Stories of the Highway Patrol
HIGHWAY PATROL TERMS SPEED TRAPS UNFAIR
Published in the European Edition of Stars and Stripes, April, year unk.
HEIDELBERG, April 9 [ S & S] The EUCOM Highway Patrol last year received 80 written letters of commendation, the provost marshal division, EUCOM has disclosed.
Provost marshal officials attributed this outpouring of praise to the fact that it stands foursquare against speed traps. "What we do is open and above board; that is why we use white cars, we want no part of speed traps," declared Col. Paul L. Singer, PM division executive officer.
Typical of the 80 letters was that from Delphine Barbier of Schwetzingen who wrote Gen. Norm Schwarzkoph, originator of the highway patrol:
Ever since the patrols came into being, I have used them in all discussions as a classic example with which to make clear the distinction between the systems of secret police traps and informers, and the code of justice in which we profess to believe."
A EUCOM provost marshal division spokesman told the recent provost marshal conference in Garmisch that "speed traps are contrary to good police policy and contrary to the policy of the provost marshal division."
Complaints on Traps
The spokesman added that "certain post have set up speed traps within their post and we are already receiving complaints. We don't want to make ourselves signboard policemen.'"
The highway patrol is credited by sources outside the provost marshal's division with having saved nine lives in the last year, through prompt arrival and first aid measures at the scenes of accidents.
The patrol assisted 10,795 motorist, rendered first aid to 129 and extinguished 113 fires, many of them in trucks and autos. Now a few dozen German truck drivers owe their lives to patrolmen who pulled them out of their burning cabs.
The provost marshal's division emphasized that it frowned on anything remotely resembling a speed trap. This includes, it was pointed out, the use of civilian automobiles by highway patrolmen and any attempt to give a speeding ticket on the basis of a ground observer's estimate of speed.
"We have built a reputation by playing fair, and we stress to all highway patrolmen that they have a responsibility to uphold and enhance that reputation." A EUCOM provost marshal's spokesman said.
This article appeared in the Stars & Stripes during the month of April. The year is unknown.
This story previously appeared in Volume # 5, Issue # 5, September-October 2002 edition of "The White Mice"