When the uniformed child employee of the City of Portland, Texas told me why he stopped me, he said he had been ticketing cars at that corner for the past few hours The corner has a 4 way stop sign, is in a 20 mph residential neighborhood, and is a block from my house. I roll through it 6 to 8 times a day. Literally.
“I saw you drive through it on your way home. You live on Crosby, right? Anyway, I was issuing another citation and couldn’t give you a ticket then.” (Give me a ticket? Gosh, well, thanks.) “But an hour later, there you were again!” (Aren’t we a couple of lucky souls.)
I have been rolling through a lot of stops recently. Work and life distract me which lends to my living in the future more than usual. I see a 4 way stop as a suggestion that I can give a glancing nod to as I roll past it on the way to my busyness.
The odds were in Portland PD’s favor on the stop sign ticket. Since I go through that intersection at least 6 times a day for at least 300 days out of a year and I’ve lived in my house 10 year, that’s about 18,000 times I’ve rolled through that intersection and not gotten a ticket. Innocent? Pretty much never. Just caught. Finally. Public enemy #1 in the stop sign department.
I haven’t gotten a ticket since I had a seat belt violation 11 years ago. I was going to say it wasn’t my fault, but of course it was. I didn’t fasten my seatbelt, and when stopped by one of Portland’s finest, I admitted I wasn’t wearing it. I had both my son Jack and grand-daughter Savanna in the car with me and didn’t want to add lying to a cop to my list of maternal failings. Even though I was sober at the time, my alcoholic logic said that I should have gotten a pass because I told the truth. How kinder kid is that?
Getting a ticket annoyed me then as it does now, but I am mostly aggravated at myself for driving thoughtlessly. And I don’t mean rude driving. Just that I am phoning in my time behind the wheel. Which, come to think of it, is rudeness supreme. It won’t hurt me to take a defensive driving class. But I don’t have to like it. I will need to take it, though.
The ticket costs $168 which is about what the municial court charges for letting me take a DD course. No money savings there. The potential insurance hike for having the darn ticket on my record is about $100/year for 3 years. For $300, I’ll take the darn course. And possibly end the rolling stop. At least for a month or two.