Yesterday morning I had a brush with the law. I was late for a meeting, and was driving like a bat out of hell when I crested a hill and crossed paths with a local deputy who was headed in the other direction. If you’ve ever looked in your rear-view mirror and seen the long arm of the law hit the brakes and turn around, you’ll know the sinking feeling that I had at that moment. The good news (for me, anyway) is that I drove away without a speeding ticket.
How did I avoid a speeding ticket? Good question. No, I didn’t cry or flash him cleavage. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the former would’ve been met with laughter and the latter would’ve gotten me arrested). Rather, I kept my cool and tried to make the deputy’s job as easy as possible. As soon as he pulled me over, I rolled down my window, pulled out my wallet and put it on the dash, then shut off the car and put the keys on the dash. I then put my hands on the steering wheel and waited.
When he approached, he informed me that he clocked me at 65 in a 45 zone. Ouch. But I didn’t give him any B.S. excuses. (Late? Come on, we’re all late! All the time!) Instead, I was contrite, matter-of-fact, and apologetic. After running my plates and checking my license and insurance (I have a clean driving record, and everything was up-to-date), he came back and simply said:
“I’m going to give your license back and just ask that you slow down. You were going way too fast for this road.”
Whew! No speeding ticket, no points, nothing. While I can’t say for sure that my actions helped me avoid the speeding ticket, they certainly couldn’t have hurt. Given how quickly a routine traffic stop can turn ugly, I know that I’d greatly appreciate it if a driver went out of their way to make things as easy as possible for me — and I’d almost certainly look more favorably upon their situation if they did.
Then again, maybe I was just lucky.