Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Virginia HOV Story

So, for a little intro to this story, I'm doing some temp work right now with the Northern Virginia Traffic Authority on how quickly their most active parking lots fill up. This entails getting to the parking lot/garage by 7 a.m. and doing car counts of the number of vehicles in the lot every half hour between 7 and 10 (or until the lot fills up).

So this morning, when I left the specific parking lot, I didn't see any sign that the way I was going out was for HOV-3 only. I realized, after I was on this HOV only side road, that I was in the wrong place so I saw a cop who had already pulled somebody over, and I pulled in behind him and waited for him to finish up with that so I could ask him how to get back to the main road. (NOTE: At the time, I realized it might have been irritating for a cop to have somebody pull up behind him--he may expect me to do something violent or something. In order to try to prevent this, I kept my hands on my steering wheel and visible until he'd come to my window, and even then I tried to move with slow, deliberate movements. Of course, me pulling up behind him may still have stressed him out, which may explain why he was such a jerkoff at first). Well, he comes over and is like "You're in violation of Viriginia state law blah blah blah." I tried to explain it was an accident and I was lost and trying to get back to the main road, and he was like "I don't care what you're trying to do, why are on you on this road, there is no reason to be on this road."

So I explain about the car counting, and he's interrupting me, "Why would you be doing that, you have no right to be doing that." So I start to pull out the letter explaining what I'm doing and that it's authorized and stuff, and he doesn't let me even get that out. He says something to the effect of, "Now why would I want to read that? I don't care about that, you are in violation of Virginia HOV law and you have no excuse to be in this lane, I don't believe you're here by accident."

So he takes my license and registration and I'm at this point fuming mad with him, because he's been rude and an asshole to boot. I mean, why would I PULL MYSELF over if I wasn't lost? By the time he finished writing up the ticket before me, I could have easily been to the highway, long past him. So I'm writing all his info (state car tag number, officer name, location, time, all the relevant info) and then he comes back with my license and registration and says, "Ok, ma'am, I believe you're really lost and that this was all an accident."

So I thanked him and got the directions I was looking for and no ticket, but shit. It was like he needed to verify I wasn't a felon or something before he decided I was legit? I mean, why on EARTH would I have pulled up behind a cop who was already giving somebody else a ticket if I hadn't been genuinely confused?! Plus i was worried, the fine for HOV violations in Virginia is a max of 1,000 which I don't have. It was crazy, and I couldn't believe how rude he was and how he was treating me like a prison bitch.

All's ok now, but what a nightmare. I love being guilty until deemed worthy of being innocent.

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