February 21, 2008

That's The Ticket

When Beth was in labor, early on Sunday morning, we pulled up to the light closest to the hospital. It was red.

Me: Do you need me to run the light?
Beth: No, I'm fine. And the hospital is right there.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Beth: You want me to say yes, don't you?
Me: Yeah, kinda.
Beth: Okay. I really need you to run the red light.
Me: Cool.

So I did. And - much to my chagrin because I totally wanted to get pulled over and show the cop my very pregnant, in-labor wife - there wasn't a cop in sight.

Yesterday morning, I had to run into work very briefly (like, five minutes). I had a serious computer issue that had to be solved onsite, in the office. Apparently I was in a bit too much of a rush. I ended up having the following conversation:

Cop: Sir, were you aware that you were going 39 miles per hour in a 25 zone?
Me: Uh, honestly, no.
Cop: Well, you were.
Me: And I'm really sorry about that.
Cop: Did you have any good reason to be going that fast?
Me: No. I really didn't.
Cop: Your honesty is refreshing.
Me: Does that mean you're not going to write me a ticket?
Cop: Nope. Not at all.
Me: Damn.
Cop: Yeah.

So, I got a ticket. My first ticket in about 12 years and I didn't even have a good excuse for it. Now, why wasn't yesterday's cop there when I ran that red whilst having a perfectly good excuse? What kind of fucked up Murphy's Law thing is that?

Are you a good driver or heavily ticketed? And what's the biggest fine you've ever paid? How have you gotten out of tickets in the past?

Posted by Chris at February 21, 2008 8:28 AM

I have never even been pulled over before (knock on wood). I'm sure there'll come a time when I finally get caught, but I've been pretty lucky the last 12 years.

Posted by: Leah at February 21, 2008 8:36 AM

When I was in college my summer job was as a lifeguard. One evening after a quick swim I was driving home and late for a date and I still had to get ready so I was speeding on the access road and passed the cop that was on the highway. So he pulled me over. He motioned for ME to get out of the car and come back to his car (small town) and when I got out all I was wearing was my bathing suit because I was in a hurry and no a/c in the car....he didn't give me a ticket...

Posted by: daisy at February 21, 2008 8:37 AM

I only had one ticket and it was in the one county everyone knows is famous for bad highway patrolmen and excessive ticketing. A woman on the interstate kept slowing down and speeding up, getting in front of me then behind, etc. I sped up to about 88 to finally get up ahead enough and that's when it happened.

Since the speed limit was 70, my ticket was about 250 bucks. But that was my only one in 16 years of driving.

Posted by: claire at February 21, 2008 8:41 AM

When you remember this in your older age just tell yourself it was because of Owen instead of for no reason. Nothing wrong with that.

I've never received a ticket. I received a warning when I was 17 for running a blinking red light directly in front of a cop. It was a total accident, I was nervous about my passenger and spaced the light that I'd been through a million times before.

I should have gotten a speeding ticket many times in my life but... no cops around. Now I try to drive much more conservatively in general.

Posted by: Poppy at February 21, 2008 8:44 AM

Love that story...I got tagged for going 92 in a 65. Middle of nowhere New York, cruising to Albany trying to pick up a woman. The cop asked me to get out of the car and put my hands on the hood...but I got 1/2 way out and he stopped me. Asked me why I had a rose in a bottle of water...told him my story of missed flights, emergency rental cars, and a very first weekend away with this cute girl. Instead of hauling me off to jail, he wrote me a ticket (Cost $475), told me where the rest of the "hiding spots" were between there and Albany, and told me to go get my woman.

Posted by: Bogart in P-Towne at February 21, 2008 8:45 AM

When I was young and dumb (about 7 years ago), I was zooming through Henry County, VA near Martinsville on my way home to Durham, NC at about 7:30 in the morning. The cop clocked me at 74 in a 55, and I think he only did that so he wouldn't have to arrest me. I was probably doing closer to 80. I almost peed my pants when he pulled me over, I was so scared.

