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Sympathy for the Devil

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. There's a particular type of thread and a particular mentality emerging on this forum.

    Its basic premise is; "I've got caught breaking the law and I've been hard done by."

    Then someone, often me, replies with; "If you hadn't been doing that, you wouldn't have been booked."

    Which is almost ALWAYS followed by the offender, or someone of like mind, saying; "I bet everyone else here has done it, or is doing it".

    There are three implications to this assertion.

    1. My guilt is lessened by the fact that other people (allegedly) do it too.

    2. Everybody (allegedly) has the same attitude to the law that I do.

    3. Therefore I've just been unlucky to get caught, and I wish you had been caught instead.

    Back in the sixties there was a funny TV show called Hee Haw. It was sort of a country version of Laugh-In. One of the recurring sketches featured a lady who goes to the doctor and says; "My head hurts when I do this", while waggling her head from side to side. The doctor smacks her on the side of the head while shouting; "Well, don't do it then!!!"

    The bottom line is this; idiotic and unproven assertions of police harrassment aside, the way to avoid being booked is to obey the law.

    So spare me the whining, please. If you want to speed, or lane-split or use a phone while driving or riding, go ahead, just don't assume when you get caught that everybody does it, because we don't, and don't expect sympathy when you get caught, cos you don't deserve it, and you won't get it, at least from me.

    (And yes, amazingly enough, you can have a heap on fun on a bike and not break the law; the vast number of riders do it every day.)
  2. or maybe the law needs some change.
  3. sigh, my point is proven
  4. i agree hornet, but only to a point. and yes, i do most certainly beleive that harassment goes on fairly frequently. hasn't happened to me yet, but i know of plenty of cases where people get done not for tiny annoying things, but for stuff they point blank didn't do.

    i didn't cry foul when i lost my licence for a year. i wasn't exactly ecstatic about it, but i DID cop it sweet and i DID deserve it.

    however when i got pinged for 2kmh over the limit on a big long clear road just out of echuca, i was pretty ropable. THAT is a bullshit fine, and that, in my mind, is something that you have every right to be pissed about.

    and you cant tell me that being pulled over because you look mean and then having a ticket written up because your stock muffler isn't the normal round shape, that the copper is just doing his job. and what can you do about this? the cheapest way out is to go get a RWC and hope that the dumb bastard doesn't pull you up again.

    i'd say most coppers out there are well and truly decent enuff and do a great job. but just like anything, they have more than their fair share of fcukwits too. i guess you gotta take it case by case, you cant just roll it all into 'whinging about it even tho you did something wrong' but at the same time you cant just say 'all coppers are assholes'

  5. :applause: :applause: :applause: A good point well put..
  6. Hornets point as I read it, is if you knowingly broke the law cop it sweet and don't biatch and expect sympathy, cos ya not going to get it from him and probably quiet a few others.

    Coconuts has a point regarding persecution, and revenue raising methods. Give me a cop who may be reasoned with, over a camera any day.

    Personally, thus far I have not dealt face to face with cop who hasn't been performing his or hers professional duty in a correct manner. I'm not saying there is no questionable behaviour in police forces, my son believes they have him in their sights, but should you feel persecuted there are better ways of overcoming it than bitching here.

    Number one, if you really feel hard done by get the officers name and number, ask for the name of his station superior, and the area commander, all information which should be freely given. Number two, take it up with the superiors. If you're not happy with that outcome, go to the police ombudsman.

    Venting your spleen here, and getting some sympathy for your unfortunate lack of foresight won't change the facts. That's what the courts are for.
  7. If you don't like the laws feel free to break them but be prepared to accept the consequences for doing so - basic rule of civil disobedience.

    "We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong.... There are good laws and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them." -Alexander Bickel
  8. Some of you guys have it right.

    Do the crime, pay the fine.

    Some enforcement is not in the "fair spirit" of the laws. Example, i regularly drive down a nice quiet road through a park, posted as 50kmph. About once a week the is a speed camera, sorry "safety camera" there. Us regular users no not to speed there, and don't get caught. The area is not an accident zone, never seen or heard of one there.

    Makes it hard to accept the cameras an support them when they are abviously trying to revenue raise, not improve safety.

    I for one are more than happy for police to come down heavy on people doing stupid things, such as drink driving, big amounts over the posted limits etc. A couple of kays over a limit does not always warrant being pinged.
  9. Hornet, I assume you accept that I am not among the hoon element on this forum? While agreeing with the vast majority of your position, I am left unsatisfied. The basic assumption that the law is always good and just is my problem.

