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Phuoc, if an officer keeps getting his citations thrown out of court, he is:
1) either working for Boss Hogg ("Anythin' we get, boy, is a plus
and don't worry none 'bout the other ones."), or
2) will in a short time, no longer be with his agency.

The death thing might be just a little harsh though, depending on the infraction. There is a bit of a difference between, say, stealing monies from a government-owned pop-box, and raping female inmates over at a county jail.
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Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Phuoc, if an officer keeps getting his citations thrown out of court, he is:
1) either working for Boss Hogg ("Anythin' we get, boy, is a plus
and don't worry none 'bout the other ones."), or
2) will in a short time, no longer be with his agency.

The death thing might be just a little harsh though, depending on the infraction. There is a bit of a difference between, say, stealing monies from a government-owned pop-box, and raping female inmates over at a county jail.
I'll give you that one now that my temper's had a bit of time to cool down.
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phuocsandiego wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Phuoc, if an officer keeps getting his citations thrown out of court, he is:
1) either working for Boss Hogg ("Anythin' we get, boy, is a plus
and don't worry none 'bout the other ones."), or
2) will in a short time, no longer be with his agency.

The death thing might be just a little harsh though, depending on the infraction. There is a bit of a difference between, say, stealing monies from a government-owned pop-box, and raping female inmates over at a county jail.
I'll give you that one now that my temper's had a bit of time to cool down.
Believe me, we've all been there!
OP
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jimf41 wrote:
I'm surprised that this thread has gone this far without anyone commentating on the underlying crime being committed here. I'll sum up my take on this. Some folks were violating a legally enacted law in the State of Florida. The police were in the process of apprehending these folks and issuing citations for this action. Some other folks didn't like the fact that the police were doing their duty and decided to warn the folks that were approaching the location not to violate the enacted law so that the police couldn't catch them.

I think I've got that right so far. The police then observe these folks giving the warning and decide to cite them for doing that. According to the news article posted by the OP the courts ruled that the police "... misinterpreted..." the statute that they used to cite the folks that were giving the warning.

Now some of the posters have referred to this as abuse of power by the police. Really??? Do some of you really think that the folks that were warning others to slow down were acting properly??

Let's take the same set of facts and change the illegal activity a little. If some folks decide to commit a Burglary and some other folks are not involved but are merely "lookouts" and communicate to the Burglars to stop Burglarizing because the police are coming do you think they are guilty of something?

And what's all this stuff about "speed traps". Would someone explain what that really is. I mean does it mean every time the police catch somebody doing something wrong they trapped them? How do you trap somebody into speeding anyway? Entrapment is a legal defense but it always involves some interaction between the defendant and the law enforcement agency before the crime is committed. I'm not aware of any such interaction in cases involving speeding violations.

