Marietta, GA — The Free Thought Project has reported on many stories over the years about police schemes designed to separate the citizens from their money but carried out under the ostensible notion of "keeping you safe." The most recent case comes out of Marietta, Georgia this week in which cops are dressing up like construction workers to ticket people for talking on phones, not wearing seat belts, and other victimless crimes like window tint.
Several agencies in the area have teamed up to "catch" distracted drivers who'd dare talk on their cell phones while driving and folks riding without their seat belts on in order to issue them citations.
Marietta and Cobb County police were joined by Georgia State Patrol troopers and they stopped dozens of drivers and issued them tickets for $50 for the first offense, plus an additional $50 for every other violation they found after the initial stop.
As FOX 2 reports:
Officers and troopers were waiting in just about every corner lot along a 4-mile stretch around the Big Chicken, waiting for word from one of the undercover officers dressed as construction workers. Those officers walked up and down the medians spotting drivers being distracted and radio ahead to the waiting units. Officers said some of the drivers were so obvious that they could have been in full uniform and would have been oblivious to their presence.
In total, in just the four hour period, police issued a total of 170 citations and made three arrests.
Police claim they hope to deter drivers with this tactic that borderlines on entrapment.
However, as TFTP has reported, if officers actually deterred people from these victimless traffic infractions like talking on a cellphone, driving without a seat belt, or having dark window tint, they would be hitting themselves where it hurts the most — the bank account.
Just this week, TFTP reported on the city of Ridgetop, Tenn. who fired its entire police department because the department refused to keep enforcing their insane revenue collection scheme through preying on the citizens with traffic tickets.
“Law enforcement is not about tickets. It’s about trying to cut down on crime. That is a local government taking advantage of its people. That’s not what we are here for,” said officer Shawn Taylor, one of the fired officers.
"For a city this size and the budget we have, the tickets we are writing is out of hand,” the former police chief added.
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And this is the problem with the model of policing in America. Local officials and police departments are dependent upon the revenue they collect from enforcing victimless crimes like seat belts, window tint, arbitrary inspections stickers, and other "infractions."
If they were to stop extracting revenue from the citizens, they would lose a large chunk of their funding.
It is important to point out that driving faster than the flow of traffic on the roadway is dangerous and reckless. All too often, some idiot in a hurry loses control and ends up hurting an innocent party. The same goes for distracted distracted drivers who pose a danger to other motorists.
That being said, however, the idea that police can stop people from acting like idiots on the roadway by extorting every single person they see talking on a cellphone or not wearing a seat belt is nonsense. If it actually had any effect at all, the tens of millions of speeding tickets and other traffic tickets issued every year, would have curbed this practice by now. But it does not.
The total number of people who receive speeding tickets only, is 41,000,000 a year with an average cost of $152.00 each. That is 1 in every 5 licensed drivers in the US.
The total number of speeding tickets paid each year $6,232,000,000 which breaks down to around $300,000 generated per police officer for speeding alone. Tack on seat belt violations, license plate lights, window tint, rolling stop signs, and expired state-mandated documents and that number sky rockets.
Police, we are told, are here to keep us safe and protect us from the bad guys. However, public safety, all too often, takes a back seat to revenue collection. Time and time again, the Free Thought Project has exposed quota schemes in which officers were punished for not writing enough tickets.
While most everyone in America commits the same infractions designed for revenue collection, most of the people targeted by police for these crimes are the poor, minorities, and the mentally ill.
For those too poor to pay their tickets, routine traffic stops end up in repeated imprisonment due to mounting fines. People get trapped in the system and unless they can come up with the thousands of dollars to get out from under these fines, they will likely end up back in that system — over and over again.
It's a debtor's prison and it's horrendous.
Revenue collection, persecution of the poor, and these debtor's prisons take place in every county, in every city, across every state. However, this institutionalized cruelty is little more than a day's work for the millions of bureaucrats involved in the racket.