Letting it slide

An alert reader points me to this story, about how Governor Kohoutek is going to reinstate 10,000 more suspended driver's licenses without requiring the deadbeat license-losers to pay their fines. Combined with Killer Kate's similar clemency, that's about 18,000 traffic violators who have gotten to stiff the state on their tickets in less than a year. 

I guess there was a time when I would be outraged at the lawlessness of this, but let's face it, nowadays you get numb to lawless around here.

It's only "equitable," I suppose, that the people who broke traffic laws in the past be allowed to get away with it, given that currently there are no longer any traffic laws beong enforced at all on Oregon roads. At least not in the Portland area, where certifiably crazy drivers are now legion.

Besides, I'm sure most of those 18,000 suspended drivers are still out there driving anyway. Without traffic cops, only fools care about minor details like driver's licenses and vehicle registrations.

The latest round of irresponsibility is just a little more decay. At this point, it's hardly noticeable.


  1. Numerous cops have testified that the way the laws work gives them cause to cite any driver they want to any time. The Supremes even blessed pretextual stops, stopping drivers just to get an opportunity to find some reason for a search. So while it may seem inequitable to some to forgive traffic fines for other people, it’s a small inequity that cuts back a little on the everyday bias in the system, where the same offense can totally destroy the life of a working person (once the cycle of fines and fees gets wound up and the license to drive is pulled) whereas the country club class can hire a lawyer or just pay the fine.

    Traffic fines should be sliding scale, based on ability to pay so that the deterrent effect works on all drivers, not just those driving old beaters. Put speeding cameras on all major highways and arterials and on heavily trafficked roads near residential areas and mail tickets to the registered owner’s address with the fines set to bite as hard for the Tesla driver as for the 96 Accord.

  2. I got ticketed maybe 15 years ago on Hawthorne for blinking in the wrong direction when changing lanes. Or so he said. I knew it was complete BS and I told him so after he wrote me up. Whatever.

    Then five years before that I was called in by a driver on Hwy 6 about 20 miles out of Tillamook. Dude says that I was wildly passing cars and driving dangerously. There was absolutely no one out there past the hilly area that descends down some 15 miles or so earlier.

    I took a day off and had GPS evidence and even photos of where the driver claimed he saw me. It was a straightaway, and was deserted. And from his vantage point, it would be impossible to see me as evidenced by the photos. Both him and the cop showed up, but the judge didn’t listen. It was a city boy vs 2 locals. Pissed me off so much that I swore off Tillamook.

  3. The answer to bad policing is not abolishing the police. But that's what Portland has done, and in a way that's what Kotek is doing here.

    As for the poverty aspect, judges have authiority to tailor the fines. But that would involve actual work, and money spent on law enforcement-related activity, both big no-no's in Oregon.

  4. If you don't like traffic, just remember YOU ARE traffic...

  5. I’m old enough to remember when responsibility was an admirable trait

  6. I couldn't f-ing believe it when I heard this, but really, as you point out Jack, it's of no consequence b/c there is no traffic law enforcement around here anyways. On a related note I see that the newest edition of Grand Theft Auto has just been released which I'm assuming won't sell so well around here given that the kids can get real world GTA thrills all they want in the City of Roses.

  7. 18000 votes secured.

  8. Of all the stuff to vacate, this one seems sensible-enough in a lot of cases?

    As you state, it’s not money the state is going to see & probably just over-crowds the jails.

    Since when are we pro police traffic harassment for this stuff?
    Traffic enforcement has always been pretty chill in Portland compared to other municipalities that keep the $ and doubtful it improves safety.

    Cracking down on theft and street racing would take actual work, so good luck?

    There are plenty of rotten things, but I don’t see this as a big deal and if we can stiff suburbanites/LO/west linn that get to harass people & prey on them for revenue & invade the actual city with their cars, I’m down for that?

    People get to continue to legally drive if they need to absent alternatives, state probably isn’t going to see the $ anyway, any shots I can take at wealthy car centric suburbia where it costs nothing to live/tickets are the defacto taxes like various parts of the ex confederacy/the model they use in the dirty south I’m all for?

    I’m not really for cameras and do want to *try* to incentivize safer calmer traffic that flows?

    Oftentimes police won’t do the actual work to observe reckless driving &/or give chase, &, in places with lots of police there’s still a lot of road rage and theft.
    This isn’t to say ‘let’s keep going pretending these problems don’t exist’ liberal clown show Portland and San Francisco style, but this one seems ok to me?

    The only cameras I do kind of want is carpool lane to Vancouver (but minor stupid ticket like a parking ticket) and taxes on oregon based income for the remote workers.

  9. Why? Is this a broad brush reinstatement? Many are habitual offenders. Are they too getting their licenses back? Is insurance also optional for these drivers? What a mess.
    Add this to Oregon's High diploma needing no learning.
    Oregon, the state without standards.
    Dare I add that all of this is being done by Democrats.


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