Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thank You Mr. Policeman

There's a common phrase "Where is a police officer when you need one?!" Today the answer was not the usual "never around when you need one."

The Shoprite plaza nearest to our home is busy over most weekends, but more so now that it is getting closer to the winter holidays. Parking spots were not plentiful and waiting was common. Pulling out to go home I turned the corner towards the exit and came to a standstill. Traffic was backed up all over the very large lot. Why? A woman in a van was blocking the main access to the exit. She was obviously and clearly on a handheld cellphone while driving (or not driving more than an inch a minute) and was clearly having an argument with someone. She was waving her free hand (sarcasm intended--one hand on the phone, one waving around, and which one on the steering wheel?) all around the car and was obviously yelling. Horns were honking furiously all over the lot. A few people got out of their cars to walk over to her car and tell her to move it now. Nothing was helping.

And then, blessedly, an off duty police officer got out of his car, went over to the woman's car and flashed his badge. As we watched he wrote out more than one ticket for her. And the sound of applause was heard all over the lot. And once he got her to move he directed traffic for a few moments so the lot could get unsnarled. Thank you New York's Finest!

Now if only I could believe that the woman who caused all this will have learned her lesson and never break the law in this way again. Yeah, right. Still, at least today I saw the law work the way it's supposed to work: If you break the law, you'll pay the price.


Shimon said...

Now that I would have liked to have seen. All the years the law about cell phones is there and I've never seen anyone get a ticketl.

daughtersintheparsha said...

thrilled to hear she got a ticket. not so thrilled to hear other people cheering. That's just a nastiness that pervades our society now. A murderer who is convicted, I can understand being happy he is caught and put away. But applause because someone got a ticket? There is something wrong with us if we take pleasure and enjoyment from seeing others being punished. Yes- she deserved it. But cheering, clapping?? Shame on your neighbors

Offwinger said...


Are you kidding me?

Driving while talking on a cellphone has been proven to be as dangerous as driving drunk!

Giving this woman a ticket is the equivalent of STOPPING a potential murder before it happens. Definitely worth applause.

Micha said...

Daughters, I think you maybe are misreading what the applause was for. Way I see it the people were applauding the policeman for doing a job that doesn't get done much. Not enough tickets are given out for talking on cellphones while driving. I kind of look at it that the people are encouraging this policeman to continue doing his job the right way. And he wasn't even on duty. The applause was a thank you for fixing a bad situation. I don't see them as taking pleasure from someone's punishment. The woman got what the law says she is supposed to get if she breaks the law.

You ever drive in Bklyn? This happens every day on every street at every hour. I only wish I'd see a cop giving someone a ticket for this breaking the law. I'd applaud him too if that might get him to enforce this law more often.

Rae said...

Not just the talking on the cellphone that is causing traffic havoc--it's the texting too. I heard on a radio report that about 25% of all accidents are caused by cellphoning or texting and the number is rising.

I'd applaud the policeman too for the reason that Micha gave. About time the cops did their jobs better when it comes to cellphone use violations while driving.

Deb said...

I was on hands free and it wasn't working, pushed the button on my phone to put it on speaker, and promptly got a ticket. And to answer to daughters, I told the cop he was right, I apologized, and told him it was a wake up call. People could applaud that and they would be right. If I was distracted when I pushed the loudspeaker button, I could have had an accident. that was stupid of me, and I'm glad I got a ticket so I NEVER will do it again.

Rivka said...

We live nearby a college and you have to see when the students get out of class and into their cars. Every one of them is on a phone and busy with talking or texting instead of paying attention to the heavy traffic all trying to leave at the same time.

A cop could get a fortune in fines and probably solve the city's financial problems if he would just wait right outside the gates and ticket everyone coming out. Hasn't been a week yet that there wasn't at least one or more accidents right at the college exit.