So I Got Pulled Over...

Taking my Escape to the dealership for a little maintenance last week I got pulled over for speeding. It was a tad embarrassing, since the motorcycle cop was literally right next to the dealership, so I didn't realize he was pulling me over until I was pulling into the dealership.

Fun times. I pulled into a parking spot with the officer behind me and was able to enjoy the focus of all the car salesmen while waiting for the officer to do his thing.

Not like they had anything better to do, since people don't buy cars anymore, but still.

The officer was very polite. Asked me if I realized I was going 58 in a 45 (honestly, I didn't - 50 maybe, but didn't realize it was that high), accepted my insurance card even though it didn't indicate taking effect until the next day (that's what I get for replacing it early), and then he even did what I didn't expect at all.

He left me go with a warning.

What? Really?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it. I have no desire to write a $200 check for a speeding ticket, but I didn't expect that at all. I've always wondered what makes an officer simply give a warning rather than a ticket. Did I look particularly honest? And why go through the process of pulling me over if he's not going to give a ticket?

Maybe someone else has insight here, because I sure don't.

If I had received a ticket, it wouldn't have been the first one. Twice I've been nailed for speeding with photo radar, I did stupidly run a red light once, and then I got caught speeding (my first ticket) somewhere in central Oregon on the way home a long time ago. None of those were cheap and you just end up feeling like an idiot - it's a complete waste of money.

(Speaking of the photo radar, how stupid do you feel then? Both times I received that picture in the mail with the bill I was smiling clearly. Both times I also knew it was coming and hoped it wouldn't - like the two other times I swear the camera flashed at my car.)

I've been let go before, too. Once near the Rose Garden I was pulled over at night. I literally had no idea why, because I wasn't speeding or anything. Turns out I had forgotten to turn on my lights, but with all the street and surrounding light I didn't even notice. Whoops. Another time I was pulled over in Beaverton for what I thought may be speeding (thought it would have been really ticky-tack), but apparently the officer didn't approve of the crack in the windshield of the old Honda. That officer was not polite. He claimed the crack was in my vision (it was along the lower part of the windshield), but apparently had never driven an Accord - I barely saw it from my seat because of the position of everything. I didn't fix it - ended up buying a new car not too long afterwards so whomever bought the Honda off Craig's List got to deal with it.

Holy crap - I'm beginning to sound like a regular criminal here. How often have you been pulled over?

Every time I see the flashing red and blue - you know, because I see it all the time or something - it reminds me of the first time it happened.

I was a senior in high school and a friend and I both worked as tutors to Japanese exchange students. We also both lived in a rural area outside of Oregon City, so after work we got in my car and took the country roads towards his house. It was after 9pm in the winter, so it was very dark and I was in the habit of pushing the car as much as I could around the curves of the windy roads, just like we did every time after work.

It also happened to be a little bit foggy. Not dangerous foggy, but just foggy enough so things not right next to the road were unclear. It was also enough to know I had a car following me that looked to be somewhat like a Ford Taurus, but that was all I could derive from the rear view mirror.

This car would not get off my ass. I pushed mine a little harder, drove through a small town, slowing down as necessary, then cranked it back up as the road straightened out.

And then the lights came on.

As I pulled over I was freaked out. If I got a ticket my parents would kill me, and I was hoping all the required info was in the glove compartment. Then I told the cop the car wasn't mine, which got his attention until I explained it belonged to Mom and Dad. (Speaking of Mom and Dad, I don't think they've ever heard this story... Surprise!) After freaking us both out a bit with the prospect of a ticket, the officer let me off with a warning. I was so relieved I didn't know what to do. And then, after I pulled back onto the road so did the cop, following me some more before eventually turning off.

Then - of course, the part of me that wasn't sweating and didn't have shaking hands - was pissed, because this cop had followed me so closely for roughly eight miles before pulling me over. In fact, part of the reason I had hit the gas so much was because this car was following so close. Sure, I was speeding, but I also felt like I was induced a little bit.

Then again, at 17 you always think you are right (well, because you are), so perhaps my recollection is a little skewed in that direction.

Perhaps the most important question now is will I drive slower? Um...maybe. I'll try and be a little more aware of my surroundings.

How about you, dear reader? How many tickets have you gotten? And what was the first time like?

1 comment:

  1. Based on your several encounters, it seems that you already know how to get through the situation. However, it still pays to be aware of your speed limit. Though you might be lucky sometimes, it can be bothersome to get delayed because of being pulled over by traffic cops. Moreover, getting ticketed due to the same offense might lead to the suspension of your license.

    Norma Richards @ Just Bail Bond