Saturday, January 23, 2010

We're not heartless

I was parked at one of my favorite duck ponds at an intersection along one of our busy boulevards. I usually work it in the afternoon because the drivers are heading toward the sun.

This helps light up the interior of the car which helps me see if a seat belt or cell phone violation is being committed, it also helps because the drivers have the sun right in their eyes..... I'm just using mother nature to my advantage.

I see this SUV go by, female driver talking away. I pull out from behind my duck blind and quickly catch up to the SUV and pull it over. I noticed the registration looked to be expired by the month and year tabs on the rear license plate. I walk up to the driver door and she's now off the cell phone. She tells me her window is broken and won't roll down.

I have her open her door and she tells me she knows she shouldn't have been talking on her cell phone. So I ask for the usual driver's license, registration and insurance. The driver quickly hands me her driver license and as probably 95% of the drivers I stop, now have to search through their glove box or center console which is just packed with papers and various items which spill out onto the floor board while they look for their insurance and registration.

While the driver was leaned over looking through the glove box I noticed a stack of bills with "PAST DUE" and "LAST NOTICE". I also see a telephone bill which is a "lifeline" account. The lifeline account is for people who meet a certain income requirement and get a reduce rate for their telephone service.

She finally finds the other paperwork and begins to say "I know you've probably heard every excuse in the world, but", and that's when I interrupted her and said "But you know your supposed to be using a hands free device." I told her what the actual cell phone violation costs after all of the fees and enhancements are added on.

So I figured that there are plenty of other ducks driving around committing some traffic violation I can pull them over for and greet. I used my discretion and let her go with a warning.

Don't think we're heartless. I understand you don't like getting tickets and if I can cut you a break on something like a recently expired insurance card or not having your current registration paper with your car, I will.

So remember the old saying about "If you get stopped by a motor cop you're for sure gonna get a ticket" isn't always true.

By the way, I've got my appointment to see the Wizard of Oz where I will finally get a heart.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A weighty decision

I was in traffic court the other day. Something usually good and humorous happens. Today was no exception. I see an old police academy buddy of mine who I haven't seen in a few years. He's there for a "client" who decided to fight the ticket for a stop sign.

His traffic case is called. I listen to his testimony and then listen to his defendant cross examine (questioning) him. She has some good questions about the incident which require my buddy to go a little more into detail about the traffic offense.

She ends her questions for my compadre and tells the Judge, "Your Honor, I'm 5' 4" tall and I weigh 110 lbs. The officer wrote down that I weigh 185 pounds. I am not 185 lbs!" The Defendant appeared to be more miffed by the faux paux my buddy made by making her physical description synonymous with "short and round". By the looks of her, she looked to be about 110 lbs.

The Judge asked her what her driver license said. The defendant removed it from her wallet and said "110 lbs Your Honor." The Officer replied, "It could be a new license which had been re-issued." The Judge motioned for the Defendant to hand over her driver license to the Officer. The Judge asked him, "What does her weight say and the license date of issue?" My old academy buddy answered, "110 lbs. and an issue date of 'umpty squat 2008.'"

My buddy handed the Defendant her driver license back. The Judge's ruling....... "I find you not guilty in this matter, count one is dismissed, thank you."

This will probably be the only time in the Defendant's life where being mistakenly described as a blond oompa loompa worked in her favor.