Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wade Watch: proceed with caution when crunching numbers

Recently, Wade called these water gourds "maracas', now his math is off.

It has been a while since LaredoTejas' last "Wade Watch" posting. For those who might not remember, WadeWatch deals with statements, claims and/or other assorted views presented by good ol' Tom Wade, formerly of the Wake up Laredo radio show and current regular guest on the Jay St.John radio show which airs daily from 7am to 10am on 99.3FM. Of course, Wade also runs the fast-growing WakeUpLaredo blog.

Today, Wade decided to blog about an article appearing in Saturday's Laredo Morning Times. Specifically, the article dealt with figures on texting ordinance violations  that new LPD chief Ray Garner presented before our city council this past Monday. After crunching the numbers, Wade concluded the following:

"Let's look at the takeaway from this information.

To our police officers, go ahead, write the tickets, spend time going to court, but never mind, the court will dismiss the case.
To our drivers, go ahead, get the ticket, but never mind, if you in the 95% your fine and ticket will be dismissed.
To our community, go ahead, watch an ordinance be passed with great fanfare, see the police pull over a few folks and write tickets. But never mind in the end, because there is no real teeth to the ordinance once it reaches municipal court."
 Essentially Wade concludes that citizens should "never mind" because the ordinance has "no real teeth.   In saying to the drivers "go ahead, get the ticket" is Wade in fact "saying go ahead text while you drive?" This would not good for our public safety. That conclusion, however, is misguided.

 The problem is that Wade mis-read the numbers to begin with and so his conclusion is based on mis-information. Wade claims that out of 570 citiations issued in the 4 years since the ordinance took effect (2009), only $6,000 have been collected. He continues on to say that this reflects only about 30 fines and amounts to only about 5 percent of all citations resulting in a fine.

What Garner really said, according to the LMT article, is that while its true that 570 citations have been issued since 2009, the $6,000 collected in fines are only from the period between September 2012 and early April, 2013.  By his own admission, Garner cites that "31 fines have been issued to drivers using hand-held devices in school zones during that period".  That's pretty close to Wade's claim that only 30 drives have been fined. However, Wade's post today wrongly states that only 30 fines ($6,000) have been levied since way back in 2009 when the ordinance took effect.

Nit-picking aside,  LaredoTejas sincerely applauds Wade's expanison of his blog and his regular appearances on St. John's show.  With, our traditional media outlets lack of in-depth reporting on local issues (with some exceptions), local blogs continue to serve a public service. Also, St.John's return to the airwaves provides a more traditional vehicle for providing vital information about many many issues facing our hard-working taxpaying citizens.

1 comment:

  1. Mis information from Mr. Wade to support his reasoning and view. Are you going to tell me next that the sky is blue. Thanks.