How One Officer Profiles Americans and Violates Their Rights
During the first week of August this past summer, I was sadly returning to New York from a wonderful vacation in Northern Ontario. I had become quite fond of the people in Northern Ontario because they were friendly, warm and caring.
After spending the summer traveling across the United States and Ontario, I came to the sad conclusion that New York State may well be the worst state in America. Forget the taxes, traffic, dirt, Hillary Clinton and the cost of living … New York simply leads the country in blatant stupidity and greed. My next article will explain that in more detail, so stayed tuned!
However, this article is all about a dumpy little town called Pembroke, Ontario, and its own version of Dudley Do-Right … well, actually, he was more of a combination of Inspector Clouseau and Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
It is highly suggested that all travelers, but especially Americans, should avoid the Trans-Canada Highway (17) between North Bay and Ottawa. If you must travel this horrid stretch of road, go BELOW the speed limit, block traffic and do not stop in any of the towns. You should not stop in Pembroke or spend a single cent within its town limits.
Here is the story of an early afternoon on the first Saturday in August. Some family, straight from The Grapes of Wrath, is driving a truck eastbound on Highway 17 approaching the stink-hole called Pembroke. The truck looks like something from The Little Rascals. Stuff is hanging off the sides and the back, the truck is bouncing up and down, and it is wobbling like it has different sizes of tires on each wheel. It is a menace to itself and other vehicles.
Highway 17 is like most roads in Canada: two lanes, poorly paved and far too winding to provide opportunities to pass slow-moving traffic. There are very infrequent stretches where three lanes allow a safe passing lane for one side of the highway. Apparently, the quality of roads in the rural part of Canada is of little concern to the government and the populace.
Since Highway 17 is the only direct route from North Bay to Ottawa, it is heavily traveled by trucks, cars, campers, RV’s and buggies like the broken-down piece of you-know-what that was well in front of us. The driver was quite oblivious to the jam he was creating and did not have the decency to pull onto the shoulder to let other cars around him. The concern in this situation always has to be for other drivers who are going to get ballistic and do something stupid.
Eventually, with the grace of God and incredible patience (largely a result of being so chilled from two weeks of glorious fishing), I found myself directly behind the dilapidated pick-up truck. As we approached an upcoming passing lane near the Laurentian Hills, three cars behind me crossed the double yellow line and started to pass, flying by us at about 150 km/hr (about 90 mph). By the time I was able to pull into the passing lane, there was only about ¼ of a mile left to complete the pass safely.
So, starting from below 50 km/hr (which was the speed of the truck), I quickly accelerated, getting close to 60 MPH (100 KM/HR), completed the pass and let the car slow down to the posted 90 KM/HR without hitting the brakes. As I started down a hill around some wide curves, I was surprised to see the three speeders in front of us (with one car in between the last car and us). They had unfortunately caught up to the biggest road hazard in the world, an RV towing a car behind it. I had also failed to see the Canadian Smokey Bacon hiding in the trees.
I slowed down to maintain a safe distance as six of us paraded behind the RV. Meanwhile, in the rear view mirror, I saw a car crossing double yellow lines to pass other cars. When it finally passed the Joad family truckster and was behind me, I could see it was a highway patrol car. Dudley Do-Right then made a dangerous maneuver to pass me, forcing me to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him as he cut in and missed an oncoming car. He then made an even more dangerous maneuver, passing the car in front of me on a blind curve, again narrowly missing the oncoming traffic.
In the meantime, the first two cars that had flown by me a few kilometers back made their own dangerous passes around the RV and had clear sailing … and they were fading into the horizon. You would guess that Dudley would be off after them but, instead, he put on his lights and pulled over the third car in the speeding caravan. As confusing as that was, it would get worse.
The car in front of me slowed down as Dudley and his victim pulled to the side. Dudley quickly jumped out of his car, almost falling down, but then just looked back towards us. He waved at me to pull over. I was totally stunned and wondered “WTF” Quinn the Eskimo was doing with me.
