A Traffic Stop (and Go)

I consider myself a very safe driver (and I have a driving record and insurance rate to prove it), but sometimes when I am driving I might not come to a full and complete stop at stop signs. Shocking, isn’t it?

Tonight, on a dark and rainy night on an apparently empty street, I might have rolled through a stop sign. Suddenly flashing lights appeared in front of me. A police car was driving toward me, it made a U turn to end up behind me, as we neared a curve in the road I pulled over onto the shoulder. My thought process during this was:

I wonder if she’s pulling me over? Yup, it certainly looks like it’s me. Oh sweet, now I can try out the traffic stop at night response I learned!

Yes, I was legitimately excited about this. Years ago someone [1] told me how to respond to a traffic stop at night. The simple  version is: car in park, keys on the dash, window down, overhead light on, both hands on top of the steering wheel. Ever since I learned this I’ve wanted to try it out. So I did.

I sat in my car, waiting. The police officer slowly walked toward me. She paused at my window: “You’re free to go; I am here for the car in front of you.”

As I merged back onto the road and navigated the corner I saw a disabled car on the shoulder. The police officer must have seen the disabled car while driving my direction, then put on her lights to make the U turn. This just happened to coincide with the moment I rolled into the picture. I wish I could say my response impressed her so much she decided to let me go, but I was never a target.

[1] This person might have been a police officer. He might have told me: “If you do this you’re practically screaming ‘I’m not a menace!’ and it should increase the odds of encountering grace.”

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