The Lawful Traffic Violation



Location: Hillside Ave. Cresskill, N.J. Approx. 2:30 am. November night.

Cast: Town policeman,and Tom, a resident of a neighboring town.

Tom is driving toward his home when he sees in his rear view mirror the flashing lights of a police car. Tom pulls over to the side of the avenue. After several moments,the Policemen approaches the car shinning a flashlight into the face of Tom.

Policeman:  May I see your  drivers license?

Tom: Officer, did I do something wrong?

Policeman:  Your license please.

Tom: Certainly. ( he removes his wallet from his jacket pocket.  The officer moves  a step back from the door of the car,and places his right hand on his holster. Tom removes the license from the wallet and hands it to the officer.)

Policeman: ( The officer reaches out for the license, while still standing away from the car. Officer reads the information on the license). Do you know the speed limit on this street?

Tom: Yes.

Policeman: What is it, Mr. Tom Niller?

Tom: Miller, that’s Miller.

Policeman: It says Niller.

Tom: I know officer, but they made a typing error.

Policeman: Do you have another form of identification? (Miller reaches for his wallet). Forget it. Let me see your auto registration.

Tom: Well this isn’t my car. It’s my fathers car. I am just using it for several days.

Policeman. The registration please. ( Miller hands over the registration. Officer is looking at the registration.) What is the speed limit on this road, Mr. Miller?

Tom: I believe it is 25 miles per hour.

Policeman:  Do you know what speed you were driving?

Tom: About 25 miles per hour. Sometimes  I was driving slower, but mostly I was going 25 miles per hour.

Policeman:  How come?

Tom: What?

Policeman:  How come you were driving exactly 25 miles per hour?

Tom: Well it wasn’t exactly 25, but that is the speed limit, isn’t it?

Policeman:  Yes it is, but that’s not the point. Why were you driving at 25 mph.?

Tom: That’s the limit officer. I don’t understand what you want.

Policeman: Have you ever been on this road before?

Tom: Yes.

Policeman:  How fast have you driven before?

Tom: Probably the same as tonight.

Policeman:  Never 30, or 40 or maybe 55 mph?

Tom: No, I don’t speed.

Policeman:  And why did you signal a left turn?

Tom: Because I was going to turn left, sir.

Policeman:  Was there any car near you, or behind you?

Tom: I didn’t notice.

Policeman: Well, there wasn’t . I was watching you, and there wasn’t another auto in sight.

Tom: Officer, I don’t understand all the questions. What did I do wrong?

Policeman:  Maybe nothing, and maybe more than you think.

Tom: What are you talking about? Are you going to ticket  me, because if not, I want to go home.

Policeman: Relax, Mr. Miller. Do you mind stepping out of the car?

Tom: Why?. Tell me why do I have to leave my car?

Policeman: Mr. Miller, please do as I say. It’s just routine.

Tom: It’s not  routine in my town.

Policeman: There is no need to get wise.

Tom: I’m sorry, but this is really ridiculous.

Policeman: Please step out of the car.

(Tom opens the door and steps onto the roadway. The Policeman shines the flashlight on the front seat, and on the floor of the drivers side of the auto.)

Tom: May I go now officer?

Policeman: Please empty your pockets, Mr. Miller.

Tom: Why?

Policeman: Just empty your pockets, Mr. Miller.

Tom: No way am I emptying my pockets. Forget it!

Policeman: Are you refusing my request for you to empty your pockets?

Tom: You better believe it, and furthermore….

Policeman: Alright then, will you please open the trunk?

Tom: What the hell are you doing?

Policeman: I simply want you to empty your pockets, or at least open your trunk.

Tom: Well I refuse to do either, and are you giving a ticket or I’m going home.(Tom starts to re-enter his car).

Policeman: (somewhat pleading) No wait. Don’t go back into your car. I just want to be sure that you are not carrying drugs, that’s all.

Tom (Nervous): Well why didn’t you ask me. No I’m not carrying any drugs.

Policeman: How do I know that?

Tom: Because I told you. You just have to take my word for it.

Policeman: But you were driving very suspiciously, do you realize that?

Tom: I was driving at the speed limit, and I signaled at turns. What is suspicious about that.

Policeman:  It is never done on this road. No one drives under 35mph. Unless they see a police car. And as for signaling, your last turn doesn’t even require a signal, but you did anyway . How come?

Tom: I’m a very defensive driver, especially when I feel defensive. (Tom realizes that he may have made a fatal admission).

Policeman: You’re right, Mr. Miller. If I was carrying drugs I would drive very defensively, and obey all traffic rules.

Tom: But I’m not carrying any drugs.

Policeman: I know that, I was just thinking that your careful, slow driving was something I would do if I was carrying drugs – just thinking.

Tom: Officer you sound like a decent guy. All I want to do is go home.

Policeman: You will go home. I didn’t say you were under arrest did I?

Tom: Officer I am really sorry if I did something wrong. If I did please write the ticket and let me go.

Policeman: One last time. Mr. Miller are you in possession of any illegal substance or any paraphernalia?

Tom: Sir, I have no drugs or anything else.

Policeman: Is that the truth?

Tom: Yes, honestly.

Policeman: You can go, Mr. Miller. But I must tell you that you were mighty close to crossing the line.

Tom: What line?

Policeman: I don’t think I have to say more. Goodnight Mr.Miller.

(Tom gets into his car and drives slowly away. In his rear view mirror he sees the officer making a U-turn with red lights blazing, chasing a car on the avenue.)



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