The lesson the Establishment is drawing from the Memphis murder is that cops should retreat more to the donut shop and not pull over so many bad drivers of color. This makes sense to them since practically nobody other than my readers knows that lethal driving by blacks and, later, Hispanics roared upwards during BLM’s racial reckoning.
The one sane alternative to traffic stops is automatic cameras mailing out tickets, as most of Europe does. Washington, D.C. has gone a long way in that direction. But that only works if drivers aren’t allowed to fake their license plates, for example, by buying or printing fake paper plates.
Lately, D.C. has decided that doing anything about its big boom in fake plates would be racist because our society’s Sacred Cows are the main fake plate offenders.
From the blog of somebody named Tom Lee who rides his bike in Washington, D.C.
FAKE TAGS ARE A REAL PROBLEM
1 day ago
… I have been immersed in enough safe streets rhetoric to agree that making our streets less deadly is about how we build, not who we blame. Incompetence or inattention are inevitable human foibles. We know drivers will make mistakes and it is more productive to ameliorate those mistakes’ effects than to contemplate how we will punish them.
I buy this, with one exception. I get angry at drivers who do not try. The ones who don’t accept that they have a responsibility to others and that they consequently must make an effort. The ones who selfishly exempt themselves from the rules. The ones who choose lawlessness. I get very angry at them.
And recent years have provided a nearly-ubiquitous signal that such a driver is near: the fake temporary tag. All of a sudden, it seemed, paper tags were everywhere. Often they were on credible-seeming vehicles—ones that looked new, or at least newly washed. But sometimes the expiration date had passed. And as the months wore on, they started showing up on increasingly-implausible beaters.
These days it’s obvious: fake tags are part of the scofflaw trinity, along with defaced plates and opaque plate covers.
The reason this trend started is equally obvious: automated traffic enforcement, or ATE. Speed cameras annually collect more than $100 million in fines from area drivers. And that’s just D.C.’s cameras! Compared to the era that preceded them, these systems have made enforcement of traffic laws shockingly consistent. They make a difference in safety, too, as even AAA—a reliably brash proponent of motorists’ most chauvinistic impulses—has grudgingly admitted.
The relative scale of automated enforcement is immense. Enforcement of traffic laws by humans is, by comparison, so constrained as to be irrelevant. ATE dramatically increases the frequency with which drivers are punished.
But ATE systems work by connecting a license plate back to a driver. Sever that connection and the citation will never find its target. ATE transformed citations from an occasional episode of motorist misfortune—not so different from a flat tire—to a persistent nuisance. Some drivers took steps in response.
I think this is easy to understand. Spend any time near D.C. roads, and it’s easy to see, too. But why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?
DC HAS GIVEN UP
The city convened a task force about fake tags, which did a study, and then decided not to do anything. Why?
Although the Task Force convened to determine options available to move forward, with the assistance of the Mayor’s Office of Racial Equity, it was ultimately determined not to move forward with many of the initial ideas due to the possible negative impact on people of color. Therefore, law enforcement continues to enforce fake temporary tags using their existing processes.