What I Knew, and What He Knew I Knew

I was passing Northwestern University on the main drag into Evanston, from the North. As I drove past a side street at a pretty good clip, my V1 went off. It was K band lighting the “side” arrow, and it was quickly over.

I slowed and proceeded a good eight more blocks before spotting a wildly blinking patrol car gaining rapidly. I pulled off into a parking lot at the school and waited, removing the V1 from my windshield.

As he collected my license, registration and insurance papers, the officer told me that I had been clocked by his radar at 49 mph in a 30 zone. As he went though my documents, I was very polite and talked about driving, and radar, and what I knew of radar’s operating characteristics.

At the end, smiling, I asked the officer if he had been sitting on a side street. He just looked at me. I then asked him if his radar would work accurately at such a sharp angle to the cars going by perpendicular to his beam. I remained very polite and acted as if I was simply asking his opinion.

He looked back in the direction from which we had both come and said, “Did you see me pull out and come after you?”

I nodded immediately, even though it was fairly evident to both of us that I could not have seen him that far back. “Not that it matters,” he went on, still looking back, “I was going to give you a warning this time, anyway.”

Without V1 and the “side” arrow indicating his location, I believe I would have been toast. Instead of a warning, he would have handed me a two hundred dollar ticket.

James Strauss
Evanston, IL