East Moline, IL — 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.” One of these cases has surfaced out of Illinois recently showing just how far police will go to ticket people for alleged traffic offenses.
Cops in Illinois are going under cover as construction workers to catch people violating traffic laws.
“Somebody is going to get hurt,” disguised Illinois State Trooper Ron Salier told WQAD. “That’s why we’re out here. We are trying to make a difference and educate people.”
Police are donning their construction worker equipment and their radar detectors and they are pulling unwitting motorists over by the dozen. Naturally, they are claiming it is to keep you safe and not to raise funds.
“It’s not about writing tickets,” Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson said. “It’s not about pulling people over, it’s about keeping people safe.”
While this may seem like an altruistic approach to stopping people from dangerously speeding through construction zones, police departments across the country are dependent upon issuing traffic tickets for their survival.
As a result of this reliance on revenue collection through traffic citations, countless police departments in America are constantly caught enforcing ticket quotas despite this practice being entirely illegal.
What’s more, tickets issued in a construction zone are far more expensive than other areas which make them a great fishing ground for issuing citations.
According to Blatti Law, as WGN points out, a first-offense speeding ticket in a construction zone is penalized by a $375 fine. A second offense could bring a $1,000 fine and a 90-day driver’s license suspension.
Up until they decided to go undercover, police were parking their actual patrol cars near the construction zones. However, this likely made people slow down, and thus police couldn’t write as many tickets. So, they found a work around.
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. That being said, however, the idea that police can stop people from acting like idiots on the roadway by extorting everyone they see “breaking the speed limit,” is nonsense. If it actually had any effect at all, the tens of millions of speeding 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.
All too often we hear the ridiculous statement from the apologist crowd saying, “If you don’t break the law, you have nothing to worry about.”
However, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
Former NSA official William Binney sums this myth up quite accurately, “The problem is, if they think they’re not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does.”
Attorney Harvey Silverglate argues that the average American commits three felonies a day without even knowing it.
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.
As the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson exposed, African-Americans accounted for 86 percent of traffic stops while making up only 63 percent of Ferguson’s population.
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.