Law-enforcement officers need to respect traffic rules

Mr. [Asheville Police Chief Bill] Hogan: First, let me say thank you to you and your entire police force for the work that you do protecting our community. It is sincerely and graciously appreciated.

Next, I'd like to bring up an (admittedly minor) complaint that I've had for a few months now: specifically, the widespread disregard that some of your officers seem to have to basic traffic laws.

As an example, this morning, Nov. 23, I was traveling south on North Market Street. At the four-way stop intersection of East Walnut, an officer traveling east turned right, in front of me, without stopping. The time was about 8:45 a.m. and the vehicle's license-plate number was XVR-6970.

The officer stopped at the light at College Street, and then proceeded onto South Market Street. He or she then ran the stop sign at the four-way intersection with South Pack Square, in front of the Fire Department. Continuing down South Market Street, the vehicle turned left onto Eagle Street, again without stopping.

This isn't the first, or second, or even third time I've witnessed nearly this exact sequence as I'm traveling to work. In fact, I see it along the lines of once every week or two. I don't think any of the vehicles were traveling to an emergency — they all seemed to be headed back to the police station, in fact.

I realize this is a relatively minor offense, and none of the vehicles failed to yield at any of the intersections — there were no other vehicles approaching. However, I think a reminder to your drivers that stop signs mean come to a full stop might be worthwhile. This behavior seems counter to your mission and guiding principles published on your Web site. And after all, they'll be the first to explain this fact to an ordinary citizen when they see one of us do the same thing (along with imposing a hefty financial penalty).

Thanks for your time and consideration.

— Jordan Mitchell

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4 thoughts on “Law-enforcement officers need to respect traffic rules

  1. Jordan M.

    I want to add that the Asheville police responded very favorably to my note, and they have assured me that their officers are obviously expected to follow all traffic regulations. I appreciate them taking it seriously!

  2. Cheshire

    Good to hear. I’m just hoping the other branches of law enforcement will follow suit. I recently had the sheriff’s dept quote me a bill that never made it out of committee from 2 years ago as current law. Before that, when reporting an attempted assault a couple years ago, I was laughed at and asked why I didn’t just beat the guy up. Hard to have any trust in law enforcement when you get that kind of BS.

  3. Dionysis

    It’s not limited to Asheville. I’ve been driving a long time, and have seen countless examples of cops ignoring traffic laws, parking restrictions and more. Police don’t even have any legal obligation to even tell the truth to suspects (or anyone else, for that matter). While this is not meant to be specific to Asheville, cops lie all the time; it’s almost routine anymore. That some may feel they have no obligation to adhere to the law themselves shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone.

  4. travelah

    It is only a minor ofense until the negligent police officer runs somebody over … even then not much happens. There is quite a history of NC cops killing people through their excessive speed and disregard.

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