You all know the Dog Walker got pulled over for the very first time last month and he handled it well…mostly…So this past week, Teach was driving home from work. It was late and she was tired after working an 8-hour cashier shift at our favorite grocery store. She wasn’t paying attention when her speed crept up to 50 mph in a 40. She spotted the flashing red and blue lights when she cruised around the corner without coming to a complete stop.
A younger Teach would have burst into tears, but she has worked really hard on controlling her emotions. When the police officer approached the car, she willingly admitted that she had been speeding. When he asked her why she didn’t stop at the corner, she told him that she hadn’t even realized that she had not made a complete stop. As she is telling me this story, I’m thinking “Jail Time!” He headed back to his car and spent a few minutes presumably writing a very large ticket. She ducked her head down, hoping to avoid the humiliation of being spotted by the entire neighborhood.
After what seemed like an hour, the officer strolled back to her open window, toting a sheet of paper. “Slow down and be safe,” he said as he handed it to her. She thanked him and tossed the paper on the seat. Slowly and carefully she drove the rest of the way home with her WARNING! How did that happen? Two violations and she got off with a warning?
Now I’m not saying that I speed often or get pulled over much, in fact the last time was in about 1987. I was driving through the small town of Willard on Highway 89, enjoying the scenery and the cute little fruit stands when suddenly the blue and reds started flashing. I eased the car to the side of the road and waited. It took him a minute to get to my window. He was an older man, with graying hair, and his first question was, “Do you know how fast you were going?” Actually, I didn’t.
I’m not normally a speeder, and I thought I was within the acceptable range. “No,” I responded honestly. “Well,” he drawled, “you were doing 55 in a 40.” Seriously? I hadn’t seen a sign change and I told him so. “It’s about a mile back,” he pointed. “Sorry!” I said, and I was…sorry, I mean. We were still in school and money was tight. I had my two little ones in the backseat and they were looking pretty terrified. I can’t remember if it was my mom or my grandma in the front seat and we were chatting and I guess I just missed the sign. After I explained this to the officer, he headed back to his car. Moments later he returned with a slip of paper. “Slow down and be safe,” he suggested. They must learn that at cop school. He handed me the paper. Yeah, mine was a real ticket. Some people have all the luck.