Denver, CO — A motorcyclist out for an afternoon ride last week found himself on the receiving end of a retaliatory police stop after honking his horn to warn a motorist who was texting and driving.
While on his drive, Devin Jones saw a person texting on their phone who was impeding the flow of traffic, so he decided to honk his horn and let the driver know to put down his phone.
Colorado Governor, Bill Ritter, signed House Bill 09-1094 in June, 2009 banning the use of cell phones for drivers under the age of 18 at all times. In addition, texting, emailing and twittering are banned for all drivers.
“Put the **** phone down,” says Jones after briefly laying on the horn and motioning to hang up a phone. For a split second, Jones thought he was doing the community a favor by warning the driver. However, the driver he’d just warned was a cop.
In an angry flash, the officer was in Jones’ face and unleashing his fury. Laughably, the officer accused Jones of road rage.
Officer: “That’s road rage,” he says, ironically, in a fit — of road rage.
Jones: “No, I was honking because you were on the phone and I needed you to get off so we could travel smooth.”
Officer: “Sometimes I’m required to be on my phone.”
Jones: “All I could see was this” (motions his hands as if he’s holding a phone).
Officer: “That’s none of your business.”
Officer: “Honking a horn at a vehicle is road rage.”
“He was extremely aggressive, his body language, everything he was doing is what I would classify as road rage,” Jones recalled of how the officer acted toward him.
Officer: “Why don’t you pull over your bike and we’ll write you a ticket.”
Jones called out the officer’s obvious retaliatory move by threatening a ticket and threatening to subpoena his footage and look for other infractions.
Jones: “I’m used to seeing drivers on their phone, and it causes quite a few …”
Officer: Hold on!
The officer then interrupts and screams at the traffic jam that he is causing by raging at Jones.
After the incident, Jones said, “I love the police. I respect what they do, but the badge doesn’t make them more capable behind the wheel.”
The badge does, however, allow them to intimidate and harass individuals who happen to call them out for breaking the law. Below is a perfect example of it.
As for the officer’s claims of honking the horn being considered an act of “Road Rage,” that was incorrect.
According to Colorado state law, Sec. 54-71. – Horns or other warning devices.
(a) Every motor vehicle when operated upon the streets and highways of the city shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal atmospheric conditions for a distance of not less than two hundred (200) feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound. The driver of a vehicle, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, shall give an audible warning with his horn, but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a street or highway.
As for Jones’ claims of standing on the seat of the motorcycle being legal, he was also wrong. According to Colorado law, Sec. 54-626. – Proper seating.
(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one (1) leg on either side of the motorcycle.