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Letter: Cruiser confrontation

It must have been a slow Motorcycle Weekend for the police, at least the Pembroke police.

At about 7:30 on Saturday night, I was heading north on Route 3 on my way home from A Cruise Night in Hooksett, hosted by the New Hampshire Mustang Club. Just south of Lang’s Ice Cream, I passed a Pembroke cruiser heading the other way and noticed in my rearview mirror that he turned his blue lights on and turned around as if he had spotted the FBI’s most wanted.

Not knowing if I was the one he was after, I turned in to Lang’s for an ice cream. As I was backing into a parking spot, he pulled in front of my car. At that point I realized that I was the one he was after.

He walked up to the car and asked if I knew why he stopped me. I said, “For the tinted license plate cover?” He said, “That’s right.” I told him I had just put it on the day before and only found out that night that it was against the law to cover your license plates.

He asked why I pulled in to Lang’s, and I said, “I wanted an ice cream.” He wanted to know why I didn’t continue up Route 3, as if I was trying to avoid him, and I said, “Then I would have to turn around to return to Lang’s.”

I think this may have upset him, but it was the truth. He then asked for my license and registration. When I handed it to him, he asked, “Is there anything I should know about your license?” I said, “Yes, I haven’t had a conviction in 30 years,” which was actually closer to 40 years.

After a few minutes he returned and handed me a written warning for “failure to display license plate” and advised me to remove the cover.

Also in the cruiser was, I am guessing, a future police officer who I am sure was very impressed.

I thought he could have better used his time to hunt down drug dealers, child molesters and burglars. Or maybe even someone texting while driving.

I have since removed the tinted cover from my 2000 Saleen Mustang to prevent any further confrontation with the police.

GENE SHAW

Salisbury

"He walked up to the car and asked if I knew why he stopped me. I said, “For the tinted license plate cover?” He said, “That’s right.” I told him I had just put it on the day before and only found out that night that it was against the law to cover your license plates." You broke the law, you knew you broke the law, you told the officer you knew you broke the law, you had a chance to not break the law. Yet you're upset you got a 'warning'? Upset enough to put down a police department that was doing its job? I hope they keep an eye on you.

Well Mr Shaw, you did break the law! He was doing his job! Maybe he could have been doing something else at that time, but we don't know that police officer, he just might take his job serious, and know that if he did not bring it to your attention you would not know you were breaking the law. His job is to exercise the law , and just because you think it was petty, he did not give you a ticket but a warning!

Unlike the strident "CJ6" who probably thinks there is a "perpetrator" lurking behind every bush, I think most us can sympathize with Mr. Shaw who has to put up with living in too many New Hampshire communities in which there are too many "Barney Fifes" given a badge and gun and have little common sense or ability to sniff out real crime in their communities.

Interesting. I was pulled over by a Laconia Officer late one night in a blinding snowstorm. When I asked why he stopped me, he said 'Your rear plate is obscured by snow"...

The law requires you pull over and stop upon approach of an emergency vehicle, not guesstimate whether you are a violator or not and continue on with your errands. Your license plate is there to identify your vehicle should it be stolen or involved in some other crime. The reflective characteristic of the plate's coating is negated with ANY raised cover over it, let alone a tinted one. The covers render the plate unreadable at certain angles---particularly at night when street lights reflect off them or during the day when the sun hits them just so. Just take the plate off and put a catchy bumper sticker under the tinted cover next time, as the plate is rendered all but worthless except at close range. A side by side comparison between a car with the KMart tinted cover and one without it speaks a thousand words. Routine questions are asked of all drivers. Somehow this is considered by folks like you to be an affront to your good citizenship or something. Know that well dressed people in clean minivans with no record sometimes give the most revealing of answers to those questions tying them to violations and sometimes felony offenses. But you know that. The Oklahoma City Bomber was stopped for a very minor traffic violation. I met the officer who stopped him. I guess he might have let him go if he had been he been more assertive about his clean record and that he was just going for a soft serve cone.

Good boy.

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