Signs that you might be getting a ticket

Have you ever been driving along & come to an intersection where someone is standing by the road holding a cardboard sign? Some claim to be homeless wanting help or needing money for gas or food. There have even been people claiming to be disabled or pregnant in an attempt to touch the hearts & wallets of drivers going by. Brendan Spaar has seen this many times while driving in Forsyth County & on his way into Atlanta , Georgia.

The “ roadside entrepreneurs” are making a business of collecting money from the sympathetic drivers stopped for a light. There’s even an online site that tells you how to effectively panhandle. If you go to you can easily learn how to make your career as a successful “down and outer”. It has been reported that some of these people can make thousands of dollars with a piece of cardboard & a convincing story. They rarely get arrested & the income they make can make it profitable.

Most people are in a hurry once they get behind the wheel. When stopped at a light they tend to ignore what goes on around them. Since people holding signs at traffic lights have become more common, they almost blend in with the surroundings. Drivers in some cities are finding that ignoring someone with a cardboard sign could be a costly mistake.

Some cities are having police officers pose as sign holders in an attempt to crack down on drivers that aren’t wearing seatbelts or are using their cell phones to illegally talk or text. One of the undercover sign holders is the San Bernardino, California police department. They recently set up on the side of an interstate off ramp wearing regular clothing & holding a sign that read, ‘I am not homeless. SB Police. Looking for seat belt / cell phone violations.’ As drivers exited the ramp they were ticketed if they were observed to be on their cell phones or not wearing their seatbelts.

The 4 hour stakeout was a success in the eyes of the police department. There were 50 vehicle stops which resulted in 33 drivers getting tickets for cell phone violations, 15 tickets for seat belt violations, & 5 cars were impounded due to drivers having suspended licenses or no license at all. While the sign holders weren’t looking for handouts, it did wind up costing the drivers with violations.

It doesn’t appear that this has been put to use by the police departments around the Atlanta area but Brendan Spaar still suggests that drivers be aware of anyone holding signs on the side of the road. Having a conviction for a traffic violation on your record can hurt your wallet & car insurance rates.

Florida Man Gives New Meaning To Having A Pot Belly

A 450 lb Florida man was arrested for hiding drugs in his stomach fat.

Friday the 13th was really unlucky for  Christopher Mitchell and Keithian Roberts. These Volusia County, Florida men were arrested after police stopped them on a seat belt violation. Weighing 450 pounds, Mitchell claimed he was too fat to wear the seat belt.

Police suspected something else more serious might be going on because both men were acting nervous. A drug detecting K9 dog was brought in and found the marijuana.  There was 23 grams of marijuana and some cocaine hidden in Mitchell’s stomach fat. Brendan Spaar would love to have seen the video of that search. Police also found a gun and $7,000 cash in a tube sock. No word yet on where they found the tube sock.

The men were charged with drug possession and Mitchell was cited for the seat belt violation. If this goes to trial, Brendan Spaar wonders what will be Mitchell’s defense. He wouldn’t want to be on that jury when they show where they found the drugs.

Boston Police Commissioner is the Marathon Man.

Boston Police Department
The Boston Police Commissioner has run the Boston marathon 18 times. He has been quoted as saying he has a daily 7 mile run. Is he worried about security after publicizing his routine?


The Boston marathon has ended this year. There was a sense of relief that the most excitement was the fact that the winner was an American for the first time since 1983. The Boston Police Commissioner , William Evans, is an avid runner who has run 35 marathons. For this year’s marathon instead of running with them, he was charged with making sure the runners were kept safe. In a recent interview he has been quoted as saying he runs a daily 7 mile run, getting up at 4:30 am. Brendan Spaar wonders if giving such details of your daily schedule could put a person in danger.  Evans is a 31 year veteran of the police force so he should be aware of varying routines. This is standard advice in self defense classes.

Brendan Spaar has been training 2-3 times a week to run since 2008.  A marathon is in his future but he hopes to run his next 5K race in 20:12 minutes.