For the past few weeks, Rural Street has been under construction. Bob Ellison lives 2 blocks south of Rural and as he was driving home last week he was pulled over. The police officer told him Rural Street was only open to local traffic and Ellison was slapped with a $75 ticket.
"It says local traffic allowed, and I figure 8-9 houses down from the construction sight, I'm local...and he said, absolutely not. Plus, I said, there's no construction, it's rained on and off all day so they couldn't work," says Ellison.
Ellison says the sign needs to be more specific. Instead of local traffic only, it should say Rural residents only.
"He said it's coming down from on top that there's no warning tickets, every single person gets a ticket...and he says, as a matter of fact, don't feel too bad, the lady I gave a ticket to just before you is 79 years old, and it's the 1st ticket she's ever had in her life," says Ellison.
Ellison says his neighbors have been using Rural as well because local traffic was never defined. He's putting together a petition, and plans to present it the judge when he goes to court.
“If you're ticketing people who live 2 blocks away, that's heavy handed policing," says Ellison.
Ellison says he spoke with Sergeant Hopkins with the Rockford Police Department and the Sgt. was sympathetic but he said the issue is now in the courts hands.
Sgt. Hopkins says if you can get to your destination without being on a road that's closed, you should do so.
Hopkins says people who live in the area should know that there are other alternative roads to get home and he also added that officers always have a choice on whether to give someone a ticket.