I always considered myself a decent driver. Sure, I've always had a leeeeettle bit of a lead foot, but I always managed to wiggle out of tickets, and in general didn't get pulled over all that often.
Then last summer I got my very first speeding ticket.
But as I now drive a ton for my job I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later. Although I was $95 poorer, it wasn't a huge deal.
And then I got my second ticket.
This time I was speeding, but only a little bit. I had passed a cop on the highway, and watching him in my rear view mirror saw him pull out behind me.
Keep calm, I told myself. Maybe he just needs to go somewhere.
Maybe he did, but then I broke the law again, and he pulled me over. I was so nervous about being followed by a cop that I didn't notice a second cop on the side of the road giving someone else a ticket. I was trying to drive all slow and stay in the right lane, and as a result failed to move over into the left lane to give the other cop some room when I passed him.
DID YOU KNOW THAT BY LAW YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CHANGE LANES?
Well, I do now. I was nailed for "Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle." I may as well have pulled in front of an ambulance that had its sirens wailing.
But it gets worse.
I got a nice little notification in the mail: Notice of License Suspension. Oops.
Apparently if you get two tickets in a 12 month period, you will get one of these delightful little letters in the mail. And to avoid suspension, you have to take a four hour online class, and then pass the test at the end.
At least, they promised it would be four hours. They were wrong. Let's just say I spent a good eight hours over the past couple of weekends getting taught by an animated bobble head, fuzzy dice, and an evergreen-scented tree. Not even kidding. But at least I get to keep my driver's license and will shave 4 points off of it because I passed.
But you want to know the true silver lining? As I sat there in my car right after I got ticket #2, I reached over for the dreaded notice. After figuring out my fine, I deciphered the slightest hint of a watermark behind the text.
Yep, there was a man, an ax, and a buffalo. And mountains.
In Indiana your traffic tickets come complete with the ridiculous state seal.
It was enough to make me smile. And start driving slower.