“A ticket isn’t valid if an officer isn’t wearing a hat.”
“You can’t get a ticket over a body of water.”
“You’re outside of your jurisdiction. You can’t ticket me.”
For some reason, these are all popular myths surrounding traffic enforcement, and Saskatoon police are doing their best to put them to an end.
In an online campaign that started last Sunday, police began dispelling myths using the hashtag #policemyths.
Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said the idea started when one of his officers approached him about a speed limit violator that demanded to see the radar.
“The officer had a conversation at the roadside with the violator and was frustrated by it and asked me if I would tweet it out,” Barbar told Brent Loucks Show guest host Drew Remenda. “So I did, and it just turned into this phenomenon that we didn’t expect.”
“So we created the #policemyths and here we are.”
The series of tweets quickly gained a large following as people debated and tested their traffic enforcement knowledge.
In the wake of a few interesting questions, we thought we’d post a series of urban (and rural) myths about policing over the next few days. If you know any, play along with #policemyths No. 1: your ticket is invalid if f the officer wasn’t wearing a hat. That’s a myth. pic.twitter.com/37ZKlQu3ZA
— SPS Traffic Unit (@SPSTraffic) July 29, 2018
One tweet squashed the myth that officers need to be wearing hats in order to hand out tickets. Barbar explained a personal run-in with that myth when he pulled over a vehicle on the highway three years ago.
“I’ll never forget him because it was one of the funniest moments of my career,” he said of the encounter.
“He was going 40-some-odd kilometres over the speed limit, I give him his ticket and he had this big grin on his face, which caused me to ask ‘Is there anything else you wanted to ask?’ He just nodded and he said ‘Where’s your hat?'”
With the man wearing a ball cap, Barbar was quick to answer the question.
“Every so often you have these moments of clarity, so I said to him ‘You’re wearing a hat, and as long as one of us is, you’re good to go.'”
Barbar says traffic enforcement is always dealing with people asking them if they are within their jurisdiction.
“Every single police officer in the province is a police officer for the whole province,” he said.
Our series on #policemyths continues: We were told that some people firmly believe that the police have no authority on bridges because they cross waterways which, according to the myth, are federally regulated. Let's quickly bust that one! Please don't speed on bridges. pic.twitter.com/LAmQoMxDI3
— SPS Traffic Unit (@SPSTraffic) July 30, 2018
Barbar ensured that police don’t go rogue, or travel far and wide just to give tickets on their days off.
Handing out tickets on bridges also presents officers with some funny questions.
“Apparently there is a belief out there — because bridges cross waterways, and that bridges are apparently federally regulated — that police can’t do anything on bridges.”
You can follow the SPS Traffic Twitter page to pose questions, debate myths of your own or enjoy the entertainment.