Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Red Light, Blue Light
I went to town the other day to do some shopping. I waited for the light to change so I could make a left turn. I had my turn signal on.
Imagine my surprise to see a police car turn right behind me. I was surprised because the lights on the police car were signalling that I should stop.
As soon as I found a safe place I pulled over. The police car was right behind me with the lights flashing.
Now I knew that I had not been speeding. I was stopped at a red light. I knew that I had flipped my turn signal on. That is a habit for me and I do it without thinking. I was puzzled.
The policeman stepped from his car and came forward. He leaned forward toward my open window, smiled pleasantly, and said, "Hi. I'm Officer So-and-so of the city police department. Were you aware that your tail light is not working?"
I was not.
The dog was with me and she began to bark. He looked at her and said, "He sounds like a big one." I explained to him that she does not trust most men. (She was a rescue that had been abused.)
The officer chuckled and told me that he must be in double jeopardy for being a man and being in uniform. He politely asked me for the necessary paperwork which I gave him.
He went back to his car to make sure I was honest. When he came back he handed me all the documents. He told me I would need to have the tail light fixed as soon as possible.
I actually thanked him for pulling me over as he walked back toward his car.
Now let me tell you the main reason I am telling you about this.
I lived in the big city for far too long. If I had been stopped the officer would have sauntered up to my car. He would not have introduced himself.
He would have demanded my driver's license. Then he would have demanded the paperwork for my vehicle. Then he would have snatched them from me a marched back to his squad car.
After determining that I had all my affairs in order he would have written a ticket. He would stomp back to my car and shove all the papers including the ticket into my face. Well... into the window so I could grab them.
I would drive away knowing that I had to repair my tail light. Then I would have to appear at the police station to prove that I had fixed the problem.
All in all it would have been an extremely unpleasant experience.
The way it was handled by the officer here was not unpleasant at all. I will have the light repaired. I do appreciate knowing that it was not working. But I felt human rather than criminal and a waste of space.
I went from the experience the other day feeling good about myself and the situation. What a difference a smile and a good attitude make.