State Sen. Don Davis has issued a statement clarifying his objections to a traffic stop that he said made him late for a meeting at the legislature.
Davis, a Snow Hill Democrat, was stopped for speeding in Zebulon on March 31. He complained to the town about the length of the traffic stop and wondered to reporter Johnny Whitfield whether there was a law that would exempt lawmakers on their way to do public business from such delays.
That question raised plenty of eyebrows in the North Carolina political scene. Louis Pate of Mount Olive, a Republican running for Davis' seat launched an attack on Davis, accusing the senator of believing he was above the law.
Today, Davis issued a statement.
I do not believe that legislators are above the law or should be exempt from speeding laws. I take my work seriously, and was too focused on getting in to my committee meeting that day. The apparent confusion during the traffic stop arose from the amount of time it took to issue the citation. Certainly, I would have accepted the citation if it was offered to me sooner. In spite of any confusion on my part, I commend Officer Thomas and Lt. Grossman for their professionalism.
As a former mayor and now a state senator, I have a great deal of respect for our law enforcement community, and believe that it is important for everyone including myself to obey the law. I plan to pay this citation, and have never had plans of introducing legislation to exempt lawmakers from speeding laws.