Celebrating an Impeccable Driving Record

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I happen to be secure in the driver’s seat.

Remaining dogged behind the wheel

In the 58 years I’ve been behind the wheel, I am proud of an absolute driving record. By that, I mean, in nearly all these six decades, I have never received a traffic violation.

Oh, I’ve been stopped a couple times. A month ago, I ran a yellow light on my way to a grandson’s track meet. A peek in my rear-view mirror sent my heart fluttering. Not now, please. I’m already 15 minutes late and likely to miss an event or two.

Well, it was a cruiser and he pulled me over. License and registration. You know the drill, especially if you’ve ever been stopped.

“It just turned yellow when I crossed,” came the challenge.

“I caught it more on the red side,” the officer replied. I wasn’t about to argue the law.

Ten minutes later, he returned to the car with a warning and never wrote me up. His reason seemed compassionate.

“I checked you out,” he said. “And I don’t want to be the first officer to give you a traffic ticket. Take it easy and congratulations. You have a spotless driving record and please keep it that way.”

He was correct. A ticket at this stage of my driving career would be a spoiler. I take great pride in my driving. Except for a few parking violations, I’m clean. I’ve had some accidents along the way and a few harrowing experiences truth be told.

I never would have parked in that handicapped zone one winter had snow not covered the sign. A $75 ticket was not to be debated. I paid the fine willfully.

Another time I came out of a wedding I had just photographed. Before leaving the hotel, I gulped down a fortifying cocktail, just to relax—an after-nuptial drink, if you will. No sooner did I pull out of the parking lot when the police lights were flashing.

On came the traffic officer. “License and registration, please.”

“But officer, I was only doing 35.”

“Absolutely right,” he said. “You’re downtown. Speed limit is 25 here. “

He returned about 10 minutes later and gave me back my paper work. The wedding drink I consumed was never detected. Good thing it wasn’t a double.

And he applauded my driving record. “I don’t want to be the first to give you a traffic violation. Please exercise some caution when you drive here,” he warned.

I’m not the only one in a faultless driving class. There are others in my fraternity. Not only did Al Movsesian own up to a flawless driving record, but for 20 years he transported patients to Boston for medical concerns and headed up the local NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transport) Chapter.

Twice a week, sometimes three, he’d volunteer his time catering to his fellow seniors as a chauffeur. One violation en route would not only smear his record but perhaps get him replaced. He never allowed that to occur.

And another friend in her 70s revealed she had never been cited, after I admitted the news during a trip to Cape Cod.

“You’re not alone,” she chirped. “Except for a parking ticket or two, I was never cited for a traffic violation.”

So, how do you get a spotless driving record? More patience than luck, it seems. I’m usually the guy in the right lane of a freeway, exercising control and the speed limit. Sometimes, I dally in back of a truck or a laggard driver.

I’m in no rush to get anywhere and give myself ample time. Sure, it drives my passengers crazy but at least we arrive in one piece—and ticketless.

I do not text or use a cell phone. My focus is on the road ahead and I tend to be very cautious and deliberate, especially at night. The exasperated ones are usually those who get pulled over or wind up first in a work detail backup. Hurry up and wait, folks!

If you drive too fast, you’re apt to wreck the front of your car. Too slow, and you’ll wreck the back of it. I tend to be somewhere in between. Always drive as if your family were in the other car.

My music is usually soft and I do not tailgate. Others I know have a heavy foot. I don’t drive as if I owned the road, only my vehicle. My dad would have been proud. He taught me the rudiments of the road, even though he went bald pulling out his hair.

When my own children wanted driving lessons, I learned an important thing. I did not want to stand in their way.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Celebrating an Impeccable Driving Record