Decision Time


First, watch this video. It’s cool…I’ll wait.

Back? Excellent. Much like The Difference post, I’m curious to know what your opinions are. Lord knows I’ve got mine…and you may very well guess what they are. On the other hand, I may surprise you.
Here are my questions to you:
1. What would you have done if you were the Dad? Your wife is about to give birth…like right now. What do you do?
2. What would you have done if you were the Trooper?
I’ve read some of the responses on lawofficer.com, policeone.com, and even mainstream media sites regarding this issue. Let me be the first to say there are some, as my partner puts it, “booger eating morons” out there. But you, my dedicated Reader, are not. If you’ve spent any amount of time reading my various musings, I’m putting you well above the lot I’ve read responding to this incident!
We already know what the Dad and the Trooper did. I want to know what you would do.
I realize I’m nicking HM’s “You Make the Call” style here, but he’s a big boy. He can hang. I’ll have a follow up post for you in a couple of days. Think it over…I’ll be waiting on the side of the road for you.

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

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60 thoughts on “Decision Time

  1. he was doing 100!!! i could see a lil over the speed limit…but thats reckless!!! and the cop only gave him a ticket!!!!!! i think he couldve gone to jail! well played by the officer!

  2. I am torn. I understand that he was speeding (holy crap, 100 miles an hour!!) and having given birth twice, I wouldn't want to have a baby on the side of the road, but could the guy really not have given them a break?

    I don't think that the driver should be fighting it, I mean, he WAS speeding, he admits to speeding, but really, why couldn't the cop give them a "birthday" present and just let it slide? It isn't like he was going 100 miles an hour because he "needed to pee" or something.

    I really don't know. That's a tough one.

  3. While it would have been better for Dad to pull over, the Trooper would have called for EMS and Mom would have been taken care of albeit the baby would have been born in an ambulance. Babies have arrived in this world in much worse circums…tances without problems. As you know, there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. In this situation, the Trooper should have applied the spirit of the law and not written the ticket. I can appreciate all the safety issues involved, but, nothing bad happened. No one would mind if a ticket wasn't issued.

  4. I think the cop did exactly the right thing. Anybody else driving at 100 mph would have gotten pulled over and ticketed immediately, and for very good reasons. But because the officer knew what was going on (and dad does get some credit for calling 911 and explaining the situation), he immediately escorted the couple to the hospital instead of pulling them over. And they NEEDED that escort, if they insisted on going at that speed.

    Then, they were issued only a ticket, which any civilian going that fast under any circumstances deserves. I think they got off more easily than they might have – the cop was generous. I also think that not ticketing them would have sent the wrong message, to the couple and to anyone who found out about the situation: that it's okay to do 100 mph if you feel you have a medical emergency. That's not a position that should be encouraged.

    Sorry to have rambled on so long, but that's my opinion. 🙂 (And yes, I'm a woman and I have given birth, and if this had been me rushing to the hospital, I would have a) told my hubby to slow the eff down, and b) gladly paid the ticket if he didn't. The law applies to everybody, all the time, and I'd much rather give birth in my car than crash and die on the way to the hospital.)

  5. As the husband and father, having made the decision with my wife to deliver in the hospital, I'd regard it as my bounden duty to get my wife and child aborning to the hospital as expeditiously as possible.

    As the officer, the instant I decided to act as escort, as the story relates, that would be my acknowledgment that there was a legitimate emergency in progress that I was now assisting with. My presence, with lights and sirens, would heighten the safety of all concerned.

    As the judge, I'd clear the ticket, and demand the officer pay the family's legal fees.

    It is essential for a free society that ordinary citizens be able to make life and death decisions; subject to review, perhaps, but in this case, the concern was reasonable and the outcome good.

    I am reminded of aviation's "pilot in command" principle. The PiC is God for his aircraft. Again, he'd better follow the rules as standard practice; if he breaks them, he can be expected to explain himself on landing; and gods help him if his actions cause problems for others. Nevertheless, the responsibility, for good and ill, is absolutely his. He may not delegate his decisions to the FARs or controllers (I was taught, many years ago, that I was forbidden to attempt such delegation). If I were a pilot, I wouldn't fly under any other conditions.

    Sorry, MC, but this ticket was not deserved. Not only those with badges are capable of emergency decisions, and it is a sickness in our society that this is remotely controversial.

    To those who say, pull over, wait for an ambulance, babies born in cars, forest clearings, and worse since time immemorial, blahblahblah: you're right, and it doesn't matter. "If" and "maybe" and even "always done before" don't matter. This man, this free citizen, made his decision, and it turned out well. Congratulate him and leave him be. The officer here has betrayed an honest citizen's trust in law enforcement, because the LEO showed he didn't trust the citizen. Shame on him.

