Officer Gives Heartwarming Surprise

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If you have been wondering where all the humanity in our world went, all it takes is a bit of digging to find the good people. They are everywhere and there was recently a story that popped up from the St. Louis area. A man was driving his 5-year-old niece home from her chemo appointment when he was pulled over by a officer for a routine traffic stop. On the surface, this may not sound like a good story, but the situation takes a positive turn.

Matthew Manley was the man who was pulled over and when he saw the police car, he immediately knew what he had done wrong. He had been delaying the transfer of his new license plates for a bit of time and he knew that this would result in getting a citation, which is something you learn in a MO Driver Improvement course. Manley had been driving his niece back and forth to chemotherapy for cancer treatment every day which did not make the day any easier.

After the officer cited him a ticket for his license plates, he then went back to the police car and started rummaging through his trunk. Manley did not know what to think and even sent a text to his wife Dana because he was a bit scared! He was timid thinking about what was going to happen next. Manley was nervous until the police officer, Shawn Birdsong, returned to his vehicle and had a pink backpack in his hands. He gave the bag to Manley and said that it was for his niece and he hoped that it would help brighten her spirits.

Inside the bag was a note from the officer Shawn Birdsong to Manley’s niece that said he hoped she felt better soon. There were also some clothes, toys, and art supplies contained inside the bag. Manley was so moved by the act that he not only thanked the officer for his kindness, but he also shared the story on his Facebook page and thanked the officer again there. This was such a heartwarming act that meant so much to the Manley family and the little girl.

The Facebook post eventually reached Birdsong again and he then called the Manley family to thank them. Since then, he has called back to check on the little girl 3 or 4 times. He has gone above and beyond his role by showing this compassion for the little girl. He had the backpack in his truck at the time because he was participating in Project Backpack St. Louis which puts together backpacks with comfort items and necessities for children. He saw it as the perfect opportunity to help make the day of this little girl a bit better, especially since she was going through such a trying and difficult time.

If you are looking to stay out of trouble while driving, consider taking a course through the best traffic school online and remember to show compassion to others all season long.

How Do Other Countries Dismiss Traffic Tickets?

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In the United States, if you are cited for a traffic infraction, this infraction shows up on your driving record. However, depending on where you reside, you may be able to take traffic school every one to three years to have one ticket, such as a speeding ticket, red light infraction or other similar ticket, removed from your record. This may leave you wondering if this is standard in all parts of the world or how other countries dismiss tickets. Here is more information about dismissing or removing tickets from driving records in other parts of the world.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, they work on a points system that is very similar to those used in the United States. You get a certain number of points and once you exceed that points value, your license can be suspended. However, in the United States, you can take traffic school to remove one of these tickets and the points from your record. This is not an option in the United Kingdom. They only way to prevent points from hitting your record is to fight a ticket or not to get a ticket in the first place, unless you received a speeding ticket. Speeding ticket offenders can avoid a speeding fine, points and/or court by taking a 4-hour Speed Awareness Course.

For other traffic offenses, the UK’s National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) offers a range of courses which are designed to cover most low level moving traffic violations.

Australia

In Australia, the traffic ticket system is set up like it is in the United States. Each state has their own set of rules and laws. Just like in the United States, most states do have a points system in place. If you get too many points on your driving record for traffic infractions, your license will be suspended. However, just like in the US, in most states, you can attend traffic school to remove one ticket from your record. Once again, the frequency with which you can attend the school or take the course varies from state to state. Some are two years and others are four. And the number of points dismissed varies by state. However, if a state allows it, it’s a great way to remove unwanted points from your record.

Germany

Germany is another country that issues points based on the citations you receive while driving. These points can remain on your record for 2 1/2 years up to 10 years. If you receive a large number of points, your driving license will be suspended and you must go through a psychological examination to attempt to get your license back. While this state does not allow traffic school, you can get points removed from your record by taking part in formal training schools that are offered by the government in the country, in certain cases. A judge has to approve the training class and the removal of points based on what your offense was.

Italy

Italy has one of the most unique driving systems around. Drivers automatically start with 20 points on their driving record. If they drive well for two years, they receive two additional points, up to a maximum of 30 points. If they receive an infraction, they lose points. If they lose all their points, they can have their license suspended. Italy does not offer driving school or any other form of training. The only way to earn your good points back is by driving safely and following all traffic laws.

Every country has different laws when it comes to driving, driving infractions and licensing. Learning about the different country will help you see how strict your area is or how laid back it is compared to various countries around the world.

Weirdest Traffic Laws from Each State

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Even on the Federal Highway System, the Rules of The Road vary from state to state. Here we’ve collected and commented on some of the more arcane and unusual traffic laws you may want to remember if you live in, or travel in the United States. Read up! Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and if you break the law, you may have to take traffic school to dismiss the ticket.

Alabama – It’s illegal to drive a car while blindfolded.

Alaska – No driving with a dog tethered to your car.

Arizona – It’s against the law to drive a car in reverse on a public road.

Arkansas – in Little Rock it’s against the law to honk your car horn anywhere that serves cold drinks or sandwiches after 9 p.m.

