It often seems like everyone has their own story of watching a police officer blow through a stop light even though there is no apparent emergency. In fact, this traffic violation often goes unpunished, with officers able to dismiss tickets issued by red light cameras that catch them red-handed. But at least one major American city is seeking to put an end to this practice. City police officers in Denver will now be forced to follow the same traffic laws as ordinary citizens, even when it comes to running a red light. Specifically, police officers will be forced to either challenge the traffic violation or pay the fine. The new rule replaces a prior policy that essentially exempted officers from paying traffic violations. Here, they would receive an oral reprimand after the third offense, followed by a written reprimand on the fourth offense.
One of the realities of living in a city the size of New York is that you are bound to encounter a television or film crew shooting scenes on a public street sooner or later. Sometimes this can prove to be a real thrill and provide a much-appreciated look at life behind-the-scenes. Other times it can prove to be a real nightmare, tying up traffic and temporarily eliminating entire blocks of valuable parking spots.
Clemson University head football coach Dabo Swinney is a popular figure in his state -- so popular, in fact, that a recently fired police officer believes he was terminated for issuing him a speeding ticket. The ticket was issued early last month after the coach was clocked driving 63 miles-per-hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone in Pickens, South Carolina, a town just 20 miles from Clemson's campus. Swinney -- who was pulled over in the parking lot of a grocery store where he was scheduled to perform his radio show -- ended up signing autographs for fans who saw him waiting outside his truck for the speeding ticket.
Of all the traffic violations that you could be issued here in New York City -- speeding, red light summonses, failure to yield, etc. -- none are perhaps as frustrating as parking tickets. When you see that colored envelope tucked beneath the windshield wiper of your car, your first reaction is probably to utter an otherwise unprintable sequence of words and crumple the ticket in anger.
It's bad enough to get one speeding ticket. Getting two speeding tickets at the same time is much worse -- and not something that anyone expects to happen. It did happen recently, though, to a retired couple driving on a Georgia road. The driver informed a local news station that she was astonished when a patrol car pulled her over, as she hasn't gotten a speeding ticket in 30 years. However, by the time she pulled over to the side of the road, there were two police cars behind her.
Is it possible to be two places at once? According to the rules of science -- and the rules of common sense -- the answer to that question is, of course, no. However, it appears that the New York Police Department may think otherwise as it somehow managed to issue a traffic violation to a college student who was behind bars at the same time he allegedly ran a red light.
Everyone in New York knows the heart dropping feeling they get when they see the dreaded parking ticket on their car. And no one needs reminding of how vicious the enforcement is if you don't pay them either.
In this blog, we've often discussed tickets issued for various traffic violations, but this post is all about parking tickets. In fact, commercial truck drivers who drive in or through New York City should be aware that police are now cracking down on 18-wheelers parked on the streets in the Bronx. Recently, police in the Bronx's 45th Precinct slapped 14 parking tickets on commercial trucks in one night, with exceptionally high fines -- reportedly as high as $515. It was a deliberate attempt to send a message to commercial truck drivers that on-street parking will no longer be tolerated.
As we've seen earlier in this blog, drivers in New York City are often affected by even the most basic changes in vehicle traffic laws. Another change, currently underway, which will subtly alter the city streetscape, does not deal with vehicles but rather with street signs. The Federal Highway Administration has ordered that street signs across the country be printed in a combination of upper and lower case letters, with only the first letter of each word capitalized. New York City's signs have traditionally been printed in all upper case letters.
Those who must navigate the busy streets of New York in cars or trucks frequently seem to have two primary complaints: traffic violations and the speed of traffic. Interestingly, the New York City Department of Transportation recently released a report that could shed some light on this latter point, particularly in regards to when traffic moves the fastest.