  6. I am totally with the cop. This guy is a classic example of selfish entitlement. There was no concern for anyone outside the car.

    If he'd been doing 75 in a 55 I might say, "let it slide", but 100 mph is a danger to other people — and his wife and about-to-be-born baby! What if something had happened and he'd lost control of the car, or something (or someone) hit him? He might not be a father right now, or a husband, he'd be grieving. And other people might have been injured or killed, too.

    Many cars — and roads — are not designed for traveling at 100mph.

    There's no reason he should not have pulled over with a cop RIGHT THERE. Even if the baby was born in the car, so what? It's not like the baby was going to be born in a mud pit — oh, wait, that's happened before and will happen again. So what?

    Entitled jerk. The judge should make him pay the fine, and then add a selfish jerk penalty.

  7. I'd rather give birth on the side of the road than let my husband drive 100mph to get me to the hospital. Driving with excessive speed that that not only would endanger everyone else on the road, but Mom and Baby as well.

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-qvXbIenivk

    Here's a video I found in a link from a forum.

    Would mom and dad feel good if they'd reenacted one of the scenarios from this video at 102mph?

    I would NEVER put my wife in danger by that amount of excessive speed, especially when carrying my unborn child. Next time, call an ambulance and leave it to the professionals in my opinion.

  9. When going to the hospital to have #4, I repeatedly reminded my husband to obey the speed limit. Not that he ever got more than 5mph over. Honestly next time we will save up for the midwife and homebirth. Avoid the situation of rushing to the hospital altogether. (I've never understood why folks consider quite possibly giving birth on the side of the road as being preferable to staying at home if birth is obviously imminent, but that's another topic.)

    The man endangered his wife and child. Quite frankly I think he's lucky all he got was a speeding ticket. Hopefully his wife will rain the wrath of the heavens down upon him for his stupidity. I could make my hubby suffer much worse than any state trooper dreamed of.

  10. Why didn't they call for an ambulance before getting into the car? While they were in the car? Etc? 100 mph is extremely excessive. It is a big deal, because he is endangering other drivers. As someone that has actually given birth, I realize how scary the idea of giving birth somewhere other then a hospital is, but you're going to kill yourself, your wife, your child, and what ever other unlucky drivers happen to be near by when you wreck.

    Like others have said, I can see speeding a little bit, maybe even doing 15 or so over. But when you're driving your wife to the hospital to have a baby, you're really not paying nearly as much attention to the road as you think you are. I'm glad they made it safely, but heck yeah, that ticket is in order!

  11. Full disclosure: I'm a cop.

    So he was driving 100+ MPH *AND* talking on a cell phone?

    Imminent delivery is not a free pass to disregard rules of the road and flaunt the laws of physics.

    Had the trooper detained the family to scratch a cite I'd be angry at the lack of common sense and tact.

    But the troop reacted professionally, escorting the family safely and waiting for the emergency to pass before conducting business. Perfectly handled.

    I don't think anyone should argue with a cop dealing with a 100+ driver with a ticket, regardless of the situation. That's just plum crazy. Judges have better discretion to deal with the outcome but a cop not citing at those speeds is committing malfeasance by not addressing it. Dad is lucky he didn't spend his child's first day cooped up in jail. A citation was a huuuuuge break that again speaks of the trooper's professionalism. He did his job within the context of the situation perfectly.

  12. over 100 mph is not bending the rules, it is flat out disregarding them. when john q citizen sees someone doing 100 mph down the freeway, they expect, no DEMAND, that person should be cited or even jailed if caught. the reason is irrelevant, he put his wife, unborn son and the officer's life at risk, as well as his own, without regard to the safety of those around him.

    i understand his excited state, but this could have turned out ugly. it is excessive and new dad deserved the ticket.

  13. The vast majority of "imminent birth" calls I've run in ten years have been frantic 911 calls after the very first contraction. Most of these runs are a complete waste of an ambulance, as birth is still hours away and there is absolutely no need for immediate prehospital intervention.

    The legit imminent birth calls are usually due to ignorance or stupidity (note the difference) on the parents' part.

    Secondary to that, women giving birth in hospitals is a relatively new thing in human history.

    Now, giving them the benefit of the doubt, it looked like the baby was born at 0335, so maybe she was asleep when labor started. Had they called 911, worst case scenario would be a (hopefully) well trained and professional EMS crew driving her safely to the hospital, instead of dad driving recklessly. And yes, I think the average Joe Schmoe is going to be reckless if his wife is in labor as he drives to the hospital.

