Red Lights and Friday Nights

I have a story to share about what happened to me on the way to CinqASept Guelph this evening. Now this is a story that I probably wouldn’t typically share, but the circumstance was a bit too crazy to let it pass without sharing.

I had talked with Corina about going to CinqASept Guelph, which is a local social meetup that takes place on Friday nights 5-7pm at Casey’s in Guelph. So we formulated a plan that involved taking 2 cars as Corina didn’t wish to partake in the post event karaoke that was planned.

So I meet her at her work and I start leading the wrong way, thinking Casey’s was in another part of town. We stopped, conferred on where it was and Corina took the lead driving. She took us through a crazy residential detour but we came out into a part of Guelph I knew well. Coming up to the Hanlon Parkway Corina proceeds to turn the wrong way, as I tried to honk at her to not turn.  So we ended up split up, but at this point we were both able to figure out how to get to Casey’s from there.

I make my way up to Stone Road and go up a few lights and am pretty close to my destination. I’m coming up to the light in front of Stone Road Mall when I had a momentary lapse in judgement and ended up running a red light. All I can really reconstruct was that I believe I was looking over towards Casey’s and since it was just off Stone Road on Edinburgh Rd, so I was wondering if Corina would find it as I told her it was on Stone. I turned my head, looked up and saw a yellow light and I was going too fast to stop in time so I went right through it.  As I sailed through the light I noticed there was a police cruiser sitting in the inside lane on the opposite direction. As I passed I immediately looked in the rear view to see the cruiser pull a U turn around the median and turn on his lights to come after me. I immediately signaled into the right lane and prepared for the inevitable.

The officer comes up and I immediately apologize for my error. He asks the usual, license and insurance, and asks me what happened. I told him straight out that I couldn’t recall just what happened at the very instant before, that I hadn’t been up in that area for awhile and I think I was just looking away from the road for a second when I looked back I saw the yellow light and couldn’t stop in time.

He goes back to his car to presumably write me a big fat ticket while I waited. He comes back to my car and tells me that it would be a $325 ticket and 3 demerit points, hands me back my license and insurance info, then asks me what team I had on my tuque, to which I replied Manchester City. He then said he wasn’t going to give me a ticket and goes back to his car.  At this point I wasn’t 100% sure whether I had heard him right given the road noise, about whether he was or wasn’t going to give me a ticket, so I decided to wait. I didn’t want to chance the fact he said he was writing the ticket and drive off. About a minute passes and he walks back to my car and tells me that he wasn’t giving me a ticket, at which point I thank him graciously.

Now I have no idea whether he was a Man City fan, a soccer fan, hater of Man United or what, but I was absolutely floored. I then went on my to Casey’s, which at this point couldn’t have been much more than 200 metres away from where I was pulled over.

Manchester City Tuque

Now I’ve been called a lucky SOB on more than a few occasions in my life, but this one even shocked me.  I showed up at Casey’s, at which point Corina was there waiting and had actually seen me pulled over, so I was definitely in the doghouse.

I feel like an idiot and it really makes me realize how easy distracted driving mistakes can happen.  I’m happy that I didn’t get in an accident or anything serious came out of the event first and foremost.  I don’t believe I’m a bad driver, sure I may speed a bit more often than I should. I’ve only ever gotten a couple tickets for speeding in 10 years of driving and never had any major infractions, so maybe the officer decided to be lenient having looked up my driving record.   All I can say is thank you to this nice Guelph Police officer, it was definitely appreciated, whatever the reason you decided to let me off with a warning for.