Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

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morriswalters
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:39 pm UTC

I just read the article from the Telegraph. There would be war in the US. I can see not licensing a car if the driver doesn't have insurance, confiscating and crushing it seems a tad over the top.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:29 am UTC

Honestly, crushing a car over an insurance issue seems like a waste of a good car. Also, it seems like it could easily also veer into "screw the poor" territory.

Insurance is handy, sure, but maybe we can use more modest punishments. Going over the top into ridiculously harsh punishments buys you little in deterrence factor.

Nem
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Nem » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:29 am UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:Not to be overly skeptical, but 1.3%? That's...not realistic.


Well, I don't have any proof I can offer you. But I think... there's probably at least two ways you can drive after your test:

One is to just drive around - assume that you've passed your test and you know how to drive, and just pray that you don't hit anyone. (That's a reason that I might disagree that tailgating and the like are just reflections of the kind of person you are. Driving is scary, and if you don't know how to do it I can see how you might patch over that with aggression. That may not be true because people might not be smart enough to be stressed by it though.)

Another, the one I do, is to consciously refine your driving. To film your drives, and watch it back and see where you go wrong - to pick out moments where your driving was hurried in some way, (I've come to believe that, at a higher level of abstraction, a reasonable metric for good driving can be derived from decisions taken / time.) To pay special attention to things where you had to take decisions or react in a hurry to stop something happening, and plan out what you might have done that would reduce that - and then train that into the habit you use.

People say that practice makes perfect, but the truth seems closer to the idea that practice makes permanent. It seems to work that way with other things that people practice. You probably need a feedback loop there to inform your practice, and to have it sensitive enough that it's not a case of crashed/didn't-crash, or you'd just be solidifying the same mistakes you're already making.

It's not like I'm saying I just drive and this is my natural level of ability after the test. You'd be right to be sceptical in that case. I've had to work to get to... well, wherever here is. Maybe it's a good place, maybe it's not - but I have pretty relaxed drives most of the time, and I used to be the kid who was sitting there with knuckles white on the steering wheel at intersections because driving was really scary.

morriswalters wrote:I just read the article from the Telegraph. There would be war in the US. I can see not licensing a car if the driver doesn't have insurance, confiscating and crushing it seems a tad over the top.


Well, it means they won't be committing the same crime with the same car again. There's got to be some way to decrease re-offending short of sending them to prison. I don't think a fine cuts it, a lot of people just won't pay the fine - it's rarely practical to fine someone on a low income - and then you'll have to deal with non-payment issues, or it'll be a negligible part of their budget.

Like, if I got a ticket, it'd be a momentary twinge to pay it at worst. It's something like £50-100. Which would devastate the budget of someone on benefits or minimum wage or the like.

Tyndmyr wrote:Honestly, crushing a car over an insurance issue seems like a waste of a good car. Also, it seems like it could easily also veer into "screw the poor" territory.

Insurance is handy, sure, but maybe we can use more modest punishments. Going over the top into ridiculously harsh punishments buys you little in deterrence factor.


I'm not sure how the economics/legality of reselling seized cars or the like would work out to prevent that waste. Cars aren't exactly cheap, but on the other hand my computer cost more than a second hand car when it was new. But I wouldn't be opposed in principle to doing something more constructive with them - just as long as they're not being driven around by unlicensed drivers.

As for screw the poor... ideally there'd be some way to hold onto the car and they could have it back once they'd passed something that said they were safe to drive. But again, I'm not sure how the costs would work out - especially for people who are barred for driving for significant portions of time before they can even retake the tests.

Maybe sell the cars and then give them the money from the sale to buy another one when they pass?

It's difficult, if you don't remove the thing and stop them getting another one - and there's not some significant penalty - they're just going to do it again.

elasto
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:15 am UTC

Nem wrote:Another, the one I do, is to consciously refine your driving. To film your drives, and watch it back and see where you go wrong - to pick out moments where your driving was hurried in some way

You film your driving and watch it back..?

Wow... Just wow... (in a good way)

morriswalters wrote:I just read the article from the Telegraph. There would be war in the US. I can see not licensing a car if the driver doesn't have insurance, confiscating and crushing it seems a tad over the top.


Well, it means they won't be committing the same crime with the same car again. There's got to be some way to decrease re-offending short of sending them to prison. I don't think a fine cuts it, a lot of people just won't pay the fine - it's rarely practical to fine someone on a low income - and then you'll have to deal with non-payment issues, or it'll be a negligible part of their budget.