    A more level-headed EMT or Paramedic won't have the emotional investment in driving at warp speed, and will likely be much safer.

    Killing your wife and baby because you're driving like a knucklehead is pretty bad form — it's happened before — and, as always, we only know the violator's version of what happened. I'm curious to hear the trooper's side of the story…

  14. MC,

    Please correct me if I'm wrong or inaccurate on anything.

    As far as I know, speed limits are based on calculations made by the engineers that planned the roads and submitted to whoever they were contracted to (usually the city?), which in turn take those results and regulate the speed limit posted there. This is a guess I pulled out of my ass, but I would suspect here that most laws, especially traffic laws have more to do with practical reasons rather than anything.

    Would anyone try to do 75 mph around a sharp corner in an SUV?
    Why not? Because its violating the speed limit or because the SUV will crash?

    That family is very lucky. You don't do 100 mph on the… looked like a freeway. You just don't. If a tire had gone flat or some other driver was having a problem, any number of possible things, then this could have been an obituary rather than some interesting news story.

    The speed limit where I am at ranges from 55 to 75 on the freeway (75 when you're out of the city). It may not seem like much, but the difference between 75 mph and 100 mph has a HUGE effect on how a vehicle behaves and reacts.

    I don't know what I would have done as the parent, but the only thing on my mind would be their safety and this guy was endangering it. Better the baby is born on the side of the road than never born at all.

    I don't see anything I would have done different if I was the officer. I don't have any LE experience so I can't really comment, but I doubt with the lady in the condition she was that the officer held them up. I would guess the ticket is just standard?

    Sorry MC, I can only give a civilian's perspective here, I think you or another LEO can explain the reasoning behind the ticket.

  15. I agree 100 percent with the trooper's actions.

    The father was violating the speed limit, at huge margins to boot.

    The trooper did his job, now they can ask the judge to drop it…which he can if he so chooses.

    I am so tired of people using the preggo/child card as an excuse for poor behavior.

    Oh, and the parents were lucky it wasnt MC. I bet if it had been, they would have gotten two tickets. One for speeding, one for talking on a cellphone while driving. 😀

  16. I agree… this is tough. Back in 1978, I was riding my motorcycle home late at night when a car was weaving and swerving in front of me on the Interstate. I thought, "drunk driver" and kept back. The car pulled to the side, and the driver got out and fell over. I stopped… turned out Mom in the back seat was in the process of delivering her fourth child. Dad had fainted.

    Once I realized what was going on, I put on gloves from my first aid kit, grabbed a blanket, and was about to get into the back seat to help the Mom when a State Trooper pulled up. He delivered the baby, and I gave first aid to the Dad (shock position, etc. I was an EMT at the time.)

    All was well, but frightening. In the case cited in the video, the Dad says that he was in control and not driving recklessly. Driving at 100mph is reckless, regardless of circumstances and perception of control. I figure this Dad was as excited as the Dad in the situation that I encountered. I can't imagine that he really was "in control" as he was operating on adrenaline, which drives urgency and speed.

    I won't second-guess what the trooper did, or how he responded and followed up with a ticket. I wasn't there. That's what court is for: let a judge decide.

  17. I have to say, that I can't help feeling that someone whose wife is in the process of giving birth is likely to be the bet or safest driver out there – sure ly it would have been better for him to have called an ambulance – that waym his wife would have got oprofessional help, and if she needed to go to the hospital, it would have been with sirens and lights and a driver who was (a) trained and (b) not distracted by the fact his wife was giving borth.

    So: If I was the dad, I'd have called for help rather than driving so fast (which surely put wife & baby at risk, too)

    If I were the Trooper – I might have let him off with a warning – it would depend how he reacted when I spoke to him, whether he seemed to appreciate the risk he'd run etc. and also to an extent on where the speeding was, how much other trafffic there was etc (If the video shows the actual drive, there was a lot of other traffic around, he was putting lots of people at risk, he deserves the ticket) And he was doing almost twice the limit, which is quite a lot to ignore.

    On the news report, the driver doesn't seem to acknowledge that hecould have put others at risk, or that he didn't necessaruily make the best decision – if he had that same attitude to the cop, did he perhaps talk himself into a ticket.

    (Query – how much would he be likely to oay on a ticket, and how does that compare with the cost of an ambulance had he called one?)

  18. I am a civilian. After thinking a little, I believe the trooper done the right thing by giving him a ticket.

    100+ mph? That is pure reckless! I've done 90+ mph (out of anger) and I am not proud of it at all. When a person is oversimulated emotionally, one does not really think rationally. What if new dada was so focused on getting new mama to hospital on time that he didn't see slower traffic trying to pass across in front of him…. and that other driver fully expected others to also respect the law of speed….. equals timing way off base…. equals severe undesired results.

