Thursday, July 19, 2007

There is No Perfection in Leesburg, Florida

After listening to Petros' and Money's interview of Didier Drogba Wednesday afternoon, I continued eastbound on the 91 - very slowly - until I saw flashing police lights behind me.

Once I started to pull over, I remember exactly why I was being stopped.

We re-registered my car in May, and I received all the paperwork, threw it in the glove compartment, and promised myself I'd put the sticker on the rear license plate.

Hey, it's not like I had the paperwork since May 1. I got the registration papers in late May.

Sure enough, the smiling police officer said I was being stopped for an expired license. I was already rummaging through the glove compartment, looking for my registration. Of course, by this time I also had to grab my license and my insurance.

The officer called everything in and waited. Eventually I heard his radio spitting out my last name and my year of birth, and a bunch of other stuff that I didn't hear ("He didn't get a ticket for his 'California stop' in 1984....He was in the car when his then-girlfriend inadvertently ran a stop sign with a police car right behind her....He voted Libertarian in 2000....").

So, after some time, the police officer walked back with all my paperwork, and asked me a simple question:

Do you want a ticket?

After replying in the negative, I was immediately encouraged to (safely) hop out of the car and get that sticker on that license plate, pronto.

So, all in all, it was a safe traffic stop, and nobody got killed.

This is the point where you, the reader turn to your computer and say, "O, quit your exaggeratin'. Nobody gets killed in a routine traffic stop."

I beg to differ, and offer evidence from the Leesburg, Florida Police Department. And since Leesburg is the base of Mary Banks, you know the Leesburg Police are perfect - aren't they?

Believe it or not, "routine" traffic stops are one of the most dangerous of law enforcement activities. Police officers are probably more cautious during traffic stops than at any other time. More officers are killed during these so-called "routine" traffic stops than during any other enforcement activity.

There are two types of traffic stops conducted by police officers. The first is the "routine" traffic stop for regular traffic violations such as speeding, running a red light, equipment violations and so forth. The second is the "high risk" or "felony" traffic stop used for situations where the driver or passengers may be suspected of or wanted for committing a felony offense. It is very important that both the driver and passengers pay very close attention to the officer's orders during both types of traffic stops.

Here are some of the relevant traffic tips that the Leesburg Police suggest. And no, I don't carry a firearm in my car.

Roll down your window and remain seated in your car unless the officer instructs you to do otherwise. Officers may approach your vehicle from either side, so you may want to roll down both windows. While awaiting the officer's approach, keep your hands on top of your steering wheel where the officer can see them. Passengers may want to place their hands on either the dash or top of the seat in front of them....

If you carry a firearm or other weapon in your vehicle, please inform the officer of its location before you go near it to remove your vehicle registration or insurance information. If you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm, please advise the officer of such and inform the officer where the firearm is located. Some officers may ask you if they can hold the firearm during the traffic stop....

There are other tips, but the use of common sense is obviously the most important. Look at the situation from the officer's point of view, and also remember that irresponsibility in one area (e.g. expired registration) suggests a possible irresponsibility in other areas (e.g. 300 pounds of marijuana in the trunk).

You're a suspect. Deal with it.


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Anonymous said...

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Ontario Emperor said...

If you go to cali, watch out on the 91.

Actually, I was worried. At first I thought the spammer had written "I'm going to call." Last thing I need is a spam call on my cell phone.

Ontario Emperor said...

More on knicksgrl0917 here. As of July 30, she still hadn't left for cali.