I got pulled over tonight doing 45 in a 30. I politely pulled out my DL and my Insurance card and passed it to the officer. In my passenger seat I had the book "God is not Great" by Christopher Hitchens. I had just left my Recovering from Religion meeting and it was dark. I was driving on a dark country road and wasn't paying attention to my speed. The cop asked me how I liked the book. I told him I was enjoying it. He walked away with the DL. He never even got in his car. He went to the back of my car and got my license plate number. Then he proceeded to fill out the ticket. I was thinking to myself how much this would increase my insurance by. About 5 minutes later he came back and he said, "I am going to ask you if you were wearing your seatbelt and you will answer no." I asked him why. He said, "If you tell me you weren't wearing your seatbelt I will write you a $10 non-moving violation instead of a $200 speeding ticket." I said, "Yeah, I wasn't wearing my seatbelt."

So instead of $200 and points on my license I got a $10 violation which never gets reported to the insurance companies. On his way back to the squad car he said, "Enjoy the rest of the book, have a good night!"

I never, in my wildest dreams, ever thought Christopher Hitchens could get me out of a speeding ticket.

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I'm thinking of all kinds of smart-ass things to say about guardian angels and someone looking out for you, but I'll just refrain. Glad you got the right cop. :)
"I am going to ask you if you were wearing your seatbelt and you will answer no."

I said, "Yeah, I wasn't wearing my seatbelt."

I would have fined you an extra $5 for refusal to comply with a police command.
John D.,
Kids always help, especially if they are crying or you say "sometimes I wish he were not so bright, and able to get out of everything, but he is.".
Many people think cute helps, but really it is the wide eyed innocent look that generally gets one out of trouble. I can't cry on command (my son believes me when I say mommy forgot how to cry) and the 'who me' look is usually genuine, my mind tends to be elsewhere.
Michael,

Have you sent a thank you note to Mr. Hitchens?
Not sure where to send the thank you note. Should I send it to his home or his workplace lol?
That explains why I get out of tickets and my cuter sister doesn't. I always put on a look of confusion when talked to by authority. D; She does the waterworks.
Last time my wife got pulled over for going 95 in a 55, she had a cold and said she had H1N1, the officer backed up and said get well. That idea came thanks to my brother-in-law officer who said that his fellow officers have been super paranoid about getting it.
Similar thing happened to me, but only cause I was a poor college student with a terrified look on my face; I was pulled over for 42 in a 20 school zone at 4:55pm (school zone was 3-5PM), and got the same "You weren't wearing you're seatbelt were you" me: "yes I was officer, I had to take it off to get out my wallet, you watched me take it off" Officer: "well it's up to you....." Me: "....yes sir, I don't think I was wearing my seatbelt" officer: "thought so...if everything checks out, I'll be right back".

that is super cool for him to recognize the book and give you a break basically because of it.
That. Is. AWESOME! ^.^
Not that I want to squash this jubilant mood about getting out of fines (I didn't manage to get out of mine for having my fog lights on when it wasn't foggy, so I feel solidarity for the officiously oppressed) I just wish to distinguish that and want to sound a note of distaste that so many people are taking such delight in flouting speed limits: 45 in 30 , 42 in an 20 zone - outside a school? (and yes I saw the time stamp, so what?) 95 on a 55 stretch.

It's careless, reckless and dangerous, and if it creates an accident it's criminal. So whilst I'm happy you got out of your fines I don't think people should show such delight at ignoring the law and feeling it doesn't apply to them. It does. It must. If we are as atheists affirm that we are not bound by god's strictures don't we owe it to ourselves to show that we can at least abide by the laws that society develops for itself, I really don't see why road safety, gets a pass.

I suppose this is verging on personal anecdote territory, but we're not far removed from the annual anniversary of my mum's niece being killed by a motorcyclist. She was only 8. So accidents are sort of on my mind a bit, and the other week, someone shared this video on Facebook, and I've not stopped thinking about it.

So I suppose I just want to share my surprise and disappointment that people from Atheist Nexus treat speed limits with such callous disregard. In my view what causes accidents is impatience and thoughtlessness , which are the same pre-conditions for speeding.

Just please try to remember to drive safely and responsibly. It's not only your life you put at risk when you choose not to.

[ / end of rant ]
I totally agree with you Richard, speeding kills, and it isn't until a number of people die that anything is ever done to stop it. However I also see the fun in getting away with something and the relief you get when you do. I am not a great fan of police especially now when they are used to bully and threaten innocent people. Like in Toronto recently where young women were threatened with rape and Gang-banging for expressing their right to protest, but that is another thread...........
That was great!
St. Christopher! ;)

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