Back in 1996 I was heading to work after dropping my infant daughter off at my sisters when I noticed a cop behind me. I looked at my speedometer, and low and behold, I was going too fast. The lights switched on, and I was pulled over.
That was the last speeding ticket I got. In 1996. I’ve been pulled over a time or two for silly things…like for driving with a failed inspection sticker, or going 8 miles over the speed limit in my residential community. I was always let go with a warning, because I have a clean record and my offenses were petty.
Well, that streak came to an end on Friday night. Sigh.
My girls and I had attended Halloween Haunt at King’s Dominion, a theme park about an hour away from our home. The night had not been very fun for me, because I find as I grow older, getting startled and scared is losing it’s charm on me.
After walking through three haunted attractions, where ghouls pop out around every corner or scream in your ear, I was done. My lower back hurt really bad mostly because I had spent the last 45 minutes in a tense ball of nerves. I told the girls they were on their own…I was waiting outside the rest of the attractions.
When we were leaving, the road was crowded and I couldn’t manage to get over to get on the ramp for I-95. But I wasn’t worried because after years of going to good old KD, I knew the back roads. We were traveling down Rt. 1 rehashing the night and talking about our weekend, when a saw a car on the opposite side of the road turn on it’s headlights. I hit my brakes, saw my speed go down to around 45, and noticed that car, was indeed, a cop.
I looked in my rearview and saw him U-turn and thought, “shit.” Part of me hoped he would run my plate, see that I was had zero priors, and just let me go. But no, the lights went on and he pulled me over.
Unfortunately this dude wasn’t going to let me go with a warning. He was taking way too long after getting my license. Even though I had a crystal clear record, and was wearing a super cute hat with fox ears, I got a speeding ticket. My 20 year streak, shot to hell.
Yeah, I probably was going too fast. The road was empty and we were talking so I guess I just didn’t realize that the speedometer was creeping higher. It sucks, but it wasn’t the end of my sucky night.
After pulling away from the cop, using directionals and coming to full and complete stops (even in the parking lot) we pulled into a McDonalds because I was thirsty. Before I know it, there are flashing lights behind me again. WTF?
ANOTHER cop was pulling me over. He approaches my window and tells me my headlights aren’t on. I say, “Yes they are – I can see the light from them.” He says, “No, that’s your fog lights.”
Oh great. He then asks if I were just pulled over. I said yes, for speeding. He had recognized my plate from the call that went over the radio. He said he’s not going to give me another ticket, but that I was lucky he recognized my plates. Yeah, gee – let me run out and play the lottery. I feel sooooo lucky.
But my lights were on. I had him come over to my car and look at my light switch on my steering column. The lights were turned on, but not working. What I was seeing was the glow of my fog lights. Thankfully my high beams worked, and I had to drive the hour home with them on. How is a person sitting behind the wheel, who sees lights, supposed to know her lights are not working. If he HAD given me a ticket, I totally would have fought it.
Ugh. It ruined my weekend. I hate when I’m careless and it costs my family money. I hate it. But, when you think on the bright side, if you spread the cost of the ticket over the 20 years, it’s only about 10 bucks a year.
Nah, there’s no bright side. It just sucks.