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  • #16
    TXConstable... let me ask you this. WHen you drive to and from work, and any other time you're in your personal car... do you obey every single traffic law? Because you know the TC is set up so that it's nearly impossible to do that right? Do you put a turn signal on 100% of the time? Do you always come to a full and complete stop before every stop line? Do you inspect your vehicle for burned out lamps before you get on the road? If you can't answer yes to all those questions, then how can you sleep at night writing tickets every time that you can for the exact same things?

    In my opinion a ticket should only be issued if there's a true danger to someone. For example... if someone's speeding, but there's no vehicle or foot traffic anywhere near by, and the driver is otherwise paying attention, i see no hazard there and i won't write a ticket for it. In fact I won't even stop them for it. If they do the same thing near a school right as school is letting out, and they've got their head buried in their cell phone, that's a different matter. To me, those are the gray areas that officers should look at instead of just being a robot and saying "Law violated! bzzz bzzz! Must issue citation!"

    To say that everyone should be accountable to the laws is very short sighted. I agree that everyone should be accountable, don't get me wrong, but to jack someone up with a $300 ticket because they didn't quite stop all the way is nothing short of theft to be honest. Enforcing the law doesn't necessarily mean writing a ticket. It can be stopping them and warning them. I mean, how many of us would like to get stuck with a $200-$300 ticket because our tail light happened to be burned out and we didn't know about it? Wouldn't you feel robbed? There you are struggling to make the mortgage payment and then you get slammed with a ticket because you happened to have a tail light out.

    Common sense and common courtesy... seems like neither of those things is all that common anymore.

    Edit: TX Constable is really the only one of you "ticket writers" that's speaking his mind here. I know you guys are out there, stop being scared and get in on this discussion. If you feel 100% good with yourself about writing everybody for everything, there should be no reason not to post your opinions here.
    Last edited by creedstaind; 03-12-2011, 03:32 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Well being the traffic nazi that I am please allow me to respond.

      First of all traffic enforcement has MANY positive effects...
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Let's the public see you out there doing your job.
      Which can still be done without writing a ticket.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Puts turds on notice that the cops are active in that area so maybe they should go somewhere else to do whatever bad stuff they're planning to do.
      Which can still be done without writing a ticket.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Generates revenue.
      Not our job as police officers.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Generates work for your local JP/Municipal Court which keeps those fine folks busy and gainfully employed.
      Which subsequently takes more of the tax payers money since they're paying the judges and anyone else who works at court.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Hopefully prevents accidents/speeding/road rage etc by your mere presence.
      I actually believe it CAUSES road rage because you normally have to shut down a lane or 2 to do your stop which causes traffic to bottleneck, then people get impatient. Then once they're out of sight they're going to speed to make up lost time. I don't believe it prevents accidents because people tend to rubberneck as they're going by.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      If your supervisors check the patrol statistics it shows them that you are out there working in between calls for service and not somewhere taking a nap.
      If I'm not taking a nap then I could care less what my supervisors think. I don't have to "prove" myself to anyone. Also... you take yourself out of service as a call answerer when you're on traffic, so everyone else picks up the slack.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Let's you track local turds by knowing what kind of car they drive, who they hang with, where they're staying at if you need to catch up to them later.
      Again, all of that can be done with a hook book, though I have no problem writing tickets to dirt bags.
      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Can lead to arrests which keeps bad guys off the street.
      Yes it can, but once you find out they're an honest "working" man, what's the point in taking food off their table?

      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Now as far as a quantity my personal rule is that if I can find only one violation by giving your vehicle a once over as you drive by then you get a pass. Two or more
      obvious violations and that ***** is mine.
      Why is there just a "hard and fast" rule here? So they have a crack in their windshield and they have a tail light out and you're going to drop the hammer? Even if everything else about their car and their criminal history is clean?

      Originally posted by TX Constable
      And I figure if I'm writing you for a few violations then I might as well stroke for distance! Why would I bother to write
      the violator for some violations and not all?
      You've already ruined their day, might as well ruin their month by sticking them with every minor violation that you can so that there's no possible way they can ever pay them all!

      Originally posted by TX Constable
      Seems to me that most cops don't like running traffic which means a guy like me has to pick up the slack for the rest.
      Yep and we pick your slack up when calls come out that you can't answer because you're writing 5 tickets for trivial crap to a person that's just trying to get back on their feet but is otherwise not a danger to society whatsoever.

      Suppose you got to re-write the transportation code and penal code anyway you wanted to. Would you keep it exactly the way it is? I believe the majority of officers would make changes to it. I just have a hard time believing that there are officers out there that agree 100% with every law that is established. And if you do, you might want to pull your head out of the sand. And if there ARE changes you would make, why would you write someone a ticket for a law you don't personally agree with? You're basically admitting to yourself that you're a puppet at that point.

