Monday, November 19, 2012

Arizona I-40 Navajo County Traffic Scam

Just a warning to tourists travelling on Interstate 40 in Navajo County in Arizona.

You've heard of the rattlesnakes, scorpions and cactus in Arizona. In Navajo County, the poisonous creatures wear uniforms.

My impression is that police officers in this area are running a scam operation. Driving legally will be of no benefit to you. I was pulled over on an allegation of failing to signal a lane change, though in fact I did signal the change.

The officers then seek out opportunities to place more serious and sometimes bizarrely trumped up charges against their unwitting victims. Take caution.

Here is an overview from Griffen & Stevens Law Firm PLLC (click here):

"Police officers across northern Arizona, including Flagstaff and Holbrook, are initiating traffic stops on unsuspecting drivers, usually those traveling west from California (sic), for bogus reasons like: GPS device on windshield, unsafe following distance, illegal lane usage, speeding 1 or 2 mph over the limit, and endless other pretexts for pulling someone over. Then the officers can ask a driver to get out of their vehicle, wait by the police car while the officer issues a “warning” and begins interrogating that person about drugs and other illegal activity. The officer tries to look for indicia of criminal activity and drug trafficking, and will often utilize a drug detection dog. Ultimately, the officer wants to pressure you to consent to a search of your vehicle."

Again: Legal behaviour is no defense. These licensed predators are in my opinion running a scam operation. If you drive legally in Navajo County, you could be their next victim.

My advice. Don't drive Arizona Interstate 40 in Navajo County - period. Stay away. I for one will not be back (and I'll be spending much less time - and tourist dollars - in Arizona in future).