Full disclosure: I'm a retired cop and about 9 of my 27 years in a major east coast department were spent in traffic enforcement. That said I share the Florida troopers frustration in this case but I honestly don't know how they ever expected to prove that folks were flashing their high beams to warn others of police activity ahead. The fact that the Florida legislature passed a bill specifically making it legal to do this is ridiculous when the courts have ruled that the section used was inappropriate. By passing the bill they are saying that being a "lookout" is legal. I'm afraid that won't stand up to the light of day very long.
Even though the courts have ruled that it is not illegal and tickets shouldn't be issued for the flashing (prior to this law being enacted) most police including FHP were still pulling people over for this act of flashing headlights. What's amazing to me is that the night I got pulled over, it was about 2 or 3 miles of driving down the highway at about 65 MPH before I saw the flashing lights...I wasn't speeding or weaving...my only "crime" according to the police in St Lucie County Florida was flashing my lights to warn other drivers...2 police cars pulled me over. Now, I'll ask you...in todays world with programs at public schools being cut, libraries closing and basically just a financially stressed economy, isn't it a little crazy that they can spend money to illegally pull me over, issue me a ticket that shouldn't have been issued and knowingly lie about the legality of my crime when I asked the officer why I was being pulled over and issued a ticket. I don't agree with yours or others comparisons to warning a criminal that a crime is about to take place (like a bank robber in action)...when I flash my headlights...I don't know that people are speeding and some if not all might not be...I'm simply letting people know that law enforcement is there and ready to issue tickets...if the police can now issue tickets with all those red light cameras and other bags of tricks they use then why can't a citizen warn people that they are hiding ready to issue tickets...and, if they really (the police) wanted to slow people down and make it so they wouldn't speed then why aren't they out on the highway sitting in their cars with their red and blue lights on and flashing to let people know they are there and to slow down? In my opinion, it's an infringement on my freedom of speech which by the way is not only when speaking...it's any form of communication...and, if that's the case, why are CB radios not illegal here in Florida...they only serve one main purpose...and, furthermore, radar detectors aren't illegal here either.
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Aviator47 wrote:
jess wrote:
The state failed in its job of governance. The state should be punished for wrongdoing.
Tell me jess, how do you "punish the state"? By creating a burden on all the taxpayers? That is the only source of money the "state" has. Does transferring a half of a tax dollar from each of a few million people to a couple of thousand motorists and a bevy of lawyers punish "the state". One could almost call that a tyranny of the few. While Eugene and Aaron pay 50 cents to get a more enlightened government, 1,100 motorists get thousands each in damages.

I stand by what I said. There has to be a better way. If not on the books, then elect reps who will create a better way, rather than handling "failure of the state" one subject and one civil case at a time, a method that puts the decision of taxation of all in the hands of 12 unelected people, and 12 people alone (six in some states)
Yes...taxpayers will pay to reimburse the innocent people...not ones who were ticketed for speeding...ones who were "illegally" ticketed for many years by police for flashing their headlights which wasn't illegal before the new law enacted clarified it...yes, I went to court and won with my lawyer present to represent me...if people are complaining about the financial burden to taxpayers why don't you look at the cost of those officers to be out there pulling people over, the cost of the courts to fight those illegally issued tickets and the fact that these police who are paid via our taxes could be doing more important things than worrying about revenge tickets for people who give up their cozy little hiding places while they cowardly sit there with their lights totally off in complete darkness...Yes, tickets should be issued for speeding...not for people waring others by flashing their lights to people who may or may not be breaking the laws. And, how about the news story here locally about a month ago exposing all the police who flip on their lights to go through an intersection and as soon as they get through it turn them off because they were not responding to a call but were impatient and feel they are above the law? Some major cases were tried here for that a couple of years ago where innocent civilians were injured even killed by police speeding through intersections without going to a call and accidentally hit these people....lastly, it's plain an simple...an abuse of the law by police feeling they don't need to abide by the laws that they are supposed to be enforcing.
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Glad to hear someone is fighting this. As I mentioned on a previous thread, I beat a ticket for flashing by leading the cop into admitting I was flashing in order to communicate with the oncoming cars. As soon as the judge heard it was communication between citizens who were not reasonably suspected of engaging in criminal activity, it was constitutionally protected free speech.

That said, I have been loving an App called WAZE for iPad, iPhone, Android, Bleckberry, etc.) that works like a GPS to give spoken turn-by-turn directions.

But one of the best things I've discovered about the WAZE app is that users can use one-touch buttons to enter warnings to other drivers about accidents, hazards, and speed traps. As you approach an area where someone else has entered an alert, the helpful voice announces "Speed Trap Reported Ahead".

Flashing lights at each other is so last decade!
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I hope you have a successful outcome. Their are numerous reasons why people "flash headlights". I couldn't ever see myself getting out of my patrol car to issue such a BS ticket anyway.

J
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muni-

If abusive practices are as rampant as you describe, perhaps the "campaign" should be to rally the citizenry to push for legislation that punishes the offending officers, rather than simply transferring tax dollars from one set of pockets to another without touching the ones who committed the offending actions. You sure as hell haven't inconvenienced the officers you accuse of lying, other than taking away one opportunity to lie. They will just be taxed as much as my two cousins and no more. I just can't see how anyone can walk away from that saying, "We sure fixed their wagons."

