Saturday, August 23, 2008

Moving Violations


Last weekend I drove to Durham, NC (home of the Durham Bulls and Duke University) in order to attend the wedding of a young man I used to babysit. It was a lovely ceremony and the new couple radiated all the hopefulness and brightness of newlyweds preparing to embark on a life together.

I think I was still in a post wedding fog as I traveled north to Richmond and home. My son was in the back, happily watching a National Geographic video on volcanoes (he is totally into natural disasters at the moment and keeps asking me when we’re going to get a good hurricane. And I keep telling him I’d be glad if we’d just get a nice thunderstorm. The entire state is brown and parched).

Zooming along on I-85, I recalled something my uncle told me (he’s a Sheriff in Oregon). He said, “Drive up to 9 miles over the speed limit and it’s unlikely you’ll ever be pulled. Drive ten or more, and the cops are going to come after you.”

Nine miles over it was. Two college-aged boys passed me in a compact Ford and together, we passed by one of dozens of cut-throughs in the trees where members of law enforcement love to hide. All morning, these blind alleys had been empty, but this one was occupied by a Sheriff’s Department cruiser.

He pulled out.

I braked and swore under my breath (even though it felt like I couldn’t breathe at all J ).

What happened to the nine miles over rule? I thought anxiously.

I waited for him to approach my van from behind and set his lights ablaze, and though he seemed to slow enough to check me out, he opted for the college boys instead.

Did I escape because I had a VA Police Beneficiary decal on my rear window? Because he saw my son’s car seat? Or because he too is a fan of volcanoes? I don’t know, but my heart was in my mouth. I drove like a saint the rest of the way!

When’s the last time you were pulled over? What had you done? Have you ever been let go?

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