    A young bloke who works for me was recently given an 'unroadworthy' notice for his totally sound car, simply because the chrome dome over the rear numberplate light had a small rust hole that allowed a hint of white light to be visible from the rear. He was fined $50, his car had to be re-inspected at a cost of $130, and he lost its use for almost a week while he waited for that inspection. Can you honestly tell me that you think this 'just'? The truth is, he was young, he was driving an old car, he was an easy target, and he was subject to a misuse of authority by a police officer who should really get a life.

    The law is an easy weapon for those who chose so, to misuse. "do the crime, do the time", is a pathetic platitude that provides comfort only to the simplistic and unquestioning. When I was young that hint of white light would have attracted a caution, in these days of enforcement quotas it is just another invoice.
  10. I concur. I have a clean record on and off the road, but sometimes it takes a bit of effort to keep it that way. There are some laws that I look at and thing WTF are they trying to prove, then the day after somebody breaks that law and I'm left fustrated by the experience. Without trying to sound too wishy washy is that I think it is impossible to make laws that allow freedom. One persons views are going to be counterbalanced by anothers. So I agree that the law isn't always good and just, however in a large percentage (not all) of cases it tries and comes close. The legal system and sentencing is something that I feel we have far from perfected, just my opinion.
  11. Personally I'd rather have a camera doing the booking than a police car any day... at least the camera doesn't play favourites.

    A case in point... I drive to work sometimes along a road which seems to be part of the regular patrol route for some local police cars and division vans.

    I've never ever been tailed or pulled over whilst driving the car but no matter which of the three bikes I ride the police will look, see a bike and most times follow.

    Doesn't matter if I'm sitting dead on the speed limit, doesn't matter if the bike has a stock exhaust... still happens on the bike and not in the car.

    And it isn't only my bikes, the guy up the road with the gixxer experiences the same issues.

    There are _still_ anti-biker feelings amongst lots of the police force it seems...
  12. I made the thread to provoke exactly this debate, and the responses are thoughtful and reasoned. Of course I was stating the 'maximum' case, so let me expand upon the debate.

    It would be foolish in the extreme to state that there are not police who are on the look-out for 'soft' bookings. And perhaps, cameras, despite our loathing of them, are at least impatial, as ZRX says.

    But police cars these days are equipped with radio, computers and live links to a data base which identifies their target and gives them all the details of EVERY misdemeanour or previous incident. Some of the correspondents to this area of debate have admitted, while complaining about police harrassment, that they are known to the police from previous incidents. The unsaid implication here should be clear; some people draw police attention because they are known offenders, and, worse, have a hostile attitude when they do come to the attention of the law. So what do the police do? They do what is easiest, they pull them over again, maybe only for a tiny infriongement, or a roadworthy check, etc.

    What am I saying? The vast majority of people who complain about police harrassment have either deliberately or repeatedly drawn police attention by illegal or obvious behaviour.

    This may well not be the case with your young man and his minor number-plate light, inci, but I think you know what I mean.

    So what about changing the law, and/or the police culture? The law and its enforcement should always be open for review and question. And there are penalties which seem out of proportion with the offence. It will always be so. How do we change this??

    It's not rocket science to say that it will NEVER be changed by repeated breaking of those laws; that just makes them rich, and us pedestrians. In a democratic society the method is by political pressure and the ballot box.

    So let's continue with this, with a one last comment, if I may; I have never been followed while riding a motorcycle, and the only time I have been booked was when I stopped to wait for a mate who WAS speeding, to be booked, and the cop pinged me into the bargain. And I WAS mad about that. Inci's right; the law is not always good!
  13. I have to say, I have never been fined or received a ticket for doing something stupid, even though I have.
    I've been pulled over, in loud, modified cars and never received more than a warning...why? Because I don't have an attitude problem, and when I get puled over, I get out of the car and talk to the police like they are human beings. They are doing their job, and if you maintain your vehicle properly, don't drive like a tool, and don't go on with a mouthful of attitude when pulled over, you wil never have a problem.
    I've even beem pulled over for doing 90 in a 50 km/h zone, overtaking a Volvo that was doing about 30 km/h, in a loud V8 Valiant ute, and all I got was " knock it back a notch". They walked around the car trying to pick something on it, but because I make sure my cars are fine, they didn't pick anything. All they were annoyed about was the tow bar obscuring the number plate, but with an assurance I'd look int it, they let me go on my way.
    I once (and only time I have been done by a sped camera) got a fine for 15km/h over the limit, I did it, I paid the fine. I could be a martyr and go on about speed limits, several speed limits in a few kilometres of road blah blah, but I knew the sped limit and I exceeded it. Being a tosser will not change the limit.
    You can be a hero and fight the system, or you can tell them what they want to hear and have a happy, trouble free motoring life.
    Your call.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. Forums, like this one are there for people to express their opinons.

