So I got a speeding ticket this weekend. Yes, I was 17 miles over the speed limit. After a five hour drive, the heat beating on my face, and hunger got the best of me. All I wanted to do was get to my apartment and nap. But that didn't happen. Heading to Bay City from Fort Worth, I drove through El Campo and decided to get some fries. My friend JR was scheduled to pay me a visit before heading to the Houston Hobby airport to head to Las Vegas for a conference, but alas I was hungry and fries I craved.
Once I got the warm, salty fries I began to drive away eating. I probably shouldn't admit to this, but I am on the road a lot and I tend to sometimes eat, drink coffee and even hold a pen a notebook while driving. Admit it, you have done it too, minus the reporter notebook and pen of course.
So I continued passing through El Campo, enjoying my fries, so much, that I did not see the El Campo Police Department vehicle flash his lights at my car. "Oh dear what did I do?" I thought. OK, let's be honest, that's not really what I said, but to keep this column as kid friendly as possible I said, "Oh dear."
I drove to a near parking lot, put my fries down, turned off the engine and looked at the law enforcement car in disbelief. I have my seatbelt, all my stickers and registration is up to date - what did I do?
The officer approached my car, right hand touching his gun belt and he had a taser too. Well this isn't an officer I want to get upset. And I understood why he had his hand in that location. They risk their lives every day, I am a friendly driver, but there are others that are not.
During a Matagorda County Law Enforcement Academy class, we were taught about police gear and how they use it and when they may use it.
And let's be honest, when a law enforcement officer stops us for whatever reason, we get nervous. I get nervous, and for those of you who know me, when I am extremely nervous, I tend to giggle and or say really stupid things.
"The reason for stopping you is because you were speeding, is there a reason why?" The police officer was a serious as one can be, checking my registration stickers in my window while he kept his distance.
"No sir," I said.
"You were going 50 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone," he said.
"Oh, really? Well, I don't know why," I said.
And honestly, I had no idea that area was 30 miles per hour, I honestly never saw a speed sign.
And then I said something really stupid. "Sorry officer I was eating fries."
I am sure that was the stupid line that broke the camel's back. Had I maybe said, "Sorry officer I will be more careful next time," or "Officer my apologies and thanks so much for protecting us each day."
Instead, I got a speeding ticket.
So next time I find myself on the road (and in El Campo) and hungry, I will make sure to stop at the restaurant and eat there. Or I can fully concentrate on what I really should be doing, which is drive. Have you ever said something to an officer you wish you hadn't when stopped? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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