Skip to comments.The New Gotcha Game of Variable Speed Limits
Posted on 09/18/2017 1:46:52 PM PDT by LibWhacker
Since when is the law supposed to be fungible?
Even better from a certain point-of-view than a radar trap based on an under-posted speed limit is a radar trap with a changing speed limit. One that can be dumbed-down at random and with no prior notice, at the whim of the same government workers who enforce the limits and profit from that enforcement.
Its called Variable Speed Limits and the Feds through the Department of Transportation are not only encouraging the states to adopt them, they are bribing them to adopt them.
Cue Dr. Evil voice one billion dollars mulcted from taxpayers has been earmarked to mulct taxpayers a second time via pilot VSL programs and at least nine states (New Jersey naturally but also Ohio, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Florida, Minnesota, Washington and Georgia) are already deploying VSL.
You may have already seen Variable Limits in action. Instead of the usual metal sign with whatever the number chosen at random happened to be at the time the sign was put up silk-screened permanently on it, an electronic sign with a display that can be changed, literally, at the touch of a button.
At 4:30 p.m., the sign reads as an example 75 MPH. But at 4:33 p.m. (and just after you drove past it) the Oz who controls the sign decides the new speed limit shall be 65 MPH. Blink. Just like that, your moment-ago legal rate of travel has become illegal speeding and not only are you subject to a ticket you are more likely to get a ticket because as far as you know you arent speeding and so why worry about that cop up ahead pointing his radar gun at you?
This gets into interesting turf.
The first is the element of intent, formerly a necessary thing to establish culpability; the idea that a person violated the law on purpose.
But in order for this to be a viable moral concept, the law has to be knowable. A law that is changeable is unknowable. It is effectively no law at all. It is the codified whim of whomever has the power to punish people for violating laws that are fundamentally unintelligible.
Kind of like tax law already is. If they want your money, theyll find some justification to take your money. Its not about the law. Its about who has power and is willing to use it.
The second thing has to do with the way speed limits are posted or rather, are supposed to be posted.
Whats supposed to happen before a speed limit is posted is a traffic study. Monitors set up that observe and record the free-flow speed of traffic on a given stretch of road. The posted limit is supposed to be based on the free-flow speed of 85 percent of the traffic observed the 85th percentile speed so that most traffic isnt speeding.
The idea being that most people naturally drive at reasonable speeds and that speed limits should parallel the organic flow of traffic.
That actually is the law.
Its called the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (uniform italicized to emphasize uniformity that a thing is consistent, the same), issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish national standards for all traffic control devices, including road markings, highway signs and traffic signals.
States and counties and cities and towns are supposed to use the MUTCD to set speed limits in accordance with the 85th percentile rule but that runs counter to the collection of revenue via speeding tickets, which is a major racket for states and counties and cities and towns all across the country.
Some towns and counties and even cities Washington, D.C. is one notoriously derive a shockingly large percentage of their annual budgets via roving road taxation; they police for profit. Which youd think would register with people as a problematic conflict of interest, as regards their interests.
Its remarkable that it generally does not.
Laws that are clearly designed to separate them from their money by dint of legislatively putting eight out of ten and usually more like nine out of ten people into the category of violator by dint of limits set purposely below reasonable speeds, let alone the 85th percentile speed.
This Variable Speed Limit thing will net that tenth person. It will open up a whole new revenue stream by making it possible to issue speeding tickets at will to any driver unless we all drive well below whatever the limit-for-the-moment happens to be. If the electronic sign says 65, drive 55 in order to be within the safe zone (as far as being a target of the road tax) when Oz pushes the button and the limit drops to 55.
Now imagine Variable Speed Limits tied in with automated speed enforcement the camera systems already in place in many states that dont even require an armed government worker to do any work to separate you from your cash.
You unknowingly transgress the just-changed limit by 10 MPH and are duly processed by the speed camera a mile past the sign. A week or so later, you get an extortion note in the mail.
Pay up, chump.
Most of these automated ticket spewers are not subject to the once-mandatory rules of evidence, either. That is, its no longer the burden of the government to prove you did something but rather your burden to prove to the satisfaction (usually, not) of an administrative bureaucrat that you did not.
All of this is already reality in the UK the source waters for many of our policing for profit (and police state) woes.
As far as what can be done?
Just as its very sound policy to have a really good tax lawyer on retainer to deal with the IRS, you might want to acquire a really good radar detector. With speed limits changing at the whim of Oz, you might want to know where his flying monkeys might be lurking.
Highway 19 in West Virginia
From Serve and protect” to “observe and collect”..
In a virtual Police State like 21st century USA, citizens need dash cams and body cams with upload to a phone and then to the cloud being available at a voice command.
A few years back, I heard a rumour that Obama and Hitlery and others like them wanted to bring back the double nickel speed limit. I can also remember reading stories of how when that was first brought it back in the mid 1970s, that states out in the West (where there is basically no limit in many areas) would fine you five dollars and that ticket was good for a certain time while you were in that state.
I call the State Police “Revenuers”.
“As far as what can be done?”
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
I don’t even like variable lanes or turns. My first and only moving violation was for making that left hand turn in Culver City after 3 pm. Grrr.
Rt 29 in Virginia has constant speed limit changes. They don’t need the electronic version.
This scenario would actually be unconstitutional as an ex post facto law.
Assuming that logs are kept of when the speed was changed, if the driver passed the sign and then the speed was changed, it would be ex post facto to ticket him for it.
I'd bet that after the first ex post facto challenge, there would have to be a grace period of about 5 minutes before police could legally ticket a driver, so as to clear the road of those who passed the sign before it changed.
We should call them Heisenberg Speed limits.............
Why would I think that others would think that when it doesnt register to the same people that no organization, especially not government, should be in charge of healthcare and retirement?
There has been a series of electronic speed limit signs on I-40 in the mountains of North Carolina for over 30 years. It’s activated by poor visibility, the lower the visibility the lower the speed limit. Fog is the problem on that stretch. I’ve driven through there when the speed limit was 5. We were hanging our heads out the windows looking for the lines on the road. Afraid to stop, for fear of getting rear ended.
This is nonsense.
And there is already a law that one cannot drive faster than is safe, which is what this variable speed limit would ostensibly address.
They use them against the SeattLunatics on I-5 in Washington. I’ve seen them go from a steady 60mph to 50mph - and then moments later downshift again to 40mph. Even if you were lucky to have noticed the first change you likely didn’t see the second.
“Ignorance is no excuse of the law” - JBT
Thank you for quickly getting to the truth. Of course this is unconstitutional as being an ex post facto law. In fact, this is the classic example of one used in civic classes and law schools around the nation.
I was thinking about that. Laws that say you can’t drive faster than is safe are fine. But this is not about safety. It’s about milking the public for profit.
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