May 8, 2005 – that date is burned into my world view; I was on my way home after work, running a no-risk 64 mph in a 60 zone. A Missouri Highway Patrol car rose out of a dip in front of me, drove past, turned around, and proceeded to pull me over.
“License and registration, please…” I walked back with him to his car, had a seat, and wondered what was up. Had my ex-wife written another hot check? He was writing a ticket. Not a big deal—four mph over won’t stand up in traffic court anyway. He then dropped the big one; “I clocked you doing 71 mph in a 60 zone and I think you were going faster than that”
I was so aghast that I couldn’t even say, “No way.” His words rang in my ears. Five years later, I can still hear his snide tone. I took the ticket, went back to my car, and wondered how all the rest of the crime in the world is to be solved if he had the time to mess with me!
I don’t speed. I’ve been politely told to slow down for driving six mph over in an area that I should have been watching my speed better, but I typically don’t speed, just don’t do it.
This ticket clicked my switch. I went home, sat at my computer, and ordered the $400 radar detector that had caught my eye (for technical appreciation reasons, as I am a Programming Engineer).
I haven’t had another ticket since; five years in the clear. I’ve ridden through radar traps fully aware of what’s going on. I’ve watched others get tickets while I am reminded to check my speed and adjust accordingly. I honestly feel like I have a friend sitting on my windshield, politely warning me to be mindful of speed while others have to suffer the consequence of police officers harvesting for the city coffers.
Thank you, Michael D. Valentine.
Nathaniel M. Boyea