Ever been on the freeway moving along with the flow of traffic when suddenly you spot some idiot in your rear view mirror, coming up hard and fast behind you. Suddenly he’s riding your rear bumper and flashing his lights, signaling you to get the hell out of the way! But before you can move to the right, he’s already pulling into the right lane, slamming down on the gas pedal and passing you like you’re standing still. Happens all the time right? Sure it does.
Well , I gotta tell you about an incident that occurred on our drive home from Las Vegas on Sunday. We were about twenty miles out of Barstow. I’d been playing the speed game since Vegas, watching the mirrors and following what I call a pace car that was going slightly faster than me. In this case, it was a white Honda Accord. I had the cruise control set at 81 so the Honda was probably going around 85 or so. All was going well until I spied a vehicle in the fast lane, in the distance that was obviously going much slower. The Honda immediately pulled into the right lane and continued there until he had passed the car. I choose to stay in the fast lane until I was closer to what turned out to be a silver Camry, hoping he might move over to the right and let me pass.
When it became apparent that he wasn’t going to move, I checked my mirrors to make sure the right lane was clear. Behind me was a black Cadillac Escalade and what looked like a minivan behind it. the right lane was clear for at least a quarter mile. I signaled, pulled to the right and accelerated to pass the Camry quickly. Once I’d passed, I signaled again and pulled back in to the fast lane where I let off the gas and let the cruise control take over again. It was then that I glanced in the passenger side mirror and saw a California Highway Patrol cruiser in the right lane a little ways back. I can only assume that he had been behind the minivan and hidden from view. He sped up, passed the Escalade then pulled in front of it. I didn’t panic or hit my brake, but simply let the cruise control hold my speed. He slowly closed the distance between us, then flashed his headlights and turned on the light bar. Busted…
Getting pulled over is a hell of an experience. I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and awaited my fate, watching the gawkers cruise past, knowing how thankful they were that it was me instead of them.
The officer approached the passenger side window and asked if I knew why he had pulled me over. I told him it was probably because I had sped up to pass the Camry. He said I had sped up to around 90 and illegally passed on the right. He then went on to say that after I finished passing, he clocked me at a steady 81 MPH. As I looked out at the highway and watched the cars flying by I couldn’t help but feel that he was being totally ridiculous. There were other drivers out there who deserved a ticket more than me. Nearly everyone was speeding and passing vehicles on the right. I’d even seen cars using the truck lane to pass. I mean, come on!
It was at that point that I began to get an attitude, something I have never done when pulled over. (never say never) In a not so pleasant voice I pointed out that traffic was moving at eighty plus and reminded him that we were in the middle of the desert for God’s sakes! I said something about him being out on the highway every day and that he knew full well that what I had done was not uncommon. He then reminded me that just because everyone was doing it didn’t make it right. I made some smart ass comment about the fairness of it all and shook my head. It was then that he uttered the words I had hoped I wouldn’t be hearing on this trip or any time soon,”License, registration and proof of insurance please…” to be continued