How we find out about true crimes – this is assuming that we, I mean the majority of the law-abiding population, are not criminals ourselves, is likely relegated to the media: what we see on TV, what we read in newspapers and online publications and blogs, or what we may hear. Or overhear.
I read the usual papers. I’m also a fan (it’s a guilty pleasure) of Cops, the pseudo documentary TV show that follows police departments around on their law enforcement duties. Let’s forget for a moment that the focus of that show seems to be to see how many young men of color’s lives we can destroy by stupid inflated charges and antiquated and moronic non-violent drug laws. Let’s forget that piece for a moment and just focus on the undeniable evidence that a huge number of crimes (and thus, arrests and interactions with the police) occur in the presence of motor vehicles. Am I right?
Here’s a short list:
- auto theft
- using an auto as a getaway car for robbing a bank or a store or what have you
- drug dealing/running
- firearms running
- vehicular manslaughter
- vehicular murder
- mobile prostitution
- driving without a license
- driving without registration
- transporting illegals across state lines
- using a car for human trafficking
- using a car for the location of a crime, such as assault, murder, rape
- using a car for drive-by shootings
- odometer fraud
- ram and scam
- hit and runs
- speeding while driving
- unsafe lane changes and other moving violations
- drunk driving
- driving while texting
- driving without a seatbelt
- using a motor vehicle for a drug factory (hello Breaking Bad)
- child or animal endangerment (leaving an innocent locked in a hot car)
- Verbal assaults, i.e. Road Rage
And that is a just a short brainstormed list. As far as I know, you’re not going to get a ticket for walking too fast down the sidewalk. I’ve also never seen a cyclist cited for speeding, though I guess it could happen. No, really, cops are focused on motor vehicles. If you look at that list above, it seems a car is actually a prerequisite for carrying out the crime. For instance, when was the last time you robbed a bank or an art museum and took the bus home? It’s been awhile, I bet.
So there you go, another fringe benefit of going car free. Less potential involvement with authorities. I think we can all agree, these days that’s a lot better for everyone.