Police fine man holding sign warning drivers of speed trap
Police gave a Seattle man a $138 ticket for holding up a sign warning drivers of a nearby speed trap. The issue for the police, though, was in the language of the sign –– not the message.
"If I can help some people not get ticketed, and fined, and bothered –– you know — it's a good thing to do," Daniel Gehlke told KOMO.
Notice the blacked-out line on Daniel Gehlke's sign, though.
KOMO reports the original text read "Cops Ahead! Stop at sign and light!"
Police are saying using word "stop" is against the law. City code actually forbids citizens from creating or maintaining signs with words like stop, danger or slow down, as they can "be construed as giving warning to or regulating traffic." Its purpose is to keep drivers from being distracted.
Gehlke told KOMO he thinks the police are trying to twist the law. He said he wonders if police have issues with arguably common signs, such as "slow down, children at play" or "stop police brutality."
On his Facebook, he responded to a user who asked if a sign simply says "speeding tickets," would that be against the law? Gehlke said, "Who cares about 'against the law'? What I supposedly did had no victim, thus no crime."
Debates about victimless crimes aside, one point has to be made: As you could see in the video, Gehlke was allowed to stand with his sign after the line with the word "stop" was removed.