I love to drive. I mean, if my car never had cruise control I’d be fine with that. I love to accelerate and steer and blow past tree after tree. If I had a little bit more guts, I would’ve aspired to be a racecar driver. I love driving, and I love driving fast. And for this reason I accumulated several speeding tickets in my younger days. It was so bad that I think my license would have been suspended if I’d received another one. Yes, Dad, while I was on your insurance I got ticket after ticket, and now at almost thirty and with two kids I finally feel ‘grown’ enough to tell on myself.
My first ticket occurred one night as I drove to my 3M internship apartment in Woodbury, MN. I was headed home from the club in my mom’s Toyota Camry when I got pulled over on 494. I received my second ticket the following summer driving with Jane’l to Kansas City, MO to see Granny Gee. We had successfully felt the tires pass over nearly 436 miles of gravel and turf. I could see the lights of downtown Kansas City as I saw the reflection of red, blue and white lights from the interior of a Chevy Malibu in my rear-view mirror. Darn! That was two speeding tickets within two consecutive years. One more and that was it for my license. Years later in Atlanta, I got pulled over going well over 80 on I-20. I think the speed limit is around 50, so technically going 30 miles over the speed limit is involuntary manslaughter. As I considered this, I began to cry and by the grace of God, I was let off with a warning. My third ticket occurred on a road trip from Philly to Pittsburgh. Hubby and I called ourselves saving money on a flight to Atlanta, and decided to drive to Pittsburgh to observe an airline promotion. Did you know that it’s an eight hour drive from Philly to Pittsburgh?? We didn’t. We decided to switch drivers after a few hours, and as soon I took the wheel I was encouraged by the wide openness of the interstate sans congestion. I asked hubby two or three times if he’d seen any troopers, and just about as he’s saying no, I see the siren lights rotating in my rear-view mirror. (Hubby’s edit of this sentence reads, “As Jolawn recklessly shoved the pedal to the floormat without abandon for public safely, she was pulled over as a consequence.”) The officer was kind enough to lower the recorded speed, so not as to reduce points on my license (still don’t really know how many points I have and what that means).
It was after this ticket that I remembered wise words from a friends’ older brother. He said that he’d never received a speeding ticket because through his friend’s errors, he had seen every type of way one could receive a ticket. So this morning, as I headed to work, I sped down I-95 trying to make it into the office before 8. As I merged onto 287, a hitched truck made me brake, and once an opening appeared, I sped around the truck. The car behind me also sped up and tip toed on my heels indicating that I was even too slow for the left hand lane. I looked to my right and a Chevy trailblazer with tinted windows, an extra side mirror a few too many antennas receded from my view. Of course, I recalled my experience with ticket number two and remembered the Chevy Malibu. I was infuriated that a policemen would dare drive a civilian car and pose as one of us, so I pulled into the middle lane to let the impatient driver receive the ticket of the day. As the tailgater accelerated past me, I smiled as the silent lights turned on and the trailblazer sped up to the car. It was the first time I would successfully avoid ticket number four.