I feel like ranting a little bit about technology and cops. Is that cool? Alright, thanks. Here’s the thing: technology is going to replace a lot of what cops are currently paid to do. I think it’s inevitable and mostly a very good thing.
When I put on my future-predicting hat I see a few things on the horizon: there’s going to be an end to speeding as we know it (much sooner than later), police forces will shift away from menial tasks like writing tickets for traffic violations and will instead become more focused on preventing violence or responding to emergencies.
I predict that within 10 years, if not much sooner, drivers in the United States will no longer be able to speed (without getting caught, that is). Police forces in states like North Dakota are already putting drones to use and I think it’s only a matter of time before drones with cameras and radar will be patrolling stretches of roads in rural areas where cops generally aren’t found. In cities I think more and more cameras, similar to the red light cameras now in use, will be popping up to the point where almost no road will be free from police surveillance. Capping it all off, the rise of self-driving cars will be the fatal bullet for speeders everywhere. Already Tesla’s autopilot feature can read posted speed limits and adjust speed accordingly. Plus, cars basically being rolling computers, if you did speed it wouldn’t be hard to check your car’s stats to see what speed you we’re traveling.
So for people who enjoy speeding, I’m sorry. I don’t see it as something you’ll be able to do much in the medium-term future.
But as annoying as getting a ticket is no matter what the circumstances, I’d rather trust computers and machines with monitoring driver’s actions than human police officers. Computers are going to be more accurate — no doubt about that. Police officers, on the other hand, can (and do) make mistakes.
I can’t pretend I’m writing this article out of the blue. I recently got pulled over by a cop who claimed I rolled through a stop sign and proceeded to speed 11 over the posted limit. It was one of those ridiculous traps where an officer is looking for “easy prey.” You know the type: the speed limit sign is nearly impossible to see, etc. The thing is, I believe the officer’s view of my vehicle was nearly completely obstructed by several large bushes.
Needless to say, plenty of municipalities in my state have been caught trying to raise revenue with similar traffic traps. I have absolutely no doubt that this was one of those situations. Now if a computer gave me the same ticket (and I saw proof, as happens with red light cameras), I’d happily pay it. But there’s no proof when an officer says you did something like not properly stop at a stop sign. It’s his word versus yours and the court is going to side with the cop 99.99% of the time. That’s just how it goes.
Now this isn’t really a rant against cops as much as it is an observation that law enforcement can (and hopefully will be soon) be much more efficient — and fair — thanks to technology.
Police are necessary. Law enforcement is a must. I appreciate plenty of what police officers do for our communities but there are also times that I resent them. I think it’s high time technology did some disrupting in the “police department.” What do you think?