Now, if your outrage resulted in a way to put a hurt on the offending officers wallets, employment or nuts, I'd click the "Thumbs up" button in a heart beat.
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Aviator47 wrote:
muni-

If abusive practices are as rampant as you describe, perhaps the "campaign" should be to rally the citizenry to push for legislation that punishes the offending officers, rather than simply transferring tax dollars from one set of pockets to another without touching the ones who committed the offending actions. You sure as hell haven't inconvenienced the officers you accuse of lying, other than taking away one opportunity to lie. They will just be taxed as much as my two cousins and no more. I just can't see how anyone can walk away from that saying, "We sure fixed their wagons."

Now, if your outrage resulted in a way to put a hurt on the offending officers wallets, employment or nuts, I'd click the "Thumbs up" button in a heart beat.
Here's an interesting story:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-02-01/news/bs-md-hermann-police-tickets-20110201_1_police-officers-red-light-fellow-cop

And, don't forget this recent one here in Miami where some citizen caught a picture of a police officer OFF DUTY carrying mattresses on top of their police cruiser...the abuse of power just doesn't stop:
http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/duty-miami-cop-caught-hauling
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Aviator47 wrote:
If abusive practices are as rampant as you describe, perhaps the "campaign" should be to rally the citizenry to push for legislation that punishes the offending officers, rather than simply transferring tax dollars from one set of pockets to another without touching the ones who committed the offending actions.
While that might work, it is an unofficial path to effecting change, primarily relying on the hope that the bad publicity will force the hand of the state legislature. There's no guarantee, even if the state is truly acting without regard to its citizenry. Plus, there will be plenty of people (just like there are here) blinded by the idea that you shouldn't speed in the first place. Those people will be unable to comprehend that the corruption of the police force is a far bigger issue.

A class action lawsuit, on the other hand, is an official legal remedy. It is a well-understood mechanism. Making use of the available legal infrastructure to seek redress is a completely legitimate (and IMHO appropriate) option for this situation.
Aviator47 wrote:
You sure as hell haven't inconvenienced the officers you accuse of lying, other than taking away one opportunity to lie. They will just be taxed as much as my two cousins and no more.
The point is to stop the behavior, permanently. It is wrong, it is corrupt, and it needs to stop. For that matter, writing bogus tickets that get thrown out in court costs the taxpayers money as well. Why aren't you crying foul about that?
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Here's an interesting story:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-02-01/news/bs-md-hermann-police-tickets-20110201_1_police-officers-red-light-fellow-cop

And, don't forget this recent one here in Miami where some citizen caught a picture of a police officer OFF DUTY carrying mattresses on top of their police cruiser...the abuse of power just doesn't stop:
http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/duty-miami-cop-caught-hauling[/quote]

As to the first story, receiving a little professional courtesy is a perk of the job. As far as marked units getting tagged by cameras for going through red lights I think that's ridiculous. There are about a zillion reasons why an officer might want to do that in the normal course of a day while not responding to a 911 call. This is a big problem in NYC right now. If it continues it's going to mean less policing and more " who cares, I'm just here to finish my shift and not do anything that will cause me trouble". Is that the attitude you want in your local PD?

As to the mattress caper, well it's stupid and it's misuse of public property but "abuse of power"? That's a bit of a stretch IMO.
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jimf41 wrote:
I'm surprised that this thread has gone this far without anyone commentating on the underlying crime being committed here. I'll sum up my take on this. Some folks were violating a legally enacted law in the State of Florida. The police were in the process of apprehending these folks and issuing citations for this action. Some other folks didn't like the fact that the police were doing their duty and decided to warn the folks that were approaching the location not to violate the enacted law so that the police couldn't catch them.

I think I've got that right so far. The police then observe these folks giving the warning and decide to cite them for doing that. According to the news article posted by the OP the courts ruled that the police "... misinterpreted..." the statute that they used to cite the folks that were giving the warning.

