“Bring Back the Citizens Arrest” Club

bridge.jpgI live right near the George Washington Bridge, so when walking my daughter to school, we encounter three seasoned crossing guards. Today I noticed a driver performing a dangerous and illegal move, jeopardizing other cars and pedestrians. This abominable situation outraged me. I would never think to make that illegal left! I shared my indignation with crossing card # 2 on my path. She smiled, and said, “I know, can you believe it? It happens all day long! I take deep breaths and hold them in until they complete the forbidden turn. I watch almost accidents all day long.”

Instantly I had a proposal for a solution. One I should consider sharing with our governor, Chris Christie, but I would have to include dozens of donuts if I wanted to garner his attention.

The idea: allow crossing guards to capture videos of these illegal traffic maneuvers, showing the driver’s full transgression, complete with license plate number, and send it into the police. Automated cameras already do this; why can’t we get humans back in the game? These fluorescent-vest wearing guards keep pedestrians safe and should be entrusted to report these infractions. They are already on the job; let us empower them to keep us even safer! It’s time to make the Citizen’s Arrest Version 2.0.

Continuing with this thought process, I had an additional amendment to the newly re-formed Citizen’s Arrest Program: The Driver-to-Driver Ticket-the-Texters Program. We have to unite to get these hazardous, self-entitled, above-the-law testers off the road. How can we incorporate a citizen’s arrest on those perilous drivers? I suggest a program (or an app, as the kids call it these days), where we would install government-issued dash cameras, with coordinated activation buttons on the steering wheel (keeping all hands on the wheel!). When we see offenders texting and driving, we push the button on our steering wheel to record the crime in action. With another push of a button, we send those video clips directly to the police. Again, similar to the way the automatic cameras have been recording red-light violators for years.

The traffic honor system is broken. Our society has evolved into a group of misbehaved children whose parents failed to follow up threats with discipline. Our ego-focused psyches have become dependent on an instant-gratification reward system, falsely arming us with the courage and bravado to function as a nation of traffic violators. In a country laden with passionate protesters, it’s time to strengthen our citizens with the power to supplement police jurisdiction.

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