It was reckless driving, so I had to go to court. Almost peed my pants again. It ended up costing me $500 which I really couldn't afford. I drive now with my cruise control firmly set at no more than 7 above the speed limit on the interstate.

The only silver lining to the tale is that apparently Virginia and North Carolina don't communicate with each other about traffic offenses, because the ticket never showed up on my insurance. Even after I moved to Virginia.

Posted by: jaime at February 21, 2008 8:49 AM

Oh, I have another ticketing story, but about my dad.

A couple of summers ago my husband and I were going to visit family in Ohio. My dad was driving from Nashville with the same destination. He called us while we were both on the road so I was chatting with him while he was driving.

He had just finished telling me about this local Nashville beer he was trying that was really good. And by "trying" I mean he was drinking a bottle while he was driving. (I assure you, he was not drunk. My dad is just from the old school that doesn't see a problem with having a beer while you're driving down the road on a hot summer afternoon with no air conditioning. Anyway.) I hear him go "hmmm... I think that cop's going to pull me over". Sure enough, he got himself pulled over. My only words of wisdom to him before he hung up was "Hope you hid that beer. Let me know if we need to detour to Kentucky to bail you out."

He was extremely lucky and only got nailed for speeding. But I did thoroughly call him a dumbass when he finally made it to Ohio later that night.

Posted by: jaime at February 21, 2008 8:57 AM

I always turn on the interior light, put my hands on the dash, and explain to the cop every move I am about to make. "My wallet is in my left side back pocket I am going to reach for it now. MY registriatin is in my glove box. I am going to reach for it now."

It eases their tension.

Posted by: william at February 21, 2008 8:58 AM

I don't have a driver's license. :-)

Posted by: Maria at February 21, 2008 9:04 AM

Buddy, the karma is that you ran the red when you didn't need to (Beth said) so that's whay you got caught !

I did get out of a ticket once. I think it was due to the look of sheer terror and the possibility of being sick on my face.

I have paid 3 other tickets in 16 years of driving. I speed a lot and deserve every ticket I get. Luckily in my region they are not expensive. I think the most I've paid is like $130.

Posted by: Heather at February 21, 2008 9:05 AM

My dad has an uncanny knack of getting out of tickets. I have NO idea how because usually when my dad is stopped for speeding, he's REALLY speeding. Not that my dad is necessarily wreckless; I've always trusted his judgement but you know, he goes FAST. I got pulled over once for speeding, about 200 feet from the Oklahoma-Arkansas border (I was on the Oklahoma side) because I was doing 73 in a 70. I kid you not. He told me to "slow it down a bit" and I told him I would. Then my mom and I spent the rest of the trip to North Carolina (I was moving!) telling each other to "slow it down a bit" when we were going exactly the speed limit. Good times!

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 21, 2008 9:18 AM

Heather's right: it's karma. I've only ever gotten parking tickets. Parking tickets out the ass. (I live close to downtown and there's never anywhere LEGAL to park so sometimes I actually decide to eat the ticket in advance.) The most I've ever paid was $51, and that's because I was late.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 21, 2008 9:26 AM

You should've said, "Listen, my wife just had a baby." Works every time.

I'm a good driver. I think the most expensive ticket I ever received involved an accident I was responsible for when I was 16. My car received the majority of the damage and I remember thinking what an injustice it was that I had to pay for everything anyhow. Ha! What a teenage douchebag!

I've gotten out of tickets by wearing a military uniform. Apparently cops dig guys in uniform. Because they're gay. I guess. Whatever.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 21, 2008 9:31 AM

I got pulled over at about 2:30 in the morning on the way home from a bar. Wasn't paying attention because I was chatting with my friend. The cop pulls me over at double the speed limit (50 in a 25) and asks where I'm coming from. Not even thinking, I say the bar...although I hadn't been drinking, as I was DD. He asks for license and registration. New car, no registration and the DMV had burned down, so no proof of ownership. He takes one look at my last name (14 letters) asks me to spell it...I can. Decides I am sober and tells me to be careful because there are lots of deer around. Not even a written warning!!! Can you say 'too lazy to write/call in my last name to the station'? Too bad the last name is now only 5 letters, guess I'll have to be more careful.

