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N.H. Driver Brakes for Ducklings, Gets $100 Ticket

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on July 25, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A New Hampshire woman recently learned the hard way that state police don't consider rescuing baby ducklings worthy of the "emergency" status required for stopping on the state's highway medians.

Hallie Bibeau, 33, of Newfields, was driving on New Hampshire's Route 101 when she saw a mother duck and a group of ducklings trying to cross the road. Bibeau slammed on her brakes and pulled to the side, but the mother and several of the ducklings were hit by another car, reports Manchester's WMUR-TV.

When Bibeau noticed that several of the ducklings were still alive, she got out of her car to try to do the right thing ... or at least, so she thought.

2 Survivors, 1 Ticket

Bibeau said that after stopping, she saw that the mother duck was dead, but that several of the ducklings were still alive. She watched as a few of them made it to the opposite lane of the highway, only to get run over.

Bibeau got out of her car and was able to rescue the two remaining survivors. As she did so, an ambulance on its way to a different incident stopped to see if she needed help.

While she was explaining the situation to the ambulance driver, a New Hampshire state trooper also stopped. But he wasn't there to help. Instead, he issued Bibeau a $100 citation for stopping her car in the median.

Law Prohibits Stopping, Parking on Highway Median

Under New Hampshire law, stopping, standing or parking a vehicle between roadways of a divided highway is prohibited, with the exception of emergency vehicles or "when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic."

As New Hampshire State Police Lt. Nicole Armaganian told WMUR, the law is designed to keep medians free for emergency situations, and "Stopping for an injured duck or ducklings is not what we would consider to be an emergency."

Bibeau said she plans to fight the ticket in court (and there are many ways to potentially do that, as our Learn About the Law section explains). But she also told WMUR she'd do the same thing all over again, even if she has to pay the fine.

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