Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hands Free

I was on my way home tonight, and talking on my beloved blackberry, at the merge of the 91 and the 55. Suddenly I noticed a CHP car next to me, though he was not looking over at me. He passed me, then turned on his lights and made like he was doing a traffic break, then pulled over to the shoulder.

When a CHP is in traffic, it has the same effect as a shark in a small pool. Everyone else is immediately aware and tense, and drivers slow down. Sometimes there is an idiot zipping through traffic, making unsafe lane changes, unaware of the CHP; that's a sure way to get pulled over. On early morning weekends, I drive as fast as the rest of traffic, which is about 80 or 85mph. I keep an eye out for the CHP, but today I was not looking, I guess, and I was at the merge.

Anyway, the car then came behind me, and turned on his lights, so I pulled over. The officer came to my passenger window, made eye contact, then slowly looked around at the back of my car; the rear seats are flat and it's stuffed to the ceiling with baskets. "You look like a very busy lady" he said. "That's a gross understatment, Officer" I replied. He said he had seen me on my phone, and that "they are looking for that;" I said I had been on speaker. No matter, you can't be on speaker if it's in your hand; it has to be on the seat or on your lap; he advised me to get an earbud. Has to be truly hands free.

I have a softspot for the CHP since an episode a few weeks ago, when Erin and Kailea were on their way to Santa Barbara for me and they got a flat tire on the 105 in Inglewood. A CHP was not far behind them and saw them trying to merge to the shoulder; he called for the roving emergency team and Erin called AAA; the CHP waited behind them until help arrived. I really appreciated that and sent a note to the Inglewood area CHP.

btw in France there are a lot of automatic controles now, new since Sarko was the Minister of the Interior. You basically can't speed around France anymore. In Paris, people used to whip around the peripherique, but not now. Even on the way to Burgundy, there are automatic speed controls which will ticket you, but not if you are in a rental car :).

So, today I got a pass; I guess tomorrow I have to go get an earbud, so that's tops on my list!

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