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Tracks & Trails

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Owen Nelson
Owen Nelson

Traffic Cops

The show follows the day-to-day role of a traffic officer and the incidents they come across. The majority of filming takes place at the scene of incidents, with occasional cuts to police stations and interview rooms. Locations include Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Hampshire, Humberside, South Wales, Sussex, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire.[1]

traffic cops

Dressed in the black and neon orange colors of the new transit police, these women are slated to replace a force of notoriously corrupt traffic cops in Mexico State. Edith Chapin/NPR hide caption

Meanwhile, driver Diana Mendez isn't optimistic that female cops are the answer to Mexico's corruption problem. She says a woman officer stopped her just a few months ago and threatened to impound Mendez's car unless she paid a bribe.

Considering all of the extravagantly dangerous driving on the streets of San Francisco, issuing traffic citations should be a cinch for city cops. Tickets could rain down like confetti at a Warriors championship parade.

But as with so many of its responsibilities, the police force has nearly given up on traffic enforcement, letting speeders, red-light runners and illegal turners run roughshod, endangering pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.

Officer Kathryn Winters, an SFPD spokesperson, said the traffic division is at its lowest staffing level in 30 years and that, in 2019, it had 69 officers. The current 45 officers have other duties besides issuing citations, including investigating collisions, helping with efforts to increase police presence in the Tenderloin, and managing crowds at parades and marches.

In 2014, the city adopted a Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic fatalities within a decade. The Police Department was a key part of that commitment, pledging that half its traffic citations would be for the five behaviors that are most likely to result in crashes: speeding, running red lights, blowing through stop signs, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and failing to yield while making a left turn or U-turn.

The drop in traffic citations mirrors what many city residents say is a plunge in overall policing. There were the officers who arrived at a break-in at a cannabis dispensary in the Haight in November and watched as a person exited the building, hopped in a car and drove away. There were the squatters that parked a Mercedes and BMW in front of a Bernal Heights home early this year, created a drug den inside it, wrecked the property and were allowed by police to leave with no repercussions.

Intracellular transport between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi compartments is mediated by coat protein complexes (COPI and COPII) that form transport vesicles and collect the desired set of cargo. Although the COPI and COPII coats are molecularly distinct, a number of mechanistic parallels appear to be emerging, most notably a general role for small guanine triphosphatases in co-ordinating coat assembly with cargo selection. A combination of morphological, biochemical, and genetic methods is revealing a very dynamic relationship between these compartments, and highlights a central role for COPs in directing traffic through the early secretory pathway. This review focuses on recent advances in molecular mechanisms underlying coated-vesicle assembly and connections with cellular structures.

"Air traffic controllers provide the safe, efficient and orderly movement of air traffic. At its simplest explanation, we keep aircraft separated, sort of like a 'traffic cop in the sky' making sure everybody plays nice -- flying in the right direction, location, altitude, time and sequence," said José Palasí, control tower chief controller.

Bill Urena has been in an air traffic control specialist for 11 years. He started his profession as a Soldier with the military occupational specialty of 15Q Air Traffic Control Operator. Now, he is the training supervisor for Forney Tower.

"Training is always continuing in air traffic control. Initially you have to be a graduate of a Department of Defense component or Federal Aviation Administration approved formal air traffic control school. For the Army, that means graduating Advanced Individual Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama," Urena said.

Rigorous training and continuing education is critical to the air traffic control profession, because there is no room for error on the job, according to Urena, especially when a wide variety of aircraft are inbound to land at the same time.

"I've had a situation where we have had a couple of A-10 Thunderbolts, Cape Air's Cessna 402s inbound to land, while having a Cessna-150 in closed traffic doing multiple touch and goes and several UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters operating around the airfield. In this situation and many like it, I have to formulate a plan in my mind of how I'm going to sequence and separate these aircraft safely -- taking the speed variances into account," Urena said.

