Slow week. Only one memorable melonhead.
This one I caught as I was driving southbound on a busy city street at the beginning of rush hour. At the intersection ahead of me, there were three southbound lanes--a right turn only lane, a lane for folks to go straight, and a left turn only lane. The right turn lane was--as usual--backed up for about a block because that's where most people coming out of this area go to get on the freeway. The straight lane that I was in wasn't moving at all though. I nosed into the left turn lane to look ahead, and there was this little green Honda sitting right up at the intersection in the straight lane with it's right turn signal on, trying to get someone to let him cut in. The light for straight ahead was green, but he wasn't going forward, and because of him, no one else behind him could go through the intersection. Where's a cop when you need one? Oh yeah...
So I pulled into the left turn lane, drove up next to him, and pulled up window to window next to him, and hit my air horn. He looked over and saw me. "You! Go straight! Now!" I pointed for him to go through the intersection.
"But I'm going this way!" he yelled back, pointing right.
"No you're not," I replied. "Go straight. Now!"
Of course at this moment, some chucklehead in the right turn lane stopped for a second and created a gap, and my Honda driver just zipped into it, made the right turn, and headed for the freeway.
Oh, hell no. He did not just do that.
I motioned for the other trafic to hold up for a second and I went after him, catching him about a block down. Normally I'm pretty mellow and restrained, but it was near the end of my tour, I was hot and tired, and that was just plain disrespectful. And then he had the gall to ask one of the dumbest questions possible as soon as I walked up to his window:
"What are you stopping me for now? I didn't do anything wrong."
I got his license and registration and informed him that he was being stopped for turning from the wrong lane.
"No. I turned from the right lane. That guy let me in."
I explained that I had just given him a direct order to go straight, and he'd defied me by cutting into the right lane after I'd told him not to. I further explained that there was a solid white line running back up that lane for fifty feet, and that he was not allowed to cross that solid line even if someone had let him in.
"There was no solid white line there," he stated.
"Sir, you are more than welcome to go back there on your own time and look for yourself, but it's there. I know it's there, and the judge knows it's there if it comes to that."
"No. both of those lanes allow right turns."
"Sir, again--there are painted arrows on the pavement, and a large sign showing the direction of travel for each lane on the side of the roadway prior to the intersection. The traffic lights are also directional arrows, and I'm sure that you noticed that the green one for your lane was pointing straight ahead.
"But I had to turn there," he said. I'm trying to go home."
I explained--again--that he'd missed his turn when he'd failed to get into the turn lane in a timely manner like all those people that he'd just cut off had done and that I'd told him to go straight.
"I don't know how to get home from that direction," he whined.
I couldn't take it anymore. I just walked back to my car and stroked him out tickets for turning from the wrong lane and disregarding traffic control direction. His decision to bypass all of the people in that right lane and then cut them all off--and his decision to sit and argue it with me, obviously with the earnest belief that he and his desire to get home trumps everyone and everything else--earned him a hundred and fifty dollars in fines and five points on his license unles he decides to challenge the tickets in court. And I really hope that he does, because I know the magistrate and the way that he feels about lane-jumpers. Bring it on, little Honda man.
And for a bonus, I found my fake-handicapped tag Mercedes again yesterday. Incedulously, it was parked in another handicapped zone about three blocks from where I tagged it the last time. Maybe the owner figured that it was in a different memter maid's zone or something? Dude, I'm citywide....no, I'm regional. I whacked him/her again with another $250.00 ticket. That's two. Wanna bet I can find it again next week? When I get three of those on the car, I'm calling the boot squad. And I WILL get my hands on that fake tag yet. The mere fact that the owner keeps using it despite the last ticket tells me that he/she still thinks that it's worth it to be able to park for free all day in spaces reserved for the actual disabled. I look forward to seeing this person in court one day soon, too. My magistrate is gonna love meeting them.
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