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  1. #1
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    Mass. man ticketed in gridlock while wife in labor

    published December 5, 2008 11:05 am

    Boston – A man in Massachusetts is appealing a $100 ticket he got for driving to a hospital in the breakdown lane of a gridlocked Boston highway while his wife was in labor.

    John Davis of Dracut says his wife Jennifer's contractions were three minutes apart on Nov. 18 when a state trooper pulled them over for using the breakdown lane.

    The couple says the trooper made them wait five to 10 minutes while he wrote a ticket for another car on Route 2, asked to see Jennifer's belly to prove her pregnancy, then issued them a ticket.

    The couple made it to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. Their daughter was born five hours later.

    State police say no discipline is likely for the trooper.

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    What a jerk.

    The first Troopers should have given her an escort.

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    I know an officer or two who would probably do that. They tend not to be good at PR as well.

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    So, if he had caused an accident that killed his pregnant wife, and perhaps some innocent bystander, that would be okay?

    We should all know that RPs tell their version of events. If you found out he was going 100 mph, and swerving in and out of lanes, and unleashed a stream of profanities when pulled over, would your heart still bleed for him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    What a jerk.

    The first Troopers should have given her an escort.
    No, too much liability, the correct thing to do would have been to call the FD and have them come to their location. Out here, an escort for a person in labor only happens in the movies.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

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    A Trooper escorted my friend when his wife was in labor.

    The Trooper has more responsibilities than just cite people and handle accidents on the road. Instead of citing the woman and going back to his speed trap and turning on his radar, he should have escorted her. He didn’t have to drive 100 MPH, but he could of just rode in front of her and cleared traffic. To me it is a combination of laziness and arrogance. This is the stuff that gives cops and escpically Troopers a bad name.

    Lets be honest, what kind of idiot gives a ticket to a woman in labor? What a lack of common sense. What if the woman would of hemorrhaged right there in the car and her and/or the baby died, what kind of liability would there be then? The PR alone (never mind the lawsuit) would have been a nightmare for the MSP. It would probably have led to top-level resignations.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    A Trooper escorted my friend when his wife was in labor.

    The Trooper has more responsibilities than just cite people and handle accidents on the road. Instead of citing the woman and going back to his speed trap and turning on his radar, he should have escorted her. He didn’t have to drive 100 MPH, but he could of just rode in front of her and cleared traffic. To me it is a combination of laziness and arrogance. This is the stuff that gives cops and escpically Troopers a bad name.

    Lets be honest, what kind of idiot gives a ticket to a woman in labor? What a lack of common sense. What if the woman would of hemorrhaged right there in the car and her and/or the baby died, what kind of liability would there be then? The PR alone (never mind the lawsuit) would have been a nightmare for the MSP. It would probably have led to top-level resignations.
    And of course by looking at your profile, you're not in law enforcement, so your post is full of a lack of understanding when it comes to what we should or should not do. In my agency, it's a written policy that we DO NOT escort people going to a hospital. As AZLawDog said, too much liability. My patch says police, it does not say official escort or Fire Department/EMS.

    A ticket? We really don't know the full story here now do we? And your "speed trap" and "laziness and arrogance" comments are laughable. Get a clue bub.
    Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    A Trooper escorted my friend when his wife was in labor.

    The Trooper has more responsibilities than just cite people and handle accidents on the road. Instead of citing the woman and going back to his speed trap and turning on his radar, he should have escorted her. He didn’t have to drive 100 MPH, but he could of just rode in front of her and cleared traffic. To me it is a combination of laziness and arrogance. This is the stuff that gives cops and escpically Troopers a bad name.

    Lets be honest, what kind of idiot gives a ticket to a woman in labor? What a lack of common sense. What if the woman would of hemorrhaged right there in the car and her and/or the baby died, what kind of liability would there be then? The PR alone (never mind the lawsuit) would have been a nightmare for the MSP. It would probably have led to top-level resignations.

    That's why I said "out here". I could lose my job and open the department up to a huge lawsuit, if I ever decided to escort someone to the hospital and they crashed on the way. An escort is never the best option when the FD is only moments away. Escorts are extremely dangerous in metropolitan areas, the traffic is too unpredictable. It's never as easy as "riding in front of her and clearing traffic", anyone who has ever driven Code-3 will tell you that.

