I’ve have always wanted to have the experience I am about to relate to you. I can now check this one off the list. Please to enjoy…
I was sitting at one of my typical spots doing my typical thing when I saw a handful of cars headed my way. They were all doing about the speed limit (35 mph); however, I noticed the second car in the #2 lane was following the car in front of it too closely. There was a car in the #1 lane that was just about parallel with the tailgater. The angle was no good for the lidar’s DBC function (read: the violator was just too damn close). As the car in the #1 lane backed off a bit, the tailgater made a quick lane change to pass the lead vehicle in the #2 lane. He forgot to use his turn signal. Steeee-rike two! I stopped him and this is how it went.
MC: Afternoon. Do you know why I stopped you?
SELP (Self-Entitled Little Prat (UK represent!)): *haughty as all get out* No!
MC: Okay, well, initially, I was going to stop you for tailgating, but then unfortunately, you also changed lanes without signalling and cut off the driver in the #1 lane. I need your license, registration and insurance, please.
SELP: I live in I-have-more-money-than-God-burg (believe it or not…not the actual name of where he lives) and I followed that car all the way from there! They were driving really slow the whole way!
MC: Well, when I saw him, he was driving at 35 mph. As it happens, that is also the speed limit.
SELP: How fast was I going?
MC: The same speed, but just too close to him. But I didn’t stop you for speeding, did I? I’ve explained why I stopped you. I still need your license, registration, and insurance.
SELP (hands over license): I think they rest is in the trunk.
MC: Okey doke (yup, I said it). Hop on out.
SELP (hands over stack of paperwork): My insurance is in there somewhere and I don’t know where the registration is.
MC: Tell you what…(hands back paperwork)…I’m not gonna rifle through your papers. Why don’t you go sit down and find something in that stack that shows this vehicle is currently covered and I’ll be right back.
**I wrote the cite for both tailgating and failing to signal and returned to the car**
MC: Alright, I need your signature on the yellow highlighted portion please. Were you able to find your insurance?
SELP (hands insurance paperwork over): Why didn’t you stop the car in front of me to see if they were insured?
MC: I’m sorry, sir. Are you implying that because they happened to be Hispanic gardeners they are not insured? Is that what I’m hearing right now?
SELP: **I’m not sure how to spell the noise pompous windbags make…but I think you can conjure that one up, right?** No! This is such a racket!
MC: I’m not sure I see how it’s a racket, sir.
SELP: Fine. I’ll see you in court.
MC: Fair enough. See you then, sir. Have a nice day
SELP: Yeah. You, too! (Again, haughty as fuck)
I walked back to the bike. This is where the story gets even better. Usually, I will immediately write my notes on the back of my copy of the cite. SELP made a U-turn and headed toward the intersection. It just so happens this particular direction restricts right turns on red. As in, you can’t make one. I saw the right turn signal start to flash on his car. I think I giggled out loud. I know I said, “Make the turn. Make the turn. Make the turn. Make the turn.” And he did.
Insert maniacal laughter.
I tossed the cite book in my saddlebag. I didn’t bother to plug back into the bike or have time to put my gloves back on. The bike almost didn’t start (whole other debacle), but I got her running and I was off. I caught up to him about 1/2 mile away and lit him up. Without missing a beat, I walked up to his window and, just like we’ve never met, I said…
MC: Afternoon. Do you know why I stopped you?
MC: Well, sir, you made a right turn on the red light back there. There’s a clearly posted sign that indicates that is not allowed.
SELP: I stopped at the light!!!
MC: You certainly did. Unfortunately, though, you didn’t wait for the green light to make the right turn and turned while the light was still red. I’m going to need your license, registration, and insurance.
**I thought his head was going to explode. Oddly enough, the more bent he got, the calmer I got…if for no other reason than I think it pissed him off that much more.**
SELP handed me the license and insurance. We have already established he didn’t have the reg with him. I looked at the insurance and verified it with the VIN. I think steam was coming out of his ears by now.
MC: I’ll be right back, sir. Please stay in the vehicle.
I walked back to the bike and scratched out a cite for failing to obey the sign. I could see him on the cell phone and knew what was coming.
MC: Okay, I need your signature on the yellow highlighted portion.
SELP: I want your name and number!
MC (myriad of inappropriate comebacks on the tip of my tongue): It’s right on the citation, sir.
SELP: I’m calling the Town PD! You’re getting a harassment charge in your file.
MC: Okay. I’ll give you another warning about not having the current registration in your vehicle. Drive safely, now.
The funny part about him telling me he was calling the Town PD was that I work for the Town PD. Did he not see my patch? Or the top of the cite? Or the badge that clearly says “Town PD”?
I fired up the bike and headed to the PD. Just as I was pulling in I heard dispatch on the radio calling my sergeant.
Radio: Town Sgt.
Town Sgt.: Go ahead.
Radio: I’ve got a call for you regarding an officer complaint.
Town Sgt.: Copy.
Radio: MC, go.
MC: I am coincidentally at the PD.
Dispatch got a chuckle out of that one. As is my habit, I taped both stops and played them for my supervisor. The end result? SELP never answered his phone (upon a minimum of three attempts to contact over a period of days). My supervisor’s opinion? Maybe he shouldn’t have committed so many violations back to back.