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My Traffic Stop (A Reflection)

I wish to take a look back at last night's traffic stop which occurred around 1115pm. I present this reflection with the goal of looking at it thoughtfully, to find if there are things that I could have done differently, as a freedom lover. Upvote or Downvote, it doesn't matter, this is more of a personal reflection, but I would appreciate all feedback if you would like to present it. It is a bit long, so I'm sorry if reading this only wastes your time, haha.

Lights flash. Time for the "routine". I pull over and shut off the vehicle, keys on the dashboard. The window gets rolled down, a little less than halfway, and I say "Good evening Officer". Officer "T", seeming a little taken-aback by the fact that I presented myself first, responds, "I'm doing fine tonight, thank you. Are you aware of the reason I am stopping you tonight?". I don't remember answering "Yes" or "No", but he presented the reasoning before my needing to do so anyways. I have a rear-running tail light that is out. Seemingly easy fix, but it is a common electrical issue in my make of vehicle, VW Jetta.

I say, "Yes officer I am aware. It is an electrical issue that I intend on taking care of when I am able to afford the time and money to get my timing belt fixed, which is soon." This seemed to be a reasonable answer to his question, as to how an out traffic light isn't a "criminal" offense. He says, "Completely understandable sir, thank you. Do you have your Driver's License, registration, and proof of insurance?".

At this point, I would like to state that Officer T was very courteous and seemingly understanding of my situation. What is further presented is not an attack on the Officer who carried out the stop. He seemed like a nice gentleman who was "just doing his job" and I won't hold that against him.

I scramble for the required documents in my glove-box and come to realize that my insurance card had been renewed only 15 days ago. I still have insurance, but I did not have the updated card in my vehicle. I give the officer, my license and registration and tell him about my insurance. No problem, so it seems, but he goes back to his vehicle to run my information.

(Now my thinking will come in. Sorry if this becomes an annoyance to the reader.)

Upon his return, he comes back with my documents and a clipboard. He asks If I was employed in the area or if I was unemployed. (At this question I was taken a little-aback. Looking back, my first response should have been, "What is the nature of your inquiry?" or "Are you conducting a criminal investigation?". I had not known the reason for his question at the time... I fumbled the ball)

I ended up answering questions that I probably shouldn't have. I answer "yes" to being employed, my employers status as a local company, and answered him when he had asked for my phone number.

Officer T, "Thank you. Now this is not a traffic violation or an admission of guilt. You DO have a scheduled court date, but should you present proof of insurance prior to that date, all charges will be dropped and no records will be established." He hands me the clipboard with the citation, and I look it over to read it. I ask, "So if I present proof, there will be no charges or fines imposed on me?". No. I look over it some more, thinking of my next move. (In retrospect, the wrong one in my opinion. Obviously it would have led to a completely different set of circumstances, though. I'm thinking those through as well...) I ask, "Do I have to sign this?". He responds, "You don't have to sign anything...". After a few more seconds of thought, I went ahead and signed the damn thing, and that is the end of my traffic stop.

Should I have signed it? I am very aware of the fact that my vehicle has a malfunction, and it is completely understandable to be stopped by POLICy Enforcers over it. That's not even why the citation was written. The reason for that was my expired Insurance card. It's only been expired for a couple of weeks, and it's not necessarily something that an everyday citizen thinks about on the daily. I could have maybe pulled up the updated information on my cellphone... He could love looked with his eyes, and not his hands ;-) (too bad I didn't think of that at the time...). It seems a little aggressive to schedule a court date for something like this. Albeit, the loopholes provided do make this go away really easily.

I feel like I should have NOT signed the citation. I certainly didn't agree with it (despite the pettiness).This action would have most likely led to the officer writing another citation for refusing to sign the other one, guaranteeing my taking this to court.

Hindsight, maybe I took the easy route by going along with the ticket. Hmmm, but was it the Principled route? I will certainly keep my guard up for future encounters with law enforcement, to not go along with their questioning so compliantly. Had I been the officer I would have just let me go, and not wasted a citizen's time after the notice for the tail light.

Maybe it wasn't necessary to write all this down, but I did pick up some experience for future encounters. Lol, and sorry if you are reading this and are thinking to yourself, "I wasted my time reading all that!". I need the writing experience :)

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Darn, I didn't know anything about the UCC thingie

Found this page after doing a quick search on the UCC subject. It's written for dummies like myself to grasp an understanding.

