Family Pulled Out Of Funeral Procession For Seat Belt Violation

This is a story of The Long Arm Of The Law, Death, Barney Fife, and a grieving family.

As our tale begins...Donald Ross, of Spokane, Washington, was attending his sisters funeral a couple of days ago. Over 100 people showed up and the event was...uneventful...until Mr. Ross, his wife, his brother, and 2 other people piled in a car to join the procession to a nearby cemetery for the burial.

They only got a quarter of a mile down the road when they saw flashing lights. The lights were meant for them. Barney Fife had arrived on the scene.

Deputy Fife pulled over the grieving brothers(we assume with his gun holstered)and explained that they were in violation of the law. No one had their seat belt on.

At this point, we would think that Officer Barney would warn our heroes, and send them on their way, buckled up.


Barney was a member of a "special emphasis group" designed not to give warnings. He wrote 5 tickets. It took 12 minutes or so for him to do his duty.

The result?

Two brothers and their three passengers missed the burial ceremony.

Shirley Ross, wife of Donald, had this to say,""It's a stage in our life where you want to give your last respects and hear the final prayers and the closing of the ceremony. We missed that and it's something I'll remember for as long as I live. And I think it was just uncalled for."

Perhaps no one mentioned to Officer Barney that they were in a funeral procession? No, the first words out of( brother #2)Harold Ross' mouth were, "You pulled us out of a funeral procession."

And what does Barney's boss, Andy, have to say about this?

"We're out here trying to prevent funerals, not disrupt them."

Now you may say, well it IS against the law to drive without a seat belt. True. But, the last time we checked, our usage or non-usage of seat belts does not affect our ability to drive. We are also quite amazed that the fine people of this country allowed this law to pass, even with the understanding that folks could not be pulled over for only a seat belt violation. Of course, now all the little Barneys CAN pull you over for only a seat belt violation.

By the way- For those of you who live in states where rear passengers are not required to buckle up, that's about to change. Soon, the Feds will be telling the 30 some states that don't require require it. Or else what? No federal funds for highways.

And the beat goes on.

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