Official Kentucky State Police Homepage "You Break My Heart, Mister"  
by W. O. Newman
Kentucky State Commissioner of Public Safety (Retired)
(Reprinted from Buyer's Digest, Georgia, Vermont - November 16, 1971)  

Are you one of the people who call me on the telephone or write me a letter to tell me my troopers are stopping motorists and giving them tickets for "no reason at all?"  I wouldn't know. You never give your name. 

You tell me you're a good citizen and a safe driver just using Interstate 64 for what it was intended--speed. And that "dumb cop" gave you a ticket. You break my heart! I hope the next time you're tearing down the road at 85 mph that a trooper catches you before you smash into a concrete bridge abutment and he has to help pry your lifeless body out of that crushed speed machine of yours. I hope we can teach you a lesson with a ticket so maybe you don't cause a wreck and cost somebody else his life or her life. 

You really break my heart telling me you don't have time to go to court about that ticket. I wish you could come with me to the scene of a wreck sometime. I wish I could make you stand and watch a man writhe in the gravel on the shoulder of a highway while he waits for an ambulance that will get there too late to do anything but carry him to the morgue. I wish I could make you help scrape the bits of bone and flesh of a whole family off the asphalt and into baskets. You'd vomit just like my troopers do, but you'd think differently the next time you climbed into your car. 

You said you were driving safely when the trooper stopped you. The road was clear and there was no harm in edging over the speed limit a few miles per hour, you said. I'm really impressed with your ability to judge road conditions.

I'm only sorry a trooper wasn't at that same place a few months ago when a man with a wife and four children had a blowout at over 80 mph. He might have slowed him down, and his children would still have a father, and his wife a husband. 

Oh, am I getting you mad again? That man might have been mad if a trooper had stopped him. He might have written me a letter. but he'd be alive. Your letter doesn't bother me, friend. What bothers me is that you apparently haven't learned your lesson. You're probably going to get back behind the wheel of your car, thinking you own the road and nothing can happen to you. You don't think about the other people on the road who want to go on living. 

And who gave your kid driving lessons? You? Then he's probably got a couple of tickets, too. It's no wonder he weaves in and out of traffic, speeds and leave strips of rubber at stop lights. I hope we catch him, too, mister; before we have to call you and your wife to identify his body at the morgue. I don't want to catch you crying and wishing you hadn't let him have a car until he learned to drive maturely. 

You say you want my troopers to let you off with a warning. What you really want is for us to stop doing our jobs. You want us to let you go until you meet another guy just like you head-on. 

You're mad because you got a ticket, and you have to take time off from work to go to court. You break my heart, mister.

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