My first ticket in the Stang

So I got my first ticket in the Stang, but I was not alone. Here is what happened:

On Sunday May 16, 1999 A group of us that met on the Mustangworld Messageboard decided to take a drive down Skyline Boulevard and get some lunch and check out eachothers rides. There were 6 of us in all that met at Skyline & 92 in the San Mateo, CA area.

We left the parking lot heading south around 11:30 or so. We passed a few places where the California Highway Patrol was hanging out with radar guns so we knew we had to be careful. As we were coming over a hill there were motorcycles waving at us to watch our speed and another group of 3 Mustangs flashed their lights at us as we neared the top of the hill. I was the third car in the lineup the order went as follows:
Silver 98GT (the one that got away)
Black 99 Cobra (Bay Area Bustee #1)
Purple 96GT (Me & Bay area Bustee #2)
Black 99 Cobra (Bay Area Bustee #3)
Black 98 GT drop top (Bay Area Bustee #4)
White 97 Cobra (Bay Area Bustee #5)
As I came over the hill I saw the lead car all the way at the bottom of the hill and a CHP officer with his back to the rest of us in the opposite lane of traffic waving at the lead car to pull over. The lead car hit the afterburners and took off. The rest of us casually (50 mph the posted limit) drove by the officer as he walked back to his bike.

About 5 miles or so later we pulled into a rest area to discuss where we would go for lunch since the guy leading us to our original destination was long gone. We had barely gotten out of our cars when the officer pulled in behind us with a camera crew in tote and demanded to know who the guy that took off was. None of us knew anything more than his screen name on the Internet, so we could not give the officer the info he wanted (not that we would have anyway). Because we were "bullshiting" the officer (his foul mouth not mine) he decided to write us up since we were with the guy that got away. The officer admitted that he did not get a radar clock on us, but since we were with the other guy he was going to write us up anyway. He clocked the lead car at 77 mph but only wrote us up for 65 (what a nice guy). He also wrote that he got us on radar on the ticket but refused to show us the radar clock he had on us (because it did not exist).

To top it off the jackass camera man from the news would not tell me what station he was from. Because he was being a dick to me I decided to return the favor. I told him to get his camera off of me and that he did not have permission to show me or my car on the news, newspapers or any magazine. Needless to say he did not listen to me. That night on the 6 o'clock news there we were in a story about a locally supported speed trap on KPIX news. According to KPIX "5 members of a local Bay Area Mustang speed club were clocked and cited for driving at 77 mph in a 50 mph zone.

WHY DO I HATE KPIX?
I have ordered a copy of the news story 3 times from KPIX and still have not received it. But my credit card has not been charged yet either...

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Points to consider:

  • There is no evidence.
  • The officer has no radar clock on us but wrote that he had us on radar on the citation
  • Wrote Radar on the ticket but used visual estimation of speed in court and had his back to us as we crested the hill
    • The officer was standing in the opposing lane of traffic with his back to us attempting to stop a fleeing motorist
    • Officer admitted that a motorist fled from him as he tried to stop the car at the base of the hill
    • The officer had a film crew from a local news station in tote
  • Several miles down the road we had already stopped and were approached by the officer and threatened with a citation if we did not offer the name of the fleeing motorist We did not know it
  • Officer never attempted to stop any of the other 5 cars over at the scene even as we drove past him well below the posted speed limit
    • He admitted this in court and stated that was why we were not cited for evading a traffic stop
    • threatened with a citation if we did not offer the name of the fleeing motorist We did not know it
  • We were wrongfully cited for speeding.
  • A second officer was called to help in the citation.
    • In court that officer stated that he came from a location a few miles the other side of the St. Thomas Winery
    • We had passed that point moments before the alleged speeding stop took place and he did not notice us go past probably because we were not speeding
    • He assisted in writing citations and testified in court that he witnessed none of the violations we were cited for, and that all observations were those of the "arresting officer"
  • We were not speeding

Plain and simple, the officers wrote Radar on each and every citation and there is no proof that a Radar clock took place. On top of that the officer threatened each of us with a citation if we did not tell him what the name or location of the driver that fled from him was. Perhaps he was embarrassed that he was unable to get the guilty motorist and decided to get 5 others instead. 5 motorists stopped sure sounds better than one on the evening news. Yet there was not a single piece of film that showed any car speeding shown on the news, just images of us getting citations along with a narrative that went something like "5 members of a local Mustang speed club were cited for speeding on skyline today". There was also no mention of the motorist that fled from the officer.

The Ticket

Notice to Appear

The Court Decision

Translation: We did not have to pay the fine but did get points on our driving records...

 

After I got the court decision in the mail I decided to file a complaint against the officer because I felt that he ticketed us to save face in front of the news cameras. 5 cars is better than 1 any day of the week on the news...

This is the letter I got after contacting the CHP via email and they added a 0 to the damage figure I gave them also...



A few days later this came in the mail from the investigator in charge of this complaint.

 

This is a copy of the report I filed with the CHP and is as much detail as the investigator allowed me to give. He refused to put in the report that we were NEVER stopped by the officer which I felt was critical to this case. The officer NEVER even attempted to stop any car other than the car in the lead that sped away...

The CHP decision came in the mail a few MONTHS later...

At this point the case is over. I can not afford the attorney fees to take this to court, and it is probably not worth it anyway at this point. On top of all that the CHP will not give me a copy of the case file, or even let me look at it for that matter. They consider it an internal investigation and will not release the findings...