Lately, I’ve noticed what is becoming a time-honored tradition during traffic stops. Polling your passenger(s). This is how it works:
1. I stop you for speeding.
2. You stare at me gobsmacked (you’re welcome UK readers).
3. You look to your compatriot in the passenger seat.
4. I start to shake my head
5. You ask the question, “Do you think I was going that fast?”
Let me take this opportunity to educate you on a few things. Your passenger doesn’t have the first clue about how fast you were going. Be honest with yourself for a second. When you’re sitting in the shotgun seat, how often are you monitoring the driver’s speed? Occasionally? Seldom? Never?
Fine, we’ll say you’ve a pit boss in your car monitoring your speed every second for the best possible lap time. Sure. Is your pit boss your 12 year old son?
Asking your pre-teen/teenager if they think you were speeding is not only ridiculous, I’m going to go ahead and say it makes you a lousy parent…at least in this instance. What are you teaching your kid right now? Are you teaching them that the police are trustworthy men/women of their word? Or are you teaching them that police randomly harass the public? Do you think you’re a shining example of personal responsibility when you lie to an officer? Gee, do you think little Johnny/Susie will file this little episode away for future use when they get into trouble at school?
The bottom line is I don’t think (nor will I be easily convinced otherwise) that your passenger, be they adult or a minor, is paying attention to your speed. I’ll buy that they may glance over every once in a while for some random reason, but it isn’t their job to keep you in check. And the odds they glanced at your speedometer right when I see you speeding? Infinitesimal.