Skip to comments.Seat Belt Violators Caught By Cops Wearing Night Vision Goggles
Posted on 06/02/2005 8:20:41 AM PDT by tgslTakomaEdited on 06/02/2005 8:25:19 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Rockville, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police are using a military tool in the battle against seat belt violators.
They're using night vision goggles to find people who don't buckle up after dark. Police say 40 percent of drivers don't use their seat belts at night, making the roads much more dangerous after sunset. Police in Maryland are among 13,000 agencies nationwide that are now using the goggles.
With the goggles, Police say they can see inside cars at a distance, allowing them to nail violators who might otherwise go undetected.
The new strategy is paying off. At a seat belt enforcement operation Wednesday night on Rockville Pike, officers issued at least 44 tickets for seat belt violations.
Gee. Golly. I feel safer.
Interesting site. Also, their virtual library:
Good post! Thanks for sharing as it hits the nail on the head!
This is a simple constitutional issue that has to be fought state by state because each state enacts their own laws.
For instance, here in Missouri, a "primary" seat belt law was recently rejected by the legislature.
I would like to think the following e-mail message I sent to my state rep was partially responsible for it's defeat:
Hello Rep. Byrd,
Oh, how I hate to have to send you this e-mail message.
In the list of Legislation Sponsored by Rep. Richard Byrd, there is a reference to the following bill in which you are listed as the cosponsor:
HB 339 -- Seat Belts
Sponsor: St. Onge
This bill allows law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle for a seat belt violation if the violation is clearly visible. The fine for the violation is increased from $10 to $20.
You are a Republican. I thought Republicans prided themselves in their philosophy of limited government and the rule of law. The rule of law means our Constitutions covenants are supreme and superior to statutes and ordinances.
With that being said, consider the following:
Missouri Constitution, Bill of Rights (not privileges), Article I,
Section 2. That all constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and that when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.
Natural rights define the boundary or space within which people are at liberty to do as they please provided their actions do not interfere with the rightful actions of others operating within their own boundaries or spaces. (Lockean theory of police power)
The definition of liberty: The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of ones own choosing. Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control. A right and power to engage in certain actions without control or interference.
In Lawrence v Texas, Justice Kennedys opinion is especially noteworthy because it protects liberty, without a any discussion of whether liberty was fundamental.
(At last, Footnote Four is either dead or is dying.)
Only when the exertion of a liberty by one individual may or does impose on the liberty of another individual, is the state authorized to deny or diminish a natural right to liberty of all other of the citizens with a statute or ordinance.
The liberty to wear or not wear a seat belt does not, in any fashion or form, impose, impugn, deny or disparage any other citizens natural rights or liberties.
Now for the part I wish I did not have to mention:
Section 4. That Missouri is a free and independent state, subject only to the Constitution of the United States;
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;"
"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to DENY OR DISPARAGE others (rights) retained by the people."
It is surely a right retained by the people as to the decision of a free citizen of the U.S. whether to wear a seat belt or not while operating an automobile, especially during private use.
With all of that being said, then I wish to inform you that you will be personally liable for the damages citizens will incur from the enactment and enforcement of this seat belt law.
In addition, every police officer who enforces this law will also be held liable, as well, as described below:
U.S. Supreme Court HAFER v. MELO, 502 U.S. 21 (1991)
Federal law, 42 U.S.C. 1983, states:
"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured. . . ."
"We hold that state officials, sued in their individual capacities, are "persons" within the meaning of 1983. The Eleventh Amendment does not bar such suits, nor are state officers absolutely immune from personal liability under 1983 solely by virtue of the "official" nature of their acts.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is Affirmed."
By providing no judicially enforceable limit whatsoever on the police power of states, such a construction would violate the original meaning of Amendment XIV.
So, please withdraw your co sponsorship of this unconstitutional legislation and please inform your fellow legislators of their personal financial risk that they will be risking if the support the enactment and enforcement of a HB 339.
Right. I'd need actual statistics and a case by case examination before I would believe this.
Nope, he is more the socialist type. He was solidly behind JFnKerry and I'd compare him to Soros.
I happen to own a pair of G2 NVG's. They work great, except for the failing of any NVG device, and that's light overloading. Now, these puppies are so sensitive that using a TV remote is as good as an 8 cell mag light. They have a sensitivity from IR into the visible range, but they will, and do, get washed out if a strong light source appears. While they have AGC (Automatic Gain Control) it's not perfect, and I do hesitate to use them where there is a chance of strong ambient light. Admittedly these are a few years old, and technology has improved.
This being said, if an LEO is standing near a road scanning for cars, most roads are not real dark. As a matter of fact, at least here, near Philly, the damn light pollution from the city is so bad that nothing is really dark anymore. 40+ years ago, I used to be able to use my homebuilt 8" reflector in my backyard in Glenolden, PA, and have a great time observing. One could even have a reasonable good time with a pair of 7x50 binocs.. Today, in upper Darby, the light pollution is so bad, one is lucky to see 1st magnitude stars, and that's on a good night.
