Broken Record

Sometimes, it seems like I’m talking to a wall. Or perhaps my readership hasn’t grown to enough folks yet. Either way, there are those out there in the driving world that just don’t seem to get it. It looks as if I shall have to make yet another example of a disillusioned gentleman I dealt with yesterday.

I was tooling about Town yesterday afternoon looking for seatbelt violations. I rode within about ten feet of an ’09 Mercedes. The driver was wearing a white shirt. I clearly saw the metal buckle hanging against the B-pillar of the car. The belt itself was black. An obvious violation.
I swung around and got behind the car and pulled it over. This is how it went…
MC: Do you know why I stopped you?
DAG (Disillusioned Arrogant Guy): No.
MC: You weren’t wearing your seatbelt.
DAG: I just pulled out from the parking lot.
MC: Uh…not when I saw you. You were sitting at the traffic signal.
DAG: Yeah, well, what was I gonna do? Was I gonna say, “Oh, there’s a cop, I should put my seatbelt on real quick?”
*This is what we call a guilty statement*
MC: I need your license, registration and insurance, please.
DAG (hands me all of the above along with his “I donated money to law enforcement” Membership card): Here.
**Let me briefly explain. By the “Membership Card”, I mean any organization in which you join and financially support for whatever reason. CHP has the 11-99 Foundation, many counties have a Sheriff’s Posse, and cities may or may not have similar entities. In my experience, a number of members attempt to use these “credentials” as get-out-of-jail-free cards when stopped for a traffic violation.**
MC (hands back the membership card): You can hang on to this. I’ll be right back.
MC (returns to the car): Okay, sir, I need your signature on the yellow highlighted portion at the bottom, please.
DAG: After all the help I’ve given to Officer Doe and Officer Random (Not their real names), you’re going to give me this ticket? I mean, your entitled to, but still!
MC: Well sir, although being a “member” and providing assistance to Doe and Random is appreciated, it really isn’t going to prevent you from being thrown through your windshield because you weren’t wearing your seatbelt.
DAG: I’m not talking about being a “member”, but I’ve helped Doe and Random quite a bit.
MC: Okay. Drive safely.
It just so happened that I had the opportunity to talk to both Doe and Random a few hours later. Turns out, DAG had texted Doe after I cited him and whined about getting a ticket. Doe’s response? “Click it or ticket”. Brilliant. Doe and Random both confirmed DAG had nothing coming and was indeed trying to get himself out of a ticket.
The lesson? Once again, take responsibility for your actions. We’re talking about an infraction, genius. If your rolling in an ’09 Mercedes, I’d imagine you can swing the fine for a seatbelt. No one is interested in listening to your whiny bullshit about all the selfless acts you’ve provided to assist the police (particularly when they are much bigger in your head than in reality). Also, I don’t care what “organization” you’re a “member” of. You are not above the law. So, save your breath.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

13 thoughts on “Broken Record

  1. Did he really thing 'I just pulled out of the parking lot' is a valid defense? Because I'm sure no-one's ever been hit by an oncoming car and thrown through the windshield while pulling out of a parking lot. *eyeroll*

  2. MC,

    It has been my operating assumption that attempting to play the "member" card, or showing a badge, etc, is nearly an automatic disqualification from getting off with a warning.

    I figure if a passenger sees person 'A' (a "member" of whatever) get off the hook, they might tell stories, and in come the accusations of favoritism whether the driver actually deserved a break or not.

    I just don't see a law enforcement officer risking their public integrity (and that of their agency) to dish out a break when it can be taken the wrong way.

    Is my assumption warranted?

  3. Folks who think they are entitled to get out of ticket because they donated to the police are of the low sort. I donate too. And I also give my time and energy to raise money for them. I do it because it's a way to give something back to the police(for a change) since they do so much for us.

    It infuriates me when people have this entitlement mentality. Do they think they are entitled to something from other causes they donate to? They should give because there is a need or they should give because it's the right thing to do and not because they think it might come in handy someday.

