CHP OP/ED Redone2 min read

Woord up fight the power

Sean Sullivan

Everyone has places to go, everyone has people to see, and as a result of this, everyone speeds. Recently the California Highway Patrol has been cracking down on the rampant amount of speeders on San Jose’s ever-populated freeways. According to an article published in the San Jose Mercury News, speeding is the main cause of two out of three highway deaths in the state, and is a growing problem for CHP, who have significantly less officers patrolling the highways than they did 30 years ago. The new five trooper unit, assembled solely to cite people for traffic violations, has been handing out tickets like they were public service pamphlets for the good of mankind. The officers gave out 1,744 tickets in January, 1,369 of which were for speeding, the others ranged from carpool violation to driving without a seat belt on. In 2006 the entire San Jose division gave out 4,155 tickets total, which averages 346 tickets per month, not close to 2,000; these numbers seemed absurdly skewed. This crackdown is not what the city of San Jose needs, and the new CHP unit is putting the focus in the wrong place. Rather than stopping and citing people for trying to get places in a timely manner, perhaps we should take the money that is being spent on the officers and put it towards funding for education. According to the CHP’s website, the average annual salary of a cadet is $69, 144. When multiplied by five, that is $345, 720 that could spent spent on better, more people-oriented services. Not to mention a whole bunch of money back in the pockets of the freeway commuters who could potentially be stopped by the new unit. Even if the new unit couldn’t be replaced with something that would be more beneficial to the community, they could spend their time patrolling for more serious things than breaking the speed laws. I feel as though there are already enough police in San Jose and that any addition to the force would be taking steps towards the police state that is country is slowly becoming.