Monday, April 2, 2012

I Am a Law Breaker

I've broken the law, and that's not all. I was caught. Duly busted by the Texas Department of Public Safety Officer 09486. It's been thirty years since I last had a ticket, so this was unfamiliar territory for me.

I freely admit I do drive faster than the speed limit; however, I am a very safe driver and I usually only go 5- 6 miles an hour too fast.

Saturday, though, Teenaged Daughter and I were driving back from a family reunion. It was just the two of us since Mr. Tejano had to work. She sat in the middle seat, headphones on, watching a movie on the DVD player and looked like she had fallen asleep. I hummed along to myself and worked on getting my lines down pat for the Passion Play I was in that evening. Time was of the essence to get there and in costume and makeup on schedule.

The terrain was hilly. A deluge of 18 wheelers, working the history- making oil boom in this area,  dominated both lanes of traffic. Some zipped past dangerously fast on the two lane, shoulderless highway, while others crept along, blocking the flow like plaque in a diseased artery. They are difficult to get around even in the best of situations, and finding an area to pass not governed by the solid yellow stripe AND with no oncoming traffic was treacherous.

Finally, after four or five miles of following one truck at a scooter's pace, all the while getting pinged by the rocks his back tires were spewing at me, I had an opportunity to get around, although I'd have to move quickly. The  six or seven trucks behind us were also antsy.

The speed limit was 75, and we were going 60, thanks to Mr. I Couldn't Care Less About Anyone Else Behind Me. I put my left blinker on, sped up, moved around him, signaled right, and settled back into the lane. I was just enjoying the relief of being around him when I saw lights at the top of a black and white car flashing in the oncoming lane at me. I pulled over and the parade procession of trucks slowly lumbered past us, my hard earned spot in the lead already a faded memory.

Officer 09486 did a u-turn and parked behind me. I watched in my rear view mirror as he stumbled getting out of his car and inadvertently hit his siren button, startling him just as much as it did me. He straightened his felt cowboy hat and adjusted his mirrored glasses before he reached my car. He tapped his way down the body of my car until he reached my open window.

"U.S. citizen?" he asked sternly.

"Yes," I offered meekly, handing him my license.

"I'm stopping you for speeding. You were going 90 in a 75," he scolded.

My mouth must have dropped open a little because he nodded vigorously to punctuate his statement.

I explained I didn't think I was going that fast, but that I was trying to get around the truck I'd been following for miles before other oncoming trucks filled the opposite lane again.

The only reaction I could read was my own, reflected in his glasses.

After questioning me about where I was headed, where I'd been, and what I did for a living, he issued me the citation.

"And ma'am, have a wonderful day!" he barked in his monotone as he walked back to his car.

I pulled back onto the highway and continued on my way. He headed the other direction. Teenaged Daughter awoke from her nap in the back, rubbed her eyes and took off the headphones.

"Gosh, Mom, this drive is always so long and boring, " she noted with a yawn and stretch.

72 comments:

  1. :-)

    I got a very similar ticket -- and a very similar story! -- almost 15 years ago in Wisconsin. Hilly terrain, semis, a dearth of dotted lines.

    You lawbreaker you. :-) Might as well pick out your prison name now. I'm thinking "Snake" or "Britches".

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: I've already started thinking about that prison name...hmmm...I guess Lady Macbeth won't do~

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    2. I could imagine the two of you forming your own prison gang, Minnesota Cats and The Texan Speedy Gangzaulez. I bet you would have a join by invitation only policy.

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    3. esboston: Shhhh- don't let the cat out of the bag! That's our plan, but don't tell anyone...

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  2. Teenaged Daughter: Are we there yet? (LOL)

    Gosh, that's so unfair, Shelly. I know what it's like to be sandwiched in and getting pressure from behind to break up the log jam. Smokey should have left you off with a warning considering the dangerous predicament you were in.

    Do motorists even get "warnings" any more? It seems like handing out tickets has become a year 'round fund raising activity. It was different decades ago. My mother and my aunt both used to boast that they never got a speeding ticket. It wasn't because they never exceeded the speed limit. It wasn't because they never got pulled over. It was because they were women and law enforcement officers routinely went easy on lady offenders for whatever reason. Cops took one look at shady Shady and threw tickets at me like they were confetti! :(

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    1. Shady: I honestly think he was looking to fill a "quota". I guess the 18 wheelers are too much trouble to stop. He sure tapped my car down well- making sure I wasn't smuggling drugs, money, or illegal immigrants.

      I am certainly watching my speed now, though!

