Last Monday I was headed home after a long day of work. As I was traveling down East Parker (Highway 341 East), I was in the left lane, passing a slower moving vehicle in the right, when a car approached the back of my vehicle at a high rate of speed. I sped up a little to go ahead and pass the car in the right lane and put my turn signal on to let the fast-approaching car know I was trying to get over and out of its way. Keep in mind, I was in a 45mph zone in the city of Baxley.
After I moved into the right lane, the car behind me accelerated even more and flew around me. I would estimate the vehicle was probably running 65 – 75mph in the 45mph. As I looked out my driver’s side window, I was amazed to learn that it was a local law enforcement vehicle that was tailgating me and traveling at such a high rate of speed without any type of emergency lights or sirens activated.
Had the officer been in an emergency situation, with his lights and sirens on, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. However, the officer never initiated his emergency devices and accelerated even more traveling down Highway 341 East. Therefore, the question begs, was the officer breaking the law?
Tuesday morning, I was taking some cardboard outside the newspaper office at the back of the building, where we have a recycling container. As I was walking back to the door of the building, I heard a vehicle traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, heading east on Parker Street. Keep in mind the area I am referring to is a 35mph zone. As the vehicle cleared the buildings in the way, I realized it was a state law vehicle with no emergency sirens and no emergency lights. I personally believe the taxpayer funded vehicle was traveling well over 75mph right here in the middle of town, and certainly endangering other drivers. Again, was the officer breaking the law?
Years back, Amy and I were at a lake enjoying an afternoon with a few friends. I was pulling some friends on a tube when a Department of Natural Resources officer stopped me, and informed me, I had pulled in front of another boat. I told the officer I had not pulled in front of another boat, as I was watching the tubers and never even saw another boat. He continued to claim I did. It wasn’t 15 minutes later we were back out in the boat and guess what happened? The DNR boat pulled right out in front of our boat. Did the officer stop and apologize for his reckless error? Absolutely not. I’ve often wondered if the officer issued a citation on himself.
During the last primary election and my attempt at politics, I got to witness the underbelly of politics. There were a number of lies told about me, and in general, and one that, quite frankly, made me furious. The claim was made by an opponent, or a friend of his, that I don’t support law enforcement. That was and is a bold face lie.
I fully support good law enforcement and even have family members in law enforcement. I admire law enforcement men and women for putting their lives on the line for us daily.
However, does that mean I should support bad law enforcement? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that question, and I don’t.
I believe most of us can admit that we have broken the law at some point, right? Even one mile per hour over the posted legal limit would be breaking the law. My mother, Helen, claimed that I had a lead foot, and she was right. I have received many speeding citations over the years for breaking the speed limit and paid my fines. I deserved it…I was breaking the law.
But who holds the law accountable to the law? Should they be held to at least the same standards as citizens? I believe they should.
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