The long arm of the law

Although I’ve now lived in New York for 5 years, I have only had an official New York State license for just over a year.  Part of switching government identification means that I got to switch the plates on my car from Michigan to NY too.  What I learned then was that the State of NY has different regulations for what can be considered a safe driver.  Two requirements in order to drive are the bi-annual registration and the annual inspection.  Of course each of these cost money.

I didn’t realize until this past Wednesday how serious NYS took their inspections.  I’m not entirely sure what they inspect for, wipers, brakes, tires, are on the list though.  At least the people down at the DMV are clever enough to color code the inspection certificates so anyone not up to date will look out of place.  This is how I was targeted by Cornell Police and pulled over.  I’m pretty sure its a fix-it-ticket, but as I was sitting there waiting for the officer to fill out the proper paperwork it got me to thinking:

1.  People that drive by a car pulled over are compelled to stare at the driver and scene.  I’m not immune to this.  It makes you feel horrible when you are sitting there knowing you have been pulled over on a technicality, and it sparks your curiosity as you drive by trying to figure out why some poor schmuck is waiting on Johnny to finish whatever it is he’s doing.

2.  Has everyone experienced both sides of this coin?  This led me to create a new poll.

[poll id=”5″]

I would especially like it if anyone wanted to share their most interesting stories about being pulled over.  I know some of you have clean driving records, and others have been close to having your license suspended.  As for me?  10.

3 thoughts on “The long arm of the law”

  1. annual inspection? Crap, I should go look at the color of my sticker. The inspection is worthless; “yeah sir, your do-hicky-thingy-jiggy is showing signs of wear, I think you’re going to need to replace that pointless thing. That will be $50, otherwise your car isn’t NY-safe”
    And then NY and the inspection shop bends you over and takes you to the bank in an “orgy of safety”.

  2. couple of fun stories… besides the lecture we got up north from the officer who decided to tell me if i didn’t slow down i would hit a deer and kill you, phil and katie, but i would live and have to deal with the guilt… that was pleasant.

    my best one is driving up to the apple store in grand rapids with shannon. i’m in the right lane with the cruise at 72 when i see the fuzz behind me. weird, i’m doing 72. shannon agrees. the following exchange goes a little something like this:

    officer: do you know how fast you were going?

    me: 72

    officer: try 92…

    me: no, 72

    officer: i have you on radar doing 92
    me: you have somebody else on radar doing 92
    officer: you are not helping your case by arguing with me.

    **interlude: a dark 4 door grand prix about the same age as mine went flying by me on the left approx. 30 seconds before i got pulled over**

    me: (thinking… son of a bitch, he thinks i’m the other car) …i just got passed by a car similar in age and the same model as my own. i think you got him on radar sir. my car doesn’t even go 92, i have 225,000 miles on this car sir… how can you clock me at 92 if my car doesn’t go that fast?

    officer: are you telling me i don’t know how to do my job?

    me: sigh… no sir.

    officer: license and registration please.

    me: (hands over license and registration)

    **officer retreats to car approx. 10 mins. go by.**

    officer: your tags are expired. here’s a ticket for expired registration and speeding. try and slow down next time.

    me: thank you.


    f this. i was doing 72. there is no way i’m taking a ticket for 20 over (which is like $200 and 4 points on my license). as soon as possible i schedule a court date.

    **second disclaimer: this occured in wayland, mi. if you don’t know about the wayland police department, ask phil, i think his cavities are still recovering.**

    court date comes. wayland courthouse is in the janitor’s closet of the firehouse. awesome. after letting them know i was there i step outside because i was starting to get a contact buzz from the meth head there for a much more serious offense than my own. the officer from my traffic stop actually showed up and met me outside. he appears surprised that i showed up (knowing i live almost an hour away). he asks me if i renewed my registration. i informed him i did. he then proceeds to inform me that about 5 minutes after he pulled me over, his buddies in blue closer to grand rapids pulled over the ‘phantom grand prix’ i was talking about for doing 20 over and that he was going to drop the speeding charge. i was floored.

    all in all, it was a pain, but ultimately justice was served. stupid wayland police department… seriously… who pulls over a car that looks like one you thought was speeding? i think captain plastic badge should go back to the training academy…

  3. Dave – I found myself reading faster and faster (but word for word) through your story to try and find out how it ended, seriously. Good story, but a crappy deal for you (at least the ending was a happy one).

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