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Article should have looked 'beyond ticket'


This letter is in response to the article about "Speeding tix trend upward."

One would think if there were fewer people on our roadways speeding and violating our traffic laws, there were would be fewer tickets being issued by the police. We would also think there would be fewer vehicle crashes and motorists being killed and injured locally and throughout the state. But the fact is people do speed and violate our traffic laws, more now than ever.

There are many reasons why this is occurring. We now live in a fast-pace world. We are less conscious of being safe and more in tune to how quick we need to get from one place to the other. We have more people living in the county and, thus, there are more people on our roadways. There are a greater number of people who have the tendency to be risk-takers when driving. There are more inexperienced drivers out there, and we all know the dangers associated with the usage of cell phones while driving.

The reality is our world has changed during the past several years and not all for the better.

People have fewer tendencies to take responsibility for their actions and shun away from accepting the consequences for when they do something they should not be doing. More and more, people seem to want to blame someone else or something else for their actions when they are wrong. This is also true when they commit a traffic violation.

All this being said, it only makes sense to me as to why the number of tickets being written by police is increasing. The fact is we are all doing a better job of conducting proactive traffic enforcement, which is what we should be doing.

After reading this story and taking the time to digest it, I realized the primary issue here isn't about the number of tickets being written by the police, but the numerous steps it takes to complete the process before a traffic ticket is settled. Common sense dictates that by eliminating the number of steps it takes to process a ticket, we would reduce the "huge workload on those who deal with them." Eight steps to process a traffic ticket doesn't sound like a very efficient process to me. What we need is a more efficient way to streamline the process.

Police officers have the duty and responsibility to enforce our local and state traffic laws. It is my experience that most police officers issue a warning citation unless the violation warrants a traffic ticket or the violator has received a prior warning. Police officers do and should take traffic violations seriously. Officers have a responsibility to issue a ticket if it is warranted and should do so without having to be concerned that by doing their job they are increasing someone's workload.

Proactive traffic enforcement does save lives. It also yields serious criminal activity. Many traffic stops start out as something small but often turn into a more serious situation. And police officers take a huge risk each time they make a traffic stop. Just this week, an Indianapolis Metro police officer was shot at least twice in the face while making a traffic stop and later died as a result of those wounds.

Police officers all across this country conduct traffic enforcement activities every day on local, county and state roadways in an effort to keep the motoring public safe. They deserve everyone's support, especially those who are a part of the process. This story, in my opinion, should have been about the quality proactive traffic enforcement efforts being made by our local, county and state police officers in keeping our roads safe and the need for a more efficient system to deal with the growing number of violations. It should have been about looking beyond the ticket.

Ray E. Saylor, Chief, Milltown Plice Department
Milltown, Ind.
February 09, 2011


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