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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the downside-is-that-you-have-to-be-in-california dept.

The Almighty Buck 325

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Alex Mayyasi reports that in the parking lots of Silicon Valley's venture capital firms, expensive cars gleam in the California sun and a closer look reveals that the cars share a mysterious detail: they nearly all have a custom license plate frame that reads, 'Member. 11-99 Foundation.' Are the Bay Area's wealthy all part of some sort of illuminati group that identifies each other by license plate instead of secret handshakes? The answer is the state highway patrol — the men and women that most people interact with only when getting ticketed for speeding. A number of the frames read 'CHP 11-99 Foundation,' which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Donors receive one license plate as part of a $2,500 'Classic' level donation, or two as part of a bronze, silver, or gold level donation of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. Rumor has it, according to Mayyasi, that the license plate frames come with a lucrative return on investment. As one member of a Mercedes-Benz owners community wrote online back in 2002: 'I have the ultimate speeding ticket solution. I paid $1800 for a lifetime membership into the 11-99 foundation. My only goal was to get the infamous 'get out of jail' free license plate frame.'

The 11-99 Foundation has sold license plate frames for most of its 32 year existence, and drivers have been aware of the potential benefits since at least the late 1990s. But attention to the issue in 2006-2008 led the foundation to stop giving out the frames. An article in the LA Times asked 'Can Drivers Buy CHP Leniency?' and began by describing a young man zipping around traffic — including a police cruiser — and telling the Times that he believed his 11-99 frames kept him from receiving a ticket. But the decision was almost irrelevant to another thriving market: the production and sale of fake 11-99 license plate frames. But wait — the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. 'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"

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selective enforcement at it's finest. (4, Informative)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#46730055)

Heh, in AZ you can buy a specialized, state issued 'honoring fallen officers' license plate-- with similar effects.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (4, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730221)

To people outside of Arizona, we've got 35 (!) choices for our plate [servicearizona.com] outside of the default, each costing $25 extra, and $25 extra-extra if you want it personalized.

A few of them have restrictions (purple heart, alternative fuel, veteran), but the rest are a pure style choice. Anyone with $50,000 and a NPO can get a plate into production - since $17 of the $25 goes to your charity.

So, yes, there's no doubt that Families of Fallen Police Officers plates, as well as Veteran, and Purple Heart have a higher bar set for the threshold of getting pulled over. In addition to those plates, you can by-hand order Congressional Medal of Honor, Former POW and Pearl Harbor Survivor. All of which I'm sure are mostly free from traffic tickets -- just not something you can purchase on a whim. Survived Pearl Harbor? Fuck it, Mr. Have a nice day.

An aside... ....there was a guy from a native tribe here who was a fairly famous war veteran. [A quick search of CMH winners doesn't show him, but I'm sure it'll pop into my head some day.] He lived NW of Phoenix, and reportedly the van that took him to his Elks Lodge or VFW hall used to drive like a bat out of hell across 93 through Joshua Tree -- and the cops smiled and waved.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#46730239)

Yeah, I lived in AZ for about 18 months and was a absolutely bewildered by the number of different plates.

I get revenue generation and money being tight and all that.. but you should be able to tell at a quick cursory glance what state a plate is from.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730347)

Law changed in AZ back in 2008 where license pate frames now have to clearly show the "ARIZONA" that's on top of all of the specialty plates.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/... [azcentral.com]

...but you're right. It's a mind-blowing menagerie of custom plates out here.

AZ License plates (4, Funny)

knarfling (735361) | about 7 months ago | (#46730437)

There is a reason for all the different colors of license plates. You used to be able to say that you could tell the changing seasons by the changing colors ... of the license plates. There are so many out-of-state visitors during the winter that it used to be easy to tell the snowbirds from the residents.
Probably someone decided that the snowbirds were either getting picked on or getting preferential treatment, so lots of colors of AZ plates were made. As a bonus, more money comes in!!

Did you know that AZ has very short winters? Last year it was on a Tuesday.

Re:AZ License plates (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730447)

Heh.

It's not much of a secret what time of the year the Canadian and Minnesotan license plates show up. They can invariably be found in the left lane on I-10 going roughly the speed limit -- or as we like to call it here, "the minimum speed for the slow lane."

