- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2014

Apparently, residents in one North Texas town aren’t legally allowed to hold up homemade signs.

Ron Martin, 33, tried it – he held a sign he penned to warn drivers about speeding traps – and got cited by police. Officers arrested him in October for holding up a sign to Frisco drivers that read, “Police ahead,” The Associated Press reported. He made his first court appearance this week, where he defended his actions as a safety issue.

In court, it was revealed that police officer Thomas Mrozinski said he’d seen Mr. Martin commit the same offense – holding up homemade signs to warn drivers about police – on at least two other occasions. And Mr. Mrozinski faulted Mr. Martin for interfering with official police business related to the department’s speed enforcement program, AP reported. The police report described the incident this way, from the point of view of the officer who sat on the speed trap: “I observed a couple cars drive by traveling westbound waving at us. Mr. Martin was observed standing in the center media of the six-lane divided roadway … holding a sign in his right hand up over his shoulders.”

His actual crime?

Violating Frisco’s sign ordinance. Mr. Martin held his sign up while standing on a median strip in a roadway. The city ordinance only allows people to hold homemade signs on private property, AP reported.

Mr. Martin says that’s ludicrous and this week, he pleaded not guilty and defended his actions in his first court appearance, the local WFAA.com reported.

Mr. Martin said in court that he’s not opposed to the speed traps, but thinks the police are conducting it an unsafe manner.

“They hide behind signs and they use their motorcycles sitting in the road, sun going down, without lights or anything,” he said, to the local MyFoxDFW.com. “I just feel like it was a little bit unsafe, not only for citizens but for police officers having to do their jobs.”