Failing to Obey Traffic Laws

I was pulled over by the police for the very first time in my four almost five years of driving. Ironically I wasn’t driving my car. I was riding my bike! I was not aware of the laws of bike riding. I just hop on my bike and go. Apparently bikers must obey all traffic rules, including stopping at a stop sign, which I didn’t do. Here is the story.

When its nice outside, I like to ride my bike to class. One recent afternoon I took my normal bike route to campus for class. On the way back home from class I was listening to my Ipod and riding along. I had been told if I come to a stop sign, but there are no cars then I don’t have to stop. So, I drove up to a stop sign, look both ways and saw no cars so I continue riding my bike without stopping. That was a mistake.

I hear someone yell “Hey ma’am, stop.” So I look behind to see what is going on and it’s a police officer on his bike waving me down. I stop and get off my bike. He tells me, “give me a second, I’m out of breathe.” I didn’t think I was going that fast and I wanted to laugh but knew that was a bad idea.

He informed me that I had just broken the law by not stopping at the stop sign. I told him I didn’t know that I had to stop. So, I received an informative lecture about bicyclists needing to be safe, which I totally agree with. After my lecture, he took my license, student ID and ran a check on me. He then wrote me an official warning that I had to sign. The best part of all was when he said, “This is just a warning, so it won’t go on your permanent driving record.” I can’t imagine how stupid I looked trying to be serious and respectful.

I’ve always thought if I ever got pulled over I would start crying and be ashamed of myself. My dad is a police officer and I have always been terrified of what would happen if my dad found out I was stopped by the police for doing something illegal. My first time being pulled over was nothing at all like what I expected. After the police officer left, I couldn’t stop laughing. I went back to my apartment and bragged to everyone about my law-breaking status. The last time I went home, I even took the warning to my dad and he got a good chuckle out of the deal.

I am thankful that the police officer did share with me the laws of riding my bike and from now on, I will be stopping at the stop signs.

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