While this is outrageous in itself, it would seemingly put the lie to the notion that the purpose of such laws is for public safety, since it's no "safer" for a police officer's wife to speed than it is for anyone else. It's a tacit admission that it's all about revenue generation, and just as government workers shouldn't necessarily have to pay taxes (since they're paid from taxes), they shouldn't be subject to this revenue device either. Remember this the next time you hear a lecture from a cop about how dangerous it is to exceed the speed limit.
I disagree that speeding tickets are "all" about revenue generation, though it's probably a component (this contention is hotly debated.)
The police union's request might be an awkward, stumbling step in the right direction: acknowledging that some speeders are safer, and therefore less punishable. While Simberg's point about the police officer's wife is well taken, I would maintain the officer, with his cruiser training, is probably not a risk to himself or the public if he's a few miles over the limit. This is probably also true of ambulance operators and other professional drivers. Right now we're all at the mercy of the police officer's discretion. Why not adjust the law (or the contesting process) to accommodate the reality: some people's speed limits should be higher.
Already many roads feature adjustable speed limits, which depend on weather conditions or construction. Ultimately, all speed limits could be personalized, depending on one's accident record, age, and other variables. The issue could come to a head if GPS trackers become mandatory in cars (some rental car companies have already put this in place). With constant speed monitoring in place, two possibilities present themselves: Either everyone will get ticketed the moment their car passes the speed limit, or we'll have constructively correlated speeding data with driving records, to see who can safely manage higher speeds.
Though on the surface the police cronyism cited above may seem repulsive, it might lead to something positive. At any rate, it's the first honest acknowledgment I've seen that speed limits are unnecessarily restrictive for proven, skilled drivers.
UPDATE: More great stuff over at transterrestrial.com in the comments section. Here's one from a guy named Hefty:
Yes police officers go through special training for driving: vehicle dynamics, skid control, braking control, accident avoidance. Basically what is talked about in most drivers educations courses but they actually get to do some of it. Anybody can sign up with a specialized driving school or race car school to practice the same things, Skip Barber Dodge driving school is a good example. Some detectives will get sent off to other specialized training workshops where they learn how to set spike strips, how to ram cars off the road, and best ways to coodinate road blocks, shoot tires out, etc. Thats why you will see a car chase on the news and several cop cars will be following behind the getaway car for a while, just hanging back. Then, the detective will appear and you will see them zoom out ahead of everything and actually do something to try and stop the getaway car. Alas, I'm quite certain they feel entitled and above everyone else cause of all this 'top notch' training they've received. It sounds like a lot of training but most of it only takes a day or two to go over.
And Bob writes:
The injury/death rate is higher at slower speeds (less than 60) than at higher speeds (greater than 80.) Anybody can make an unchallenged statement like you did because we have been indoctrinated with "speed kills." It ain't so! Speed limits, for the most part are revenue sources and have nothing to do with public safety.