      Sorry for ranting... but it seems to me that you like writing tickets as more of a power trip than anything else. I think it tends to be the same with most guys that are "hard up" about writing tickets. I call bull****. I think it's a power trip and little more. You even referred to yourself as "traffic nazi." like you're proud of it. Justify it how you want, it's my two cents.
      Last edited by creedstaind; 03-12-2011, 03:30 AM.

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      • #18
        Power trip it seems...I'm still laughing on how TX Constable says he likes to "save lives" and "educate the public" by writing tickets, but he doesn't go out looking for DWIs. Hmmmmm...
        TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Trooper2795 View Post
          Power trip it seems...I'm still laughing on how TX Constable says he likes to "save lives" and "educate the public" by writing tickets, but he doesn't go out looking for DWIs. Hmmmmm...
          Yeah hunting DWI's would probably be the most likely thing to save a life. Say what you want about speeding or whatever, but i see alot more fatalities from drunks than anything else.

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          • #20
            That's a true story. Most speeders just wreck out in the rain.
            TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
              Sorry guys, just noticed this was in the Texas threads...

              Stay safe out there in the Lone Star State..
              No problem at all, because what you typed made sense to me.

              While in Harris County I was a traffic enforcement deputy for 4 years. There was much pressure to stroke as many out in a day as I could, but my tickets were never feather legged. What that means is I wrote people for speeding who were doing 15 and up over the posted speed limit, ran stop signs/red lights, and had grossly outdated tags.
              I worked with some Deputy's who didn't have the same standards as me.
              This younger group fresh out of the academies is different, almost robot-like in the way they conduct business. I don't consider myself to be an old timer by any stretch, started in June of 91, but I have seen a tremendous change in the way things are done in the 20 years I've been doing it, video and audio being just one of those changes.
              Back when I first got in the game professional courtesy was a known, these days it's definitely an unknown.
              When I went through my FTO training I was told this or that in regards to writing tickets, no feather legged tickets unless the violator was a total Richard Head.
              These new kids, heck I have no idea what their FTO's are teaching them?
              The agency before my current one measured an officer's worth on how many tickets he/she wrote and how many arrest they made per year, and those stats were taken into account on your yearly revue, basically whether or not you'd get a raise in pay.
              They even emphasized the importance of stopping suspicious people, mind you this was a mostly bedroom community, upper middle to very rich, professional people.
              Seriously, you can only pull over the same paper guy/gal so many times.
              But, I believe the entire ticket tron problem stems from the top and trickles down to the street. It's county commissioners, mayors, and city managers that set the tone for many agencies, and their officers.
              These young officers are eager, as I was at their age, but it seems as if someone forgot to tell them to use common sense and officer discretion, for it seems they've lost the ability to distinguish between the spirit and letter of the law, it's all letter to them.
              Last edited by Deputy_do_right; 03-12-2011, 10:09 AM.

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              • #22
                I work the ghetto. I don't write nearly as many tickets as others that "bang it out in the ghetto." And I certainly don't see writing tickets as a crime fighting tool out here...

                To me, "banging it out in the ghetto" means using traffic/city ordinance violations as reason for contact. I use that reason for contact to look for drugs or guns. If I don't find said drugs or guns, I rarely write a ticket. Why? Because I have better things to do AND if I put a piece of paper in their pocket for the reason I stop them, they're going to remember it and learn not to do, which I don't want, because then it's harder to catch 'em riding dirty.

                On top of that, you'd be surprised how willing they are to cooperate with you if you let them off with a "warning". Hell, I have a few now that know me and when I catch 'em, they fess up, "officer shooter, you've been real with me, so I'll be real with you, I have a rock in my pocket." or "I have a stem in my jacket." It also helps when I'm looking for a suspect that committed some crime, that the people I deal with on a day to day basis know I'm a fair cop and are willing to talk to me.

                Ya see, just because you give them a bunch of tickets, it doesn't mean they're going to stop doing illegal stuff. Just means they're going to learn what not to do to get caught.

