I Got Pulled Over Again!

Traffic Cop

For the second time in about six months, I got pulled over.

I was driving to a doctor’s appointment this evening and talking to the friend I wrote about the other day where I offered to eat her kidney stone. I live in Chicago and it’s impossible to speed. I’m even one of those nerds that does a complete stop at stop signs. I’m not all law-abidin’, though. I turn on red all the time even when there isn’t a turn arrow in the left lane or if there’s a “no turn on red” sign in the right lane. I’m an outlaw when it comes to turning. But, this time I know I was just driving along at 27 mph through downtown Evanston.

In a way I was excited. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong and I wanted to see what the cop might say. Maybe my taillight was busted. Maybe he was a blog reader and recognized my profile. Maybe he was just lonely and wanted to get weird with someone.

Then it hit me.

Oh shit.

I went from chuckling at the idea of talking to the office to mildly freaking out. I realized I had two problems. First, my registration had expired two months back. My dad pointed it out over Thanksgiving. I must have missed the notice. I mean I hardly drive the car. You all know that I bike to work or ride the subway. I have one of those cars that takes premium and gas is expensive.

Well, it just so happened that I finally got off my fanny and renewed the registration a few days ago. Great timing.

Now the next thing – I didn’t have a new insurance card.

I remember growing up I feel like I got a new State Farm card every two months. I had a stack of those things and I never put them in my wallet. Who had the time to keep swapping them out? At sixteen I had cigarettes to smoke. I was busy.

Since I’ve only been pulled over (before this) twice in my twenty years of driving, I sort of forget that insurance cards are important. I’m insured and all, but don’t feel the need to flaunt it to my wallet every time those cards come in. Years ago I just got into the habit of tossing them. Not a great move.

The officer came up to my window, and while I know I’ve done nothing wrong, this is going to sound, well, not good.

Asked for license and insurance.

I found an insurance card in my wallet that expired back in December of 2011. I handed it to him and explained that I just called State Farm a few days back to order a new card (true). I assured him that I was insured and I was sorry not to have the updated card with me.

Then he said, “I pulled you over because of your registration had expired.” Of course.

Now I had to transition from the card to registration and provide basically the same answer.

I just renewed it this week (also true) online. I hadn’t realized it had been expired but as soon as I did I paid it in full.

He asked if I had any proof. I thought fast.

Yeah, I bet they emailed me a receipt. I’ll look for it!

He said that was fine and went back to his car. I searched through every inch of my deleted folder and inbox. Nothing. But I knew I had paid. He was walking back up when I thought fast.

I’m sorry – I don’t think they sent me a receipt, but I can pull up the credit card charge!

He stood over me as I punched up my bank app and headed to the credit card purchases. There is was – $128 to the state of IL for license renewal. He said that was fine. He also believed me about the insurance.

I’m sure he already knew this and had run the info in his car computer. They must be able to see if your registration is good and if you have insurance. But, even though I think cops are usually the dicks you went to high school with, I’ve always had good experiences. You just have to let them be the boss and give away your power. It’s worked for me.

I’m pretty excited to having gone two for two on pull overs and no tickets. The last time I did get a warning, but I still count it as a win. So, be a dick all you want – I really don’t care. If yelling at me means I avoid a ticket, then go ahead. I’ve been married before. I can take it.

Traffic Cop

The whistle never leaves the mouth and the gloves never come off. And yet, we still don’t respect the traffic cop.

photo credit: gaspi *yg via photopin cc

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Comments 13

  1. My ex has a HUGE issue with people who don’t have insurance. He’s a dick that way – not because it’s the law in IL to have insurance and by not paying, you’re breaking the law. But because if you have an accident and have no insurance, it makes everyone’s rates go up. And that pisses him off to no end. He takes it personally.
    The upside is that I get to influence law enforement. Since my pet peeve is parents who don’t strap their kids in car seats, I harp on it so much that now, he tickets EVERY one he sees, just to stop hearing my nagging voice in his head.
    You’re welcome.

    1. redbone210  My husband used to to that when he was on the road. One lady told him the fine was coming out of the kid’s college fund. Nice, huh?

  2. I have tried the whole let them be boss thing, I have tried giving an outrageous but true excuse (like I have to pee and there are no bathrooms in sight), I tried pulling my shirt down to expose extra cleavage, I tried being smart, I tried being honest, I tried being dumb, I have tried crying… I wonder if they note this stuff when you get pulled over. I have tried everything in the book. Never fails – I get a ticket every single time!

  3. I have never ever had a ticket! Nope! Now I’ve been pulled over plenty and my husband says its because I’m a girl and he gets pissed. It’s as if he wants the cop to write me a ticket? Idk? I am just nice and admit what I did wrong and say sorry (as Julie says batting the eyes a bit:) lol
    My husband on the other hand used to get tickets nearly daily! In fact he is the only guy I’ve ever heard of who got pulled over twice in the same damn day by the same cop. He was driving two different cars btw…not even the same one! When the cop approached the truck and saw my husband in it after pulling him over four hours earlier said “YOU AGAIN?! GO HOME!” As if he was really disgusted! Hahaha

  4. The trick (usually) is to admit you screwed up (but if you’re speeding, never concede your actual speed) and act contrite. That usually works.

  5. I never bother to carry my insurance or registration documentation. I figure if I get ticketed for not having proof of either, I’ll just fight the ticket and bring in the proof to the hearing (since the offense is for expired registration/insurance, not for failing to have proof of it), so at least in PA, the ticket gets waived if you bring the proof in.   But then again, I’m in court all the time for work anyway, so it’s not like one more hearing is going to be an inconvenience for me.

  6. Funny.  I’ve been pulled over for speeding (5 miles over) and gotten a ticket , speeding (20 miles over) no ticket – received a warning telling me to “slow down” and for a possible DUI no ticket but received a warning to drive “nice & easy” all the way home.  I guess it all depends on the officer.  Jae Mac, I’m Just Sayin’…(Damn!)

  7. The benefits of living in a small town where your Dad is an insurance agent is that the cops believe you when you swear you just don’t have the updated card in the glove compartment but that you really truly do have insurance.

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