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Speed Trap Ahead » Your civil rights and responsibilities behind the wheel.

Police Arrest Jogger After He Warns Drivers of Speed Trap

A man in West El Paso is claiming he was thrown in jail last week in retaliation for warning drivers about a nearby police checkpoint for speeding.

Jose Escobar stands at the same intersection where police arrested him last Friday. He hopes passing drivers will remember what happened that day. He says he was warning motorists that an officer was down the road…looking for speeders.

“I was running, jogging here and the police officer was giving tickets up there and I was advising the people to slow down and then he got mad,” says Escobar.

Escobar says he was jogging back and forth at this intersection in West El Paso, giving people a heads up about a speed zone when the officer handcuffed him.

“I asked him ‘Why are you arresting me?’ And he didn’t say nothing. And I asked him to give me a ticket. And he didn’t say nothing. And just took me to jail,” says Escobar.

After five hours in the county jail, Escobar paid $66 and walked out. The formal charge- pedestrian failing to yield right of way to a vehicle. Escobar says jail time for jaywalking is pure retaliation for angering a police officer.

Passer-by, Jizette Salazar says the same officer pulled her over that day asking her about Escobar.

Now armed with a sign, he’s asking anyone who may have seen how he was treated that day to give him a call as he plans to file a formal complaint against the officer.

Police say right now these are just allegations by one man and no formal complaint has been filed.

Source: KTSM News 9

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Texas Woman Arrested for Warning Drivers About Speed Trap

A Houston woman’s attempt to save drivers from a speeding ticket landed her something worse: 12 hours in jail.

As she rode her bicycle home from a grocery store last week near downtown Houston, Natalie Plummer noticed police officers pulling over speeders. After she parked her bike and turned one of her grocery bags into a makeshift sign warning drivers about the “speed trap” ahead, an officer drove up and arrested her.

“I was completely abiding by the law,” Plummer told ABC’s affiliate KRTK. “I was simply warning citizens of a situation ahead.”

But Houston police saw it differently, and arrested Plummer for standing in the street where there a sidewalk was present, a misdemeanor charge.

plummerHouston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said that officers found Plummer standing in the street, waving her arms as she held the sign.

But Plummer denied ever leaving the sidewalk on West Dallas Street, alleging that the arresting officer invented a reason to detain her.

“He couldn’t take me to jail for holding up this sign or he would have. So all he could do was make up something fake about it,” Plummer told KRTK. The officer searched Plummer’s backpack, she said, and threatened to arrest her for obstructing justice, a felony charge.

Michael Dirden, Houston’s executive assistant police chief, said in a statement that if Plummer believes the police acted inappropriately, she should file a complaint with the department’s internal affairs division.

After being held in jail for 12 hours, Plummer was released on bond, and will soon appear in court to face her misdemeanor charge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rosebud, Texas Police Officer Fired Amidst Local Sign Controversy

A Central Texas police officer was fired Monday and could be in more hot water.

The Rosebud Police Officer was fired for working outside city limits against orders. It’s a rule he had reportedly broken multiple times.

On Saturday, the officer reportedly tried to take down a controversial speed trap sign along Highway 77 put up by some residents to warn drivers.

The signs were first put up that Friday as way for Rosebud Signs owner Bobby Bailey to combat what he thought was a police department giving out too many tickets. Rosebud residents helped pitch in and pay for the signs.

“The city was trying to more or less turn the town into a little evil town,” Bailey said. ”We want it to be like nice little Rosebud Texas, like it’s always been.”

The officer got into a heated exchange with one of those residents who helped Bailey with the signs.

“He told me the sign was impeding traffic,” John Borden, Rosebud resident, said.

Rosebud Police Chief Kenneth Proctor confirmed the incident.

“Evidently he confronted one of the owners there, or who put the sign up, and asked him to remove the sign,” Proctor explained.

The sign was on private property and outside the city limits. Chief Proctor said the confrontation about the sign was not the reason for the firing.

The officer is planning to appeal his firing, but it will be up to the Falls County District Attorney’s office to file any criminal charges.

Chief proctor also said while he doesn’t think his city is a speed trap, and has cut down on giving out tickets, he’s in favor of the signs.

News Channel 25 talked to that fired officer Monday night on the phone, he said he was directed by a supervisor to either ticket or arrest the people responsible for the signs. He thought taking it down would cause the least problems.

More signs may be put up on Highway 53, coming from Temple into Rosebud, in order to warn more drivers. Lights also may be added to the current signs so that drivers at night can see them.

