Friday, March 30, 2007

Do Cops Really Have Quotas?

Yes, you are reading this correctly. I am officially a violator of the law. Well, I've been a violator, but I was finally caught today. And here's the story:

As usual, I worked my half day Friday. Afterwards, I planned to meet up with my friend, Michelle, so we could go see our other friend, Kristina (who is visiting from California). It took about 45 minutes to drive to Michelle's in Carol Stream from work in Aurora, then we headed to St. Charles where Kristina was waiting for us at the mall. Needless to say, I was already on the road too long, so by this time I wasn't really paying attention to how fast I was driving down North Ave (Highway 64). Michelle and I were deep in conversation, too, so of course I didn't even think to look at the speed limit signs. Subconsciously I thought that if this is a highway, it must be 55 mph. But, honestly, I didn't even think twice about my speed until I looked just ahead and there were about 5 cop cars resting in a dirt lot on the side of the highway. Speed trap!!

One of the cars whipped out behind me, but didn't put his flashers on until he rode my tail for a few blocks. My heart skipped, then I looked at my speedometer and I thought "Why am I getting pulled over for only going 6 mph over?" I was traveling at 62 mph where I thought it was a 55 mph speed limit. I looked ahead again, and to my disgrace saw a speed limit sign that said 45 mph. Shoot!

I must say the policeman was very pleasant. I did everything I was told to do if/when I got pulled over - Keep your hands at 10&2. Say "Sir". Ask for permission to open glove compartment in order to get the insurance. The policeman asked if I knew why I was pulled over, and I couldn't lie. I just said "Yes, but I honestly thought it was 55 mph until I saw you behind me". He said some kind of jibberish like "I clocked you at 62 mph in a 45 mph with a new top-notch radar that accurately clocks the speed of only one single car". It sounded like a sales pitch. ("Do you want me to buy this fancy new radar of your's or something?" what I thought).

Since the cop was so nice and I have such a clean record and did everything I was supposed to do, Michelle and I both thought I'd certainly get off with a warning. Then, at the same time we looked at each other and said "What day of the month is it?" OH NO!! It's the 30th!! Which means it's the end of the month, which means this cop needs to meet his quota. Which means that's why all those cops were in that sandy lot in the first place!

Sure enough, he came back and said "I had to write you a ticket because 17 mph over it quite a lot." (Yeah right, just tell me you have only one more day to meet your quota.) But, it really did help that he was nice. This is the first time I've had a nice cop. Not that I've been pulled over many times.

My ticket is for $75. :( But, if I go without getting a ticket for 3 months, then the points will be eliminated from my record. He didn't even confiscate my driver's license...which is what they usually do here in IL and won't give it back until you pay your ticket.

So I'm leaving you all with this question... Is it true that policeman give out more tickets at the end of the month because they have a quota to meet? I've always heard this but mainly pushed it aside as a wives-tale. Now, I'm almost convinced that it is indeed true.


Anonymous said...

Oh boy, that really sucks. I have had friends back in AZ who were cops and they always just rolled their eyes at me when I asked that question. (I'm sure they hear it all the time.) One of them said that is totally false. Another one said that is sort of true, but not really, like it is somewhat hard to explain. He didn't go on to explain it to me, perhaps b/c he thought I was too dumb to understand. Anyways, I really think that it depends on the district/county that you get the ticket in. It does seem kinda shady though. Tis a shame- I would have guessed Ben were to get the ticket first!

Clayton said...

is it considered a wives tale or a husbands tale? seems as if a cop quota would be filed under a husbands tale. i liked your blog though, it only took you 5 paragraphs to try and make us feel sorry for you being a LAW BREAKER!!!! hahahahhaha

Kara Graves said...

now see why don't cops ever let us go without getting a ticket? we are nice, cute girls who look innocent enough right? Even when I got pulled over and I was crying I still got a ticket!! the 3 month thing is nice, my last one(out of two) was a year!

my second one is a long story but totally unfair, it involved me being late to my final because our car was broken into and the cops had taped it off getting fingerprints, I got our other car and was rushing to school because I was 45 minutes late for the test and got pulled over!

Lucy P said...

We got pulled over yesterday in North Dakota--but a speeding ticket up here only has a $20 fine!! We were shocked!

Siona said...

ya, i don't believe any of them. but unfortunately at the end of the day you have to pay it up. that really does suck!

Dan said...

Nikki...not to deflate you story...but I have have over 20 tickets in my life for speeding. When I get pulled over now it's so familiar that I've lost the skipped-heart beat. I've attended SA meetings to discuss why I break the law. Luckily there has been a lot of healing in the past few years. I can honestly say I haven't had a ticket in 2 years. I'm very proud...yet hurting inside

How Many Since 3/19/07?