I've never gotten a speeding ticket. That doesn't make me special, I'm sure there are many people in the world who can claim the same thing. However......I have now been pulled over while speeding FOUR times and have never been given a ticket. Without crying. What is my secret??
Honestly, no clue. But since it keeps happening I want to document my experiences. Maybe y'all will learn something you can apply in those stomach-sickening siren-induced moments.
The first time I got pulled over was right by the Provo temple. The officer told me he had been following me since the marriott center. Um, okay, I totally didn't see him behind me until I turned at the MTC to drive up the south side of the temple. Anyway, he said it "looked like I had been going too fast, and a pedestrian (not in a crosswalk, mind you) had been about to cross the street in front of my car and I didn't stop for him. Did I miss the part in driver's ed where you are supposed to throw on your breaks in the middle of the road for some punk student who is sauntering across the road into oncoming traffic? The truth is, I hadn't seen anyone even trying to cross the street, and I told him so with my most innocent look on my face. He asked me how fast I was going. I said 35, even though I really had no idea.....what did he expect me to say? "I was flying, man! Must've been going 55!" I'm no dummy. So then he stuck his head into my car through the open window.....yep, you heard me correctly....and said, "Are you listening to loud music?" I had turned the radio down a little when he pulled me over, not to be sneaky but I figured it was nice manners since he was going to talk to me, so it was at a nice quiet level. I said "no". He said,"Well, um, okay then, just be careful driving through campus. OK! Later! That was my first escape.
The second time was also on campus, driving under the bridge walkways towards the Wilk. I actually had to pull into that little drop-off drive thru area and the cop pulled up behind me. He asked me if I knew the speed limit. I said it was 35, and I had been going 39. He said the limit was 30. Oops. I honestly had thought it was 35. I told him so. He asked if I was a student.....and here's the part I'm ashamed of. I said I used to be, but I wasn't currently because I was leaving for my mission soon. True? Yes. But pulling the mission card is still shameful, especially when I knew he wouldn't give me a ticket if I mentioned that. And I was right. He smiled and asked me where I was going and what language, etc. Shame, Shame. He wished me luck and reminded me the speed limit was 30, and I was off. Number two.
The third time was driving from Phoenix to Utah. I was alone, but it was after I got married, and I can't remember why Nate wasn't with me. I was getting close to my destination, and I was getting antsy. So, yes, I was probably going ten over. I was driving my Altima, that only had plates on the back because in AZ that's okay. I guess it's against the law in Utah, though, because I got pulled over about 30 minutes south of Springville and when the cop came to my window he said he had pulled me over because when he saw me coming I didn't have plates on the front of my car......here's where I wanted to say, "And when you got behind me and saw that I did have plates and they are AZ plates and I am therefore breaking no law you still decided to stop me? Bored much?" But instead I laughed kindly and said, oh, I didn't know that law was different in Utah. Bat, bat. He told me I looked like I had been going pretty fast, what was my speed? AGAIN, officers of the law, I appreciate what you do for society, but seriously, if you don't use your little blow dryer speed checker and can't prove someone's speed, chances are we are not going to deliver up any self-incriminating information! Now, here's where I was kind of lucky....my Altima had a digital speedometer that reset itself every so often, and when he asked me what my speed had been it hadn't reset itself yet so it said 81. I pointed to it. :) He said, 81? Why the big hurry? I smiled and with a guily little laugh told him I had been driving almost ten hours and was almost home. He smiled back and said it's not worth getting in an accident and never getting home, to which I gave an understanding side-smile and nod and agreed I should go slower. Mandy, 3. Cops, 0.
And finally, I was pulled over most recently on Monday while driving to Utah, just a few miles before reaching St. George. My parents were in the car behind us because we were going to be meeting for lunch. Even at age 27, it's no fun getting pulled over right in front of Mom and Dad. The officer said I was going 84 in a 75. Then he asked if I had been aware of my speed. I replied with a resigned look on my face (I was positive I was getting a ticket), "Yeah, I was aware, I wasn't really trying to go super fast, but......(trailing off)" Then when he got my license he asked if that was still my address. Well, it's not, and it hasn't been in almost four years, and I was so nervous I mumbled something like," Uh, we still live in Phoenix, but um, not there, eh, we don't live there anymore, but, uh, cause we moved, and I just......(trailing off again). He said he was going back to "run my information". He was gone for a long time. Nate was enjoying mocking me and saying now I can't gloat that I've never gotten a ticket. (He has gotten several). But, when the officer came back he gave me my paperwork and said, "There is a lot of traffic on the road today, be really careful and watch your speed, there's lots of cars on the road." I said we would...but then, because I was still nervous and shocked I kept talking! "We were just following my parents to St. George." He replied, "Well, they weren't going 84." And I laughed nervously and tried to joke.."they totally were! (Then I caught myself and gained some composure. Shut up, Mandy.) No, I understand completely, we'll slow it down." And he was gone. I give the credit for that one to Nate's BYU hat, maybe the guy was a cougar fan, because I had totally lost my cool.
So, that's it. My dad is a retired police officer and always taught me that if you are kind and apologetic you have better chances. His advice seems to work. Here's to number five, whenever that may be.