I'm beginning to lose count. It was either my 28th, but possibly only my 27th, moving violation.
People gasp, wonder how I continue to drive legally and ask me how much my insurance costs. It's not that bad. Over a 28-year time period, I've received tickets in a handful of states and have watched the total leap when I've been at fault in a non-injury accident... or four. Did you know a person can receive multiple tickets in ONE accident? I learned this when I was 18.
NOTE: It's important for me to remind people that alcohol has never been a factor in any of my moving violations. As a matter of fact, I only recall one ticket occurring at night and it was a [w]reckless driving ticket [I wasn't even speeding]. I was on my way to my then boyfriend's [now husband's] apartment, and became distracted because a bug the size of a small bird was flying around the cockpit of my car. The police officer pulled me over -- something about erratic driving -- helped me get the bird-bug out of my car, then ticketed me. He sympathized when I said I was afraid the bug would get caught in my hair, but told me I should have immediately pulled over and battled the bug on the side of the road.
The 28th, but possibly 27th, moving violation occurred in July. Middle Boy and I were in Colorado for a week so he could attend a daily music camp. I was driving to the hotel after dropping him off one morning, chatting with my mother-in-law on my HANDS FREE DEVICE, driving with the flow of traffic [I think], when I saw flashing lights in a side view mirror.
"Oh my gosh! I think I'm being pulled over. I don't even know what I'm doing wrong," I said to my mother-in-law.
The police officer was on a motorcycle, noticed me noticing him in my rearview mirror and pointedly gave me the "PULL OVER!" sign with his hand. He almost jerked himself off his motorcycle motioning so wildly.
I was offended.
"I need to go," I said to my mother-in-law. "He's huffy."
I gave the police officer the JUST-A-MINUTE sign with my hand followed by the I'M-ON-THE-PHONE sign [resembles the "hang loose" sign], and politely wrapped up the conversation with my mother-in-law.
I probably shouldn't have done that.
The police officer was a small person. Literally. The two of us together might have weighed 225 with my weight contributing more than his to the total. Although, he did have that big gun.
I drive a mid-sized SUV. The officer was not amused when I used his mirrored sunglasses to fix my bedhead, and I don't think he appreciated it when I apologized for not noticing him on his little motorcyle. He said, "I've been trying to pull you over for quite some time."
"Well, I am SO sorry. I was on the phone with my mother-in-law, and we hadn't spoken in a while. We're trying to coordinate dinner plans for my son. And I didn't see the little motorcycle."
He asked me all the usual questions. I said all the usual stuff. No, I didn't know I was speeding. Yes, I realize it's dangerous. I'm sorry. I have no business behind the wheel of a car. I'll be more careful and pay attention. I'm an idiot. Are points shared between states, yet? Thank you, Officer.
I drive legally. My insurance is a little on the high side, although not as high as one would think. I have a few photo radar tickets [I don't think those should count.] and the majority of my speeding tickets are for slightly over the limit.
I simply get caught when I break the rules, even unintentionally. Always have. Snitching cookies, sneaking out, skipping school, accidentally speeding or changing lanes too quickly [who knew?]... busted. I view my bumbling criminal abilities as life's way of watching out for me. I've been spared.
So my ticket history is shameful. I'm aware. But, I've only had one cavity in my life. That should count for something.