Re:AZ License plates (4, Funny)

knarfling (735361) | about 7 months ago | (#46730481)

The goal in AZ is to match your speed with the number of the freeway. On the I-10 and the I-17 it slows things down to a crawl. The 51 and the 60 are a bit more challenging, especially in rush-hour. But with the 101, the 202 and the 303, you better have those "honoring fallen officers" plates attached.

Re:AZ License plates (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#46730501)

makes leaving arizona rather hard.. since you find yourself screaming at other motorists "WHY ARE YOU ONLY DRIVING 55!" (in a 55 zone)

Re:AZ License plates (-1, Troll)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#46730645)

There is a reason for all the different colors of license plates. You used to be able to say that you could tell the changing seasons by the changing colors ... of the license plates. There are so many out-of-state visitors during the winter that it used to be easy to tell the snowbirds from the residents. Probably someone decided that the snowbirds were either getting picked on or getting preferential treatment, so lots of colors of AZ plates were made. As a bonus, more money comes in!!

I understand the state legislature just approved a "Jesus Hates Gays" License plate.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (3, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | about 7 months ago | (#46730255)

All of which I'm sure are mostly free from traffic tickets -- just not something you can purchase on a whim. Survived Pearl Harbor? Fuck it, Mr. Have a nice day.

I know gut instinct is what the Slashdot comments section runs on, but what actual, non-anecdotal evidence to we have that police officers give preferential treatment to people with these license-plate holders?

Has any of this actually been studied in a scientific way, and if so, what were the results?

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (0)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730335)

Pearl Harbor Survivor is not a licence plate HOLDER.

It is a state-issued alternative license plate.

http://deserttitle.com/blog/wp... [deserttitle.com]

You're right though, I have no numbers to back up my theory, but... ...FFS, cut the 90 year old Pearl Harbor veteran some slack, 'eh?

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (3, Informative)

pspahn (1175617) | about 7 months ago | (#46730681)

A truck I bought after high school had several IAFF (firefighter organization) stickers in the window. I thought they looked pretty cool so they didn't bother me. The previous owner, however, told that I should keep them since cops will be more lenient if I am pulled over. His dad was a higher up in the fire department in that city and gave them to his son for this specific reason.

I was pulled over probably 3 or 4 times in that truck. Never got a ticket, which includes the time I charged over Donner Summit during a blizzard without snow chains and a bunch of drunken friends in the back (it was a 2WD truck).

Anecdotal? Sure. Did the stickers still do what I was told they would do? Absolutely.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (4, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#46730899)

Pearl Harbor Survivor is not a licence(sic) plate HOLDER.

It is a state-issued alternative license plate.

Dude, chill out. He didn't mean a physical license plate retention device, he meant a person who has been issued that license plate. Kinda like when someone holds an office, they don't literally have a bunch of office furniture in their arms.

Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (4, Interesting)

general_re (8883) | about 7 months ago | (#46730457)

To people outside of Arizona, we've got 35 (!) choices for our plate [servicearizona.com] outside of the default, each costing $25 extra, and $25 extra-extra if you want it personalized.

Amateurs. Here in Virginia we have over 200 choices [virginia.gov] , not including the ability to have your own custom business logo [virginia.gov] on the plate if you have a large enough fleet. You can't tell me some of those don't get you a little special consideration when you get pulled over.

The law is for the little people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730059)

Keep voting democrat!

Re:The law is for the little people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730111)

Follow the law then...or get the ID

Re:The law is for the little people (2, Funny)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46730211)

I'm sure that seemed like a stinging political commentary in your head.

Re:The law is for the little people (3, Interesting)

Sentrion (964745) | about 7 months ago | (#46730267)

As a middle-class American I don't see either the Democrats or the Republicans doing anything for average American families. Or should I only care about the welfare of the "little people" until I become one myself?

Re:The law is for the little people (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46730271)

That's a dumb comment for the 2014 US, because it's like money equaling free speech.
You are free to spend up to $10k to be above the law, in the same way that you are free to spend millions to get your favorite congressman elected.

Don't blame the rich for doing something advantageous, blame the idiotic "little people" for not participating too.
Thanks to living in the Land Of The Free, they are allowed to!

Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730071)

You just gave me an idea ...

I got this beat (5, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 7 months ago | (#46730073)

I have the very special CHP 11/99 "Gold" plate, gets me off for up to 5 vehicular homicides.

Re:I got this beat (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 7 months ago | (#46730183)

I have the very special CHP 11/99 "Gold" plate, gets me off for up to 5 vehicular homicides.

