Excess enforcement costs taxpayers

May 7, 2015


So after a long day of work late, I am driving home on Los Osos Valley Road when a large (New York City style) fire truck shows up immediately followed by a smaller fire truck, four cop cars and an ambulance.

All this hoopla for a one car accident near the middle school. I must have counted six to seven police officers and a similar count of firefighters just standing around!

Being a small business owner, I have to work so hard to earn a living and every time I see such scene it blows my mind how these local authorities allow this kind of reckless money wasting bullshit.

They simply have to operate this way to keep getting funded by government. It just shows you how poorly government oversees spending on a local and a national level. Within the private sector this certainly would never be tolerated.

I have a spotless driving record and never caused an accident. After all these clean years I got pulled over twice last week for minor violations; one in Shell Beach and one downtown San Luis Obispo.

On a friendly note, I explained the officers the violations were such minor and considering my long clean driving record I asked if they please give me a break. No respond (no word) so I asked again; is it really necessary to write me a ticked over such small violation immediately affecting my clean record and increasing my insurance. Again nothing was said. Instead I was handed the tickets.

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People who say they have a clean record are just lucky. You may not have received any tickets for moving violations but how many SHOULD you have gotten? Also, you gripe about excess ENFORCEMENT but complain when the cops are standing around at an accident scene.If they are standing around at an accident scene they are NOT out enforcing and writing tickets! Which way do you want it? Sheeshhh.

You make your own luck. Nobody is perfect, but those that get fewer tickets drive more carefully, take better care of their vehicles and generally take les risks. It is all propotionate. The statistics are proven in insurance company pricing models for young people, who tend to be less risk averse, paying more based on statistical analysis.

From a individual perspective you are correct, but you also have to consider this from a policy perspective. There is a difference between people who drive “carefully” as far as the risk they pose to themselves and those who drive “carefully” as far as they risk they pose to themselves and every other driver. Someone who drives the speed limit or under the limit or who do not speed up to pass may reduce the risk to themselves, but studies show that slow driving especially in the left lane causes other drivers to take greater risks, resulting in more accidents. So careful and slow driving is fine, if it is done properly, otherwise, it causes problems for others…. just like speeding. But we have a tendency in this society to single out certain behaviors and demonize them without sometime understanding the big picture and the hypocrisy of our judgements.

It is important to view traffic (and other policy related things) from both this individual as well the aggregate perspective. think about the slow drivers like suprise rock outcroppings in the path of a mountain biker… the rock will probably be avoided and not suffer any damage but that does not mean it is not going to cause many cyclists to vere off and wreck.

Really, that is how you respond to what I posted? It had to do with risk and actuarial studies. And yes, insurance rates are also set by individual experience without claims or violations. In addition, the risks that other drivers take is their responsibility. Not that of the driver that may be going slower than they like. Rarely do you see anyone in the left lane driving under the speed limit. If they are maintaining that drivers should not be compelled to take additional risks. I would be interested in seeing the studies that you sight and the number of accidents that they caused.

I can sympathize with the author’s sentiments, but it’s unfortunate he doesn’t understand the purpose and reason behind things.

A minor accident with two cars means AT LEAST two patients. Neat a school, there are likely two more pediatric patients (four patients total). Each patient requires separate evaluation and documentation. Pediatric patients require extra documentation and evaluation. What if there were entrapment or fire? What if the original accident were caused by a driver suffering from sudden stroke or heart attack? That’s no longer a “minor” scene, though it may appear so.

At least one office, or two, will need to direct and control traffic. Another to investigate and speak to witnesses.

Sure, fewer resources could respond initially, but that would delay help in many serious incidents. Why not respond forces that are available and on the clock? It might even pull an officer away from writing a minor citation.

We could do with less, but the quality of service and care would be reduced.

See my response below, you’re just regurgitating propaganda because you’re not looking at it in terms of opportunity costs to society overall.