                I'm not bashing you constable, but you remind me of some of the "crime fighters" I work with that do not have a single clue what they're doing when it comes to "banging it in the ghetto". They pull over every car they see and write tickets in hope of finding something bigger and while you'll get an "atta boy" from the supervisors for turning in decent activity in forms of tickets, you rarely come up with the good arrests and don't know crap about the movers and shakers in your AO.
                “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by creedstaind View Post
                  TXConstable... let me ask you this. WHen you drive to and from work, and any other time you're in your personal car... do you obey every single traffic law? Because you know the TC is set up so that it's nearly impossible to do that right? Do you put a turn signal on 100% of the time? Do you always come to a full and complete stop before every stop line? Do you inspect your vehicle for burned out lamps before you get on the road? If you can't answer yes to all those questions, then how can you sleep at night writing tickets every time that you can for the exact same things?
                  I know this wasn't addressed to me, and I'm not even in law enforcement (yet) so my words mean nothing, but it is my career goal and I do tend to lean towards the mindset of issuing citations rather than giving warnings. The main reason for this is that I have myself broken many traffic laws in my 4-5 years of driving, and have only ever gotten 1 traffic ticket for speeding, and 1 ticket for failing to change my address on my driver's license. The speeding ticket was by a trooper, and the other ticket was on New Year's Eve, when enforcement was "stepped up" so to speak. As part of my job I drive a lot and have probably been stopped at least 15 times for various things, and only got 2 tickets? I got so many verbal warnings I started to fall into the mindset that as long as I had my registration, proof of insurance, and driver's license, and was respectful to the officer, I wasn't going to get a ticket. After all, I could tell most of the time the officers were just looking for drugs or more serious violations, and since I've never done drugs and don't own a gun, I wasn't concerned with this being a problem.

                  However, when I decided law enforcement might be for me, I realized how important my driving record is, and how lucky I've gotten, and since then I've intentionally become a much, much better driver. I always stop behind the painted line, I always use my turn signal, I always maintain my vehicle to make sure the lights are working, I never exceed the speed limit by more than 5 miles per hour, etc. As a result of the way I've changed my driving, I've gotten tailgated more than I ever have in my life, and I feel it's because too many officers are giving warnings to these drivers who constantly drive 60 in a 45, for example. Yes, traffic is not the only part of law enforcement, but drugs and guns are not the only part either. My point is that I have been able to change my driving habits, and so can other drivers on the road if they choose to. In my experience warnings generally do not give the driver a serious incentive to actually change his driving habits (I know it had almost no affect on me, other than the hour after being given a warning). No one has to be perfect, but you should be able to use a turn signal, stop at a stop sign or a red light, and be able to at least come close to abiding by the speed limit.

                  To me, those are the gray areas that officers should look at instead of just being a robot and saying "Law violated! bzzz bzzz! Must issue citation!"
                  That's true, I agree with that. Warnings do have their place.

                  To say that everyone should be accountable to the laws is very short sighted. I agree that everyone should be accountable, don't get me wrong, but to jack someone up with a $300 ticket because they didn't quite stop all the way is nothing short of theft to be honest. Enforcing the law doesn't necessarily mean writing a ticket. It can be stopping them and warning them. I mean, how many of us would like to get stuck with a $200-$300 ticket because our tail light happened to be burned out and we didn't know about it? Wouldn't you feel robbed? There you are struggling to make the mortgage payment and then you get slammed with a ticket because you happened to have a tail light out.
                  I'm not sure about Texas, but I believe in some states issuing a citation for tail light is a "fix it" ticket. I would have no problem giving someone a fix it ticket for something like that, but if that's not an option then I would probably give a warning.
                  Last edited by benseventeen; 03-12-2011, 10:32 AM.

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                  • #24
                    You should be proud. You were once a poor driver who caught breaks, but now you want to crack the whip and not give breaks to others. Good luck to your future.
                    TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Trooper2795 View Post
                      You should be proud. You were once a poor driver who caught breaks, but now you want to crack the whip and not give breaks to others. Good luck to your future.
                      You can look at it that way, and I respect your opinion. I am young and not an LEO, so it's possible my attitude towards this issue will change, but like I said, part of the reason I was never motivated to improve my driving was that I almost always got verbal warnings. I know if I had gotten more tickets, I would have been much more motivated to slow down and change my driving habits. I was lucky not to get tickets, and I was lucky that I haven't been in an accident, either.

                      Also, the way the warnings were given were always in a casual manner, which contributed to my casual attitude about traffic laws such as speeding. I'm not going to "crack the whip" necessarily, but I think the way in which the warning is given matters.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by TX Constable
                        Well being the traffic nazi that I am please allow me to respond.
                        I gotta laugh, I'm the parking Nazi here at my VAMC. What they don't know it I overlook a lot of illegal parking. I main go after the ones that are more a hazard than just parked wrong. Now I've been restricted to only giving tickets if they have a warning on file. Fine I give warnings out to all illegal parking and if I find one that has a prior warning I mail the the ticket.
                        GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

