March 3, 2006

Cruise Control

I'm starting to re-think my entire philosophy about driving. Like maybe I should walk instead.

See, I got pulled over again last weekend. For speeding. I know, I know. I was all like "WTF?" too! I went seventeen years without even talking to a policeman. Well. Except the years I lived next door to one. But that was idle neighborhood chitchat. Those conversations never began with, "License and registration, please" or "Do you know how fast you were going?" These days I'm like a magnet for any cop with a radar gun.

We were tooling down route 33 in rural-ish Virginia on the way to my mom's. Midday, sunshine, no traffic. The posted speed limit was 55 mph. Ever since my recent license debacle, I've been uber-aware of how fast I drive. Or so I thought.

The state police car was parked in the median. In plain view. Still he snuck up on me. I could not believe it when he pulled out behind me, his blue lights flashing. "Was I speeding?" I asked Wendy incredulously, "How fast was I going?"

Oh yeah. That's me. Uber-aware.

The policeman told me he had clocked me doing 68 in the 55. He asked if I had a reason for driving so fast.

Ah ha! The same question I refrained from answering the last time I was pulled over! It didn't help me then to be meek, so this time I spoke up.

"Well Officer," I began hesitantly, "I am a bit surprised to hear that. I really thought I was paying better attention to my speed."

Oh yeah, baby. I'm one smooth talker. I wondered how much this one was going to cost me.

He asked if I had had my cruise control set. I said no. He informed me he would be issuing a citation for 68 in a 55 and, with my license and registration in hand, headed back to his cruiser.

I sat there, unable to even make eye contact with Wendy. This was completely humilating, moreso because it was again entirely my own fault. I sighed deeply as Wendy grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze. Eye contact was easy then.

I snatched my hand back when I noticed the policeman returning. For some reason I felt it would not be a good idea for him to see us holding hands. For some reason, sure. We were in rural-ish Virginia. It would decidely not be a good idea.

"Ma'am, I don't usually do this," he said. "But I'm not going to give you a ticket this time. I think you were telling me the truth and too many people don't. We all make mistakes. But I do suggest you be more careful. And use your cruise control!"

Gratitude poured out of my mouth with assurances I would.

He didn't give me a ticket!
He didn't give me a ticket!
He didn't give me a ticket!

Yesterday on my way to work, I flipped on my cruise control while on the GW Parkway and set it for six miles above the posted speed limit of 45 mph. Cars flew by me at an alarming rate, their driver's necks craning to see what kind of fool was driving so slowly.

I just smiled at them and thought of the fellow who didn't give me a ticket.

Does this mean I'm reformed?



Geeky Dragon Girl said...

That's awesome! Though I'm confused as to why he decided you were being truthful after going back to his cruiser. Maybe he looked you up hoping to find a serial speeder and instead found a person with a squeaky clean record. Well. Except for that suspension. Heh. Good luck, good karma, whatever it was I'd be grateful too!

Sharon said...

Whew! You got lucky.

Your story about the suspension has stuck with me.

I use the cruise control religiously because my commute is long and I tend to speed also.

Congratulations in your recent good fortune.

Kiker said...

I love that, as an expression of your gratitude, you took his suggestion of using the cruise control to heart.

I think it was karma smiling down on you, letting you know that you deserve a break.

(And thanks for your encouragement. I smiled when I read my comments this morning)


Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

I think this shows the power of kindness over punishment.

Gina said...

I once got out of a ticket. I was 20, and when I started to cry because I told him I didn't have the money to pay it off, I guess he felt sorry for me.

Glad you got out of it, tickets suck.

J said...

Reformed? Probably not. But you'll be aware until at least next week.

My sister always carries around a bottle of water, and if she gets pulled over, she pours it into her lap. She then tells the officer (usually male)that she's having "women's problems." That usually works, but must be wrecking her karma somewhere.

Personally, I go with the "I didn't think a Subaru could go that fast, officer."

Congrats though!

Elizabeth said...

He thought YOU were truthful. If he only knewwww.

One time Max, she of the gay stickers on her car, was speeding (have I told you this? I can't remember who I've told this to) and a cop drove up along side her. Max looked over, the cop held up her badge and then turned it over to show a rainbow triangle. Big smiles. Max slowed down, the cop gave her the thumbs up. No ticket. Talk about some good karma.

Have a good weekend ladies!

tiff said...

You'd be right at home here in NC, where the state motto, as far as I can tell, is "speed limits are suggestions only." Daggone it but the folk drive FAST here - if you're not doing 75 on 540 you'd best be in the right lane.
Route 33, eh? Take it out to Rawley Springs and see where I used to hang (Blue Hole, anyone?).

tiff said...

Of course, you'd have to go way west on 33, but, you know, same road..... :>

SassyFemme said...

You're only reformed until you forget to set the cruise control and lead foot it. ;)

You did get REALLY lucky, OMG, were you lucky!

This morning I was driving the posted speed limit, which was 55, cars were flying by me; had to be going at least 70. I don't think anyone in CT follows the highway speed limits!

Gena said...

The best line of your post:

I sighed deeply as Wendy grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze.

All together now: Awwwww.

Cris said...

you are soooooooooo lucky.

if it were me.....ticket.

example: 1am on a Sunday night, driving to the hospital to be a birth coach for my yet to be born grandchild. Not another car in sight, but obviously the officer's. I was stone dead honest. he still gave me a ticket.