Sunday, August 14, 2011

Operation Smooth Operator...

This sign is a lie.
So Maryland and DC have brought back the 'aggressive driver' containment campaign known ridiculously as 'Smooth Operator'.  I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase 'smooth operator', I think of the people who can talk their way out of anything.  I suppose that is sort of an ironic aspect to the whole concept in the first place, but I digress.

What irritates me the most concerning the advertising of this program is the notion that the very action of speeding makes one inherently an 'aggressive driver'.  And that would be a lie.  There are many other things that make one an 'aggressive driver' - tailgating and weaving are the two things that come to mind, and when speeding is mixed in with those two things, I can understand the 'aggressive driving' label.  Speeding by itself, I cannot understand, which brings me to another point: to what degree of speeding makes a driver 'aggressive'?

Is going 66 miles per hour in a speed limit zone of 65 'aggressive'?  According to Smooth Operator, yes it is indeed.  Will it get you pulled over?  I don't know.  I guess it depends on how zealous the police choose to be.  Going 75 in a 65 zone is almost a guarantee to get one pulled over if he is alone on the road, while having literally everyone going 75 in a pack won't get anyone pulled over.  Which one is more likely to endanger people?  The latter, of course, but nothing happens there.  Hence the only conclusion I can decisively draw from the existence of such a program (and its enforcement) is that it is mostly a revenue generator, just like speed cameras.  Safety is just incidental to the whole thing and a convenient excuse.

Too bad.

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