I’ll Bet You Remember Your Very First Traffic Ticket
I'm a good driver. No really, I am. In fact, I've become that old fogie in front of you that drives less than the speed limit. You know, you've seen me, honked at me, yelled 'C'mon Grandpa, get a move on!' You might have even dropped in an expletive or two while you passed me (illegally I might add). Yep, that's me.
Oh, there's been a few, ah...speed bumps along the way. Nothing super serious, a few fender benders and a couple...well, three or four tickets for this and that. But as they say, a long journey begins with a first step. And a years-long driving experience begins with a first ticket.
I was 16, had just got my license. Actually back then you got something we called a 'Farm Permit' which magically turned into a full-fledged drivers license on your 16th birthday. So at 16, turn me loose, set me free!
That fall our high school class was building a Homecoming Float for the big parade and I took my Dad's car to town to help out. Well, afterward me and a few friends had to cruise main, right? Maybe swing through a few side streets in this megalopolis of a thousand people. And since my drivers license was fresh and shiny and new I had to show off. Just a little bit. Or maybe a little bit more than a little bit.
It was pretty cool squealing those tires around that street corner, laying a little rubber as they say. We all though it was great, just great. Well, Marion Pool didn't think it was great at all. Mr. Pool, you see, who the town cop back in the day, and Officer Pool had colored lights on his police car and they worked well. Real good.
Exhibition Driving. That's what the ticket said. Exhibition Driving. Apparently the definition of exhibition driving was taking your Dad's clunky old car and seeing if you could make the tires squeal. And apparently, the state of Minnesota, the County of Pipestone and the city of Edgerton didn't approve.
But that wasn't the hard part. (You know what's coming) Let's me just relay the following information: Dad and Mom were not impressed that I had an encounter with Office Pool.
And so it was that I had my official Minnesota State Drivers License for approximately 30 days and had it jerked (revoked was the official term I believe) for exactly 30 days. As best I can recall the judge said that previously that had fined minors for Exhibition Driving and the such but they had discovered that parents would often pay the fine, so now they had begun 'revoking' licenses.
In all honesty, I've had a few tickets through the decades, mostly for a heavy foot on the gas pedal (as mentioned above, that foot has lightened up a whole lot in recent years).
My last ticket? Well, let me just say the speed limit on Oxbow Avenue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is 25 MPH, not 35 MPH.
How about you? Remember that first traffic ticket?