Its a sad sad day. I got a speeding ticket! It has been nearly 10 years since I have had a speeding ticket. This was a very significant thing for me. For those of you who know me, you know I don’t really believe in speed limits. I believe in driving the speed that I feel the road and situation allow me to comfortably drive. In fact, I rarely ever look at speed limit signs. But today I got busted for doing 66 in a 45 (it really should have been a 55 MPH road…but they don’t do that up here!). The officer was very nice and wrote me a ticket just for speeding, not reckless endangerment, which is apparently the charge when you are 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. (Reckless PLEASE! There was no one on the road, it was beautiful clear day, I was signing a little Tom Petty at the top of my voice, I think you see why I might have been going over 45 miles an hour!)
My question is: Can I take Defensive Driving? You know they have that whole point system on your license here. I don’t really want any points on my license. I don’t think a speeding ticket is a big deal, but I don’t know the Virginia system like I do the Texas system. Yes, it is somewhat sad to say, but I knew the Texas traffic court system a little bit too well. I would get about 2 tickets a year in Texas.
(I feel I need to justify this. 1.) My father is a cop and he drives fast. He would also hound me when I was young that more accidents happen by going too slow then too fast. He was also really big on not jamming on your breaks if you think you are going to get in an accident. He is a firm believer in maneuvering yourself safely out of the potential accident (if you use the breaks, you lock it up and you continue straight ahead into what you want to avoid). 2.) My first car was a classic mustang with a large engine…probably not the best idea for a kid.). 3.) I grew up in Texas where the average speed on roads is probably 45. Our freeways had 65 MPH. Then I move up here to an overpopulated area and I jump for joy when I see something over 35 MPH or a left hand turn lane!)
So yes, I admit, I don’t really drive the speed limit. But in Texas I had figured out how to do the deferred adjudication or defensive driving so I could keep the ticket off my record. I would just keep switching around my defense, and every so often I would call and beg my father for forgiveness. So now I have to figure out the whole Virginia system…or do I just pay the darn thing?
This actually reminds me of a little side story. Forgive me while I digress. When I was 24 years old, living on my own, paying my own bills, etc, I was headed to meet a friend for dinner and got pulled over by a police officer in the neighboring city to where my father was Chief of Police. The officer recognized my last name. He decided to make me call my father, right there on the side of the road. The conversation when something like this:
“Mr. Kerber? Yes, This is Officer Smith. I am calling because I am here with your daughter. Let me hand the phone over to her so she can explain the situation to you.” I grab the phone and say, “Hi Dad”. My father says: “What’s going on?” I say: “I got pulled over for doing 55 in a 45”. He says slowly in a bewildered voice “Is he going to give you a ticket?” I say, “I don’t know.” “Why is he having you call me.” “I am not really sure.” “Hmmmm”
Yeah, so I didn’t get a ticket and the officer felt sure that I was going to get an ear-full from my father when I got home. Now I am not complaining, but really, where did he think I learned to drive like that.