Now some of the posters have referred to this as abuse of power by the police. Really??? Do some of you really think that the folks that were warning others to slow down were acting properly??

Let's take the same set of facts and change the illegal activity a little. If some folks decide to commit a Burglary and some other folks are not involved but are merely "lookouts" and communicate to the Burglars to stop Burglarizing because the police are coming do you think they are guilty of something?

And what's all this stuff about "speed traps". Would someone explain what that really is. I mean does it mean every time the police catch somebody doing something wrong they trapped them? How do you trap somebody into speeding anyway? Entrapment is a legal defense but it always involves some interaction between the defendant and the law enforcement agency before the crime is committed. I'm not aware of any such interaction in cases involving speeding violations.

Full disclosure: I'm a retired cop and about 9 of my 27 years in a major east coast department were spent in traffic enforcement. That said I share the Florida troopers frustration in this case but I honestly don't know how they ever expected to prove that folks were flashing their high beams to warn others of police activity ahead. The fact that the Florida legislature passed a bill specifically making it legal to do this is ridiculous when the courts have ruled that the section used was inappropriate. By passing the bill they are saying that being a "lookout" is legal. I'm afraid that won't stand up to the light of day very long.
Only a person from NY would post this. Go figure. The amount of limitations your state puts on the person freedoms of the individual is mind boggling.
⚠️ Last edited by VEZPA on UTC; edited 1 time
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Aviator47 wrote:
muni-

If abusive practices are as rampant as you describe, perhaps the "campaign" should be to rally the citizenry to push for legislation that punishes the offending officers, rather than simply transferring tax dollars from one set of pockets to another without touching the ones who committed the offending actions. You sure as hell haven't inconvenienced the officers you accuse of lying, other than taking away one opportunity to lie. They will just be taxed as much as my two cousins and no more. I just can't see how anyone can walk away from that saying, "We sure fixed their wagons."

Now, if your outrage resulted in a way to put a hurt on the offending officers wallets, employment or nuts, I'd click the "Thumbs up" button in a heart beat.
There are good public policy and practical reasons for the system to exist as it does, including that the government does not want to discourage officers from exercising their duties in arguably discretionary areas, that the government (which is really just a stand-in for the people as a whole) should be held accountable for failure to adequately train its employees or to have in effect policies that would prevent such abuses, and that such monetary sanctions are the best way to encourage governments to avoid such practices.

As a practical matter, asuming the plaintiffs are entitled to be reimbursed monetarily for the unlawful stop and related legal issues, the individual officers will often be judgment-proof or at least have relatively limited assets. Moreover, I doubt many people would think that having the individual officers lost their homes would be the best way to compensate the victims. Finally, in any case in which there is a deep-pockets defendant (municipality, insurance company, corporation), the cost will be spread out incrementally among many people. Generally speaking, the courts and society as a whole favors this way of dealing with things.

Brendan
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hendon wrote:
There are good public policy and practical reasons for the system to exist as it does, including that the government does not want to discourage officers from exercising their duties in arguably discretionary areas, that the government (which is really just a stand-in for the people as a whole) should be held accountable for failure to adequately train its employees or to have in effect policies that would prevent such abuses, and that such monetary sanctions are the best way to encourage governments to avoid such practices.

As a practical matter, asuming the plaintiffs are entitled to be reimbursed monetarily for the unlawful stop and related legal issues, the individual officers will often be judgment-proof or at least have relatively limited assets. Moreover, I doubt many people would think that having the individual officers lost their homes would be the best way to compensate the victims. Finally, in any case in which there is a deep-pockets defendant (municipality, insurance company, corporation), the cost will be spread out incrementally among many people. Generally speaking, the courts and society as a whole favors this way of dealing with things.
Excellent analysis.
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VEZPA wrote:
jimf41 wrote:
I'm surprised that this thread has gone this far without anyone commentating on the underlying crime being committed here. I'll sum up my take on this. Some folks were violating a legally enacted law in the State of Florida. The police were in the process of apprehending these folks and issuing citations for this action. Some other folks didn't like the fact that the police were doing their duty and decided to warn the folks that were approaching the location not to violate the enacted law so that the police couldn't catch them.

