Obey the law, and Oak Park won't be such a 'gulag'

Opinion

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Is the JOURNAL running an asinine letter contest I am not aware of? Or maybe Jack Hughes is one of those folks who is only happy when they have something to complain about ("Oak Park now a gulag," June 15).

Jack, here's a tip. If you don't want to be ticketed by Oak Park's or any other municipality's police force, A, wear your seat belt and, B, park in legal spaces or feed the meter like everyone else has to. It's the law. Or, maybe not only do you like to complain, but you're also one of those people who don't think the rules apply to you. Heaven knows there seem to be many of them these days. Just watch what happens the next time you meet a car at an intersection where they have a stop sign and you don't.

As for Oak Park having a monopoly on enforcing the state's mandate on seat belt usage, I beg to differ. About a year or two ago, my wife and I were returning from a family gathering in Rogers Park late one evening. As we emerged from the long railroad viaduct on Austin Boulevard just north of Oak Park, we encountered a Chicago Police roadblock. I slowed to a stop, rolled down my window and asked if they were looking for someone. "No, we're just checking for seat belt usage," was the reply. Since my father was a driver education instructor for years at a Chicago high school and seat belt usage was drilled into my head during my formative years, we were waved on. Does this make Chicago a "Gulag?"

So Jack, lighten up. When an officer pulls you over and calls for backup, he or she is just being careful. If it were your son or daughter, I'm sure you'd understand. And, don't forget to feed that meter.

Todd Bannor
Oak Park

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