Sometimes it is important to have video recording equipment handy. In this case, a truck driver pulled over an Illinois state police officer for speeding and using a cell phone on a wet roadway and he caught the entire traffic stop on camera.
The trucker used his horn to signal the officer as the officer sped by and they both pulled to the side of the road. The officer approached the vehicle and stepped up into the passenger doorway. He introduced himself and indicated that he had pulled the truck driver over because he wasn’t sure why he was blasting the horn.
The trucker accused the officer of speeding, using a cell phone and driving recklessly in wet conditions. The officer denied the charges. What is interesting is to watch the officer move from an “I’m the law so I can do anything” (Obama like) attitude to one of, at least, limited humility and humanity.
Three cheers then for the officer. He didn’t let institutional power overwhelm his good sense – at least in the end. Better than his first position to bluff his way through it.
“Police officers can actually use technology when they’re driving. We’re exempt,” the officer said. He then asked for ID.
The officer asked for the trucker’s speed. The driver said, “You passed me! How fast were you driving? Are you above the speed limit as well?” The trucker said he had his cruise control set at 65 mph. When the police officer said that the police car was going 70 mph, the trucker responded, “You were going well over 70.”
The cop quickly changed the subject to using a horn “when there’s no good reason to,” and began to issue a ticket for “unlawful use of horn.” At this point, the trucker tells the officer that he is being recorded and the officer says, “You are. too.”
As the two argue over who did what, the officer collected various forms and headed to his cruiser to write the ticket.
Upon returning, the officer had changed his tune, indicating that the trucker had a previous ticket for a headlight violation and said he would not issue a ticket at this time, as he did not want to hurt the driver’s record. He then informed the trucker that he gave him an excellent inspection to make him look good to his company.
Before he left, the officer explained that he wasn’t paying attention and could not say he was speeding. “I was on my way to headquarters,” the officer said. The officer admitted that it was not OK to use a cell phone while driving but said he didn’t remember having the phone on him — contradicting his earlier statement regarding officers being able to use technology while driving.
“You had your phone in your right hand,” the trucker charged. “I don’t remember that,” replied the officer.
After all was said and done, the officer concluded, “You were just trying to help me out — help me drive safely. I understand that…Well, be careful going back out and enjoy that violation-free MCS inspection.”
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