July 11, 2009 in Letters

Ticketing scheme wrong tactic

The Spokesman-Review

I object to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office creating artificial situations in which to cite errant drivers. This practice is being used to enforce a fine statute, the Move Over Law. (It stipulates that, whenever it is safe to do so, a motorist must move into another traffic lane when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped with its emergency lights flashing.)

The law is intended to save the lives of officers, and I hope it is successful. However, the Sheriff’s Office is creating situations that induce people to violate this law.

Unlike the case where an officer observes a driver who is speeding and cites the driver, the Spokane sheriffs are setting up artificial conditions that invite violation.

They are parking on the shoulder of Highway 195 with their lights flashing (no other vehicles are in front of, or behind the police cruiser).

When a car passes, failing to move into another lane, the sheriff cites the driver.

If the Sheriff’s Office were pursuing a passion to protect fellow officers, polite warnings and some publicity ought to suffice. The current practice smacks more of revenue generation.

Warren Carpenter


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