My crime fighting for the day

This morning, as I was backing out of my driveway, I saw an aqua blue, four-door 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier with very dark tint race off from the trailer of the mowers who were mowing a neighbor’s lawn. The Cavalier raced off quickly, and the mowers’ expressions showed that something wrong just happened.

I was able to catch up to the criminal at the traffic signal leaving my neighborhood. I got his license number. The guy may have wanted to go south, but I think he noticed I was recording his license number, so he instead darted north, almost causing a rear end collision as he raced into traffic. I didn’t try to keep up with him because he was driving erratically, obviously fleeing.

I reported this to 911 within minutes as a suspicious activity call, and I also called the owner of the mowing company. He confirmed that $400 of equipment was just stolen.

I hope that since I reported the license plate number, something good may result from this.

I was able to get more of the car’s details through It can be a good idea to purchase searches from this site!

EDIT: I called the lawn mowing company owner a few days later. He said that the police were not able to do anything because nobody got a good visual description of the thief.

85th percentile speed

The commonly accepted method of setting speed limits is to unobtrusively measure the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic. This is a speed that separates the 15% fastest drivers from the other 85%.

The theory behind this is twofold:

  1. Speed-related safety problems are concentrated in the fastest 5%, so the 85th percentile speed clearly criminalizes those 5% and allows for a small enforcement cushion.
  2. If you plot all measured speeds on a graph, you will get a bell curve. The 85th percentile speed is the break in the upper end of the bell curve.

Interestingly, in actual practice, speed limits are often set in the 30th to 50th percentile, meaning that anywhere from 50% to 70% of all drivers on any roadway are criminalized.

Seems goofy, doesn’t it?

Good news for Dallas-area motorists

According to a Dallas Morning News article about HOV lanes on US 75, the plans have changed for HOV lane implementation between I-635 and north Allen.

The HOV system would have been a single, counterflow HOV lane. Now it’s going to be like the HOV lanes on I-635: one dedicated HOV lane in each direction.

It’s good news if you don’t like speeding tickets: it eliminates the left shoulders, making it more difficult for cops to sit behind a radar gun.