Posted by: Krush at February 21, 2008 9:33 AM

I have gotten way too many tickets in my life time. My most recent was in DC and I totally got lucky and the cop didn't show up to court. DC cops are really busy. It's easy to luck out that way. If you got pulled over in VA, then it's not as easy, but still totally worth it to go to court. Especially with your record, you can get it lowered significantly.

I always have the philosophy of, I don't care how much I pay for the actual ticket, but Oh pretty pretty please will you lower the ticket itself! I just want the ticket to be as small in points/violation/whathaveyou as possible to keep my premiums low, or you'll being paying a lot more for the next 3-5 years.

Posted by: amy at February 21, 2008 9:35 AM

Coincidentally, I got my first ticket EVER this past November (that would mean my first ticket in 13.5 years of driving, for those of you trying to figure out my streak). 80 in a 65.

Oh yeah, and I ended up going to the Defensive Driving class to avoid points/insurance hikes. You can see my recap here:

Posted by: Ross at February 21, 2008 9:44 AM

Does that fall under the category of Murphy's Law?

Posted by: cassie-b at February 21, 2008 9:44 AM

I have a spotless driving record, I've only been pulled over once and that was for rolling through a stop sign and I was totally traumitized by the experience! lol The best part was after all the crap my huz gave me for it, the very next morning he got pulled over at the exact same place for doing the exact same thing by.......the exact same cop! neither of us got ticketed thank goodness.

Posted by: Kris at February 21, 2008 9:48 AM

I'd never been pulled over in my life until three winters ago when I got caught twice in a month. Both times I was doing around 45 in a 25. Neither time did I have a good excuse. Neither time did I get a ticket. Only warnings. I figured I'd used up my "cute girl bucks" that I never cashed in during my 20s and now I drive much more carefully.

Posted by: Alias Mother at February 21, 2008 9:48 AM

ooooohhh...don't even get me started! I can't remember the last time I was ticketed. Then last week, when I was having a really REALLY bad day, I got a ticket on the expressway on the way home from work. For 73 in a 65. Which is complete bullshit. I'll have to take a morning off work and go to court only to have it dismissed. Then I'll just want to go home and take a shower in bleach to kill the funk of that place. Arrgh.

BTW, I totally would've told the cop that my wife was having a baby!!!!!

Posted by: kalisa at February 21, 2008 9:55 AM

I have had two tickets, both on the same road with the same car. I once owned a brand new Mustang. I was following a sedan one night, somewhat closely. I was stopped, the sedan was not. I waited until I was given the ticket to point that fact out to the jerk, but at that point it was just me being able to vent a bit. He told me I was doing 70 kph in a 50 zone. I think he was just showing off for the semi-pro hockey player on a ride along with him.
After that, I always drove slower on that road. A year or so later, I was stopped yet again for speeding. The cop popped up over a hill and met me and immediately the lights came on. That time I made her show me the radar and it said 90(it was a 70 zone). I still don't think it was my reading as I don't think there was time from when she crested the hill and the lights came on. Anyway, both time it was a $130 fine with a one week driving suspension. I never drove the Mustang on that road again.
The only time I've gotten out of a ticket was when a boyfriend had just broken up with me and I think I ran a red light. I was bawling and the sight of the flashing lights behind me made it worse. When he got up to my car, he asked me if I was ok, then told me to wash my plates off because he had a hard time reading them. I think he took pity on me.

Posted by: kmum at February 21, 2008 10:09 AM

My husband is a cop and there are FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) plates on our vehicles. I've never been pulled over :-) Although, to be honest, I really am a very careful, safe driver. I rarely speed and I obey all traffic signs and signals, so I don't think I've ever given anyone a reason to pull me over--at least not in the past 10 years or so.

