Published August 17, 2012
(In response to last weeks column)
Wow! “A Hairy Situation” has gotten the most responses of all my columns so far. I was nervous to put it out there, but I’m glad I did. I love to make people giggle a little. Apparently, everybody “nose” somebody with this situation and are hoping they read my column and take the hint. Honestly, I thought it went without saying but obviously not.
Oh no — the Po-Po
In every city, big or small, there’s what some call a “speed trap.“ Some are enforced more than others, for good reason, and some are said to be just what they’re called — a trap. As it mentions in my brief bio, I live in Poland, a well-known place for being strict with the 25 miles-per-hour speed limit through the middle of town. There have been plenty of times where I’ve told someone I live here and their response is, ”Oh, I hate driving through there!”
I have to say that in my teens, I might have agreed, but now as a parent, I have to disagree. If you hate driving through here it’s probably because you’re speeding. It turns out that the speed limit is 25 for a reason — to keep everyone safe — especially the children (including mine.)
I did a test with my mom and my sister a couple of years ago, and although it was quite comical, it was very effective. The speed limit on her street is 25 and sometimes it’s as if people are flying (including my dad). My mom got into her car and drove down her street at 25 mph while my sister and I watched from the front porch.
With our coffee in hand, we were unimpressed, but extremely amused.
Her speed seemed perfect. Then my mom drove down the street again at 30 mph, her hands at 10 and 2, leaning forward as if driving a getaway car. Much to our surprise, 30 mph seemed excessive. It looked as if she was carelessly flying down the street when it was simply 5 mph faster.
Although 5 mph doesn’t sound like much, let me tell you that my sister and I bear witness that it is. So maybe the big bad police aren’t so bad after all. Maybe they’re just doing their job and protecting the people, and if you think otherwise, it’s because you are the getaway driver.
With that being said, let me ask you this, have you ever been driving on the freeway and noticed a driver driving in the opposite direction flashing his/her headlights? If you have, you probably slowed down, right? I don’t know how it became a universal signal that there’s a policeman ahead, but it did.
I’ve even caught myself doing it in the past. Although, I have to admit that the first time someone did this headlight flashing “thing” at me, I was on North Lima Road close to my hometown, so I beeped and waved excitedly. I was so elated that a friend recognized my car and was acknowledging me!
It wasn’t until I passed the policeman sitting in a remote spot that I became overwhelmed with embarrassment. It wasn’t a friend happy to see me, but a stranger warning me of the po-po ahead. Luckily, my daughters were too young then to laugh at me, because now they’d bust into hysterics at my pathetic display of enthusiasm.
Getting back to the topic, is this an acceptable act? If I’m driving at an unacceptable speed, then I’m breaking the law and the person who just tipped me off is basically an accessory to my crime. I shouldn’t be speeding, so what would possess a person that I’ve never met, and never will meet, to be my partner in crime?
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for it and would hate to get a ticket, but is it right?
In summary, I guess what I’m asking is, do you honor the work of the police department, who keep you and yours safe, or do you think that we the people should band together universally to try and outsmart them?
(In case any officers are reading this, I’d just like it to go on record that I’m all for “you do the crime, you do the time.)