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  3. LOL with what your daughter said! Sorry about the ticket, Shelly. I'm sure it was frustrating though with those truckers and those conditions. I would have probably done the same thing too! But interesting he had you going 90; I think you would have known if you were going faster than that. Going to try to fight it?

    Cool that you were in the Play; I hope it went well!

    betty

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    1. Betty: It's such a distance from where we live and the court date is a school day, so I think I will just see if I can do defensive driving. Good grief, though, I really don't think I went from 60 to 90.

      And yes, the play has gone great- two more performances this weekend!

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  4. I sure hate it for you Shelly but I did have to chuckle at your daughter's comment about the boring ride. In my area we have Interstate 95 running north and south with Highway 301 running parallel while going through all the little towns on the way. I was taking 301 one day to get away from the busy interstate and was driving through Whitakers, NC. I met this plain car that I saw pull over and make a uturn with his lights flashing behind me. Appears I was doing 47 in a 35 and had to write a check and mail in to the town of Whitakers. That hurt. Taught me a lesson though.

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  5. Odie: They are sneaky folks, aren't they? And yes, when I calculated that my ticket is going to cost me $208, I'm really rethinking how I drive (I still dispute I was doing 90, though!)

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  6. if you go to court they will lower the points and the fee....unfortunately I know.

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    1. Really- then I will have to look into that. May be worth the trip back, after all!

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  7. OH, he should have taken you off to jail!! hahah!! Just kidding!!!

    You should have showed him some leg.
    Kidding again.
    I better watch it.

    It's been a few years since I've been stopped...I think 3...but I got off with a warning.

    Are tickets in Texas over 100 bucks? They are here in MN.

    I posted about my stop when it happened (3 years ago) and It was a totally half kidding post, saying I flashed him my baby blues, but somehow a bad group of people found me on the internet (they were a anti children group) and over 500 people came to my blog that day and said some very nasty things, the last straw before closing down my blog for a couple months was someone who told me they wished I'd crashed and me the "breeder" and the kids would have died.

    SO be careful! That won't happen to you!!

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    1. Jamie: Good grief!!!!! I can't believe you had to go through that with your blog! That is completely awful! I just can't get over the cruelty and ill used logic of some people.

      Ha!!! But, you did make me laugh. He was about 20 (exaggerating) and was full of testosterone, and I think he enjoyed every minute of it. I wish I could have flashed something that would have made him give me a warning.

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    2. That last sentence sounded bad- didn't mean it too!

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  8. OK, oops, I didn't read other comments, I see the price of the ticket....probably that now in MN too. Hope to not find out!

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    1. Jamie: I would love to know where the money for all these tickets goes! Some of the ticket prices for other violations ranged up to over $500. Good grief!

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  9. That last sentence made me laugh outloud!!

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  10. Fight the ticket! You should be able to speed up to pass someone. You weren't traveling at that speed. Sounds like that cop had a quota to fill.

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    1. Stephen: It is over two hours away, and I'd have to take off work to do it...but still, I do not at all think I was going 90, even to pass someone. I may have to take this as far as I can~

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  11. What a compassionate officer who has respect and understanding for teachers:( I thought people who worked on the front lines of our society would hold one another up. You could fight that ticket for the unsafe conditions of being hemmed in by the truckers.
    Bummer!
    I loved your daughter's reaction. Too funny!

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    1. Jenny: Hi there! Really, that was very much in the back of my mind, that he might cut me some slack, but no dice! I did mention I was trying to get out of a dangerous situation, and he ignored me.

      At least my daughter got a good nap out of it!

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  12. Teenage daughter's comment - priceless!!!! Sorry you got that ticket though. Although secretly I'm impressed by you racing round at 90! Hee Hee! I love driving fast, although I consider myself to be a very safe driver.

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  13. Thisisme: Yes, she completely missed the whole thing. I certainly do drive fast, but I don't think my car could get up to 90! It is a large SUV and has power, but not so much speed. The cop wasn't believing any of that reasonable stuff, though!

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  14. Shelley, I can so identify with the frustration of getting stuck behind a slow moving truck! We have one lane (in each direction) roads around here and are forever getting stuck behind trucks or people even older than we are creeping along the road. And to pass is an exercise in timing and acceleration. I'm so sorry you got a ticket for that. It just doesn't seem fair. But what can you do? Your teenage daughter's comment was priceless!

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    1. Dr. Kathy: In my mind as I follow vehicles like that, I've come up with countless inventions to move them off the road gently and let us continue through. Perhaps I need to get on into the actual working stage! My daughter is so peaceful because she misses many of the exciting moments in life, just like this one!