California – In Glendale, it’s illegal to jump from a car going over 65 mph.

Colorado – It’s illegal to drive a black car on a Sunday in Denver.

Connecticut – it’s illegal to hunt from a car.

Delaware – “R” rated movies shall not be shown at drive-in theaters.

Florida – It is illegal to skateboard without a license.

Georgia – There’s no driving through playgrounds in Georgia.

Hawaii – It’s against the law for a vehicle in motion to use its hazard lights. People might think it’s a Luau.

Idaho – it’s forbidden for Senior Citizens over the age of 88 must lose all sense of balance, them to ride a motorcycle in Idaho Falls.

Illinois – It’s illegal to drive a car without a steering wheel. And, of course, impossible.

Indiana – It’s against the law to sell cars on Sundays. Try Maine.

Iowa – No vehicle may sell ice cream in Indianola, Iowa.

Kansas – No tire screeching in Derby, Kansas.

Kentucky – It’s illegal for your pet to molest a vehicle in Fort Thomas.

Louisiana – A woman’s husband is required by law to walk in front of the car waving a flag as she drives it.

Maine – It’s illegal to buy a car on a Sunday. Better move to Indiana.

Maryland – It’s a misdemeanor to swear from a vehicle while driving through Rockville.

Massachusetts – You cannot drive with a gorilla in your backseat. In the front seat is okay with the seat belt buckled.

Michigan – It’s against the law to sit in the middle of the street and read a newspaper. But in Detroit you may lie there and be covered by one.

Minnesota – You can be charged as a public nuisance if your truck leaves mud, dirt or sticky substances on the road in Minnetonka.

Mississippi – In Oxford, it’s illegal to honk your horn, even though it is an additional means of communication included in the price of your car.

Missouri – You can’t honk someone else’s car horn in University City, Missouri.

Montana – You can’t drive a herd of livestock numbering more than 10 on an interstate highway unless the herd is preceded and followed by flagmen.

Nebraska – By law, drivers on mountains should drive with caution near the right edge of the highway. Surprisingly, Bighorn Mountain rises to 4,731 feet.

Nevada – Even though it’s the desert, t’s illegal to ride a camel on the highway.

New Hampshire – It’s against the law to inhale bus fumes with the intent of inducing euphoria. If you want to kill yourself, that’s covered under a different law.

New Jersey – If you have been convicted of DUI, you can never apply for personalized license plates.

New Mexico – It may or may not be kidnapping, but it is illegal for cab drivers to reach out and pull potential customers into their taxis.

New York – It’s against the law to disrobe in your car in the beach town of Sag Harbor, Long Island.

North Carolina – In Dunn, North Carolina it’s illegal to play in traffic.

North Dakota – it’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

Ohio – It’s illegal to run out of gas in Youngstown.

Oklahoma –Cars must be tethered outside of public buildings. No guidance on to what.

Oregon – It is illegal to place a container filled with human fecal matter on the side of any highway. No containers!

Pennsylvania –Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass.

Rhode Island – One must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left. Preferably with your vehicle’s horn.

South Carolina – When approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft. from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.

South Dakota – No horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants.

Tennessee – It’s illegal to shoot game from a moving vehicle. But hitting it with your car is legal, and can be delicious.

Texas – You must have windshield wipers to register a car.

Utah – By law, birds have the right of way on all highways. Luckily, they don’t usually exercise it.

Vermont – It’s illegal for cars to backfire in Rutland.

Virginia – Radar detectors are illegal.

Washington – A motorist with criminal intentions must stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.

West Virginia – It’s legal to eat road kill. No info on whether you can shoot it from your car.

Wisconsin – One may not camp in a wagon on any public highway.

Wyoming – If you open a gate over a road, river, stream or ditch, you’d must close it behind you.

‘Move Over for Blake’ In Missouri

move over for blakeMissouri is one of a handful of states which has enacted laws requiring motorists to ‘move over’ in the presence of emergency vehicles or police stopped along the side of the road rendering assistance or simply performing the functions of their job. The death last week of a tow truck driver killed while helping a stranded motorist has some in the state asking if the law goes far enough.

Kansas City police told reporters that tow trucks were not included in the state’s “move over” law, which requires motorists to switch lanes for emergency vehicles or slow down if they cannot. This is at odds with what the Missouri Highway Patrol and tow truck drivers themselves believed to be the case.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the state’s “move over” law was enacted in 2002 as a Class C misdemeanor. In 2006, the penalty of the law was increased to a Class A misdemeanor and the crimes of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault were modified to include violations of the “move over” statute.

Blake Gresham, 18, was killed last week on the Christopher S. Bond Bridge. His truck was stopped, his emergency lights flashing, while the tow operator hooked up a stranded vehicle. Unfortunately the flashing lights and assorted equipment in use was not enough to convince at least one driver to move over and give him clearance.

Also, the law does not clearly state whether or not tow trucks drivers are covered. In fact, although the state tow truck association was involved in petitioning for and helping to get the law passed, even they are unsure if tow truck drivers are adequately covered.

