Opinion

I’m not anti-cop, I’m anti-stupidity

Driving home from Seattle last Sunday, one of the vehicles I passed happened to be a police car from Lakewood. Apparently, the officer inside was taking part in the Bridge to Bridge DUI Emphasis Patrol.

That is great. I am all for removing impaired drivers to make our streets safer. In fact, my father spent the majority of his life doing police work, so I tend to be cop-friendly.

The officer made no attempt to stop me as I passed, so I continued on, still in cruise control mode.

About 10 minutes later though, he whipped behind me and turned on his lights.

Confused, I pulled over and shut off my vehicle.

The officer, who shall remain nameless, approached the passenger window and asked me if I knew the speed limit in the Gig Harbor area. I told him I did know it was a 60 mph zone and I regularly use my cruise control to make sure I stay at least close to that speed.

Imagine my surprise when he told me he paced me at anywhere between 68 and 71 mph.

Considering my intellect and the fact I check my speedometer at every side-of-the-road radar sign I come across, there was no possible way this could be.

Also, the idea of “pacing” another vehicle seems a bit ambiguous. This is not a tool like a radar gun, it is when a cop follows you and looks at their speedometer to see how fast you are going.

I explained to the officer there was no possible way I was driving at a speed greater than 65 and he then said the oddest thing I have ever heard, “How are you passing cars then?”

What? Are you serious? Did he not understand the simple mathematics? If a vehicle is traveling at 65, it will pass any vehicle traveling less than that speed.

This logic seemed to escape the officer who then asked for my license and insurance. I complied, but being irritated with the stupidity I was dealing with, I said, “This is B.S.”

He apparently did not here me and asked me what I said. I repeated the phrase louder to be sure it was audible.

This sent him into a frenzy. He asked me if I knew my license plate bulb was out. I told him I was not aware of it, but I would fix it as soon as possible (it is fixed now). He said he could write me a ticket for speeding and for the light, which would cost me more than $200. On top of that, he said he would be sure to show up for court to make sure I wouldn’t be let off easily.

Had it not been for my wife, I would have let loose with all the anger I had inside of me. Luckily, she was able to keep me from verbally assaulting this obvious dullard.

So instead, I just said, “OK, sir.” He explained he was not wanting to waste his time writing speeding tickets and wanted to get back to looking for impaired drivers. Again I just said, “OK, sir.” He then handed back my documents and walked away.

I have been issued many tickets in my lifetime and I have accepted most of them politely and with a smile on my face because I had broken the law. But when I know for a fact I was not going 71, it is irritating to be accused of it.

Steven DeDual is a staff writer for the Bremerton Patriot.

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