On my way back from Target this afternoon, I saw a police car pulling onto a street not far from my house. I was already driving the speed limit, but I minded it anyway. The officer pulled up beside me then slowed and got behind me. Great.
He turned with me a few blocks from my house and when I signaled to turn onto my street, he hit his lights. I pulled into my driveway and stopped.
I do the thing I always do – and have been told by other officers to do in this situation – when I get pulled over. I turned off the car, rolled down the window and put my hands on the steering wheel. I didn’t ask questions, just said, “Yes, sir and no, sir.” He told me he pulled me over because I had an expired license tag. Actually, he just pointed at it and said, “I pulled you over for this.”
He also lectured me on not pulling into driveways even if it is my home. I understood and apologized. I also pointed out that my license tag is NOT expired. I just happen to have the old one below the new one because it was almost impossible to remove from my window and I didn’t want to get a ticket, so I put them both on there until I could get a razor blade. He rolled his eyes.
He then asked me to turn my truck on and hit the brakes. He said nothing and walked back to his car. I realized that my insurance card was expired by about 6 days and my new one was sitting inside on my desk. I just forgot to put it in my wallet. He told me I was not to leave the vehicle. Ok.
He sat in his car and I sat in my driveway for about 5 minutes. He got out with his clipboard and gave me a ticket for no insurance and a non-functional brake light. I didn’t even know my brake light was out. Ugh.
This is a typical example of me with police in my car. In my entire life, and I’ve been pulled over a lot, I’ve only once left the scene without a ticket. I’ve gotten ticketed for speeding when those around me were driving faster. I got a ticket for an expired license tag 2 days into the new month even though the NEW tags were actually right on my dashboard. I just hadn’t afixed them to my window.
The only warning I’ve ever received was this past summer in Ft. Stockton, Texas. I was given a WRITTEN warning (I didn’t even know those existed) for driving…get this…82mph in an 80mph zone. Seriously! There were guys on I10 easily doing 100+ and I get pulled over, held there for 20 minutes in 100-degree heat, asked 20 questions about where I’d been, where I was going, etc. and even had him search my backseat and trunk before giving me a written warning and letting me go.
I don’t get it. I am the nicest guy in the world to police officers. I completely respect the work they do. The police union in Houston is one of my biggest clients and I wish we had 100 clients exactly like them. I follow all the rules of courtesy. And, I don’t mind getting a ticket if I deserve it. I accidentally ran a red light back in February. I was behind a big truck and he ran it too. I just didn’t see until I was in the intersection. He didn’t get pulled over. I did.
I told the officer that I was sorry and that I should’ve known better. I expected to get a ticket and I understood. When I break the law, I get it in general. But, brake lights, expired stickers that I have replacements for on me…once I even got a ticket for no insurance because I gave the officer the wrong insurance and when I tried to give him my correct card realizing the mistake I made, he told me it was too late and I could take it up in court.
Sigh. No idea what to do about it. Fortunately, both of these violations are fixable, but I have to go to court and pay $10 just for the trouble (plus parking) even after I get my brake light fixed. All this from the comfort of my own driveway.