Friday, March 03, 2006

Speeding Tickets, Fun Friday

This has been a big week for new visitors to this blog. The Santa Fe Reporters Article was followed by a post on Daily Kos Blog by Claude which resulted in many new visitors. Thanks Claude. Since its Friday I thought we would have some fun. Many times even now as the Sheriff I will pull over speeders or other traffic violators. I have often given out warning citations unless the person I pull over is really out of line on their driving or if they are abusive or rude in the way they deal with me at the time of the traffic stop. I first saw this video a few years ago and while I can empathize with the guy who was speeding I really was amazed at the patience of the trooper who pulled this guy over. It is a good training video but it is also one of the most hilarious traffic stops I have ever seen. Enjoy, have a good weekend and be sure and Vote if you live in the city on Tuesday!

If the video is jerky hit pause and wait a little while the video downloads.


Anonymous said...

Sheriff Solano, Do you realize you must be in a MARKED POLICE UNIT, and be in full uniform to enforce the motor vehicle code of the state of NM? I have seen you out there,on traffic stops unmarked and in civilian clothing and this is a violation of state law.hopefully you will Police yourself and adhere to state motor vehicle laws yourself before citing others.Do your Detectives make traffic stops? I didnt think so. Food for thought.

Sheriff Greg Solano said...

Thank you for your comment. I suppose you are referring to New Mexico State Statutes 66-8-124 and 66-7-6. I often wear a uniform however when I do not I keep a full uniform jacket which includes patches, insignia, and badge in the vehicle. I never leave the vehicle on a traffic stop without putting this on. It has been tried and tested in court to clearly indicate official status as described in Statute. The Statute does not require a certain uniform ie. shirt, pants etc. Only one that clearly identifies official status. I always use a vehicle that has lights, siren, and radio which may be hidden but when turned on are clearly visible to the public. As you can see in Section 66-8-6 no official markings are required and the Sheriff may designate what an emergency vehicle may be. When I first became Sheriff none of the unmarked units had lights and sirens. I had them all installed because if we see a drunk driver or an emergency situation even the detectives need to be able to respond. I dont recommend that detectives do traffic stops often however just as I do I want D.W.I.'s or violators who are driving so recklessly as to endanger others lives stopped. I only stop violators going over 100mph or those who could cause death or serious injury with thier driving. I have included complete copies of the statutes referenced below. I appreciate your comments and hope this answers your questions.

66-8-124. Arresting officer to be in uniform.

A. No person shall be arrested for violating the Motor Vehicle Code [66-1-1 NMSA 1978] or other law relating to motor vehicles punishable as a misdemeanor except by a commissioned, salaried peace officer who, at the time of arrest, is wearing a uniform clearly indicating his official status.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A of this section, a municipality may provide by ordinance that uniformed private security guards may be commissioned by the local police agency to issue parking citations for violations of clearly and properly marked fire zones and handicapped zones. Prior to the commissioning of any security guard the employer of the security guard shall agree in writing with the local police agency to said commissioning of the employer's security guard. The employer of any security guard commissioned under the provisions of this section shall be liable for the actions of that security guard in carrying out his duties pursuant to that commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Tort Claims Act [41-4-1 NMSA 1978], private security guards commissioned under this section shall not be deemed public employees under that act.

66-7-6. Authorized emergency vehicles.

A. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section subject to the conditions stated. The chief of the New Mexico state police or the appropriate local agency may designate emergency vehicles and revoke the designation. When vehicles are so designated, they are authorized emergency vehicles.

B. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

(1) park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code [Articles 1 to 8 of Chapter 66, except 66-7-102.1 NMSA 1978];

(2) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation;

(3) exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property; and

(4) disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

C. The exemptions granted to an authorized emergency vehicle apply only when the driver of the vehicle, while in motion, sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as reasonably necessary and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle.

D. This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons nor does it protect the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.