My friend whose vehicular operating habits are material for a high school driver’s education class movie was recently pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation. He considers his seniorly age an automatic exemption when exhibiting stupid driving behavior. This time, being a little too clever almost cost him a lot of money.
Fortunately, the officer had a great sense of humor, accepted the remarks in stride and didn’t take extraordinary retribution, but he did get my friend’s attention. He spent the following gorgeous weather Saturday incarcerated in a small classroom sitting in a desk made for a third-grader, watching those gruesome vehicular crash movies, discussing them, and then listening to multiple mind-numbing lectures while the assistant instructor loaded the next video.
Here are some of the more “clever” comments you might keep to yourself if you happen to become entangled in a self-inflicted law enforcement situation:
1) If you have to ask me why I’ve been pulled over, maybe you screwed up.
2) It took a lot longer for you to catch me than cops in the other parts of town.
3) Don’t give me a warning ticket; take me to jail because I love the guard’s uniforms.
4) I voted for your pay raise; didn’t you see my “I Support Cops” windshield sticker?
5) Personally, I don’t think the new uniforms make you look like mall security guards.
6) You’re jealous of my luxury sports car because you drive one of those boring sedans.
7) I canceled my auto insurance voluntarily, but the insurance people will lie.
8) I would have won the appeal on my DUI, but a friend who was driving me to court was arrested for speeding and an outstanding warrant, so I didn’t get there.
9) I used to date a cop, but she had a problem with my superior driving ability.
10) I think there should be more cops at the mall and less on-road harassment.
11) I would appreciate a warning since the guy who owns this license has no tickets.
12) My brother used to be a cop before he quit and opened the newest donut store.
13) You should thank me for slowing down so you could catch up with me.
14) I’d have pulled over sooner but I was talking and texting with my girlfriend.
15) If you give me a ticket I’m suing the radio station because they didn’t mention this speed trap, or maybe you illegally withheld that information. Did I mention that I’m considering a career in law enforcement as a volunteer so I can legally drive fast?
Remember, using these, or any other cleverly concocted “flippant” comments when you’re in a potential law enforcement jam that has the potential to ruin your day and possibly your driving record and jack up your insurance rate, can only make things worse.
Your best bet is not to get into a traffic violation situation in the first place.
But if you do, call upon every shred of common sense you can muster, be respectful, and offer polite, rational answers to only the questions you’re asked.
Keeping your mouth shut the rest of the time is your absolute best defense. You might even seriously consider apologizing since the odds are you really did screw up, even if it was unintentional and you have a pristine driving history.
Law enforcement officers aren’t looking to write you a ticket; they hate paperwork. Trust me; I know this for a fact because I’m a retired military police officer and we despised it.
Do everyone a favor; take responsibility for your actions when you get behind the wheel of your vehicle. Doing this will put you far ahead of many other drivers, because they’ll be answering questions on the side of the road as you’re driving past them in a responsible manner at the posted speed limit and sporting a big grin.
Your spouse and your insurance company will be pleased as well, and you’ll be watching sports on TV this weekend rather than driver’s education movies.