I recently had a conversation with a friend who advertises on the large signs we see on the Interstate and curiously asked, “How much does that cost?” The answer? Well, it isn’t cheap. It was expensive enough that I finally paid attention to a few, and was drawn to a few signs along I-10 and I-12 heading east and west out of Baton Rouge, signs that say “Aggressive Drivers will be Prosecuted” — or something as such.
Surely the thousands of dollars invested into each of these signs would be better spent actually enforcing aggressive driving laws.
As an almost-weekly user of the corridors between Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans, I can assure you, aggressive driving is the last thing being prosecuted. I-10 eastbound, especially during the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. rush hour, to the Geismar exit, is like an amateur Formula 1 auto race, where the only contestants are shiny pickup trucks and decrepit cars unfit for the road. Passing on the shoulder, crossing medians and tailgating are the norm, speeds of 100-plus mph are apparently encouraged, and the one thing you never, ever see are blue lights flashing. That’s probably because the money is funneled into things like this safety campaign instead of into enforcement.
Politicians and bureaucrats take note: Actually enforcing aggressive driving laws generates revenue. Putting a sign up that says you do generates nothing.