    As far as a Trooper's responsibilities, you don't have to tell me that, I worked the highways and I know what works, and what doesn't, what's safest, and what isn't.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by towncop View Post
    And of course by looking at your profile, you're not in law enforcement, so your post is full of a lack of understanding when it comes to what we should or should not do. In my agency, it's a written policy that we DO NOT escort people going to a hospital. As AZLawDog said, too much liability. My patch says police, it does not say official escort or Fire Department/EMS.

    A ticket? We really don't know the full story here now do we? And your "speed trap" and "laziness and arrogance" comments are laughable. Get a clue bub.
    Yes, my experience is limited to military law enforcement. However, if I was from the North Pole it does not matter. This is not a matter of having to be a police officer to understand. I am sure you comment on things not related to law enforcement that you have limited experience in. If you were to criticize a politician I would not say that your comment is irrelevant because you were not a politician. If you had a comment about Iraq, I would not say your comment is meaningless because if you didn’t serve there.

    This is common sense, what kind of moron writes a ticket to a man driving his wife to the hospital while in labor; especially after two other officers let him by? As a police officer you should now all about the sue-hungry lawyers out there. God forbid anything happened to that woman, there would have been a public outcry. Police officers, chiefs, superintendents, etc has all been fired for less. The public would not care about some regulation that bars the officers from escorting people to the hospital, they would have been crying for blood. And you know the lawyers would be begging to take the case.

    What you do in this situation? Would you put them in your car? Would you escort them? Would you call the ambulance? This Trooper did none of that. Instead he gave the person a ticket. No matter what you think or are regulated to do regarding escorts, you have to admit that was pretty stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    A Trooper escorted my friend when his wife was in labor.

    The Trooper has more responsibilities than just cite people and handle accidents on the road. Instead of citing the woman and going back to his speed trap and turning on his radar, he should have escorted her. He didn’t have to drive 100 MPH, but he could of just rode in front of her and cleared traffic. To me it is a combination of laziness and arrogance. This is the stuff that gives cops and escpically Troopers a bad name.

    Lets be honest, what kind of idiot gives a ticket to a woman in labor? What a lack of common sense. What if the woman would of hemorrhaged right there in the car and her and/or the baby died, what kind of liability would there be then? The PR alone (never mind the lawsuit) would have been a nightmare for the MSP. It would probably have led to top-level resignations.
    The story I read said this occurred in gridlocked rush hour traffic so where exactly is this SPEED TRAP you rant about. Once again someone who just wants to bash someone without actually knowing anything about what is going on. The trooper already had someone stopped when this couple came driving down the emergency lane and was stopped by the trooper. I can pretty much say that would happen every time someone is driving down the emergency lane and comes up on a stopped traffic unit.

    As far as your laziness and arrogance comment....completely uncalled for. Issuing someone a ticket is not "laziness"....maybe a lack of discretion or poor judgement depending on your viewpoint, but no need for the grade school name calling.

    Heres the problem..... we cannot legally give an escort and we cannot let them continue speeding down the emergency lane either or we will be the first to get sued when there is an accident. Did the trooper ask them if they wanted an ambulance (who can legally speed down the emergency lane)???? I dont see anywhere in the article where it mentions that fact. You were quick to jump on the bashing bandwagon so I'm sure you must have additional information on this incident...please share it with us.


    And for the record......no I wouldnt have cited them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
    The story I read said this occurred in gridlocked rush hour traffic so where exactly is this SPEED TRAP you rant about. Once again someone who just wants to bash someone without actually knowing anything about what is going on. The trooper already had someone stopped when this couple came driving down the emergency lane and was stopped by the trooper. I can pretty much say that would happen every time someone is driving down the emergency lane and comes up on a stopped traffic unit.

    As far as your laziness and arrogance comment....completely uncalled for. Issuing someone a ticket is not "laziness"....maybe a lack of discretion or poor judgement depending on your viewpoint, but no need for the grade school name calling.

    Heres the problem..... we cannot legally give an escort and we cannot let them continue speeding down the emergency lane either or we will be the first to get sued when there is an accident. Did the trooper ask them if they wanted an ambulance (who can legally speed down the emergency lane)???? I dont see anywhere in the article where it mentions that fact. You were quick to jump on the bashing bandwagon so I'm sure you must have additional information on this incident...please share it with us.


    And for the record......no I wouldnt have cited them.
    Saying he was lazy was a little too much, your right that is childish, but it was arrogance IMHO on the Trooper's part.

