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.


  1. I bet that made her day that you showed some mercy.

    See, you had a heart all along!

  2. Maybe I should also stuff my glovebox with phony past-due bills, but with me driving a red 2006 Benz coupe, I don't think that trick would work too well. LOL

  3. Do you have a way of confirming whether the driver is insured and/or registered even if they don't have the current papers and/or stickers.

    From your post, it is not clear whether you are cutting breaks to people with reg and insurance who merely neglected to bring their papers or whether you are cutting breaks to people who aren't registered or aren't insured.

  4. Anonymous,
    Those who I give breaks to, have current insurance and registration but for one reason or another they just don't have the most up to date paperwork with them. A persons insurance and registration is and can be verified by our communication center.

  5. Well, I suppose it is nice that you give those people "breaks," but the "break" you are talking about seems kind of trivial.

    I am not suggesting that you should give breaks to those without insurance / registration (those are tickets that, as a taxpayer and driver, I love to see policemen write up), but giving a "break" to those who really do have current ins / reg seems more like not-being-a-total-jerk-policeman more than it seems like a bona fide "break."

    Keep up the adequate work!

  6. Wow, it's true. You can't please all of the people all of the time...

  7. Its nice to know there are some of you like this out there. Em.

  8. Odd. Anonymous didn't mention the cell phone violation. Short-term memory problems? Poor reader? Hmmm.....