Now this is a bit excessive, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve seen my fair share of traffic violations over the many years of driving. Some of these violations are warranted, some are even necessary. But like everything else, there are violations that border on the ridiculous. One such incident recently occurred north of the border in Alberta, Canada.

Let’s set the scene, thanks to the story reported by CTV News in Canada. A man named Mathieu Gagne tells CTV that he made a legal pass on a slow-moving police officer north of Edmonton. The officer, apparently ticked off that he got overtaken even if the move was legal, decided to exercise his authority on the driver, citing him for going 1 kph over the posted speed limit. One kilometer per hour! Fortunately, the Gagne’s girlfriend was with him during the incident and promptly posted the ticket online where, somewhat predictably, it turned viral. You can likely guess what happened next. The Sturgeon County called Gagne a few days later to tell him that the fine rescinded, although it did say that it wasn’t because the officer was being petty, but because he listed the speed on the ticket as being radar/laser verified when in fact it wasn’t. And if the story couldn’t get any stranger, CTV also reported that the erring officer has yet to be disciplined for his actions. Seems like one of those stories where it’s unclear what kind of ending should have happened here. It’s definitely strange times we’re living in right now when Canada, home to some of the nicest people we know, has its own share of rogue police officers.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Be respectful, but also be vigilant

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase in my life. It doesn’t paint a good picture of law enforcement officials, but there is some truth and wisdom to it, too. The truth is that a majority of police officers, no matter where they are in this world, are good and decent people. They care about enforcing law and order so civilians like us can go about our lives peacefully.

The officer decided to exercise his authority on the driver, citing him for going 1 kph over the posted speed limit.

That said, there are also police officers who go past the line of their job descriptions, some more than others. We see it here in the U.S. and we definitely see it in other countries. When dealing with these types of officers, there’s only so much we can do to call them out on their practices without having to worry about getting the proverbial short end of the stick. The best way to go about it is to be respectful of their position as officers, but also remain vigilant on the kind of actions they exhibit when you’re dealing with them.

Gagne was let off the hook over a violation that he didn’t commit

There are avenues to do this without having to fear for your safety. As long as it’s done properly, the Internet is a good place to go to air your grievances, just like what Matthieu Gagne’s girlfriend did. Her post got a lot of attention and eventually, it found its way to the proper authorities who have the power to make decisions on the matter. Ultimately, Gagne was let off the hook over a violation that he didn’t commit, though it is a little concerning that the officer didn’t face any sanctions for his actions. Sure, he may have been reprimanded; the Sturgeon County didn’t just want to publicize it because of potential backlash. Who knows at this point.

The important thing to know though is how to best handle situations like this. I’m sure that a lot of us have been in this kind of predicament before. But instead of letting your emotions dictate your actions, it’s always best to keep a level head and be vigilant enough to report these incidences to the proper channels. Traffic court is the proper place to argue against a ticket, anyway.

And so ends my public service announcement.


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Source: CTV News

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