Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don’t Mess with a WaSP

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) aka “WaSP” does a great job helping people and stopping bad guys. We should always give them proper respect and support.

They also pull people over for speeding.

I fear them sometimes. That said, I am also cautious and rarely excessively speed.

Most people are the same way. Of course, you always have people who will drive very fast and get caught. I was caught once speeding too much. I was guilty of speeding. I knew it. The officer was professional about it. I paid the ticket without protest—or, with only minor grumbling to myself and with no challenge to the ticket.

We all know we can get caught in a speed trap. If we get caught, we pay the ticket and we’re done with it.

We should also know that if you see a WaSP driving along the road you DON’T PASS IT!

I was driving home a couple days ago when I saw a patrol car along the side of the freeway. He had clearly just finished giving a ticket to someone. I was driving along at the flow of traffic: about three miles an hour over the limit. The flow slowed as we passed the officer. The WaSP pulled out a few cars behind me. I figured I hadn’t done anything, but made sure I kept a one mile an hour below the limit, so did the other cars around me… except one.

This guy was coming up quickly in the fast land. He must have noticed the WaSP pulling out since he pulled in front of me and slowed down, but not too much. The officer passed the three people behind me and also me and turned into the lane behind the speeder, who was still going a good three or four miles an hour over the limit. (He did slow down a bit after that.)

I felt sorry for the guy at first, but we went about two miles like that with no problems. I figured the guy was lucky and we would continue for however many miles it took for the WaSP to pull off.

…And then the driver did something that surely lowered his IQ at least a dozen points and lost him my sympathy.

He must have decided the officer was not after him. He changed back into the fast lane, sped up, and passed the car in front of him. If the officer wasn’t going to pull him over before, that bone-headed move cinched it.

So kids, the lesson for today: Never speed up when a police officer is behind you.

I bet he got in even more trouble for pulling over to the left instead of to the right shoulder.

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