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  15. Ouch, yikes. I hate that feeling of getting pulled over. It scares the stuffing out of me every time. Ditto to those who love your daughter's comment. :) Did you burst out laughing?

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    1. Joseph: Nothing how how the stomach sinks like a lead balloon into the feet once those flashing lights come on. And yes, I actually did laugh when she said that- she thought I'd perhaps lost my mind.

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  16. Sorry about the ticket. I'm sure it is undeserved, but clearly will go uncontested, as you have already admitted culpability. Don't you just love how the officers are so nice they are nasty? Nasty-nice, I say. (I have family members who are police officers, so...)

    I just wrote a rant on Bob Warr about an encounter with an officer of the peace.

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    1. vanilla: I do admit I was speeding, just not at 90 mph as he claimed. I always have a deep respect for law enforcement, but I do not want to run into them in that capacity again. I'm going to head over to Bob Warr and see about that encounter!

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  17. Shelly, sorry about the ticket. Your story of speeding up to pass the 18 wheeler was exactly what happened to Clint when he got his last ticket in northern TX about three years ago. I think it was over $200 if I remember correctly. I remember feeling the pain paying for it. The last time I got pulled over was not having on my head lights. I was driving my daughter's sports car, she was sitting beside me and I was not used to driving her car. I got so flustered when I was pulling over I accidentally turned on the windshield wipers! No, I had not a drop of alcohol in my system. I think we all at one time have pulled from a well-lit business area at night and failed to turn on our headlights for a short distance. I am happy you and your daughter made it safely to the Passion Play. I would have loved to have seen the play. ♥

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    1. Cindy: Yes, it is going to be over $200- which is pretty ridiculous. Oh, that must have been so frustrating to be pulled over for no lights, especially when leaving a well lit area.

      We did all make it to the play in time, so all was well on that front. Thank you!

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  18. I feel your pain.I drive country roads here in australia,and get stuck behind farm vehicles...zzzzzz
    we have a maverick cop in,the next town,book you for standing still too long if he could!

    pulling out to the left freaked me for a sec,then I remembered you guys drive on the wrong side of the road :) :P

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    1. IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY: You made me laugh! It's a shame that there are some who will issue a ticket for the most piddly of things, while much more serious stuff slides.

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  19. Gosh that was so maddening...You should have told him,"ladies first, thats why you had to overtake." LOL It goes to show, its just not worth it to get a ticket. You didn't say what you were fined?? Over here is would be around $140. Isn't it great to be a kid and sit back, watch a movie or sleep while mum drives you. A big hug from me mate.

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    1. Crystal Mary: Thank you so much- getting over the sting of it now. Yes, I will have to pay- probably the ticket price of $208, unless they will let me take defensive driving, which should be cheaper. And yes, I would love someone to drive me around while I watched movies and slept!

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  20. Deares Shelly,
    Oh, your title of this post gave me a scare thinking what happened, lol.
    That must have been SO frustrating as you hadn't had a ticket so long! Wow, your teenage daughter is really lovely♪
    As I don't have a license (you might know already), always depend on my husband for driving. Last time he got a ticet was a couple years ago on the expressway when he was driving with us four members. We didn't know we should have seat belt on even in the backseats on the expressway. Haha, we were so surprised as we didn't know what was wrong. Police men seemed a bit sorry for the ticket p;)
    I smiled with the "ladies first" comment of your friend. Well, watch out!
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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  21. orchid: They give tickets for that here, too- everyone has to be wearing a seatbelt. There are so many little traffic rules I didn't know about when I read through everything on this ticket (they have a little chart that explains the different violations).

    Whew- I think maybe not driving might be a better thing since it's so costly to get a ticket!

    And yes, my dear friend, they should watch out if they are gentlemen! Have a wonderful day!

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  22. I hope you got to your destination on time. Is it an exspensive ticket? Points? Don't you think they should give a ticket to the slowpokes that put people in these long lines behind them? Sorry.

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    1. Jill: Yes, it will be a little over $200, so it will be costly. We did make it in time, and I agree the slow ones need a ticket just as much as the speeders!

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  23. You guys have 70 MPH speed limit? Wow - - that is fast in the first place. Those slow pokers must be from New York as our speed limit is 65 on he highways and 55 or less on other roads.
    Oh please be careful.

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    1. Munir: Actually, in a lot of places now, it's 75. These are wide open spaces. It slows down near towns. They're about to raise it to 80 in some places here. It's just that everything is so spread out and without the oilfield traffic, there aren't many cars. Thank you, my friend!

