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      11-07-2019, 10:41 AM   #218
Lieutenant Colonel
dogbone's Avatar

Drives: '09 E90 M3 - IB
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: 93 million miles from the Sun

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In my 20 years of living in Los Angeles, I wish I had encountered more reasonable police officers like you. The ones I have came across were just downright mean to me. I have a 100% clean record---no speeding tickets in 20 years. My paperwork is in order. No outstanding/unpaid issues. I am polite. I answer all their questions. I don't give them any attitude. For goodness sake, for many years, I used to work on the tv show America's Most Wanted. I used to record John Walsh's voice-overs every week and mix the show. You'd think I would have a little good karma from that......nope.

I have a long-running build thread for my E90 M3 track car in the E90 track sub-forum, and in June 2018, I complained of an encounter I had in May 2017 that ended up with a point on my license.

I didn't even know I had a point on my license until I was talking to my insurance. It took a year for the point to even show up. We were moving out of CA, so I was dealing with insurance logistics. While sorting out all the details, the prices seemed high, and I asked why, and that's when I was told I had a point on my license......At first, the insurance people couldn't even figure out what had caused it. The whole thing was so sneaky!

In May 2017, a cop pulled me over while I was towing my enclosed trailer with my track car from storage to my house. (I was preparing for a track day the next day.) I was sitting at a light in LA @ Sepulveda and Venice. The cop was sitting in a parking lot set back from the street while I was sitting at the light. Once I turn onto Venice Blvd, he lights me up and pulls me over. He walks up to my hitch setup and stares at it for like 2 minutes---literally 2 minutes. I have an Equalizer-brand weight-distribution hitch with sway control which is more complicated than just a ball hitch. (I've tried to build a safe trailer rig----air springs on the truck so it doesn't sag, a weight distribution hitch, sway control, a camera on the back of the trailer, regular axle maintenance, reflective tape even though my rig isn't long enough to require it, I always check the tire pressures......this is not a garbage unsafe setup.) After a couple minutes, he starts taking pictures of my hitch.

Finally, he comes up to me and says (this is word for word the exact conversation), "Are you the owner of this truck?" Yes. "Who owns the trailer?" Me. "What are you carrying?" An automobile. "Is it new or old?" It's a 2009. Would you like to see it? "No. I'm citing you because your emergency brake cable is not attached correctly." I'm sorry. How should it be attached? He explained how it should be and then asked for my license and registration.

At first, he tells me to stay in the vehicle. Then, he changes his mind and has me exit the vehicle and look at the hitch with him. Then he leaves me standing there and goes to his cruiser. While he was in his cruiser writing a ticket, I pulled out a carabiner from my truck and fixed it right there on the spot. When he came back with the ticket, I asked, "is that how it should look?" He got a sheepish look on his face and said, "yes, that's how it should be." He handed me the ticket and took off.

Now I know why he had that sheepish face----it turns out, he cited me with the nastiest possible version of the ticket he could. It was listed as a not-correctable offence, with points and no traffic school option....I'm sorry, but how is it not correctable when I fixed it right in front of him????

I don't have any experience with tickets. So, I hired a generic traffic ticket lawyer for the trial in Nov 2017. They told me to just let them handle it on my behalf. They accomplished nothing. (In fact, I think they hosed me worse.) The cop showed up at the trial and the judge simply sided with him, advised our side to plead no contest, and put the court fees on my head. So I paid everything. And I thought this dumb adventure was over in Nov 2017. No one advised me that points would still be coming my way months later.

So, now this point is on my license for three years and is going to cost me a couple thousand extra dollars in insurance fees.

And btw, there's NO WAY he could have seen how my brake cable was attached from where he sat in that parking lot. He was 40 feet away on the right side of my rig sitting in his SUV, and that very thin cable was attached on the left side. The Equalizer hitch is a big 60lbs chunk of metal. There's ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he could have seen how it was hooked up. He stopped me assuming he would find something that he didn't like. ummm do we not worry about probable cause now? I was just a trailer sitting at a light.....And did he really need to power slam me with such a nasty ticket? I was polite and succinct and gave him no attitude. Ok, my emergency brake cable wasn't attached properly.....You wanna give me a ticket? Fine. But does it have to be some super nasty non-correctable thing with points? Really?

And I have other stories of meter maids putting parking tickets on my car incorrectly because they check a different pay machine than the one I used, and the machines haven't updated each other on the network. They're still around, so I ask them why I got a ticket and show them on the pay machine I used that I still have plenty of time on the meter. Do they remove the ticket? Nope. They admit that they made a mistake and then tell me to go fight with the city about. Takes weeks of fighting the city to get the ticket voided.

My race car is still in CA, so I still find myself driving there. November 2018, my trailer developed a problem and I was stranded on the side of the 134 Freeway in Glendale for 3 hours. Many police cars drove by in those 3 hours. Did any police officer even bother to stop and check in to see if I was ok? Nope.

Should I start in on the jay-walking tickets in front of my mid-block apartment when I lived in Santa Monica?

I'm a law abiding citizen, raising a couple kids, volunteer in the community, coach kid sports, pay lots of taxes......I just don't understand why they gotta be so condescending.....blah.