Saturday, 2:15 PM
Couple won't file complaint against trooper who ticketed them on way to maternity ward
(Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)
Jennifer and John Davis with their baby, Charlotte.
By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff
A man cited for trying to use a breakdown lane to get to the hospital when his wife was in labor appealed his $100 traffic ticket today, but the couple doesn't intend to file a complaint against the trooper who issued it.
"I think that we've complained and they heard it," Jennifer Davis said.
The Davises were flooded with calls and interview requests today after a story appeared in The Boston Globe detailing their encounter with the officer on their way from their Dracut home to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge on Nov. 18.
Jennifer Davis said her contractions were about 3 minutes apart, and rush hour traffic was stuck on Route 2 near Alewife Station. According to the Davises, John Davis drove in the breakdown lane and stopped to ask a trooper if they could take the lane to the next exit. He not only refused, they said, but he made them wait on the roadside while he finished writing someone else's ticket, then returned to their car and told them they would be getting a citation in the mail. Jennifer Davis said he also wanted to see her pregnant belly.
A State Police spokesman said the trooper was not expected to be disciplined because he was making a judgment call in enforcing the law that prohibits driving in the breakdown lanes. The lanes are only open to traffic on some highways during rush hour.
"Police officers are asked to make judgment calls every day and we understand that many of them are going to be subject to second-guessing but that goes with the job," said spokesman David Procopio. "Most importantly, we are happy and grateful that the Davises had a healthy baby girl."
Five hours after the Route 2 incident, the couple's baby was born at the hospital.
State Police are internally discussing the trooper's handling of the situation, but officials would not launch a formal review unless the couple filed a complaint, said Procopio.
In addition to requests for interviews, the Davises also fielded offers from people who wanted to pay for their ticket. They declined.