Daily Police Gauntlett Creating I-395 Traffic Jams
Date: January 12, 2017 08:24AM
Hey guys, can post a complaint here? EVERY DAY, as I travel south on I-395 heading home from the District, I hit regular traffic jams. EVERY DAY I see Fairfax County, Arlington County and Virginia State Police sitting on the site of the road, waiting. And if you commute home on those routes, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The police sit by the side of the highway before the Shirlington exit (Arlington County and State Police), sometimes between Rt. 236 and Edsall Road exits (Fairfax County and State Police), and on the Edsall Road entrance ramp onto I-395 South (Fairfax County and State Police). Waiting. I long suspected I knew the reason why they were just sitting there, but WTOP confirmed my suspicions today on the radio. Nearly every patrol car now employs license plate readers. What are the police waiting for? For their computer systems to tell them a "suspect" had just passed them on the road and they need to go after him/her.
This would explain the time I was pulled over last year. I was going only slightly over the speed limit of 55, but noticed the trooper sitting at Edsall Road was now coming after me. After he pulled me over, I asked why I was stopped, and he explained my state Inspection Sticker had expired. I looked over on my lower windshield, and sure enough..... Hey, wait a minute! I was going 55mph and he was sitting by the side of the road not moving, at least 30 yards from the highway. How could a police officer possibly spot the numbers on an inspection sticker, especially when you factor in reflections off the window, shadows, seat headrests blocking the view. As I returned to the highway, it left me thinking that police must eat a lot of bunny rabbit carrots to have such superior vision. But then, we have the license plate readers, and that kinda explains it, doesn't it.
But that's NOT my beef. My beef is this:
Traffic ALWAYS slows down to look at police with their lights on by the side of the road. Drivers ALWAYS rubberneck whenever someone is pulled over. As the police start their daily assault in the early afternoon, they've left traffic a wreck by 3pm, with choking back-ups at Shirlington and again from 236 to Edsall road. Hey, I understand an interest in enforcing the law, but does this need to happen EVERY DAY, and frequently, in multiple spots along this 9-mile long stretch. I really support the police - I'm a contributor to the FOP - and I believe in good law enforcement. But this technique of "trolling for perps" along a heavily travelled commuting route is getting really, REALLY old. It's a real beat-down when you're faced with, yet again, another traffic jam because the police want to use their license plate readers to troll for perps. What better place to increase their chances of finding someone than the massive volume of traffic along I-395. And then, when they pull someone over, the back-ups begin - and continue for the remainder of the commute for the rest of the day. Hey guys, do you know how old this is getting???
I hope my comments find their way back to the source and result in a discontinuance of this practice. It's hard enough dealing with the traffic, tailgating and road rage without dealing with police practices that only increase the likelihood these issues will get worse. Hey, Fairfax, Arlington, and VSP, give me back my commute! If you want to catch folks using your really kool license plate readers, do it on Secondary routes!
From someone getting really tired of the daily beatdowns. Please stop! We need a rest!