I was pulled over tonight for the first time in my life. Granted there are times when I definitely deserved to be pulled over in the past since I do have a tendency to treat the speed limit as a recommendation rather than the law. Although after discovering that photo radar is not my friend, I do try to do better with that.
So here I was driving home from spending a very nice afternoon and evening with a friend when I notice flashing lights behind me. Given that I don't see well at night, it took me a bit to realize the cop was actually right behind me. I figured that since I wasn't doing anything wrong, he must be after the person in front of me. So, I signaled and pulled into a parking lot expecting him to just go past me. I was surprised to see him pull in behind me but not scared like I always thought I would be if my luck ever ran out. And then I had a moment of fear: "oh crap! Did I run a red light?" After all, if you are going to run a red light, it is probably best not to run the one right in front of the State Patrol office.
I checked to make sure my doors were locked and opened the window partway. He kindly asked for all the pertinent paperwork and I asked "may I ask what this is about?" He responded that he was going to mess with me and say "didn't you get the memo? No University of Idaho alumni are allowed on the road tonight. " I didn't have a response to that, which was probably a good thing. His real reason for pulling me over was because I don't have a license plate on the front of my car. I do have it; its on the floor in the back of the car. My little car kit to attach it to the car is missing pieces and there is only one authorized Mitsubishi dealership in the area and their hours are totally inconvenient. Looks like I am going to have to make them convenient.
In addition to driving with no license plate, I was also driving with an expired proof of insurance. I explained that I had recently switched and that was the temporary card but my insuance was valid. I think it helped that I had an envelope full of proofs of insurance.
After promising to attend Washington State if I ever go to grad school and after he verified that I really do have insurance, or whatever it is they do when they go back and sit in their car, I was complimented on promptly pulling off the road instead of just pulling to the side and blocking traffic and was let go with a warning for both the insurance and the license plate. Had I been ticketed, it would have been a $124 fine for each offense. I wisely did not ask "is that just your standard fine?" although it was on the tip of my tongue.
It occurred to me after I drove away that he may have actually been flirting with me. And even if he wasn't, I'm going to pretend he was. It's just more fun that way.