Taxation ???

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Yesterday night I went down to Lawrence to meet up with my TradeWind Energy guys to eat dinner and talk. It was pretty fun. Anyway, I was leaving around 11 and got pulled over twice in 30 minutes.

The first time was for backing up over a yellow center line. I was pulling out of a parking space and I backed over the center line. The Lawrence police officer ran a red light to pull me over on the bridge over the Kansas River. I had no idea what I did wrong. He gave me a ticket for improper backing. $133. I told him that was ridiculous, that some people had to work half a week to make that much money. He told me it was the least expensive ticket in the City of Lawrence. Shit.

Then 20 miles later, I was driving on the turnpike, 3 lanes, and I got pulled over for driving in the left lane for too long a period and going 79 in a 70. In Kansas, it isn’t a moving violation unless you’re going 10mph over the speed limit, so I wasn’t so concerned. But, I thought I was going to get another $250 worth of tickets. This guy was nice and just gave me a written warning.

Anyway, I’ve gotten pulled over and ticketed 3 times in the past year. Granted, I drive a ton. But, the tickets that I’ve been given are for stupid things. I don’t speed in the city. Off the highway, when I’m driving on interstates, I usually just drive 9 over the speed limit.

I think that it’s just a way for the cities to generate revenue. And it is a bullshit way for this to occur. Police have enough issues to deal with than to have to go out and do this stupid stuff. I guarantee that they hate it more than I do.

This kind of relates to the reason a couple months ago that I called the USAC to “complain” about the $250 surcharge that they are charging to score domestic elite teams in the NRC. It’s just another way to race some revenue from the guys that are already spending a ton of money with them. Most elite riders pay $150 for an International license. Then they are paying god know what every week to race. Now their teams have to pay $250 to be scored at a NRC race. The entry for a men’s team in Redlands was $1100. That is pretty high already. And the results are computerized. What is the USAC doing extra to post the results? Hardly anything.

Now there are surcharges for fuel prices for planes, surcharges for insurance at sporting events, surcharges for backing up over yellow lines? Not to mention the bullshit baggage surcharges that are keeping airlines in the black. I’m so sick of it. But, I think that that this is all here to stay, so I’d just as well better get used to it.

31 thoughts on “Taxation ???

  1. WildCat

    Yep. And for a while here in KS they have been trying to pass that gun registration law saying you have to pay for the registration of each gun you have every year. Much like you do with your car tags. I’m law abiding and I don’t care much about getting my guns registered; but what could the cost be for? I’m sure it would be nothing but #’s sitting in a computer somewhere. What’s next? Making us register and tag our road-bikes??

  2. Johnny Law

    If you were driving in the left lane for no reason, I’m glad he pulled you over. Why people insist on driving in the fast lane when no one is around I’ll never understand. Pass in the left lane, then drive in the right.

  3. tilford97 Post author

    I agree with the left lane thing. But, that wasn’t the case here. I had a reason.

    I was passing the few cars who were on the road. They were just spaced far enough apart that it didn’t seem right to go back to the center lane and then go by again on the left. Plus, I was exiting a 1/2 mile up to the left.

    The cop that pulled me over was ahead of me and when I put my turn signal on to take the split to the left, he went to the left. I went by him, maybe at 73, and then he pulled me over.

    But, like I said, people driving in the left lane is a pet peeve of mine too.

  4. dirty_juheesus!

    Regarding USAC’s monetizing its members, there are alternative federations in the U.S. Google “federation of independent cycling associations”
    Racing in Colorado and Oregon is almost entirely independent federations. Track racing is almost entirely sanctioned by independent federations in the U.S.

    USAC isn’t going to do anything but monetize its members. For what? It doesn’t go into growing participation. That’s for sure.

  5. Ted Lewandowski

    I believe improper backing can only occur if you cause an accident or impede traffic – should be easy to win in traffic court – and if the cop does not show up then you win automatically.

  6. John W

    Cops have a thankless job, LPD included. As my boys became more active at night, I noticed they would get pulled over for silly stuff. (i.e. one side of your license plate isn’t lit) I advised them to “not look the part”….remove the tilted ball cap, sit up straight, etc…..oddly enough the “pullovers” subsided for the most part.

    I speculate the officer may have pegged you incorrectly from a distance – (you’re not overweight and old looking like many of our high school class) …..but he wrote you a ticket anyways……because he could.

  7. Jim

    All it is is revenue generation and people like you are easy targets. The easiest to pull over and the least likely to resist. Cha-ching! Another $150 in the city coffers for nothing.
    They won’t stop someone who looks like trouble because that person might have a gun and could make for a bad night so, you got screwed instead

  8. Exeuropro

    Tilly, Come live in New jersey, the most corupt state in the Union…. That even goes for the NJBA…

    In one small town here in Jersey, their traffic Tickets in 1 quarter, went up 1024%. Given the 1st quarter they wrote 1 ticket, the second quarter they wrote 125 tickets in a 3 month span….

    Hmmm…. I guess the Town Needs more money !

  9. Ted


    I’ll never forget driving my Acura cross-country from LA to Boston a few years ago and getting pulled over twice within a few hours by the Kansas High Patrol, and having them completely search my trunk for drugs in the breakdown lane, in February, at night, in the wind. When we were done, I was left to pack everything up in the dark as they drove off. They found no drugs, just by bikes and gear.
    Them boys was intense. I never did figure out why they were on my ass.


