Anyway, it's been a long time since I was stopped an officer of the law for a driving infraction. However, I have had my share. I am just hoping I haven't already written about those encounters.
Herewith, a few samples.
I have been stopped for speeding three times. Please understand, I am not heavy on the gas. But, nevertheless I must have a "please stop me--I am speeding" sign on my car.
The first time I was stopped, I had our son with me in the car. I was on a local expressway, and was travelling with the traffic. But, I was one of the cars pulled over that morning. When I went for my hearing, I tried the "I was moving with the traffic" argument. The hearing officer, who had absolutely NO sense of humor, said--just because everyone else does it, would you do it too? If everyone stuck their heads in an oven, would you? Huh? Too much of a parental approach.
The second time I was stopped for speeding, I was returning home from work, and this time our daughter was with me in the car. (I know--why are my children always with me to witness these infractions?) I was driving along a local road that has a posted speed of 25 miles per hour. One of our township's "friendly" officers was playing with a quasi-radar machine that day. It works by taking two points of reference, hitting a button when the car crosses the first and then again when it crosses the second. The machine then calculates speed. Based on that, he stopped me, and said I was going 40 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.
Now, I can get my "Irish up" so I challenged this ticket before a local magistrate. I also enlisted the help of an attorney friend of ours, who just happened to bring along to the hearing another attorney--who happened to be a priest. (It's a long story.) Anyway, when they walked into the magistrate's hearing room, the district judge said--hello Father So and So. Hmmmm.
When the local officer gave his testimony, he allowed as how that day he was letting drivers go if they were doing up to 30 + MPH, but I must have been doing more since he stopped me. Then, I was asked--how fast were you going. And I replied--I really have no idea, but I am sure I wasn't going 40. The judge ruled in my favor, since the local officer was capricious in whether he stopped people for speeding or not.
The last time I got stopped for speeding we were in upstate New York, visiting our daughter at college. We went out to eat near the college, and had to pass through a little town named Earlville. It was one of those one strip towns, where the speed limit drops from 55 to 40 to 25. Suspiciously, the speed limit signs are posted in such a way that you really couldn't see them, unless you knew the area. The great irony in this whole incident is that I am always the one to say--the speed limit changed here; slow down.
Anyway, as we drove through Earlville (I soon came to call it E-ville for reasons you will soon understand), I saw red lights flashing in the rear view mirror. I stopped the van. The local officer walked up to the window and asked--do you know why I stopped you. I said--I have NO idea. He told me I was speeding, told me where the speed limit changed, and wrote out a ticket with a hefty fine.
When we returned home, my husband took the ticket and called the local judge in E-ville. He learned that while I could appeal the ticket, I would have to drive back to New York, appear in person, and then very likely I would still be fined. So, I swallowed my principles, and agreed to pay the fine. I have never returned to E-ville, and will never return.
So, any speeding confessions out there, friends?