I’m taking a road trip today.
While getting there is half the fun, driving can be miserable. There are traffic jams, road rage, and the ever present speed trap. I’m not worried about today though. Firstly, because my daughter is doing the driving. Secondly, because I have a special relationship with law enforcement.
When police officers pull me over, they always say the nicest things that let me know that I’m unique, that I’m getting special treatment, and that I’m not just the average citizen. For instance, there was the time that the officer said to me, “I don’t USUALLY ticket nurses, but I’m going to make an exception in your case.”
Then there was the time, just recently, that my husband and I were driving in separate cars. He was behind me, travelling at the exact same speed. When a police officer noted that we were exceeding the speed limit, he flicked on the lights and siren and jumped on the highway in pursuit. Because of my good fortune, he went around my husband to pull me over. Just me. Eddie, my Jack Russell terrier, tried to talk the officer out of ticketing me, he even rolled down the window by himself to bark at him. The cop thought Eddie was hilarious, but he didn’t let that stop me from getting that special ticket. Maybe I should have told him to give it to someone else because I’ve had plenty. More than my fair share, really. I don’t want to deprive anyone.
|Commonly seen in my rearview mirror
I hate to brag, but the police give me preferential treatment.
In the State of Tennessee, they offer a points reward system for traffic tickets. Each ticket is assigned points based on the severity of the infraction. Once you reach a certain level, there’s a prize. In the year 2000, I very proudly exceeded the state’s expectation of point accumulation. I had a total of five speeding tickets. Each one was from a different county. That takes a lot of skill!
Of those five tickets, my favorite was issued to me by a female officer in Atoka, Tennessee. As luck would have it, she pulled me over directly in front of a sign that stated the speed limit was 60. My youngest daughter was with me and I told her that I didn’t know why we were being pulled over since I was going 10 miles under the speed limit. Perhaps there was something wrong with my car. The officer came to the window and told me what I already knew… I was travelling at 50 miles per hour. When I pointed to the sign and said “the speed limit is 60,” she replied, “Nope. It’s 40.” We went back and forth a few times, but she had the uniform, the badge and the gun. So I got a ticket.
It was a good learning opportunity for my young daughter to see law enforcement at it’s finest. Later when the state called me in to redeem my points and claim my prize (more on that later), that ticket for going 50 in a 60 was not anywhere on my record. I only had four. I was really disappointed that I would not get credit for that one, especially since it was my favorite.
As it turns out, the points are not what I thought. They actually want you to keep your points low. It’s more like golf than basketball. And it’s not a reward system, per se. They did call me in to redeem my prize, but the prize was going to driving classes to avoid losing my license. After that, I started using my cruise control to drive exactly the speed limit and not a mile over. I’ve never been so alone in my life! Other cars passed me by in a blur. No one ever travelled along with me at the lonely speed of 55.
After a few years, I got a little lax and started driving normally again. So, of course, I’ve had a couple more speeding tickets in the last few years. Recently, I received a letter from the Great State of Tennessee reminding me about the point system that I had long since forgotten. They congratulated me on the two tickets I’ve received in the last two years, pointing out that they have both expired. However, they are willing to make an exception in my case (AGAIN!). If I get another ticket in the next year, they will pull these two tickets out of retirement and count them against me.
How lucky am I?!