Letters 12-20-13


Was seat belt citation a form of entrapment?

In regard to my seat belt citation on Nov. 21, the policeman who motioned me to pull over said, “someone’s watching you in Hawi.” “Improper” use of a seat belt was my violation.

A pamphlet I got from Kohala Police Station says the, “Hawaii Police Department’s mission is to ‘protect and serve the public while preserving the spirit of aloha,’” etc. This was my first citation. Why didn’t the policeman stop me to educate me of “improper” use of a seat belt even though I was wearing a seat belt? A policeman less than a mile away was waiting for me to give me that citation. He didn’t check to see how I was wearing my seat belt. Some other police would give a first-time warning and not give a citation. I felt like this was entrapment. That policeman in Hawi watches for any violation, then he calls the policeman less than a mile away to give the citation. It’s that policeman’s word against mine. It cost me $102.

The next day, I made an appointment with Capt. Jason Cortez of Kohala Police Station. He showed compassion, the spirit of aloha and more. We went to my car where he showed me how to lower or raise the seat belt so it wouldn’t aggravate my neck. I was not aware of being able to do that.

The Kohala policemen should follow Capt. Jason Cortez’s example according to that pamphlet that states the Hawaii Police Department mission — to provide the highest quality of police service, compassion and the aloha spirit, etc.

Why is it that cars are speeding past us on our way to Kona and the drivers don’t get a citation? Because no policeman is in sight. They’re too busy in the little town of Hawi, waiting for people like me who wear a seat belt and get cited for “misuse” of it.

Polly Fernandez

Kapaau