Re: law enforcement for profit

From: phil osborn (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 23:47:24 MDT

>From: KPJ <>>Subject: Re: law enforcement for profit
>Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 10:32:29 +0200
>It appears as if Matt Gingell <> wrote:
>|A bit silly, but just a thought: What about having insurance companies
>|invent and enforce traffic rules - everyone is required to carry some
>|policy, but you choose which and are only bound by your providers
>|regulations. There's a competitive pressure then on insurers to issue
>|as few tickets as possible, so as to attract customers, but also to
>|maximize safety and avoid paying out. That's the trade off we're trying
>|to make, and If anyone's in a position to figure out what's
>|legitimately dangerous driving and what's not, it's people selling
>How do you suggest conflicts between two people with different providers
>should be solved?
> /kpj
Who owns the roads??? Whoever provides the roads sets the policy re
insurance - or can if they choose, and they probably will, as otherwise they
might either find themselves stuck in ligigation or without customers.

Historically it's worth noting that originally the traffic signals were not
enforced by the police. Rather, they were put up at the behest of the
insurance companies, who wanted a clearer way to resolve disputes over who
was at fault. You could run a light without risk of arrest, but if an
accident resulted and there were witnesses, etc., then you were liable. The
current policy of arresting and/or fining light runners is purely a
money-making scheme by the various authorities.

Similarly, you might be able to buy insurance to drive faster. Obviously
speed is a risk factor, but not an absolute one, witness the German
Autobahns. Speed may kill more people, but so does wasting time, and time
preferences vary enormously, as does high-speed driving skill. The
one-speed-fits-all law is actually extremely unjust to those people who can
or need to drive faster and would be willing to cover the additional risk.
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