Opinion » Letters

Are you police or vultures?

San Luis Obispo



I received a ticket on Los Osos Valley Road on May 30 for not stopping at a street light without power during the replacement of a damaged power pole. The three-way street light was located at Laguna Street on a holiday (Memorial Day).

I debated on fighting this one because what was happening was so outrageous I just might win, but I didn’t want to risk the point on my clean driving record.

There were three policemen waiting on the other side of the light to pull people over. Twenty-five tickets were written in roughly 2 1/2 hours. I spoke with a nice officer later that day and told him I thought it vulturistic for them to lay in wait. He explained that they can’t possibly be responsible to direct traffic every time a traffic light was out. I understand that. This was, however, a planned outage, and I find it hard to believe one officer wasn’t available for a couple of hours to let the occasional driver turn left onto LOVR from Laguna.

It seems rather odd to agree to turn off a street light without offering up a simple portable stop sign.

Most often an out light will flash red. I was somewhat taken aback to see no light (as were my 24 other compatriots), and I went through the light (safely, as I did look left).

I think a small solar panel to allow a red flashing light when there is no power to a street light would be a welcome addition. At least they have a start on funding with the $7,500 they made from that day.

I couldn’t just hand over the $308 (not including traffic school cost, plus the time I will miss from work) without writing a letter. I’m a working mom trying to keep my business afloat, and now I get to miss a day of work for traffic school. Thank you SLO PD and City Public Works for being so helpful to our community. Sarcasm intended. For anyone thinking, “you should have known to stop at a light with no light,” this is true.

But there were a couple of “should haves” from the city and the Police Department as well. “Protect and Serve”? “Wait and Ticket” was more like it.

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