A 911 call is received by the dispatch center. The woman is reporting an accident in front of a school. She says it looks like a “fender bender” and she doesn’t see anyone hurt, so the dispatcher sends one patrol car to take a report. . . . what would appear to be the correct response for a minor traffic accident. The patrol car arrives to find out that the “fender bender” was the result of someone who had no brake lights (a minor infraction to his mind) and actually a child was trapped between the bumpers of two cars – the distraught and irate parent of the child trapped is attacking one of the people in the cars involved. So, the patrol car asks for two more patrol cars and an ambulance. While the call is being made for additional personnel, the child has an asthma attack brought on by the stress of the accident and the parent knocks down the driver of one of the cars, slamming his head against the roadway and rendering him unconscious. During the time that it takes for the additional equipment and personnel to arrive, several of the people in the crowd are trying to pull the two cars apart to free the trapped child, but one of the cars is leaking gas. An engine fire starts because no one has disconnected the battery. The patrol car calls for a fire department response in addition to more police personnel and a medical team – plus an additional ambulance and more patrol cars for crowd and traffic control. You can see where this is going. The point is, until someone qualified arrives at the scene to assess the situation, emergency responders don’t know the details of the emergency they are facing, so they are dispatched based on the potential for what they might encounter. If you were the parent of that trapped child, I am sure you would have appreciated the correct original dispatch of the safety personnel that statistics say is proper for that type of incident. Instead, time was wasted, lives were risked, and much more damage and trauma was caused. Leave the direction of emergency situations to the professionals trained to handle them. Stop armchair quarterbacking situations that you do not understand. Give the people who risk their lives on a daily basis credit for being there in times of emergency and caring enough to do the difficult jobs.

Rather melodramatic, but in part correct.

As if 99% of the comments on CCN aren’t melodramatic??

Clearly you were in the field, because you just gave a perfect example of the stock propaganda taught to workers in public safety. However it is just that.. propaganda. It does not consider a multitude of other factors including:

– what are the actual odds of a situation that resembles what you describe

– does this cause greater dependency on public safety officials and less responsibility on the part of other citizens to step in and help?

– if the money were not spent in the area of public safety, where else might it be spent? for example, healthcare for children with dangerous health issues

i could go on, but I think that alone is sufficient to debunk your cliche argument

Also… the use of the term armchair quarterbacking is indicative of the fact that you’re regurgitating propaganda. The phrase doesn’t really have any meaning whatsoever in anything other than football, where someone is sitting in an armchair and criticizing decisions made in the heat of the moment. There is no armchair, expenditures and policy are not made in the heat of the moment, and most importantly, the citizens ARE the quarterbacks in this game.

It’s all about the money, overtime, budgets vs number of responses. The various agencies know exactly how the game is played and they are quite good at it. I’m not saying we don’t like having people respond to every accident, but perhaps one car could go to access the situation and then call in help if it is deemed appropriate. I’m sure at the scene of the accident there were numerous citizens with cell phones who could have told the agencies involved that it was minor, but then they don’t get to list another incident which determines how much funding is needed in the next cycle.

RE Your fixit tickets: It is galling that in the time it took for you to get written up, there were probably two low-level drug sales, a domestic violence, and a drunk publicly urinating. But the department(s) chose to you. Bummer.

RE The number of responders: Yes, I agree completely with this, there should be many fewer responders, and they can call for back-up as necessary. On the other hand, we are paying the firefighters for the whole shift regardless of whether they are standing around in the street, or watching TV at the station, so cost of them showing up is not all that great.

sh****t…… what do you expect when your chief of police gets caught spending public tax funds on family vacations and fancy meals and probably gets a pay increase for it. take note this is how this county operates and im pretty amazed how tame people are about it. the unnecessary excessive/expensive ladders, boats, vehicles to tow the boats, I mean id say this is kind of a joke if I wasn’t doing the math. atleast we haven’t had some the of the problems the rest of the country are having. reguarding the tickets, ive had some pretty reasonable, professional leos give me a couple breaks, but its a pretty small town, if you get picked up for anything or are just known by and disliked, that’s about what youll see at the very least. or perhaps needed to meet quota