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Motorist accuses police officer of discrimination

Motorist accuses police officer of discrimination

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A South Union resident is accusing the police sergeant who issued him with a ticket for a traffic offence of “discrimination”.

Kraig Smart, who was travelling in rush hour traffic, yesterday, Monday, September 1, claims that while he was issued a ticket for driving down a road that at that time of day is ‘no entry’, a motorist behind him was simply turned back and let off with a warning.{{more}}

“Since I was ticketed, the other driver should have been ticketed also. If not, both of us should of [have] been let off with a warning,” complained Smart. “Now I am forced to break into my son’s piggy bank to pay $80 that I can’t even afford.”

Smart said that in an attempt to avoid a long wait in traffic, he turned into Sergeant Jack Drive (in the Arnos Vale area) from the main road, in order to drop his son at the pre-school near to the Rent and Drive business establishment.

However, he was stopped by sergeant Junior Nero, who was patrolling the area at that time.

In a letter penned to the editor of SEARCHLIGHT, Smart said: “He stopped me and asked ‘way you going?’ To which I replied that my son is going to the pre-school just behind you so I thought it would be OK to just drive through and drop him off.”

Smart said that Nero told him that it would cost him to do so, then demanded to see his driver’s license so that he could issue him a ticket.

According to Smart, while Nero was dealing with him, another vehicle pulled into the road, committing the same traffic violation that Smart had been pulled over for.

“Not too long after he stopped me, another vehicle pulled into the same gap,” explained Smart. “I reckon the driver had the same thought like I did, because he got pulled over also.”

Smart said that after being handed back his driver’s license and the ticket, he drove off – but looked in the rear view mirror to see what was happening between Nero and the other motorist.

“I looked back in my rear view mirror and stopped in total shock and disgust when the other driver was just asked to turn back and not ticketed,” he said. “So I am left with this question to traffic officer sergeant Nero: why was it appropriate to issue me a ticket and not the other driver? As you clearly see, this was blatant discrimination, but on what grounds?”

However, when contacted by SEARCHLIGHT, Nero, denied the accusation of there being discrimination in the matter.

“The same way he [Kraig Smart] was dealt with, the other driver was dealt with also,” stated Nero.

“How can he say what happened with the other driver if he wasn’t there? He was driving away.”

Nero pointed out that there is a clearly posted sign at the entrance of Sergeant Jack Drive that prohibits entry on Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m.

While he acknowledged that there are certain roads that motorists regularly get ticketed for driving on during prohibited times, he has to assume that motorists know the traffic rules when he pulls them over.

“If there are signs that people are not aware of, I wouldn’t know whether they are aware of them or not,” he pointed out. “But the sign is there!”(JSV)

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