I can’t count the number of times I’ve stopped someone and then have to listen to them bitch and moan about “those pesky kids” that drive like maniacs every day. Why aren’t I doing something about them? Why am I harassing hard working adults? Don’t I have anything better to do?
Frankly, no. I don’t have anything better to do. See this patch with the wings and the wheel? That means I’m a soul crushing Motorcop. They don’t have a patch that shows me crushing a soul, so we went with the old standby.
*On a side note, if any of you are artistically inclined and want to design a cool logo in which I am actually crushing a soul, feel free! I’ll add it to the blog and make it my Twitter pic. I’ll even give you tons of credit.*
Anyway…I had two people this week say the exact same thing. When were we (the cops) going to do something about these rapscallion teens. Okay, they didn’t say rapscallion, but literary license is a beautiful thing.
I attempted to explain to them that teens make up a very small portion of the demographic of folks I cite. And believe me, it ain’t for lack of trying! I sit in front of schools just about every morning. At the end of the school day, I’m down the street waiting for them to do something stupid. I remember being a teen. I did stupid…with style! (And now I’m waiting for my Mom to chime in…)
The problem is that more often than not, I don’t come across teens as much. But, I didn’t have hard numbers to back up my claim. Until now.
I give you to-date stats for 2011. As we all know, I was out for a bit taking care of the Wife and kidlets. And, as most PDs are, we are running short, so I’ve had to cover a beat from a couple weeks. With that in mind, I have written a total of 93 tickets thus far this year. I wrote down the age of all 93 and averaged them. The result?
43. The average age of the 93 people I have cited so far this year is 43 years old. So, sir. Ma’am. You are the problem. Your excuse of “I drive this road everyday” does not bring forth images of innocence in my head. Think about it. You drive the same way. Every day. Twice a day. Or more. Hundreds of times, perhaps thousands in a few years. You don’t think that breeds a bit of complacency? Please.
I’m just as guilty of auto-pilot myself. There have been times I’ve pulled into the driveway and thought to myself, “Huh. That’s interesting. How’d I end up here? Don’t really remember the drive home.” You are not a unique and beautiful snowflake (credit: Tyler Durden). You are just as at risk for complacent driving as the rest of us.
So, stop whining about “those pesky kids” and how they are systematically thumbing their nose at our precious safe streets. Two things. One, it isn’t them. It’s you. Second, who taught them how to drive?