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Monday, May 2, 2016

Now and Again: Another kind of holiday lights

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I must say the holiday spirit is alive and well, and the evening before Thanksgiving was no exception. Members of various police agencies were in the spirit of handing out multiple tickets Wednesday evening. I am sure those weren't the sort of holiday lights the violators where looking for that evening.

I had to make a last minute trip to the grocery store for ingredients I needed, of course, you never have everything you need when you need it. I entrusted the pumpkin pies in the oven to my husband.

I decided to go to Fareway since it is only one block from my house. Normally, I would go up the hill and cruise down around past the Community Center and into the store parking lot. My mind was elsewhere and the car was on auto pilot and I ended up going downhill and onto 2nd Street and using the stop light to turn towards the store.

In that one short block I saw one highway patrolman. I remembered thinking, "Oh yeah, those guys are going to be out thick tonight." On the way home I took the road by the Community Center and made my way downhill on West Cherry to my house.

At the bottom of the hill the police had someone pulled over and issuing a ticket and another police officer was making his way uphill toward me. That means there were three officers in that one block stretch. Those of you who got tickets know what I am talking about.

My husband said he saw one lady, who had just gotten a ticket, driving up our street. You couldn't hear her, but there was not doubt she was saying more than a few choice words. I don't blame her, in my opinion the whole idea of handing out more than the usual amount of tickets just because it is the evening of a holiday is purely dumb.

Every year the favorite trap for police agencies is that vacant lot at the end of my block next to the Subway store. Even my husband received a ticket last year as he drove from his work south of town after 12 hours of hard construction type labor. He just wanted to get home and take a hot shower to warm up. Worse yet, the officer issued the ticket in our own driveway. He received a seat belt ticket, nothing else.

What irritates me the most is that if police don't monitor that area any other time why is the evening of a holiday any different. The flow of traffic wasn't any heavier than usual that I noticed. Drivers exceed the 25 mph speed limit in that area all the time. Why ruin a person's holiday? Don't get me wrong, I understand that holidays have more chance for accidents, but come on, we live in Cherokee not Omaha, Neb.

The people who got tickets were probably on their way home from work like any other day and, like any other day, they weren't driving any differently. Why haven't they gotten tickets any other time? Is there some sort of quota the police have to have on the evening of a holiday? If so why don't they have a quota any other day?

Here is what I propose for the last work day prior to Christmas eve. Every single person who drives on any part of 2nd Street through Cherokee, wear your seat belts, observe the speed limits to the letter, make sure all your turn signals and lights work, and have your license and proof of insurance on you.

Don't give the officers any excuse to pull you over, let's see them issue tickets that night. I think it would be funny for them to try and report to their superiors why they weren't able to hand out any tickets that evening. In fact, they would probably love to be able to report no tickets issued. What a Merry Christmas that would make for everybody.

Now when it comes to New Year's Eve, you are on you own. Be safe and have a great holiday season. For those of you got tickets last Wednesday evening, don't feel bad, we've been there, done that.