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Cops Writing Tickets for Not Speaking English

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:03 AM
  • 105 Replies

*this is from late october, but i hadnt heard of it til a few days ago.*
 
 

Dallas Police Gave 38 Improper No-English Tickets

Officers and their commanders are under investigation

By ANABELLE GARAY
Updated 7:01 PM CST, Fri, Oct 23, 2009

 

 

Police officers have improperly cited Dallas drivers for not being able to speak English 38 times in the past three years, Chief David Kunkle said Friday.

The discovery came after a woman was pulled over earlier this month for making an illegal U-turn and was given a ticket for being a "non-English speaking driver."

Kunkle said his department's computer system for citations has a pull-down menu that includes a law requiring drivers of commercial vehicles to speak English.

The chief said it was a federal law that was misapplied to local drivers of private vehicles.

Dallas Drivers Improperly Cited For Not Speaking English

Dallas Drivers Improperly Cited For Not Speaking English

Dallas Drivers Improperly Cited For Not Speaking English

"I was, I guess, surprised and stunned that that would happen, particularly in the city of Dallas," he said.

Kunkle said at a news conference that at least six officers wrote the citations. He said the officers and their commanders are under investigation.

Ernestina Mondragon was pulled over Oct. 2 by Officer Gary Bromley, a rookie who was still under supervised training.

"I wanted to tell him," Mondragon told The Associated Press in Spanish on Friday. "I couldn't talk back to him out of respect."

Mondragon was driving her 11-year-old daughter to school when Bromley stopped her. She had forgotten her purse with her license in it while darting out the door that morning after her daughter missed the school bus.

Besides the no-English ticket, Bromley cited Mondragon for making an illegal U-turn and failing to carry her drivers license.

"I felt humiliated. Sad," she said. "I wanted to cry but I couldn't. The anger wouldn't let me."

During the exchange between her and the officer, Mondragon said she used the limited English words and phrases she knows.

"He asked me if I spoke English. I said I speak a little and understand it," she said.

Mondragon said court staffers seemed puzzled by the charge. The court ultimately dismissed the "non-English" ticket and driver's license citation after Mondragon presented her license.

Kunkle said the outcome of the other 37 no-English citations is unclear. He said his department would not give commercial drivers tickets for being unable to speak English, saying that was a job for other law enforcement agencies.

 

**what do you think?ive read a lot of mixed reviews, from outrage to elation over this**

 

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
southernjess3
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???

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jenniamigo
by Platinum Member on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:06 AM

not surprised at all

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-xoxo-
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Yup. If you can't read the street signs, you're putting innocent people at risk and you deserve a ticket.

Quoting southernjess3:

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???


jenniamigo
by Platinum Member on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:08 AM

the article didn't mention not being able to read it. Alot of non english speaking people can read and understand english but enunciating can be difficult for alot of them. after all  They do take the same test that we do.  So if they get a drivers license that means they passed

Quoting southernjess3:

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???

 

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Aislinn
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:08 AM

 I was not aware that driving while speaking a foreign language was illegal in this country. I drove all around Mexico and could not speak Spanish. I got around just fine and never got lost, to answer the above posters question.

hfs1998
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:10 AM


Quoting southernjess3:

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???

what's the reading level of street signs?  My kindergarteners could read all of them.  The woman they are talking about could speak English just not really well.  I've driven in countries where I didn't speak the language very well either, but I read up on the street signs, road signage and such and did just fine. 

Dayija
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Before I even opened this post I knew it was in TX...*rolls eyes* I don't agree with that whole "If you can't speak the language then you can't read the sign" crap. I lived in Europe for six years and didn't speak the language. We managed...I can't imagined getting a ticket because I couldn't speak French or German or whatever.  

Aislinn
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM

 Also, most road signs are international. Meaning a stop sign in the USA, looks the same as a stop sign in Europe and Mexico. Same with yieldsigns ( If you live in Mass you do not know what those are anyway...lmao), stop lights, all the important signals are usually international. So, even if you can not read them (Alto... what the hell does Alto mean...lol) you still understand the SYMBOL.

dmarie2101
by Diamond Member on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM


Quoting southernjess3:

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???

ive wondered that myself actually...i used to live in dallas, and worked as a cashier for a while. i had a lot of customers that couldnt speak english, but when i carded them (for beer or cigs) they had licenses. i could see memorizing the most common signs, like stop, yield, etc...but what about the flashing ones, that say "right lane closed merge left" and "exit closed take such and such exit for detour"...stuff like that...when youre going 70 on a 4 lane highway, it can be hard enough to read those flashing signs, idk how someone with limited ability to speak/understand english could do it in time.

Haute_Mama
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Are you serious? IMPORTANT street signs are universal. You see a red octogon with a word on it, a yellow triangle with a windy road picture, and  you think a person who doesn't speak english will have no clue what it means? Most people, no matter what language they speak, can figure that out.
What about the illiterate? You think they're just that helpless and dangerous as well?

Quoting -xoxo-:

Yup. If you can't read the street signs, you're putting innocent people at risk and you deserve a ticket.

Quoting southernjess3:

if you cant speak or read english..then how would you read and understand important street signs???



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