It looks like Republicans are not the only ones who can write silly legislation in Oklahoma.
Recently, popular Democratic State Sen. Al McAffrey introduced SB1872 that, if passed, would make it easier (and safer) for cops to issue speeding tickets and other citations. Basically, it would let cops write you a ticket without having to approach your car and hear about how you were running late to work and thought you were going the flow of traffic.
The bill has been endorsed by several law enforcement officials and 2 Chainz’ bus driver.
From Insurance Journal:
An Oklahoma state senator has filed a bill to allow law enforcement officers to issue electronic citations for traffic, misdemeanor and municipal ordinance violations.
A former police officer, Sen. Al McAffrey, said Senate Bill 1872 would protect law enforcement personnel during traffic stops.
“Allowing officers to issue electronic citations will help better protect them. If they don’t have to approach vehicles during traffic stops to give people tickets but can simply email traffic violation citations directly to the district court clerk then they’re less likely to get into a dangerous altercation,” said McAffrey, D-Oklahoma City.
The measure would add a $5 fee to the amount paid by defendants convicted of speeding (up to 10 mph over the speed limit), certain misdemeanor traffic violations, or a driving under the influence misdemeanor or felony
So not only does McAffrey want to make it easier for policemen to give tickets, but he wants to raise the price of them, too. He must really hate his job and want to be voted out of office.
How exactly will all this work:
A “Court Clerk’s Records Electronic Citation Fund” would be created in each county.
Sixty percent of the fee, or $3, would be credited to the fund and forty percent would be disbursed to the agency of the arresting law enforcement officer to help with the expenses related to the establishment and maintenance of electronic citations.
The District Court Clerk in each county would collect the fees and distribute them in the fund.
“Routine traffic stops are one of the most dangerous times for officers to become injured because they don’t know what kind of situation or individual they’re approaching. They’re walking up blind,” said McAffrey. “We need to provide better protection for them by not putting them in harm’s way unnecessarily. By allowing them to submit electronic citations, they’d no longer have to leave the safety of their car.”
When they’re not pulling me over for floating that weird three-way stop in my neighborhood and sending people to jail on minor drug arrests, I appreciate the work of law enforcement officials. It’s a dangerous job with a lot of risks and one I could never do while sober. I’m all for making their job as safe as possible.
That being said, I’m not buying this at all. It sounds like they should name this law the “Help Policeman Easily Achieve Their Ticket Quota Public Safety Act.”
For one, isn’t approaching a vehicle part of being a policeman? I know it’s dangerous, but it’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s how they catch drunk drivers, drug dealers and criminals with outstanding warrants. By not approaching these people and simply mailing them a speeding ticket or whatever instead, they’re keeping them on the streets as opposed to sending them to jail. How exactly does that benefit public safety?
Also, how the hell will girls get out of tickets if a cop won’t approach the car? Will they be forced to send animated GIFs of tears rolling down their face to a special email account? As a pleasant, law-abiding citizen, I actually want to talk to police officer if I get pulled over. Not only will the cop tell me what I did wrong, but it gives me a chance to talk my way out of ticket. If you treat the officer with respect, apologize, admit your guilt, and stutter a whole bunch, they’ll usually let you off with a warning.
There are some other issues, too. If this passes, COPS will never film in Oklahoma City again. That would be a bummer. Plus, it would ruin any chances of a Saving Grace coming back to Oklahoma City as hardened patrol cop. Actually, that would be a positive.
Anyway, we’ll keep you updated on this bill and its progress. Considering our Republican controlled legislature won’t even ban texting and driving, I’m sure they’ll squash this one. Then again, this the Oklahoma Republican-controlled legislature. Anything is possible.
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