    Wheter it be on the topic of what brands they like, what colour suits their bike best or wheter they agree with a fine for a law they may/may not have broken.

    Furthermore forums are not personal they are open discussions so to take someones respose personally such as " i got caught lans splitting and copped a fine, I was so unlucky because everyone else does it, its a stupid law' is due to a misconception of what these forums are here for.

    Anyone is allowed to complain about a law just as much as anyone is allowed to complain about them complaining about it in the first place. If what you reall want to see higher quality forums then this certainly isin't helping.
  15. I agree with what Horney and Inci have both said.

    In general - do the crime and do the time, BUT i think there does need to be some room for the police to show some logic and offer a bit of lattitude in some cases.

    The law is a constantly changing medium. It has to be in order to keep up with the ever changing values of society. Of cause this doesnt mean if you think the speed limit should be higher, then you should just drive faster as some sort of protest. I think the police and law makers (ie governments) do seriously take into account the opinions of the general public so you put forward your ideas/opinions in an appropriate manner.

    But geez, one of my pet hates (and heaps of my friends do this) is when people feel hard done by when they get a fine. They genuinely think they were unlucky for getting caught rather than recognising that they've done wrong and copping it sweet.
  16. OK... a couple of points.

    First we need to define 'harassment'... I define it as 'unwnated attention directed toward an individual or group without any proof that that individual has committed or is about to commit an offence'.

    Now various police representatives have at times in the press said things like 'the reason we target a larger number of motorcycles than cars is because there is a significant unregistered and unlicensed rider problem' and 'there is a history of speeding and unsafe riding amongst motorcyclists in this particular area'.

    But you know... taragetting a group for unwanted attention in that manner is discriminating against that group... no matter what the rationalization.

    If I (or anyone else) am to be targetted then it should be because of something I have done (or they believe I am about to do) that is against the law, not merely because I ride a motorcycle.

    Now I admit this sort of attitude is much less common than it was 30 years ago... when just the act of riding a motorbike was enough to catagorise one as a 'ner do well' or a 'no hoper', but remnants of that attitude do still exist amongst not only the police but the general population.

    As for 'the vast majority...' etc well... I have 1 single point fine in the last ten years... that's hardly a driving history that should ring alarm bells.

    Now... you know... I don't notice this sort of attitude in all places... but it is a problem around here... so maybe you are lucky enough to live in an area with a more enlightened constabulary :)
  17. I have full point on my license, never been stopped by police, my bike has stock can on it... I sit exactly on the speed limit and grannies and soccer mums pass me all the time. I have written to Vicroads few months ago whether I should ride at 5k above the speed limit for my own safety... the answer is NO.

    After a year doing that I come to the enlightment that speed limit law and its enforcements (ie. cameras) SUCKS because no one seems to follow it except me, and that is a safety issue. They should've been advisory only. Now I ride at my own pace for my OWN safety. Speeding, lane split, you name it. I still have my full point coz I speed safely but yeah if I ever get caught by a freaking camera I will whinge, curse. I don't expect any symphathy from anyone who claims to be law-abiding citizens but I can be sure many others who has been subject to revenue making devices will give me some form of comfort :wink:
  18. Not enough information.

    There is somehting more to this story that you are not letting on.

    Please explain?

    Etc. etc. etc......
  19. I see the amount of idiot riders out on the road it is no wonder that police target them... I would too...

    Some people are unsafe and they are drawing attention to all riders...

    As for complaining about tickets.... 2km over the speedlimit on a ticket? I would complain too...
  20. I got done for 4 k over the limit a couple of months ago... it was my first ticket for over 10 years.

    Complaining about it doesn't do anything... really it doesn't... all it does is annoy the people around you :)

    One thing to remember is they take 3kph off the reading, so if you get booked for 4 k over it's really 7 k over.

    Do I think the government are using these small infringments for revenue raising? Damn right I do... but I also think that it's not going to change just because a few people complain about it.

    So learn to deal with it people... it's here and it's staying.