Few things in life are more unjust than being punished for something that is totally beyond one’s control, however that’s exactly what happened to me in the early morning hours of August 4th, 2007, while driving through the state of Georgia.
It was 5:30 a.m. I was driving my pickup truck & towing a trailer. Since it was still dark out, I was driving exactly 5 m.p.h. below the posted speed limit of 55. In spite of this, I didn’t see the stop sign until the last second. There was no flashing light to warn of the impending intersection, & the road I was on was coming to a "T", where I would have to turn left or right. Although I was able to slam on the brakes BEFORE I actually reached the stop sign, it was too late to stop in time, especially with the weight of the trailer pushing me. I skidded across the intersection, off of the other side & into a tree.
The truck was a total loss. Due to the trailer I was towing, even the rear end of the truck was wrecked. Fortunately, I didn’t hit anyone else, no property damage was done, & my passenger & I were both unharmed, as we were both wearing seat belts.
Help finally arrived in the form of the Georgia State Police & a tow-truck. The tow-truck driver proceeded to pull my truck out & load it up, informing me that it would cost me "ONLY" $100 to get it back!
Then, the cop decided he had to write me a citation for disregarding a stop sign! I was STUNNED! It was obvious to a blind fool that I had TRIED to stop! The skid marks started well BEFORE the stop sign & continued through the intersection. I explained to him that I had TRIED to stop, but my plea fell on deaf ears. He was already well aware of this anyway, as he had already measured the skid marks himself! All he could see was the chance to write another citation, apparently to add another mark to his tally for the month! The fact that I had already lost my truck, incurred $100 in wrecker expenses, & was now stranded in the state of Georgia, nearly 150 miles from home, apparently made no difference to this gung-ho cop. He had to punish me even further with a citation that ended up costing me $95 more! Talk about getting kicked when you’re down! Was it really necessary to punish me over something that I had absolutely no control over? Hadn’t I suffered enough?
Apparently, it is the policy of the G.S.P. to punish EVERYONE, every chance they get, regardless of circumstance. When the old slogan "To Protect & Serve" comes to mind, I wonder, who exactly are they "serving"? Obviously, the state, (more revenues) & themselves (more citations on their monthly quota).
Events like this, where cops victimize the innocent, are the very types of events that make normal, decent, law-abiding citizens HATE cops, & it makes me definitely want to stay away from Georgia, where the policy is apparently, "SCREW EVERYBODY TO PROTECT & SERVE"!
Joey Wallace