...

It's difficult, if you don't remove the thing and stop them getting another one - and there's not some significant penalty - they're just going to do it again.

Instead of fining them or jailing them, which I agree are both problematic, why not 'jail' the car for 3 months or whatever; Put a tracking device on it to ensure it never moves: The person can start it up every couple of days to stop the engine seizing up or the battery dying but otherwise leave it in situ.

The person can choose to sell it in which case the tracking device is removed of course. But then the punishment reverts back to a fine, which has to be paid before the sale completes and the tracking device is removed.

If the person breaks the rules and actually drives the car once again then it gets fully impounded with extra time added on as a penalty.

Cos, yeah, crushing it is not simply wasteful it verges on spiteful.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:20 am UTC

A jail system seems reasonable. It's a little less "let's fuck you over for forever", less wasteful, and doesn't introduce perverse incentives.

We have something similar with the wheel locking systems they clamp on over your tire. That should suffice technically, and even a short period of not being able to drive would serve as a significant annoyance that is short of full-on revocation of driving rights, etc. All other things being equal, a shorter punishment is preferable...easier to administer, and so forth.

stoppedcaring
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby stoppedcaring » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:55 pm UTC

So now we're booting cars for what exactly?

Again, this is going to REALLY hurt low-income folks. If that's the only car that the family has, and they have kids who need to be picked up from school and three or four jobs to get to -- it's just cruel.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:23 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:So now we're booting cars for what exactly?

Again, this is going to REALLY hurt low-income folks. If that's the only car that the family has, and they have kids who need to be picked up from school and three or four jobs to get to -- it's just cruel.


It happens now, over trivial stuff like parking.

Instead of such trivial ends, booting should be a step for significant safety offenses that happens prior to towing of the car or confiscation of license. It's a serious hassle, but...those other things are not only hassle, they tend to involve significant fiscal hurdles. Everything hurts low income folks, but fines and fees tend to hurt them far more disproportionately than other restrictions. Three days of not being able to use your car sucks almost the same for everyone and serves as a significant warning without a long term crippling of finances.

morriswalters
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby morriswalters » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:47 pm UTC

Actually I spoke too quickly. We do crush cars. If you leave you car on a public road without insurance or license it can be impounded and after some point it can be disposed of. I think the word crushing set off some internal bias. :oops:

Poor folks would be better served if they didn't own cars. Cars cost boatloads of money to operate. Money better spent elsewhere.

Spambot5546
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Spambot5546 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:04 am UTC

Cars are also pretty necessary in the US if you live anywhere other than a fairly large city.
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Nem
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Nem » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:50 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:A jail system seems reasonable. It's a little less "let's fuck you over for forever", less wasteful, and doesn't introduce perverse incentives.

We have something similar with the wheel locking systems they clamp on over your tire. That should suffice technically, and even a short period of not being able to drive would serve as a significant annoyance that is short of full-on revocation of driving rights, etc. All other things being equal, a shorter punishment is preferable...easier to administer, and so forth.


Mmm, that sounds good.

stoppedcaring wrote:So now we're booting cars for what exactly?


The way I suggested that depriving someone of a car should be done? Driving without a license. I don't think anyone here is suggesting that one incidence of speeding or whatever (unless they're just going crazy - like 100mph through a town centre or something) should result in your car being denied you.

stoppedcaring wrote:Again, this is going to REALLY hurt low-income folks. If that's the only car that the family has, and they have kids who need to be picked up from school and three or four jobs to get to -- it's just cruel.


There has to be some sort of consequence - finning is already pretty problematic and we're not talking about first time offenders here. We're basically talking about people who don't give a damn if they kill someone.

These people shouldn't be on the road. If that makes their life more difficult then that's sad, but it's not sadder than road traffic deaths / crippling injuries.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:21 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Actually I spoke too quickly. We do crush cars. If you leave you car on a public road without insurance or license it can be impounded and after some point it can be disposed of. I think the word crushing set off some internal bias. :oops:

Poor folks would be better served if they didn't own cars. Cars cost boatloads of money to operate. Money better spent elsewhere.


Not necessarily better off. Having a car gives you a much larger range of area in which you can find employment, and it's particularly useful for moving if you need to do so. Mobility is highly correlated with financial well being. Cars provide a flexibility that no public transit system can really match. Having a car can be quite helpful indeed.

