There are two ways your children can help you avoid a speeding ticket – and just to make it clear — I am not talking about teenage children — I’m talking about toddler age. Teenage children tend to get their own tickets – or make life a living hell if they are with a parent who gets a traffic ticket of any kind. It is amazing that a teenage child can not remember what homework is due when, that you have asked him/her to take the garbage out 4 times or where the gas can be put into the car – but they have an amazing ability to remember exactly when and where and for what you received a traffic ticket – and they will remind you every time they do something wrong or slightly questionable. The only way a teenager can get you out of a speeding ticket if he or she is sitting next to you is if the arresting officer has teenagers of themselves and feels sorry for you because they know what is coming.
No — toddlers are definitely a better bet when you get pulled over for speeding or bad license plates. My daughter had first-hand experience with both ways children can help avoid that ticket – and they happened at the same time. Jenny was pulled over on the way home from work with both Liam (almost 2 years old) and Lizzie (almost 4 years old). She was going about 45 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone — which is notorious for being a speed-trap — but because she was arguing with Lizzie – and talking on the cell phone — she didn’t notice she had entered “The Zone”.
She noticed the police lights behind her and pulled over, explaining to the kids that they were to behave because Mommy was about to get a ticket. Of course, I’m sure a few swear words also entered into the conversation — but we will assume they were no worse than ‘piffel’ and ‘darn it’ for the sake of this G-rated story. Jenny had ended her phone conversation about the time she noticed the police car, so at least she did not have it in her hand and up to her ear when he appeared at the window.
As Jenny rolled down her window, Liam was enthralled with the police officer and started trying to get his attention. This is the first way that children are handy in this type of situation. They are just so darn cute and obviously enthralled with the vestiges of power (the uniform) — that the police officer just issues a warning and tells the speeder to be careful because ‘you don’t want to hurt that cute little guy of yours.’ Liam was in full ‘cuteness’ mode for his mother. He just kept saying ‘Hi’ over and over — trying to get the police officer’s attention. He said it louder and louder because he was trying to scream over the top of his sister’s tirade.
Lizzie exhibited the second way that a child can help with a speeding ticket — a child who is so terrified of the police officer that the officer feels sorry for putting the mother through the hysteria – as well as feeling bad to inflict such terror in a small child. As Liam was greeting the officer and obviously enamored with the whole situation — Lizzie was screaming at the top of her voice ‘Mommy, please don’t let him take me away! PUHLEASE!’ I should make it clear that Jenny has never threatened Lizzie with the police — but one of her favorite shows to watch with her daddy is “Cops” – so as far as she is concerned, police make you take your shirt off, erase your face and throw you on the ground before they stick you in the back of their car to take away. She definitely did NOT want to be part of that scenario!
After the police officer had checked Jenny’s registration and insurance – and was subjected once more to ‘Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi…’ and ‘Mommy, please, please, please don’t let him take me away’ – he decided that Jenny was being punished enough with having to drive the rest of the way home with at least one hysterical child and also listening to the constant babbling of the other — so he let her off with a stern warning — ‘Ma’am – take it a little slower – and stay off your cell phone — I was following you with my lights on for at least three blocks but you didn’t notice because of the cell phone – and also probably because of the noise of your children. Take it easy — you wouldn’t want to hurt these cute little guys of yours.’
Yes, sometimes having hysterical, crazy children does come in handy — but not very often!