    Shame on new couple for not thinking ahead on what should be done if it happened this way. Shame on new mama for waiting so long before finally doing something (I'm fully aware that for some mama it went so fast that there's simply not enough time). Educate these new parents that the faster/smoother birth goes equals nothing interferring the birth at all (I'm planning third homebirth myself). For thousands of years babies was born outside of hospital. So, let birth take place naturally and then take mama and baby to a doctor to be checked out. There is absolutely zero shame in doing that way. Shame on new parents for not willing to call 911 to help them with birthing process in order for not risking others on the road with 100+ in 55 zone. Our hospital is about 15 minutes away, that's enough time to prep operation room in an emergency and paramedic can do their job very well in between. I cannot condone repeat of this type of situation for any reason unless you live so far away and you're meeting ambulance coming your way (keep communications open with 911 meanwhile!).

    My last words would be… I'm VERY glad that nothing happened on the way to hosptial and very GLAD that baby is perfect! Congratulations!!!

  19. I heard this story a couple of days ago and at first I was suprised by the tropper writing him a ticket, then I saw he was going 102 mph! My wife is pregnant with our first baby (due March 4), while I am prepared to speed to the hospital if necessary there is no way I would hit 100 mph doing so. That goes well beyond reckless. The tropper did the right thing, but because of publicity it wouldn't suprise me if the judge dismisses it.

  20. this seems impossible to pick a side when both are right. is there even some sort of accepted practice that you could call an officer en route for an escort to avoid this? but then again, you wouldn't have known about it coming til too late to wait for the officer to arrive.

    100+ mph is pretty extreme. i guess if it was an empty highway if i were the officer I'd have let it go, but still.

    the problem is I don't see what giving him the ticket is accomplishing other than a revenue boost for someone. he didn't violate the spirit of the law. every father would have done the same thing, myself included.

    i think if i were an LEO, i'd have let it go. but i can also see at the extreme speed why he didn't. had this guy hit and killed someone, his own family, etc, this would never have been justified like he wants to be done now in hindsight.

    as the father, if this was indeed a marked car he passed, i would have sped up alongside and taken 5 seconds to point at my wife and scream baby baby now and try to communicate my need for speed (couldn't resist that one).

    it is a tough one. i'm thinking 102mph is just too fast in a 55 unless we're talking middle of night/empty road…causing a wreck and killing another driver like me to get your wife to the hospital doesn't make it right.

  21. Wow. I'm deeply troubled by RicketyDave's plea for total vigilantism and anarchy. I don't agree with that at all. o_O

  22. Sorry MC no "brother vs. brother" here. We both give him a ticket. If either of us drove our on duty ride like this we would get an unpaid vacation.
    Pete

  23. I was not going to comment but a thought hit me (finally! My brain has been so bored!)

    If the driver had his cell phone to call 911 about the officer, then he could have called for an ambulance to meet him along the way, thus saving the 100 mph trip.

    I did some research (I am a teacher. We require research.) and NH does not have a specific cell phone law, just a reckless driving law that is a catch-all like our hero motorcop likes to point out – dogs in lap, make-up, eating, etc.

    The 100mph drive was far more reckless than driving the speed limit while calling 911 for an ambulance would ever be.

    The officer provided an escort to offer some semblance of safety. That leaves me conflicted, because in a way it validates the speeding for the lady in labor. I tend to agree with Ten 80. However, it begs one question – Just how soft are the traffic court judges in NH?

  24. To make this comment short and sweet, ambulances, at least in my district, have a maximum over the speed limit that they can drive, implying that even in a life and death emergency, there is a risk of driving too fast and harming others in addition to your patient.

  25. I've driven 100plus mph (years ago, no worries, I'm no longer so stupid) and I've been a passenger in cars with drivers going 100plus mph (again, many years ago when young and stupid) and it's scary.

    Way reckless; for others around them and for themselves, too.

    Ticket was deserved.

    Not only that, but when I used to speed, how often would I zoom around traffic and be far ahead of the slower cars only to come to a traffic light and find that everyone behind me caught up within *seconds*. You don't save THAT much time by going 100 instead of 75, it's not worth the risk.

  26. The trooper did the right thing by ticketing the driver. In terms of CA law, the legislature was extremely clear in its intent when it wrote sections 22349 and 22348. Both are bad laws, but unfortunately they are still on the books due to them not being enforced properly and consistently.

