This past weekend, I was in South Lake Tahoe. While driving back from our hike in Emerald Bay and we were taking in the scenery. All of a sudden, I saw the flashing lights of a police SUV. I pulled over to the right so that he could pass me and go after the bad guy he was looking to capture! He pulled over right next to me. Uh oh.
That's right. I got pulled over by the cops. Me! Jason from the Wake Up Call. The guy that doesn't take chances. The guy that always seems to do the right thing. Ok, maybe I sound a bit pompous, but the truth is that I am a very careful driver. I was taught defensive driving when I was younger. I don't get mad when people cut me off. I am patient behind the wheel.
So, how did I end up on the side of Emerald Bay Road handing my drivers license and insurance card to one of South Lake Tahoe's finest? Speeding. Yeah, it surprised me as well!
The officer appeared at my window and asked me if I knew that I was going 50 in a 35 mph zone. I was honest and told him that I didn't know the speed limit. He explained to me that not only was the speed limit 35 mph, but I had passed five, 35 mph speed limit signs in the one mile he had been following me. Following who? Me?
I blame South Lake Tahoe. It took this cautious driver and distracted me with its beauty. For that, I curse you South Lake Tahoe! I curse you for being too damn beautiful.
Back on the side of the road, the officer had just told me that I had passed five, 35 mph speed limit signs. My response? "I'd be lying if I said I saw any of them".
The officer laughed. That's always a good sign when sitting on the side of the road with an officer of the law staring you down. He told me that he appreciated my honesty. I told him that if he gave me a warning that I would leave his town the next day and never return.
He shot me down quickly by saying that he'd be willing to give me a warning only if I promised to come back to South Lake Tahoe again to spend a lot of money. DEAL! Wait, did I just agree to spend money? I wonder how much money he expects me to spend. Was he going to ask me to send him receipts? Would it have been cheaper to just take the ticket and the insurance rate bump that comes with a ticket? What's that? He's smiling. Ahh, he's kidding.
"Ok, I'm going to give you a warning. You've been very honest and didn't try to dispute what I had to say. You seem like good people. Just slow down on the roads. This day is turning out to be a pretty nice day and I don't want you to hit a speed bump that wasn't supposed to be remain upright, ok? Have a good day".
That's right. I got away with just a warning. What have we learned here? South Lake Tahoe is pretty and distracting. The speed limit on Emerald Bay Road is 35 mph even when the road is four lanes wide with a 5th turning lane in the middle. And, we've also learned that a sense of humor along with a big heaping scoop of honesty just might get you out of a ticket the next time you get pulled over.
On a side note, I did spend money in South Lake Tahoe. I bought a giant bag of marijuana. It was in the trunk. Thank god he didn't check, but if he did, I would have just said "I'm supporting the local economy".
On a follow up to my side note. That was a joke. I didn't really by marijuana in South Lake Tahoe. I just wanted to leave you with something to make your eyes pop out of your head. I hope it worked!
Be safe on the roads!!