On Monday afternoon, I was stopped at a red light in the far left lane. A woman stepped off the curb and started crossing in the crosswalk. As she neared my car, I glanced over to my right. That’s when I saw a car in the far right lane as it rolled though the red light like it wasn’t there.
Once the woman passed, I put my lights on and went after the car. I stopped the driver, who was 18 years old and asked, “What two reasons do you think I stopped you for?”
“I ran the red light?”
At least he was honest.
“Did you see the woman in the crosswalk?” I asked.
“Can I see your license?”
“I left my wallet at home,” he said.
I took out my notepad and asked him for his name and other information. While I was writing down his address he asked, “Can I have a chance? I’ll never do it again.”
It was one of the most insincere things I’d ever heard. That might work on mom, but not me.
“You ran a red light with a woman in the crosswalk and you don’t have your license with you. What do you think is going to happen?”
I continued getting his information when he gave one last ditch effort as he said, “Can I have a chance?”
“Don’t ask again,” I answered as I shook my head. “Why do you keep asking like that?”
“My parents will get mad if I get a ticket,” he replied.
“How old are you?”
“So, you’re a big boy, who is able to make big boy decisions, right?” He nodded. “And you’re also a big boy who can make decisions too, right?” He nodded again.
I explained to him about being a traffic cop and what I’ve seen because of carelessness. He listened and seemed to understand. I next asked, “Now what would you do if I was sitting in the car and you were standing out here?”
He lowered his head and said, “I’d do what you’re doing.”
It turned out he had four violations. After a big brother talk I gave him a break on half of half of them. He signed the ticket and gave me a sincere thank you and a firm handshake.
In the end I said, “I bet you’ll never forget me when you make that right turn again.”
He smiled and said, “No, I won’t.”