Sacto 9-1-1
March 16, 2013
Sacramento County Sheriff Jones ticketed for following too closely on I-80

By Richard Chang
rchang@sacbee.com

For those who think law enforcement officials are not subject to traffic tickets, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has a message: Think again.

JONES.jpgOn March 9, while driving an unmarked county vehicle on Interstate 80, Jones (pictured) was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer and cited for following too closely.

Jones told The Bee today that the stop was uneventful, the officer was "perfect and professional" and that "he didn't offer to give me a break, and I didn't ask for one."

"The public has an unspoken perception that there's a secret society where cops don't get tickets, but that's untrue," Jones said. "The reality is, officers are subject to tickets."

The sheriff said he was on his way to Colfax to pick up tickets for an official department fundraiser in Old Sacramento when he was stopped. His wife was with him in the car. He was not in uniform, but was wearing his badge and carrying his weapon.

Jones said the CHP officer saw his badge and his identification and likely knew that he was the Sacramento County sheriff, but that the subject was never discussed.

The sheriff said the stop was "rather uneventful."

"I was cooperative like anyone of the 3.7 million folks that get a ticket in California every year," he said.

And though Jones said he doesn't plan to fight the ticket, he did have a quibble.

He said the following-too-closely statute that was used to pull him over is at the officer's "subjective judgment."

Jones said he was not "tailgating in the traditional sense."

He said it was his first ticket in 25 to 30 years, and serves as a good reminder to be extra cautious.

"We all get busy," he said.

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