Monday, March 24, 2014

The Short History of... Traffic Enforcement

Part of a series on the history of the current problems in North Bay Village
 Part 1 can be found here:  The Short History of ... Traffic Enforcement
When I moved to North Bay Village in 1998, the first thing people told me was "don't speed - you'll get a ticket."  North Bay Village had a decades long reputation as being tough on speeders and traffic offenders.   

Not so much anymore.  In fact, our police chief told the commission this month that the police had written a total of 21 tickets in the previous month.  

But we see the traffic going by very fast on the causeway.  I'm usually the slowest car on there and I'm doing the limit.  So how did we go from a place reputed for its tough standards to the wild west we have now?  

Well, about three years ago, when the PD still enforced the speed limits, somebody who got a ticket didn't think he was actually speeding and so he challenged the ticket.  As part of the challenge, he request the calibration logs for the radar used and lo and behold, North Bay Village had not calibrated the radar for several years.  The ticket was thrown out and so were many others.  Because the PD didn't do the calibration.

The chief did not address the problem that the radar was not being properly calibrated and instead of fixing the procedures that overlooked the proper calibration, the PD just stood down and cut back the traffic patrols.   Also, nobody gets tickets for red light infractions anymore either.  

Now with 20% of our sworn officers on disability or medical restrictions, the chief says there is not enough staffing to enforce the traffic laws. 

That's not the full story though.  There is a part time officer being trained in traffic enforcement and Chief Daniels thinks that at some indefinite point in the future, the NBV PD might be able to enforce the laws on the causeway.  And that's good enough for the commission.  

Kevin Vericker
March 23, 2014

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