COPWATCH.COM BLOWS THE LID OFF THE
SO-CALLED “CLICK IT OR TICKET” SCAM
COPWATCH.COM DEMANDS THE IMMEDIATE
RESIGNATION OF JOHN MOFFAT (DIRECTOR OF THE WTSC)
The following letter was submitted to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission on May 30th, 2002. No response has been received.
Until such time as our agenda is fully implemented, police-state abuses such as those delineated below will continue unabated.
If any of our readers in Washington State are interested in pursuing answers to the following questions, submit a Public Disclosure Request to John Moffat. (This link is to a site which will automatically generate a correctly-formatted request).
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WTSC
Washington State Traffic Safety Commission
John Moffat, Director
cc: Jonna VanDyk, Angie Ward, Les Pope
1000 S. Cherry St.
To John Moffat, Jonna VanDyk, Angie Ward and Les Pope:
We are extremely concerned that the public is being deliberately misinformed and deceived by Washington State’s current advertising campaign warning of the so-called “Click it or Ticket” project. Having viewed the official Washington State Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) webpage pertaining to this project, we would like to review the veracity of your highly dubious claims by obtaining answers to all of the following questions. Please note that each issue enumerated below may contain numerous individual queries requiring individual answers. All of the quotations appearing below have been copied verbatim from the above-referenced webpage.
Incidentally, we note with contempt and disgust that you have attempted to backtrack and conceal your groundless claims by removing the original version of the above-referenced page from the WTSC website. Unfortunately for you, however, Google has retained a cached version, to which we have redirected our link. In addition, we have copied the page in question and will post a complete html duplicate if the Google listing expires. We find your actions in removing the original webpage within days of the submission of our inquiry to be highly suspicious. What are you attempting to hide?
Please ensure that Mr. Moffat is given a copy of this missive so that he may personally address our concerns.
We are writing a cover story on this issue for publication on Copwatch.com.
- You state that “$500,000 in federal funding is being passed along to local law enforcement agencies to pay for officer overtime for the project.” Will the entire sum of $500,000.00 be spent solely on officer overtime? If not, please enumerate the amount and purpose of each non-overtime expenditure.
- Why is it necessary to implement an overtime schedule for this project, when doing so requires the unnecessary expenditure of half a million dollars in taxpayer funds? Are police officers unable to enforce the seat belt law while pursuing their regular shifts? If they are unable to enforce the seat belt law while engaged in their regular shifts, why did the WTSC lobby in favor of the new seat belt law?
- What is your response to those critics who assert that the overtime-wage element of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign is nothing more than a pork-barrel windfall for the police?
- Aside from the sum of $500.000, will any additional funds be spent on officer overtime in furtherance of this project? If so, please describe the amount and source of all such funds.
- Will any other funds be spent in furtherance of this project? If so, please specify the amount, purpose, and source of all such funds.
- What is your response to those critics who assert that both the “Click it or Ticket” campaign and the new seat-belt law are primarily intended to generate revenue for various government subdivisions of the State?
Translation from Newspeak to English: “We’re looking for innocent citizens from whom we can extort exorbitant fees under color of enforcing a superficially plausible (but statistically indefensible) law.
Alternate Translation: “We’re looking for more minorities to pull over, because now we have a convenient means of evading accusations of racial profiling and pretext stops.”
Alternate Translation: “We’re looking for jobs which will help us get over our feelings of inferiority and inadequacy.”
- Given the public’s ongoing concern over law enforcement’s penchant for pretext stops and racial profiling, it is logical to presume that this law, in large part, is intended to provide yet another convenient and superficially plausible excuse for the cops to pull over anyone who attracts their attention. What is your response to the critics who are making this assertion? Do you expect the citizens of Washington State to believe that your objectives are purely altruistic, and that you have no ulterior motives? How stupid do you think Washingtonians are?
