I Can Now Freely Drive Like A Maniac Through Sunriver
This will make any driving I do through Sunriver a whole lot easier.
SUNRIVER, Ore. -- No seatbelt? No citation. No tail light? No ticket. In to [sic] much of a hurry? Not to worry.
This basically puts the cops back to the security-guard status they had for years.
Sgt. P.J. Beaty watches people in this upscale development breaking traffic laws, and sees plenty of them. But he can't pull them over. A man swerved head-on into Beaty's lane, and then back out again and Beaty couldn't lay a glove on him.
For years, he and the department's 10 other sworn officers could have pulled him over.
But the Sunriver Service District, which governs police and fire departments, voted in February to tell officers to make Sunriver's roads, which are private but open to the public, exempt from minor vehicle infractions.
Granted, I want them to be able to enforce the laws here, but they were going totally overboard here on minor things for quite a while, especially picking on the locals. My dad, who has worked out here for over 25 years, as well as my boss and two other people I know, all got pulled over for not wearing their seat belt. The thing is, they were all just moving cars around in a parking lot -- they weren't actually going anywhere. And if you went 26 MPH through Sunriver where it's 25 MPH all throughout, they would've given you a ticket. But whenever there's a tourist driving the wrong way around one of the 10 one-way traffic circles (which I've seen many times), there's never a cop to be found.
That being said, if a drunk is wreaking havoc through town, they now have no authority to do anything, which is no good at all.
You can read a bit about it in the latest Sunriver Scene, where they talk about the minutes from the meeting where this vote took place. But from what I can tell by reading just the bits I am there (and I can't read the Bulletin version of this without paying, so I don't know if they explained this better), they're doing this basically because of the way state laws work on enforcing laws on private roads.
Update: There are several other blogs and forums talking about this now. And just think: The Bulletin could've gotten a bunch of ad revenue-generating traffic, but they decided to lock-down their article instead and send all the traffic for folks looking for this article to a Seattle paper. Their loss.
Follow-Up On "Sunriver Police Can't Do Anything" Story from UtterlyBoring.com on 03/08/07 @ 10:04 AM:
I passed on a story a few days ago about how Sunriver police can't really do much of anything now. The story is now all over the blog world, with... (Read More)