Motorist Ticketed for 'Disrespecting' Slow-moving Officer

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
motorist ticketed for 8216 disrespecting slow moving officer

As far as important police work is concerned, moving violations always seem like the least-crucial activity for law enforcement to spend time on. That’s primarily because you never see them enforcing tailgating laws but they’re Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to catching speeders — which research always seems on the fence about in terms of the actual public peril it presents.

Realistically, any major disparities between vehicle speeds on a roadway presents some added risk of collision. But, last Friday, a Canadian motorist discovered you don’t have to be going all that quick to get a ticket. Mathieu Gagne was cruising behind a slow-moving police vehicle on a two-lane road in Alberta, Canada, and decided to pass. He was immediately pulled over and issued a citation for driving less than 1 mile an hour over the posted limit.

“I had the right of way, the dotted line, and there was nobody in front of me, so I decided it was alright, in my right, to pass the peace officer,” Gagne explained to CTV Edmonton.

While society’s adoption of the euphemism of “peace officer” is slightly bewildering, especially when “law enforcement official” is more applicable (it’s like calling a garbageman a “cleanliness arbiter” instead of a “sanitation worker”), the reason for Gagne’s roadside stop was not.

Stating that he was well within his rights to pass the slower-moving traffic, the driver said he was immediately confronted with flashing lights. When the officer approached his stopped Jeep, Gagne said the first words out of his mouth were, “That was pretty ballsy of you.”

“The next thing he said was, it was disrespectful. I was disrespecting him,” he said.

Gagne explained he argued that he had passed safely, but was issued a $78 citation for driving his Jeep 101 kilometers per hour in a 100 km/h zone anyway. “Send a message, but that’s the wrong message,” he said. “This is a speeding ticket. It’s demerits. That goes on my record. It goes on my insurance. My insurance goes up.”

His girlfriend, Larissa Turnbull, used social media to gripe about the event over the weekend — uploading a photo of the ticket in question and gaining plenty of public support. By Monday the posting had been shared thousands of times. Turnbull later updated it to indicate the county had rescinded the ticket.

“Upon further review, they did only estimate the driver’s speed and they did not record or measure it on a radar and laser as they indicated on the ticket,” Sturgeon County spokesperson Gwen Wolansky said.

Gagne said he was pleased not to have to deal with the ordeal behind him but expressed some remaining frustrations. “This kind of stuff shouldn’t happen,” he said.

According to Wolansky, the officer who issued the ticket is not facing any punitive action for “the error.”

Join the conversation
2 of 80 comments
  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.