- Please provide us with the name, rank, and position of every law enforcement employee who has appeared in any “Click it or Ticket” advertisement in Washington State. Also, please provide a complete transcript of every ad promoting the “Click it or Ticket” campaign. It seems highly likely that specious statements made by law-enforcement officers will reinforce the public’s already-dismal opinion of their reputation for honesty. If police officers are willing to publicly lie in support of a shady revenue-raising scheme, then their credibility is open to question regarding ANY matter, (such as courtroom testimony), which touches upon their reputation for truthfulness.
- Do you dispute the fact that Washington’s original seat belt law was approved only when the WTSC and the legislature issued public assurances that the law would never be altered in a manner which would allow police to pull over drivers solely for failure to buckle up? Isn’t the new seat belt law, which directly contravenes those assurances, yet another example of the government deceiving and manipulating the public? Isn’t it also a perfect illustration of the adage (particularly applicable to legislators and bureaucrats), “Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile”? Please remind us of what position was taken on this issue by the WTSC at the time the original law was passed.
- What is your response to the fact that primary seat belt laws enacted in other states have subsequently been repealed? Do you assert that Washington state residents deserve ill-treatment, unreasonable fines, and an intrusive, Nanny-state government to a greater degree than residents of other states? Do you think that legislators in states which repeal primary seat-belt laws are irresponsible, immoral, uncaring, or negligent?
- You have stated that $500,000 in air time “is being purchased for a statewide media blitz to advertise the project.” Who is paying for this advertising campaign? Out of what budget are these funds taken? Is it true that this “public awareness program” (which some critics refer to as a propaganda campaign) is intentionally designed to mislead and misinform the public in an effort to forestall protest?
- You have quoted John Moffat, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director, as saying “You pay one way or the other. You pay with an $86 seat belt citation, or you pay with your life in an automobile collision. A ticket is the smaller price to pay.” To any disinterested observer familiar with the basic rules of logic, Mr. Moffat appears to have deliberately drawn a demonstrably false conclusion from an intentionally misleading analogy. Clearly, a very small percentage of automobile collisions result in any fatalities. For Mr. Moffat to imply that every collision results in death is deceitful, false, misleading, and immoral. Because he has betrayed the public’s trust, we are ordering Mr. Moffat to resign. Do you deny that Mr. Moffat’s above-referenced statement is false and misleading?
WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
CAPT. JOHN MOFFAT
(Director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission)
ORDERED TO RESIGN FOR MISREPRESENTATION
It’s certainly no coincidence that John Moffat is a retired police officer. He worked as a Seattle cop for 25 years before making the transition from money-extorting cop to money-extorting bureaucrat.
Who does he REALLY represent? The citizens of Washington State, or all his cop buddies, who will be reaping the rewards of $500,000.00 in federal overtime pay?
Copwatch.com orders Mr. Moffat to immediately resign, as he has clearly misrepresented the truth and deceived the public.
- You have stated the following: “Moffat says he is hopeful that the Click it or Ticket Project will increase seat belt use rates, along with a new primary enforcement seat belt law, which takes effect June 13 [sic]. He believes that together these changes will save at least 30 lives, prevent 900 serious injuries and spare the state $51 million in unnecessary hospital costs.” Upon what foundation does Mr. Moffat base his “beliefs”? Does Mr. Moffat have any professional training in public health administration, epidemiology, medicine, economics, or statistical analysis? Has he been awarded any degrees in any of these subjects from any accredited institution of higher learning? Is the public simply expected to take the word of a man who, to judge from his other statements, is willing to deliberately deceive and mislead the citizenry? How do Mr. Moffat and the WTSC define the term “serious injury”? Are these guesses of Mr. Moffat tied to any definite time span, or is the time span completely open-ended? Assuming, simply for the sake of argument, that Mr. Moffat’s prognostications are accurate, and 30 lives are saved as a result of the new primary seat-belt law, (we must further assume, in a necessary effort to make sense of his assertion, that Mr. Moffat intended to state that this number of lives will be saved during the first year in which the new law is enforced), then the question which arises is this: what is the cost of saving those lives? (In other words, please add together the total amount of money which you estimate will be generated through fines assessed against citizens under the primary seat-belt law; add to that sum $1,000,000, representing the $500,000 in overtime wages paid to police officers, and the $500,000 expended in your propaganda campaign; and divide that sum by 30). Clearly, your unjustifiable obsession with attaining “zero highway deaths” has reached a point of inexcusably miniscule returns, in that each life saved comes at a price so exorbitant to the rest of society that the costs vastly exceed the benefits (at least to everyone who is not a government bureaucrat or a police officer).
WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
SGT. JOHN LOVIC
(Member of the Washington State House of Representatives,
and primary sponsor of the new seat belt law)
It’s certainly no coincidence that the primary legislative sponsor of the new seat-belt law is Rep. John Lovic, a part-time politician whose full-time career is with the Washington State Patrol. Currently holding the rank of Sgt., he has worked for the State Patrol for 28 years.
As Washington State Governor Gary Locke stated,
“This law didn’t reach my desk on its own. I would like to thank the bill’s prime sponsor, Representative John Lovick, who also is a state trooper, for his hard work in getting this bill passed. *** The governor also acknowledged John Moffat and… Washington State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas ....”
Sadly, Mr. Lovic’s actions confirm a widely perceived truism regarding African-American police officers. For a variety of complex psychological reasons, African-American police officers are often the most ardent supporters of police-state practices and the strongest defenders of the “Blue Wall of Silence”. In addition, they often have the biggest chips on their shoulders. It’s as if they feel compelled to prove at every turn that they can be more brutal and more arrogant than their colleagues. To label Mr. Lovic an “Uncle Tom” would be only a little too simplistic.
It is interesting to note Lovic’s credentials. Like most cops, he is far from being highly educated. He obtained a 2-year degree from a community college, and then graduated from the “Washington State Patrol Academy”.
To give credit where credit is due, at least he has an AA degree. Many cops are barely able to graduate from high school.
It seems readily apparent that Mr. Lovic’s primary political agenda is to represent the interests of his fellow law-enforcement officers, regardless of the interests of the constituency that actually elected him.
- You have stated the following: “Research shows that a seat belt increases a person's chance of surviving a collision by up to 70%. This means that a person wearing a seat belt has a 70% better chance of surviving a collision than someone who is not buckled up.” This is a false statement. Even if we were to accept your unsubstantiated claim that using a seat belt increases a person’s chance of surviving a collision by up to 70%, it does NOT follow that a person wearing a seat belt has a 70% better chance of surviving a collision than someone who is not buckled up. There are at least two logical problems inherent in your formulation. To begin with, you state that seat belt usage increases the chances of surviving a collision by “UP TO 70%”. Then you claim that this alleged “fact” proves that any given person involved in a collision will, if wearing a seatbelt, have their odds of survival raised by 70%. The first half of your equation is modified by the caveat “up to”, while the second half assumes that the highest possible benefit will ALWAYS be attained. This is obviously a false assertion. Secondly, I would ask you to provide additional information so that we may determine whether the implication you are attempting to convey is accurate. The vast majority of collisions do not result in fatalities, regardless of whether seat belts are worn or not. Given this fact, your assertion that wearing a seatbelt increases your chances of surviving a collision by either 70% or “up to” 70%” becomes highly misleading, since it is very probable that the actual numbers (as opposed to the percentages) are minuscule. Please provide us with the sources and actual numbers behind the statistics you have cited.
