The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


I Leave Arizona For a Couple of Months....

And someone I used to know professionally gets national attention in a CNN article.

Back in the day, when I thought I would have wanted to become a police officer in the fair city of Phoenix (population: too damn many.....), I spent my time while preparing for the Academy as a civilian employee of the department. I did a lot of different things there, but the most, um, challenging assignment was as a parking enforcement officer.

(Cue "Lovely Rita" here. And yes, I worked that little outfit as much as it was possible to do.)

I often ended up in Judge Freeman's court. People seemed to think that if they challenged the ticket I wouldn't show up. Heh, heh, heh.....besides, in summer, do you really think I would pass up the opportunity to spend a morning in an air-conditioned court, when my only other option was to write additional tickets in the heat? Uh, nope!

Besides, you should have heard some of the goofy excuses that people would come up with for breaking the laws of traffic and parking. You knew it was a classic when other people waiting to present their cases rolled their eyes and groaned.

"I've never seen a parking meter before and had no idea what it was meant to do."

"My rear bumper wasn't in the red zone, so since my whole vehicle wasn't in there, it shouldn't count."

"If someone wanted the handicapped space, all they would have had to do is ask me to move."

I always liked that where is the handicapped guy gonna park so he can crawl over to tell you to get your lazy ass outta the space?

"I shouldn't get this ticket for blocking the hydrant since there was no fire in the area."

"My plate wasn't that expired."

"Yeah, the meter was bagged....the bag did say no parking....but I left the motor running, so I didn't park. I paused."

Judge Freeman and the other honorable public servants on the municipal court docket had the much harder job. At least I could laugh at the above stupid statements. They had to keep a straight face.

Every now and then, however, you could see a little flash in their eyes when they heard a particularily stupid argument. Especially in Judge Freeman's court, you could see him give a certain kind of stare to a defendant making a really, really dumb statement.

I'm sure he gave that kind of stare to Miss Dickinson, who argued that she should be allowed to use a HOV lane because she's pregnant. That's it. She wasn't racing to the hospital for medical attention, either. She was just preggers, did not claim any medical complications, and thought that her unborn baby should count as a passenger.

I guess she's arguing that she had two people behind the wheel. That's against the law in Arizona and most other states. By that logic, my sister-in-law-to-be wouldn't be allowed to drive. (Something tells me she would argue that the kid doesn't count in that circumstance, however.)

After apparently consulting with the legal geniuses at Arizona Right to Life, they decided to take this case on. They presented several instances in Arizona Revised Statutes that treat the unborn child as a legal person in its own right. Of course, they conveniently overlooked the fact that the instances were for things that could result in the death and/or injury of an unborn child.

There is nothing in the state laws, county codes, or city ordinances that relate to the unborn child as a legal person independent of the mother for any other circumstances besides potential or actual fetal death or injury. No one is legally obligated to make a pregnant woman's life easier. There is only the force of good manners.

Speaking of good manners, Miss Dickerson thought that she could ignore them by going into the HOV lane without additional passengers. That's kinda rude! (But I digress.)

I would be more tempted to accept her argument if she would insist on paying double fare when she rides the bus, buying a second ticket if she were to fly on a plane, paying for two at an all you can eat buffet, or getting another ticket when she goes to the movie. After all, she's got a passenger on board, right?

Somehow, I don't think she's offered to do any of that. I've never met a pregnant woman who has, nor have I heard of any cases where a pregnant woman was charged double for any of those reasons.

Anyone who would suggest any of the above justifications for charging a pregnant woman more would be either brave or stupid. Definitely stupid, because under Federal law, that would be discriminatory.

Under Federal law, there are many statutes that specifically prohibit pregnant women from being treated differently than any other woman. They are not supposed to be treated any differently when applying for jobs, housing, you name it. It goes even further and prohibits discrimination against women because they might become pregnant in areas like hiring. The only possible "defense", as it were, to a charge of discrimination in hiring is for cases that would put an unborn child at risk.

If, after she had been stopped, she would have told the officer her pregnancy was at risk, an ambulance would have been dispatched immediately to assist her. That is standard Phoenix Police Department procedure for any circumstance that could have put an unborn baby at risk. Ambulances were routinely dispatched for things like minor fender-benders, a pregnant woman getting hit in the arm, you name it. No citation would ever have been issued.

Got that, Miss Dickerson? Your inconvenience at having to wait in traffic does not justify your bad manners in bogarting the HOV lane. I am certain that other women, some of whom may have been pregnant or thought they might be, were in the lanes next to you, but they didn't think they were so special as to hog the lane simply because they are expecting. By your own arguments, you were not rushing to save the life of your unborn child.

If you needed any further proof of Miss Dickerson's lack of common sense, or even shame, here it is. Not content with wasting Judge Freeman's court time, or the money of Phoenix taxpayers, Miss Dickinson is going to waste Arizona taxpayer money by fighting it in Superior Court.

Never mind that the "I'm pregnant so I should be allowed to drive in the HOV lane" argument has been made before, and been struck down each time.

Never mind that the money could be used for things Arizona Right to Life should be for, like the state's underfunded foster care system, or to promote adoption of special kids.

Never mind that she makes the rest of us pro-lifers look like complete, selfish tools.

Never mind that she is most likely fighting this only because she doesn't want to pay over $400 in fines. Yes, $400 in fines. It is the most expensive citation an officer can write in the Grand Canyon State, higher even than driving without a license, driving without insurance, or having current registration.

Maybe that's why she's fighting it....ya think? wouldn't be anything so crass as that, would it?

Call me jaded, but I bet that's why. After all, that could go for a really cute crib set...sorry....vital birth expenses.

She's lucky she only faced Judge Freeman. I would have jacked that ticket up as high as I could, and directed the money to Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. Those kids need every dime they can get, not selfish broads who think traffic laws don't apply to them.

I just hope the kid doesn't take after mama in that way.

(Editor's note: Yes, she used the word "broad". You should have seen what word she really wanted to use! Oy!)


  • At 3:45 PM, Blogger DragonStormInAZ said…

    I was hoping this would not get national attention. I never really like the idea of the rest of the world hearing about stupid, rude and self-serving people though I realize they are everywhere to my dismay. Admittedly, I thought about going down to the courthouse that day and heckling the stupid bitch, but I did not know if I could and even if I could, contempt of court is not quite what I want on my record...

  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger eLarson said…

    I remember people glaring at a woman and yelling "What's your handicap?!" at her as she walked into a building.

    She said "4".

    I was puzzled until I saw the car parked in the Handicapped space and the "I'd rather be driving a Titlist" bumper sticker.

  • At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Appeals Court most probably won't hear it, but throw it out. I watched a Fireman last summer tell a man he needed to move his car out of the fire lane in front of a store and when the man refused, the fireman wrote him a ticket. When handed the ticket, the man flipped his cigarette butt and hit the fireman with it. His bad luck, there was a City Police Officer standing right behind him at the time. On with the cuffs and into the Squad CAr. All because he didn't move when asked. Some people are idjits.
    (Deacon Blues, I forgot my stinkin' password!)


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