As you know, I have been on a 6 week tour including many of the South Western States of the U.S. Throughout I was impressed by the helpfulness, openness and, well, nobility of those whom I encountered. This was particularly true of Government Employees; Park Rangers, Police and Immigration Officers. This all changed in Cameron, Arizona.
As I trundled into this tiny desert town, I noticed the road had changed into a 2 lane. I also noticed a car parked on the hard shoulder with a man leaning against it holding a license plate. There was also an unmarked black saloon with a flashing light on the roof. There were no other vehicles in the vicinity. We were alone in the desert.
I slowed down to see if the guy needed help but there was clearly no emergency and I trundled on.
3 minutes later there is a siren and a firework display of lights behind me; I am being pulled over. The unmarked black car I had seen is a police car.
Officer C. Carter, badge number 10426, explains to me, after several attempts, as I really do not understand what he is talking about, that I have broken a regulation that if there is an emergency on a road involving, Police, Ambulance, Fire Service then motorists must move over into the outside lane. This is a regulation that no one I have talked to since the incident has ever heard of. He takes my license, insurance, registration back to the unmarked car. He returns some minutes later to inform me that he is serving me a traffic ticket, my second ticket in almost 50 years of driving. A few days later I learn I have to pay a $326 fine.
This incident upset me. Officer C Carter, badge number 10426, had set up a trap for unsuspecting motorists to lure them into breaking the law. His actions were premised on deceit and trickery. I would imagine that they had the sanction of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. There was absolutely no emergency in fact there was probably no-one within a mile of us.
Two of the core values of the Flagstaff Police Department, according to their website, are:
- We value integrity-we recognize integrity as the basis for mutual respect and trust.
- We value service-by providing exemplary service we enhance our credibility and establish trust with the community.
Do not go anywhere near Cameron, Arizona. Stay far away from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. They are completely lacking in integrity and appear to strive to destroy trust.
My offence was, according to the ticket, “Yield-Emergency Vehicle-lane Change Not Adjacent” Do you understand that?
Boo!! This is not the America I love.
The Flagstaff Police Department have pointed out that Officer C Carter does not work for them but for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Therefore references to the Flagstaff Police Department are incorrect.
Sounds the sort of situation where a having a video camera running in the car would be useful. Be good to see the court’s response to such evidence. Mind you, the Flagstaff Police would probably make sure that you never left their jurisdiction if they lost the case! They’d get a Presidential Commendation for taking out another criminal/rapist/terrorist/traffic violator coming from Mexico.
Boo indeed. Officer Carter could be a “petty tyrant”, or employed by a bizarre Police Chief, like the extraordinary Jones in the Channel 4 documentary “Teaching Teachers to Kill”
Jones was elected by 80% of his district’s voters apparently. Sometimes one wishes one was Clint Eastwood.