I realize the title of this post already has some of your hackles up. Good. That fits nicely in my overall point.
In my six years of experience of watching you people drive, I’ve picked up a clue or two about your abilities vis-a-vi driving a freaking motor vehicle. One of them is this:
I pay more attention to your driving than you do.
Again, I realize that may piss you off. Again, I say good. Let me explain before you blow your top, kick your dog, and tell your wife she looks fat in those pants.
When I say I pay more attention to your driving than you do, I obviously don’t mean all of you. I mean, I’m good and all, but I’m neither omnipotent nor omnipresent (be thankful). What I do mean, however, is that for a brief space of your day when you happen to drive by me in about a one block radius, I am checking you out. All of you.
I will stop a number of you. Some of you will accept responsibility. I applaud you. Some of you will curse my name, family lineage, and formulate theories regarding my upbringing and bullying’s involvement therein.
This post is more for you.
Let’s dispatch with the semantics so’s we all know where we stand. To those of you that I’ve cited (be it me specifically or my fellow motors) who despise me for it, I have but one thing to say:
I don’t care about what you think.
Is that unclear?
Now, I get that that sounds cold and mean and I realize I will most likely not change your opinion of me. I would redirect your attention above; however, to those of you on the fence or to the few of you that may be on the fence, I offer this simple story.
I can both analytically and statistically show you that an increase in the number of citations written is directly correlated to the
reduction of collisions (involving simple property, injuries, and fatals). To those who go to the tried-and-not-so-true “revenue generator” excuse, I offer that a mere 3% of my particular departments budget comes from tickets…and that includes parking tickets.
As an example, let’s take a stop from my past. A minor was seated in the front passenger seat of a vehicle. He was not using his seatbelt. Since he is a minor, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the safety of said minor. When the driver received a citation for the violation, he said, “Are you kidding me? Don’t you have anything better to do?”
After repeated requests to sign the citation, I realized I was approaching the situation entirely wrong. Since the passenger was the driver’s offspring, I changed tack and said, “Sir, have you ever seen a young man blown into 87 different pieces? I have. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. Since it seems you don’t care about the safety of your son, it’s my job to make sure he stays in one piece. Sign the ticket, sir.”
Bless him, he did. With a shocked blank stare.
Still not good enough? Okay. I will redirect you to a post from a few years back entitled “Affirmation“.
So, yeah. I don’t really care if you like me or not. I’m not losing sleep about whether or not you think the ticket I gave you was “fair”. Know why I and others of my ilk sleep so well? Because in spite of your attitude towards us, we continue to protect both you and the folks you drive around from collective stupidity.