Posted by: Alissa at February 21, 2008 10:15 AM

I want decline answering this for fear of putting myself in the position to get a ticket! BUT with that said I am heavily knocking on wood - the last ticket I had was in Northern MI going 75 in a 55 but please the whole Upper Penisula where there is virtually NO one to be seen for miles and miles is 55 and NO ONE goes 55. I was 23 and poor as could be (and if you saw the car you would wonder how I even got it to go 75...) AND I had an out of state of license. They TOOK my license in order to ensure that I paid the bill. WELL duh I was going to pay I spent to much time driving between MI and WI to not have a driver's lic but more importantly I was still heavily carded when I walked into a bar!

The most expensive fine I ever paid was the 1st (and 2nd ticket only in my life) ticket I ever received. I just turned 16 and I beat all those other cars off the red light (weee) until I saw the lights behind me and crapped my pants! This was in San Jose and I was going like 10 over - the fine was something like $120 bucks. The one from MI where I was going 20 over like $60. GO FIGURE!

Posted by: Chritina at February 21, 2008 10:18 AM

I was recently pulled over in town for doing 23 in a 20 mph zone. Lucky for me the cop turned out to be my neighbor so we had a good laugh and he let me go without a ticket.

But Sweetie was pulled over earlier this year by a state trooper who marched out into the middle of the Mass Pike to flag him down and pull him over to the shoulder. All I could think at the time was how horrified that trooper's mother would be if she had seen her son walk right out into the middle of the MASS PIKE with nothing to protect him but his knee high boots and aviator shades (and his uniform. he wasn't THAT kind of state trooper).

Posted by: chatty cricket at February 21, 2008 10:32 AM

I once got pulled over for going 72 in a 30mph zone. Not only that, but I didn't have my license on me and couldn't find my registration. Lucky for me, the cop said, "I'm not here to ruin your life (and seriously, this ticket would totally ruin your life), so I'm going to write you up for going 39 in a 30. And young lady? GO HOME AND PUT YOUR LICENSE IN YOUR WALLET." Whoever that cop was, may the Lord bless and keep him, forever and ever, amen.

Posted by: GreenCanary at February 21, 2008 10:32 AM

I used to have a squeaky clean record for the longest time and then in the last 3 years that has all gone to shit.

The biggest fine I ever paid was when I was 19 and they clocked me going 84 in a 55. It was over $200. Ouch.

Honesty is the only thing that has ever gotten me out of a ticket.

Posted by: Jules at February 21, 2008 10:40 AM

My Hubby (a pilot) can't seem to get it. Fast in the sky slow on the ground. So he has had a ton of tickets.
Since my car accident I tend to drive like a granny and so, no, I have never gotten a ticket. (again knock on wood!) I think I would die if I ever even got pulled over.
Sorry that you got nailed.

Posted by: Maribeth at February 21, 2008 11:12 AM

You couldn't circle the hospital a few times until you found one? Dang....

Posted by: David at February 21, 2008 11:19 AM

I'm a fairly good driver. I've had a couple of parking tickets and that is it. One I never had to pay because when I went to do so I had lost the slip and they couldn't find it anywhere in the computer system, so I just left that alone.

Posted by: Adi at February 21, 2008 11:21 AM

Since 1954, I've had one iffy stop sign and one I just didn't see. I paid both of them.

I had one ticket which I knew I didn't deserve.

The Highway Patrol had stopped me for expired license plates. When he looked closer, he realized they were fine; he just didn't see the current sticker. He got mad and went over the car looking for safety violations. I had 3 kids in the hot sun of San Jose for 30 minutes while he kept us there. Cited me for about 3 different things - can't remember now what but 3 or more = a moving violation in this state. I took the car to a garage, got a signed affidavit to prove the car was okay, and took it to court.

The judge told me I was making mountains out of molehills. I told him that if I'd been wrong, we wouldn't be having the conversation. The Hwy Patrol didn't bother to show up and I walked.

That was the mid 60's. I haven't changed much over the years.

Posted by: ann adams at February 21, 2008 11:22 AM

The one and only time I got a ticket was totally bogus, but I had just moved to PA and so I didn't know how to fight it. Apparently, when you get a ticket there, you are supposed to go to court first and plead not guilty. I didn't even know where the court was! So I paid the damn ticket. $250. It SUCKED.

