Realistically, any major disparities between vehicle speeds on a roadway presents some added risk of collision. But, last Friday, a Canadian motorist discovered you don’t have to be going all that quick to get a ticket. Mathieu Gagne was cruising behind a slow-moving police vehicle on a two-lane road in Alberta, Canada, and decided to pass. He was immediately pulled over and issued a citation for driving less than 1 mile an hour over the posted limit.
“I had the right of way, the dotted line, and there was nobody in front of me, so I decided it was alright, in my right, to pass the peace officer,” Gagne explained to CTV Edmonton.
While society’s adoption of the euphemism of “peace officer” is slightly bewildering, especially when “law enforcement official” is more applicable (it’s like calling a garbageman a “cleanliness arbiter” instead of a “sanitation worker”), the reason for Gagne’s roadside stop was not.
Stating that he was well within his rights to pass the slower-moving traffic, the driver said he was immediately confronted with flashing lights. When the officer approached his stopped Jeep, Gagne said the first words out of his mouth were, “That was pretty ballsy of you.”
“The next thing he said was, it was disrespectful. I was disrespecting him,” he said.
Gagne explained he argued that he had passed safely, but was issued a $78 citation for driving his Jeep 101 kilometers per hour in a 100 km/h zone anyway. “Send a message, but that’s the wrong message,” he said. “This is a speeding ticket. It’s demerits. That goes on my record. It goes on my insurance. My insurance goes up.”
A reminder to law enforcement officers that your job is to uphold the laws and every motorist in part pays your salary with their car registrations and taxes and gasoline tax.
A reminder to citizens that a vast number of police think it’s them against you and they’re a brotherhood of people who have an ego larger than their waist-line and get their feelings hurt if they think your’e disrespecting them.
I don’t think being a law enforcement officer this decade is easy. Only a crazy person would sign up to do that job but they have little incentive to be community focused and more incentive to take care of their own and taze pepper spray or shoot anyone that poses a threat real or imagined.
I don’t brake when I see a cop like everyone else. I get over for emergency vehicles and I get out of their way but if a cop is riding my bumper while I am going 5 over the speed limit w/o lights rolling, I’ll move over and shoot them a bird when they speed past just like I do every other motorist that I let over who is on my butt. They’re just people and if the cop wants to cite me, I’ll fight it. Police officers uphold the law and protect citizens within their jurisdiction. I fully support them doing their jobs and not overstepping their legal place in our communities. I’ve also passed cops going 10 below the speed limit and swerving all over the road while they type out a report on their laptop. Distracted driving laws affect them as well. I’ll pass and honk and hopefully the cop will wake up. One has never pulled me over for doing this but I hope the cop feels a little embarrassed for driving like an idiot and you can be certain they’d pull over someone for driving like they just were. They’re not immune to the laws I have to follow.
As you can tell, this story is infuriating.