Thursday, June 9, 2011

Give Me a Break

I drive a certain stretch of Interstate Highway on a regular basis. It's two lanes each way that wind through some of the most beautiful scenery you've ever seen. I try not to take this beauty for granted by speeding past it. Today was no different. On the way home from the pit (gym) I was behind a tractor-trailer rig for a good portion of the way. We were in the right lane, going along at the speed limit, maybe even a little below it which was okay with me. The turns on that stretch can be treacherous. We came around the last big curve where the road widened out to allow a decent right shoulder. Suddenly, the truck in front of me signaled and moved into the left lane. I immediately saw the reason - a NJ State Trooper was parked on the shoulder- lights flashing.

As is the law in many states, drivers are required to move over when they see flashing lights on the shoulder. I signaled to do so - checked my mirrors and over my shoulder and saw that it wouldn't be possible to move over until a few cars passed. I decelerated which ticked off the people behind me, who quickly moved to the left lane, blocking me from doing so. Time and distance to safely move over had run out - I had no choice but to pass the Trooper without changing lanes. I did so, and went on about my business.

The next exit was mine. I took it. A glance in my rear-view mirror showed the Trooper on my bumper. No lights, just riding my bumper. I made the necessary turns toward home, and still he remained close behind. (This is not a busy area, so it was not coincidence). He followed me for nearly a mile and I'm sure he was running my license plate while doing so. I continued on my way. I even came to a complete stop at the stop sign near my house that no one can figure out why it's there. He remained on my bumper until I turned onto my little street. By then I guess he knew my grocery-grabber was registered to someone on that street, and I was going home.

So...I have to wonder. Was I suspicious because I tried to obey the law? Should I have buzzed by him without making an attempt to move over? Honestly, I wouldn't have given it a second thought had the news media not recently reported about State Troopers cracking down on motorists who fail to move over. Seems, they've decided to enforce that particular law in these parts, even baiting motorists in order to do so.

I applaud their efforts to nab unsafe drivers, especially the ones who drive like maniacs along that particular stretch of road. There is no margin for error there. No shoulders to rely on if you take the curves too fast, only unforgiving concrete rail on one side, and a river on the other, but honestly? Me? In my six year old, almost too small to be an SUV, SUV? Really. Give me a break.

I hope he found his way back to the freeway. I'll likely see him tomorrow on my daily trek. Will he remember me?

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