Saturday, September 10, 2011

Was I Speeding Officer? And Other Moving Violations

Last Wednesday evening I was pulled over by a cop in the quaint town of Pleasanton, California. I was on my way to an appointment and was a bit disoriented because I decided to listen to my GPS for a change and it steered me in a different direction from the route I normally take.

I came to a four way stop as I got close to my final destination. As I proceeded to make a left turn on the street of the chosen address, I saw flashing lights behind me, and I didn’t know why.

Puzzled, I pulled over and rolled down my window and stared at the young police officer in disbelief. He must have read my face because it wasn’t one of guilt, but one of confusion and so he informed me:

“It wasn’t your turn.”

I still looked confused. I didn’t remember seeing another car at the intersection.

“Have you ever gotten a ticket before?” He asked.

“No,” I responded sheepishly, assuming he meant moving violations only and not parking tickets. That’s another story.

“No?” He asked shockingly.

“Just parking tickets,” I confessed to him as I handed him my driver’s license and registration. Thinking that he might give me a break if he saw on my license that I actually lived in Oakland and was just visiting, I piped up:

“I’m sorry. I’m not from around here.” (Translation: I live in a town with real crime where no one ever gets pulled over for running a stop sign, doing donuts in an intersection, making illegal u-turns, speeding or jaywalking in front of a cop).

Unimpressed, he glared and reminded me:

“It was a stop sign.”

“Yeah, but I am all turned around,” I pleaded, “I was looking for a building on this street for an appointment.”

“I’ll be right back.” He said and went back to his motorcycle.

As I watched him through my rear view mirror writing something down on a piece of paper, I started praying he wouldn’t give me a ticket. Then a flood of memories all of a sudden came to the forefront of my mind. I realized that I had forgotten all about that one time I had gotten a ticket for making a turn at a “No Turn On Red” intersection in San Francisco back in 2005 while on my way to my then-boyfriend’s gig in a small club in the city. And then I remembered another time I got a ticket for getting in a “Carpool Only” freeway on-ramp, also in San Francisco. When I cried to that officer about how “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t see the sign”, he still gave me a ticket. Later that same day, I would get pulled over AGAIN, for apparently another STOP sign incident. This time I just showed the second cop the ticket I already had and cried and he let me go. Then there was that one time when I was speeding down Concord Blvd. in the city of Concord late at night in the dead of winter, when a cop drove up next to me and motioned me to roll down my window. I did, and then he yelled, from his cop car to me, “It’s too cold to get out of the car- SLOW DOWN!” Then he sped away.

Or that one time when I was pulled over for a broken tail light with a male friend of mine in the passenger seat of my car. When the officer asked to see my registration, I couldn’t find it and started digging through a bag of papers I had in my back seat. My car had been cleaned earlier that day and I took everything that looked like it might be important and stuck it in a bag so the inside of the car could be vacuumed. As I pulled out one paper at a time I looked up at the officer innocently and asked, “is this my registration?” He would look at it and say, “no.”

“Is this it?” I pulled out another piece of DMV paper.

“No.” he said.

“Is this it?” I pulled out an expired proof of insurance copy.

“NO! JUST GET IT FIXED!” He snapped as he gave up on me.

My male friend told me I didn’t get a ticket that day, because I was a girl.

As I continued to look out my rear view mirror, I wondered if this Pleasanton police officer was running my driver’s license to see if I had a record. Did I just lie to a cop?

He finally came back over to me and handed me a piece of paper.

“I am giving you a warning.”

Oh thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I still made it in time for my appointment and was grateful for the answer to my prayers. The outcome doesn’t always turn out like I want it to, but so far I am winning.

Theresa: 3

Tickets: 2


Anastasia said...

I've noticed wen I'm pleasant I don't get a ticket. Usually.

Anastasia said...

when..pht. haha

Betsy said...

It doesn't seem to matter how pleasant I am... I always get the ticket! (I've had 3.) Glad you only got a warning, though.

mssharealot said...

I've cried my way out of at least one, but got two in 3 months. I used "deferred ajudication" on the second, but there was a stipulation that I couldn't get another for 6 months, so I drove very carefully for a long time!

Karen Peterson said...

"Courtesy Citation" makes me laugh. That's pretty funny!

I was pulled over in a foreign country once. The cop let me off with a warning, and ten minutes later I ran a stop sign.

I swear, I'm an excellent driver. Really.

Rainyday said...

After 12 car-free years and 2 children, we finally caved and bought one earlier this year. I say we, but it's all me, since hubby - a grown man of 37 years - doesn't even have a license. Never has. Anyway. I've never gotten a ticket. A pretty easy accomplishment when you rarely drive, but now I'm driving so much. I figure it's an eventuality. I've got my fingers crossed, though. And will remember to be pleasant. Oh, and to drive safely and follow the rules, of course.

Amanda said...

wow. what a pleasant cop! pun intended. I think we all just freak out about cops but really... it wasn't your turn? couldn't he have come up with a better excuse?

Anonymous said...

I am reading a new book "how to get out of any speeding ticket" and it's really helpful. email me if you want: jackie paulson at and I am a paralegal.
Great post.

Jenny said...

This made me laugh.

It sounds almost exactly like the conversation that occurs on the rare times when I get pulled over as well.

Glad you escaped unscathed!

I'm visiting you from the Weekend Linkup.

If you'd like to visit back, I'm number 71.

L. M. Leffew said...

What a stressful situation! At least you came out rather unscathed.

I've yet to get a ticket. And I'm extraordinarily lucky that I haven't ever been pulled over.

I'm crossing my fingers now. I have a bad feeling I'm due for a brush with "authority..."

(I'm also visiting from the Weekend Link Up. #81, if you're so inclined.)