I think I've got that right so far. The police then observe these folks giving the warning and decide to cite them for doing that. According to the news article posted by the OP the courts ruled that the police "... misinterpreted..." the statute that they used to cite the folks that were giving the warning.

Now some of the posters have referred to this as abuse of power by the police. Really??? Do some of you really think that the folks that were warning others to slow down were acting properly??

Let's take the same set of facts and change the illegal activity a little. If some folks decide to commit a Burglary and some other folks are not involved but are merely "lookouts" and communicate to the Burglars to stop Burglarizing because the police are coming do you think they are guilty of something?

And what's all this stuff about "speed traps". Would someone explain what that really is. I mean does it mean every time the police catch somebody doing something wrong they trapped them? How do you trap somebody into speeding anyway? Entrapment is a legal defense but it always involves some interaction between the defendant and the law enforcement agency before the crime is committed. I'm not aware of any such interaction in cases involving speeding violations.

Full disclosure: I'm a retired cop and about 9 of my 27 years in a major east coast department were spent in traffic enforcement. That said I share the Florida troopers frustration in this case but I honestly don't know how they ever expected to prove that folks were flashing their high beams to warn others of police activity ahead. The fact that the Florida legislature passed a bill specifically making it legal to do this is ridiculous when the courts have ruled that the section used was inappropriate. By passing the bill they are saying that being a "lookout" is legal. I'm afraid that won't stand up to the light of day very long.
Only a person from NY would post this. Go figure. The amount of limitations your state puts on the person freedoms of the individual is mind boggling.
Oddly, the complaint I usually hear is the exact opposite, i.e., jaywalking,etc.

Brendan
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Only a person from NY would post this. Go figure. The amount of limitations your state puts on the person freedoms of the individual is mind boggling.[/quote]

If you look at modern case law and how it restricts the police in the performance of their duty from enforcing traffic law to apprehending violent felons you will find that very little of it comes from NY. We are stuck with the procedures the US Supreme Court and other courts outside of NY have given us to work with do to the real lack of training of police officers in some other states.
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Munibonds, good for you, man! I applaud you.
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jess wrote:
The point is to stop the behavior, permanently. It is wrong, it is corrupt, and it needs to stop. For that matter, writing bogus tickets that get thrown out in court costs the taxpayers money as well. Why aren't you crying foul about that?
jess- I do cry foul, did cry foul, and said that in my opinion, the officers should bear the burden of their actions and even went to far at to put their "balls" on the line if they commit an offense.
Aviator47 wrote:
Now, if your outrage resulted in a way to put a hurt on the offending officers wallets, employment or nuts, I'd click the "Thumbs up" button in a heart beat.That's a direct solution.
Suing one's self (a class action against the taxing entity to which you pay the taxes to begin with) places no greater direct burden on the officers than it does on each individual taxpayer. I don't care who has the "deep pockets" that make huge punitive damages even more enticing if it still puts a basically negligible direct burden on the person who has violated a public trust. My issue is that there is no direct "punitive" burden on the actual offender.

If supervisors are failing to do their job, then put a direct personal burden on them for being negligent. If one's job, wallet or gonads are at risk, for example, that's indeed a greater motivator to avoid violating your public trust than a civil judgement that will be paid by someone else. May not put extra of punitive (versus damage) settlement money in the "victims' pockets, but might just reduce the number of "victimizations" tomorrow.

With all the corruption being offered up as evidence of how bad the misbehavior is, there is apparently not much deterrent effect in civil suits whose cost is sent back to the taxpayer.

Hang the guilty bastards.

Is that crying "foul" explicitly enough for you?
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Al - We're going around in circles, and we're both repeating ourselves. I suggest we agree to disagree and leave it at that. This isn't solving anything.
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At the cost of catching some flack, I think a reasonable argument can be made that signaling other motorists of upcoming traffic checks, while not illegal, is at least ethically murky.