Affluenza claims another victim. Can nothing be done?!

Re:I got this beat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730199)

Ted Kennedy, is that you?

Re: I got this beat (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730303)

In Ottawa we have something called "red plates", which pretty much provides this, but for a different reason. It's well-known there that if you see a red plate, to stay _very_ far away, especially as a pedestrian.

Re:I got this beat (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46730443)

So the special membership card has five punchouts on it?

can't speed in california (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730075)

the roads are too crowded anyway. don't come to California.

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks. (2)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 7 months ago | (#46730081)

Always have had, and always will have 2 sets of rules.

We've already established what they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730119)

Wonder what color Polanski's license plates were.

Go figure (5, Insightful)

spankey51 (804888) | about 7 months ago | (#46730089)

Well... If you can do it with congressmen and senators, then of course you can do it with lower-level stateworkers.

So you CAN buy a license to speed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730091)

'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"

So what he is saying is you DO get love (aka get out of jail free) if you show the card.

Re:So you CAN buy a license to speed (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about 7 months ago | (#46730315)

Yes. As long as you don't offer cash or gifts directly to the officer he has the discretion to let you go with a warning. You can still offer bribes; they're just illegal and could get you into more trouble if the officer follows a code of ethics or too many run-ins with internal affairs. Supporting these charities seems to have almost just as good of an effect without the liability.

Re:So you CAN buy a license to speed (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46730865)

So what he is saying is you DO get love (aka get out of jail free) if you show the card.

He is implying that you might get some love on a one-off stop; perhaps a warning or a more-lenient ticket.

On the other hand... is donating $2500 to a charity, really worth avoiding a couple potential traffic tickets?

Don't forget your yellow ribbon sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730093)

Or your American flag lapel

Re:Don't forget your yellow ribbon sticker (5, Interesting)

Sentrion (964745) | about 7 months ago | (#46730551)

Since there's no cash contribution backing it up it don't expect it to get you very far. Remember, always ask "what's in this individual's best interests"? Then make your decision from there.

It pays to invest money and time volunteering for the re-election campaigns of officials who will have a direct impact on your business and private affairs.

Expecting a divorce with a major custody fight? Prepare now by volunteering for CASA. Network with judges and lawyers while creating the impression of what kind of outstanding and caring individual you are.

Expecting major surgery in the coming year? Start ratcheting up on donations to your local non-profit hospital where the surgery will take place. Not just so physicians will work harder to provide quality care, but you'll be less likely to have any BS from the billing department. Out of network services suddenly billed at in-network rates with the swish of a pen.

When regulators come around your business, always mention that you're hiring and ask if they know anyone with such-and-such skills or experience. If they refer you a close friend or relative, hire that person on the spot.

And the number one rule of business: always take decision-makers out to lunch and pay for their meal.

Re:Don't forget your yellow ribbon sticker (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46730891)

If they refer you a close friend or relative, hire that person on the spot.

This can backfire, if their friend or relative turns out to be a terrible employee, and your business incurs the expense of paying them with little benefit and perhaps net harm...

PBA Cards (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730095)

On most of the east coast, you'd better make sure to hand your PBA card [wikipedia.org] over to the officer when he asks for your registration.

It's the same as handing $20 to the check-in clerk in Vegas with your ID.

It's not a license to speed (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 7 months ago | (#46730099)

It's the cops extorting money. It's not just speeding. This creates the appearance that, if you do not buy the membership, you'll be stopped and shown absolutely no mercy, and may even have charges trumped up against you - or otherwise be punished.

This is tantamount to soliciting bribes.

Re:It's not a license to speed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730167)

Yep. If a big bunch of people don't go to jail big time for this, you don't have a justice system over there. This is ridiculous.

Re:It's not a license to speed (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 7 months ago | (#46730175)

Oh there's no question as to whether we have a justice system here. We do not, and have not in a looooong time.

Re:It's not a license to speed (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46730529)

Oh look at the outrage.

Cops, fire fighters, city managers and the rest routinely gouge huge chunks of money out of city and state governments in the US. Most of the time they get a pass. After all, why shouldn't some LA assistant chief pull $260k a year bilking double and triple time hours recorded while getting dressed [latimes.com] for work? That's nothing compared to some evil capitalist pig-dog bankster. Right?

That's the rationale, anyhow. So now this culture of corruption has gone and created a way to launder some of their bribes through a charity. And we're supposed to go all pitchfork and lick-spittle about it?

