I seem to get a lot of e-mail. Like everyone, I receive many messages that are made to be passed along. Some are jokes, and some are serious. During the slippery winter season, this one caught my eye. The message is clear; the legal implications you’ll find at the bottom of the column.
“Slow down, you move too fast, you gotta make the morning last…” – Simon and Garfunkel, 59th Street Bridge Song
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a
55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only
partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe
some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand. Bob? Bob from church? Jack sunk
farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A
cop catching a guy from his own place of worship. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday in
church, a man he’d never seen in uniform. “Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like
“Hello, Jack.” No smile.
“Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
“I’ve seen some long days at the office lately. I’m afraid I bent the
rules a bit just this once.” Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. “Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what
“I know what you mean,” said Bob. “I also know that you have a reputation in our
Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change
tactics. “What’d you clock me at?”
“Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?”
“Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was
barely nudging 65.” The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
“Please, Jack, in the car.”
Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dash board. He was in no rush to open the window.
The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?
A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded
paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip. “Thanks.” Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.
Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his
retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost?
Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a
ticket. Jack began to read:
“Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it – a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I’m going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now.
Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left.”
Jack turned around in time to see Bob’s car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.
Drive safely and carefully. Remember, cars are not the only thing
recalled by their maker.”
After reading this story it seems self-evident that we need to slow down. If you need some more reasons here are a few statistics for you to think about:
The law is getting tougher and tougher on speeders, and the fines and court costs are rising. Some of the most common tickets are issued to those people travelling between 96 and 99 kilometers per hour in a 50 kilometre zone!
Is it really worth speeding up to try and save a few minutes? It really is time to slow down.