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Location: Gualala, California, United States

Alice and I love our life on the Northern California coast and welcome friends and family to enjoy it with us.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Drive Carefully

Editor

A couple of months ago the ICO editorialized about increased ticketing for minor traffic violations locally, and wondered whether it was justified.

I had just been stopped south of Anchor Bay by a local CHP officer and ticketed for not wearing my seat belt (which I was wearing, as always).

I had my day in the Point Arena traffic court, and won! The officer appeared, and said he saw a reflection from the metal buckle above my shoulder. I displayed photographs that showed all you could see from in front of my car was the reflection of a high overcast off the windshield.

I also brought up that the officer had noted I was wearing my seat belt when he stopped me. The judge seemed interested, and confirmed that with the officer.

In his report the officer wrote that he turned after he saw me, and followed me and clocked me at 62.5 miles per hour.

However, the judge remarked that all that was in question was the matter of seat belt use.

I was thinking, but didn’t bring up, that the officer’s remarks didn’t make any sense. He said he followed me and determined I was speeding. He also told me that I put the seat belt on after I first saw him.

If the sight of a CHP officer was enough to make me put my seat belt on, wouldn’t it also be enough to make me stop speeding?

It’s bad enough the officer called me a liar, but it’s truly insulting that he thought me a fool.

I doubt I made a friend in court. I’ll continue driving very carefully, and so should we all, over-zealous officer or not.

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