I brake for cops
Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
I’m guilty. Speeding? Yes, sometimes. But I’m guilty of something far more aggravating. I’m guilty of stupidity. When I look up and see a police car, I naturally slam on the brakes. I slam on the brakes if I’m speeding. I slam on the brakes if I’m not speeding. It’s a stupid habit. And if you check my driving record, you’ll find that it hasn’t even been that effective. I’ve spent my fair share of time in traffic court paying for the crimes I committed before I caught a visual of the police car.
There’s another common driving practice that makes me crazy. I may brake for a moment when I see a police car but then I progress forward at a reasonable rate of speed. May I make a suggestion to some of you, my fellow drivers? OK. If the speed limit is 35 mph and you see a police car, would you please not drive 20 mph? You really don’t get extra points for driving 15 miles per hour below the speed limit in the presence of law enforcement. In fact, you should get a ticket. A ticket for making the rest of us pull our hair out at the roots.
IF you’re cruising down I-40 and the speed limit is 70 and you see a trooper on the side of the road, DO NOT start driving 50 mph in the left lane. That’s just ridiculous on so many levels. Plus, if you do that, I may have to hurt you. I’m prepared to hurt you. So please don’t. I already have a multitude of traffic violations on my record. I don’t need felony assault charges. Plus, think of the embarrassment for my children when the headlines read: “Dresden Woman Knocks Unsuspecting Driver Out Cold.” I don’t think either of them deserve that. Look, if the speed limit is 70, you can drive 70. I promise. 60? No. That’s still 10 mph below the speed limit. However, if you just absolutely insist on driving 60 mph, if you NEED to drive 60 mph, make sure you are in the RIGHT lane. The RIGHT lane, people. There’s a RIGHT lane for people going SLOWER. The LEFT lane is for people going FASTER. Don’t make me have to quiz you on this. My heart can’t take the strain.
I appreciate the presence of law enforcement. My brother has been a police officer in Texas for many years. I can’t imagine what life would be like in this great country if men and women like him didn’t go out every day and do what they do. I respect them greatly. But it’s chilling to realize how little I pay attention to my driving when I feel like I’m out from under the watchful eye of authority. So, I’m making a commitment. I plan to follow driving laws even if nobody’s watching. I’m motivated by a desire to be a safer and more conscientious citizen. OK. It’s also true that if I get another traffic ticket my car insurance will be more expensive than my home mortgage. Plus, I’d really hate for another fine officer to have to look at the limeade cups in the floor of the Trail Blazer. Win/win for everyone.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 11.3.10
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View