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Problems with the law

  1. May 22, 2003 #1
    I need advice.

    We live in a small town, roughly 15 or 20 people in town, but it is still a small community and we all live within a 1 block radius of eachother. Our town also includes a golf course, to which a lot of people go to. Our main strip has a stop sign in the most residential of the corners, houses on all sides. People do not stop at this sign, ever, at all, or even slow down!

    My question is, what can I do to get these people to stop at the stop sign?! They will go through our road at 40+ mph. I wouldn't care so much but our neighbors have 2 small children who play out in the yard all the time. The neighbors have lost 2 dogs and 3 cats to stupid drivers who don't stop. If they stopped they would only be going 0-10 mph as the house with the kids is the next house in line.

    We have begged the police to watch it, I have seen one cop in four years!

    Anyways, the law isn't protecting our community from the danger waiting to happen...so I want to take the law into my own hands. How can I either a) convince the cops to do SOMETHING or b) solve the problem myself.

    Some things I have thought of are: setting up a video camera recording people flying through the stop sign and send a full length tape in with a letter, perhaps diagramming what our community would like done (be it a speed bump, a cop travelling through once a day maybe, or something). I have also considered shooting the cars that don't stop with my paintgun, but this would just be for fun:smile: Another option was slitting tires at the golf course if they fly through fast enough, leaving a note that says "Stop at the stop sign" on their car.

    Anything suggestions would be very much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2003 #2
    If you want to do something illegal, pick your fun.

    If you're looking for something legal, that will work 100% of the time here it is.

    You can't put your own sign, because it'll look crappy and not serious. Maybe it will work, but I'd do this.

    On the stop sign should be those little holes for signs to be screwed in to. Make a sign out of a peice of flat would so it's sturdy. Paint the sign well so it looks solid like metal from the drivers POV. On it put either the phrase "camera in use". You can't put "violaters will be prosecuted" because that might be against the law. Just put a sign under it, with wood, that looks solid and well painted from the road, that says "camera in use".

    If you do this, your problem will END.
  4. May 22, 2003 #3
    Keep bugging the cops. Go up the chain -- if you get blown off or ignored, go talk to the chief of police, etc, right on up to the local government, mayor, city councilmen, whatever you have. Contact your local paper(s) by calling in or writing a letter of complaint. Talk to your neighbors and go around with a petition, which you mail to the aforemtnioned people. Keep requesting a concrete response as to what they're gonna do if anything.

    It's a pain, but generally if you make enough of a pest of yourself you will get listened to... squeaky wheel and all.
  5. May 22, 2003 #4
    Nah - If there's one thing I've learned about the law, it's that you have to take it into your own hands. They won't do anything.

    Ever. Until one of those children gets hit, smashed, and dies in a bloody mess. Then, and then only, will you need to tell the court how much you bugged them, keep notes of when you called and your letters.

    The family will lose a child, but will get literally millions for the mistake.

    It's that, or you do it yourself. The law doesn't protect, and doesn't server. As you can see.

  6. May 22, 2003 #5
    Unfortunately this really is the truth, millions for a child? That isn't even comparable. My mom babysits these children and very often I am with them, and to see one of them in the bloody mess on the road would be...

    I appreciate both your responses, I will definately keep pushing, and also work on that sign tomorrow.
  7. May 22, 2003 #6
    What you need to do is ask the city to put speed bumps in the road. You could of course put obstacles in the road yourself if you were on the brink or something.

    We have people in our area that go around late late at night and drive up in the yards leaving deep tire marks. It makes me insane with anger. But the only thing I can thing of to do is put out caltraps or some other medieval nick nack to blow out there tires. But then they might die (hahaha) and I would have to pay there drug using parents millions like somebody already mentioned.
  8. May 23, 2003 #7

    Speed bumps were certainly an option, but a member of our community, an old lady nearing death, does not want these speed bumps because SHE does not stop at the stop sign, and in fact, the first time the cops patrolled, she ended up getting a ticket!
  9. May 23, 2003 #8
    Kyle - here's another thought to energize you.

