No cuddling while driving!
Here's a tip for couples on a romantic drive: Feel free to cuddle up close in the car but beware....Updated: Mar 13, 2006 18:41 IST
Here's a tip for couples on a romantic drive to Oregon's Coastal Mountain range: feel free to cuddle up close in the car. And for that privilege, thank newlywed Faith Miller, who likes to snuggle up next to her husband when the two head out for a drive.
The couple owns a spacious 1988 Chrysler Fifth Avenue, which means that if Miller wants to snuggle up, she has to slide into the middle of the car's front seat, wearing a lap belt instead of a shoulder harness.
That position drew a warning last summer from Sheriff's Deputy Darren Broome, who pulled over the couple last summer and gave them a warning: Safety before snuggling.
Miller admitted that she disregarded the warning.
"I just went back to sitting next to my husband," she told The McMinnville News-Register. "I have always sat next to him since we were married."
Then, just two days before Valentine's Day, the Millers crossed paths with Broome once again.
Spotting Miller in her accustomed position next to her husband, he lit up his overheads and pulled the couple over.
This time, she got a citation, for $97, the first ticket Miller said she had ever gotten in her whole life.
And she felt chastened enough to move back over to the passenger side.
"Now I'm stuck way over by the window, and can barely even reach my husband," she said.
Then she began looking through Oregon's seat belt laws.
Miller found a provision requiring shoulder harnesses for children, whenever one is available, but no comparable provision for adults. As far as she could tell, harnesses were recommended, but not required.
When Miller told Lt. Paul May at the sheriff's office about her findings, he did some research of his own and verified her findings, voiding the ticket.
"I can't find a statute that supports that violation," May told the News-Register. "It certainly does for children, but not for adults. "There's a recommendation that if a shoulder belt is available, to use it. But it's not in the statute. It's a traffic recommendation."
That means Miller won't have to appear in Willamina Municipal Court the week of March 21. She said she sees a special bit of silver lining in that, as she'll be celebrating her second wedding anniversary that week.
First Published: Mar 13, 2006 18:41 IST