Monday, July 9, 2007

Thank you, Trooper Rankin

I was tooling back from Statesboro yesterday, talking to Jordy on my new Blackjack. I'm usually very aware, but I didn't see the trooper until his vehicle was facing me in the median, lights flashing.

Oh, crap. I guessed I was about to get my first speeding ticket evar.

I told Jordy I had to go, pulled over to the side of the road, and pulled my bill of sale and proof of insurance from the glove compartment. I verified that my wallet was at hand, and rolled the window down. And then, noticed the "45 MPH" sign directly in front of me. Ah, man...

The young trooper was extremely aware, speaking to me from far to my rear (which would be a safe position for him should I become a threat). I held my BoS and insurance, but he only asked to see my driver's license.

"I'm sorry, I didn't notice the limit had dropped," I told him.

"It just changed. But I clocked you at 75 in a 55. Are you still at Smalltown Way?"

"Well, actually, I just got back from Afghanistan, so I'm still looking for another place."

"You in the Army?"

"Was, yes, sir."

"I'll be back in a minute. What type of vehicle is this?"

"'01 Grand Am."

I waited, nervously sipping my bottled water. Looking in the mirror, I could see another, older trooper wearing the traditional Smokey drill sergeant hat standing behind my car. He didn't look happy. The younger troop came back, still standing fairly far back behind me.

"This won't affect your insurance. This is a warning."

"Thank you, sir. I'll slow down." I folded my information and replaced it slowly, looked around my packed car at the clothes hamper, boxes, and green duffel bag, and pulled back onto the road.

That was it. No lecture. No sarcasm. And let me tell you, I did drive more slowly the rest of the way back.


Tam said...

That'll learn you to talk 'n' drive!


HollyB said...

See what bein' honest and polite gets you? A WARNING! Mentioning you had been in the Army and recently in @ganistan didn't hurt any, either.
I know you didn't say it to get out of the ticket, you were just bein' honest. But I'm glad you DID mention it, by way of explanation. Traffic fines for 20 over the limit BITE!

Matt G said...

That's why I'm the King Of The Written Warning.

He got compliance. And you know that you got lucky, and won't do it again. Heck, you've got the little piece of paper with yours and his name on it and a date and time and location to commemorate the occasion.

There's something about sitting there, stewing in your own juices for the time it takes to have a warning written out, that really does more good than any safety lecture, and just about what any money citatation, would do.

If my job is to obtain compliance, and not to generate money, then why wouldn't I want to write a warning if I knew that it would work as well.

And, hey, if you just got back from AE, you get extra consideration, as well as a quick and quiet "Thank you for your service."

phlegmfatale said...

A word to the wise is sufficient.