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J.R. Buchanan

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SR 31

This is the story of the last (as of this writing) ticket that I received. The last one that made it onto my driver's license that is. It was around August 1988.

I was riding down SR 31 on my black Yamaha Maxim. I was at an indicated 60 mph, which seemed safe in a 55 zone.

I passed a cop who pulled out and started following me. I didn't slow down, as I was afraid that would signal guilt, but I made really sure not to speed up any.

He followed me for miles. Not too close, not too far. It was easy to believe that he was just going the same direction I was.

But after about five miles, I was getting tired of it and turned off on a side street. He turned too. Uh-oh.

I rode about a mile and came to s stop sign. I made really sure to come to a full stop with both feet on the ground. I pulled through the intersection, and he turned on his lights and siren.

I pulled over, put down the sidestand, and turned to face him as he walked towards me yelling, " I thought I told you I never wanted to see you around here again!".

I took off my helmet, rather confused. When he saw my face, he did a double take. I wasn't who he thought I was.

He looked at my drivers license, saw where I lived and commented that this was a very weird route to get there. He then started into a stern lecture on how I'd made my problems much worse by trying to run from him.

I pointed out that I hadn't run, I had never exceeded the speed limit.

He said that I had been going 62 mph in the 55 zone on 31, and some small amount over the speed limit on the side road. I suppose my speedometer read a couple mph low.

But he didn't get back to the evading arrest argument again.

He wrote me up for 62 in a 55 zone, running a stop sign (the one I had just made a point of making a very full stop at), and having a broken taillight (It wasn't).

I protested the stop sign, and he pointed out that it was his word against mine. I protested the tailight, and he got out his nightstick, and rapped it hard on the tailight. He said, "looks broken to me". I took the hint and he didn't smash it.

I thought about fighting it in court, but decided that he was probably right about his word against mine, and I'd had a very unsatisfactory experience in court the last time I had tried to fight a ludicrous ticket. It had just led to two days off work that I couldn't afford for no benefit. Sigh.