Tennessee driver's fine linked to obscene bumper sticker

The "f word" on a vehicle bumper sticker may cost the driver, a Cookeville teen, $150 in Cookeville city court.

That's because Cookeville Police Chief Bob Terry, driving in his private vehicle on November 4, happened to see the black Ford F-150 truck, noticed its bumper sticker, and radioed officers to find and stop the truck.

"I had seen this vehicle twice actually, both times when I was in my private vehicle and could not stop the truck, so the second time I saw it, I decided to have officers to go after it," Chief Terry said.

The bumper sticker overall expressed a sentiment that many might share, he said, but it used the "f" word to do so. It says, "F--- Terrorism."

"There is a state law against such obscenity being displayed in public," Chief Terry said.

On November 4 when he saw the truck with the offensive bumper sticker, he notified central dispatch and requested that officers find the truck and cite the driver.

A short time later, Officers Adrienne Lintz and Luke Ward stopped the truck at Stevens and Willow.

The driver, Travis K. Stefanski, 19, of West Haven Drive, Cookeville, was cited to Cookeville City Court on the offense of having an obscene bumper sticker.

The ticket the officer issued notes that the non-appearance amount the offender may pay to Cookeville City Court is $150.

The state law cited in the case forbids "obscene or offensive bumper stickers and window signs" in vehicles.

The law says, "To avoid distracting other drivers and thereby reduce the likelihood of accidents arising from lack of attention or concentration, the display of obscene and patently offensive movies, bumper stickers, window signs or other markings on or in a motor vehicle that are visible to other drivers is prohibited and display of such materials shall subject the owner of the vehicle on which they are displayed, upon conviction, to a fine of not less than $2.00 nor more than $50."

"I think such words as that on the bumper sticker in this case are offensive and could distract other drivers," Chief Terry said.

"I think drivers with this type of material on their vehicles should be cited for it."

Internet site reference: http://www.herald-citizen.com/view/full_story/16372458/article-Driver-cited-for-obscene-bumper-sticker?instance=crime_log


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