Fort Worth Police Are Ticketing People for Not Using Parking Brakes

Categories: Legislature, News

Parkingbrakelamp.jpg
There was a time, back when manual transmissions were the only option and the slightest incline could potentially transform any car into an unstoppable projectile, when it made sense to have a law requiring drivers to use their parking brake.

Those days have long since passed. Automatic transmissions are now almost universal, and putting a car in park is a perfectly adequate defense against runaway vehicles.

Texas law has not kept up with the times. The provision requiring drivers to set the parking brake on any unattended vehicle remains on the books, which means that it's fair game for the opportunistic cop whose ticket book is burning a hole in his pocket.

Fort Worth PD has at least a couple of such cops. NBC 5 reports that, in the early morning hours of August 24, seven or eight cars in the Chadwick Farms neighborhood of Fort Worth were ticketed for failure to apply the parking brake.

"I thought it was a joke, so I didn't pay it," Sue Johnston, whose son got the ticket while at a friend's birthday party, told the station. "And then I get a notice that I have a delinquent violation and now I owe them $55 instead of $30 that it originally was."

A Fort Worth police spokeswoman said the tickets were likely issued after officers received complaints of loud noise coming from the party. Oftentimes, she told NBC 5, officers will "enforc[e] all appropriate laws" when they can't solve an issue directly.

Calling the parking brake mandate "appropriate" is a bit of a stretch, in any circumstance. Which suggests that it's time to take that particular arrow out of law enforcement's spacious quiver. There will still be a mountain of other dumb laws to enforce.

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49 comments
respectfulmonkey
respectfulmonkey

you guys missing the point as always.. the homeowner refused to lower the music, choosing to ignore the cops, like some of you would do, showed total disrespect for them, the laws, and their neighbors, and yet you all are pissed about the parking brake citations?  i don't get it, but then again, i obey the law and have respect for those who enforce it. 

LevyShecklestein
LevyShecklestein

Oy vey! The goyim aren't using their parking breaks! It's like another shoah!

Vatsamatta Fort Verth? Don't vanna pay ye tickets? Vaddya racists or samting? Don't you remember the sixty trillion!

John1073
John1073

Sodomy laws are on the books in Texas too but it doesn't make them legal.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

So the brave fwpd will storm a backyard and kill a homeowner, but music scares them off?

Lesson to us all, eh. F'in Worthless, eh.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If you park on any incline, including a sloping driveway, you should use the parking brake.

Transmissions are expensive to replace.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Amend the law so that it doesn't apply to cars with automatic transmission. 

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

Did you know that the city of Ft. Worth is migrating to a fully encrypted P25 digital radio system that completely locks the public out of their radio transmissions?  I understand the need for various police channels to be encrypted such as SWAT, Narcotics, etc., but this new system also locks out EMS, Fire, and PD altogether.  Mind you, the operative word is "migrating."  Some of the EMS & Fire have not migrated yet.  In a country where police intrusion is increasing such as in the use of domestic drones, this ensures that nobody can monitor their daily activities.  Rise up!  Johnson County has employed limited use of encryption as evidenced by the "E" in the mode column.  Radio Reference supplies the data base needed for phone applications on Broadcastify.  No, we don't allow the public to listen to sensitive channels on a Scanner feed.  If you want to hear some of the more sensitive information, provided encryption is not being employed (various agencies), you will need to buy a digital police scanner:  http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7349

lemonaioli
lemonaioli

Texas hasn't kept up with the times? Well, that's an understatement. If I was parking in a very hilly place (like San Francisco), then I'd put on the parking brake. I'm hard pressed to think of a big hill in DFW. I-30 leaving Fort Worth? Buckner by Norbuck Park? Any of the ramps that are featured on the news on icy days? Then again, if you're in a situation where you need to park on those ramps, you have bigger issues than remembering to put on the parking brake.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Chickenshit tickets are written by chickenshit cops.  

Name them and shame them.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

They couldnt shut down a loud party so they write parking brake tickets?  WTF

Sally113
Sally113

I have never in my life used a parking break and not once has my parked car rolled down a hill.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

What is this mysterious parking brake you speak of?

ChrisD
ChrisD

How can the cop prove that the Parking brake is on or off?

ruddski
ruddski

The handbrake is also an effective steering device, but cops probably don't like that much either

dingo
dingo

These officers would be providing a better service to our country by instilling a 'culture of coverage' into these 'young invincibles'  by checking health insurance enrollment instead of parking brakes.

ruddski
ruddski

"... and putting a car in park is a perfectly adequate defense against runaway vehicles." LOL, let me guess, Eric's a flatlander.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Montemalone what if you drive a standard, and turn the wheels so the curb will stop you?  Sorry sugar, I grew up driving a standard and atop one of the steepest hills in Dallas

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz doesn't apply to standards.  You can leave them in gear, you can turn the wheels so the car can't move.   

