PBA Cards: What Are They and Can They Help You Avoid Tickets?

A PBA card is a small badge or label that is issued by the Police Benevolent Association (PBA). These cards are distributed to PBA members, who are typically law enforcement officers. 

This small badge bestows certain benefits and privileges to the holder. It is also a symbol of affiliation with the PBA. But can a PBA card help you avoid a traffic ticket?

The Purpose of PBA Cards

The main purpose of a PBA card is to provide a method of identification for police officers, usually when they are off-duty. This type of identification allows law enforcement personnel to signal their affiliation quickly. 

These cards give holders access to certain areas, including restricted events or buildings. They can also be used as a form of ID when dealing with other law enforcement agencies. A PBA card may also identify an off-duty officer to members of the public.

Privileges from PBA Cards

These cards offer certain privileges to their holders. For instance, some cards allow officers to park in designated spots. Cardholders may also avoid paying tolls on certain bridges or highways. 

Many businesses and establishments provide police officers with discounts or no-cost services. Presenting a PBA card may suffice to obtain these benefits.

But the privileges associated with a PBA card are discretionary. They may vary depending on the issuing organization and the specific cardholder. 

Also, officers are required to use their PBA cards in an ethical and responsible manner. Misusing these important identification tools may result in public mistrust of law enforcement as a whole.

The Limits of PBA Card Benefits

While these identification tools carry certain privileges and benefits, there are limits. PBA cards are simply intended to identify off-duty law enforcement officers. 

Using these cards to avoid traffic tickets is unethical. It is also potentially illegal.

First, it is important to understand that officers are required to enforce traffic laws and write tickets when appropriate. Trying to use a PBA card to avoid a traffic ticket undermines the credibility and legitimacy of law enforcement.

Doing so also leads to distrust between citizens and law enforcement personnel. It is critical for officers to maintain a professional and impartial demeanor. This is especially true when they are performing duties associated with their jobs.

In some jurisdictions, using a PBA card to avoid a ticket is against the law. Although the laws vary by state and jurisdiction, many localities have laws banning the use of police affiliation to avoid citations.

These laws are in place to keep officers from abusing their power. The statutes also maintain the integrity of the broader legal system. 

Police Benevolent Associations are intended to support the welfare and well-being of officers. PBAs also seek to promote positive relations between members of the public and law enforcement officers.

When community members see PBA benefits being misused or circumventing the law, damage is done. This leads citizens to believe that law enforcement officers think they are above the law. 

In other words, no one should use a PBA card to avoid a traffic ticket. Instead, drivers of all types should obey traffic laws.

Police officers must be subject to the same traffic statutes as all other motorists, even when they are not on duty. If you have questions about a traffic violation or citation, it is critical to speak with a skilled legal professional.

Reach Out to a Skilled Traffic Violation Attorney

When you have been affected by a traffic ticket violation charge or citation, do not wait. Contact an accomplished attorney at New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers in Central New York to schedule a consultation today.

Brandon M. Jones is a paralegal for New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers. Experienced in Traffic Law, Brandon assists our attorneys in traffic-related matters, including DWI, CDL violations, and speeding tickets. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Brandon by clicking here.