Some may call it being lazy, but I get some of my best ideas while dreaming. Those of you who have read some of my previous articles probably recognize that my train of thought lies more in the realm of Oz and Wonderland than in the “real” world, but so far it seems to have worked for me. In fact, some of the greatest ideas have come from dreams. You can’t tell me Homer came up with the Illiad and the Odyssey while awake? Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a bit to justify my sleeping habits, but if I am going to claim sleeping as a tax-deductible event, I need to be able to justify it to the IRS. While I’m thinking about it, I better not mention that dream about a tea party in Wonderland …
Q. When you see a sign that says that speed limits are enforced by aircraft, how does that actually work?
A: In my dreams it means that I get to fly in giant mech suits, patrolling the skies to make America safer! Go Voltron! Then I wake up, get back on my bicycle and start yelling at people to walk their bikes. Is it a wonder that I like to sleep so much?
In reality, or as I like to call it, “the not as fun place,” the CHP or other police agencies sometimes use small planes to patrol busy highways. This gives them the advantage of having a good view of a large section of highway. They can also see those cars that are speeding faster than the others. What they can do is then follow along the highway and pace the car using roadway markings that are painted specific distances apart. They time the car and determine how fast the car is going and then radio a waiting patrol car down below.
So how often is this used? I can’t say exactly how frequently other agencies use this. Even though it’s nice being able to go after those annoying drivers who are speeding and cutting in and out of the lanes, it’s not the most cost effective way to enforce traffic laws. It is more likely to be used in specific problem areas that have a higher traffic accident problem. So next time you see a helicopter hovering over Del Playa, slow down!
Q. Our neighbors call the cops on us for playing music even when it’s quiet. What can we do to get them to stop?
A: Have you tried asking them over for dinner? Seriously, try getting to know them. It sounds silly, but if you befriend your neighbors, maybe they will call you if the music is too loud instead of calling the cops. Often the reason people call the police on their neighbors is that they don’t know them. For all they know, you and your roommates are drunk, coked up meth dealers who are blasting Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” to hide the screams of the competing dealers being tortured in your bathrooms. They show up to ask you to turn down the music, and you go all Scarface on them!
Okay, a bit extreme, but think of it this way: If you are studying for a final and a neighbor is having a party blasting music, how comfortable would you be going into a crowd of a hundred drunk people who are rocking out and telling them to be quiet? Or even if it’s just a few people, it’s still intimidating if they don’t know you. I’m paid to do that and there are times I just close my eyes and think of a nice happy place before jumping in. Mmmmm …. happy place … ohhh Sofia those BBQ ribs look so good …
Uh? Wha? Oh sorry. I’m back. Another idea is that if you are going to have a party, pass a flyer out to the neighbors with a phone number for one of the roommates to call if it gets too loud. That way you can keep the police out of it in the future.
Then again, there are some neighbors who just don’t like any noise. I’m sorry to say there is not much you can do about that. They have the right to complain to the police whenever they want. We will show up and try to work it out and find a balance. But if they insist on filing a complaint, we are required to respond to it. If you end up getting a ticket, go to court and explain the circumstances and what steps you have been taking to work out a reasonable balance between the neighbors’ peace and your enjoyment of a little afternoon Black Sabbath!
Well it’s almost the end of the school year, and I have been really enjoying the opportunity to talk with all of you this year. I encourage all of you to continue making the best of your years in college and remember that it is going to be some of the best times of your life. And at the same time be careful and watch out for each other. Stay safe and always continue to Question Authority! Meanwhile, back to Sofia, BBQ ribs, Kona Brewing beer and a very special happy place for me …
Sgt. Signa has a dream.
Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the Po-Po? Ticked by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! Email me anytime at: QA@police.ucsb.edu or call UCSB PD at 893-3446.
A version of this article appeared on page 8 of the May 20, 2013 print edition of the Nexus.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.