Yesterday’s audio post received a number of comments about my priorities or lack of understanding on my position.
To recap (sorry Tina): The minute plus post was ranting and bitching about twenty mile per hour zones around schools and the fact local police in Plano spend more time patrolling these speeding zones rather than trying to catch real bad guys.
Thanks to actually driving and my nifty hands free speaker phone I was able to make the post – legally. However, and here’s one of the sources of frustration, if I’d have had the phone right up to my ear using 50% of my driving hands it would have been legal too. See, there’s no law against driving and using a telephone old school (with it to your ear).
It’s too dangerous to drive 35 around kids, but okay to only use one hand. I’m too lazy to look up statistics but there’s a good chance that the rate of accidents when using a mobile phone greatly increases. Okay, I’m curious … be right back …
Thanks to Wikipedia …
A 1997 Canadian study  and a 2005 Australian study  both estimated the risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used.
Driver inattention is estimated to be a factor in between 20 to 50 percent of all police-reported crashes.
American Automobile Association
But wait, there’s more: Wikipedia Listings
I’ve tried to find some data supporting slowing down decreases accidents around school zones and haven’t found much in my 5 minutes of research. The only paper I found, which actually focused on Richardson (a local burb here in Dallas), seemed to suggest reducing speeds around schools didn’t have any statistical correlation to accidents seemed flawed. I know it does.
But, here’s my point – the data shows increased accidents for driver inattention to be somewhere around 35% or 1 out of every 3 accidents. Can speeding as a cause of accidents be so much different than doing 35 mph around a school? Seems unlikely.
The real question is about priorities since every nice mom in the area drives an equivalent to a Sherman Tank (which frankly I find cool and would like to own one the moment they hit 35 mph or hydrogen). Are the children in that much danger thanks to speeders in comparison to the murders, robberies and other dangers that lurk here and other places?
Or, is the incentive system for crime fighters misaligned so the yokels who wear badges in Plano, and Morgantown, and small towns around other foreign countries have more incentive to write a speeding ticket than arrest people who commit felonies? One boss Hog around here actually gave Christmas bonuses for the amount of speeding tickets written. But nothing reported about catching those who were mugging people at the local malls.
Broken glass theory does not equal lots of speeding tickets theory. It can’t. What it does suggest is a community that is too myopic to look at the big picture, too incompetent to understand the larger picture or too lazy because the money is good. But, communities aren’t the only ones which miss the point – so do large and small companies.
The overall reasons are somewhat different but can fit into the same issue tree. Additional points – we’re too busy – work is too good, things suck – work is too bad. Fit these under myopic.
Priorities and simple strategies rule
- Make it safe for everyone in our city
- Best X,Y or Z company in all the land
- Don’t be evil (until you allow filtering in China)
- Fat and happy
- Thin and happy
Each one of these strategies would allow for fairly easy decision making when it comes to policing; decisions on staff, resources, IT systems, brand; doing business; having dinner x2.
Well, it’s time to go to work – wonder if my Z can out run one of those Plano cops? Maybe that’ll be my next audio post – when their in ‘hot pursuit.’