Karma Police

Posted on February 12th, 2009 by george.
Categories: life, serendipity, travel.

So I’m sailing down the highway on the way into work this morning, spacing out to Moon Safari, when I notice a white Ford SUV on the other side of the highway slowing down.  As soon as it pulls into the median I know I’ve been had.  I gulp.  There’s a new zero-tolerance policy around these parts, and the police force has been instructed to crack down on speeding.  The unmarked cruiser makes a u-turn and starts to accelerate toward me, but I’ve been coasting since the moment I spotted it.  I slowly apply the brakes and pull over onto the grassy shoulder before the SUV even catches up.  The cop pulls in behind me and opens the door, steps out and starts walking toward my car.  Then, strangely, the officer does an about-face and leans into the cruiser over the driver’s seat.  Only then do the blue lights, hidden in the cab of the unmarked vehicle, flick on.  I chuckle.

I roll down the window, turn off the car and get my license and proof of insurance ready.  I hold them up as the cop approaches.  I’m surprised when a female voice intones, “You’re spoiling me today.  Usually I have to chase people down.  Thanks for pulling over so quickly.”  I smile and hand her my documents.  “Registration?” she asks.  I find it in the glove box and hand it over.

“Do you know why I stopped you?”

“Well, I knew something was wrong when I saw you pull into the median.”

“Do you know what the speed limit is here?”

“I think it’s forty-five,” I say sheepishly.

“Well, you were doing sixty,” she says in a motherly tone.

“I’m sorry,” I reply.

“Do you have any outstanding tickets on your license?”

“Not that I’m aware of.  The last time I got a ticket was in 2008.  January 1st, in fact.”

“Ok, I’m going to go run your license.  For my safety and yours, please stay in your car.”

I watch as she walks back to the cruiser.  I consciously avoid sipping from my tea, so as not to appear too nonchalant.  It’s not long before she comes back and puts the  license in my hand.

“I can’t do it,” she says.  “You’re just too polite, too cooperative.  I can’t give you a citation.”

Well I’ll be.

I smile, say thank you, and shake her hand.  I roll up the window and do my best to coax Kashmir back onto the highway without too much herky-jerky (the intake hose is cracked and as a result the engine bucks and stutters at low rpm).  I don’t want to get pulled over a second time for faulty equipment.  My satisfied smile fades, though, as I realize the things I’ve said about police officers in the past.  Perhaps I was too quick to judge.  I probably shouldn’t generalize.  Maybe this is what happens when you’re pulled over by a cop of the opposite gender.  Perhaps being observant, polite and cooperative actually pays off.  Or maybe it was just my lucky day.

At any rate, today I have nothing but good things to say about the police.  And that’s refreshing.

5 comments.

Lorenia

Comment on February 12th, 2009.

Funny that last night we mentioned the cops/being pulled over TWICE, once at Ladan’s when she said, “George speeds!” and I told her you’re a safe and conscientious driver… and I can even apply mascara while you’re taking a clover leaf at **mph (I don’t want to say anything TOO incriminating, haha!), and the second time was before we got home and passed the church lot with the cop trying to catch people speeding…

I think it’s kind of amusing that she let you off, but really, how could one not? Smiling, polite, pulling over before being pulled over, and having your documents ready for her? Very artful, Hatcher. I’m on to you! ;-)

ez

Comment on February 12th, 2009.

Its more than being polite and cooperative. The officer needs to be in a good mood. Getting one to move from a bad mood to a good one could be difficult for some people, especially if the attempt comes off fake or manipulative.

Greg

Comment on February 13th, 2009.

never works for me. the only time i didnt get a ticket was the time i was combative.

Andrew

Comment on February 17th, 2009.

ha! Great story. Though I’d definitely agree with Ez. In my experience, it doesn’t really seem to matter how kind, cooperative and polite you are, or the gender of the officer. They’re in control of the situation.

In this case, sounds like she was in a good mood, and your kindness and cooperation probably helped to keep her that way! Well done! :)

Just Sayin

Comment on February 17th, 2009.

… Or… Or! She was flustered by you being a cutie.
:)

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