Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just because I felt like it...

Today being the last day of our work week, I found myself with nothing to do during the last hour. And since it was a nice day out, and since I was a bit bored, I decided on a whim to indulge myself and correct the behavior of some of the violators that just get my blood to boiling--the lane-cutters.

On my way home most days, I have to pass by a highway on-ramp that gets a ton of traffic come evening rush hour. Usually cars are lined up in the merge lane to get on it, and all too often, the impatient among us decide to get into the right non-merge lane and drive past all of the people who are waiting in line and then horn in at the last second just as the ramp splits off from the main road. As anyone who has waited patiently in line for several minutes only to have some jack-ass zip past and cut in can attest, there are few ways to be more selfish and disrespectful towards everyone else, and it's aggravating enough to make the Pope want to slap a nun, especially after a long day at work.

So today, with nothing but time and a repressed desire to see justice served, I pulled up to that split and parked my car in the safety zone between the actual road and the ramp. Then I got out, put my safety vest on, and began targeting those cars that were passing all of the waiting motorists and trying to cut in. It didn't take but a few seconds to spot the first one whipping across the beginning of the safety zone. I pointed to the driver, and when he made eye contact with me, I waved him right back out of line, told him that I could either cite him for crossing a safety zone ($150) or else he could get back on the surface road that he'd cut in from. He got back on the road and drove off, and I was loudly thanked by the drivers of two of the next three cars that came by--cars that he'd just cut right in front of because he was (in his mind) more important than them.

This felt good.

I pegged about thirty of these people in a bit over ten minutes, offering each the choice of a ticket or a detour back on the road that they'd come from. many of them whined that they only know one way home (the highway via this ramp) and a few got downright panicky at the thought of having to navigate on unfamiliar city streets to try to find a new alternative route. Most of them had GPS units too, which was the sad part. "You got a GPS and you still can't find your way? Sucks to be you today. Move along."

One young woman in a new Lexus SUV tried to tell me that she had a baby in her back seat. I replied that that was nice, but she still couldn't cut in front of other people or cross my safety zone in violation of the law. She began to get upset and then turned on the tears, growing louder and acting more hysterically each time that I told her to drive straight ahead back onto the road. Maybe that crap works with her baby daddy or her mom, but it doesn't work with me. Finally her baby started to cry too, probably because she was crying and carrying on. Then she yelled: "You made my baby cry! I hope you're happy!"

Another guy was peeved at being told that he couldn't just cut in front of everyone as he'd just done. (He refused to come back out of the merging traffic lane and I had to go stand in front of his SUV to force him to stop.) He told me that everyone cuts lines and that he does it like this every day. I let him know that if I catch him doing it again he'll be going to jail. (Even though we rarely arrest for traffic charges, all of our traffic offenses here are technically arrestable.) "Yeah, we'll see about that!" he yelled as he drove away (on the surface road).

Yes sir, we more than likely will. Even more than the many people who thanked me as they drove by today, you've just motivated me to come back out here next week and do this again.

Besides, it's fun and it generates no paperwork.

24 comments:

Anthony said...

This post started out awesome and then ascended to the dizzying heights of brilliance with the crying baby.

djmooretx said...

My thumbs are throttled to 110% of their rated upness.

I remember once having a guy in a sports car breeze past me like this when traffic was almost at a standstill due to an accident.

A few minutes later I rounded the turn and came in sight of the next exit.

There was one of your colleagues standing by the exit next to his cruiser, notebook in hand.

And there was Mr. I'm So Cool, creeping along even slower than the rest of us, shaking his fist and honking at the passing traffic, which was squeezed up bumper to bumper to keep him from getting back in the lane, herding him to his doom.

Mark Bennett said...

I'll bet you improved the day for hundreds of people. An excellent use of the badge.

Katherine said...