The primary purpose of the more-or-less random traffic checks is not to punish the motorists who are speeding in that particular occasion, or even less to make them slow down, but to deter motorists from speeding in general. If police made themselves obvious to oncoming motorists, or if signaling by other motorists were to become commonplace, then the deterrent would lose its effect and, much more likely than not, people would routinely break the speed limit, as well as other traffic laws. As a result, they may put themselves and others in danger. Because the expense of thoroughly enforcing traffic laws on every road is prohibitive, the only way to practically do it is by deterrent.

A suitable analogy would be if people were notified ahead of time of a scheduled tax audit, and allowed to amend their tax returns without penalty before the audit takes place. If that were the case, it could reasonably be expected that fewer people would pay their taxes fully, at everyone's detriment. The threat of an audit, not the audit itself, is what makes tax laws enforceable.

Now, I agree that fining or legally prosecuting signaling motorists raises a number of free speech issues, and my instinctual preference is to defer to the first amendment in such instances. However, to me it doesn't look as cut-and-dry as some seem to have argued above.
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slomojoe wrote:
Now, I agree that fining or legally prosecuting signaling motorists raises a number of free speech issues, and my instinctual preference is to defer to the first amendment in such instances. However, to me it doesn't look as cut-and-dry as some seem to have argued above.
Since the Florida courts have already ruled that signaling other motorists is permissible, it is cut and dried. It's legal.
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jess wrote:
slomojoe wrote:
Now, I agree that fining or legally prosecuting signaling motorists raises a number of free speech issues, and my instinctual preference is to defer to the first amendment in such instances. However, to me it doesn't look as cut-and-dry as some seem to have argued above.
Since the Florida courts have already ruled that signaling other motorists is permissible, it is cut and dried. It's legal.
Yes, i said that right there at the beginning. I was talking about the ethical issue, and the rationale for law enforcement to act that way. Long term, it could open a can of worms.
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jess wrote:
slomojoe wrote:
Now, I agree that fining or legally prosecuting signaling motorists raises a number of free speech issues, and my instinctual preference is to defer to the first amendment in such instances. However, to me it doesn't look as cut-and-dry as some seem to have argued above.
Since the Florida courts have already ruled that signaling other motorists is permissible, it is cut and dried. It's legal.
jess-

did the courts say that signalling other motorists is legal or did they rule that the law, as written did not prohibit the flashing of headlights for any reason? I got the impression that it was the latter. There is a subtle difference.
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slomojoe wrote:
Yes, i said that right there at the beginning. I was talking about the ethical issue, and the rationale for law enforcement to act that way. Long term, it could open a can of worms.
The general population is only governed by one set of ethics, and they are codified into law. No other ethics exist, save for those that you impose on yourself.

The police, on the other hand, are governed by a set of ethics, and I would say that it's pretty clear that they were violating them.
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Aviator47 wrote:
did the courts say that signalling other motorists is legal or did they rule that the law, as written did not prohibit the flashing of headlights for any reason? I got the impression that it was the latter. There is a subtle difference.
You're right, there's a subtle difference. That said, it makes no practical difference. Signaling other motorists isn't a ticketable offense. If the police continue to ticket motorists while knowing that it isn't in fact a ticketable offense, then I am 100% in favor of making that state -- and every single taxpayer in the state -- continue to pay out legal judgements until the police stop issuing bogus tickets.
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[quote="phuocsandiego"][quote="cheetohh"]I got aticket for running a red light on a bicycle, the cop asked me indirectly for some form of identification like say a drivers license. I was so niave.[/quote]

I hope it was a huge ticket and I wish more bikers got ticketed. If you're going to use the roads, you need to obey the rules of the roads just like anyone else. Somehow bikers don't think red lights or stop signs apply to them and that's bullshit.

