Innocent, Whatever That’s Worth

I was headed down a local freeway when V1 sounded. First thing, I checked my speed. As the signal ramped up, I took preemptive action—over one lane and slowed down a bit more. As I passed an on-ramp, V1 screamed! I looked in my side mirror and saw a CHP unit sitting back up the ramp. I smirked a little; I wasn’t speeding but it’s still nice knowing what lurks.

I continueed another two miles to my exit, maintaining the same slow pace. As I got close, V1 started chirping, and the arrow behind lights up. I think to myself, “that Chippy must be coming my way, but he’s not after me, no way.” He came up behind just as I exit, and hit his lights. “What the …!” I’m trying to think if there was anything I did wrong, because I definitely wasn’t speeding.

The officer walks up and hits me with those eight famous words; “Do you know how fast you were going?”

“It couldn’t have been more than 65.”

“I clocked you at 81 miles per hour,” he said. “License, registration and proof of insurance please.”

Wow, I was almost speechless. Keep in mind, my V1 is tucked nice and neat above my rear view mirror so, at that moment, the officer had no idea I even knew he was sitting on the ramp. He then lied to me, said he saw me speeding as he was getting on the freeway, had a tough time catching up to me, and that I shouldn’t argue with him. He explained to me how he could gauge my speed within 3 miles per hour, and how he uses his radar to confirm the speed.

By this time, I had enough. As I explained that I knew he was there before I even passed the ramp, I pointed up at the V1. “Why would I speed past a trap at 81 mph, when my detector is screaming Ka band?”

He paused, rolled his eyes, and walked back to his car with my license. Maybe he needed time out to straighten his story. He came back with a string of excuses. He said he was trained to do his job, and how well he did it. “But I will let you off with a warning this time.”

So, we’re wrapping things up and just because I’m a nice guy, I thanked him. That’s when he informed me he was ticketing me for my tinted windows.

The guy just couldn’t help himself. It was his way of having the last word. I have since sold my Subaru WRX Sti in favor of something a little bigger and less eye grabbing, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. But no matter what I drive, I will always have my V1 with me.

Doug Hopkins
Moorpark, CA