UPDATE – BP response right above poll; original post directly below
We hate picking on law enforcement officers.
Their jobs are difficult enough without some petty complaints from the people they are hired to protect. But sometimes the complaints are not so petty – and the concerns quite valid.
Like cruising down Interstate 10 at speeds nearing 100 mph, careening through traffic, with neither lights nor sirens activated.
One Tucson guy, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, said he witnessed such activity with not one, but three U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol vehicles just after noon June 21 on his way to Chandler. He said the Border Patrol trio was cruising on Interstate 10, not far from exit 203 near Toltec Road.
“While driving the speed limit (75 mph) a border patrol truck raced up to my vehicle and tailgated me for several miles,” the concerned motorist wrote in an e-mail. “I opted not to let road rage take over, and I changed lanes to let the vehicle pass safely by me. Turns out it was three border patrol vehicles. These officers were driving extremely aggressively, weaving around traffic at speeds in excess of 90 mph, blatantly disregarding traffic laws and personal safety. They did not have their lights or sirens on.”
Note the driver’s speedometer in the above photo and in the short but effective video he sent.
[tnivideo caption=”Border Patrol cruising down Interstate 10 ” credit=”Submitted by TC.com reader”]brightcove:106456288001[/tnivideo]
Perhaps there is a simple explanation for this. Maybe the caravan was on a secret mission. Perhaps an illegal alien, or 33, was in the back of each truck needing swift emergency treatment at the nearest hospital.
Maybe somebody had to pee.
Border Patrol has not yet responded to an inquiry sent June 30, but it will be added if received.
“I have a simple question,” the concerned motorist continued, “When is it acceptable for border patrol agents to blatantly disregard traffic laws, and speed in excess without lights or sirens? Lately it seems to be that some border patrol agents are oblivious to the rules of the road. Are they not bound by the same rules and regulations as the rest of us?”
Thankfully, local police and sheriff aren’t wont to be spotted speeding at nearly 100 mph in and around Tucson.
But they, too, may dabble in a few traffic infractions. Some have been seen changing lanes without their blinkers – gasp! – but we see that from many daily. We have actually come to wonder if there is a Tucson ordinance that makes blinkers optional.
There is one other traffic rule , however, that is even more of a detriment to Old Pueblo’s roads.
They have been spotted driving way below the speed limit.
When a police or sheriff vehicle decides to go 28 in a 40 mph zone, you bet all nearby traffic all of a sudden follows suit. No one wants to be noted passing a cop or sheriff car, after all. It’s much safer to stay behind them, creating a giant sea of barely mobile traffic, or “rolling roadblocks” as my friend likes to call them.
Guess that’s preferred over getting cut off by one at some 95 mph.
While some of these complaints may, in fact, be petty, they may also open the door for another concern. If nobody cares if law enforcement officers break traffic laws, will it only be a matter of time before bigger and better laws are equally disregarded by officers and met with the same nonchalance?
UPDATE – Response from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
Border Patrol wants to know about such incidents, Rob Daniels of the Tucson Sector’s public affairs office said.
Daniels did not offer any theories on why the aforementioned trio of vehicles may have been speeding on July 21 – “Without knowing any specifics, it’s not a good idea to do that” – but he did encourage people to report such behavior.
“Border Patrol agents are required to comply with all traffic laws, no different than anyone else,” Daniels said. “In instances which anyone has identified and reports inappropriate driving behavior by our agents, those situations are investigated and appropriate action is taken.
“(I want to) reassure the public that this is the case and agents are no different than anyone else when it comes to obeying traffic laws.”
Daniels noted the Border Patrol helpline was set up for people to report everything from agents’ driving to suspected illegal border activity.
Reach the helpline at 1-877-USPB-HELP
People can also call the Tucson Sector at 748-3000
What do you think?
Have you seen Border Patrol or other law enforcement breaking traffic laws?
Do such infractions concern you or do you look at it as just one of the perks of the jobs perhaps?
Do you ever report it?
Have you seen law enforcement breaking laws other than traffic rules?