Selective outrage. That's all it is.

Re:It's not a license to speed (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 7 months ago | (#46730185)

This creates the appearance that, if you do not buy the membership, you'll be stopped and shown absolutely no mercy

we give these people [policemisconduct.net] a monopoly on violence and expect what, exactly, Andy Taylor and Barney Fife?

Re:It's not a license to speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730333)

We've seen this before in History via indulgences [wikipedia.org] .
We're going to need a new Martin Luther soon at the rate the USA is going.

Re:It's not a license to speed (3, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46730369)

Meh.

Generally speaking, unless it's a motorcycle cop specifically tasked to speed/traffic, when a cop pulls you over, he's got a bunch of latitude. He adds a bunch of factors up in his head and decides if you're getting a ticket.

What's next? You gonna complain that hot girls should get more tickets?

Human nature.

Re:It's not a license to speed (2)

jafac (1449) | about 7 months ago | (#46730687)

a.k.a. : a "protection racket"

Re:It's not a license to speed (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 7 months ago | (#46730727)

It's the cops extorting money. It's not just speeding. This creates the appearance that, if you do not buy the membership, you'll be stopped and shown absolutely no mercy, and may even have charges trumped up against you - or otherwise be punished.

This is tantamount to soliciting bribes.

Soliciting bribes maybe, they're not accepting the money personally.

And unless cops go around advising motorists to buy the membership I don't see how it can be extortion, and I don't think the idea that if you don't have a membership "you'll be stopped and shown absolutely no mercy, and may even have charges trumped up against you - or otherwise be punished" is particularly compelling. I'd assume without a card they'd carry out their duties as usual (as good or bad as they usually are).

The cops are obviously doing something very wrong and people should be facing whatever discipline or legal repercussions it takes to make it stop, but I'm not sure what the exact charges are.

We have those in South Carolina too (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730113)

But here's the thing. If I pull you over and you have one of our public servant honor tags, you're still getting a ticket for whatever I pulled you over for. In fact, I am less likely to let you go, because of the appearance of impropriety created by these tags. I get a lot more "by the book" when someone starts flashing special tags and membership cards at me.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730193)

Do you worry at all about being sued if you don't write a ticket, because some enterprising young blonde in those tiny shorts feels it's profitable to accuse you of pulling her over just to get a look at her?

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730223)

But here's the thing. If I pull you over and you have one of our public servant honor tags, you're still getting a ticket for whatever I pulled you over for.

Is the same true of someone that hands you his or a relative's PD business card? If you're not treating fellow officers exactly the same as any other member of the public, it's far, far worse than an "appearance of impropriety". "Professional courtesy" is bullshit.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730277)

Yes, the same is true. Our department has an honor code that says we hold ourselves to the same standards we hold the driving public. While we can and do exercise discretion, we don't exercise more for ourselves than we do for others.

Generally speaking, if someone commits a minor traffic infraction, I'll pull them over and if they own up to it and don't give me a bunch of excuses, I will write them up with a warning. Honestly, the vast majority of traffic stops I do here are for equipment violations - lights mostly - and usually people really just don't know they have a taillight or brake light out and are thankful that I told them about it, and 90% of those get resolved by mail before the warning becomes a citation.

Speaking of which, to the other poster, yes, there is paperwork for every traffic stop, for the very reason you mention. We still document that the stop was for an infraction.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (4, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about 7 months ago | (#46730773)

Will you ticket a fellow police officer if you observe them break the law? (Say, speeding without having their flashing lights and/or siren on)
And if so, will the ticket stick?

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730429)

But here's the thing. If I pull you over and you have one of our public servant honor tags, you're still getting a ticket for whatever I pulled you over for. In fact, I am less likely to let you go, because of the appearance of impropriety created by these tags. I get a lot more "by the book" when someone starts flashing special tags and membership cards at me.

You must be the one honest cop I've heard so much about. Nice to hear from you.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (-1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46730503)

South Carolina is known for asshole cops who pull you over for 2 mph over the limit as you're slowing down from one speed zone to another.

No one buys you're 'by the book', you're just an asshole.

Its okay, I drive around your state now, so ha-ha you'll never give me ticket and you'll never get any of my money in tax revenue. Good job.

Funnest part was the last time I drove through that state (which I've never been ticketed in, only been with others when they get a ticket), I'm pretty sure you're highway patrolman were just too scared or lazy to bother to chase down the 3 car group going well over 100mph.