    Did the Trooper not think, “I am giving a ticket to a man driving his wife to the hospital? Is the delay going to cost her the baby if there are complications? Is this going to be on the news and all over the Internet with everyone talking about it? Is this going to make my department look bad? Did I become a Trooper because I wanted to write tickets, or did I do it because I wanted to help people and make society better? Maybe she has plenty of time until the baby comes, but wait, I am not a doctor. If he is willing to speed I should call an ambulance, regardless of whether he wants one or not. No, Ill write a ticket, let them go one their way, and let him speed again.”
    Last edited by Spartan75; 12-05-2008 at 07:03 PM.

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    I don't know about Mass. but here you can call an ambulance and if not treated or transported there is no charge. I don't do escorts but do call ambulances. I don't try an do a paramedic's job and they don't try and do mine. As is frequently the case, we don't have all the informaton on the situation but I'd rather see somebody pulled over while rushing to the hospital if thay are driving like an idiot and are an accident looking for a place to happen.

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    No escorts here either.....and it is per policy and (I think) state law........

    As several others have posted, we would have called for an ambulance to roll to our loc......and no, we probably would not have been writing any citations to the driver either......
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

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    Based on what little I know concerning the Original Post. No citation written under the circumstances. Paramedics/ambulance to the scene. Just my .02

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75
    What if the woman would of hemorrhaged right there in the car and her and/or the baby died, what kind of liability would there be then?
    Not as much. Absolute worst case scenario = dead baby and dead mom.

    Now think for a second, what is the worst that could happen with an untrained driver speeding through gridlocked traffic? Not only could mom & baby be killed, but so could Dad and any number of other drivers on the road.

    I know it is hard to believe, but for thousands upon thousands of years, people gave birth without being rushed to a hospital where they can be surrounded by doctors and equipment. Just a reminder.

    The couple says the trooper made them wait five to 10 minutes while he wrote a ticket for another car...
    I wonder what his justification was for giving the other car a higher priority. I don't think I would've done what this officer did because it seems like a jerk move, but I don't know everything about the situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fëanor View Post
    Not as much. Absolute worst case scenario = dead baby and dead mom.



    Now think for a second, what is the worst that could happen with an untrained driver speeding through gridlocked traffic? Not only could mom & baby be killed, but so could Dad and any number of other drivers on the road.

    So giving the driver a ticket and letting him go on his way knowing he is going to speed because of the circumstances is better? The Trooper didn't pull him over and help in any way, he gave a ticket. From all the stories I have seen there was no reason for that. He didn't use common sense.

    I know it is hard to believe, but for thousands upon thousands of years, people gave birth without being rushed to a hospital where they can be surrounded by doctors and equipment. Just a reminder.

    Many woman and babies died in childbirth thousands of years ago. What is your point?

    Everyone, ask your spouses, friends or fellow cops what they think. How many are going to say with the facts that have been presented in 20 new releases I have seen so far that this guy did the right thing?
    Last edited by Spartan75; 12-05-2008 at 07:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    So giving the driver a ticket and letting him go on his way knowing he is going to speed because of the circumstances is better?
    No, as several others have stated, the best thing the officer could have done is call Fire/EMS to the scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75
    Many woman and babies died in childbirth thousands of years ago compared to today. What is your point?
    The vast majority survived.

    Your contention that the officer should've escorted them is the only one lacking common sense. The EXACT reason we train emergency drivers and provide emergency vehicles is so that THEY will be the ones who speed when it is necessary. You know how they have those cool lights on top and the loud sirens? The pregnant lady's car doesn't have those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fëanor View Post
    No, as several others have stated, the best thing the officer could have done is call Fire/EMS to the scene.

    The vast majority survived.

    And many died. You can still see it in Africa today. Still don't see your point.

    Your contention that the officer should've escorted them is the only one lacking common sense. The EXACT reason we train emergency drivers and provide emergency vehicles is so that THEY will be the ones who speed when it is necessary. You know how they have those cool lights on top and the loud sirens? The pregnant lady's car doesn't have those.

    So what if they ambulance couldn't get there because of the traffic? Then what do you do? Sometimes you have to break rules when it comes to life and death situations.