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  24. That happened to me a couple of years ago. Not on the highway but in a section of the city where they have abnormal speed zones for 4 or 5 blocks as you go through the community. It has a reputation of giving out tickets to keep from getting bored and to bring in revenue.
    It was my first ticket and all I could do was cry. I felt like an idiot. But it sure taught me a lesson. Now I am very aware of those few blocks everytime I drive through that area. Friends kidded me and called me "lead foot" after that :-(

    .

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    1. gloW: I know exactly the feeling, although I didn't cry. I did feel pretty stupid for a while, though, and mad, because I was not going what he said I was. Those little speed traps in small towns like you had are notorious. The town where I teach is one~

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  25. Lead foot! That's what you've got. It makes me like you even more, you little speed demon! :)

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    1. Crystal: To that, I have to plead guilty, guilty, guilty!!!

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  26. Speeding is a problem for me too while driving. Let alone walking. Ha ha. I only received one ticket in my life and that was going too fast through a school zone. That I can understand why they pulled me over. Thank you dear one for sharing. Blessings.

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    1. JBR: I truly do need to keep myself at the speed limit. It is going to be a difficult habit to break. Thank you for stopping by!

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  27. I am as you do not like following behind big trucks for they do throw rocks at you while they creep along...it is like their nasty tongue wagging "hahahaha" at us isn't it...and then we get so worked up for creeping along and dealing with its nasty rocks being thrown ... we jump out and move on ....just to find he passes us up again while we vist the office with such boring personalities......

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  28. Rhonda: Exactly! They always do find a way to pass us up and end up leading the procession again, don't they?

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  29. She slept through the most exciting part...
    thanks so much for dropping in on "Remembering Us"

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    1. mybabyjohn/Delores: That she certainly did! Thanks for the visit~

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  30. Hi Shelley,

    Great story. Your daughter really slept through it! I want that kind of sleep!

    I have only been stopped once by a cop for speeding and cried my way out of a ticket...going 50 in a 30!

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    1. Christine: I think that age and extreme old age are about the only times we get to enjoy that kind of sleep. It's only a very distant memory for me.

      I think I did cry the last time I got a ticket, way back when I was in college. This time, I was just trying to think and remember if he could have been one of my former students!

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  31. Hmmmmm... I'm guessing he hadn't had a ticket all day, and was feeling desperate. So sorry - nothing makes me feel more sick than getting a ticket. The last time it happened to me, the officer kept my license by mistake. But he was so nice, and dropped it off in my mailbox for me. (I did deserve that ticket, so I appreciated his kindness!)

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    1. Karen: I absolutely think he was trying to meet a quota, and I happened to be the lame duck in his sights.

      That was nice of yours to drop it off for you. I think mine might have had mine for lunch, the way he was barking~

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  32. First, I love the look of your blog! So pretty. :) Second, boo on that ticket. It's that slow truck's fault! Sorry you got one. :(

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    1. Kelly: Thank you! I just changed it up today. And yes, I think slow drivers are just as if not more dangerous than reckless speeding ones. Defensive driving, here I come.
      :(

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  33. Those Texas officers mean business. We travel through a portion of TX when we are driving to OK.
    I have donated, via a high-priced ticket, to the city of Hallsville. They have a huge, beautiful high school there and I like to think my dollars helped to fund it.

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    1. Sweet Tea: I love your outlook- I'll be thinking of what I'm going to have to fork over in the same way!

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  34. I wish our California police officers wore cowboy hats! Sorry about the stupid ticket.

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  35. Missed Periods: He certainly didn't have the spirit of a cowboy- just that of a rude person. Thanks- I will certainly be taking my foot off the accelerator next time I travel through those parts.

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  36. How frustrating! At least he said goodbye nicely!

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    1. Lydia: His words may have been nice, but his tone was evil! Ha! I think he even enjoyed giving me the ticket!

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  37. trekking your blog!!! thank God nothing happens to you! we always forgot sometimes because we are too excited for the trip. take care always! :-)

    cheers!
    ..TREK..

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    1. icedgurl: Thank you- you are right!

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  38. I guess I would have NO words of wisdom here...I never drive the speed limit and judging by most of the cars passing me, they don't either. When on a long drive, I usually go about 10 miles over and keep my "hawk-eyes" alert for places that a "cop" would sit...I look in my rearview regularly too. I just like getting from point A to point B with the least amount of time possible. =)

    I'm glad that you were SAFE! =)

    hugz,
    annie
    anniesrubyslipperz.com

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    1. rubyslipperz: I am like you- I always try to figure out the most efficient and quickest route. I am also minding my speed very closely- don't want another of those tickets!

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