    The law is the law, and everyone is expected to comply regardless of any personal hardships that may result. When the maximum speed is 65, having three dying kids in the backseat and no cell reception is still not an excuse. Any officer would be perfectly justified in detaining the driver for as long as necessary to issue a citation and radio in for an ambulance. If someone dies as a result of the delay, it's too bad but the law is the law. Don't like it? Ask the legislature to change it. IMO, the law is completely unjust (as intended by the legislature) and I have ZERO problems with going above the speed limit whenever necessary.

    That being said, the driver could have easily killed himself and his pregnant wife by driving like that. I've pushed my car to 120mph+ a few times, and it's a challenge even for an alert driver who knows how to drive and has the vehicle fit for it. Few 'regular' cars are designed to handle well at that speed, and even a sharp lane change can easily cause complete loss of control. I don't know how long that guy was doing 100+, but it was mostly luck that no one was hurt.

  27. He was going 100mph in a 55… at least it looks like it was a 55 zone according to what I saw in the ticket. 45mph OVER? He deserves a ticket.

    I can understand going a little over the speed limit. But not 45mph over. I bet he was panicking too, which means that his reaction time is slower as well, so he could have easily killed someone driving like that.

    When her water broke and they realized that the baby was that close, he should have called 911 and had an ambulance meet him. The EMTs would have delivered the baby in the ambulance and no one would have been at risk.

  28. Logically, cop is right, man is wrong.

    I don't know exactly what I would have done in the situation, as I routinely drive 5 under in normal circumstances.

    But I know that at such a point in time I would be irrational and logically shouldn't be driving at all.

    Emotional impairment, if it could be proven, should be just as illegal as alcohol impairment. Can't prove it though, so impossible to make it illegal :-/

    But that's just me.

  29. Dad is in the wrong, 100%. Driving without due regard for safety is a violation, is it not?

    Everyone assumes giving birth is a huge emergency…it is not.

    Driving 102, even on a wide open 4 lane highway is dangerous, now add the distraction of his wife in the passenger seat and her water breaks?

    Thank goodness no one was injured, ESPECIALLY the two people he was trying to "help."

    If you're that late in recognizing the signs of birth (remember that class she made you goto?) perhaps stay home and call EMS.

    Verdict in favor of the trooper.

  30. I guess this is influenced by my current duty station here in Germany, but why is 100 inherently reckless? I drive my Jeep to the PX and regularly hit the governor at 110 MPH, and it's really not a big deal, if you slow to about 75 for curves and keep it calm in inclement weather and traffic. So count me with dad on this one, so long as he wasn't doing this in the rain or heavy traffic or something.

  31. I think that for the dad, the sheer FEAR of your wife's waters braking in the car, especially if it's their first kid! Since they drove so fast and only got to hospital with minutes to spare, I think the speed was justified, and it shows that an ambulance is very unlikely to have reached them in time!
    I doubt the trooper has any experience in delivering babies, and for the mum and baby, the safest thing was to be in a hospital – imagine what had happened if he had stopped and there had been a complication with the delivery…
    Also, the birth certificate thing lists time of birth as 03.35 am; the road was probably nearly empty at that time! That should be taken into consideration – I would think differently if it was rush hour…
    As pointed out by someone else, the trooper recognised it as an emergency situation (thanks to the dad's quick thinking) and escorted them… Surely that's him saying that the speed is justified??
    I think it's right that the trooper have a word, and say "look, I understand why, and I'm glad we got to the hospital in time, just don't ever drive that fast again" but giving them a ticket doesn't seem fair.

  32. No matter what kind of car you have, if you hit a car, tree, deer, moose, hell anything doing 102 miles per hour, you and anyone else you hit will be DEAD, hands down, stone cold dead. The father is lucky that the trooper didn't arrest him right there or suspend his license (in NH over 30 mph over is an automatic suspension). The safety of ALL is paramount when making decisions such as this, yes having a baby is a scary thing, but that is NO excuse to do almost twice the speed limit. Heck if I ever drove the ambulance at those speeds my EMT license and my driver license would be suspended, regardless of my justification, because it puts too many other people at risk.

  33. Pull over, call 911, wait for the ambulance, and if they don't get there before the baby you follow the directions the nice 911 operator gives you. Unless, of course, you are suffering from testosterone poisoning. In that case, you hit the gas, dangerously exceed the speed limit, and proceed with the juvenile assumption that you and everyone around you are completely invincible.

  34. Was going to leave this one alone until RicketyDave got under my skin TWICE!!! LOL

    A ticket is merely a note that says the officer witnessed a violation. Since the driver apparently enjoys all the amenities of living in this organized society, he has set the precedence that he must also abide by the rules and accept any consequences. The driver made the choice to speed, therefore he should accept the responsibility for his actions.

