Sunday, February 17, 2008

Provo City Desperate for Revenue

This week, I got pulled over by a noble representative of the Provo city police force. t was the first time I had been pulled over in many years. (The last time being when an office threatened to revoke my license, but that's a story for another day.) The officer walked to my window, peered into my car from behind mirror-coated sunglasses, and informed me that I had not come to a complete stop at the corner I had just turned. He asked if there was any reason for my failure to "completely" stop. During that pause, I stared at my reflection in the cop's sunglasses and thought about what I'd really like to say: "Why didn't I come to a complete stop? Because there isn't a car on the road for a freakin' mile, and, besides, don't you have something better to do this morning--like fight crime?" Instead, though, my law-abiding, conformist urges welled up, and I heard myself simply admit having no reason for rolling through the stop. I mechanically pulled my driver's license out of my wallet and handed it over to him the way a shamed and penitent criminal holds out his wrists for handcuffing.

A few hours later, when I told Carolina about my run-in with the police, Carolina was full of ideas of what I should have said: "Why didn't you tell him that your foot slid off the pedal; or that your lunch bag was under the brake, or that your brakes locked up, or . . . ?" Me: "Because I'm not a liar." Carolina: "Oh."

Whose fault is this? Carolina's. After telling me all the wonderful lies I could have come up with, she mentioned, in passing, that she had seen this police officer waiting at this particular corner for several days. And instead of nodding her head and supporting me in my rant about how even though I hate taxes, I'd rather have the city simply raise taxes than have random ticketing (while our police force isn't available to fight crime because they're too busy raising revenue), she responded the same way she does to all my complaints about taxes: "But that's how we have roads." Thanks a lot, Carolina.


  1. Any time, Kendall. Any time. . . .

  2. that's why i love driving in california. the cops are too busy to give tickets to law-abiding citizens who roll through stops signs with no one around for miles. utah cops definitely have too much time on their hands...

  3. So reminiscent of many a conversation between Chad and I. I can see both sides, but I think I have to side with Kendall on this one.

  4. Kendall, Kendall, Kendall... No comment on what you did to get the threat to get your license revoked... in my opinion, you would have deserved it!

  5. What is the correct answer to "why did you [violate the [inconsequential] traffic ordinance]?" I wonder what the officer was looking for.
    I'm with you, Kendall. I got pulled over on University Ave. because I didn't have a front license plate. THEN the cop started to flirt with me. It made me want to yell "Really? THIS is the best use of your revenue generating time?"

    P.S. I had no idea there was a Carolina/Kendall blog and I'm VERY excited. And yes, I did use a bracket within a bracket in my very first comment on your blog.

  6. Anonymous10:18 AM

    I grew up in a mid size city in Florida where the cops were known for their quotas. I thought the cops in my hometown of Port Orange, FL were bad, I think I just saw the The provo police top them. While taking my wife to work today (Aug 8th), I saw five people pulled over along center street from the exit ramp to 400 West. I decided to come back 1st South to avoid all the mayhem. Something was up, maybe trying to get a little extra revenue for the city as Kendall was saying. Anyways, As i was turning left onto 1st south from 500 West I noticed a cop turning onto 5 west from center street. He could have gone anywhere but then i noticed he turned onto 1st south as well. I turned right onto 6th west to see if he would follow me (you let a cop drive behind you long enough and you're bound to get pulled over, especially on a day like to day. He didn't follow me, so i made a few more rights (R on Center, R on 500 W and R on 1st south) to get back onto 1st south. I just wanted to make it to 9th west, head one block north to center and turn left just to avoid the mass cop surge that was pulling over as many citizens as possible. Well, back on 1st south I noticed another cop crossing 5th west while on 1st south coming my way. Then as I approached 7th West, another Provo cop was pulled over on the road (however no flashing lights). I decided to finally get out of dodge and avoid that whole area on my way home.
    All in all, five people pulled over on my way to my wife's work, and four cops (one on center street pulling someone over) on the way back. All of Provo's finest in a 4 by 1 block area raising revenue for the fine city of Provo.

    I have no idea who Kendall/Carolina are, but I was looking for a blog with peoples stories about their encounters with provo police (most of which are while pulled over, I'm sure). I'm glad I found this one. Maybe others noticed what I did this morning and will comment as well.

  7. Anonymous: Your experience does not surprise me in the least bit. On some days, our neighborhood looks like an ant-farm--there are police cars just crawling all over the place looking for unsuspecting imperfect drivers. And, just like ants, they seem to wield much more power than they should be able to.