  10. Ted Lewandowski

    The Chief of Police for Lawrence, Kansas is Tarik Khatib – he looks like a civilian chief possibly brought in to get the PD in order – usually that is the only reason.

    I would call his secretary and speak to him personally – not that might make your ticket go away – because he will tell you to take the matter to court – but you might want to file a verbal complaint on the officer – for profiling and harassment – words that would instill fear to any Chief as these are charges that precede a civil action.

    I am sure you will get his attention.!

  11. Itsucksbut...

    I usually agree with you on most subjects, but I am divided here. I am in not a part of law enforcement but that’s what these guys do. Enforce laws. They didn’t write them. The people we elect did. If you did not break the law then go to court and fight your case. I think if something is law then we should enforce it as the law states. If laws are not being enforced then why even have them at all. if you think a law is unfair work to change it.

  12. Dennis Weinbeck

    I don’t really understand the logic about driving in the fast lane, left lane. If you are going atleast the speed limit what is the big deal? How can you be impeding traffic if you are going the maximum posted speed limit?

  13. Greg

    Lawrence is known for silly tickets. I always drive extra careful when driving there. They will pull you over for the smallest offense. I have never heard of the backing over a double line rule. Seems kinda silly to me.

  14. Hudson Luce

    I practice law in Lawrence. Khatib is a pretty good guy, but if you want to make the ticket go away, talk to the prosecutor, they’re usually willing to make deals. If they won’t make you a deal, call me.

  15. Jim

    “I think if something is law then we should enforce it as the law states. If laws are not being enforced then why even have them at all. ”

    I would totally agree with you. The problem here is that the law concerning “improper backing” (whatever that is) should not even be in existence. Then you get a city (or an officer) that decides to use it for revenue. That is “right”?

    The idea of being okay to drive 9 over is a little tougher. IMO, “over” is over and you should probably get a ticket. We just got 70 as a limit on our turnpike this past week and still don’t have it on interstates. You may be different (and probably are) but most people simply do not have the ability, or reactions, to drive safely at 79 mph. Now, add in a cell phone or texting and we have a real problem. BTW, that is NOT to say that you do those things but others certainly do. Drive at the 70 mph limit, which is pretty fast, and the problem goes away.
    BTW, I love reading your stuff.

  16. Keith

    Entitlement programs have to be financed somehow. Until they go away expect it only to get worse.

  17. okansas

    Just a guess, but the stop in Lawrence was probably because so many people drive drunk. Leaving downtown at 11 p.m. and making a small error (crossing the double yellow line) is enough that they can pull you over. Then they check for warrants and get an idea if you’ve been drinking (did they ask you?). Giving you a ticker rather than a warning seems harsh.

  18. Hudson Luce

    It’s the Shawnee County tags. On an SUV. That does the trick every time. They figure you won’t bother to fight the ticket, or talk to the prosecutor, so it’s an easy $133.00 in the City coffers. And yes, it’s true, all they’re interested in is the money, without having to work to get it. Try to make a deal with the prosecutor, and if that doesn’t go, set it for trial. Trial judgments from Lawrence Municipal Court are appealed to Douglas County District Court on a de novo basis. You’ll need to go back and take pics, you could do this with your trusty bike-cam…

  19. Ted Lewandowski

    Just called my friend who is a retired uniform division commander and he confirmed my initial comment – that the citation is bs – you cannot get cited for backing into a road with no traffic and/or without causing an accident. Waste Management trucks do it 1,000/day and half that time they impede traffic.

    He said to call the Chief and tell him to read your blog which has over 5,000 followers – I’m sure they have a nice opinion of the Lawrence Police Department now.

  20. Hudson Luce

    Ted – Lawrence is a small town, and giving the Chief of Police a rough time is a bad strategy. Especially if you ride bikes there, or go there a lot. It’s better to talk to the prosecutor.

  21. Ted Lewandowski

    Hudson – good advice from a lawyer – but the Chief looks like a civilian (not FOP fraternity) – and might actually be open to what is happening out there in the streets especially what type of offenses the officers are writing up – prosecutors in my judgement don’t want to budge – pretty much get convictions – most are college grads and just working up the ladder in their legal career.

    I think you can call the Chief and have a nice conversation and not be confrontational – that is what I would do – small town should have no bearing on how the officers write tickets (in theory) but in reality most behave like brown shirts – just my opinion.

  22. Hudson Luce

    Ted, I know the Chief and have spoken with him in the past; same case for all of the judges, the District Attorney, most of the ADAs in his office, both local prosecutors, neither of whom are “fresh out of college”, quite a few local police, the KHP officers who do patrols around Lawrence, and so on. Lawrence is a small town – the criminal defense bar has about 20 active members. I speak from experience and personal knowledge. Sure, Steve can go ahead and talk to LKPD, but it will go nowhere at best, and might result in assorted bad consequences at worst.

  23. Ted Lewandowski

    Hudson, thanks for the follow-up, but I would still think the Chief would be open-minded to listen to a person that appears to have been targeted by an officer for no reason other than that he is from out-of-town. That there might be potential bad consequences as a result of a phone conversation does not sound like a town or city in the US where I would like to live. What happened to showing beyond preponderance of evidence which is on the DA not Steve – who has a legal right to a fair hearing (innocent until proven guilty)???

  24. Hudson Luce

    “That there might be potential bad consequences as a result of a phone conversation does not sound like a town or city in the US where I would like to live.” Too bad, that’s the way it is. People from Topeka get targeted there all the time – and I’ve defended quite a few of them…


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