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Thursday, January 26, 2012

So what does proof of insurance mean to the police?

It seems to me that our view of the police officer changes as we grow older.  When we are young, they are our heroes.  We are taught to trust the police man and go to him if there is ever any trouble.  Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing to teach to children.  They need to know who is supposed to protect them in times of danger.  But as we get older, it seems like the police aren't there to protect us, but serve us with unsubstantiated traffic tickets.  I live in a big city and drive about 2 hours per day.  I see all kinds of crazy driving.  People speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, riding peoples bumpers, putting on make-up, reading the news paper, etc. etc.  Seeing those things is just something that we have to deal with and be on the defensive when we are behind the wheel.  But to see and avoid these things on a daily basis, and then get pulled over because of an inspection sticker is rediculous.  I recently had an out of date inspection sticker on my car (I'll take the blame for that).  But while pulling to the side of the road when the officer was pulling me over, I almost got hit twice by speeders.  I finally get to the side of the road and the officer tells me that he pulled me over for an expired inspection sticker.  He then proceeded to ask for my license and proof of insurance.  In the state that I live, the police real time information on your insurance at their fingertips and can tow your car if it is uninsured.  I hand the officer my information and he tells me that my insurance is expired.  I had renewed it earlier that week, I always keep my car insured to avoid the stipud harrassment that goes along with not having it in this state.  I told the officer that I had just renewed and that I forgot to print out the new card form my e-mail.  I then offered to show the officer my proof of insurance through my e-mail confirmation from my insurance company.  He dinied me this right.  He said that is has to be printed out.  WHAT?  ARE YOU SERIOUS?  I get a ticket if an e-mail is not printed out, but the actual e-mail is not valid?  What a joke.  I know that the police would have you belive that they don't have ticket quotas, but this could be nothing further from the truth.  My neighborhood hires police that are off duty to monitor the neighborhood.  These officers patrol the neighborhood and sit in culdesacs for hours on end loooking for sticker tickets (expired registration, expired inspections).  Since I moved to this neighborhood, I have seen multiple after school fights and one appearant gang fight.  Police didn't how up to any of those scenes until hours after the incident, even though there was an officer in the neighborhood.  I have heard numerous stories from people in my neighborhood that have been pulled over, ticketed or just harrassed by these officers.  It's really sad the see this bitter taste in the neighborhood and city towards our local police force.  The funny thing is that when I was at the courts, taking care of this unsubstantiated ticket, I asked them about the proof of insurance policy.  The stories that i heard from the court clerks shocked me.  I'm not going to share all of those stories, there are too many of them.  All I know is that even the clerks and judges at the courthouses are upset with the police in this town.  They are making their jobs harder and overcrowding the courts.  But I guess in this day of Corporate America, cities are now not a place to live, but a business.  It's all about money revenue.  If you break down on the highway here, they are watching you.  If you don't get your car removed within 30 minutes, a tow truck will come to you.  This is not any tow truck that you can call, but a city authorized tow truck to remove the car from the side of the road.  These are the only tow trucks that can work the highways in this city.  They will offer to tow your car to the nearest gas station for $50.00, or they will tow it to the impound yard, where the prices go up dramatically.  All in an attempt to generate revenue.  I guess in this day and age, we can't escape the need for money and greed, since this country is founded on it.  Now, we just have to hang on for the ride and hope that our lives don't get in the way of the city making money.  Oh, I wish I could live in a time before economy.  We could all work together for one goal and live a happy life.  No economic walls keeping us from talking to people in other economic demographics.  No one person working for profit.  All of us working for each other to make a happy world.  Is it just me or does that sound too simple?

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