    In short… PAY THE FUCKIN' TICKET! It's not a federal case.

    If ya wanna make it a BIG DEAL… maybe the local Children's Protective Services should get involved, after all – he CHOSE to endanger the life of his unborn child. Maybe the local battered woman's services should get involved since he CHOSE to threaten the life of his wife.

    The Judge make the OFFICER pay this mo-rons legal fees?!?!?! How about the driver be required to reimburse the city for their liability insurance premium that they spent while HE was endangering the general public??

    Gheeze, regardless of whatever those big college text books tell you… some people need a slap up the side of the head with a common sense stick!

  35. I think the Dad was careless and put his wife and unborn child in serious danger. If he had time to get to the hospital then I'm sure an ambulance would have had time to get to them and what's more the ambulance is better equipped to travel at speed. If the baby comes before the ambulance then there's always medical help at the other end of the phone line.
    Ask yourself what you be saying if he had an accident and there were fatalities and wreckage strewn across the road? "Oh well nice try"…I don't think so.
    Praise to the trooper for getting them to hospital safely. Did the Dad deserve the ticket? Definitely.

  36. North State DA, I'm afraid I don't understand your argument. You yourself point out that speeding (which gets you a ticket) and getting charged with reckless driving (which gets you a trial) are not the same thing. Then you use your belief that a jury would not prosecute this man for reckless driving as "evidence" that he shouldn't have gotten a speeding ticket. I don't know the legal term for this kind of shady argument, but we regular people call it a bait and switch. 😉

    You also make it sound like the other commenters on this blog have been calling for a trial, and expressing a belief that the man would be found guilty of something… but in fact most commenters have simply been saying that they felt the man deserved the speeding ticket.

    I'm not saying you are necessarily wrong in thinking the guy would get off at a trial for reckless driving; maybe he would… but what does that have to do with giving him a speeding ticket or not?

  37. 1. What would you have done if you were the Dad? Your wife is about to give birth…like right now. What do you do?

    Rush to the hospital. Do not stop for police or red lights. If I had the presence of mind to bring along my cell, I might be able to call 911 and I might not. If I could I suppose I would.

    2. What would you have done if you were the Trooper?

    I'm not a law enforcement officer, and so do not have the benefit of their training. ahem. Since the officer can't know what's going on inside the car in front of him, I would guess that staying in pursuit and riding the suspect's bumper would be my first choice. Now, should the subject turn in at the ER, that's a little different. I'd stop and see what was up, and when the husband starts yelling about his wife having a baby this instant, I'd give whatever help I could.

    I would write him a warning – don't wait until the last minute next time.

  38. Looks like we're getting off track here. The question was I think… "What would you have done if you were the driver and what would you have done if you were the trooper?"

    Defining right and wrong would have been easy enough. Hindsight is 20 20 after all.

    I certainly would not have made a "federal case" over it on television. IF I was going to contest the ticket, I would do it in court, quietly, like any other citizen would, and abide by the Judge's decision.

  39. I'm a civilian. I agree with the cop. While it might have been nice for that family to be given a break, I think that it is up to the officer. The family should be grateful that the cop acted professionally, escorting them to the hospital. They should just pay the ticket, and thank the police officer for the work he does everyday.

    I saw a video clip just a couple days ago of a cop who pulled over a man who was going 97, whose wife was in labor in the back seat (until watching the video, I assumed this would be the same clip). I was NOT impressed at all with the police officer in that instance. He moved with the great speed of slug, and literally just talked with the husband about how unsafe his speeding was while the wife was screaming for a hospital. He didn't call EMS, he didn't offer an escort, didn't offer to take the wife in his patrol car (I obviously don't know what SOP is for this situation, I just can't imagine that was it! :)), just literally stood around telling the husband that it wasn't safe to speed. The woman ended up delivering on the side of the road. No, she probably would not have made it to the hospital even if he had, but I doubt the officer knew that! I can think of few instances where I have seen somebody move slower.

    Two things in response to other comments. While women have given birth outside of hospitals for centuries that doesn't make it necessarily safe. It used to be incredibly common for women and children to die in childbirth. Even with the recent movement towards homebirth, women with risky pregnancies are urged very strongly to be in or near a hospital so that they can be cared for if something goes wrong. That said, I'd bet a homebirth (or birth on the side of the road) would have been worlds safer than riding to the hospital going over 100 with an emotionally compromised and distracted father at the wheel.

