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Old 04-03-2009, 11:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cookeville, TN
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My right front headlight went dead while I was on my way home one day. I had already bought new bulbs because I buy new ones every once in a while to avoid accidently getting slammed(my headlight beams are VERY close together and unless someone tells me I can't tell the difference).

I had come from autozone ten minutes previous. Cop Pulls me over and and demands my license, insurance registration and all the normal. Walks back to her cruiser. There is another cop standing by his cruiser not too far back and he hops in the car with her. A long time passes before she comes back.

Meanwhile I am sitting there with no clue why I have been pulled over and assume they are looking for someone matching my car. Another officer shows up and parks in front of me and steps out and just watches.

She comes back and asks if I knew why I had been pulled over, I replied no.

She said something along the lines of I was providing a moving traffic hazard because I only had one functioning headlight(I actually have 2 sets of full power headlights and one of the four total was out). I explained I had just been to autozone and had the lights. No dice. I switched it for them to prove that I meant to. still no dice. I was being nice because another officer had been very polite in a similar no reason stop a few days earlier. Gives me the ticket says I have to appear at the Courthouse the next day(its 9:00 P.M.) with a functioning headlight(she can see that its working right now.)

I went in and proved it worked(took a sick day off work) and got a court date because I refused to pay it. TN law is you just have to have 2 functioning lights of no specified brightness or color. the only limitation on lights is you cannot having FLASHING blue AND flashing red at the same time.

The judge made me sit a half hour after my timeslot while he sat there and did nothing. I appealed it and he said that the officers said I had been belligerent and weaving dangerously in traffic. Had to pay ticket, driving school 16 hour class, and court fees.

If I had ever acted like that to any client of any of my employers I would be fired instantly, no questions asked and no guarantee of getting all my recent pay. I have lived in that county and paid local fees for several years(their salary). IF there is a dual standard for people who hold a public office it ought to be they have to jump through more hoops not less.
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