The UCC Connection:

Hopefully someone familiar with LAW stuff can respond and tell me if the material written on the link is correct.

No one even questions

the authority of police to "pull you over." Is that not an act to deprive you of liberty without due process of law? Being pulled over is being detained.

I read a post about a month ago here on the DP about John Locke's definition of tyranny that resonated with me.

That when the powers of government use their powers to harass, impoverish, and subdue the citizens of that government in an arbitrary and irregular manor, that is in fact tyranny.

Unless you intended to stop on the side of the road for a breather from driving isn't the act of stopping you harassment, making you do things you did not intend to do?

Writing a citation that compels behavior and has penalties and fees attached with no regard to your finances, whether you could pay such penalties and fees at all, isn't that an act to impoverish?

What would happen had you not pulled over and stopped your vehicle on the side of the road? Well I have seen accounts of this happening and the police have rammed their vehicle off the road and in some cases killed its occupants, isn't this an act to subdue?

But is this all in an arbitrary and irregular manor?

Where did they, the government officials, come up with these fine and penalty amounts, are they not completely arbitrary?

Did the police officer stop every vehicle on that highway including you or did the police officer just stop you? If just you well isn't that irregular?

In my opinion the whole act of pulling people over and issuing citations is the act of tyranny, where police officers are tyrants.

I know I get a little scared when the lights flash in my rear view, and I know why.

"When the people fear its government their is tyranny, when the government fears its people there is liberty." -Thomas Jeffereson

Reservation of Rights are no longer codified under UCC 1-207

Be very careful using the Uniform Commercial Code in a any action or defense. If you do use the code, in the end U'l See See.

By the way, every state has a Public Law identifying "Lamp Requirements" In Ohio, Arizona and a few other states, an "Operator" is only required to have ONE Stop Lamp.

The actual requirements to "Maintain" your lamps will not be found in the statute or the Officer Hand Book. You must research the Statutes Annotated to get the historical Public Law. In that law you will find the exact wording of what is "Required".

The laws governing the maintenance of "Lamps" can be confusing because there are so many different types of lamps, i.e. tail lamp, stop lamp, marker lamp, head lamp, signal lamp, license plate lamp, etc....

Your state may only require ONE lamp, therefore the Officer had no "Reasonable Articulated Suspicion" that an infraction occurred. No reasonable Suspicion mean no "Probable Cause" and no basis for the stop and detainment of your person.

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

I just say ...

Am I required to answer your questions ? ... thats it.

Patriot News
Stand up For your Civil Rights

ytc's picture

Thanks for taking the trouble to write up & sharing it with us!

When I'm stopped for innocuous routine citation & whatnot by patrol officers, the hardest natural urge I have to fight against is my desire to "be engaged in a pleasant conversation" ;-) I really have to learn to just give the shortest crisp, but courteous, answers and move on.

You're Welcome!

Thank you for taking the time to read! I'm generally a laid back and nice guy. I too, find it difficult to just keep my mouth shut sometimes, lol.

My Political Awakening: I Wanted to Change the World...
I am NOT Anti-America. America is Anti-Me - Lowkey
How to Handle POLICE STATE Encounters


I'm friendly and chatty and since I have lived in this area all my life there are always degrees of connection to be pondered lol I need to learn to just shut my trap... hidden in this post is a question: I have a friend who's nephew is a sheriff deputy who my friend has very good reason to be extremely antagonistic towards. This deputy has more knowledge of their personal possessions than they are comfortable with. Where could they find information re: how to deal with this person who they have every reason would rat them out should it come to that. and the regular post continues after that =)

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

ytc's picture

LOL ;-))

Really funny. Will make a good I Love Lucy scene, garnet!


story of my life.. I mean their life =P ;)

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

IMHO you did a fairly good job

My research indicates that the primary objective when stopped by an armed man wearing a costume is to end the encounter as peacefully as possible. Accept whatever bills of attainer the armed man chooses to give you. Sign the bills putting UCC 1-207 UD "without prejudice" above or beside your signature. If the armed man asks why you put those things with your signature...tell him that its a way for you to be sure that it was actually YOU that signed your signature.

Great feedback

UCC 1-207 UD was not something I was aware of. Thank you for providing :)

My Political Awakening: I Wanted to Change the World...
I am NOT Anti-America. America is Anti-Me - Lowkey
How to Handle POLICE STATE Encounters