    If you don't see that giving this guy a ticket was a lack of common sense, then something is wrong with you. Thank God you are not a police officer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75 View Post
    And many died. You can still see it in Africa today. Still don't see your point.
    My point is that just because you are in labor doesn't mean you suddenly are allowed to violate the law in order to get to the hospital. Having a baby is not a life or death situation and you are trying to twist it into one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75
    So what if they ambulance couldn't get there because of the traffic? Then what do you do? Sometimes you have to break rules when it comes to life and death situations.
    Last time I checked there are no magical paths that the father can drive on that an ambulance cannot. If the ambulance can't get through the traffic then the father absolutely won't get through the traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan75
    If you don't see that giving this guy a ticket was a lack of common sense, then something is wrong with you. Thank God you are not a police officer.
    Maybe you missed the part where I said I probably would not have done the same thing as the officer. But I also would not do what you are suggesting, and let an amateur driver violate traffic laws and risk lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fëanor View Post
    My point is that just because you are in labor doesn't mean you suddenly are allowed to violate the law in order to get to the hospital. Having a baby is not a life or death situation and you are trying to twist it into one.

    Having a baby can be a life or death situation. No matter what it is a medical emergency.

    Last time I checked there are no magical paths that the father can drive on that an ambulance cannot. If the ambulance can't get through the traffic then the father absolutely won't get through the traffic.

    The father is headed TOWARD the hospital. The ambulance would have to come toward them from the hospital in the opposite lane and then find a way to cut across, which would be hard if there are concrete barriers between them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fëanor View Post
    No, as several others have stated, the best thing the officer could have done is call Fire/EMS to the scene.
    As a practicing EMT of many years, I concur. 100%. Not an inkling of doubt in my mind. Unless it's a high-risk pregnancy or something goes sideways, there isn't even a whole heck of a lot we do. In the event it IS a high-risk pregnancy or something DOES go drastically wrong, we have a number of resources to deal with many of the issues.

    The argument that EMS might get caught in traffic is a non-starter. If it happens, I have a radio and can call for other units. I've taken ambulances four-wheeling down a median or a shoulder many times. Hell, I've even run the wrong way up the interstate a time or two. And if all else fails (the NYS Troopers in the room are gonna hate me for saying this) I'll shut down the highway and land a helo if I have to.

    Besides... if the guy was driving in the breakdown lane, an ambulance probably could have too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hxd View Post
    Unless it's a high-risk pregnancy or something goes sideways, there isn't even a whole heck of a lot we do.

    Since no one knew if it was, more reason to have the police escort her.

    The argument that EMS might get caught in traffic is a non-starter.

    No it isn't. Concrete barriers, heavy traffic, etc, can all cause delays. Your statement is a pretty blanket statement. You can really think of no situation were you can't get through to somebody?


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    3 min. apart contractions without an exam to check for dialation or effacement can mean a few hours (as in this case) or the head is coming out (as in a friend of mine who gave birth at 25 weeks gestation to a 1lb 3oz baby boy who survived.)

    Not being a cop or a medical examiner, while I sympathize with the panic of the father to rush and the cop to want to keep people safe, I agree with the stop, but disagree with the ticket.

    I also disagree with hospital births except in cases of preterm labor, and high risk pregnancies. 90+% of all healthy pregnancies can safely deliver their babies at home.

    I had my second homebirth two years ago today.

    Bring back homebirth and most of these situations will take care of themselves.
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    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...ket_delivered/

    Though the Davises live about 30 miles away in Dracut, Jennifer Davis, 38, wanted to have her baby at Mount Auburn, where she had also given birth to her 7-year-old son, Brendan.

    "For 10 months we had been saying, 'As long as I don't go into labor during rush hour' - which we did," said Davis, a social worker for a visiting nurse group affiliated with the hospital.
    So she decided to go to the hospital 30 miles away instead of the one nearby knowing the traffic from Dracut to Cambridge is going to be a gridlock? Sounds like a winner
    Last edited by geek4life; 12-05-2008 at 11:13 PM.

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    Around here, traveling 30 miles to give birth is nothing since the availability of hospitals with a maternity ward is almost non-existent. The nearest hospital to us is 10 miles. People come here from Illinois to give birth and even for all their prenatal visits. Even those who live in town find themselves waiting half an hour for trains.

    While I may find the idea of traveling to give birth in a "sterile" environment, a woman should be able to choose where she gives birth.

    Maybe she decided on the one further away because their security is better. Maybe they have a lower c-section rate. Maybe she likes epidurals and the closer hospital doesn't offer them. (Not all hospitals do.) Or maybe she just plain did not feel safe or comfortable at the closer hospital.

    I still advocate for homebirths, but I am not going to criticize a woman for birthing where she feels safest for herself and her baby.
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