                        "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

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                        • #27
                          JT, I couldn't agree more. I don't know why some officers think that since someone made some type of violation that they immediately need a ticket. Its kind of funny to see those officers, because when they come in from their shift, they are telling their "war stories" on how bad its out there and how many tickets they wrote, but in actual fact they gathered no intelligence on the crimes being committed in their sector or stopped any good cars that might be riding dirty, and if they did, they didn't even know it, because they were too worried about scratching some paper. Writing a citation might make the person slow down, but I guarantee you its not going to stop crime. Arresting the crack head who's walking around at 3am, looking to break into a car or steal copper out of a vacant house, now there you probably helped your local citizen out. I don't write tickets, because I don't feel like I am being proactive by doing so. But like I said earlier, if you don't have those tickets writers, you won't have that real good stop, and have an easy way to get into the car. Don't get my wrong I am not dogging on ticket writers, just giving my 2 cents again...

                          Don't Constables just serve civil papers anyways? I know our Dallas County Constables were doing traffic for awhile, but they were taken off it and now just serve papers, I believe. Correct me if I am wrong.

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                          • #28
                            I am not a TX LEO but as one in general I feel both sides of the story here. I pull over a ton of a cars to try to get into them and will about half the time write a ticket because the drivers here have major attitudes. The ones who cooperate and are polite will almost never get a ticket. I will also write a ticket if someone does something blatantly stupid in front of me. Like see me sitting behind them and still run a red light. It happens here all the time because they think you are too worried about other stuff to care if they do stupid ****. So I can see where both sides are in this argument. For me traffic has by far been the best way to get drugs and guns.
                            Neither a Republican nor Democrat, both parties are hopelessly flawed.

                            RIP to all my fallen brothers and sisters in blue I hope one day I can live up to your legacies because you live forever in my mind.

                            To anyone non-LEO don't get it twisted. Us officers may disagree on politics, sports, and any other issue but we will always be brothers and sisters at the end of the day and have each others back. To think otherwise is stupid.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by benseventeen View Post
                              You can look at it that way, and I respect your opinion. I am young and not an LEO, so it's possible my attitude towards this issue will change, but like I said, part of the reason I was never motivated to improve my driving was that I almost always got verbal warnings. I know if I had gotten more tickets, I would have been much more motivated to slow down and change my driving habits. I was lucky not to get tickets, and I was lucky that I haven't been in an accident, either.

                              Also, the way the warnings were given were always in a casual manner, which contributed to my casual attitude about traffic laws such as speeding. I'm not going to "crack the whip" necessarily, but I think the way in which the warning is given matters.
                              Interesting, you needed an officer of the law to set your moral compass, otherwise you couldn't see the significance of breaking traffic laws?
                              Please don't mention this in your interview if and when the time comes.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by benseventeen View Post
                                You can look at it that way, and I respect your opinion. I am young and not an LEO, so it's possible my attitude towards this issue will change, but like I said, part of the reason I was never motivated to improve my driving was that I almost always got verbal warnings. I know if I had gotten more tickets, I would have been much more motivated to slow down and change my driving habits. I was lucky not to get tickets, and I was lucky that I haven't been in an accident, either.

                                Also, the way the warnings were given were always in a casual manner, which contributed to my casual attitude about traffic laws such as speeding. I'm not going to "crack the whip" necessarily, but I think the way in which the warning is given matters.
                                But has there even been any proof to suggest that citations actually change peoples driving habits? I've had maybe 5 or 6 speeding tickets in my life, all while I was younger, and clearly it didn't stop me from speeding. I still speed today. Does that make me a hypocrite? No, because I don't write speeding tickets. Speeding's one of those laws that I don't really agree with. I can be going 5-10 over the speed limit but I'm paying 100% attention to the cars around me, traffic signs, etc. and I assure you I'm completely safe. Now if I'm driving through an area where there are alot of kids playing in yards, etc. I will slow it down to make sure I can stop in time should that kid run out in the road. I speed pretty regularly yet I've never been in a wreck that was my fault. Yet someone can be going 5 under the speed limit and they're texting, they have no awareness of the traffic around them, they're messing with the radio, they're not paying attention to the fact that their lane is about to end, they're looking for their cigarette lighter, they're messing with the kids in the back seat, they're constantly looking at their speedometer instead of the road, etc. They're not technically breaking the law, but who's the more dangerous driver in that situation? Yet I can get jammed with a ticket in that scenario and they can't. This is the gray area I'm talking about. I wouldn't write someone a speeding ticket unless I actually saw them doing something unsafe. Some would say speeding in and of itself is unsafe and I disagree thoroughly.

                                BUt going back to your post... it's easy to say "well I probably should've gotten more tickets" after the fact. I bet you'd be singing a different tune if you would have had to pay hard earned money instead of getting a warning.
                                Last edited by creedstaind; 03-12-2011, 08:30 PM.

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