Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Anecdotal Evidence Ahead

So from the time I started driving, which admittedly was really late (I was too poor to have a vehicle until I had nearly finished graduate school), with one exception, until just this past year, I never got stopped by a police officer.

This might be because I did not drive during those radical teen years when most kids get pulled over -- I didn't do the wild teen driving bit, I mean. I was an adult when I really started driving.

In any case, I got my first ticket with my two year old in the backseat, and it was a fair cop -- I was doing fifty-five in a thirty-five zone in Charlotte (never mind that in Charlotte that didn't actually count as speeding, since, as in Atlanta, everyone in Charlotte regularly went 20-30 miles over the limit).

Anyway, that was eight years ago, my one and only ticket, ever, until this year -- four times I have been pulled over this year alone. WTF?

The first time, because my tags were out of date. Okay, fine. That's fair. I dealt with it.

The second time, a month later, speeding -- nine miles above the limit. Right, okay, and again, never mind that in Pork Smith 10 miles over is, essentially, not speeding at all: I paid it.

The third time, because my windshield was cracked. (What?)

This time, yesterday, the police guy followed me nine miles down the interstate. I watched him in my rearview mirror, annoyed. I was going four miles over the speed limit. My tags were good. I had on my seatbelt, the windshield did have a tiny nick in it (how do you keep the fuckers uncracked in Pork Smith, that's what I'd like to know, with the fucking construction vehicles roaring down the highways at all hours) but it did not obscure my line of sight, which the previous police office had claimed was the problem -- so what could he possibly--

His lights came on.

"You are fucking kidding me," I muttered, and pulled over.

He let me sit for a good five minutes, in the baking fucking heat, and then came up to my window, introduced himself, asked for my license, and insurance, and registration, all of which I had, and then said, "Reason I stopped you, your tags are misplaced."

I gave him a blank look. "Misplaced."

"Yes, m'am. You've got your year tag where your month should be."

I kept gazing at him. I did not say, you fucking well stopped me for that? Nope. I said, "Well, rats. I must have put them on wrong."

"Yes. m'am."

"Do I need to swap'm, do you think?"

"Well, you probably aren't gone to be able to get'm off."

"Hmm," I agreed.

"You'll have to go get new ones. I'm going to write you a warning," he said, benevolently, "and you can gone down there and do that."

"Well, thank you," I said, sweetly.

Which he did, after running me, to make sure I was not a dangerous felon. Since I might have been a dangerous felon, you know, or a terrorist.

But here is my question: what is up with this? Why am I getting busted every 2.3 months like this? Is it DWP? Because my car is all ratty now that I am too penurious too get it repaired, so it might be that. Or is it that the economy is tanking, and so Pork Smith is busting more people, trying to fund its police department?

Whichever, this is on my last nerve. Tags on wrong, for fucks' sake!


zelda1 said...

You're on their list. Maybe you had one for a student and he ain't liking your politics or your grading or one of them is married to one of your students or what not. It sounds to me like they are fucking with you.

tonkelu said...

Kudos to you for not getting shitty. I'm not sure I would've been able to do the same. In fact, when I got pulled over earlier this year for *speeding in a school zone* (I was SO NOT IN THE FUCKING SCHOOL ZONE!) I actually said, to the asshole writing the ticket, "You bet your ass I'm going to fight this!" He was a large, jelly doughnut loving man and I'm pretty sure I could've outrun him but, in retrospect, I'm probably lucky I didn't end up on the news because he beat the hell out of me or something. Evil power hungry fucker.

j0lt said...

See I woulda been politely snarky and asked him if he could please refer me to the code/regulation that specifies which tag goes where so I could be sure to look it up so I could get it right next time.

zelda may be right or they may have budget shortfalls- are you mainly getting stopped at the end of the month?

tonks-whatever happened at your court date?

Anonymous said...

It is probably because Bush put you on the enemies list.

Anonymous said...

The judge let me talk to the attorney, a cocky schmuck in a cheap suit, who got snippy with me. When he said, "Well, it's your word against the officer's. Who do you think the judge will believe?" I looked him dead in the eye and said, "I can't tell you that, but the burden of proof is on you." After that he reduced it to a parking ticket and I paid the effing fine. I'm still bitter about paying anything but, at least it didn't go on my insurance.

delagar said...

Your word against the officer's -- and you're guilty until proven innocent here, after all!