    If your mom babysits them, and one escaped here view and was hit. She could be the one who gets a lawsuit against her, for letting the kid get near the road.

    That should fuel your fire. The suggestions to get the law involved are fine, but the law won't do it if they haven't already.
  10. May 23, 2003 #9
    The problem is, our town is a part of a larger town, but the police from that larger town cannot patrol in our town, so it has to be county cops, and they don't do ANYTHING.
  11. May 25, 2003 #10
    The police from the larger town can patrol your town if they have permission to do so. You need to get your mayor or town council to give them permission, in writing, to patrol your town as well. Of course, your town might have to cough up some money to pay these officers. They could decline to help you though. Then again, you could create and hire your own police force, again it costs money.

    I don't think a sign will do much good, after all there's already a big red reflective one there.

    I do like the idea of videotaping violators. You can send a copy to the county police and if you get a shot of the violators licence plate, they should be able to procecute. I'd have a witness with you to back up your evidence and to check the time, etc.

    I would advise not to shoot paint pellets at them. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
  12. May 25, 2003 #11
    I still say you need to take the law into your own hands. Remember what I said about what might happen if the kid got hit on your watch, your life could be ruined!

    2 wrongs don't make a right? Maybe not, but revenge is sweet.
  13. May 25, 2003 #12
    Revenge is sweet, but going to jail sucks. I wouldn't encourage anyone to do anything illegal.

    I think kyle's "squeaky wheel" method will have the best results.
  14. May 25, 2003 #13
    What I suggested wasn't illegal. Just put your own sign up that says "traffic camera in use" under the stop sign on the metal poll. It's legal enough so cops won't mind.
  15. May 25, 2003 #14
    Well, it shares the same ZIP Code and such, but they can't come out here to patrol, first of all, it is its own town (911 Address), second, it is roughly 10 miles away from the town, and thirdly, the county already "patrols" it, but as I said, once every couple years they will enter.

    I was hoping there would be a possibility of having them prosecuted for running the stop sign. A day out there would get me a full length VHS tape full, easily.

    The paintballs was just for my own enjoyment:smile: I wasn't (too) seriously considering it.
  16. May 30, 2003 #15
    Are you sure?
    1) Chances are the town and/or county in question has ordinances that dictate where, who and when a person or entity can errect a sign.
    2) The sign is a blatent lie.
    3) There is no such term as "legal enough", a thing or action is either legal or illegal.
    What I meant was to get some kind of agreement with the other police force to come out once in awhile. This is entirely possible, but it requires conditions and agreements on both your town and the town that pays this police force.
    For example, you may have seen a "Dukes of Hazzard" episode where Roscoe is chasing The Boys. The Boys cross the county line and Roscoe stops because he is "out of his jurisdiction". That is the way it originally worked, however now-a-days, most counties, states, etc have agreements with their neighboring counties, states, whatever, that allows an officer to continue a pursuit across the county/state line. Normal clauses in this kind of agreement might be that the pursuing officer must notify the department who has jurisdiction what he/she is doing, they can only go x miles across the line, they should notify and request assistance from the department with jurisdiction, etc.
    Something similar could work for this situation, except that instead of the other police force pursuing someone into your town, they just drive by the intersection in question once in a while and issue a citation if there is any funny business going on.

    The point is, they will have jurisdiction if you give it to them and they accept it.

    However, there is another course of action.
    Your town must have some kind of town council. Find out when and where they meet and bring up this subject. A videotape in hand with several violators might emphasize your complaint and offer proof that your complaint is justified. Offer them solutions (shared police, more responsible county police, your own town hiring a police force, change the sign to a traffic light, speed bumps, etc.) and ask which solutions they believe are possible and why. Make them talk about it and present other solutions. Does a vote need to be taken? Does a law need to be passed? Find out and urge the council to act. I would also suggest talking to your neighbors and ask them to go with you to the town council. The more people that complain, the better chances something will happen.
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