Enforcement nearly harrassment


To The Editor:
Expressing first amendment rights is not whining. When numerous people voice the same complaint, and when they describe their experiences and those experiences are similar to yours, like the time I was tailgated for miles by a trooper just waiting for an excuse to pull me over. Do you know what it is like to have a trooper follow you for miles? You make a turn, he makes a turn. You turn on another street, he follows. You find yourself constantly watching the odometer then searching for a speed-limit sign, then checking to see if your lights are on and then, guess what? With all this checking your tire momentarily crosses the divider line. The siren goes on. You’re pulled over. Roll down your window. The nose comes in, the sniffing begins.

I drove up here from Long Island late at night to avoid traffic and was stopped at the intersection of routes 38 and 30. The officer signaled to roll down my window so he could stick his nose in to see if I was drinking. He stated that there was nothing to do in these small towns after 10 p.m. except drink. Recently I was leaving Margaretville and was flagged over by a trooper who had three other vehicles pulled over. I was issued a speeding ticket for doing 44 in a 30 zone. I, and the other cars, were within 200 feet of a 55 mph zone. The officer said, “If it makes you feel any better, the cars in front of you also got speeding tickets. It’s code enforcement week.”

When I went to court and expressed my disgust with the Orwellian Big Brother environment we are living in, the judge was sympathetic and stated I wasn’t the only one voicing the same complaint. He reduced the fine. That, in itself, makes a statement. What about the people who come to this area to go skiing? They can’t return to court. They probably won’t return at all. I’ve heard of people getting tickets for dirty license plates during our mud season or for having a deodorant stick hanging from their mirror. Ours is the only locality where troopers go home after work with sore necks from constantly twisting their heads in order to catch some forgetful driver without a seat belt on.

The intent of the traffic code is to encourage safe driving, not to raise revenue for the state. Traffic enforcement in this area borders on harassment. It’s disgraceful.

This area was devastated by Irene. People are still struggling. Local businesses not only had buildings destroyed but lost customers because they don’t want to come to a depressed area. This year business is down again because our clients come predominately from areas devastated by Sandy. The last thing we need is to have customers, guests, and local residents bled by petty violations.

Posted speed signs in this area change within fractions of miles. Blink and you’re speeding. If Big Brother is hiding behind that rock, you too, Melvin, will get a ticket.

Bruce Brenner,