Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"Get Out of Jail Free" Card

Think positive! (reinforcement that is)
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I recently, after ten years (not much compared to some) of a flawless driving career, had my insurance jacked up through the roof because I was going 8 mph over the speed limit. Now, I know it was stil breaking the law, but giving no reward for good behavior other than a stay from punishment is a bad, if not completely ineffective, way of keeping people in line with the law.

I suggest that for every five, or perhaps even every two years of good behavior, people get 'credits' to use for erasing lesser crimes or misdemeanors that may come to try and mark up an otherwise flawless record (things like 10mph or less over speed limit, noise pollution, loitering, etc.). It would not be fair, however, to not record it at all, but the records would be witheld, by law, from Insurance companies, and only released to employers if it directly affected job performance (such as speeding violations for potential truck drivers).

Some things may 'cost' more credits than others, but of course, nothing like a robbery, or and assault would ever be excused. I, along with most psychologists throughout history (save perhaps Skinner...), believe that positive reinforcement is a lot better when it comes to the little things like this.

NeverDie, Dec 21 2001

Undo my last 'misdemeanour' key http://www.halfbake...20key_2e#1008613244
[phoenix, Dec 21 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Yes. Croissant.

Tell your agent you're going to switch insurance carriers. See if they come back with a better rate.

FYI: B.F. Skinner was well aware of the advantages of positive reinforcement over negative. While I am not a behaviorist, I think that Skinner's ideas were more sophisticated than he's given credit for in popular culture. And the view of humanity from that perspective really isn't as bleak and dreary, lacking in inspiration, as some people take it to be.
quarterbaker, Dec 21 2001

       I've been toying with an idea whereby police can 'ticket' you for good driving with those 'tickets' being used to offset other moving offenses.   

       The real pisser is that you've paid these people (I presume) on time religiously for 10 years. In other words, you've upheld your part of the bargain. Now that you need some understanding, they stab you in the back. Meanwhile you can rest assured that your premiums are keeping people like mp9man on the road.   

       I'd like a situation where I can bankroll my own collision insurance. Accidental death and injury I'd leave to the big boys. I wonder how much money I could save?
phoenix, Dec 21 2001

       phoenix - good idea! I know that some states allow you to self-insure. You have to file some paperwork, showing ability to pay, etc. And I'm sure an insurance company would love to cover just the big-ticket stuff for you.

Some corporations self-insure as well.
quarterbaker, Dec 21 2001

       To prevent such things as getting away with murder, the 'freebies' would be restricted to misdemeanors and small crimes, but nothing over some minor traffic violations, like running a stop sign or speeding up to 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit.
NeverDie, Dec 21 2001

       One might say "baked," but instead what I will say is that in Tennessee, if you're ticketed for exceeding the speed limit by less than 15 mph, it is not reported to your insurance company.
beauxeault, Dec 21 2001

       Wow, that's a sweet deal. I am curious to know if things like this are handled any differently in the UK...
NeverDie, Dec 21 2001

       Seems we're bordering on the "pre-paid prison time" idea from a while back.
snarfyguy, Dec 22 2001

       My version wasn't a 'get out of jail free card'. I just figured it would be a way to walk into traffic court and tell the judge / magistrate "Here's proof that I'm normally a good driver. I made a mistake, I'm sorry and I hope we can overlook this particular incident."   

       What society needs is a way to keep track of the good stuff people do instead of just the bad.
phoenix, Dec 22 2001

       I've carried a laminated Community Chest "Get out of Jail Free" card in my wallet for 22 years. I drew it during a Monopoly game, and I haven't needed (or sold) it yet.
waugsqueke, Jan 10 2002

       Eeek! A ghost!   

       You actually do need it, you just haven't been caught yet. You do know it's a felony to steal pieces from a board game...
StarChaser, Jan 10 2002

       ah , yes, but if someone had been a perfect citizen for all their life, and then one day decided he wanted to go and throw someone off a cliff, what would you do. Even though you say that it would only be for small crimes. it would most likely get out of hand. I mean if we get another idiot president like Bush. who has enough influence, americas crime level could become staggering
ShnargleMonster, Mar 03 2003

       Car Insurance is like a Mafia protection racket. You pay for protection in case something happens, but when you actually need the protection offered and agreed upon, the cost of protection goes up because you are a liability. If the system were completely fair, those who don't use their insurance during a year would recieve a rate reduction, or a credit toward their account. The sytem would start at base rate 0r level 0. Each year with out an accident would take away a point. Each accident/claim etc. would add a point. As long as your points remain at or below 0 there is no additional cost. I could see a reasonable clause that if more than 6 positive points are accrued in a 3 year period your account automaticly zeros out, or something like that to prevent truely shitty drivers from avoiding consequences.
pungfu, Dec 10 2003


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