I Got My First ‘Traffic’ Warning

Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:22:18 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, General, a little about life

I was going to downtown Portland yesturday and used the best Designated Driver ever: TriMet. I was minding my own business when a rent-a-cop comes over and asks for my ticket. I did not have a ticket.

He then took my ID and called the office to see if there were any warrents out for my arrest and of course there are none in Oregon because I live in Washington and don’t want to make my warrents a federal matter.

The rest of the story is basically uninteresting other than the fact that he wrote me up for a warning for not paying my fare. I guess if there were warrents out for my arrest in the last year, I would have been given a ticket. A ticket from TriMet. I am quite curious what implications those would have. Are they turned over to the city, county, or state police for example? Or is it more like the neighborhood watch just told you not to do that again? I realize those are quite different extremes, but I am curious where it would fall within there.

Either way, I now have a warning on my passenger vehicle rider record.

Happy riding.


  1. Ray

    STALLOWNED

  2. some guy

    Sounds like a typical trimet fare inspector. A lot of them act like rent-a-cops instead of the way they should.

    meh. He wasn’t checking you for warrants. Trimet employees do not have access to warrant information (n.b. the Transit Police do). They were just checking a Trimet database to see if they had ever met you before and written either a warning, a citation, or an exclusion. The database is maintained for three years, but only the previous 12 months are searchable.

    The citations are enforced by the district court for either multnomah, clackamas, or washington county (wherever the violation occurred). They are ‘violations’, so they are relatively meaningless as far as a criminal record is concerned. There are a lot of people that try to get back on their feet that discover that it will be considered a probation violation, also.

    Warnings are just a way of documenting your identification so that there is a record of the interaction. Most fare inspectors will give you one or two “freebies” by writing a citation, but will start writing citations if they meet you too frequently.

    Exclusions mean that you cannot ride or use the transit system, or sit in a bus shelter, or be on any Trimet property, for a period of time from 30 to 180 days. but that’s a whole other ball of wax.

  3. Dustin

    Some guy

    Thanks for all your help. Come back soon.

  4. Phil

    Wow that’s a bit involved! I would have just taken him out back, turned him over to Guido and Tiny, for the best time of his life, a baby seal flogging :D

    PJ