Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stop! In the name of....

So... I got a ticket the other day. I got a ticket for a seat belt violation. I was wearing my seat belt but I didn't make sure my passengers were. And the state was working the 'click it or ticket' campaign that day.

And I am the worst mother in the world because I didn't make sure Mac was properly wearing his seat belt! OMG- I suck. And the deputy who pulled me over actually wrote on the ticket: "Her son was not wearing belt." OH. My. Goddess. I suck as a human being.

We had just left Burger King and Mac, who is big enough to beat a bear with a switch, was riding shot gun. We passed a sheriff car and he popped a u-turn behind me and the lights came on and over we went. I was running through my mind what I could've done. I had just left from a stop light so I knew I didn't even have a chance to speed. I ran through all the other violations in my head that it could be.

Officer is at the window, which I have rolled down. He leans in and introduces himself and asks Mac: "Now tell me the truth young man, honestly, were you wearing your seat belt at that light?" I look at Mac who was wearing his seat belt at that moment and Mac says:
No sir, I had the lap bet on the the shoulder strap behind me so I could eat."

I about died. I had no idea. And I know that makes me a rotten parent and a bad driver and I know I should've noticed it! I felt like I was willing to let my son be splattered across the highway but that wasn't it. We were talking and he was eating and I was watching traffic and driving and the radio was on and I just. plain. didn't. notice.

The Officer was very,very nice and he didn't make me feel like I should be hauled off for potential child abuse or anything. He explained to me that since Mac didn't have a driver's license (yet!) it would go on my record, but it was not a "points" offense so it wouldn't affect my driving record or my insurance (thank the goddess I didn't have to go to work and explain to my boss that my insurance would be going up and why! Sheesh!). Even though Mac was the passenger in the front seat, if he had been a licensed driver, and if if I had been driving, the ticket would've been in his name.

So the Officer takes all my information and goes back to his car and I turn to foist the hairy eyeball on Mac and open my mouth when he said in a one breath rush: "Oh gawd, mom I'm so sorry and my next $25 in lawn mowing goes to you and I'm really sorry I'll pay so please please please don't be mad at me I'm sorry!"

Since he was apologetic and he volunteered to pay the ticket before I could say anything, I didn't yell or lose my cool. I mean, really, at that point, what purpose would it serve? And when Officer Nice Guy returned, Mac told him he was sorry and he would pay it since it wasn't his mom's fault. The guy told Mac he was proud of him and it was good that he was taking responsibility.

I have to say this is the nicest traffic stop I've experienced. This Officer was super nice and very friendly. He was kind and informative. He wasn't a bully and didn't seem to act like he had to throw his power around. He was just a guy doing his job who was also human. He seemed like he felt sorry for me.

But I still got a ticket. Drat! Mac is mowing the lawn on Tuesday and the ticket will be $5 closer to being paid!

I fought the law, and the law won,


Honey said...

At least your officer was nice! I got stopped a few weeks ago for "speeding". I was taking the boys to swim lessons and turned off of one street onto another from a complete stop and saw the officer sitting there doing his speed trap (oh, can I say that?) and the next thing I know, I'm being pulled over. He said I was doing 49 in a 30! WTF??? I actually had NO idea what the limit was there. I just came from a street that it was 40 but I didn't recall seeing a sign posted and told the officer that. Needless to say, the ticket came but on the way home from swim I started looking for a sign and it's there alright BUT just completely obstructed by overgrown trees!!! Tell me how I should get a ticket when there was no way I could see the posted limited?

Yummy told me to call the local po-po and explain the situation but the chic in internal affairs told me it wasn't their problem that I couldn't see the sign because of the overgrowth and when I asked who's issue it was, she 'nicely' told me not theirs and she didn't care. Told me to leave a message for the officer who wrote the ticket but one problem, I couldn't read the asshat's writing (and I say asshat because when he came with the ticket he informed me that they were just out there for a little while enforcing the limit - aren't they suppose to do that EVERY day?). Finally figured out who he was and left him a message but he NEVER called me back! The chic in internal affairs said he wouldn't and that he would tell me tough luck if he did.

Yup, real nice isn't? Our finest in blue... so, I'll be heading down this week to pay the damn ticket, sign up for the diversion program and then off to write a letter of concern to the chief of police. Hmm... wouldn't he like to know how his officers are interacting with the public? Won't change anything but at least it'll make me feel better!

Curley said...

Boy did I learn a few things about this one. I didn't know that if the offender didn't have a license the ticket went to the driver. I didn't know that it was against the law to have the lap belt on with the shoulder strap behind you. I think we have all been guilty of that one, since they are so darn uncomfortable at times.

Maggie said...

Honey- wow- that a crappy experience! Let me know how it turns out!

Curley- learn something new every day, I guess. I wish Mac would've had that license now! LOL!

Farrago said...

I realize this comes a bit late, but you could (have) take(n) a photo of the obstructed sign. If you have to hunt for it, it's not visible from the road. You might get (have gotten) a break.

Maggie said...

Farrago- aw shucks.... you called me Honey! ;)