I don't actually speed anymore, I grew up and became a father, I just hate assholes like you who act all high and mighty when you're nothing more than a prick with power. Yet ... never again will your state ever see any of my money. On the other hand, GA now gets me to stay in a hotel over night since I have to go around your shit hole of a state.

Go stick your head in a gas oven, turn it on and light it, or into a brick wall at high speed with your head laying on the airbag. ANYTHING to take your kind out of the gene pool. You aren't an honest cop, you're a prick. And no matter how many times I say it, its not enough.

One day maybe you'll realize why your state is so poor.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730597)

You are, of course, entitled to your option, and to spend your money wherever you wish.

Suffice it to say; however, that I hope the acorn fell pretty far from the tree in your case.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (5, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about 7 months ago | (#46730815)

There are at least two reasons for his opinions.
1. Corrupt or power-tripping cops.
2. The rest of the cops that protect them.

I teach my kids to always be polite to policemen, but try to avoid any contact with them if possible.
Mostly because they are the most dangerous gang around.

And please forgive me for being skeptical about your claims.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 7 months ago | (#46730745)

But here's the thing. If I pull you over and you have one of our public servant honor tags, you're still getting a ticket for whatever I pulled you over for. In fact, I am less likely to let you go, because of the appearance of impropriety created by these tags. I get a lot more "by the book" when someone starts flashing special tags and membership cards at me.

Is that just you or your department in general? For you at least I buy your explanation, but my question is, considering all the appearance trouble with the tags, if they aren't for nefarious purposes then what are they for?

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (1)

m1ss1ontomars2k4 (1302833) | about 7 months ago | (#46730825)

That's the impression I get when I see CHP 11-99 and KMA 367 license plate frames: that the people who sell them actually have little to no relation to the actual cops on duty, and as a result they're like to get you pulled over more due to cops getting pissed that people think they can so easily get out of a ticket. I want to see some actual statistics about this kind of license plate frame usage.

Re:We have those in South Carolina too (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 months ago | (#46730873)

How about getting an honest job where you don't spend your days ambushing travelers and taking their money?

Been that way a long time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730115)

Heard this one for decades now... if you have a "PBA" sticker (Police Benevolent Assoc.) you stand a better chance of getting off - same thing, they support killed/injured cops and their families, etc. It's not anything new, just sounds fancier with the plate frame and metal card.

Stopping a billionaire's car (5, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46730127)

The problem is simple.

Unlike in Sweden or Norway, where your ticket depends on your income, the fine is a small amount to a billionaire.

And that billionaire will make the arresting cop's life miserable and throw lawyers at the "case" like confetti.

It takes a brave police officer to stand up to pressure like that, high risk, low reward, no chance of promotion or contract work ever after you're blacklisted for off-duty security work on all the top tech campus and party locations.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730251)

It's not that simple. That may solve the problem for those that have money, but what about those that don't have any at all? No, fines are a terrible practice all together. The only time a fine makes sense is if there is a direct recoupment of cost, and a generalized civil procedure would cost to much in the way of overhead, so streamlining it to a fine in very specific cases would make sense (e.g. whenever someone takes an unnecessary risk and a helicopter rescue is required, and it is known that the cost is always $15k for a rescue, a $15k fine may make sense).

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46730349)

But $15,000 is pocket change if you're a billionaire.

Your tires probably cost more than that.

And so do your shoes.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730425)

No one has $15K tires on car driven on the street. I'm sure you could get some boot licker to diamond-encrust tires or something, but there simply aren't tires that cost anywhere close to that much outside of commercial/agricultural (earth mover, tractor, whatever) tires. And even then, you're getting tires that your car probably can't turn over if you're spending that kind of money.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730765)

Hey now, if some Icelandic Strongman can flip those tires over, I'm sure my car could as well, though I would need some chains to do it.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 7 months ago | (#46730377)

It might help if judges or sheriffs were appointed by elected officials and not elected directly. The wealthiest family in a small town can hold a lot of sway when they are the financiers of all the local politicians. Same can be said of the wealthiest corporations running our country.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46730451)

Who do you think elects those officials? Ask SCOTUS - Billionaires do.

We're all peons in an Oligarchic Feudal system pretending to be a Democracy.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

cycler (31440) | about 7 months ago | (#46730435)

Correction, Sweden's fines are fixed.

