The Life of Bon: Careless driver

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Careless driver

"You're a rotten driver. Either you ought to be more careful or you oughtn't to drive at all."
-Great Gatsby

I've been home from my mission for two years.

In that time I have paid for:
Four speeding tickets (totalling $610)
Two tickets for running stop signs ($180)
One handicapped parking ticket ($100)
Countless BYU parking violations (Which, let's just be honest with ourselves... I haven't paid any of those...)
One tow ($130)
Two boots ($100)
Two traffic school sessions ($50 a pop)
One plea and abeyance deal that my brother worked out for me ($50)

Do the math, my friends. It's over a thousand bucks on poor driving and parking habits. That's not to mention the $1200 a year I have to pay for my premium car insurance (Hey! It ain't cheap to insure a careless driver like myself!)

I thought I would learn to drive safer after my last bout of tickets (this was in April when I got two speeding tickets within a thirty minute time period), but I've realized now that for me to stop driving like an idiot is both unrealistic and hopeless. (My fiance's hurtful-yet-true analysis of my driving: "You're reckless, you don't pay attention to what's going on around you, and you drive too fast.") So, instead of figuring out how to avoid getting pulled over, my latest goal is to figure out how to avoid getting the ticket once I've already been pulled over.

Unfortunately, my record is 0 for 6 in getting pulled over and not getting a ticket. I don't know what it is about me that ticks cops off, but the second they see the short blonde in the black car, it's like their minds are made up that they're going to give me that ticket and teach me a lesson, goshdangit! I have watched other people skillfully avoid getting tickets, but I can't seem to master the art. Or even have mild success with the art. My brother's been pulled over six times in a short period of time. He's gotten ONE ticket. I've been pulled over six times in a short period of time. I've gotten SIX tickets.

Here are some strategies I have used. They have each failed.
-Crying. The cop seemed more impatient and annoyed than sympathetic. I later heard on the radio that men just totally shut off when women start crying and that it literally turns them off. Hmmm.... probably won't try that one again.
-Saying yes sir, no sir, yes sir. You know, the whole super respectful thing. He didn't seem phased at all.
- Having the car window down, the enginge turned off, my license and registration ready, hands on the steering wheel. I think me being this ready for the pull over just made the cop think that I've been pulled over one too many times... meaning I'm getting pulled over and still not fixing my bad driving habits. And the obvious solution to that is to give me a ticket, right?
- Saying I have a sick friend/ super emergency. Although he appeared somewhat understanding, the cop still nailed me with the ticket. And then I felt crazy guilty for lying.
- Being very humble and compliant. "Yes, officer, I know I was speeding. Yes, I know it was wrong. Yes, I deserve to be pulled over. I'm very sorry. It's fine. Give me the ticket. I understand." Again... the cop was totally unphased by my complete and utter humility.
- Joking around with the cop. I got a laugh out of him. I also got the ticket.

I'm open to some new suggestions....


  1. The only time I've ever been pulled over was in high school. And he didn't give me a ticket. Here is my fool-proof way of getting out of a ticket based solely on that experience:

    (a) try being a terrified 17 year old girl
    (b) drive a mini-van
    (c) preferably be caught while taking your younger sister to school and/or church
    (d) have no idea which piece of paper in your glove box is the registration-- hold each thing up for him to see until you find it

    Really, I think it was a combination of being terrified and naively young that helped me out. Not something that is easy to fake, maybe?

  2. How not to get a ticket? Don't get pulled over. How not to get pulled over? Drive responsibly. It's not that hard. Hey Bonnie, I think cops have a quota to fill, so they like giving tickets. Or they might get commission, so just don't get pulled over.