It really happened. Driving east from Rochester to Saugerties last weekend, a cop pulled us over on Route 162 in Montgomery County, N.Y. claiming we were doing 72 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. That sounded about right. We’d just gotten off the Thruway where that was normal speed, and we hadn’t adjusted. Oh well. We’re caught. We’ll just accept it, we thought.
But that wasn’t enough for this cop. After retreating to his car to look up my wife’s driving record (she was at the wheel), he came back all apologetic. You have a good record, he said. And you’ve been very cooperative. You probably just got off the Thruway, right? She nodded. Well I know there aren’t any speed limit signs on this road…
So he was giving us all our excuses, unprompted. Then he did it one better, turning our trangression into a learning moment. When you don’t see a sign, he explained, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.
Recognizing that we might be getting off, we nodded along even to this lame school marm lesson.
Then suddenly, the tide turned. As expected, he wouldn’t give us that speeding ticket. But he wasn’t going to just let us go. No, he had something else up his sleeve. He would give us a non-moving violation, so it wouldn’t show up on my wife’s license. Sounds like he’s giving us a deal, right?
Well, here’s the deal. The ticket he actually gave us was for the Black Lives Matter sticker on our back window, or rather, on the opaque black edging along our window, which evidently was close enough for him. Apparently it’s illegal to have a sticker on your car window, especially if you have a Black Lives Matter sticker in Montgomery County, which is almost certainly the only county where this law is enforced.
But it didn’t end there. No, we were given an opportunity to have this ticket wiped out if within 24 hours we took the decal off in the presence of a policeman or state-registered service person for verification. Well that was easier than what the Wizard of Oz asked Dorothy to do, so we set off on our quest.
The next day at the Saugerties police station, the cop we disturbed from his morning coffee told us our sticker isn’t illegal after all. You can fight this! he said.
Yeah, right! And this time Lucy will hold the football in place so Charlie Brown can kick it! Were they all in on the scheme?
No, we’re ending this right now, I told him. We ripped that sticker off, got his signature and drove off certain that had our decal said, “Blue Lives Matter,” it would still be there.
Photo at the top of the page shows the Black Lives Matter Sticker on our car for which we received a ticket in Montgomery County, N.Y.
P.S. This is really a story about an officer of the law who was kind enough to give us a break on a speeding ticket and who probably couldn’t even read the small psychedelic type on our BLM sticker. But then a tabloid reporter hacked my blog and made my fingers type this version of the story. Heaven help us all!
P.P.S. Looks like it’s time to wash our car.