When the Mighty Mountie-Wannabe approached the first vehicle, also a New Yorker (I recalled his plates as he flew by me … the first two cars had Ontario plates), he seemed to be having a very loud and heated argument with the driver. This went on for five minutes. Finally, Officer Do-Right came to my vehicle and the following conversation ensued:
Dudley: And I suppose you are also an American who thinks that you can speed and do whatever you want in Canada?
Me: Excuse me?
Dudley: So what’s your excuse for speeding?
Me: Speeding? Why didn’t you go after the other two cars who were in front us? They were the guys who were speeding.
Dudley: Because you and your buddy up there are Americans and I knew that you would pull over. You Americans really don’t give a s**t about how fast you are drive, do you?
Me: Officer, I am not looking for a fight, but when was I speeding?
Dudley: I’ve got you on the radar going 148 km/hr in a 90 km/hr zone.
Me: Are you talking about when we passed that broken down truck in the passing lane?
Dudley: Yes. And because you were going more than 125 km/hr, I have to write you a ticket that requires you to appear in court.;
Me: There’s no way that I was going that fast, you must have gotten the three cars that passed me, including the guy up there. It’s impossible for this car (a fully packed Honda CRV automatic) to go from 45 km/hr to 148 km/hr in six seconds.
Dudley: I’ve got all four of you on the radar.
Me: I really don’t think it is possible. Can I see the radar?
Dudley: No. I already erased it. Just give me your license and registration.
Me: Then may I please go and talk to the other driver? (note: my plan was to get his information so I could fight the ticket).
Dudley: Absolutely not.
Me: You can search me or whatever …
Dudley: No. It would be unsafe for you to be out on the shoulder.
Me: Well, would you then be kind enough to give him a note?
Dudley: No. You are not going to get out of this. Give me the license and registration.
Needless to say, Dudley had parked the smokey-mobile right up on the guy’s bumper, so we could not see the license plate). When Dudley emerged from his vehicle, he gave the other guy his ticket first. As the driver pulled away, Dudley blocked my view of the other driver’s license plates. He also took another ten minutes with me to make sure I could not catch up to the guy.
Dudley then tried to show what a nice guy he was. He said that he was writing the ticket for going 125 km/hr in a 90 km/hr zone. This way, I would be charged the maximum penalty but would not have to make a court appearance. I refused to say anything else to this poor excuse of a law enforcement professional.
After I drove through that disgusting little landfill called Pembroke, I decided that I could not be bothered going back there to fight the ticket. In retrospect, this was a bad decision. I actually called attorneys when I got home, but they said the chances of getting justice in an Ontario traffic court as an American were non-existent. As one lawyer said, “I would do it but you are wasting your money. There is really nothing I can do to help. The justices are even more blind and anti-American than the highway patrol. It’s cheaper to pay the fine.”
As you may have suspected, I sent a detailed letter to the court with my guilty plea explaining that I could not possibly have been traveling at the speeds cited. I also explained how Dudley profiled me and violated my rights. The letter was written in both French and English, apparently to no avail. It seems that Justice N. Mitchell was not impressed (or possibly cannot read), and simply processed the charge to my credit card with all the emotion of a cash register. Maybe Mitchell and Dudley are drinking buds?
You may think the story ends here, but the next part of the saga is more bizarre. Dudley (also known as officer XXX91 … the first three digits are concealed to protect his privacy) is probably still out there preying upon unwary American travelers. Even though I’ve reported this area to many speed-trap web sites, there will still be dead meat for Dudley’s invisible radar. Stay away from Pembroke … take another route. Drive through hell if you have to.
In the meantime, maybe the folks at Honda will take this letter as testimony, documented by the Ontario Kangaroo Court System, as proof of the sheer power and acceleration of a CRV. Dudley Do-Right’s radar gun apparently proved (despite his erasure), that a fully loaded CRV went from below 30 MPH to 90 MPH in about 7 seconds. Maybe Dudley will sign the testimonial?
Highway Patrol Officers in Ontario Target Americans December 13, 2007
How One Officer Profiles Americans and Violates Their Rights