You may have one or you know someone who does. Maybe you had one but it expired or you used it and the officer kept it after he let you go on your way. I'm pretty sure this is not a national phenomenon and maybe confined to our tri-state area. I was asked about mine, which is a metal family member card, by a TSA agent at DFW Airport in Texas. I told her what it was for and she looked at me like I was from another country. Well I am, I'm from New Jersey. In some states like Vermont there are stories about officers and troopers being so offended by the presentation of such a card during at stop, that it might make the situation worse.

Here in New Jersey it's pretty commonly assumed that the card will get you out of the routine traffic stop without a ticket. During our current "zero tolerance" click it or ticket campaign a friend presented his to the officer after being stopped for not wearing his seat belt and viola'... no ticket! So much for zero tolerance. My theory is that our traffic laws are so ridiculous and towns and the state are so hungry for fines that there's no way to protect family and friends of law enforcement from this nonsense other than issue these cards. It's a system that has worked "wink-wink" for years and it doesn't seem to being going away in NJ anytime soon. No so for other states like New York.

They're thinking of stopping the issuance of the cards due to so many people selling them online. Do a quick google search about PBA cards and you'll find multiple sites that will sell you one, mostly for New Jersey. Shocking! If you're lucky enough to be related to a police officer, then ask for one, everyone else has one, right? If not, go online a buy a few. Is this ethical? Are the laws and tactics of our state ethical? You be the judge...or should I say you "buy" the judge.

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