    Secondly, I know a lot of people who live out in very rural places that never bother to call an ambulance, because they would take way too long to get to them. They are more likely to drive to the hospital or meet the ambulance along the way. Not at all saying this is what happened in this case (I doubt it, actually), but it isn't unheard of.

    It seems to me, having never given birth, that imminent birth is stressful enough for both Mom and Dad that Dad should probably leave the driving to the ambulance. 😉

  40. Aerinah-
    I understand your confusion- I was trying to summarize.
    In an infraction case in California, the judicial officer acts as the finder of law (judge) and the finder of fact (jury.) This is called a court trial, as opposed to a jury trial. The vast majority of traffic cases are not heard by according-to-Hoyle judges- they are heard by commissioners. Commissioners are hired by the judges in a jurisdiction to handle certain "more routine" cases, like traffic and juvenile matters. Being a commissioner is kind of a sweet gig- lots of judicial perks, don't have to run for office. But I digress.
    In a traffic court trial, the commissioner acts as the conscience of the community in deciding the facts. The commissioner SHOULD be somebody like everybody else, in terms of values. In my county, I am confident that the traffic commissioner would be mildly perturbed if a case like this came before him. He would yell at the driver for going so fast, yell at the cop for being petty, dismiss the case, and tell both of them to get the hell out of his courtroom.

  41. I'm kind of surprised that 100 MPH is such a hugely dangerous speed for most of you. There is nothing inherently dangerous about 100 MPH. Even the crappiest tires are rated to 130. I once drove from California to Mississippi on I-40. There were times that I looked down and didn't even REALIZE I was doing 100. Of course, the road was laser straight for 10s of miles and there was almost no traffic, it was clear and during daylight. My point is that 100 MPH isn't per se reckless or dangerous. It really depends on conditions.

  42. Not sure what New Hampshire law says on the matter, but here in Kalifornia a ticket would be the least of his worries.

    Here he could have been arrested (driving in excess of 100MPH is a misdemeanor), his car could go to car jail, and the fines (and or jail time) would have been far more than a simple speed ticket.

    I think the copper handled it quite well, as far as handling the emergency first, and the ticket later.

    I think Dad just needs to suck it up and realize he got off easy. He's lucky he didn't crash at that speed, or he, mom and baby might have had a more serious need for the hospital, if they needed it at all…

    He was cruising at 102MPH and "didn't think it was a big deal". I always think it's a big deal when I'm going that fast. AND HE WAS TALKING ON THE CELL PHONE? For him to take it so lightly just goes to show he has no concern for anyone but himself. He certainly wasn't concerned for his wife and new kid.

    Getting the ticket after getting to the hospital is really not much different than me letting a driver go into the gas station to take a leak while I scratch out the cite, if you think about it.

  43. I'm late to this party, but I feel that if Dad was REALLY concerned about getting his wife and unborn child to the hospital safely, he wouldn't have been driving 100 mph. We have amboolances and EMTs to get people to the hospital ASAP. That what the professionals train for. Besides having a child in your car is not the end of the world. And yes, I've had a baby and have no sympathy whatsoever for that dad. I'm shocked his wife didn't kick his butt for driving so recklessly!

  44. This time it worked out, but sometimes the adrenaline gets the best of people.

    FATHER SLAMS INTO THE AMBULANCE THAT WAS TRANSPORTING HIS OWN CHILD:

    5 people were sent to the hospital after a vehicle collided with an ambulance late Friday night in Luzerne County, PA. Hunlock Creek EMS was transporting a young child to the hospital after a seizure when her father, while rushing home, accidentally collided with the ambulance carrying her. They were taking a four-year-old girl to the hospital after she suffered a seizure. Her father was rushing home when he collided nearly head-on with the ambulance late Friday night. EMS crews said the father admitted to police he was driving too fast. The little girl was not hurt in the crash, but she, the ambulance driver, an EMT, her father and his passenger were all taken to the hospital.

  45. Rickety has it mostly right, I think. But I also think that the man ought to pay the ticket as a kind of "damn, I was lucky…" fealty for not harming himself or any others.

    See, I agree with his right to do what he thought best in the moment – right up until it endangered others. And driving that rate of speed is dangerous.

    The officer, once the stop is made, probably had no choice but to stroke it. Did he have an option to stroke it for less MPH to save that black mark on the insurance record? Maybe.

    I agree that individuals making their own decisions about their lives should not be looked on as being some sort of vigilante renegades. But those individuals also need to consider the rights of others in their path.

  46. He made the decision to speed, he should accept the consequences of his actions. If you're going to go 100mph, you're going to have to pay money to the state. Suck it up.

