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  1. #1
    Good Citizen
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Southern NH

    Default MA - Woman in Labor Received Ticket, Forced to "Prove" She's Pregnant

    In rush-hour labor, ticket delivered - The Boston Globe

    All too often, the congested roads of Greater Boston conspire with the vagaries of childbirth to leave a mother-to-be in a car on the roadside at one of life's most critical moments. A hard-bitten state trooper shows up and morphs into a highway midwife, clearing the newborn's nose and mouth, cutting the cord, and sometimes even saving a life.

    This is not one of those stories.

    Jennifer Davis was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Nov. 18, her contractions just 3 minutes apart. Her husband, John, was trying to appear calm for his wife's sake, driving in the breakdown lane of Route 2. They pulled up behind a state trooper to ask whether they could continue using the lane to reach the next exit, near Alewife Station.

    Not only did the trooper say no, he gave them a $100 citation for driving in the breakdown lane, made them wait for their citation while he finished writing someone else's ticket, and even seemed to ask for proof of pregnancy, Jennifer Davis said.

    "He said, 'What's under your jacket?' I said, 'My belly,' " Davis said. "He waited and gestured with his head like, 'OK, let's see it.' He waited for me to unzip my jacket. I mean, it was so clear that I was pregnant."

    The Davises say the contretemps occurred after two other troopers they encountered had waved them along in the highway breakdown lane, allowing them to evade gridlock while advising them to be cautious and keep their hazard lights on.

    While State Police spokesman David Procopio declined to comment on the merits of this stop, he noted that state law prohibits driving in breakdown lanes on Route 2.

    "The trooper made a judgment call to enforce the law governing the use of the breakdown lane," said Procopio. "If the couple does choose to submit a letter of complaint, we'll review it in accordance with our procedure."

    The officer who gave the citation - Trooper Michael Galluccio of the Brighton barracks, according to his identification number - could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Though the Davises live about 30 miles away in Dracut, Jennifer Davis, 38, wanted to have her baby at Mount Auburn, where she had also given birth to her 7-year-old son, Brendan.

    "For 10 months we had been saying, 'As long as I don't go into labor during rush hour' - which we did," said Davis, a social worker for a visiting nurse group affiliated with the hospital.

    They left for Cambridge after dropping Brendan off at school. Her contractions were about 5 minutes apart.

    But the roads were so clogged that John Davis began using the breakdown lane. Davis - whose driving record has six speeding violations over the past 20 years, according to the state Registry of Motor Vehicles - said he tried to get troopers' permission to use the emergency lanes when they encountered them along their journey.

    On Route 3, he pulled over and told a trooper that his wife was in labor. The trooper said they could use the breakdown lane only when traffic was backed up and only while using their hazard lights. On Route 128, they got stopped by a second trooper who allowed them to continue in the breakdown lane after noticing the infant car seat in the back of their Honda Accord and the mother's condition.

    "I know people fabricate stories all the time," Jennifer Davis said, "but it was pretty clear that I was in labor."

    Once on Route 2, they pulled up behind the trooper who ultimately cited them, who was attending to a car in the emergency lane.

    He asked at least twice if they wanted an ambulance, but they declined, Jennifer Davis said. "I told him, 'My contractions are about 3 minutes apart. We just want to get off this exit.' We thought it would save us a little time."

    State Police policy discourages the use of police escorts for private vehicles, except in life-or-death situations, Procopio said. But for a misguided moment, when the trooper left their car to finish up with the other motorist, John Davis hoped that the officer would come back to help them through traffic.

    "Ironically, I was relieved to see the police. I thought, 'Oh cool, he'll help us,' " said John Davis. "He made it worse. He held us up."

    The citation cost them 5 or 10 agonizing minutes before the trooper handed them an envelope and told them they'd be getting something in the mail. The citation came this week. In hindsight, the couple believe the trooper was trying to save them time by mailing the citation, rather than making them wait while he wrote it up.

    Jennifer Davis was already deep into labor when they made it to the hospital, but it turns out they had time to spare. Charlotte Jane was born about five hours after their traffic stop, with a birth announcement that made the rounds of the maternity ward.

    Said Jennifer Davis, "Our story spread like wildfire."

  2. #2
    Good Citizen
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Southern NH

    Default Re: MA - Woman in Labor Received Ticket, Forced to "Prove" She's Pregnant

    New parents won't take action against trooper

    New parents appeal ticket but won't file complaint against trooper - The Boston Globe

    A man cited for trying to use a breakdown lane to get to the hospital when his wife was in labor appealed his $100 traffic ticket yesterday, but the couple does not intend to file a complaint against the trooper who issued it.

    "I think that we've complained and they heard it," Jennifer Davis, the new mother, said.

    The Davises were flooded with calls and interview requests yesterday after a story appeared in the Globe detailing their encounter with the officer on their way from their Dracut home to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge on Nov. 18.

    Jennifer Davis said her contractions were about three minutes apart and rush-hour traffic was stuck on Route 2 near Alewife Station.

    According to the Davises, John Davis drove in the breakdown lane and stopped to ask a trooper whether they could take the lane to the next exit. He not only refused, they said, but made them wait on the roadside while he finished writing someone else's ticket. He then returned to their car and told them they would be getting a citation.

    Jennifer Davis said he also wanted to see her pregnant belly.

    David Procopio, State Police spokesman, said the trooper was not expected to be disciplined because he was making a judgment call in enforcing the law that prohibits driving in the breakdown lanes on Route 2; breakdown lanes are open to traffic only on some highways during rush hour.

    Five hours after the Route 2 incident, the couple's daughter was born at the hospital.

    State Police are internally discussing the trooper's handling of the situation, but officials would not launch a formal review unless the couple filed a complaint, said Procopio.

  3. #3
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re: MA - Woman in Labor Received Ticket, Forced to "Prove" She's Pregnant

    Wow. That is all.

  4. #4
    Street Lawyer
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    719, Colorado

    Default Re: MA - Woman in Labor Received Ticket, Forced to "Prove" She's Pregnant

    My wife is prego and this message is for you Bell County LEOs and State troopers:

    If you see a black pontiac bonneville with it's flashers on in about 7-8 months from now you might as well just follow me all the way to the hospital because I'm not going to f*ing pull over for anything if my wife is in labor. Lock me up, do what you gotta do when we reach our destination, but my wife giving birth is not going to wait for a citation.



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