Sunday, April 8, 2012

Florence, South Carolina - Speed Trap

My absence was filled with a wonderful vacation to Asheville, North Carolina. My youngest son and his darling wife live in Marion, which isn't far away. It was a wonderful trip that my DD, my other DIL, and Granddaughter took with me. We called it the "Girl's Gone Mild" adventure.

The trip itself was great. And isn't there always a BUT! Let me tell you - it was quite a butt in more ways than one.

Let me introduce you to Florence, SC. And you can click on the red "Florence" below to check out the various speed traps. We were on our way to Myrtle Beach for a few days of beach fun when to make sure I didn't miss a turn that the GPS was giving me I had to wedge myself in between two semi-trucks going the speed limit on the Interstate of 70 MPH. Okay, no big deal to me - I learned to drive in Detroit and can take traffic. It was one of those splits the expressway can take where one lane goes to Savannah, GA and the other who knew where - I was told to take the middle. I did.

One truck veered left and the other right...and there it was - town with me in the middle lane and headed into it -Florence, SC. And, apparently a pretty nifty speed trap. I hit the breaks as I saw a sign ahead that said 45 mph. And under the sign sat, what else - a patrol car.

Yup, over to the side I went. Now come on. I lived in Georgia for nearly two years - there were some infamous speed traps near where I lived near Hinesville. The revenue raising machine was unbelievable. I have had a patrol officer in the family for 12 years, until he went to law school. I was polite and gave her my license and so on. It was obvious what we were doing - the suitcases in the car would easily bear that out. I apologized for not slowing sooner - there was no "end of freeway sign". Actually until I saw the 45mph sign she was sitting under there was no other speed limit sign. I was in between two semi's driving the same speed.

Whataya gonna do? -

Now here is the fun part. She comes back to the car - with attitude and says, "Ms. Driscoll, I don't know how you do it in Michigan but here in South Carolina we obey the traffic laws." Uh, I didn't even roll my eyes. I guess the lack of reaction to her declaration of war wasn't enough so she continued with, " Well, I could arrest you for reckless driving if I wanted to and take you to the jail." Still, no eye rolling or response of disrespect from me - although through my head was quickly rolling WTF through it in a mantra type way. Again, she hadn't had enough of this so she went on some more, "I'm writing you up for doing 71 mph in a 45 mph zone." To which (and working with delinquents who have murdered people puts me in a unique category to have my temper well under control) I responded with, "OK". Nope she hadn't had enough yet, "And, here is where you will be required to come to court on April (whatever the hell it was)...." - well, that was it. I couldn't help myself and said, "Sorry, I can't possibly be there but I'll call your court system up and pay whatever fine it is that you deem necessary." I took my ticket and rolled up my window. To engage her in any conversation would have been to show my GD a bad example - it was her father that had been a police officer himself. Someone set a bad example but it wasn't me.

And, that wasn't my only impression of Florence, South Carolina. After continuing into town the officer took the turn around street and returned to her perch under the traffic sign. Obviously to catch another unsuspecting Interstate driver. Whatever...... I drove into town - or through it. And listen to this - because this is all so true it's even funny. A semi-trucker drove through a red light - - - not a yellow about to turn red - - - but a red we were stopped at. This was followed by some woman who also drove through a red light in an Escalade. A different light, but much the same thing. And like a sundae with a cherry on top before we left dear Florence (to be bypassed indefinitely) as we sat in the right hand lane at another light some guys in a old beater station wagon decided they needed to turn right at that light and DID....from the left hand lane right in front of us. Was there an officer anywhere to be found? Oh Hell NO - she's under the speed limit sign waiting for her next victim.

You can't make this stuff up folks!

I'll call tomorrow and find out which of my children has to be sold to pay this ticket but she's right about one thing - We do things differently in Michigan.

1. We have "Freeway Ends" signs posted when appropriate.
2. Our speed limit signs aren't pasted on the back of what looks like huge gray yield signs but in the size of 10X14
3. We aren't still fighting the war of the North and South - Which by the way WE WON.
4. Last time I was in a car with an out of towner and they were stopped by our local police they were POLITE.
5. We provide our police force with dental insurance. Hers were rotten and some missing.
6. We tend to patrol the main drag of town because "law breakers" come in all shapes and sizes - including locals.
7. Her patrol car was manufactured here!

The ticket - it ain't no thing. I haven't had a ticket in twenty years. Was I speeding - for that area, perhaps. I was on my brakes and trying not to mash them down and hurt my Granddaughter or anyone else around me. Was I unduly insulted by that ignorant bitch...absolutely. I'll take my ticket - and I'll be calling the police station along with the court house tomorrow. I do expect, when I'm being well mannered (even in a speed trap), to be treated respectfully.

In the meantime - WATCH OUT FOR
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA and some toothless, humorless, female cop! Use the Interstate bypass and don't listen to your GPS. "Have a nice day."


Deb said...

9. Even if she doesn't know how you do things in Michigan - you do!
You do 'em the RIGHT way!!

Hope the rest of her teeth rot...

BTW - my partner calls the GPS "Bossy Bitch".

Janel said...

Maybe you should let the town's Chamber of Commerce know how a car full of tourists were treated. Here in Michigan, we know how to treat visitors so they'll stay awhile and spend some money. :)

Patty said...

Eek! Sorry to hear of your run-in with The Lawuh, Sharon. Sounds like a trap for sure. I hope it's not the kind of ticket where you CAN'T pay through the mail, and they force you to show up. I know someone who got one of those, and had to drive to a town 6 hours away to make a court appearance where he just agreed to the charges and paid. They refused him the option of paying any other way than by showing up.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Oh, I called the court today and ouch - it's going to cost $445.00. There goes my spending money for Bead and Button unless I sell a boat load of beads by June. The person I talked to was nice - I told her I'd have to sell my first born to pay my bill and even she was wincing, said I could have hers too if it would help! I guess the only humorless one had the gun.