I got stopped...

...and I deserved it. Man I hate it when Motorcop is right.


I was driving through the City when my phone rang and it was work.  Sometimes I forget to take the radio out of my jacket pocket, sometimes it's the keys...etc etc, so I answered it.

Then they put me on hold for a minute, and that's when me and the Motor passing the other direction made eye contact.

I hung up, he swung around and I pulled over and waited.

I knew it was wrong, time to drink the tea.


CityMC - "Do you know why I turned around?"

HM - "I was on the phone.  Shouldn't have been.  No excuse."

CityMC - "License please. I'm going to cite you, this isn't safe."

He wandered back to the motor and began to scratch out the cite and my phone is ringing again.  No way in Hell am I answering it now.

He returns to the car where I'm patiently waiting, hands on the wheel.

CityMC - "Your license and your insurance have different addresses, which is correct?"


HM - "My insurance, Sir."

CityMC - "You need to get to the DMV immediately and get that remedied."

HM - "Yes, Sir."

He went back to the bike and was on the radio...no what is he doing? He's on the phone.  I make eye contact in the rearview mirror of him laughing and smiling on the phone and he turns away from me.

A few moments later he approaches the window and offers me the complete cite and asks me to sign.

I signed, no argument, no stupid excuse, no denying the obvious.

Then he gave me back my license and told me it was my lucky morning, he had just gotten good news.  This would only be a warning.  I should take what I would have paid in the cite and go buy a new hands free set, or 2, and use them.

And I will.


It just goes to show that if you are honest and respectful, and if he gets a lucky phone call, maybe you'll just get a warning.

Now if only medics could have the same kind of power in transport decisions...


MotorCop said…
Oh man.  I am f'n giddy right now.  I have so so many amusing and witty things to say they are all jumbled up and clogged in my brain parts.

You are a good example of how to handle being stopped, though.  Good on ya, sir.
Jonathan Blatman said…
So.... apparently SOMEONE in police-land actually does know "Who you are".

Better question is why don't you have a hands free setup already?
Joe Paczkowski said…
Gotta love a state that somehow ignores the fact that the problem with cell phones is the conversation, not the location of one of two hands (or else why isn't changing the radio illegal, opening, closing the window, etc also illegal).

Also gotta love a state where a $30 fine can be turned into $135 bail. Sorry, but the bail schedule for California traffic infractions are purely about money, not safety.
Katie B. said…
A hands-free phone is no safer than using a a regular cell phone. Talking on the phone while driving is not dangerous because your hands are off of the wheel; it's dangerous because your /brain/ is off of the road. Driving and carrying a conversation use up a lot of the same cognitive resources and when you try to multitask like that, you're dividing your resources between the two and therefore are paying less attention to driving than you need to be in order to drive safely. 

Sure, a hands-free set will prevent you from getting caught when you feel like you need to answer those important calls while you're driving, but please don't fall under the delusion that you're somehow safer...
Thehappymedic said…
By that rationalle we should always drive alone.  I have more distractions when driving my 2 kids than on the phone, but one is the law, one is not.  we can debate what laws save lives and which don't all night, but theat does not change the fact I knew I was violating the vehicle code and was stopped for it.  Period.
I'm just wondering what the phone call he got was all about.
i love it that i'm surrounded by assholes on the freeway and no one ever gets stopped, but when i roll through a stop sign at a half a mile an hour at an empty intersection, i get pulled over.
Katie B. said…
Sorry, I meant that carrying a conversation /on the phone/ uses up the same types of cognitive resources as driving. Talking with someone who is in the car with you produces little to no impairment. There is research to support this (not that we can't dispute about it). 

But my goal in posting that comment was not to start a debate (as you're right, we certainly could talk about that all night!) but to beg you, as someone who enjoys reading your blog (which you obviously couldn't keep writing if you're dead), to not take advantage of your new hands-free device. If your goal is only to obey the law, then by all means, buy a hands-free phone. But I just wish I can convince you to continue to use it sparingly and only for those more important calls that you find it more necessary to answer. 

Just trying to clear my conscience...I do everything I can to alert people to the unrealized danger of talking on the phone while driving, but I certainly don't judge them for the choices they make. Ultimately, it's your call. 

Safe driving! =)
James said…
I think the best part is that so much of this is based solely on the officer having a good day or not.

"You deserved it" - nuts.