Auto Cop

An interesting unasked question has been raised by Ford’s announcement that it is developing a cop-less cop car. That is, an automated and AI cop car that would sneak itself behind the bushes and use license plate scanners, facial recognition and other such revenue-raising technologies to automatically issue paying’ paper.

All the time. Everywhere.

For everything.

No more need to pay cops to do it some of the time.

In other words, no more part-time, scattershot enforcement of traffic laws. It would become much harder to flout – or evade – any traffic law. Everything from “speeding” to driving around without all your papers in order. Auto Cop would know – immediately.

And there’s no bargaining with him.

But why should anyone object to (as Ford itself puts it) more “efficient” enforcement of the law? This assumes, of course, that the laws being enforced are reasonable, defensible, etc.

They’re not, of course. And everyone knows it.

Which is precisely why they aren’t enforced “efficiently.” It would trigger an uprising.

The whole point of the current system is the selective enforcement of idiotic laws. In order to maintain idiotic laws.

Consider speed limits as an example. Unlike reasonable laws – those regarding theft and murder, for instance – speed limits are flouted by almost everyone who drives, almost every time they drive. Whether by a lot or a little is irrelevant. The point  – and living/breathing cops (and judges, even) admit it – is that most speed limits are ignored and aren’t rigidly enforced because everyone agrees they are ridiculous.

If they were rigidly enforced, it would become apparent very quickly just how ridiculous they are. How unsustainable they are. It would be necessary to raise them almost across the board so that most drivers weren’t constantly being sent tickets for “speeding” by Auto Cop.

The only reason the idiotic 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Limit lasted for 20 long years was due to the fact that it was possible to drive faster than that, most of the time . .   and get away with it. It was like a lottery – or a bison hunt.

Most of the herd escaped unscathed most of the time.

Occasionally, there were enforcement campaigns but these were greeted with outrage and derision and quickly abandoned, even though the law remained on the books. Idiotic laws can only survive when they are not efficiently and effectively enforced.

The same is true of other idiotic traffic laws, such as those forbidding window tint and requiring everyone to buckle-up all the time. It is still very possible to evade most of these idiotic laws, most of the time.

This acts as a very important safety valve.

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