What's this mean for the seat belt cops? Simply that their NVG's are going to be rendered useless by either too much ambient light from light pollution, street lamps, or those demon-designed actinic blue-whote eye burner headlights which the car manufacturers seem to be falling all over each other to place on their new vehicles. I don't know about you, but since I happen to have venous stasis retinopathy in my left eye, and am trying to preserve my vision, I really don't need that insult at night.
At any rate, I fail to see, in the face of all this bright light, and the predilection of people to put as many lights on their SUV's as can be mounted, and use same, even if on-road use is mostly illegal, can these seat belt warriors see anything????
I believe in safety, I don't however, like it showed down my throat by big brother. Safety equipment should be a personal thing and a personal choice, and mot a mandate. 40+ years ago I owned a very fast 1958 Chevy convertible. I fitted it with a roll bar fully braced, and had 6 point aircraft restraint harnesses attached to the integral roll cage, which I also installed. One could use the shoulder restraints, or not, as one wished... the lap belt was a full 4". At the time, I was pretty ahead of the game, but felt safe doing the kind of racing I was doing at the time.
I really don't like people showing :what's good for me down my throat 24/7. I feel that, being both an aerospace engineer and commercial pilot, that I have learned enough about impact survival to make informed decision and equip my conveyances accordingly. I also know, that seatbelts aren't the guaranteed, 100 percent panacea that they are cracked up to be. in 1999 I was involved in an auto accident, (not my fault) I don't remember anything from 2 days before until 5 days after. I was, however wearing a seat belt. The vehicle did not have an air bag. I don't know exactly what transpired, but evidently the inertia reel for the shoulder restraint didn't lock, or at least, lock properly.I suffered a closed head injury. Yes, I was properly compensated, although I was forced to retire both as an engineer, and as a pilot, having lost my FAA Medical
I guess the moral of all this is let everyone choose their level of safety, and also check yours...make darn sure if you use your seatbelts, check the inertia locks by jerking on the shoulder restraints until they lock...there should be a "manual jock" or better yet, a gas initiator fired off the same circuit which initiates the airbags to retract and lock the harness. Shoulder harness should be aircraft style, over each shoulder, and terminate in a quick release lap belt release so they could be opened with one hand if necessary. A cutting tool should also be provided on each exit door along with a window break hammer to permit egress if the belts can't be released, the door opened, or the windows lowered.
As far as the cops using NVG's, pure hogwash....another invasion of personal privacy and a step closer to "PAPERS!!!"
It's the insurance lobby. They want you to pay in but, they don't want to pay out. Hurts their bottom lines.
Air bags was pushed by insurance companies. I believe just about everything having to do with driving restrictions is directly related to an insurance company.
Will FReepmail you shortly.
The police love to pull that kind of duty because it is easy and relatively much safer for them than busting drug labs or chasing speeders through heavy traffic. Usually the size of the stomach on the officer is indicative of the real personal risk involved in the duty they are pulling.
"B.S. That parasite class does NOT need private industry as an impetus to harass the citizens."
I agree they are not thinking of the ins. industry while doing it, they are just blindly enforcing the law, but the state representative who took bribe money from the ins. industry to present the bill requiring the wearing of seat belts did have an impetus.
RUSH is reading this right now........
Perhaps you can explain how it is Constitutional? Keep in mind the seatbelt laws are based on extortion, which must be addressed. Yes, the word extortion is properly used, because the matter was not left up to the States, or as originally promised-to the people, as claimed in the original engineering mandate to the automakers. See, the feds use income tax money for the express purpose of forcing States to comply with their mandate.
Where's the clause giving Congress the authority to do this, or to delegate it?
RUSH DISCUSSING THIS STORY NOW
I think you are on to something.......Sherlock.....Holmes that is........(humor)
Just how does a driver not wearing a seatbelt make "...the roads much more dangerous after sunset"?
This is a sham and a disgrace. It's a revenue generating scheme plain and simple.
Somebody should run for office on simple promises kept to repeal all traffic cameras and night vision goggles used in traffic enforcement. It would be a landslide victory for any candidate.
I think I forgot the sarcasm tag. :)
Others here have supported socialism by voting for Bush.
At least I got something for my "vote" to stay with GEICO for longer than I should have.
Actually, airbags were pushed by Elizabeth Dole and the DoT more than the insurance companies. See http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=5192 Mandatory seatbelt laws came as a result of Dole's blackmail against the automakers, threatening them with an airbag mandate unless seatbelt laws were enacted.
Poor suckers, they thought they could trust a government bureaucrat, but wound up screwed with the airbag mandate anyway.
Insurance companies' costs are massively increased by airbags - they are required by law to be original equipment, and a single fender bender with no injuries can rack up thousands of dollars in airbag repair costs alone. See http://www.lemurzone.com/airbag/cost.htm for an example scenario calculating nearly $4,000 to repair the airbag system on a 1994 Taurus.
What's the result? Poor people can no longer afford cars.
That's why I appreciated the irony.