Friday, June 19, 2009

Grey Ford, 900 8273 = Hot Dog

Thursday morning I was driving into Crystal Lake on U.S. 14, and I noticed a grey Ford sedan (Illinois front license plate 900 8273) coming up fast behind me between Doty Road and Lily Pond Road. It was quickly clear that he was going to "make his point" about my 50MPH speed (in the 50 zone) by closing the distance between his car and mine very quickly and coming up very close behind me.

I tend to drive right on the speed limit and use Cruise Control to maintain my speed. As we approached North Ridgefield Road, he swung out to pass and flew by me right through the intersection, hitting an estimated 70MPH as he went around.

So, where are the deputies? Do they ever monitor locations where drivers frequently violate traffic laws? Does the Sheriff's Department still have the motorcycles? Do they use them for anything besides parades?

That driver quickly caught up to the next car "poking" along at about 50MPH, and then he passed it just east of the law office at 8600 U.S. Hwy. 14, right in the middle of a no-passing zone.

I got a good look at the driver, as he went around me. Maybe it's about time to start going to court again. In this case, since I didn't call to have an arrest made while the driver was still in sight, I'd have to talk a deputy into taking a complaint from me and issuing a ticket to the driver, once he was identified by me. I'd probably have to view a photo line-up and go to court 1-2-3 times, so it just isn't worth it for two no-passing violations.

In the past I've run into resistance from some deputies (and none from others) about issuing tickets when they have been able to stop the driver. Usually, it takes a call to the next jurisdiction to get the driver stopped and detain him (or her) until a deputy can arrive.

I remember one night when a speeder in a pick-up passed me between Huntley and Woodstock in a no-passing zone. Woodstock Police stopped him and held him until a deputy arrived. The deputy talked to the other driver first, then talked to me and told me that the other driver said he hadn't passed me and she wasn't going to give him a ticket. Well, duh, what did she expect him to say? I insisted she ticket him, and she refused and allowed the other driver to leave.

After the deputy left, the Woodstock cop said to me, "She should have just given him the ticket. She has no idea how much grief you are going to cause her."

It turned out not to be that much, because the Sheriff backed her up. Unfortunately, that made the deputy not only the cop, but also the judge. What she should have done was, write the ticket and let the traffic court judge decide. At that time I was batting 100% in McHenry County Traffic Court on cases where I had complained about other drivers' violations.

The next time you see a serious traffic violation, consider calling the police or the sheriff's department, depending on where the violation occurred. If you are willing to go to court, say so. What you may run into is that the dispatcher will tell you that you have to talk to an officer first. This is a dumb requirement, if you are reporting a serious traffic violation, because the violator will be long gone.

The cop needs to get the violator stopped on your telephone complaint, if he can spot him, and then wait for you to arrive and stop a safe distance behind the patrol car. Stay in your car until the officer approaches. Dispatchers should be trained to ask callers, if they want to make a complaint and will stop and talk to the officer, if he can get the violator stopped.

If you just want to report the violator and hope the dispatcher will broadcast the complaint and that a local cop will spot a violation himself, do that.


Anonymous said...

Here you go again... this is what I mean about you pi$$ing me off regarding these stupid traffic issues you complain about. Why don't you just apply to get your badge back and pull these creetins over yourself? If Nygren can keep the doughboy deputies on staff despite their physical condition, I'm sure he would't have a problem bringing a Senior Citizen on board. That way, you really could make a diff...

Gus said...

Hey, that's a really great idea. I'd even be willing to buy my own lightbar for the top of the bug, maybe one of those neat low-profile ones. Next time you'll chatting up Keith, will you drop the hint? He has my number.

Unknown said...

hey Gus, I would suggest that anyone who has as many road rage incidents as you should probably stay off the road and quit driving. I get a kick out of your comment about where are the deputies.Are they supposed to be everywhere you are having a traffic altercation. If that were the case,another 20 deputies would need to be hired. You should think about taking some of your constant criticism of police, especially the County and try to write about all the good things they do!!!!

Gus said...

joe, road rage? altercations? huh?

Just because I happen to obey traffic laws and object to those who don't, doesn't mean I should quit driving. Maybe if everyone complained about reckless drivers, the County would make better use of the funds collected for a Traffic unit and the police-equipped motorcycles.

A number of years ago I complained endlessly about shoulder violations on southbound Route 47 at Ballard Road during morning and afternoon rush-hour, where left-turning drivers stopped to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic. In 3-4 years of commuting I NEVER once saw a deputy there to write tickets.

Typically, sheriff's departments do not spend a lot of time on traffic. If ours is not going to enforce traffic laws, all they need to do so say so.

We are starting to get some State Police attention in McHenry County; unfortunately, they waste their manpower writing seatbelt tickets, instead of catching the truly reckless and dangerous drivers.

Unknown said...

Thats what I mean, never anything good to say about the police. You sure can find fault but very short on compliments to the vast, vast majority of good cops doing a good job. Now in your humble opinion seat belt tickets should not be written. Pretty sure the wearing of seat belts saves countless lives. Oh yea, lets not confuse things with the facts. Jeesh

Gus said...

Any compliments I issue are genuine, and I am prompt about making them. And I make them to the people who should hear them. If it was good service to me personally, I thank the person AND I let the supervisor or manager know.

For example, the Woodstock police nabbed a window-peeper last fall. The cops were in the next block when they got the car, and they ran on foot right through the back yards and caught the guy. Had they gotten in their cars to drive the one block, they might have missed him. And I did praise them for that.

Now, it's just my personal opinion that the seatbelt law should not be a Primary Enforcement law. I don't start my car without fastening the seatbelt, but I believe it should be a law.

It's stupid to drive without a seatbelt fastened. Do they save lives? Yes. Even mine, which a seatbelt did when I was about 18 - long before seatbelts were standard in cars.

Anonymous said...

You do not deserve a lightbar, not even the low-profile ones. I can only see someone with your stature having a small, round magnetic red globe to stick on top your Bug's roof.

Unknown said...

Gus said...
joe, road rage? altercations? huh?

Just because I happen to obey traffic laws and object to those who don't, doesn't mean I should quit driving.

Unless it is a headlight out, huh Gus? That law you don't like so it should not apply to you?