Question for LEO and people knowledgeable with traffic law

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Phats, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Phats

    Phats Senior Member

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    I was getting gas earlier and saw two people that were standing on a street corner, crossing the street every couple of minutes.

    There were two police officers on motorcycles that were parked at a stop sign. Whenever someone would fail to stop for the crossing pedestrians, the police would pull out and pull the vehicle(s) over.

    I asked one of the pedestrians - a woman, if she was crossing the street periodically for the police and said confirmed she was. I asked if she was under their employ and she said she was. I do not recall if she said she was an officer but after one of the cops came back, I asked him about what was occurring and he said she was not an officer, that those under the PD's employment for these circumstances cannot be LEO.

    The officer said this was legal in California.

    I'm trying to look this up to see if it is, and if so, what the law/ordinance for this is called: anyone know?

    Also, what other activities fall under this law/ordinance that allow for the hiring of civilians for activities such as this.

    I DO NOT want to start any political discussion with this post. What I'd like is for folks knowledgeable on this subject to shed some light on the situation for me.

    Much thanks.
     
  2. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    It doesn't sound like entrapment if that's where you're going with it.
     
  3. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    I have no expertise but it sounds like a typical awareness technique. Crosswalk deaths are epidemic around here. The police could just sit without decoys and get plenty of violators. My guess is that the police would rather used trained individuals as live bait rather than use citizens as guinea pigs and risk mayhem. That would be highly irresponsible.
     
  4. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Reason #8738789 why I do not care for the police. Seriously, this is a massive waste of time and resources.
     
  5. Phats

    Phats Senior Member

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    I was not trying to "go there" with it.

    The pedestrians engaging in this were very cautious and acting responsibly, they weren't just jumping out into the street or anything like that, which would make it more difficult for a driver to stop and thus get pulled over frequently and under circumstances that were less in their control/ability.

    When you say "live bait," I assume you mean just average people walking around, which people will ultimately be walking around anyway.

    My concern is that the PD is creating circumstances in which they may produce for violations, since these people are walking across the street every couple of minutes, versus the X amount of people that would have crossed there in a given time frame, had those payed people not been there.

    I think that is a good point about awareness.
     
  6. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I generally don't care for the police either, but making drivers aware of crosswalks doesn't sound like a bad thing.
     
  7. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    As I type this, I'm in a second story office with a window overlooking a four way stop, with a grocery store on one corner, office buildings on two corners, and a bar/restaurant on the other. The way traffic works is that no car or bike comes to a complete stop unless there's someone blocking their lane, and even then it's quite common to just slow as you approach the pedestrian while they move out of the way. This is based on years of observation.

    Every few years the cops will park out for a day and hand out a few dozen tickets to cyclists who blow through the stop sign. I've never heard of a cyclist hitting a pedestrian at this intersection (and only two, ever) in the last...fourteen years. I've never seen a similar sting operation for the car/truck drivers who fail to come to a complete stop or yield to pedestrians in the marked crosswalk.

    One block over is a busier intersection where there have been a couple of fatalities in the same time period from busses or cars hitting pedestrians. There's never a "stop trap" there either.
     
  8. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Stop sign = "full and complete stop".....yes?
     
  9. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Agreed, but...crap I really can't go further under forum rules. I agree with your principle but not the method of execution, that's all I can say I think.
     
  10. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Wrong. $75 per car 300 cars ticketed a week x 6 months = 1/2 a million dollars.
    Sounds like a no risk to officers revenue generator to me.
     
  11. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    I think there is a broad misunderstanding of the police role in public safety that becomes almost counterproductive to their efforts. Mainly because they can inflict punishment. Again, don't blame the messenger applies here.
     
  12. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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    Cops will also hire underage looking people (or young cops? but I think more likely the former) to try and get people to buy alcohol for them.
     
  13. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Also think two officers not fighting crime because folks won't do something as simple as respect pedestrians in crosswalks.
     
  14. JWDubois

    JWDubois Member

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    Stuff like that is done all the time. Not much different from policewomen dressing up as prostitutes trolling for johns.

    My favorite was here in Tennessee a few years ago, although it might have been done elsewhere. They put up a sign just before a rural Interstate exit which said something to the effect of "Interstate Drug Checkpoint Ahead."

    Sure enough, nimrods holding dope would dive off at the exit right into the real drug checkpoint. They made at least one pretty big bust as I recall.

    I remember one checkpoint that they did something that irritated me. It was a checkpoint ostenably to check vehicle registration, but they ran a drug dog around my car when they were doing it. FYI, I was clean, but it still bugged me.
     
  15. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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    Yeah, exactly. Makes people aware of the law requiring yielding to pedestrians, and generates revenue. Might be distasteful to some people, but there's no denying the logic.
     
  16. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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    By that logic any highway patrolman who primarily is tasked to giving out speeding tickets is not "fighting crime".
     
  17. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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    This I would argue is a waste of resources (to the point where I doubt many vice squads still do this). No revenue generated, and you're not targeting the offenders that I would think are important to get off the street.
     
  18. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Yes, you get it. Always these moving infractions are committed by folks who know better but invariably choose to not follow the rules. They tie up officers and foolishly, by their actions, provide the municipality with extra revenue. You can't stop them by being everywhere all the time, only try to slow them down.
     
  19. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    Create your own crime - join the highway patrol.

    As an aside, I can't see anything in the original post that mentioned there was a pedestrian crossing at the intersection.
     
  20. Mike Anderson

    Mike Anderson Member

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    There's nothing illegal about it. There's no law or code allowing it that I'm aware of. But as a general matter, you don't need a law to tell you something is permissible; if there's no law prohibiting it, it's legal.

    I'm not aware of any law or code that prohibits the police from doing this. You can argue about the wisdom of it, but that's a different issue.

    I'm a lawyer in California, by the way.
     

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