Citation Rides A Black Helicopter

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
citation rides a black helicopter

Pistonheads reports that Britain's War on Speed is reaching levels of expense and complication to rival our own War on Drugs. Signs have been appearing around Essex to "warn" drivers that something Orwellian this way hovers, as the county has turned to helicopters to fight the evil of speeding. And true to form, the copper chopper is stocked with goodies that would make Big Brother nod his head approvingly. The automated onboard camera system can recognize number plates from 700 ft, and and a "Skyshout" public address system allows officers to bark orders at offending motorists or blast "Flight of the Valkyries" to get all pumped. And with the Orwellian kit comes the kind of tortured justification that brings to mind ol' George's maxim that "the object of power is power." You see, speeders are a tricky lot, and since cars are too easy to ticket, they've switched to motorcycles. Says the chairman of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board, "There is a perception it is sometimes easier for motorcyclists to evade detection of offences because of the speed they travel at. We feel signs warning of the likelihood of detection by air will be an extra incentive for motorcyclists in particular, and all motorists, to drive safely." Which makes the initiative well worth the $1,800/hour expense, right?

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  • Bruce Banner Bruce Banner on Aug 27, 2008

    The thought that so many people would buy into the idea that the ends justifies the means is a scary one. Perhaps Law Enforcement should be given high speed tanks for patrol so they can crush your car for speeding or blow it up if you don't stop within 500 M.

  • Dave Dave on Aug 27, 2008

    Redbarchetta : "Do the cops fight any crime over there in the UK or are they too busy collecting revenue from speeders. Sounds like your government needs to get its priorities in order." This govt does have it's priorities in order from it's pint of view - that's to raise money anyway it can... but god knows what they spend it on, probably Swiss bank accounts. This govt is so anti-motorist, that the average person now meets the police via a penalty notice from a camera, or by a Traffic Cop who's got targets to meet. And you wonder why the public no longer trusts a copper?

  • Raymond Hieber Raymond Hieber on Aug 27, 2008

    "Ohio has been using airplanes for more than 20 years. Like I said, cop-ridden hell hole." My first ticket @ 19 in 1997 was from one of those planes, I'm almost certain it was a Cessna older than me. 67 in a 55 that later became a 65 zone. Just taught me to slow down a little "between the lines" or have a passenger look out/up for a plane. Ohio seems to be getting worse and worse for revenue enforcement, anecdotally.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Aug 27, 2008

    As someone who knows a little bit about aircraft, and has a healthy skepticism of government, I have a theory on this one. The idea behind using a helicopter could only come from a couple places. One, they had the money and wanted the helicopter. It is pure stupidity to use a helicopter for this mission due to the cost of operation. Two, they are now going to use the excessive cost of the helicopter to justify something else such as raising fees, or the real stupidity - using UAV's. UAV's are NOT ready to be used over friendly territory, as the US proved when they lost control of a million dollar plus predator over US airspace in a pilot(less) program for the border patrol. There is a myth of money savings with these toys, but the real savings is the ass of the bureaucrat who doesn't now have a pilot who is smarter than he is second guessing his decisions on the scene.