The state patrolman

I am not known to be a magnet for driving infractions, and this time I was not at all responsible. Friday afternoon, after completing all my assigned appointments in Oklahoma City, I took the turnpike east on my way home with plans for a big weekend with family and friends.

I have the habit of using cruise control while driving long distances, in case I start daydreaming and forget about my lead foot. This time it was not different, as I was cruising at about 5-6 miles over the speed limit along with three other vehicles and a very large truck.

Making a turn east of the turnpike toward Joplin, we all spotted a state trooper on the right side of the road, chatting with a motorist I thought had broken the law. We all moved to the fast lane to give him room enough to do what he does best, give tickets.

I had released the cruise control to allow me to slow down during this maneuver and after a few yards, stepped on the accelerator once again, re-engaged the cruise control and continued on my way changing back to the right side of the road.

I had not gone more than a few miles when, looking at my rear-view mirror, I spotted what I jokingly call a Christmas tree, the blue and red lights blinking, making sure the driver in front of the cruiser pays attention and stops at the edge of the road, which I did.

Since I knew I was not speeding, I wondered what the cause for the blinking lights was. Surely, I had not committed an infraction as far as I could remember. Then again, perhaps it was all the other infractions I had committed through the years when I was not caught.

A very young state trooper, looking around 12 years old, approached the car from the passenger side and ask for my driver’s license and registration, which I immediately handed him. He claimed I was speeding when I moved over to give him room while stopped with another driver. I assured him I use the cruise control because I trust the car more than I trust my lead foot, but he continued to argue with me.

As I was ready to slap him for lying, he assured me he was 110% sure of what he was saying; at that point I was infuriated because I also was 110% sure I was in the right. I then proceeded to let him know a 110% does not exist as the maximum number is 100%! Of course, my statement created another rush of harsh words from both of us. After a pause, and since I was an old lady, he would only give me a warning which would not register on my record. I thanked him profusely as I held my temper down, engaged the car once again and left him on the side of the road.

Many years later, I continue to think I was right, although I did not get ticketed. The warning the trooper gave me did not register in my brain because today I still use the cruise control whenever I have a long way to go and trust my car more than I trust my lead foot.

Weber, a former Cedar County Republican reporter, continues to contribute occasional columns.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.