    Apparently these people do not understand that if they got stopped….they deserved it.

  4. I don't care what "organization" you're a "member" of. You are not above the law. So, save your breath.

    so does the mean you give tickets to other LEO? i think not.

  5. Last I've heard, 11-99 foundation actually stopped issuing the special plate frames due to people using fakes, and the general perception of them being a $5000 get-outta-jail-free card.

    As for whether such 'credentials' work, it really depends on the cop. Then again, a cop who would give someone a break due to the credentials may well be inclined to give a break to anyone else who doesn't totally flunk the attitude test and have their paperwork in order.

  6. If I ever happen to be diagnosed with IBD, I'm going to pull out my Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America card and insist that they come up with an instant cure just for me, becuse I've raised so much money for them.

    Why don't people understand that when they donate to law enforcement, the benefit to themselves is providing additional resources to enforce the law, thereby making your city or town a better and safer place to live? It's not a line of credit to be applied against future decisions on your part to break the law – you still have to pay for those!

  7. Speaking of seat belt violations…I read a story of a man who admitted he was guilty of not wearing a seat belt but went to court for a half hour anyway because the officer didn't see him not wearing his seat belt and other whining nonsense. The ticket cost him a whopping $10 plus court costs.

    Just pay the ticket already!

  8. You folks have to understand that all cops are individuals, have their own style, and own personal set of values. A lot of our values are the same or similar, but some are not. Therein lies the difference on why some motorists get a ticket and others don't.

    We have A LOT of discretion at our disposal as police officers. Is any of us above the law? Of course not. Do I give breaks to cops that I stop? Absolutely. I also give breaks to others as well, like firefighters and nurses. I don't want some nurse to catheterize me if I'm the victim of an unfortunate event and now I'm at HER workplace and at the mercy of HER discretion! It's one of the perks of the job that I have, and I exercise it.

    Some of you may bristle at this, because you're not in one of the "professional courtesy" professions. I understand that. However, you John and Jane Doe Public types, actually WANT me to stop a cop or firefighter and let them go because you know what I do after that? I let TWO John or Jane Doe Publics go on a warning as well! I figure that keeps it even out there, because sometimes you guys deserve a warning as well. After all, we're all human, and in my view, if I make someone's day by giving them a break they know they don't deserve, well I guess that's one of the parts of the job I like.

    Do all cops share my view or do what I do? No, as I said we are all individuals. That is just my personal way of dealing with it. It doesn't make me better or worse than other cops, just different. Because we all know…..If you got stopped….you deserved it!!!

  9. it really isn't going to prevent you from being thrown through your windshield because you weren't wearing your seatbelt.

    Police officers don't wear their seatbelts, so it is tough to take them seriously when they pontificate about it. It is just a form of revenue raising.

  10. @Buddy Hinton

    Part of being a patrol cop is responding to situations anywhere between soccer moms doing 40mph in a 25 zone and all the way to stumbling on a bunch of armed robbers fleeing the last heist to the getaway car. What this means is that the officer in question has to always be ready to get outta their vehicle at a moment's notice, and fast!

    The fact that some officers choose to take the risk of not wearing the belt speaks less to the revenue angle and more to the fact that no one's ever bothered to develop a police-centric restraint system that is both convenient and incorporates some kind of quick release system so that an officer who's being shot at can just slam the big red button, have the belt get out of the way, and address the more urgent issues.

  11. blue 23…Done it before and I'll do it again. Do I use more discretion as Booted Cop mentioned? Yes, I do. Bottom line, though? We're not above the law…and we shouldn't act like we're entitled to a break.

    Buddy…Our department requires us to wear a seatbelt. I wear mine each and every time I push a patrol car. I slip it off as I'm arriving on scene at a call or as I pull someone over, but otherwise, it's on. Cops who don't are either wicked fat or just plain lazy and stupid.

  12. Donation or not, they wouldn't need so much money if you quit breaking the law. Think about it.

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