Friday, December 28, 2018

Driver's education

Last week, I heard the eight words no motorist wants to hear: "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

Just a few minutes after leaving home, I had noted a police vehicle perpendicularly approaching the intersection I was passing through. A quick glance in my rear-view showed the patrol car turning in behind me. I stayed on my best behavior, as far as I could tell, for another fraction of a mile and through one traffic-light change. Accelerating once the light turned green, I suddenly saw far more flashing lights in my mirrors. Either the officer had to get by me in search of more pressing matters or... yeah, I was being pulled over.

My window quickly down, awkward pleasantries exchanged; then the eight-word question, and my honest, "Actually, Officer, no I don't."

He told me that my passenger-side tail light was out and asked if I had known that. I hadn't. "Happens a lot," he said. "Many people find out when the police stop them. I need to see your license, registration, and insurance."

I gathered those documents, handed them over. After a quick riffle, he flashed my insurance card back my way. "Your insurance expired in September," he said. "I've got to write you a ticket for that."

"That must be an old card," I said, embarrassed. "My insurance is current."

The officer remained polite and pleasant. "Can you get the current insurance information on your phone?"he asked. I could and did. Moments later, I was dismissed, sans ticket.

Sixteen hours later, I'd printed an accurate insurance card and replaced one tail-light bulb. Whew.


  1. Having been pulled over before, my shoulders were at my ears as I read this. When the new insurance cards come, I worry about not getting in the car. I don't think your post will make me stop worrying, but it might at least plant the idea that I can call my insurance agent with the officer standing there. I'm glad all worked out well. Happy New Year!

  2. I’m a veteran of being pulled over, although it has been a few years. Hope I don’t jinx it by saying that. Anyway, glad things worked out so you avoided the ticket.

  3. No rapid blinking 3rd brake light? 2X Whew!
    Gimme a break & a break light bulb! !yug ykcuL
    !dnuora lla sguH

  4. Happy New Year. Glad all worked out for you. By the way I always enjoy reading your writing and though I have been gone a month or so, I specifically was looking for your Tuesday entry to read. You never let me down. And interestingly enough, I had to laugh because I too mentioned a right side passenger tail light. Must be Karma.