Friday, March 21, 2008

It's My Blog......

...And I'll Gripe if I Want To!

After some encouragement from a friend of mine, I've decided it's time for a bit more healthy complaining! :-) (Shoot me a little "amen" or something if this hits home with you!!)


How many of you have been driving along perfectly contented in your travel only to see a police officer in a speed trap and suddenly had your heart start racing and your legs feel like jello. How many of you have then hit the brakes out of instinct only to look and see that you weren't even speeding? In fact...how often does seeing a police officer out on the road cause you to do a mental run-down of your driving (am I speeding? did I come to a complete stop back there? was that light a little too yellow?????) Have you ever almost hit someone else after they slammed on the brakes because they noticed a speed trap?

Don't get me wrong...we have great police. We are lucky enough to live in a country that is not (compared to many others) filled with corrupt law enforcement. We have great officers who protect and defend the lives of many, every day!! But every day there are also officers out there doing things that are dangerous to others. 2 Weeks ago in California, a police officer (formerly charged with drunk driving) was speeding down a local road. He swerved and hit 3 bikers. 2 of the bikers died - a young man and woman. I read an article today about police in Maryland, refusing to pay for speeding tickets that they have received.

When Matt and I lived in Chile the police on patrol were like a breath of fresh air. They drove along looking from crime. They weren't looking for people going 5 miles over the speed limit to scare. You could pass a police officer without fear of....anything! Police officers weren't dangerous or reckless in their driving and they didn't cause accidents.

I am not writing this because either of us were cited....or pulled over for anything. I decided to write about this because while we were driving home last week a California Highway Patrol Officer flew by us. He did not have his siren on. He had another officer in the car with him and they were talking and laughing (we later ended up at a light behind them). After flying around us, the officer almost caused an accident by some serious speeding and lane changing (without signaling) around cars ahead of us. It was scary and I believe it is getting out of hand. I would completely trust our police for anything, but I'm sorry to say that as far as many of them are concerned, I don't trust their judgment on the road.

There is alot of speeding where we live now and please understand, I am not a defender of reckless driving. But I'd like to suggest that maybe a situation where drivers are paranoid about passing officers waiting in "speed traps" is not the best way. And I'd like to see officers driving fast with their lights on, headed toward a call, not driving without lights or siren in my rearview and then swerving around me! With a new little person in my car I worry about alot of things, but I don't want to worry about the people out there who are supposed to be protecting others. They should not be above the law!

3 comments:

Herb of Grace said...

AMEN!!

Anonymous said...

The deputy who killed the bicyclists has not been charged yet. He was not drunk either. It was a terrible "accident" and there are witnesses that say the deputy may have fallen asleep.

When I was a CHP officer I saw people hit their brakes too. It made me chuckle sometimes. I allowed 15-25 MPH over the speed limit before stopping someone to give them a ticket.

Matt and Laurie Beardsley said...

Thank You Anonymous for pointing that out! I agree that it was a terrible accident.

The deputy that was driving though, unfortunately has been twice before charged with driving drunk. He was also charged with "exhibition of speed" which on Ca's "DUI help page" (yes-sadly enough) is a plea bargain generally used because the driver can avoid alcohol education classes, avoid license suspension, and often simply pay a fine.

Again I ask... should we be on the road with this??