Those of you who PAWD (Pay Attention While Driving) might have noticed a remarkable difference between the level of enforcement during the Click It or Ticket campaign in November 06, and the You Drink & Drive. You Lose campaign one month later.
The difference in enforcement cannot be in the campaigns' names, because police always stop cars for speeding, no matter what the slogan is. So what was it about the November campaign that kept the boys in blue in their station house? The answer is revealed in the Governors Highway Safety Bureau (GHSB) announcements of these events:
"Due to a delay in federal funding, GHSB will be unable to provide funds for the November 2006 Click It or Ticket Mobilization. We ask that departments conduct enforcement on a regular patrol basis no overtime details, no four-hour blocks - voluntary, non-GHSB funded, display Click It or Ticket banners, cruiser signs, and distribute informational cards as an in-kind contribution to this effort. No GHSB-funding will be available for overtime enforcement in November 2006.
First Funded Mobilization: You Drink & Drive. You Lose. December 15, 2006 - January 1, 2007."
And from reading their document, there was another interesting detail that emerged: By making the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau a division of the Homeland Security and Programs Division, the government is telling us that looking for people who don't buckle up and looking for terrorists is the same thing.
Although the red light camera systems and the driving conditions in both towns were very similar, the two committees came to opposing recommendations. In the more affluent Swampscott, the committee concluded that the risk of increased injuries due to motorists rear-ending each other at these monitored intersections is not worth any possible extra income for the town. However the cash-strapped Saugus decided that any possible injuries due to motorists rear-ending each would be worth the extra income for their town.
Both accidents are still under investigation, but the legislators got busy again on how to keep teenagers from speeding and continued to do nothing about problems associated with older drivers. In other words, while they have already given us plenty of rules for people who shouldn't be driving yet, there simply is no strategy for people who shouldn't be driving anymore.
By the way, there was another accident on that very same day, this one in Jamaica Plain. State police were investigating the cause of a single vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Boston woman, when her vehicle 'left the roadway and struck a tree.' The driver was 77 years old.
So size doesn't matter, right?
Well, this report started a war on big SUVs, until 2006 when the same group of experts discovered, "Driver death rates in minicars are higher than in any other vehicle category. People traveling in small, light cars are at a disadvantage, especially when they collide with bigger, heavier vehicles. The laws of physics dictate this." (Status Report, Vol. 41, No. 10).
So does size matter or doesn't it?
And according to IIH$, while minicars weigh about 2,500 pounds or less, the best minicar of them all was the Nissan Versa - even if it weighs more than that. Go figure.
So Happy New Year to all, and watch out on March 23 - April 8, May 14 - June 3, July 2 - 15, and August 17 - September 3, 2007. Unless of course the bureaucrats once again find ways to squander our tax money away before that.
MA State Chapter Coordinator
P.S. Here is note from John Carr, our State Chapter Activist:
An engineering study for Route 20 in Charlton -- not done until I wrote a letter recommended 60 and 65 mile per hour speed limits. The MassHighway Boston office cut these by ten miles per hour, and the 55-mile per hour speed limit approved in August still wasn't posted as of the end of December.
MA State Chapter Activist
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