- You have stated the following: “About 630 people die each year on Washington's roads.” This statement, by itself, is completely irrelevant, but nevertheless, you offer it in a seemingly blatant attempt to deceive and mislead the public, since you imply that all these deaths occurred because the victims were not wearing seat belts. In order to gauge the import of the “fact” you cite, we must first obtain answers to all the following questions: How many of the individuals who died as a result of auto collisions were wearing seat belts? Of those fatally injured parties who were not wearing seat belts, how many would have escaped death if they were wearing seat belts. (E.g., if they were decapitated by carriage underride, seat belts would have done them no good at all). How many unbuckled collision victims died in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? (Probably very few- thus undercutting your claim that seat belts are the preeminent safety device). How many buckled collision victims died in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled collision victims were fatally injured in cars without airbags? How many unbuckled collision victims were fatally injured in cars without airbags? How many occupants were killed by non-collision related injuries?
”There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Mark Twain
- You have stated the following: “Some people think that they don't need to wear a seat belt because they have an air bag, but just the opposite is true. An airbag can kill an unbuckled person. A teenage driver in Yakima was killed in a fender bender collision when her air bag deployed. She was not buckled up and the air bag slammed her head against her vehicle door.” Again, the WTSC is engaged in an attempt to deceive and mislead the public. Rather than offer any statistical information whatsoever on the rate of fatal collisions involving unbuckled occupants of cars equipped with airbags, you cite a single anecdotal case, and let it stand for the obviously false assertion that airbags are inherently unsafe if not used in conjunction with seatbelts. Do you deny that your statement “just the opposite is true” is false and misleading? If not, do you claim that people need to wear seatbelts BECAUSE they have airbags? Please provide us with the official statistics regarding the rate of survival of unbuckled occupants of air-bag equipped vehicles involved in collisions.
- You have stated the following: “Medical costs from collisions amount to about $276 million each year in Washington.” Again, this alleged fact, by itself, tells us nothing. By failing to provide complete information, and by implying that all the referenced collisions involved unbuckled individuals, it seems apparent that you are attempting to deceive and mislead the public. Please answer the following questions: How many of those individuals who required medical care as a result of auto collisions were wearing seat belts? Of those injured parties who were not wearing seat belts, how many would have escaped injury if they were wearing seat belts? How many unbuckled occupants were injured in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled occupants were injured in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled occupants were injured in cars without airbags? How many unbuckled occupants were injured in cars without airbags? How many occupants were injured from non-collision related causes?
- You also state the following, with reference to the alleged $276 million in medical costs resulting from collisions: “Your tax dollars pay 30% of that price tag.” This statement, even if true, provides no justification whatsoever for forcing all Washingtonians, the vast majority of whom are responsible, financially self-sufficient, capable individuals, to comply with an intrusive, unnecessary, Nanny-state law, the real purpose of which is to generate revenue for the State. Do you disagree with this assessment? If so, please state your rationale.
- You also assert the following: “An unbelted driver's medical costs average $11,000 more than those of a seat belted driver.” This statement is false and misleading. Are you truly attempting to claim that the average unbelted driver who is involved in an average collision pays an average of $11,000 more in medical costs than the average belted driver who is involved in an average collision? How can such a statement be true, when the average collision victim does not require any medical care at all, regardless of whether a seatbelt is worn or not? Are you claiming that the allegedly increased medical costs borne by unbelted drivers are solely the result of injuries sustained in collisions, or are you using this purported statistic in the manner of insurance actuaries, to include medical expenses resulting from other causes (e.g. smoking)? Are you taking into account the presence or absence of airbags?
- How many tickets do you anticipate issuing statewide during the “Click it or Ticket” campaign?
- Do you have any numerical targets for ticket issuance during the “Click it or Ticket” campaign? If so, please describe.
- How much revenue do you anticipate will be generated by the “Click it or Ticket” campaign?
- How much of the revenue generated by a seat-belt ticket issued by a police officer during the “Click it or Ticket” campaign goes to the issuing police department?
- How many seat-belt tickets do you anticipate will be issued on an annual basis subsequent to the cessation of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign?
- Do you have any numerical targets for annual seat-belt ticket issuance subsequent to the cessation of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign? If so, please describe.
