Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words You Don't Want To Hear In The Same Sentence

For instance ---- I need to see your driver’s license, registration and insurance.

Yep -- I was pulled over last night and the policeman was perfectly right in doing so. I was caught blocking an intersection at Bristol and Irvine. I was in the left turn lane for the on ramp of the 73 Toll Road going home from playing golf at Newport Beach Golf Course. The light changed and I went forward expecting room but the SUV in front of me stopped leaving me out in the intersection. The light changed and here I am without a place to go. I took the next lane and soon lights were flashing behind the car.

The policeman said those words and told me why he pulled me over. I told him I knew why as I was caught in no man’s land at a busy intersection expecting traffic to move and it didn’t. He took the items to his car to check them out and I knew I had no violations on my driver’s license, the car was registered to me, and the insurance was current. He came back and gave me the items and then another piece of paper -- “Written Warning Of Violation”. He said this will go nowhere, will cost nothing, but is just a warning not to do that again. I said “thank you” and offered my hand. He shook my hand and smiled and it reminded me of the Sergeant on the Hill Street Blues television program -- “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”

This is the fourth time I have been stopped by the police in 59 years of driving. The first was when I was 17 years old and was stopped because I was driving 36 mph in a 25 mile zone. The cost? $11 - one dollar a mile over the limit! I would imagine it is a lot more now.

The second time was when I was 25 years old - Rick was 3 and Brenda was a baby. I went through a “yellow” light and the nice policeman said it was “red”. So did my wife, incidentally. Rick was really excited because the nice policeman was going to come and talk to daddy!

The third time was about 15 years ago when I made a U turn and was pulled over immediately. He asked me if I knew why and I said I just made a U turn and I don’t know why he stopped me. He pointed to the very large sign that said “No U Turn”. I told him I didn’t see the sign but I saw him. I said “Do you think I would do it knowing you were there?” He said “No - I don’t think you would. Don’t do it again”. A verbal warning that time.

The police were right in pulling me over for the blocked intersection. I was in the wrong -- just got caught in thinking the cars would be moving and they didn’t. I appreciate the “Warning” and the professional way the policeman handled the situation. It doesn’t hurt to be nice to the authorities and to have a clean record on your driver’s license also.

1 comment:

Julie Hibbard said...

This year will mark 30 years of driving for me.
Number of times pulled over: THREE
Number of tickets: ZERO

The first time was when I was 16--the policeman asked me for my phone number.
The second time was when I was about 30--my registration was expired.
The third time was about a year ago--the policeman said I was 'weaving' within the lane. Then he asked me for my phone number.

Congrats on being a fellow safe driver!