FAST TRAINS....FEWER POLICE...by Steve Duhl 
Thursday, August 4, 2011, 06:11 PM
Posted by Administrator
We were trying to decide whether the best way to get to the Mediterranean Coast of France from Nyon, Switzerland, a town on Lake Geneva. I asked the hotel front desk person, a young woman from Italy, whether she recommended that we drive East-to-Italy and then South to the coast or South to Grenoble, France and then on windy, mountain roads. The Italian route, on the map looked flat and fast. She said "I've made the trip only on the train." The concept of driving that far seemed foreign to her.

Our friends (along with Aryanna, our daughter) made the trip from Paris to Cannes on a 200MPH train. They report is was a wonderful trip...wide seats, lots of room, French passengers who resented them for being loud Americans. We made our way South through the mountains.

I found it interesting that we saw virtually no police cars on the road from Paris to SouthWest Germany to Switzerland to Southern France. A motorcycle policeman had stopped a car outside of Geneva. A French police car passed us on the highway. Once we left Paris, that was it.

In the U.S., police are trained...in police school... to make traffic stops with the intention of finding bigger crimes and criminals riding in the car. A speeding stop turns into a search for drugs...a check of driver and passenger for outstanding warrants...an opportunity to arrest someone and send them to prison. Young kids with old cars are good targets...maybe the driver doesn't have a driver license...maybe someone is smoking marijuana.

And so, I began to think, if we spent $10Trillion dollars, more or less, on a high speed rail system...it wouldn't just create construction jobs and save gasoline and save money on building new roads and road repair....it would have at least two other benefits:
1) (Which has nothing to do with the subject of this entry): More people would travel and spend money on being tourists and that would be good for the economy, and,
2) (Actually related to this entry): We'd have fewer traffic stops and fewer people getting arrested and going to prison and we'd need fewer police. For instance, kids would take the train and not drive around smoking marijuana.

...and, while I support the police and all that they do...it would be nice to be able to drive to Boca without passing 5 Deputies, 3 FHP troopers and a cop who lives in Loxahatchee driving to work in his Aventura Police Department police car. (It would be nicer not to have to DRIVE there. ...okay, it would be nicest not to have to go to Boca at all.)

....and my friends who are policemen are about to retire, anyway.

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