Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Twice in the last week, I’ve ridden my bike through a red light right in front of a cop; both times, they followed me through the intersection, flashed their lights at me and told me that I should do a better job of obeying the rules of the road.

In each of the cases, I admitted my mistake and said that I usually don’t run lights (amazing but true!) and, after looking penitent enough, I guess, was allowed to ride away. I’m sure this has plenty to do with the fact that I’m an older white guy and that I so easily kowtowed to their authority, and I’m grateful I wasn’t ticketed, but at the same time, in both cases, I do think it’s pretty silly that I had to wait for the light at all.

Case one was about 11:00 at night on a Monday; I was turning left at an intersection; climbing a hill; no cars were coming from either the right or the left. Granted, as a vehicle on the road, I should probably abide by the traffic signals, but clearly, no harm could come to anyone from my running the light. The officer who pulled me over said that if I was going to ignore the red, I probably shouldn’t do so right in front of him; that’s a piece of advice I will take to heart.

Case two was even lamer: it was around 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday, at a deserted intersection just a couple blocks from my home. I’m pretty sure the reason the cop stopped me in this case was that there were two officers in the car; my guess is that the driver didn’t want to set a bad example for his partner of overlooking scofflaws, and again, I guess I understand that.

In the future, I’ll try to do better, I promise; no more running red lights—at least not in front of cop cars.


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