Cars are indeed expensive, but adding fines on top of that makes them effectively more expensive, and in a hard to plan for way. This presents additional challenges to those attempting to leave poverty, and is undesirable for that reason.

morriswalters
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:31 pm UTC

Too much to afford is too much to afford. Certainly cars remove barriers, but if you end up spending money on cars that could be better used elsewhere, than what do you accomplish. Fines are a choice. Drive like you have some sense and you won't get a ticket. I'm sure enforcement is uneven. And I'm sure that some cities see it as a way to fund their excesses. But if you don't speed the chances go down that you will ever be ticketed.

stoppedcaring
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby stoppedcaring » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:45 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Too much to afford is too much to afford. Certainly cars remove barriers, but if you end up spending money on cars that could be better used elsewhere, than what do you accomplish. Fines are a choice. Drive like you have some sense and you won't get a ticket.

Right, because all accidents are 100% unavoidable.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:02 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Too much to afford is too much to afford. Certainly cars remove barriers, but if you end up spending money on cars that could be better used elsewhere, than what do you accomplish. Fines are a choice. Drive like you have some sense and you won't get a ticket. I'm sure enforcement is uneven. And I'm sure that some cities see it as a way to fund their excesses. But if you don't speed the chances go down that you will ever be ticketed.


Better is subjective. What might be better for one, might not be for another. I certainly cannot reasonably claim to know what is better for all poor people...especially when employment is so important to success, and mobility is so important to employment. No doubt the poor, like the rich, attempted to optimize for their particular situations, knowledge, and available resources. The values for each are simply generally much lower.

In the US, if you don't have a car, your options for employment drop drastically. Public transportation does exist, but it also usually has a non-trivial cost for daily transportation, and adds significant time and inflexibility to your commute. So, even for areas you can still commute to, your real cost in time and dollars may be higher. Optimizing your commute can have a truly major effect on your life...even a fairly minor amount of time saved adds up significantly for a twice a day event.

morriswalters
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:26 am UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:Right, because all accidents are 100% unavoidable.
More so than you might believe. But that has nothing to do with the point. Speeding is a voluntary behavior. No one makes you do it. If you don't speed the odds go down on getting a speeding ticket, even if you assume speed traps and ticket happy municipalities. In the end people speed because they want to, not because they have to.

@Tyndymr

For low wage jobs a car could change the calculus. The wage has to be worth the additional money a car costs. In addition you have to acquire and item that is expensive, particularly if you can't pay cash. And for the poor that can mean predatory lenders. The poor, or a large subset of them, can't make that choice intelligently. They don't understand the trade offs involved.

Nem
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Nem » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:20 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:Right, because all accidents are 100% unavoidable.


Whether they are or they aren't, you shouldn't be paying a fine for an accident that wasn't your fault. Granted there's sometimes non-trivial logistics involved in being set up to prove that (someone cuts in front of you and slams their brakes on hoping for an insurance payout, if you weren't recording it then you might be in a spot of bother) the number of accidents that you're liable to get fined for if you drive sensibly must represent a fairly small number.

It's risk/reward.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:For low wage jobs a car could change the calculus. The wage has to be worth the additional money a car costs. In addition you have to acquire and item that is expensive, particularly if you can't pay cash. And for the poor that can mean predatory lenders. The poor, or a large subset of them, can't make that choice intelligently. They don't understand the trade offs involved.


*shrug* I grew up poor, I'm familiar with this. They buy well used cars, for the most part, because they mostly either lack good credit, or strongly distrust credit. It's usually more an issue of repairs than loans.

Yes, some do not understand financial tradeoffs well. This is not a problem limited to the poor.

stoppedcaring
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Re: Can (and should) judicial punishment benefit society

Postby stoppedcaring » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:57 pm UTC

Nem wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:Right, because all accidents are 100% unavoidable.


Whether they are or they aren't, you shouldn't be paying a fine for an accident that wasn't your fault. Granted there's sometimes non-trivial logistics involved in being set up to prove that (someone cuts in front of you and slams their brakes on hoping for an insurance payout, if you weren't recording it then you might be in a spot of bother) the number of accidents that you're liable to get fined for if you drive sensibly must represent a fairly small number.

It's risk/reward.

Only said this because I was in an accident yesterday morning which got me a ticket.


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