Comments about ‘Letters: New respect’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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isrred
South Jordan, UT

"Let's do them a favor and make their work environment a little less stressful."

It's not just a favor, it's the LAW: Utah law requires motorists to slow down and move over one lane if possible when state troopers or other emergency workers are stopped by the side of the road.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I've traveled through Minnesota and Wisconsin a couple of times recently and have noticed how much differently drivers there act. You don't see people speeding, running red lights, or zapping past emergency vehicles or tearing through construction zones.

I asked why and was told that a few years ago, fines for traffic violations were raised to near astronomical levels. Running a red light costs several hundreds of dollars. (I think it was $800, but don't recall for certain.) Likewise with other violations. There are large fines for a first offense and they double or more for subsequent violations.

And the fines are imposed. Driver's licenses are lifted if fines are not paid by a deadline.

A couple of residents remarked that the only people you see violating traffic laws are driving cars with out of state plates. One said that when he must travel down to Illinois, he feels like he's on a suicide mission.

There are answers that could tame Utah drivers. But our lawmakers lack the courage to enact them.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

While I refuse to give up my dislike for making false heroes of the military, police, fire, highway patrol, farmers and many other over deified groups, I agree with the writer that we should do every thing we can to help these public servants in their job.

I would just like to remind the population that the teacher, postman, window washer, and street sweeper are every bit as deserving of their help and respect. Not because of any uniform they wear, but just because they are human beings and Americans to boot.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I too have been on the side of I-15 helping someone, and the traffic going by inches away at what seems like a million miles per hour when you are sitting still and defenseless is nerve racking. It scared the schnitzel out of me. Knowing if anybody makes one mistake, or one person slams on the brakes... it would get ugly before you could do anything.

It really isn't that hard to change lanes or slow down.

Things can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, and if you are going 75mph inches away from someone standing on the side of the road... that's very little margin for error. It may feel safe to you... but I can guarantee you it doesn't feel very safe for the person standing there facing the oncoming cars trusting they will all be able to miss them.

And yes... we should change lanes or slow down for the teacher, postman, window washer too... if that will make Ultra Bob happier.

I say give ANYBODY on the side of the road some room.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

One old man.

This old man disagrees with your conclusion.

First I believe that it is not the harshness of the punishment that deters crime; it is the likelihood of being caught.

Second I believe that adding to a person’s financial woes will generally add to their need to do wrong. Sitting in the Justice Court awaiting our turn I witnessed person after person being fined $1000 for driving with out insurance. The judge was very helpful, he sometimes lower the fine and offered the option of monthly payments.

Third the American creed says that all people should have equal justice before the law. Equal justice cannot be had if a poor person gets fined the same amount as a rich person.

Don Bixby
Centerville, UT

"As I walked back to my car, it suddenly hit me." I read this initially that as you were walking back to your car, your car hit you. Yikes. I'm glad you were okay.

That's definitely a bold move to walk around on the edge of the highway like that, whether fast or slow lane side. When a car is parked on the roadside, drivers look at it, and you drive where you are looking, which is why highway patrolmen get hit so often.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE "Equal justice cannot be had if a poor person gets fined the same amount as a rich person"...

Oh the fuzzy logic of Ultra Bob... You can't have equality unless you treat people unequally??? It's not equal justice unless you punish rich people more??? Just bogus Bob.

I think I understand what he's getting at (the ratio of the fine to income or net worth of the offender), but I don't know that you can pretend that if we don't charge rich people more.. we don't have equal protection under the law.

I mean I know how income envy and class warfare rhetoric can cloud the mind.... but this is ridiculous.

Bob, you gotta start seeing people as more than their wallet or their bank account. ALL people are equal (regardless of income). So punishments should be "equal" (not on a sliding scale based on income). Must we give people with more time (say young people) more time in jail when they break laws requiring jail time... or we don't have equal protection under the law?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The point I was trying to make is that money has such a wide difference in value to people; it does not give the same pain (justice) to different people. While the same is true for everything, money is the most widely the case.

Time is probably the most equally distributed wealth that people have. If the purpose of punishment is the cessation of crime, a night in jail would have the same cure for the rich man and the poor.

Our present system in which we use time incarceration is too expensive and doesn’t seem to be working.

I would like for sex offenders to be de-sexed either chemically or physically for their crime. That way their family and friends are not punished by the loss of their family member. Drug users and sellers might be given a drug to take away some facility but leave them able to carry out basic life needs. While jail would still be needed in some cases, there might be better and more fruitful ways to deter crime.

Sort-of-like the way they do in sporting systems.

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