Can we clone you to do the same in my town? This is brilliant and karma at its best. Thanks for sharing a really "feel good" blog! I love reading stuff like this. :)

Jackie said...

ahah awesome! I love this! Once in a while i've done this because I was lost and nearly missed my exit/turn but it pisses me off when people do this on purpose! So thanks for looking out for the little guys!

xx
Jaxs

Gael4ce said...

Hey there Officer Attitude. ;)

Just stumbled across your blog, and have spent my evening reading through all your previous posts.

Thank you for the laughs!

Have some stories "from the other side" I'd love to share, but they'd probably run too long.

Suffice to say I've found that cops pretty much treat people how they're treated. I've never gotten 'tude w/ a cop, I've never gotten 'tude from a cop. I've never threatened a cop, I've never felt threatened by a cop.

I'm 40 years old, and simply can't seem to find all these vicious power tripping cops all the gangbangers and drug dealers whine to the news about.

Ain't it funny how that shit works out?

Keep up the good work, and please stay safe out there!

suz said...

Yeah Baby! You rock!!

thebookliberationproject said...

as a frequent commuter into the chaos that is 285 in ATL, this post makes me happy in my pants.

Yellow said...

WOW! I love it. I think you should make this a weekly thing to do.

Jake said...

Now that's public service! If you want to get people on your side, do that all of the time.

Way too patient with the baby lady and the SUV guy though. A credit to your character but they deserved tickets

BTW the word verification "insceste" WTF?

trixie said...

I love you for this!!!

I live in Oakland, and there is often a long line of cars on Oakland Avenue waiting to get onto 580. It's a 3 lane road there and every day, many patient people wait in line while a bunch of cars pull up at the last second and nose themselves in from the 2nd lane right before the turn onto the onramp. They are cutting in front of 20-30 cars!

They are just too good to wait in line like everyone else. They wouldn't do it inside a bank, what makes them feel like they can do it in a car? Selfish asshats.

So thanks!! And if you know anyone on the Oakland PD with some time on their hands, they know where to pass on some tickets. But yeah, with the recent cutbacks, I'm not holding my breath.

Jay said...

Great post. Had a good laugh. I bet there were a lot of people singing your praises that night.
Thumbs up on a job well done.

kinginyellow said...

Excellent work! Too bad you cannot come to Northern Virginia and do this here.....

Question, If I pull into the merge lane to keep people from racing ahead and cutting people off would I be in violation of something in your jurisdiction?

Andrew MacKie-Mason said...

If there were no safety zone (that's the area marked off by solid white lines?) would there be a violation?

And kinginyellow, I'm pretty sure that sitting across two lanes of traffic would violate some sort of obstructing traffic law, in any jurisdiction. Unless Krupke disagrees about his jurisdiction? I know that in Michigan it violates MCL 257.642(1)(a): "A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety."

*Goddess* said...

Awww, "you" made a baby cry. What a baaaad example you are! Unlike mother, who threw a sh*tfit like a five year old....

bwebster said...

Where are you when I need you? :-) Great story, by the way, and I'm sure you were an instant hero and an answered prayer to the very long line of people waiting to get on the freeway. I know my reaction would by, "Oh my gosh, look -- it's the exact thing I've wished for every time I've been waiting to get on the freeway here and these bozos kept cutting in!" Seriously.

Moose said...

Echoing others' comments about how awesome this is and how you need multiple clones, or to convince more of your brother & sister officers to do the same when they can.

Dee said...

Will you come work in my town? These line cutters are one of my biggest pet-peeves. I hope you do this again next week and catch that same guy!

burnedoutmedic said...

i thank you too.

MAD said...

Hell yes.

Another Fatso said...

Nice.

Melissa said...

I think I just fell in love with you. Please move to my town and start doing that?

Aerinah said...

You're my hero. Thanks for doing this, and thanks for sharing!!

Mad Jack said...

That's great! I needed cheering up today, and after reading this I'm convinced that there is some justice in this world.

Please keep up the good work.