It really pisses me off when bikers somehow have the mentality that traffic laws doesn't apply to them.[/quote]

Someone mentioned earlier that a person on a bicycle is not required to be in possesion of a drivers license while operating a bicycle on city streets. My big mistake was giving the officer my DL. That meant I am a licensed driver operating a vehicle on city streets and ticketable regardless of the circumstances. If I had it to do over again I would carry a state ID and hand that over to any officer who would happen to pull me over while bicycle riding.

As it was I recieved a $37.00 fine and had 3 points taken off my record.
Insurance went up and I had to take a driving as well as written test when it came time to renew. I was at a complete stop on a sunday morning. When I saw no traffic for several blocks I turned, unaware of the police car in the parking lot across the street. Even the officer commented that I made a safe turn.

I rode bicycles for a few years in the 80's as my only transportation.My experience with motorists was much like it is on my scooter. I was viewed as a nuscance who was obstructing traffic.They felt I needed to ride in a park or get on a stationary bike indiferent to the fact that this was transportation to me. As for warning other drivers about waiting police with radar it's something I learned from my dad on long trips. They do ticket this in TX so I don't do it often. I remember truckers & some motorists would flash their lights back at you as acknowledgement, something I don't see anymore
these days.



i
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phuocsandiego wrote:
cheetohh wrote:
I got aticket for running a red light on a bicycle, the cop asked me indirectly for some form of identification like say a drivers license. I was so niave.
I hope it was a huge ticket and I wish more bikers got ticketed. If you're going to use the roads, you need to obey the rules of the roads just like anyone else. Somehow bikers don't think red lights or stop signs apply to them and that's bullshit.

It really pisses me off when bikers somehow have the mentality that traffic laws doesn't apply to them.
The NYPD issued more summonses to cyclists than truck drivers last year: truckers got 14,962 moving violation summonses and 10,415 Criminal Court summonses, while cyclists got 13,743 moving violation summonses and a whopping 34,813 Criminal Court summonses. Priorities!

http://gothamist.com/2012/02/15/heres_why_drivers_get_away_with_mur.php
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crazyinnyc wrote:
The NYPD issued more summonses to cyclists than truck drivers last year: truckers got 14,962 moving violation summonses and 10,415 Criminal Court summonses, while cyclists got 13,743 moving violation summonses and a whopping 34,813 Criminal Court summonses. Priorities!

http://gothamist.com/2012/02/15/heres_why_drivers_get_away_with_mur.php
Crazy

Wouldn't the higher incidence of bicyclists receiving Criminal Court summonses be a direct result of the types of violations for which bicyclists are cited? Most bicycle law offenses are of that level, so if an officer is going to cite a bicyclist for anything, it's going to be "Criminal Court". I would also be willing to bet that violation rates are high amongst bicyclists and much easier to cite. It's much easier for a foot patrol officer to apprehend a bicyclist than a truck.

However, since this thread is focused on possible abuse of authority by LEO, here's a chilling notion from that article:

<i><b>Their legislation would give police unambiguous authority to issue a VTL 1146 (failure to exercise due care) summons, even if the officer was not present at the time of the crash, as long as the officer has reasonable cause to believe the violation was committed by the driver. </b></i>

<b>"reasonable cause to believe"??????</b>
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<i><b>Their legislation would give police unambiguous authority to issue a VTL 1146 (failure to exercise due care) summons, even if the officer was not present at the time of the crash, as long as the officer has reasonable cause to believe the violation was committed by the driver. </b></i>

<b>"reasonable cause to believe"??????</b>[/quote]

NY VTL 1146 does not do that. It's just another section of the VTL and it's an infraction not a crime. Last month there was another bill put forth, Squadron-Kavanagh legislation - S6416 / A9219, that would allow police to issue a summons while not actually witnessing an infraction. I don't think this is a good piece of legislation nor do I think it will pass.

The easiest way to do this is to make section 1146 a misdemeanor. The Criminal Procedure Law would then allow police to issue a summons for VTL 1146 without actually witnessing the incident.

