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Paul Rolly: Does Murray's mayor live in a glass house?

Published May 2, 2013 6:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I have written about Murray Mayor Dan Snarr's beef with the way Salt Lake City issues traffic tickets and his belief that SLCPD cops are encouraged to give as many tickets as possible to raise more revenue for the city.

Well, one reader has a story about Murray's ticket policy that brings up the adage: What goes around goes around.

To recap: Snarr was driving along State Street when he tried to turn left onto Harvard Avenue. When he realized Harvard was a one-way street and he couldn't turn onto it, he sped up to get back into the regular lanes and got a ticket for speeding in a school zone.

The flashing school zone sign in the median near his lane was broken, but his argument for dismissing the ticket was ignored by a cop who said the sign on the far right-hand side of the street was working. Snarr said he couldn't see that sign because of the width of the street.

He is fighting the ticket in Justice Court, and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has offered to be a witness on Snarr's behalf.

But the argument that Salt Lake City is just trying to raise revenue caught the attention of Sonny Jckowski, who got a ticket in Murray about three years ago for running a red light because a Murray cop told him he just came to a rolling stop when he turned right on a red light.

He argued there were two cars in front of him that turned right on the red light and he stopped each time they went forward. So he not only came to a full stop once, he did it three times.

He fought the ticket in Murray Justice Court and put the cop on the stand. Jckowski lost and had to pay the $92 ticket. But he noticed that six other people in the court that day had received the same citation for not coming to a full stop. He also noticed the citations were all issued by the same cop.

Later, lamenting to a friend who works for Murray about the incident, he said he was told that fighting the tickets are useless because they are used as a revenue source.

Sound familiar?

Government immunity? • Utah Transit Authority, understandably, likes to promote TRAX, FrontRunner and the buses for a variety of reasons, including the cutting down of auto emissions.

Janet Christian, based on what she witnessed Tuesday, thinks UTA ought to encourage its own employees to use mass transit as well.

Driving northbound on I-15 from North Salt Lake, she noticed a white van weaving in and out of traffic to pass cars as it sped along at about 80 mph.

In order to pass some cars, it weaved in and out of the HOV lane, going across the double line, which is illegal, several times.

She noticed on the back of the van a telephone number and the logo for UTA. The license plate was 508120EX.

prolly@sltrib.com