Main Street / Highway 18
as I was going thru Bolivar at 8 am on a Saturday morning and I got to the intersection of 64 and where 18 turns north I was behind 2 vehicles in the turn lane and 1 vehicle behind me. I did notice the car immediately in front had a Hardeman Co tag and can’t say about the others tags. We all turned north when the turn arrow appeared and proceeded thru the next red light at the Big Star all in a row, me being the 3rd in line. We all were about a car length apart and as we came out of a “curve” on Hwy 18 N (Main St. on the very outskirts of town) there was a city police car backed up on a knoll facing north bound traffic on the opposite side of the road. As we passed the patrol car the officer flashed their blue lights on and off as if to warn someone to slow down. I looked at my dash mounted GPS which said I was doing 39 mph and glanced at my speedometer which read about 40. I looked in my outside rear view mirror and noticed the car behind me slowing and turning into a convenience store and noticed the patrol car pulling out and turning our way. I had passed a sign by this time (maybe 100 yds past the patrol car) that said speed limit 45. Almost a mile later the patrol car was behind me with blue lights flashing. I pulled over and the officer came to my door and I asked what the problem officer. The officer told me they had clocked me at 44 mph in a 30 zone. I said my speedometer said I had been doing 40 or less and there was a sign about a 100 yds from their position that said 45 speed limit. Officer asked for my drivers license, registration and insurance card which I gave and they returned to their car. Officer returned saying I have cited you for speeding, 44 in a 30 zone, I need you to sign here and I will go back and get your registration from my car and give it back to you. I told the officer I’m not trying to be smart or nothing but I was not doing 44 mph and I want to know where the sign is that says 30 mph and I would like to see the radar reading saying I was doing 44 and what about the 2 cars that was in front of me and the one on my bumper when we passed the patrol car…I was asked to sign the ticket and if I wanted to dispute it court would be Nov 12th at 1:30 pm..sign here and I will go get your registration. I signed and they went back to car and got my registration handed it to me and turned to leave. I called back and asked do I not get a copy of the ticket? to which the officer said “oh” and tore out my copy and handed me. I left and proceeded about 25 yds to another convenience store to get a drink. Someone in the store evidently had seen the scene and remarked to me “you must be from outa town” I said yes outa state, they laughed and said that was normal for the Bolivar PD to target out of state vehicles and write them speeding tickets, that’s how the city made “it’s money and paid its bills” . he told me to wait until I called to see how much the ticket was and that would be the ice cream on the cake.. I figured he meant it would be some ridiculous high fine.
When I called Monday morning to the Bolivar Police Dept to inquire to the fine I was greeted most cheerfully and informed “that I was lucky”. Since this was my first speeding ticket it had been dismissed and would not go on my record….HOWEVER I would have to pay $110 in “court cost” for them to “dismiss the ticket”. The lady said this would save me the time and trouble of having to return to Bolivar for court and the chance the judge would find me guilty and there would be a fine then on top of the court cost, this way my insurance wouldn’t go up. Please mail the $110 to the address on the top of the ticket and make check payable to Bolivar Police Dept. They had determined all this from Saturday morning at 8:15 am and Monday morning at 8:30 am….they need to replace the NSA or Homeland Security with the Bolivar PD.
Guess I need to get out more often. Since this was my first ever ticket in 46 years of driving I was taken back by all this. But in checking with a local attorney and our local police chief, both of which are good friends, I find this is a common practice in lots of places. If I contested the ticket and found guilty or not, the state and other “groups” like the click it or ticket campaign, etc.. gets the “lion’s share” of any fine paid. Since there is no ticket after being dismissed the city gets to keep 100% of the court cost. The local attorney (who also is a municipal judge) said by the officer’s denying my seeing the radar it would be skeptical to him there was even radar involved.
The attorney/Judge friend called me later and told me to google “speed traps bolivar tn” on the internet and read it. When I did I found almost identical situation posted on June 29th on this site.
At any rate I feel singled out because of being out of state, by ignoring the "local" car(s) in front or rear of me indicates that, the refusal to show me the radar reading or even use of radar further suggest inappropriate action on the behalf of the officer and then to find 2 almost similar instances posted here, one with the past few weeks…well judge for yourself.
Then again I wonder if this is part of the "Keep Tennessee Green" campaign.
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