Tuesday, January 29, 2008

LAX And LA Cops

A few weeks ago I went to LAX to pick up a friend. I saw this scene up ahead of me and took my camera out of my purse, which meant I had to keep one eye on the road and the other one on my purse. Hey, who wouldn't want to be driving next to me?

I got the camera, turned it on, didn't crash into anybody and snapped this shot. The SPLIT second I did that, the cop you see standing by that car ran off to the right and jumped into his squad car, which is out of frame. I looked into my rear-view and thought he was going to do a 180 and come after me for taking a picture of LA cops stopping a citizen whose only crime was probably taking a picture of LA cops.

When I first got to LA I was driving a Ford Festiva because that's all I could afford. One day I made a right-hand turn and was immediately stopped by a cop. The first thing he said to me was "Have you even got a driver's license?"He wrote out a ticket while I asked what I had done wrong. He said I had pulled out in front of oncoming traffic and he was writing me a reckless driving ticket. Those are $350 here in California, twice what my car was worth.

The last thing he said to me was "And don't think you're not going to pay this ticket because I will show up in court and YOU WILL PAY THIS."

Later, I looked at the ticket and it did say "reckless driving" and he had marked that I was driving 10 miles per hour.


End of chat.


  1. He's compensating.

  2. You should move to Chicago. Cops won’t pull you over unless you crash your car INTO their squad car.
    But that’s only in Chicago, if you drive to the suburbs, you’ll get pulled over for taking a deep breath.

  3. I spent three hours in Rt 17 in New York state on Friday and saw FOURTEEN state troopers and a sheriff. Eleven of these had pulled someone over; the others were just waiting. I've already paid my punitive ticket for being on my cellphone in Cortlandville, which I talked down to $55 in a masterfully written letter of apology to the town court in which I managed to mention I was both a firefighter and an EMT. (Which is true, by the way.)

  4. Anonymous10:26 AM

    I wish you had fought the ticket. I can't see how any judge could get someone for reckless driving at 10 miles per hour. Here in Hawaii they never stop people for moving violations, which is perhaps why we have one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the nation (though they are usually in their 80s and just can't get across the street fast enough...)
    Martha Jane

  5. I was wondering about the 10mph too, until I thought about how many people I've sworn at (in a Christian way) who've pulled in front of me going too slow to match traffic speed...and how my mom goes way too slow when entering the highway...and I understand. You didn't mention how close the oncoming traffic was. ? : ) Did'jever notice how so many people miss cops when they're not cracking down on OTHER people? ; )

    And how many comics have capitalized on the obvious connection between the word "lax" and the acronym for the airport? Seems like the FAA would've seen that coming. As you all did.

    And on a nearly-completely unrelated topic...I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting the brilliant Isaac Witty at a showcase of (and for the most part TO) Christian comics here in Nashville. Brilliant! Oh, I said that. Google him and be glad.

  6. I got ticketed for jay walking in Columbus, Ohio. We have a neighbor whose a cop and they know how to party.

  7. merecat, you got that right. He was 5'3", a real Napoleonic complex guy.

    bee, Chicago is one of my favorite US towns. Great food, great shopping and no tickets!

    shield, I once talked myself out of a ticket close to my house by saying I was blonde and couldn't read the HUGE Do Not Enter sign. He thought that was funny and let me go to the party that was at the top of the street. When I got there, 3 male comics said to me, "I;ll bet you talked yourself out of that ticket down there, didn't you?" They were not happy.

    Mark, the traffic, off to my left, was waiting at a red light. You can turn right on red out here so I had no idea when their light was going to turn green. I was almost killed on a freeway out here because someone pulled in front of me from the shoulder going about 15mph. I was going 60. There is a God.

    anne, there are so many jaywalking tickets out here because in LA pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. Anywhere.

  8. During my short time living in Hollywood I managed to aquire over $1000 worth of parking tickets. But I remember driving 90 on the freeways and not ever getting a ticket!
    Love the shelf, black, nice.

  9. Oh my. Nazi is right!

    Also, I have to agree with anne: I've known a few cops who liked to party. (Although one of them really liked Celine Dion and Ann Coulter. I still can't figure that one out.)

  10. "...the traffic, off to my left, was waiting at a red light." In that case, he must've seen the blonde hair and decided to give his social life a boost. He's probably heard how babes love the bad boy, and being a jerk is as close as he could get. And of course he was firm about it because a court date is better than no date at all! : )

  11. Having flashbacks to getting popped in Santa Barbara for not paying enough attention in a round-about. Sux. Yes, I agree... it's a compensation issue.

    Big gun, little.....

  12. Anonymous9:16 AM

    so many jaywalking tickets in LA because NO ONE WALKS and the cops are surprised someone is walking!

    True story. I was on Hollywood Blvd back in the 80's. It was late on a Sat night, some friends and I were just walking doing nothing in particular. In front of us were some--uh--ladies, shall we say. We all came to an intersection---barely 2 cars wide, but it had a signal, which was red for no apparent reason and for a looong time. The "ladies" crossed against the red (no traffic moving, even on H Blvd). Across H Blvd, there was a cruiser with 2 cops in it. Over the loudspeaker in a teenage type whiny voice came "You'rrrrrrre gonnaaaaa geeeet a tiiiiiiiicket!" and the cruiser flipped a U-turn to pull over on the curb and give the "ladies" a jaywalking ticket.

    Sometimes, they have nothing better to do. Some cops are worth their weight, but the vast majority of them have power complexes that need to be cut down.