Broken car windows theory

Sep 13, 2006

The response to my highway patrol query:

There is no patrol policy that addresses the issue. The NC Statutes state that a vehicle may be towed if the vehicle has been abandoned for 48 hours. The law does not require the Patrol to tow the vehicle.
Lieutenant Everett Clendenin
Public Information Officer
NC State Highway Patrol
Raleigh, NC

So here’s what I take away from this: I-40 through Durham is a rarely patrolled stretch of road, and even a blatant example of crime goes unaddressed by the authorities responsible for that road. Perhaps I should direct Lt. Clendenin’s attention to the Broken Windows Theory.

This hits close to home, since there’s been a second wave of home burglaries in my neighborhood. Guess the criminals can read the roadsigns just as well as I can. (Granted, two different jurisdictions here, and Durham has responded with increased patrols in the neighborhood.)

EDIT: Mom says I was harsh toward Clendenin, and she’s right. I didn’t mean to target him for the inadequacies of NC law or Patrol policy. Officer Clendenin responded very rapidly to my email message, and for that I’m grateful.

Anton Zuiker

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