Of course if people would just exercise a little more caution when driving this whole legislative nut roll, and the accompanying mayhem caused by inattention, could be avoided.
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jim

My point, as a trained and experienced mishap investigator, which is the context in which the link provided is addressing the issue, is that the average LEO, who has not witnessed the mishap, is in no way capable of making a "failure to make due care" determination without a thorough site evaluation, witness statements, etc. In fact, the article says that:
Quote:
And because traffic court judges have been throwing out "careless driving" tickets, the NYPD says they've instructed patrolmen not to issue them.
And goes on to say that only the NYPD Accident Investigation Squad can issue these tickets, and they only investigate fatal and potentially fatal mishaps.

So the answer being floated is to have ill- or un-trained patrol officers issue criminal citations based upon their having "reasonable cause to believe the violation was committed by the driver." How will the officer's non-witnessing "beliefs" be translated into facts that prove "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

No one is tougher on operator error injury mishaps as I, but this is like the idea floated by the NY Legislature back in the 70's that made an alleged rape victim's word legally superior, by definition, to the alleged rapist's. In a "he said, she said", he would lose. Fortunately that failed to get out the chute.
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Aviator47 wrote:
stickyfrog wrote:
Had to look up Pyrrhic Victory but yeah seems to be so Al.
As Tomjasz would say, "Google is your friend".
While I agree 100% with the choice of terminology, it still made me smile, given your current residence, that you chose to make your point with a reference to a military conflict from 'our' part of the world.

History is alive and well under every rock over here, isn't it?

/thread hijack.
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jimc wrote:
Flashing one's lights means nothing more, and nothing less, than "I am here".

Useful with use of the horn as some drivers or other road users could be deaf.

To assume anything more (especially by LEOs) is a stretch too far methinks.
Exactly what I was going to say. Unless the Police Officer is a certified mind-reader he HAS to take it that the headlight flasher is merely warning an oncoming vehicle of his presence.

Now, here in the UK, many minor traffic offences have become an area that local councils enforce, using small cars with CCTV cameras mounted on their roofs. By LAW their objective must be to deter infringements of the traffic management orders but, guess what: the cars are always almost unmarked and park in a way that makes them very hard to see. They then proceed to make video recordings that are later used to send out Penalty Charge Notices to the cars that have infringed the Traffic Management Order.

Sadly, the local councils OFTEN fail to properly sign the actions that the Traffic Management Order bans, making those bans unenforcable. But they still send out the PCNs. And lots get paid.

So, a couple of years ago (largely triggered by Westminster Council in London introducing parking charges for motorbikes) a group of bikers got together and started using homemade signs to warn drivers of the e.g. banned turn (and presence of hidden $camera car) and suddenly the number of PCNs dropped.

Now, local councils didn't like this. They sent in Police to warn people off. But the "NoToMob"(ile revenue based enforcement) group knew their rights. And the police agreed with them. ANY citizen has a right to warn any other citizen of a hazard ahead (and a banned turn must have been banned for traffic management or safety reasons, right?).

Richmond Council got caught out by the Notomob and a new Leader of the Council agreed with what they were doing and immediately stopped the $camera cars and refunded the fines err, I mean "charges". Another, Hertfordshire, are having to refund over a million pounds because their enforcement was illegal (though the councillors claim the traffic tribunal was wrong when it made the judgement against them...

So, warning motorists of hazards ahead is public spirited. It is not illegal.

And flashing your lights is only a warning that you are there, which is incontrovertibly, and by definition, true!

Police should always be informed when the exceed their authority. If it cost taxpayers money, and the authorities don't stop it from happening then the taxpayers should elect different authorities!

Bob
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Aviator47 wrote:
Let's see - sue the police for more than the fines collected and who pays the additional money awarded (damages, punitive award), plus the police's court costs, etc, etc.

You, the taxpayer, along with every other taxpayer in the jurisdiction who wasn't fined.

Kind of a Pyrrhic Victory for everyone except the lawyers.
Not really, in this case, if I understand it correctly. I'm assuming that bringing action against the cops will stop them trying to do this again. That would be a victory for everyone (involving some one-off costs, as you point out).

Would it be better to let abuse of power stand unchallenged?
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