I looked back, and there were red and blue lights flashing.

I pulled over at the closest safe place to stop.

Out popped 2 policemen who “judiciously” approached my car door.

“Ma’am, we clocked you at 40 in the 25 zone back there.”


(I was rushing to a doctor’s appointment after school).

Mr. Policeman took my registration and proof of insurance. I didn’t have my licence or my purse with me. I guess I left without it today. (Gak!)


The two men took my information and went into their paddywagon -for about 6 hours (I think). Sitting there, I called the doctor’s office to tell them I would be late. (the lady on the phone said “no problem” .


I have not had a driving infraction for YEARS. “Do they ever give ‘warnings’ any more?”, I hoped. Then, “what are they doing back there?” When Policeman 1 and Policeman 2 came back to my car, one of them said that he was gonna “give me a break”…. The bottom line: Instead of getting 4 points and a $190.00 fine, I would get NO points and a $160.00 fine.

“Thank you so much,” I said.

Thank you that I didn’t hurt anybody, …that I didn’t hurt myself, …that the likes of you didn’t nab me the thousand other times that I did something boneheaded on the road.

I am not a bad or dangerous driver. I do not like to be NEAR any cars and I always keep a big distance away from them on the road. Still, the truth is, it’s very hard to be a good driver, everyday, every time. Driving is a lot of WORK. Anyway, I’m mad at myself for rushing, for not being more aware and more careful.

I will pay the bill quickly, ….by tonight, …and I will go out to the mailbox before bed, and drop it in. This will ensure a sounder night’s sleep. I think I am embarrassed…..for myself. I want this to disappear right away from my eyes. Hopefully it will be at least another several years before this happens to me again. Why can’t I say: “This will never happen again?”

#reflection #kids #consequences #partoflife #martinstreet



  1. I received a ticket a couple years ago that I contested. It involved someone pulling in front of my car suddenly before a red light as she swerved to change lanes when she saw a police officer. Of course, she hit in the car in front of me as she squeezed in our lane and then I hit her as I was slowing for the red light. The police officer, who was already at the scene, gave us both a ticket for rear-ending cars in front of us.

    When I went to court, the police officer did not show up. I did not have to pay the fine nor did I received points on my license.

    I also was pulled over for my tires touching the white line at the side of the road on a very busy road full of cars driving too close to the center line. I didn’t know that it was illegal for your tires to touch the outer lines on the road. I was given a warning.

    This is a great post about how humiliating it is to be corrected or admonished as an adult.


  2. The way you told this slice! I can not only feel the stress of being pulled over, but I can hear it in your voice as you tell the story.

    I can’t STAND getting in trouble. Last time I got a ticket, I was pregnant … and that made it even more emotional for me. Oh, the crying!


  3. This sounds stressful. It sounds even worse that you were hurrying because you were late. Stories about police these days always make me think about the privilege I have and how I can take for granted that I’m going to be safe and that the police will probably go easy on me. Glad that that was the case for you as well, even if it felt yucky that evening. What a brave writer you are to articulate those harder feelings!


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