more 'child support'.
In my home state of South Cackalacky, our states own statistics as maintained by the Department of Transportation (see http://www.roadmaptosafety.us/) have evaluated the cause of traffic deaths and traffic related injuries into the top 9 causes over the previous 5 years and have determined that more than 50% of the deaths and 25% of the injuries can be resolved through strategically placed guard rails, and similar such roadway improvements. In fact of the almost 20 recommendations made as to how to correct the first two death and injury types, only two involve police enforcement.
In fact, by cutting the budgets of 'enforcement' by less than 20%, almost every one of the other recommendations could be paid for and implemented as one time expenditures in less than 5 years, and maintained thereafter at a cost of less than half this amount ever after. Moreover the success rate of these improvements will far exceed 50% while the comparable expenditure on law enforcement is certain to yield a less than 5% improvement in safety.
In reality, we need less traffic police in every part of the union, more commitment to safe roads and infrastructure, and priorities that make real improvements. And yet the buffoons in every legislature in the country keep approving the budgets of these bloated law enforcement communities based on the medias preoccupation with crime, property damage, and interpersonal clashes as the top stories in every news and most reality shows. Any business mind knows that burning salary money over capital costs is the fastest way to destroy an enterprise - you add no value, and you may not get any value either.
Why can't the people wake up and recognize that the real enemy isn't your neighbor unless he drives a Police car? Next only to politicians that authorize this insanity, the power abuse by law enforcement at every level is now rampant, and costing you more than the average KGB agency ever got away with throughout the complete cold war era - and frankly with similar results.
In South Carolina, the new blue light special still includes you using your wallet, but is now available on every street corner whether or not there is a K-Mart, and more likely involves someone needing protection. But think twice - the protection is broken, and the final cost will always be yours.