Posted by: heels at February 21, 2008 11:35 AM

the one time i go a ticket i was driving north on I-5 from Tacoma to Seattle, clipping along about 75 going with the flow of traffic; there were even people passing me. coming down a hill rolling close to 80 i see the cop pull out behind me and think, "aw crap, he can't possibly be coming for me." yeah, he was coming for me: the guy driving a 1990 ford tempo with all of 90hp with people passing me on both sides. oh, but i had out of state plates.

the cop comes up to the window asks for the usual paperwork, runs everything, comes back and just says, we're going to write this me clocking you at 74mph, otherwise it's reckless driving (speed limit is 60mph on I-5 for most of the puget sound region and i guess 15+ over the limit is determined reckless). i said thanks and we both went on our merry way.

the rub is that two years after that i bought a much faster car, still speed constantly (within reason), and i haven't been pulled over. maybe the cops just get so wigged out over a hood scoop on a wagon they just don't know what to do until i'm gone :D

Posted by: Jared at February 21, 2008 11:43 AM

Did the cop *really* say "your honesty is refreshing"?? I love it!

Posted by: Latte Mommy at February 21, 2008 11:48 AM

It pays to know the district attorney. ;)
Seriously. The first time I got a speeding ticket, I paid a lawyer $100 bucks to take care of it. Turns out that taking care of it means asking the DA to petition the court to have it reduced. Well, hell's bells. I know the DA so next ticket, I just called him and he said to mail it in and they'd have it reduced for me. Easy peasy.
Now, I just drive slower. lol

Posted by: Traci at February 21, 2008 11:54 AM

I am a good driver, even thought my husband doesn't think so. Apparently if you GET tickets (as does he), that makes you a GOOD driver?

Anyhoo. When I was a senior in highschool, I wanted to go up to Snoqualmie with some friends. It's about 45 minutes away, in the mountains, and my parents strictly told me NOT to go. On the way back down, I was pulled over for speeding, in a construction zone I might add. I had a friend, laying in the back of my hatchback, with his bike (which is why we had gone up in the first place, he was too tired to ride back home), so he wasn't wearing a seat belt.

The officer came up to my window, and took the usual license and registration back to his car. I was very composed while he was at my car, but once he left, I cried. Not because I was getting a ticket, but because my parents were going to know I went up to the mountains, after they told me not to do. When the officer came back, he told me I was marked with a warning and to slow down. I cried all the way home.

No, crying did not get me out of a ticket...so don't say it! ;)

Posted by: Michele at February 21, 2008 11:59 AM

I've only been ticketed twice in my 13 years of driving and one of them was a total joke. I was exiting the airport (after picking someone up), it was pitch black, there was no one around ('twas nearly 1:00 AM), and the speed limit on the "exit the airport" road was 45. I was going, oh, 55? 60? I couldn't even see the cop, sitting on the side of the road in the dark. SUCH BULL SHIT.

I didn't fight it, just paid it and went on my merry way. Too many other things in life to worry about.

Posted by: Noelle at February 21, 2008 12:03 PM

I got 2 tickets in the past 3 months which is really unheard of for me. One was on my birthday. For that one, I paid and attorney as an experiment. I think I'm done already with my probation. It took a long time to get it to court and get through the process.

The other I got in a po-dunk town in East Texas. I'm doing defensive driving for that. I don't think there is a cheap way out unless you want to go to court and talk to the judge yourself. I have heard in large towns ( Like Fort Worth ) a good number of tickets are dismissed if you take them to an attorney and all you have to pay is the attorney fee and the court fee. They write so many they can't keep up so they just dismiss them.

Give either a try.


Posted by: Edge at February 21, 2008 12:19 PM

Getting out of tickets has been few and far between for me, but by far the best one was one that I should have gotten on my first motorcycle.

I had been away from home for about two weeks, and when I got home I took the bike out for a ride. I had just turned onto the road from my complex and had about a quarter mile to the stop sign. I opened the throttle WIDE OPEN. I saw another single headlight coming my way and thought it was another person from the complex. Then I notice it's a motorcycle cop, and I am already doing 70 or 80 in a 35.

