I am already predicting a Supreme Court case being decided on an issue this will create:
Dozens of Central Texas drivers got pulled over Thursday for doing absolutely nothing wrong.
Travis County deputies kicked off what has become a controversial reward program.
You know that heart stopping feeling you get when seeing the flashing red lights of law enforcement in the rear view mirror.
Well, you won’t see that if you’re a good driver, but you may get pulled over.
Getting pulled over for doing nothing wrong may not sound right to a lot of people.
Travis County Deputy Derrick Taylor says his job is to not only look for bad drivers, but reward and encourage friendly drivers.
“The big cargo truck that was in front of you and you allowed to get in front of you, that was a very nice thing you did and because it was a safe thing, we want to reward you with a Round Rock express baseball tickets,” Taylor tells a good driver.
Free baseball tickets for good drivers – some like it and don’t mind being pulled over like Erin.
“I was really surprised, but it’s cool though. I thought I was like in trouble so a little nerve racking,” driver Erin Baker said.
I predict that in no time, they will ‘pull’ someone over for ‘good’ driving, and smell booze on their breath or find something wrong and a reason to provide them with a citation. Additionally, less scrupulous departments will start pulling people over they want to search but have no probable cause under the auspices of ‘rewarding’ good drivers. They then will be able to ‘find’ the probable cause to search the people they wanted to search anyway. It is only a matter of time, I guarantee it.
Note to police- you want to reward good drivers? Let ’em get where they are going and leave them the hell alone.
This kind of sounds like something the local baseball team would push as a promotion. Next week the deputies will be giving you a coupon for free shipping on your next Amazon.com purchase.
However, strangely, all the coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts have vanished. When asked for comment, the deputy said only “mmrmmph”.
This is definitely going to cause trouble.
And, yeah, if you want to reward drivers, let them drive. That’s the biggest punishment for getting stopped for speeding — having to wait on the shoulder for twenty minutes. “Obviously, officer, I was in a bit of a hurry. Can we wrap this up?”
LOL. It was low-hanging fruit, but still beautifully done. :)
I am ashamed of my Austin Homeland. This is stupid.
I’ve been in the Hill Country when the DPS blocked a highway and started waving people over. Half the people stopped, the rest of us drove off the roads and went around them.
Wow! Who the hell thought this one up? Never mind the fact that an officer could use the ticket excuse to pull someone over, happen to see something (like a joint), and make an arrest, even though he had no probable cause to pull the driver over. What about the potential that some nutbag driver with several outstanding warrants might get the friendly pullover and make a run for it, causing a dangerous high speed chase?
This program could be stopped on public safety grounds even before the lawsuit gets filed.
“You’ll never take me alive, coppers!!!”
I recall hearing about a similar program somewhere in California, years ago.
Good drivers want to get where they are going. If the idea is to reward a good driver, and they feel compelled to do so…get their license plate number, and MAIL the reward to them with a nice letter. Instead of interupting their lives and giving them the willies.
It’s a fishing expedition dressed up as a rewards program. But like those who defend the NSA spying always say, “If you have nothing to hide, who cares!” This is intruding and wrong.
Notice how this is happening in Austin, liberal capital of the Lone Star State, and not Houston or Dallas? The APD already has a reputation for being somewhat shifty in their moral character (and by shifty, I mean rampantly racist and corrupt).
I can’t imagine anyone using this type of “pull you over for a baseball ticket” manuever to start arbitrarily arresting people of interest in the city. I’m just waiting for the Department of Homeland Security and the NSA to hop on the idea. “We weren’t breaking into your house and monitoring your phone calls. We were secretly preparing to give you a super-happy surprise party! But then we caught you talking to Osama Bin Laden, so it’s off to Gitmo.”
Contrary to the rest of Austin, APD itself is filled with evangelicals on a mission to clean up Austin. They’re about half-way done screwing up 6th Street. And the City Council has no balls to take them on.
Bob In Pacifica
When I was thirteen, way, way long ago, we drove down from New Jersey to visit my mother’s family in Mississippi. 1963 or ’64. The police had roadblocks. They’d pull over people with northern license plates and come up to the car and ask us what we all were up to, comin’ down to Mississippi. When we said that we were going down to visit family in Bogue Chitto the officer smiled, and at a couple of the stops they even gave us kids some little treats.
Real nice welcome. My daddy was a good driver.
Me? I blame George Bush.
I can’t wait until this happens in our homes. Cops walk into your house and reward you for being a good citizen. Could be anytime, day or night.
“Mind if I take a look under the bed, ma’am? Hmm. Hospital corners, nice job. Is this 300-thread count? You have excellent taste…I’m going to write you a special ‘Good Citizen’ citation.”
“I can’t wait until this happens in our homes. Cops walk into your house and reward you for being a good citizen. Could be anytime, day or night.
You really believe that’s going to happen?
“Me? I blame George Bush.”
No. Everyone can see this is the brainchild of Karl Rove. Chimpy’s too stupid to come up with something this evil you know.
Was just in Austin around Mardi Gras – don’t know what the fundies thought about 6th Street then.
If the cops were handing out “your next parking/speeding ticket vanishes” cards, that would be ok.
You haven’t been following 4th Ammendment cases very carefully. Several cases involving home searches are now following vehicular searches (cops can come up with any reason now to search you car). One involved a cop saying he detected an odor coming from a house from the public sidewalk. They got a search warrant assuming it was a meth lab. Searched the house, no meth lab, but they found some marijuana. The search was upheld, homeowner convicted.
Now cops are walking drug-sniffing dogs down streets and parking lots. Dog indicates a “hit” (yeah, right), they can go into the car.
Soon, they’ll be walking the dogs thru your neighborhood.
Why pull people over? Write down their license plates and send them nice little postcards.
Next up, they’ll start randomly checking the IDs of Mexican people riding the bus in Texas, and giving them a prize if they have a green card with them, right?
The drunk driving angle that John brings up is, I think, not so much of a problem. The issue, I believe, is that being detained by a police officer is itself an unnecessary show of force, and one made much more forceful because you’re in a car. If you’ve done nothing wrong, a policeman has no right to detain you, but if you ignore a cop trying to stop you, a more extreme show of force is definitely in your future.
That’s a good point, Kimmitt, and the fact that they don’t probably indicates that they _are_ looking for drunk drivers.
Question: if they pull you over, and you get pissed off and yell at the officer, “You asshole, I’m late for work, and you pull me over for this?!?!?!?”, can the officer arrest the guy?
Disrespecting a uniformed officer is a ticketable offense in most areas I know of.
In Texas? Why, we love our illegal immigrant population down here in Texas and would never needlessly harrass or use unneccessary force against them. So long as they sit down, shut up, and keep mowing our lawns.
At least you think they’re here illegally.
If I get pulled over for good driving I’ll most likely soon be cited for unruly conduct.
This country is starting to suck.
Most gangbangers drive within the speed limit and use their turn signals. They’re good drivers so they don’t attract unwanted police attention. Good thing our police force is so crafty huh?
They were doing that in Colorado back in the mid 80’s when the seatbelt law went into effect. I thought it was pretty cool.
I would be surprised if the police would want to participate in this. There is an element of danger to them every time they pull someone over. (May be small, but it’s there.)