When a car's windshield cracks, you are supposed to get it fixed as soon as possible if you want to avoid getting a ticket. For Colorado resident Nick Berlin, as soon as possible proved to be not soon enough. While pulling up into the parking lot of an auto glass shop, he was reportedly pulled over by a police officer and given a ticket for the windshield he was moments away from having fixed (video below).
In an interview, Berlin summed up the experience with an understatement: “It was definitely a bummer.”
Berlin’s windshield had been vandalized, and most of the damage was to the passenger’s side. A responsible citizen, he scheduled a repair at Absolute Auto Glass, in Denver, Colorado, and had almost reached finish line when an Adams County Sheriff's deputy pulled him over.
According to NBC 9News, Berlin got a ticket for an “unsafe vehicle,” despite having just arrived for his repair appointment.
"We were just standing here in our door and were ready for his appointment and all of the sudden we see a cop out there writing the guy a ticket," said glass shop owner David Sprague. "We were pretty astounded to think that was what happened."
The shop owner would corroborate Berlin’s claim that, even with the damage to the windshield, the “unsafe vehicle” claim was dubious. “He had plenty of visibility on the driver side,” Sprague says.
Berlin will contest the ticket in court. While Sprague has promised to reimburse him for the $46 dollar ticket, it’s less about money but instead a matter of principle for Berlin.
“I got a ticket for something that I was close as I could be to resolving.”
According to NBC 9News, excessive ticketing has become a concern in Colorado.
"The more and more police officers see their role as ticketing as opposed to protecting public safety, that has a tendency to erode the public trust," says ACLU Public Policy Director Denise Maes.
While the deputy who wrote Berlin’s ticket may have seemed unreasonable, officers are allowed to issue tickets at their own discretion. This incident differs from that of Philadelphia Officer Matthew Zagursky, who was investigated in August for forcing a motorist to buy his fundraising tickets in exchange for not being issued a traffic ticket.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Department said it had no comment about the incident.