PULL OVER..this is the Police !!


During Jan 2011 I was in Peachtree City, GA and one Saturday evening, I went out to meet some friends some 40 miles away. While I started to drive out, I realized one of my headlamp bulbs of my Camry was not working. it was the low beam. time was 10.30pm.
I just drove on coz I could do nothing about it at that time. All the while very well aware that if a cop spots me, I’d get a ticket..A ticket is a big deal in US..points on License, hits credit rating and increases insurance rate and increased rate of interest for loans. all just for a broken headlamp bulb..this is all that was running in my head.
I was 5 miles away from home and I spotted a familiar looking car behind me..it was a Ford Crown Victoria..a cop car..he was silently following me for 1/2 a mile..quickly glanced at my speed..i was within limits ..so what would I be charged for? was he going to pull me over? Did I do some offence?
just as I was thinking all this, I see blue flashing lights behind me..Fa-king-sheet..it was me..I was the target.
All I had to do at that time was pull over out of the road away from traffic and wait for the cop’s instructions. This is standard protocol. I’ve seen too many cop videos on TruTV to learn this.
With blue lights flashing behind me, I could see passerby’s stare at me like I was a suspected terrorist. damn..the attention was definitely embarrassing.Now TruTV’s reality shows have freaked me out about cops..
the script running in head was ;Cop screaming from a Megaphone “GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW..PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM..NOW GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK”I had all that time to think all this. The cop took 10 minutes to get out of his car and come to me..all this while, he was checking my car’s registration for past offences and insurance status. after 10 minutes :me : “Yes officer?”
Cop: ” can I see your license please?”
cop : ” sir, do you realize you have a busted headlamp.. you have only 1 headlamp working”
me : ” indeed I do. I noticed it when I pulled out of the parking lot 1/2 hr ago but I had no way to fix it at this time and I was gonna do that tomorrow morning”

Suddenly the tone of the cops voice changed..

cop : “oh ok..I thought you did not know it..I saw you 2 miles away and turned around ”
me : ” Oh I did know about it..i check it regularly”
cop : ” ok ok..are your high beams working?”
me : “oh yes, they work perfectly fine”
cop: ” ok, usually you are not supposed to use high beams but since it’s late in the night and traffic is thin, you can use them.we don’t want you to crash into deer that could jump into your path..you know what I mean?”
me : ” sure officer, thanks for your concern”
cop:” no problem..now here’s what I’ll do.I’ll write up a warning ticket.You don’t have to pay a fine nor go to court.it’s just to notify that I’ve spoken to you and if any other cop pulls you over, show this and you’ll be let off”
me:”ok”

he takes another 10 minutes to return

cop :” here you go sir. please fix that headlamp 1st thing tomorrow morning”
me: ” for sure officer”

and I drove off. I was getting totally irritated seeing the blue flashing lights in my mirror for atleast half an hour.

andthat is how I avoided my ticket and associated trouble.

The next morning, I drove up to Advance Auto parts and picked up a Sylvania H6 bulb for $9 and installed it myself.

Could this situation have gone bad? Oh yes..definitely.
When the cop mentioned to me about the dysfunctional headlamp and I’d have shown a surprised I-don’t-know-what-you-are-talking-about look, I’d be looking at a ticket for negligent driving to start with and a fine of atleast 200$. Phew. I still pat my back for good presence of mind..a rare occasion for an absent minded guy like me 😉
One Cop encounter – check.
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