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@DeathBreath The funniest thing is that P25 is already cracked, and there's nothing that can be done about it, because it has a susceptibility to a ludicrously easy brute force attack.   (no supercomputer needed, a home PC can crack it.)  Also, because it is so low power, it can be jammed by transmitters found in children's toys.

Add in these two problems, plus interdepartment uncoodination, and generally everyone turns the encryption off.  The best part is, if someone on the net turns HIS encryption off, it turns it off for everyone.  What are the odds that not a single FTW cop will flip the switch trying to do whatever (duh, is this the donut dispenser switch?) and cut the encryption for everyone?

kduble
kduble

@lemonaioli  San Francisco police require three things. You curb your vehicle, you leave it in gear or park, and you apply the parking brake. The way you curb your vehicle: Turn the wheel away from the curb and touching it when parking uphill, and toward the curb and touching it when facing downhill.

Gabe48
Gabe48

@lemonaioli You should probably visit the southern section of Dallas, specifically Oak Cliff/southwest Dallas. The Belmont is a great place to start.  Also, take a look at Cedar Hill and Joe Pool lake.

Completely agree with your comment, otherwise.

wilme2
wilme2

@Sally113 I have used a parking break every day of my driving life, and I have also had a car roll down a hill.  Reallly steep, and you have to realllly pull up hard on the hand break.

kduble
kduble

@ChrisD  That was my question as well. It seems like an easy rap to beat. Just tell the judge the cop was mistaken.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@ruddski You're not a real man if you can't do a handbrake turn.  At least that's what the Top Gear dudes always say.

ruddski
ruddski

That's the job of the IRS

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski 


Up north in the winter if you engage the parking brake there is a good chance it will freeze up on you. Even in the mountains we never used them.


Daniel
Daniel

@ruddski 

But then again, we do live in the flatlands. 

Other hand, sports cars still have sticks, last time I checked. (Exception: Porsche 911s driven by trophy wives. They're driving an $80k car because they think it looks cute.)

kduble
kduble

San Francisco law requires you curb the vehicle, leave it in gear or park, and apply the parking brake. The way you curb your vehicle: Turn the wheel away from the curb and touching it when parking uphill, and toward the curb and touching it when facing downhill.

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

@everlastingphelps  

Yes, I watched the presentation from the University that cracked it.  However, I've never ever heard anyone report hearing an intercepted encrypted radio transmission other than what was reported in this study.  They would be a fool to admit such since it is, as you likely know, a Federal crime.

Believe or not, there are still LE agencies who use voice inversion.  What a joke.  The equipment to make a de-scrambler is easily obtained.  There are still plans available online.

But, if you have said equipment for cracking this code & wish to demonstrate for me, in person, I would love to watch & listen.  LOL.

Also, it has been rumored that Ft. Worth is rethinking their position; however, this has not been made official as far as I know.  I'm beginning to wonder if LE realizes they work for the people.  Other parts of the city are not yet on this new system.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski 

Not all are visible like the one in your piece of crap late 80's hatch back.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@ruddski No.  They use a LPBDD (Laser Parking Brake Detection Device).  It's in the same toolkit at the LGPDD (Laser Gullible Person Detection Device).

ruddski
ruddski

It was one of the first cornering aids I learned.handy in the snow.

dingo
dingo

@ruddski Yea, too bad Lerner retired. We have to ensure that the health care risks of a diverse population can be squared disproportionately on these unsuspecting young adults by way of their yet to be realized gargantuan brosurance rates.

ruddski
ruddski

Yeah, no hills in Fort Worth!

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski 


The emergency brake light isn't on when car is parked and the keys are not in the ignition. Please stop this ignorance and go back to bashing Mexicans.


ruddski
ruddski

The cops can see if the brake light is on, duh.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@scottindallas @TheCredibleHulk @ruddski 

That is an oddly apt analogy.

Operating a motor vehicle amongst Dallas-area drivers in a rain storm is very like driving on a frozen lake amongst several hundred drunk ice-fishermen operating snomobiles, 4WD trucks and ATVs with absolutely no laws or supervision.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ruddski 

It's a skill you learn early on the frozen lakes of northern Wisconsin.

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