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Heyburn Police Chief Dan Bristol

Heyburn Police Chief Dan Bristol

Q: I always go the speed limit whenever I drive. The other day I noticed that an officer had a speed detecting device and kept pointing it at me as I drove past. I thought I’d heard or read that officers are supposed to have an idea how fast drivers are going. Why would the officer keep pointing his speed detecting device at me if I was going the speed limit?—Steve

A: I had all sorts of jokes to start this one off but they would have all made it sound like I was making fun of you so I held back.

The reason the officer kept his RADAR or LIDAR on you was all part of what is called tracking history. This helps the officer know if the speeds he or she is estimating are correct. The officer was probably just adding you to his mental list of drivers he estimated correctly.

Most officers who don’t estimate the speed correctly (plus or minus five miles per hour over or under) might not stop you if they estimated a speed wrong.

The officer might have also kept his RADAR or LIDAR on you because believe it or not, some drivers just don’t see the officer checking speeds along the road. These drivers are often the ones we stop and who ask us where we came from. These drivers often lose a little money from that estimation of speed.

Q: What was a ticket you wrote that you normally wouldn’t write? –Norma

A: At first it took me awhile to get you an answer but then I remembered one that went through court many years ago. I had a driver get charged with opening their doors in public aka Idaho Code 49-607. The funnier thing about that ticket was that I never even wrote that code it was for speeding which is Idaho code 49-654. The court entered the wrong code when the ticket went through the process.

The coding did not change the fine amount or the points in case you were wondering. That is a code I reserve for use on crashes where a door was opened with the help of another driver. For the record, I have not used it myself.

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Please put this officer, killed in the line of duty, and his family in your prayers. He fought the good fight, now may he rest in peace. God bless this hero.

  • Deputy Sheriff Daniel McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff, Washington

Have a question for Policemandan? Email your question(s) to or look for Ask Policemandan on Facebook and click the like button. Mail to: Box 147, Heyburn, Idaho 83336

Dan Bristol is the City of Heyburn chief of police.


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