I was already parked on the side of the road with my helmet off by the time he turned around and pulled in behind me. I think that one point got me out of the ticket.

I gave him my insurance and found out that the one I had on me was expired. The legit one was at my place. He went and called my license information in and walked back up. At this point I know I'm getting a ticket for speeding and the insurance.

He tells me that he's giving me a ticket on the insurance which will get dismissed if I can provide proof of insurance at the courthouse. And then he tells me that he's giving me a warning on the speeding. I still can't believe that I got away with that one as it was over twice the speed limit.

Posted by: Rex at February 21, 2008 1:24 PM

I'm a fast driver and I'll be the first to admit that. So I've had three or four tickets over the course of 10 years or so.

One time, I was driving from Athens to Myrtle Beach and I got stopped twice in the same day! Both cops (one in GA, the other in SC) just gave me a warning. Guess I was young and cute then.

One time, more recently, I was stopped doing over 70 in a 55. But the cop didn't write the speed I was going on the ticket, so when I went to court to protest it, it was thrown out, thank goodness!

Last year, I got stopped doing 48 in a 35 (I was going down a hill, totally wasn't paying attention). That one really sucked, was over $200.

You'd think I'd learn to slow down, but I can't seem to help myself. I'm from NJ; I learned how to drive fast and aggressively.

OH, ps ... I've NEVER gotten out of a ticket by crying. Cops are mean, man!

Posted by: moo at February 21, 2008 1:46 PM

I've only gotten 3 tickets in all the years I've been driving- one was given to me when I was in an accident (like I hadn't suffered enough), and one was for failing to stop at a stop sign. I stopped at the corner, 2 feet past the line of the stop sign, and it cost me $360. The third is actually a fix-it ticket that I'm headed off to pay on my lunch break. I get pulled over a lot because the tags on my car are pretty much perpetually expired, but I usually don't get ticketed for it. I think the only reason I did this time was because the cop noticed that my insurance card was a year expired. (policy was still good, but the card was expired and CA is crazy strict about car insurance).

Posted by: Judy at February 21, 2008 1:52 PM

I think my best getting out of a ticket was when I got pulled over for 40 in a 30, on a street where the cops are notoriously vigilant. I sped up to go around a slowpoke and got nailed by a motorcycle cop, who are infamous around here for being harsher that car-cops. the conversation went like this:

Cop: Do you know you were going 10 miles over the posted speed limit?
Me: No, I hadn't realized, I was just speeding up a little to go around... I'm sorry, I'm on my way to the hospital to have surgery (I really was).
Cop: May I see your license, your insurance and registration please?

I gave it to him, and he walked back to his bike like he was going to run my information, then turns around immediately and comes back to my window.

Cop: What kind of surgery are you having?
Me: I'm having surgery to remove a tumor on my tailbone.
Cop: (wincing hugely, handing back my paperwork) Uh... Good luck with that.

Posted by: Judy at February 21, 2008 2:04 PM

...I was 17 fresh out of high school. I was supposed to be home at like 7:30 and I was two hours late. I got tagged doing 72 in a 35....

...I was going up to Georgia on some backend county road and was tagged going 62 in a 55. Good 'ole boy stopped and I managed to get off with out a ticket...

...heading home after delivering the stepchildren and got tagged doing 65 in a 55; limit had changed at the county line and I missed it. I had to do traffic class for that one!

Posted by: Michelle at February 21, 2008 2:50 PM

My husband firmly believes that all expectant Dad's should be issued a pink flashing strobe light for their cars. Kinda like a "Drive like an ass and don't catch hell" get outta jail free card.

Posted by: SleepyNita at February 21, 2008 3:00 PM

I am notoriously guilty of the 39 in a 25 crime.

My last one was last summer. I was on my way to pay my insurance agent to pay my car insurance, which had JUST GONE DOWN BECAUSE MY LAST TICKET POINTS FELL OFF.

So that was a bit of irony I could have lived without.

