Saturday, May 1, 2010

One of those weeks.

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, 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.


Steve'nLubbock said...

People who park in handicapped spots are the lowest scum! I hate them, and have business cards with 'why are you here?' messages that I stick on their windshields.

Police Girl said...

What an annoying guy! If he'd gone straight, he wouldn't have gotten a ticket!

BootedCop said...

In CA I would have written him up for impeding traffic, because that's what he was doing when he was blocking the straight lane. "Here, excuse me, I'm better than all of you lawful drivers, I don't have to wait in the right turn lane like everyone else, I'll just make my own rule and go by everyone and one of you idiots will let me in front of you..." good cite.

Mad Jack said...

...the earnest belief that he and his desire to get home trumps everyone and everything else...

From your writing I'm convinced that the 'little Honda' perpetrator actually believes he's done nothing wrong. Maybe he'll do it again and you'll catch him - I hope I hope I hope.

People like him really get under my skin. Thank you for busting him!

I found my fake-handicapped tag Mercedes again yesterday.

You got the Mercedes again! Yes! I am now officially happy!

Now I'm waiting for that magical third strike and the arrival of the dreaded boot crew. Go ahead, make my day!

Seriously, thanks for busting these people. These are exactly the kind of scenarios I see every single day when there's no cop in sight. Being able to read about these ambulatory carp getting busted makes me happy and convinces me that somewhere, one way or another, there is still some justice to be had.

IT Dude said...

Steve'nLubbock, that's insulting to scum.

There is a special place in hell for people who abuse handicapped parking. I really do hope you can get a 3rd strike on this car.

I'm not a police officer, but as a regular user of public roads, i have the utmost respect for what you are out there doing, and I love the blog. Keep it up!

HonkingAntelope said...

I don't know about Virginia, but the handicapped placard abuse is rampant in the big cities here in California. Unlike a lot of jurisdictions, CA has no legal requirements (e.g. can't walk more than 200ft w/o oxygen and such) for issuing a permanent placard aside from the doctor's note. Hell, even pregnant women are eligible for a temporary one around here. And if you know the right doctor, you can save hundreds on parking by getting a placard for chronic fatigue syndrome or some other bullshit "medical condition."

That's how you end up with people with perfectly valid placards who park near the gym and head straight in.

Ann T. said...

Dear Officer Krupke,

(pause here for A++++ dammgood marching band blowing Stars and Stripes Forever, with the best baton-twirlers on earth and the Kilgore Rangerettes bopping barelegged)

I see somebody in a walker who can't park, a disabled American Vet who can't get his wheelchair out in a cramped parking lot.

I see Officer Krupke giving them back what was taken away by spoiled brat with a cell phone.

You rock,
Ann T.

alanmoore78 said...

I only wish someone on the police force in the town next to me would step up and start issuing tickets to the rudest of homo sapiens at the Wal-Mart there.

Let's start with the meth-head in the wrecked blue Cadillac. He parks in the fire lane while his girlfriend goes in to buy whatever cooking supplies they ran out of. He's usually half in the fire lane and half in the walkway for the bank of handicapped stalls. At least twice a week I see this guy.

Then there's the woman whose stupidity knows no bounds. Beige early 80's Town Car. She leaves it running while she goes in to return Red Box movies. With two kids in the back in car seats, and one loose kid sitting in between, who knows how to take off the seatbelt and jump up front to fiddle with the radio. I'm waiting for this car to end up in the garden center with the kid sandwiched between the floorboard and the steering column.

And then you have the guy who pulls up ON THE SIDEWALK in his Cutlass Ciera of questionable mechanical integrity to wait for his elderly mother. I'm sure the ten foot reduction in walking distance is nice for her and a wheelchair must be out of your budget seeing as your car probably hasn't had an oil change since Back To The Future was in theaters, but can you NOT PARK IN FRONT OF THE SLIDING DOORS? No one else can get in or out of the store while she fights the door handles and the seat belt.

Officer Krupke, just mail me a ticket book. I'll have it stuffed full by the end of the week and I'll send it right back.

Jay said...

Part 1 of post. What an idiot. Getting booked and still couldn't understand. Like you I hope it goes to court but I also hope he argues with the Judge the same way he argued with your good self. Fingers crossed for a Contempt of Court charge.
Part 2 of post. You are my hero. Happy Merc hunting I can't wait for strike three.

Dexter said...

Hell, even pregnant women are eligible for a temporary one around here.

Pregnant women should be eligible for one!

Marjorie said...

Pity you can't write the merc a 'driving while stupid' ticket as well... An inability to learn from experience suggests very low intelligence.

I seem to recall a peice of research carried out a few years back which found that vehicles which are illegally parked in spaces reserved for disabled drivers are significantly more likely that those parked legally to have other issues such as no insurance, expired or missing tax, faulty tyres etc - I'm curious to know whether that's your experience, too?

I can't lay my hand on the research right now but seem to remember it was a huge difference - something like 30 times more likely than vehicles parked legally, and 10 times more likely that vehicles parked with other violations, such as vehicles parked in no-parking or restricted spaces.

Anonymous said...

I too, would put those notes on cars that park without handicap cards/plates, but then again, you never know if they simply forgot to put it up.