While the goal of police and law enforcement is to reduce and prevent serious crime, much of their actual day-to-day work involves enforcing traffic rules and responding to accidents. Self-driving cars would mean far fewer police would be needed for these tasks.

The impact on police employment can be determined from Bureau of Justice Statistics (BOJ) surveys. Every three years the BOJ determines why people in the US have contact with the police. The most recent survey from 2011 shows (in appendix table 1) that 31 million people were involuntarily stopped by the police during the year. More than 85% of those stops were traffic related.

The most likely reason people were pulled over for a traffic violation was speeding. Laws against driving over the speed limit are on the books because slowing down drivers reduces the number of accidents and reduces fatalities when an accident does occur.

Autonomous cars, programmed to obey all traffic rules, would eliminate the need for enforcement of speed limits, illegal turns, running stop signs and lights and many other traffic infractions if cars drove themselves.

The survey shows that an additional 32 million people had other contacts with the police, such as participating in community policing programs or reporting a problem. Of these other contacts, 17% were because of traffic accidents.

Amid these benefits, there is an important negative impact of self-driving cars on crime. Around 4% of all people stopped for traffic violations each day are also searched by police. Some of these searches result in drivers being arrested on more serious charges.

Routine traffic violations have uncovered drugs and weapons and revealed people with outstanding warrants. One of the most famous traffic stops was when a state trooper stopped and arrested Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995 for not having a license plate. Since self-driving cars programmed to obey traffic laws will not be stopped, this will reduce the number of arrests and reduce the number of crimes solved.

The public presence of police also serves as a deterrent to crime. Routine traffic stops ensure the public is visibly reminded that officers are present. Reductions in police forces would reduce this visible deterrent and potentially increase criminal activity.

By the very nature of the business, all L.A.County traffic cops can expect to get at least a few complaints every year. A lot of them are petty -- people just mad because they got a ticket. But regardless, they all get documented and placed in the officer's personnel file.

How fresh are your data? For drones searching a disaster zone or robots inspecting a building, working with the freshest data is key to locating a survivor or reporting a potential hazard. But when multiple robots simultaneously relay time-sensitive information over a wireless network, a traffic jam of data can ensue. Any information that gets through is too stale to consider as a useful, real-time report.

The team used their method to tweak a conventional Wi-Fi router, and showed that the tailored network could act like an efficient traffic cop, able to prioritize and relay the freshest data to keep multiple vehicle-tracking drones on task.

When the researchers ran experiments with two drones, the method was able to relay data that was two times fresher, which resulted in six times better tracking, compared to when the two drones carried out the same experiment with Wi-Fi alone. When they expanded the system to five drones and five ground vehicles, Wi-Fi alone could not accommodate the heavier data traffic, and the drones quickly lost track of the ground vehicles. With WiSwarm, the network was better equipped and enabled all drones to keep tracking their respective vehicles.

The North Korean traffic girls/traffic police inception came along with the rebuilding of the DPRK road infrastructure after the end of the Korean war. Without automatic street lights, their duty was to enforce the rules of the road in the DPRK and allow for traffic to flow with ease and order.

If you happen to find yourself driving in Pyongyang and end up at an intersection where the flow of traffic is being directed by a traffic girl, you will need to understand her various signals to make sure you are following the correct order of traffic.

However, in provincial capitals and rural North Korea, seeing female traffic officers is quite rare, and instead, male traffic officers do the bulk of the work. So, you could call them North Korean traffic cops when outside of the big smoke.

Kim Jong Un noted that for the health and safety of the woman of the DPRK, they should be relieved from doing the hard work of enforcing the rules of the road and will be replaced by the growing number of traffic lights and male officers.

In addition to the story of Ri-Kyong Sim, North Korean traffic girls also had a stint of stardom in North Korean popular culture in the late 1980s with the release of the movie A Traffic Controller at the Crossroads or 네거리에 초병.

This film is a sweet story with a message about the greater good. We follow the story of a newly recruited female traffic supervisor who must force back her guilt and desire to break the rules for personal benefit. 041b061a72


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