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Traffic Cops Shake Down Motorists for Cash

Written by Gary North on June 14, 2012

The state of Utah has decided that it is time to end the practice of shaking down drivers for cash. It’s a sad day for the police. The money was perfect for tax-free living.

Auditors only recently discovered that police in a small town outside Zion National Park were taking money from foreign tourists for traffic violations.

Some of the citations are missing from both police records and local court records. The money is not accounted for.

You don’t suppose that some police member were pocketing the money, do you? The state’s auditor says there is no proof of such a thing. He also says he does not know how much money is missing.

It is now up to local city and county prosecutors to decide whether to prosecute.

I am happy to announce that the chief of police has told his officers to stop the practice. He says that he thought it would be hard to collect the fines from foreign tourists.

I am wondering how hard or easy it was to collect the cash from his officers on behalf of the city.

I am also wondering how long the policy had been in force before the auditors discovered it.

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12 thoughts on “Traffic Cops Shake Down Motorists for Cash

  1. George_S says:

    I have a great deal of respect for policemen who actually do the work of a policeman, but there's nothing lower than a traffic cop. All they are is modern day Sherrif of Nottingham's men out collecting taxes. It's all about the money, not safety.

  2. Sergey N says:

    Welcome to how most of the rest of the world operates. I personally come from Russia. There and in any other country of the former USSR this is common practice not just for foreigners but for everyone. In those countries sometimes police stop you for the sole purpose of collecting a bribe. I’m a personal witness. Of course a majority of people are happy to oblige simply because the fine is much more expensive. All of this of course started when the economy collapsed. I would not be surprised if we start to see more of the same thing here. In fact I expect it.

  3. Richard Opp says:

    I'm sure glad I didn't speed in Utah last time I went through it! My wife and I watch that speed limit, we have to, our car has no "Cruise Control" except for the driver. Good to look at that speedometer every so often!

  4. Why is the town not mentioned?

  5. That’s a sad comment when you think about how dangerous it is to always be looking at your speedometer instead of being safe. I got more speeding tickets from two pickups without cruise that I made sure my next one had cruise and checked my speedo with my GPS. Now I can drive 74 all the time(except on 80 and 85mph speed limit roads)and be fairly safe except for those 60 mph signs some counties and small towns like to put up just past the crest of a hill when you’re already going 70 or above.

    Having said this, you don’t have to go to Utah to have this happen. The first time I was robbed by a highway patrol was in S. Carolina. They hate Texas truckers in the east and it’s easy to find out what the fine is since they get a good idea of what you have when you open your wallet to get your DL. I was lucky I had $40 under the floor mat, just enough with what fuel I had to get me to the Texas line where I could give a check. This was in 1974. I suspect I wasn’t the first nor the last.

    Even in my home town a very nasty JP and Texas trooper had a deal going where the trooper would watch for an 18 wheeler to cross the centerline when passing a car that pulled over on the shoulder to let them by. Driving on the shoulder is illegal but that was local people. Moving across the dividing line isn’t necessarily illegal but they made their own laws. The maximum fine for crossing the center line was $300 which many a trucker had to pay. Truckers are easy targets since they’re on a schedule and somebody HAS to get them out of jail to get the goods delivered. I got beat up one time when a victim I met far from home asked me where I was from and I told him. It immediately brought back those bad memories of his that he took out on me. I learned to claim to be from another town after that and often people knew that town was close to the one I was actually from. That got the hair up on their neck just thinking about a town that close to my home town. I learned very young Texas troopers were some of the worst people out there. What’s so bad is back then, many of them were some of the nicest…..although not too nice or they’d send you to the doc and make you take speed to give you an attitude. True story.

  6. barb patton says:

    You are absolutely correect. Having come from South Africa it is the order of the day that you always carry a couple of 100 Rand extra to pay off the traffic cops (all black) Nothing new in this report. I am sure that Utah is not the only state in America that have money hungry cops — in fact what about the other 56(according to the ayatollah barack) states???

  7. It happen everywhere in the US and has been for over 70 years. Local police in small rural counties every where are told when they need to start writing bogus tickets to "collect their underfunding" from the "foreigners" as their county wasn't going to given them full funding. My son worked the GA prison systems 3 years and they were getting similar instruction from their superiors.

  8. Bill McCroskey says:

    More proof we are becoming a 3rd world country ….now the United Nations should be happy …lower us to the meet the rest of the world … we need to all be equal to be fair.

  9. It is Springdale,just outside of Zion National Park.

  10. Exactly, Sergey. My wife and I spent several years in a former Soviet republic. There we learned the obvious: What else is power good for but to extract money from the public? The more power, the more wealth extraction. At the bottom rung are the traffic cops and utility bill collectors (who always pad the invoices). At the pinnacle is El Presidente who owns seven posh villas scattered around the country and basically controls the lion's share of the country's wealth. We knew a young girl who was a housekeeper on the president's staff. We thought that maybe she would receive a little better than the average wage, but no, she was paid the standard $10 a month. Yes, you read that right. The average man in the street has no philosophical objection to the idea that power is for plunder. It's ingrained in his worldview. It's part of his culture. He just wants to be the plunderer, not the plunderee.

  11. Very interesting practice. I experienced this crap in MEXICO…..

  12. Ricky Raider says:

    Mexico has always been a ripoff