Only if you sped too much over the limit and you are charged with "reckless driving" (and convicted), you will get a fine based on your income.

So for "Normal speeding", no.

/C

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46730479)

Correction, Sweden's fines are fixed.

Only if you sped too much over the limit and you are charged with "reckless driving" (and convicted), you will get a fine based on your income.

So for "Normal speeding", no.

/C

What is the conviction rate for rich people compared to the conviction rate for poor people in the US?

That's the number we need to be concerned with.

Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46730521)

All it takes is 3 or 4 speeding tickets in pretty much any state and you won't have a valid license, then the next ticket is typically an arrest ... Some states allow more but not many and not much.

Automation (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 months ago | (#46730143)

This is what speed cameras are for.

Re:Automation (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 7 months ago | (#46730233)

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

That's my main objection to speed cameras, stop sign cameras, and red light cameras. I suspect that there is a list of politicians, city leaders, police officers, or friends of theirs who would never, ever get a ticket. The system knows which ones to ignore. The rest of us get the tickets.

Re:Automation (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 months ago | (#46730331)

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

Depends on where you are I suppose. In my state I have worked with people who set these things up, and in an official capacity with our state road authority. I know these exceptions don't exist.

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730465)

You weren't working very closely with those people, then, if you think there isn't an exception list which includes things like legislative plates - where the holder of the plate really is immune to traffic tickets if "on the way to legislative session" or similar.

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730575)

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

Depends on where you are I suppose. In my state I have worked with people who set these things up, and in an official capacity with our state road authority. I know these exceptions don't exist.

Police departments, fire departments, state police, and hospitals must get thousands of tickets in the mail every day! How ever could they process them all?

Captcha: Rebuke

Re:Automation (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 7 months ago | (#46730357)

Except that cops check those as well and make the final call on what is a violation and what is not. A few years back officers in Dallas were caught withholding tickets from friends and family.

Masons, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730145)

Brother-in-law is a Mason and has little Masonic stickers on his car and motorbike, as well as wearing the Masonic ring. In the part of the country he's from, it helps.

Re:Masons, too. (3)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46730337)

I see you're a traveling man, said the patrolman who pulled my friend and I over in his father's "Mason-marked" truck in Mississippi, You boys go ahead on.

C'mon! (2)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 7 months ago | (#46730147)

Look the other way here, please. California is a key source for organ donations.

As the Chinese like to say, "Don't break your brother's rice bowl."

Re:C'mon! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46730545)

When your body goes through a high speed accident that kills, many times the organs are too damaged to be used.

Re:C'mon! (1)

guevera (2796207) | about 7 months ago | (#46730769)

Actually, Cali has one of if not the lowest rates of donation in the country.

I hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730293)

Because if I ever have the money to spare (and the car...) I'd buy one in an instant. California is full of nice, sunny, mostly empty roads that would be fantastic to run about a hundred miles an hour on, and perfectly safe considering the 3+ lane wide freeways free of traffic. But the speed limits are always stupidly low (no one follows them given the chance) and yet the CHP loves being around the corner, even in totally backwoods and out of the way areas.

Channeling P. Walker, I presume... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46730587)

It is that kind of thinking right there that pretty much guarantees there will be no F&F nine and ten.

In Illinois... (2)

mishehu (712452) | about 7 months ago | (#46730295)

there is the Fraternal Brotherhood of Police, which would give out stickers to place in your back window. Rumor was that it would cause police throughout the state to be more... forgiving... in the cases of traffic violations.

Re:In Illinois... (3)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46730555)

I've not gotten a ticket since I put mine on, after watching how my dad suddenly stopped getting tickets when he bought one of the stickers ... sorry, donated to the order ... mind you, my dad deserved the tickets.

Nothing new here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730309)

Similarly, it's been known for years in San Diego County that a $5000 donation to the Sheriff's election fund will get you a concealed weapon permit, should you want one. The folks that are delusional are those that believe that the United States is less corrupt than any other society. They are all a reflection of humans, who are inherently flawed.

Patternicity (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#46730321)

Around here, it's supposedly the FOP badges and/or stickers that help. Or it's the parking lot stickers for the local hospitals. Or it's the toll road transponders. Or it's being the next-to-last person in a cluster. Or it's being in the left lane. Or it's matching speed with the other speeders around you.

It's just like gambling. Everyone has their system that they think works, and nobody's ever done research to actually check if the statistics hold. Somebody sees a pattern [scientificamerican.com] and they think it's just so good that it must be right.