    Props to the state trooper for escorting rather than pulling them over. Although he probably didn't want to get dirty helping mom deliver on the side of the road. 😛

  47. Any responsible adult who CHOOSES to break the law, should shut up and accept the consequences. A responsible adult (who isn't a HIGHLY trained driver) DOES NOT drive at dangerous speeds, in the dark, frantic, and talking on a cell phone. And he CERTAINLY doesn't do it with his wife and unborn child in the car. Emergency serves exist to handle situations when we are in over our heads, and that guy was definitely in over his head. He was also very very lucky.

    I wouldn't hesitate to break the speed limit in an emergency,IF IT WAS SAFE, and I would gladly pay the price of a ticket. That cop is a hero; he couldn't have done anything better.

  48. @Officer "Smith"

    Since when did VC22348(b) turn into a misdemeanor? It's a 2-point infraction, but it's not even a wobbler (many CA traffic misdemeanor charges often get filed as infractions anyway), let alone a misdemeanor.

    On the other hand, the driver could've been easily charged with VC23103(a) – Reckless Driving around here, which IS a misdemeanor (but subject to being filed as an infraction)

  49. I don't see how many of the comments fing both "right." The father might have had a situation that dictated his need for an emergency room but not a bullet train ride to the E.R.

    The cops choice in letting the "escort" continue is amazing. We choose not to pursue a true criminal for liability reasons and now we escort someone probably not trained to drive that fast. Oh the liability implications this father put this officer in.

    I'm a heartless beat cop and would have written the ticket. Probably would have pulled them over and gotten the rath of upper management for not thinking outside the box. The only true win in this situation is for it not to happen.

    Society, you want us cops to enforce the law unless it get in your way. Choose a side, get off the teater-totter and learn to admit when you are wrong.

  50. @RicketyDave
    If you want a judge to let the dad off, fine. But don't punish the cop by making him pay the legal fees for the family when he's doing his job and enforcing the law as he's been instructed.

  51. The comment section looks like you're giving away free snuggies for each post, MC…

    I completely agree, dad deserved the ticket at the very least. Let me get this straight; he was doing 102, passed a trooper, then continued to speed? AND dialed 9-1-1 to talk to the dispatcher WHILE DRIVING? So, again, he's speeding, using a cell-phone, failing to stop for the trooper AND carrying his wife and child in the car with him. Did I get all that? The idiot is lucky the cop only wrote him for speeding. He endangered himself, his wife, his child, the trooper, and every other driver on the roadway. And he's going to play it off like "it wasn't a big deal"? Here's a book. It says Connecticut Penal Code. Will someone throw it at him?

  52. As a long time Nurz, I'm siding with the cop. There's no way in hell I could justify putting the lives of countless other people in jeopardy because of one (OK, two) people. He should have pulled over and called 911.

    If the courts don't hit him with the max, I'll be really pissed.

  53. @ Honking Antelope

    I had to look it up, and I stand corrected. It is an infraction. Way back when I first took the 832PC course before I became a reserve, it was a misdemeanor though.

    Guess I learned something too.

  54. 24 year veteran, retired police officer (and 10 year LCMC) here. It was handled perfectly. Once the Trooper realized what was going on he did the proper thing and cleared the road ahead of a man who wasn't going to slow down. I can't really fault the dad for wanting to hurry but I can fault him for panicing and putting everyone, including his wife and unborn son at risk. After all was said and done he did his duty and tagged the driver which allows him to have his day in court to try and convince a judge what he did was reasonable. It's exactly what the trooper should have done and exactly what we want our officers to do.
    I say Well Done to the Trooper.

  55. Ok so I'm late to the party! I'm a firefighter, my Brother a cop, my Dad a firefighter and my Step-Dad is a retired trooper so I have some thoughts! First off uncomplicated child delivery is NOT a freaking emergency!! We don't even respond emergent in our system unless dispatch determines there may be a LIFE threatening complication. I'm an engineer I train around 40 hours every year in the disciplines of driving…102mph you must be kidding me!! If delivery is iminent hang out relax we'll come to you, people have been doing this birthing thing a long time btw. I assume you guys would never give escort as we never allow family to follow the ambulance in fact we usually try and send them ahead of the bus. I asked around the family every one would have written that ticket plus careless driving. The "No big deal…" comment at the end, Let's take him on a ride along and let him see what no big deal looks like in the form of somebodys shattered life smeared across the pavement.

  56. I'm surprised that so many of you are freaking out over 100mph. Not that it's safe, but that it isn't much different from 80mph like most do on the freeways. Some of you are reacting like 100mph is the equivalent of 275MPH.