Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hey Brent ... this post's for you!

Editor's note: I was a cop for 9 years before turning into the IT Geek boy I am today.

I'm driving home tonight at approximately 11:30pm. No other cars anywhere to be seen. I'm westbound on Airport Rd approaching the intersection with Washington St and I just happened to have a red light shining at me from the traffic signal. While slowing to stop, I noticed a shiny black sedan with white doors and roof approaching from the south, so I made sure to stop completely, before making a right turn on red. I've no more completed the turn when I see the red and blue lights activate behind me (he was still quite a ways back). I figured he had a call to go on and even though we are on a four lane road, I still obediently yield to the emergency vehicle by pulling to the right and stopping.

Does the shiny sedan with bright flashing lights go past me? No, it pulls in right behind me! Like a good law abiding citizen, I turn down the radio, turn on the inside dome lights and keep both hands on the steering wheel (the window is already down). As the officer approaches, curiosity is killing this cat, so I ask the officer "what's the problem?", with the answer being "you didn't stop long enough at the red light before your turn".

Xsqueeze me? (but it actually sounded like a very polite 'excuse me?'). "Yeah, you didn't stop long enough at the red light." Ok, I'm tired and this cop is out trolling for drunks, which is respectable even though it is a Monday night, so I decide not to ask about the required length of time prior to being allowed to turn. But I did reply, "I did stop though". Response: Barely audible grunt, followed by "driver's license and insurance please".

While digging my driver's license from my billfold, I explained I didn't know where the insurance papers were because I was driving a borrowed vehicle. Response? Another grunt. After handing over the license, my fatigue and attitude get the best of me and I fire off the following: "When you get back to your unit and run your checks, the 43 will return valid, 42 will be clear and the 44 will be negative. The 28 will return to (buddy's name) and the 29 will also be negative.***" Sometimes you just gotta speak a language people understand, and I still remember it very clearly.

His response? "Where were you a cop?" After a short conversation, he gives me back my license and wishes me a safe evening. I still wanted to ask about the required length of time for a stop prior to a right turn on red, but sometimes it is better to be smart instead of clever (right Joe? ... but that is something for another post)

***Additional editor's notes:
Unit = patrol car
43 = check for DL status
42 = check for traffic record (previous tickets / accidents)
44 = check for warrants
28 = check vehicle license plate info
29 = check if vehicle is reported stolen

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1 comment:

Ron said...