Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG.com
- February 26, 2006
___Although the following article is not exactly what CleanMPG’s mission is about, I felt it might be helpful for the newer drivers amongst us …
___I recently read of a hybrid driver being pulled over by the California Highway Patrol for not having the HOV lane stickers even though he did. I recently heard from a friend who panicked and attempted to evade police in his early driving days. Not only did it cost him a fortune, he totaled his car in the accident afterwards. I have friends that are EMS personnel and have seen members of their own district hit and killed by a driver evading police. There are many horrific accidents caused around the country by someone who simply panicked when being hailed to pull over by a State Trooper. Who hasn’t been pulled over or even driven past a state trooper at one point or another and felt a sense of dread let alone panic when the officers lights are lit up ... With that, I visited a Wisconsin State Patrol office a few miles to the north of me and picked up a brochure I thought was well written as to what to expect.
Wisconsin State Patrol
Guidelines for motorists who are pulled stopped by the State Patrol.
Your Rights & Responsibilities
State patrol officers are highly skilled professionals who are trained to treat all motorists with respect and courtesy even under difficult and dangerous conditions.
Please remember that if you are cooperative and calm, a traffic stop will be less stressful and time consuming for you. Hare are some frequently asked questions about traffic stop procedures.
: Why do officers shine their lights into a car when stopping someone at night?
: As a safety precaution at night, officers need to see what is inside the car.
: Why do officers sit in their car so long?
: Using advanced communications technology, officers check your driving status and vehicle registration directly form their patrol cars. However, there may be some delays in transmission. Officers also must complete information regarding the traffic stop, which takes time. Please be patient.
: Why do other officers show up if I’ve been stopped only for a traffic violation?
: Officers may back each other up (even when they are not requested) as an added safety procedure and as a courtesy to fellow officers.
: Are officers required by law to show me the reading on a radar or laser device?
: No. In many cases, the officer does not lock in the radar or laser reading when identifying the vehicle and tracking its speed.
: Why are most State Patrol cars outfitted with video cameras?
: Video cameras are a great tool to accurately and impartially record what happens during traffic stops and other enforcement events including the actions of the officers.
: Do State Patrol officers have a quota for issuing citations?
: State Patrol officers absolutely do not have a quota for issuing citations. Furthermore, the State Patrol does not receive revenue from traffic citations. Most of the revenue generated by traffic goes to the county where the citation was issued and the states common school fund. Other citation assessments and fees help finance various state and country court and legal functions.
: I received a traffic citation and wish to contest it. What should I do?
: You should follow the instructions listed on the citation. The State Patrol cannot reduce the forfeiture amount, lower the demerit, or dismiss the citation once it is issued.
Law Enforcement Profiling
“Profiling” by law enforcement officers means stopping motorists based on their race, color, or ethnicity instead of any observed violation of the law. The Wisconsin State Patrol does not tolerate racial profiling. It is against the law.
Through effective selection, education and training of its officers, the State Patrol has earned the trust of the citizens we serve regardless of their race, color, or ethnicity. To maintain our high standards of fairness and professionalism, the State Patrol is vigilant in preventing any form of racial profiling.
If you sincerely believe that you have been treated unfairly by a State Patrol officer because of your race, color, or ethnicity:
Please remember that if you make a false report, you may be charged with a crime. (s.946.66(2), Wisconsin Statutes.
- You may contact the State Patrol district office listed on the back of this pamphlet. Please contact the district office as soon as possible after the stop.
- You should retain any documents you have been issued and give a detailed statement of your concerns to the district office.
The goal of the State Patrol is to improve highway safety through education, voluntary compliance, and enforcement.
Get to your destination safely …
- Make sure all occupants are buckled up at all times. Children under the age of 4 must be in a child seat.
- Don’t drink and drive More then 40% of all fatal crashes are alcohol related. If you drink, use a designated driver.
- Obey posted speed limits. Speeding tickets are expensive and may increase your insurance rates.
- If you see a law enforcement or emergency services vehicle on the shoulder with its lights flashing, move over a lane on a multiple-lane road (if you can safely do so) or slow down to provide a “Safe Zone” that protects the officer or emergency services worker. On a 2-lane road, slow down to provide a “safe zone”.
- Minimize distractions when you’re behind the wheel. Cellular phones and other devices make it hard to concentrate on driving.
To promote highway and public safety and to enhance the quality of life for all Wisconsin citizens and visitors by providing and supporting professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement services.
People serving people with dignity and respect … enhancing a quality highway safety environment.
The Wisconsin State Patrol is a division of the department of transportation.
Trooper Deborah M. McMenamin
Trooper McMenamin was killed October 26, 1989 when she was struck by a passing motorist while talking to a motorist she had stopped for a traffic violation. She had talked with the driver and was returning to her squad car when she was hit. Despite the efforts of several officers and nurses who were at the scene, Trooper McMenamin did not survive. She attended the State Patrol Academy in 1985 and started as a trooper in the Waukesha District. She later transferred to the Tomah area and then to the Eau Claire area. Trooper McMenamin was 31 years old at the time of her death. She was married (her husband is an Executive Officer in State Patrol) and had a son from a previous marriage.
Trooper William Schoenberger
Trooper Schoenberger died April 22, 1993 from head injuries sustained on April 17, 1993 when his squad car was struck from behind by a semi-tractor trailer. Trooper Schoenberger was on the scene of a car fire at the time and had positioned his car in the traffic lane to protect fire department personnel. Trooper Schoenberger joined the Wisconsin State Patrol in 1984, and spent all of his 8-1/2 years in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls area. At the time of his death, he was 31 years old and was married with one daughter.
___God Speed to those officers who have lost their lives during the performance of their duties …