A couple of weeks ago, I needed to pick up my son at Bellerose High School. So we met in the student parking lot. I proceeded to turn left out of the parking lot to go down Giroux road. Just as I was turning left, Caleb informed me that you’re not allowed to turn left anymore out of the parking lot after school. I responded by saying “well where’s the sign? I didn’t see a sign?” He told me that there was one there. I hadn’t seen it so I agreed not to turn left out of that parking lot from now on but we have errands to do.
As we proceeded down Giroux Road, someone in a bright yellow reflective vest stepped out from behind a tree to the middle of my lane. “What is that person doing,” I thought to myself. But as we got closer I could see the unmistakable markings of an RCMP police officer. He looked at me and pointed that I turn into a side street for a little discussion.
I joined a lineup of a couple other cars that had been pulled over. The officer immediately approached us. “Driver’s license and registration please. Did you know that it’s illegal to turn left out of the student parking lot after school?”
“Well I didn’t officer until my son just told me. And I certainly didn’t see the sign.” So he leaned right into the car and asked my son if he’d heard about this change and the presentation they made about it. My son told him the truth. I was a bit steamed and felt reprimanded enough just sitting on the side of the street with a police officer leaning into my car. I thought for sure I would get off with a warning.
But he stepped back and said, “Well sir, I’ll be giving you a $155 ticket for an illegal left turn. Just give me a minute to write it up.” “What on earth” I thought to myself. “Give me a break.” But there he was writing me up. Then he came over with a wonderful yellow strip of paper detailing my offense, fine and payment options.
I left slowly so as not to antagonize the situation further. I was frustrated and a little embarrassed. I thought it was a little unreasonable on his part but in fact, I was guilty. When I got home, I shoved the ticket at the back of my “to do” file at home. Yet a couple weeks later, I paid the ticket. Why? This police officer had the authority to back up his claims that I had contravened the traffic act. He had the government and the law to support his claim. He had his eyewitness evidence to back up his authority. He had the sign on school property which I missed to give more strength to his claim. And he had a motorcycle and a gun should I choose to try and run or take him down over a traffic ticket. This officer had considerable authority to back up his claim that I was guilty. So I bowed to that authority and paid the ticket.