Posted by: Candy at February 21, 2008 4:03 PM

i've never gotten out of a ticket in my life. in fact I've ended up cuffed in the backseat of the cop car.

I must look like a bad bad girl.

Posted by: jodi at February 21, 2008 4:19 PM

I don't recall how much I paid, but I got 3 tickets in one year. Then I learned about community service. SUCKS, but you don't get the points, haven't (knock on wood) had a ticket since.

Posted by: been there, done that at February 21, 2008 4:50 PM

I have gotten tickets, although not a ridiculously high amount. I did have the pleasure of attending traffic school in DC after only one ticket, which was a huge pain in the ass. And a total waste of time. I already know how to put my seatbelt on, for crying out loud. I just wanted to get home. Never speed on MacArthur Blvd. That was my most expensive ticket at $100. Of course, the ticket I got two years ago added to the ticket my husband got around the same time resulted in them almost tripling our insurance. The tickets were bad enough, but we're still getting screwed every month.

I'm sorry you didn't get to play the "my wife's in labor" card! I bet that would have been fun.

Posted by: bad penguin at February 21, 2008 6:41 PM

OMG, I just wrote something about this on my blog. I've NEVER even been pulled over, let alone received a ticket. Not so much as a parking ticket. I'm sure that now that I've written that twice in one day, I'll get one tomorrow. No doubt.

The other day I was driving in a residential area, paying NO attention to how fast I was going. Cue motorcycle cop with radar pointed right at me. Sh*t. He pulled out behind me & two other cars and puts his lights on. Sh*t. My husband is practically giddy that I might be getting a ticket, FINALLY. We all three pull over and he motions for me and the car immediately behind me to head on. He kept the third car in line. It was a minivan, which I think is awesome.

Posted by: AMomTwoBoys at February 21, 2008 7:49 PM

I have cried -- more than once -- and been spared. I'm not proud of it, but ... well, yes, I guess I AM sort of proud of it. Related story here:

Posted by: Karen at February 21, 2008 8:22 PM

Only ticket I've ever had in my life (and I'm 48) was after a huge tractor trailer truck ran a red light and plowed into my car, totalling it. The cop came to the effin' hospital and ticketed ME! What? Lucky for me, the guy sitting in the lane next to me was an attorney, and knew my attorney. I didn't even have to go to court. The judge threw it out.

I'm an excellent driver. I've been thoroughly schooled in the Smith System defensive driving process. After having that drilled into your head for years, you literally conform and see the light, and begin to understand that by speeding or weaving in and out of traffic, you get there maybe 3.5 seconds earlier than you would have. I'll go 60 in a 55 mph zone, but that's about it.

Posted by: coolchick at February 21, 2008 9:19 PM

I've had my share.

I tend to drive fast.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at February 21, 2008 9:52 PM

2 stories... My husband's favorite car (we bought it with our wedding money) 1964 Porche 911... it was a beautiful day...like he said "the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and all the young girls have their short little tops on"... we pulled up to a red light, a cop pulled up next to us minding his own business but looking at the car cuz people always noticed the car... my husband nodded at the cops appreciation of the car, and proceeded to run the light... realizing he did that, he immediatly pulled over...the cop pulled behind us... got out of his car chuckling... my husband just shrugged and said..."i did it, i have no excuse" the cop just laughed and said... at least he was honest...and said to enjoy the rest of the day...
second story: (and this is STUPID) i was in a parking lot... that at the end of each aisle said, turn left only, which took me AWAY from the only exit that would let me turn right onto the street i needed to turn right on... i was having a "female emergency" in a WHITE dress so after being so "good" about follwing the signs in the PARKING LOT... i was so upset that when i did get to the exit that said "LEFT turn only" i said "screw it" and turned RIGHT cuz that was the way i HAD to go! well that's when i saw him sitting, waiting... and sure enough he turned on the light... i pulled BACK into the parking lot (making sure i was by the exit that i could make my RIGHT turn out of - praying he would NOT ask me to get out of the car - no such luck there - tried to keep my back to the car) he wrote me a ticket, and while he was handing it to me...told me to appeal it...(what the hell did that mean? and if he wanted me to fight it why did he give it to me in the first place?)... everyone said..."maybe he won't show up and you won't have to pay" ..well again..no such luck...and never having done this before when they told me to show up at 10:30, i thought i had and "appointment" but it was just to "sit"... 2 hours (watching everybody else not only having to pay the ticket but court costs too! so i figured they just wanted more money! )til it was my officer's turn... he told the story of my turn, down to the detail of my seeming "distressed" and that i DID pull over immediately, the judge asked what i had to say for myself...i only said "i made a wrong turn" the judge said "dismissed" i figured i was gonna have to pay court cost at least...but no..i was free to go... go figure!