Re:Patternicity (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46730673)

Pattern recognition is an interesting way to put it.

We are predisposed to pattern recognition. Selection also likely accounts for the fortunate ones... whose patterns of recognition proved causal rather than corollary, such as this leaf cures that malady.

Luck plays a role in any contest. Including life.

Re:Patternicity (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#46730935)

Pattern recognition is an interesting way to put it.

We are predisposed to pattern recognition. Selection also likely accounts for the fortunate ones... whose patterns of recognition proved causal rather than corollary, such as this leaf cures that malady.

Don't forget a healthy sprinkling of confirmation bias on top.

Frames are for losers (4, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46730461)

Saint Jobs just drove around without a license plate.

Re:Frames are for losers (2)

mschuyler (197441) | about 7 months ago | (#46730633)

But it was legal because his cars were never more than 6 months old.

PORAC (1)

Nexion (1064) | about 7 months ago | (#46730473)

You also might want to donate yearly to PORAC. They have this nice little sticker they send you that has had truly amazing results for me in the past. I think my favorite was when a CHP officer rolls up next to me, gets on his PA and says "The speed laws are for everyone." Not that it always got me out of tickets. Sometimes I would get a ticket for the posted speed limit plus five mph and a plus sign next to it. You just go ahead and pay that by writing in a plea of "Guilty/Traffic School".

Then I would do online traffic school where all you really end up doing is taking the standard written drivers test again. I think they closed that hole. I once did traffic school three times in one year. I laughed because right after that my insurance company wrote me a letter telling me that I was entitled to a "good driver's discount".

I'm not really extremely wealthy or anything, but I think I may just get one of these bronze hookups for my RX8. :)

Never drive like a complete maniac however. Police are not tolerant of reckless no matter how much money you throw at their orgs.

Re:PORAC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730539)

We hope you win the Darwin Award.
Signed,
- Humanity

Re:PORAC (0)

Nexion (1064) | about 7 months ago | (#46730593)

Calm down now peasant, don't hate. ;)

confirmation of the conspiracy (4, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 7 months ago | (#46730483)

'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'

It is a shame that they didn't name that cop. This is pretty much confirmation that everything accused is going on. Goes on in other states too, often with metal "Sheriff's Association Donor" badges that are attached to cars. What a shock that there is little respect for law enforcement any more.

Too bad you can't afford it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46730647)

Poor people who can't afford to piss away that kind of cash are the only ones who are going to get snotty about it... they also don't understand how the real world works.

In the real world, if you get a ticket: You hire an attorney for $100 (I work for such an attorney), pay the ticketed fine to the courts and the rest of the ticket goes away. It's turned into a parking violation (no points, no insurance, no nothing). There is a batch processing system @ the courts to specifically deal with people who hire recognized law firms.

In other words, you don't need to pay $5K to get out of your ticket, just hire an attorney pay the $100 + fine (like $300 total in CA) and stop fuckin' whining.

-AC

Forget licking their boots (2)

russotto (537200) | about 7 months ago | (#46730703)

Get a "Bad Cop/No Donut" bumper sticker, a LOT of cameras, drive the speed limit, and enjoy the eventual civil rights lawsuit.

all this said. . . (1)

jafac (1449) | about 7 months ago | (#46730707)

I have to say that among most of the states in which I've driven, California cops seem to be the most lenient. And by that, I mean; California has some high-limit roads... 70, 75. Actual average speeds are more like 80-85 on these highways. Some other states seem to be stuck at 55 for most roads, and their cops seem to be real assholes about driving more than 5 over. (specifically, Utah, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, where I've either been a driver or passenger in a car getting pulled over).

Time for class action suit against California (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 7 months ago | (#46730759)

If it can be proven that owners of these plates were given leniency against speeding and moving violations then every person who has ever received a ticket in California during this class period should be able to sue to recover their costs for ticket fines.

So what the pig is telling me... (4, Funny)

guevera (2796207) | about 7 months ago | (#46730781)

....is that I need to start forging the ID cards, too. Cool. I'm on it.

Member ID (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46730789)

But wait â" the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. 'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"

On the other hand, if you have a US DoJ ID and the cop says, "No 11-99 ID, no leniency", he goes to Club Fed and the rest of the department goes under investigation for corruption.

I'm amazed anyone from the CHP was stupid enough to make the above statement.

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