Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To My Apparent Superiors and Caretakers at the Washington State Patrol‏

And especially to the officer that pulled me over yesterday for talking on my cell phone while driving:

I have seen officers in your employ driving down the road at 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, while typing on the keypads of the laptop computers that are mounted in your cars, while keying the hand-held (NOT hands free!) radio in your car and writing down an address on a piece of paper at the same time, and yet you are going to try and tell me that I am a danger to myself and all those around me because I am having a conversation while driving (something I can do all the time, and legally, by the way, with people who are in the truck with me – I fail to see the difference).

I don’t care if you think that your training makes you capable of doing these things while my apparent lack of training does not. I’ve seen the basic training of patrol officers. In fact, I’ve participated in it through the “explorer” program back in the days when I thought being a gun-toting government enforcer might be a good career path. None of your training prepares you for distracted driving any more than my apparent lack of training does me. I’ve been talking on the phone while driving for almost 15 years, and you are welcome to look up my driving record to see how many accidents I’ve been in and how many infractions I’ve been issued. To save you the time, I will fill you in:

I’ve been in one traffic accident in 15 years, in which I was rear-ended by a driver who could not stop in time. I was aware that this was about to happen, had searched out all escape routes, found none, and managed to pull ahead as far as possible to dampen the collision before it came and yet still avoid hitting the car in front of me.

I’ve had one speeding ticket in 15 years, the circumstances of which I still feel make it fully excusable.

As long as you are willing to consider yourselves my better and not subject to the same laws that I am, I am not willing to follow whichever ukases you choose to not follow yourselves. I have no plans to endanger my family or those around me, and assure you that having a conversation while driving in no way does either.

Until one of your myrmidons catches me driving recklessly as a result of distraction from having a phone conversation while driving, and until you, too, choose to live up to the standards that you are empowered by the people to enforce, I hereby respectfully suggest that you get fucked.

That is all.

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