Despite this confusion the death of Blake Gresham has spurred many to seek a clearer definition of the law and a special emphasis on protecting tow truck drivers along with anyone else helping someone on the side of the road. And all it really takes is some common sense for drivers to ‘move over’ when they see stopped vehicles.

Fatal Crashes Increase In Missouri

fatal crashesAccording to the Missouri highway Patrol there is reason to worry for anyone using state roads to get around. The number of fatal highway crashes is on the rise. That means that your risk of having a fatal crash, or any type of collision is increased and that police enforcement of all traffic laws will also increase.

All states have seen their share of fatal highway collisions fluctuate during the past few years. Some have risen dramatically while others have declined significantly. The causes for fatal collisions vary widely depending on driving conditions state laws and enforcement levels. Despite the fluctuations in traffic fatalities, traffic safety experts say there is little reason beyond human error for any fatal accidents to occur at all.

“After a six year decline in fatalities, we are now seeing an upward trend,” Eileen Rackers, MoDOT State Traffic and Highway Safety Engineer said in a press release.

So far this year, fatalities on Missouri highways are up 14 percent from last year. And locally, Missouri highway fatalities are up 75 percent from last year in Pulaski, Crawford, Dent, Laclede, Maries, and Phelps counties.

The Missouri Highway Patrol has determined that the majority of these fatal collisions have been caused by lack of seat belts (people are still refusing to wear seat belts?!) and distracted driving. To counter this increase Missouri has begun installing special electronic highway signs with the current number of highway fatalities for the state. It is hoped that this subtle reminder will be enough to convince drivers to slow down and pay attention to the road ahead of them instead of on their handheld device, radio or the person in the back seat (all common driving distractions.)

In the meantime the Missouri Highway Patrol will also be stepping up enforcement of existing driving laws in an effort to save drivers from their worst enemy: themselves.

Missouri Cracks Down On DUI And Seatbelt Neglect

duiMissouri Department of Transportation is partnering with state police and local law enforcement agencies to focus efforts on promoting and enforcing existing seat belt laws and cracking down on drivers under the influence of alcohol.

These departments began a coordinated effort today which will last through next week. Among the efforts planned are checkpoints and increased patrols focused on finding drivers or passengers not wearing their seatbelts or those under the influence of alcohol.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, last year 217 people were killed and an additional 867 seriously injured in crashes where at least one person was driving while impaired.

Failure to use seat belts can have consequences just as serious as drunk driving. According to 2010 Missouri State Highway Patrol statistics, 67.7 percent of Missouri drivers and 63.2 percent of passengers killed in automobiles, trucks, vans, and motor homes were not wearing seat belts. By contrast, 97.3 percent of drivers involved in non-injury traffic crashes were wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash.

According to Missouri state law:

  • Everyone riding in the front seat in automobiles and trucks with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds must wear a seat belt.
  • Children from 8 through 15 must wear seat belts regardless of the type of vehicle in which they are riding or where they are seated (front or back). Like the child restraint law, this is a primary law, meaning drivers can be pulled over for noncompliance.
  • Persons less than 18 years of age operating or riding in trucks (regardless of gross weight for which licensed) must wear seat belts.
  • No person under age 18 is allowed to ride in the unenclosed bed of a truck with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds on lettered highways, federal and state maintained highways, and within city limits. There are exemptions for agricultural purposes, special events, and parades.
  • It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure passengers under 16 are buckled up safely. Those 16 and over are responsible for themselves.
  • Children less than 4, regardless of weight, must use an appropriate child passenger restraint system.
  • Children weighing less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
  • Children from 4 to 7 who weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, and are less than 4-feet 9-inches tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or a booster seat appropriate for that child.
  • Children who are at least 80 pounds or children taller than 4-feet 9-inches tall must be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.

States Grappling With New Laws For Interstate Truck Drivers

online defensive drivingTrucking is on the minds of legislators in almost every state as they race against a deadline to implement a new federal mandate meant to improve interstate trucking safety.

The new law takes effect January 30 and requires all states to collect and store medical proof from truck drivers that they are in good enough physical condition to drive. There is already law requiring truck drivers to get medical certification before getting behind the wheel, but the new law will now require states to track this information, along with driving records in a nationwide database. The scramble to meet the deadline has left some states without new regulations in place and no way of processing this information, endangering their federal highway funds.

In fact, states which do not meet the Jan. 30 deadline lose a full 5 percent of their federal highway funds for the year. If they are still not compliant by 2013 that loss will double to a 10 percent reduction in federal highway funds. If the state can show they have a plan in place federal highway officials say they may wait to start punishing non-compliant states until 2014.

These federal highway funds are used to keep highways, overpasses and roads in good shape, which in turn creates a safer driving environment for everyone who uses, whether they are an interstate truck driver or not.

Anyone who has completed a traffic school online knows that at least a portion of what you need to e aware while driving is the condition of the road you are traveling on. Unsafe roads create an unsafe driving environment, and there’s not much a driver can do about it.

So far, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma have all reported they are in danger of missing the Jan. 30 deadline and might suffer as a result.