(Source: http://www.kxxv.com)

Driver, 64, who flashed headlights to warn fellow motorists of speed trap hauled to court and fined for ‘obstructing police’

Criminal record: Michael Thompson, seen here outside Grimsby Magistrates' Court, believed he was doing his 'civic duty' by alerting drivers on the opposite side of a dual carriageway

Criminal record: Michael Thompson, seen here outside Grimsby Magistrates’ Court, believed he was doing his ‘civic duty’ by alerting drivers on the opposite side of a dual carriageway

A driver has been convicted of a criminal offence for flashing his headlights at oncoming motorists to warn them of a police speed trap ahead.

Michael Thompson, 64, believed he was doing his ‘civic duty’ by alerting drivers on the opposite side of a dual carriageway.

When stopped by a police officer Thompson disagreed with the suggestion that he was ‘perverting the course of justice’ and was then allegedly told: ’I was going to let you off with a caution – but I’m not now.’

Thompson denied wilfully obstructing a policewoman in the execution of her duty on July 21 last year, but was convicted after a trial at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court.

He ended up £440 out of pocket after being fined £175, ordered to pay £250 costs and a £15 victims’ surcharge.

Thompson of Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire, told the court he was warning motorists for safety reasons.

He said he had been involved in an accident a year ago when two drivers in front of him braked sharply after seeing a speed trap and although he braked in time another motorist crashed into the back of his vehicle.

‘It is not an offence to warn people of a possible speed trap because of the danger involved with vehicles braking quite hard,’ he claimed.

‘It’s a civic duty to warn people. I flashed my lights. I had a very good reason to warn oncoming motorists, in my opinion. My first thought was:”This may cause an accident.”

‘I tried to warn vehicles that there was a speed trap. Because I challenged the officer he would not let me off with a warning.’

Thompson was pulled up as he headed out of Grimsby on the A46 at 10am.
Thompson was pulled up as he headed out of Grimsby on the A46 at 10am. He claimed the officer involved was a ‘Rambo character’ who was acting like ‘Judge Dredd’ in using the law unnecessarily. The officer pictured here is using a speed gun on the A130 in Essex
Flash happy: Driver Michael Thompson, 64, thought it was his 'civic duty' to warn approaching drivers on the A46 in Grimsby that police traffic officers were ahead
The stretch of road outside of Grimsby where Thompson was pulled over. He denied willfully obstructing a policewoman in the execution of her duty on July 21 last year, but was convicted after a trial and ended up £440 out of pocket.
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How and Why It All Came To This

Ever since the Austin American-Statesman published an article about my website and dealings with Lakeway, I’ve had a lot of issues to think about and thoughts to ponder.

I’ve read many, many comments from readers of the Statesman, and various online blogs. Some comments were very supportive of my “Crusade” against “Speed Traps.” Others were quite critical in their tone. ( I really HATE the moniker “crusade”, BTW.)

Questions! There were myriads of questions to be answered. Who would answer them? Well, there were lots of opinions … and, you know, we ALL have one, if you know what I mean. People on the net were voicing their opinions, basically answering questions, perhaps, on MY behalf.

These were  their opinions — most often NOT mine. I rarely post responses to forum comments, so I felt I needed to input MY two-cents-worth in my own forum, so  — Here goes…

How did this all come about?

A  friend and I were simply trying to learn how to create websites and determine what kind of site would produce the most traffic. I had recently moved to Lakeway, TX, and soon heard about the hard-handed enforcement of speed laws. Also on my mind was an “urban legend” story of a boy who held a “Speed Trap ahead” sign to warn drivers. Down the block, there was another boy holding a big jar labeled “Tips.”

The story about the boys led me to wonder whether such an act was even legal. Soon, I was on the net, researching applicable laws regarding “obstruction of justice” and other similar subjects. Come to find out, it was not only legal, but there were sections of Texas law (Sec. 38.05 (b) and 38.15 (c)) that actually decriminalized warning drivers of speed enforcement zones.

I decided to try the ” ‘Speed Trap Ahead’ warning thing.” So it began. This was how I could generate better web traffic — all just a friendly competition with my friend, blogging about issues that were on my mind while learning the basics of website generation. Phew!

Why keep at it?

I quickly learned that “speed traps” was a very popular subject. And I got lots of trafic! That was the point in the beginning, after all. Very soon, it became apparent that I had opened a BIG can of worms. My website quickly became a public information and discussion forum about all sorts of issues. I began including posts about Texas traffic laws, thus hopefully educating drivers and influencing their driving habits. I posted videos, blogged, answered emails, and read up on various subjects related to driving in general. Eventually, it became a convoluted creation of (1) a contest with my friend, and (2) a mission of learning and relaying to others the intricacies of Texas driving laws. Read the rest of this entry »

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