Alabama Turkey Day Ticket Frenzy
November 27th, 2007 9:36 AM Share
Alabama state troopers were kept busy with their "Take Back Our Highways" campaign, writing almost 17.5K tickets during Thanksgiving week. According to the Birmingham News, officers wrote over 11k citations for "dangerous driving" which included 8.8k speeding tickets. They also handed out 170 citations for DUI, 245 for tailgating, 104 for improper lane changes and 2.2k seat belt or child restraint violations. In spite of their best efforts, there were still 637 crashes resulting in 253 injuries and 21 deaths in the state. While the injury rate was lower than the same time last year, the death rate was up due to an alcohol-related accident in which a drunk driver in a pickup truck hit and killed a mother and her four children in a van.
Published November 27th, 2007 9:35 AM
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I didn't know DUI's existed down in Alabama.
"Throwing the book" at tailgaters would only partially resolve a problem still leaving Grandpa Grump and Grandma Grunt travelling side by side at 2 to 5 mph below posted speed limit blissfully unaware of the backlog of seething rage building behind them. I would slink down in the back seat of my mother-in-law's Crown Vic while she was thoroughly enjoying conversation with the family and gospel radio (that was before the days of cell phones, I won't even go there!) and blisfully ignoring what I felt like were rage aimed guns being zeroing in on her by enraged Texas good ole boys and girls. At the tender age of 19, (early 1960's) I was turned loose under my own recognizance onto the German Autobahn road system in a woefully underpowered '50's something 180 Mercedes Benz 4 banger with 4 on the column. Getting it up to top speed of +/- 200 Klicks (Kpm ~ 120 Mph), was a tormentingly slow process. I felt proud of it and myself after that accomplishment, which was very short-lived, because I was already looking at flashing lights and listening to a blowing horn as a front bumper was dangerously close to pushing me out of the way. When I was able to safely pull to the right, I was left in the proverbial "cloud of dust" usually by a Porche, BMW, Opel Diplomat or larger Mercedes. When in Germany... I learned to do likewise and survived uncounted overtakings traveling at least 120 mph, sometimes bumper to bumper to behind an older VW, they were the only vehicles I could intimidate! Saying all that just to say this: I enjoy driving through states where Interstate Highways are marked: Slower Traffic Keep to the Right. Texas also has many 2 lane hiways with car width stopping / parking lanes. It is common to see a slower driver to pull over for faster moving traffic. I joined the polite tradition when someone wanted to drive faster than I, which was usually over the posted speed limit. The tailgaters you might be worried about are as worried about your safety, if you ever need to drive on the Autobahn system. Please decline if offered when visiting there. My Autobahn self-training still applies even now that I'm over 60. The cost of failure to learn at those speeds was your life. I still by habit move out of the left lane when I'm through passing or when I see a line building up behind me. Just another point of view from a coast-to-coast 60's something retired driver... Guess you might call me a tailgater 'cause maybe it's what I grew up learning to do behind the wheel.
ihatetrees, Yeah, I tried the "go with the flow" gig for many years, you know, maybe 5 over. Then a nice police occifer decided to pull me over and wrote me a nice little tickety ticket for that 5 over. Several hundred sorely earned dollars out of pocket (with a family to feed and crap wages) and a raise in my insurance for three years taught me enough of a lesson. So I said - FINE - (no pun intended) I can by God drive the speed limit. And so - I do. Know what? The tailgating WAS JUST AS BAD NOW AS IT WAS WHEN I WENT 5 OVER. No difference. Some people just gotta be in front, I guess. I hear out east they are now doing $1250 fines for 10 over, I just read it the other day. Was it Delaware? Over 15 over the limit and they'll confiscate your car and toss you in jail. Oh yeah, this afternoon on the way home, this knuckle dragger in his "hot" Dodge Magnum hemi all wheel drive looked in his rearview mirror, saw my Prius and blasted off like he was at a drag strip, apparently in some kind of manly man thing (at least in his little mind). If only my wife'd been there, she'd have made some appropriate comments about "hmmm, big engine, little willy...". Yeah, I caught up to bozo at the next red light. As in, I was RIGHT behind him. Waved at him too..... heh heh. Wow, with the Canadian $2000 to $10,000 ticket and loss of car for a week, I know for sure that I'm going to be going 100 km/hr in a 100 zone, and not one klick over. BTW I actually DO stick to the right lane when I'm driving the speed limit (when there are more than 2 lanes total, I mean). It's quite amazing to watch marked and unmarked cop cars speed, run red lights, tailgate, ignore stop signs and drive exactly like the rest of the drivers, BTW. The word starts with an H.....
In the part of Australia where I live most cars seem to travel at (or very close to so that you wouldn't notice) or below the speed limit. I often travel below it and rarely get tailgated (not saying it doesn't happen). Maybe that accounts for my attitude which is no sympathy at all for the complaints that ticketing speeding is just revenue raising (which is said here also). You know what the rules are, do the crime pay the fine, blah blah blah - get over it.