August 09, 2009

The Scofflaw Chronicles - The Missouri Edition

The Mister says I am a scofflaw. I admit it. I tend to think of some laws as merely suggestions. I already posted about the stupidity of a neighboring municipality's noise ordinance here.

And you can read about The Mister's horribly dangerous driving practices here. As to this incident, The Mister replied, "Who's the bad driver?" I ain't sayin' nuttin'.

Here's the latest example of my "loosey goosey" interpretation of local traffic ordinances:

The other night, I was meeting my stepdaughter for dinner and a movie. We were going to see Julie & Julia. We agreed to meet at a nearby restaurant at 6:30; the movie was scheduled to begin at 8:10. I had already bought the tickets, so there was no way I was going to be late.

I live about 30 minutes from the restaurant. I left just before 6 pm. The GPS was plugged in (I've never been to this restaurant before, and I'm kinda new in town). I adjusted the angle of the display. As I did so, I came up to an intersection in my town and did a rolling stop. And I made a right turn.

Guess who was coming to the same intersection fr
om the opposite direction? He was looking.right.at.me. He saw it all.


Oops.

As I continued down the road, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the car shoot a U turn and follow me. I was extra careful to obey the ridiculously slow 20 mph speed limit. Within a minute, I heard the siren, and again, looking in the rearview mirror, saw the flashing red and blue lights.

Can you say 'BUSTED'?

I pulled over. A nice looking officer approached my car and said, "Good evening". I returned the greeting.

When asked for my driver's license, I immediately complied. He was smiling as he asked me if I knew why he pulled me over.

"Yes, sir. I did a rolling stop, AND I didn't use my turn signal." I explained that I rarely fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign (entirely true). I also said that in my year in Missouri, I seem to be losing my habit of using turn signals, since nobody else seems to use them.

He reminded me that both of these things are the law, and that it would be a shame if a small child was at that intersection when I neglected to stop. He also said that there is quite a bit of road rage at this particular intersection (it's kind of a five-way thing; it's often hard to tell which way a car may be going - without a turn signal to alert other drivers).

He also said that since I seemed to understand the laws, he was NOT going to give me a ticket. He urged me to be more careful - and I promised to do better.

This little interaction took only a few minutes, then I was on my way to the restaurant. I dodged a bullet there (figuratively speaking). No ticket. No written warning. Got off scot-free.

Perhaps it was my being honest with him about my indiscretions? Maybe it was the guilty expression on my face as he looked at me while I rolled on through the intersection?

Have YOU ever avoided a ticket? And how?

10 comments:

  1. Glad you were able to avoid the ticket. Honesty is always the best policy!

    I did avoid a ticket once in Duluth, MN. I was leaving a friend's house after spending the weekend and was going down one of their famous steep hills and may have gone through a yellow/orangish with a tint of red light at the bottom of the hill. Sure enough, there the lady officer was. I told her I was from out of town and thought I was lost so I was looking down the road and didn't see the light. It worked.

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  2. I've only been stopped once and got off with a warning. I was making a left hand turn at a light and was going the speed limit. Of course as I was a few feet from the stopping line it turned yellow, I just went on through. Of course I got pulled over immediately (by a cop I didn't see mind you). He asked me "why didn't you stop when the light turned yellow?" I told him "Well, officer, I didn't think I had time to safely come to a complete stop and thought I should continue through". He said "well, a yellow light is as good as a red light and it means stop." I'd never been pulled over before so he let me go, plus I'm sure I looked panicked. I thought yellow meant speed up is what I really wanted to tell him...

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  3. I am guilty of a rolling stop at a nearby stop sign. I do it all.the.time! Lucky for me in our little town finding the sherriffs department is hard to come by because we share them with our entire county. I have gotten pulled over twice, once for speeding and once for changing lanes in an intersection (both in the city, there is no intersection in my town, not one with stop lights anyway). I didnt get a ticket for either and have no idea why....just nice cops?

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  4. I think honesty works best when avoiding a ticket.
    I admit I have a lead foot when it comes to driving on the highway. I decided to go with the flow of traffic one day and that just happened to have been around 80mph. Out of everyone, I was the one that got pulled over.
    The trooper asked me how fast I was going and I told him I was going 82, which he laughed at.
    He told me to try and stay the speed limit LoL

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  5. Good for you. I made a rolling stop once, and crunch the dumb broad in front of me who decided to wait, and wait, and wait.

    Anyway, I left an award for you on my blog. It's a hot one!

    Missy

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  6. One day I got called in to work, Get here an hour ago was the command, The entire computer system was down we need all hands on deck. I grabbed my uniform out of the closet and was dressed in a flash, I grabbed the truck keys and I was off. I was doing 85 in a 60. When in my rear mirror what did I see? A cop wanting me to pull over. I had my license and inurance out before he had even gotten out of his car. He asked me why I was speeding I told him computers are down and I have to get to work. He wrote me a ticket and I sped off. When I got to work, I looked up his ID called him on the radio and sent him to hospital detail. Oh did I fail to mention I was a Police Dispatcher? The Uniform I was wearing was a POLICE Communications Uniform? Several times through out the day he was beggin for relief. I kept telling him to stand by. About 7 hours into his shift he called on the land phone and asked me what my problem was. Imagine the egg on his face, when he discovered I was the voice, and the person he wrote a ticket on. I contested the ticket and went to court, He failed to show. Charge was dismissed. And I never went without a slurpee again.

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  7. I have gotten off three times by being extra polite and contrite. The first time, the low cut red shirt may have helped too. ;)

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  8. I do think your approach is the most effective ... honest, sincerely sorry and polite. Tears work too in my experience (I wasn't faking them either.)

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  9. Earlier this year I got a totally undeserved ticket when I was NOT speeding. I called a retired officer from the town in question and got it arranged so all I had to pay was the court costs....I have never done anything remotely like that before but this was so freakin' unfair and I knew I'd get no satisfaction in traffic court so I DID IT!!

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  10. You know I've gotten out of a LOT of tickets! I have the tears, license, and registration ready when they get to the window and apologize as soon as they hit the window. They just want an apology for an acknowledgment that you flubbed up.

    But my FAVORITE story is when I got pulled over in Wilkinsburg (HOOD!! in Pittsburgh. Wilkinsburg is ghetto fabulous!) Back in the day when I lived in Wilkinsburg, I owned that 1995 Grand Am with the black tinted windows. You remember my pimp ride, right? I made an illegal left turn off of Penn to go to the Burger King instead of going up two blocks, making a left at the light, and coming back down two blocks. I IMMEDIATELY got pulled over by two policeman. Yup, 2. That's how it rolls in the hood.

    So I had the tears ready and when the cop came to the window I apparently startled him by being a white chick in Wilkinsburg. My license also still had my Davidsville address (so NOT hood...up in the boonies over the mountain). The officer told me I made an illegal turn and asked if I needed directions back to the interstate. He never ran my plate. If he did, he would've seen that I lived two blocks on the other side of Penn Ave. No ticket. Once again. :)

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!