Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Two wrongs don't make a right
Here at ye ole' Superbike Blog, we are sometimes criticized as being anti-law enforcement. I personally feel like that reputation is undeserved, because it presumes that no matter what LEOs do, this blog is against everything they stand for. This is most assuredly not the case. When a cop bravely pulls a motorist out of burning vehicle, catches a robber, or snipes a hostage taker during a standoff, we should all be proud and thankful. And if those were the types of activities police engaged in exclusively, you'd never read a negative word about them on this blog.
Unfortunately though, we all understand that the average beat cop spends the majority of his shift, not catching murderers and rapists, but acting as either an agent of the citation industry or an enforcer of unjust/unconstitutional law. This effort is sometimes directed at motorcyclists, who have always been seen by cops as easy enforcement targets -- especially sportbikers. When such a situation occurs, you'll usually read something negative about police on this blog. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. In a system where our modern-day government owns a monopoly on both official force and lawmaking, corruption therein is naturally rampant, and this blog will always scream loudly in pointing out violations of natural liberty as they relate to motorcycling.
That said, there are certain actions by motorcyclists the Superbike Blog looks down strongly upon regardless of the circumstances, and one of them is blatantly running from police.
Now mind you, we're not talking about occasional jackrabbiting when you think a cop might decide to turn around and contact you. We mean instigating a full-on chase by going into warp drive when a cop is directly behind you -- lights on and sirens wailing. This is dumb, dangerous, and gives all of motorcycling a black eye regardless of the outcome. Here are a few things to consider the next time you see red-and-blues in your mirrors and feel the urge to flee.
It's 2008, everything's a felony. Well, not everything, but damn-near. And here in Texas, that includes evading police. The story's the same in a lot of other states, too. Now, should running from the cops put you in the same criminal category as a pedophile, you ask? Of course not, but keep in mind that common sense, reason, and honesty are not traits required to be a legislator. Without argument, such penalties are plainly unjust, but are all the more reason to perform a quick cost-to-benefit analysis before you twist the throttle. Realistically, you need to decide whether or not attempting to get out of a 400-dollar ticket is worth potentially spending the rest of your life as a felon should you get caught.
If the cop does something stupid and hurts himself, you'll probably be held responsible. This is another sign-of-the-times trend that's sweeping the nation. More and more states are passing legislation that holds the runner accountable for any boneheaded decision the officer might make that subsequently results in his injury or death. That means if he can't drive very well or makes a tactical mistake, you'll pick up the tab for his ineptitude. Again, if you'll just stop and think about it, beating a 400-dollar ticket -- or even an impound -- isn't worth potentially going to jail for causing the death of a police officer, especially if it was his own fault.
Chances are, there's someone who'd miss you very much. If you have a spouse, a child, a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister -- think about what they'd have to go through emotionally if you died in such a meaningless, sensational way. Your chances of being killed after engaging police in a high-speed chase are very high, and your untimely departure from this plane into the next would leave a great big 'you-shaped' hole in the hearts of those you love. Use discretion and live another day, even if it means having to pad Johnny Law's pension a little.