Posted by: the unicorn at February 22, 2008 8:36 AM

I've only been pulled a couple of times but coming home for winter break from college one year when asked why I was speeding ( I had already said I was going fast but felt it wasn't too fast) I replied that the flu was going around our campus and I was trying to make it to the rest area that was 2 miles away. Well - the trooper leaned back away from my window like he'd been scalded and then said he'd follow me to the rest stop. He watched me go into the ladies' room where I dawdled a bit and when I came out asked me if I was ok, did I need to stay and rest for a bit, he'd stay a while and then ask someone else on patrol to check in on me if I was still there, etc. NO TICKET! No speeding tickets ever - the last time I was pulled was about 10 years ago and my good record helped me just get a verbal warning.

I did get a ticket for violating the HOV lane in Old Town Alexandria. Sigh.

Posted by: Sue R at February 22, 2008 11:25 AM

I swear, that same cop (except he was a state patrol officer) pulled me over on my way to work one day a year or so ago. I was going about ten over. He asked me why he pulled me over, I said that I was speeding, he said he had clocked me at about 70 mph, I said that sounds about right, he said something about how refreshing my honesty was BUT he didn't give me a ticket.

I may be a girl, but I have no boobs and I didn't cry. I can't explain it.

Posted by: Angela at February 22, 2008 5:01 PM

In '89 I went to defensive driving for a speeding ticket. At the beginning of the class, the instructor asked facetiously "and is there anyone who is completely innocent of their speeding ticket?" hahahah. I raised my hand and explained the following.

I had just finished Basic Training at Ft. Sill, OK. Two recruit friends and I down to Austin (hometown) for Thanksgiving dinner/weekend with family. Driving back, I was in back of the van relaxing cuz I had already driven a long time and one of the other privates was driving and all of a sudden yelled out "CRAP! I think I got NAILED!"

Somehow he was able to convey the following information in about 1.5 seconds:

"Wayne, it's like this. I still have to go back and report in. We have formation at 1800 hours. If we so much have a SPECK on our record, it's immediate discharge. We can't have any trouble with the law in any way - not even a speeding ticket. All I have in this world is my enlistment, and I really need the G.I. Bill because my wife will be bearing my child in 3 months and I can't face her if I got kicked out of the military. Help me obi-wayne; you're my only hope."

So I did the only thing I could do. Luckily, we had just went over a small hill as we were slowing down; the police car behind us was invisible for a few seconds, and he jumped out and I jumped in to take his place. I slowed, stopped, and took it like a man.

I took his ticket.

Crap, I think I got nailed.

Posted by: whall at February 23, 2008 12:36 AM

I'm a good driver AND heavily ticketed. In the last year I've gotten 2 tickets for things I wasn't even doing. And there must be something inherently dislikable about me because I've never met a cop yet who let me get out of a ticket.
My husband, on the other hand, just got out of his 6th pull-over without a ticket last night. He has earned every pull-over and has never gotten a ticket.

Posted by: Amy at February 25, 2008 10:48 PM

The Hubby and I look at it this way. If and when the ticket comes, we are probably both on borrowed time. My ticket came many years ago (1993?), and I've had a few warnings since (1997, 2004, 2005). The Hubby hasn't had a ticket.

We hope and pray, and try to be good, but if it happens, we probably deserve it for a past offense, if nothing else...

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