- How much revenue do you anticipate will be generated on an annual basis from enforcement of the primary seat-belt law subsequent to the cessation of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign?
- How much of the revenue generated by a seat-belt ticket issued by a police officer subsequent to the cessation of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign goes to the issuing police department?
- Please provide bibliographical information for every statistical claim you have made on the above-referenced webpage.
In an effort to solicit a wide variety of perspectives and comments, this letter has been forwarded to a number of other recipients in both the public and the private sectors.
In addition to answering the questions posed above, please feel free to offer any other information you deem relevant.
Thank you for your assistance.
The Copwatch.com staff
COPWATCH.com DISCUSSION FORUM
WTSC: (360) 753-6197
Help copwatch fight police brutality. Bad cops must be prosecuted. Police corruption is a major problem - copwatch will root it out. Dirty cops threaten the criminal justice system. Police misconduct is an epidemic. Police abuse innocent citizens all too often. Police harassment is a frequent occurrence. The blue wall of silence protects bad cops, and police culture must be reformed. Deviant cops must be fired. Police deviance cannot be tolerated. Last year saw a bad cop arrested for rape, a dirty cop charged with extortion, police corruption involving drug distribution, a criminal cop jailed for brutality, a disgraced police chief sentenced for domestic abuse, a convicted sheriff guilty of theft, moonlighting police disciplined for misconduct, convicted cops fired for sexual assault, a guilty cop suspended for harassment, a discredited cop charged with perjury, and a law enforcement officer suspended from duty for being on the take. Police corruption is common across the country. Such activities are a disgrace to the badge, and dishonor the uniform, so the offending cop was forced to turn in his badge. Subsequent reports revealed a state patrol officer investigated for arson, a highway patrol officer indicted for fraud, a state trooper jailed for assault, a top cop ousted for brandishing his weapon, a Police Sgt. fired for bribery, (while another Police Sergeant quit the force), a Police Lt. pressured to resign (the Lieutenant is accused of murder), child-molesting police, and a Police Commander crashed his squad car in a high speed pursuit. The police department engaged in a coverup to hide evidence of misconduct, refusing to release relevant public records and public documents, despite the open records law and the submission of a public disclosure request. Finally, Serpico breaks ranks. As the bad cops close ranks, good police put their lives on the line, while an overzealous county mounty (or mountie) is an embarrassment to the force. An ex-cop turns in his gun. Learn how to prevent police brutality. The Police Benevolent Fund manufactures support for the police department - a department under fire amid accusations of misconduct. The Police Guild negotiates a new contract for its members. The Police Union demands raise in overtime pay. Funds are increased with the seizure of drug money. Forfeiture proceedings are instituted, and the police seize the property of alleged drug dealers, including cars, homes, planes, real estate, guns, and drugs. At the same time, police raise funds for charity and participate in public service programs. Community policing resulted in ride-along programs for local citizens, and increased participation in police Explorer programs. But the broken-window, zero-tolerance program is difficult to evaluate. A gun-buyback program was successful, with cops collecting a variety of firearms, including assault rifles, handguns, Saturday night specials, automatic weapons, shotguns, tec-9, glocks, taurus, S&W, .45 caliber, .44 caliber, .357 caliber, 9mm, all military style. The guns were auctioned off or melted down. BATF agents were investigating the sale of handguns. The FBI conducted a background check, so citizens interested in the militia movement attended gun shows, where they were able to purchase handguns from vendors. Issuance of a concealed weapons permit was allowed, and this gun permit allowed the man to use his handgun for concealed carry in a shoulder holster. The national law enforcement memorial fund is a beautiful tribute to the boys in blue who have made the ultimate sacrifice. To serve and protect is their honorable motto. Duty and honor is another. The LAPD scandal tarnishes public perception of police officers. Police brutality is a major issue in minority neighborhoods. 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