Drive Carefully

I drove for 12 years, covering hundreds of thousands of kilometres throughout Western Australia, before I got a driver's licence. And even then I only got one by accident, as it were.

And I was such a careful driver because of it. I managed to avoid car accidents for all that time, because I knew what legal consequences would result if I was involved in an accident, regardless of whose fault it was. I was ultra-aware of other drivers, almost never exceeded speed limits, never took risks.

Then one day I was driving through a country town when some fool in an Alfa Romeo pulled out of a side road, right in front of my big old Ford. If he had kept going, I could have swerved behind him and continued my journey with nothing more than a shake of the head. But when he saw me barreling down the highway towards him, the Alfa driver braked, and I hit him in the right rear wheel, breaking his axle. 

When the police arrived, I told him I didn't have a licence.

"No worries," said the cop. "Have you got twenty bucks?"

I told him I had the money and he said: "Hop in then, and we'll get you one."

He helped me pull the wing of my Ford away from the tyre and off we went. Five minutes later, I had a piece of paper telling me I could drive. So I finally got my licence, on the same day I was involved in my first traffic accident.

amberdextrous amberdextrous
51-55, M
9 Responses Feb 11, 2010

The incident was worth it, even only for this great story. My father also drove for years without a license; in fact, he taught himself to drive. He was the schoolmaster out in Greta, Ned Kelly's town, a real one horse town if ever there was one. No-one out there bothered with such things, I guess.

what a lot of hullaballoo about a little fender bender.

Aaww, I didn't take your story the wrong way. I was referring to the ones on this site who often call all cops "pigs" and "inhuman slime". Your story was wonderful! I have always appreciated the police in my community .... even BEFORE I started dating one hehehe :) Every profession has their share of bad ought to hear the things said about doctors!! I've been guilty of saying a few of those things myself when I run up on an insensitive colleague lol!

Oh, giggles, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I consider police officers somehow 'bad' or inhuman. That was certainly not my intention. <br />
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My next door neighbour, until recently, was a detective. She was a lovely woman who ignored the evidence of (victimless) illicit activity which sometimes drifted on the breeze from my house into hers, just shut her window.<br />
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Two officers stopped me for speeding late one night as I was driving to the maternity hospital soon after my son's birth. They let me off with a caution because I was a new Dad and after a licence check they even wished me happy birthday! I hadn't realised that the clock had ticked past midnight.and it was officially my special day.

Oh goodness, they certainly don't shoot people here for driving infractions!!! LMAO I'm glad you weren't hurt in the accident and that you had one of the "good guys" show up at the scene. I asked the trooper about warnings versus tickets one day.....he told me he always tries to give the one he stopped the benefit of the doubt. The ratio for him is about 60/40. 40% of those he stops just get a warning and a calm lecture on good driving habits! There are still some good cops out there who try to understand before they fly off the deep end and start giving tickets and yelling at you. I have only been stopped once in my life and the cop was so nice.....I told him I was doing the very thing I had taught my boys NEVER to do. I was playing with my radio ;( He laughed and told me he would let it pass, he had done the same thing and we wouldn't want my boys to find out "mom" had broken the rules :) Years later that cop still waves at me when I see him.....they aren't all bad!

They really shoot people for this in the US, fish? I hope it's just hyperbole on your part!<br />
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I should point out that the events in my story occurred 20 years ago. And I don't know how pertinent it is, but sadly, the cop in question was soon after sacked from the Police Force for selling confidential information from police computers to an insurance company... so perhaps he just wasn't cut out for a career in law enforcement.<br />
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To some extent police training must involve some for of dehumanising process, as they are exposed, in their line of duty, to situations and images with which "normal" people should not have to cope. It must be a very difficult balancing act for police officers, struggling to deal with horrific images at work and then going home to their loved ones. It is no doubt one of the reasons cops sometimes find it difficult to maintain 'normal' relationships, and often marry other cops; at least then they have a partner who is more likely to understand them.

Thank You, Mox! And Thanks for appending your story, too. That cop sounds like another decent sort of guy. I guess the extra traffic on the roads nowdays makes it a lot harder for police to show the kinds of discretion they were able to demonstrate in those less stressful days.

Great story! It used to be that way in this country but not anymore. I remember years ago when my husband and his friend (the bail bondsman) were driving home and I guess swerving on the road a bit. A cop put them in his back seat, drove them to the house where they got me and I rode back with the cop to the car and was allowed to drive it home so nobody got a ticket nor did they cause an accident. It would never be allowed in this day and age in this crowded by cars state. Mox

Nobody was hurt, Polly, I promise! (And how like you to wonder about it).<br />
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I was just really lucky to encounter a decent cop, I guess. He could see the accident wasn't my fault. A few weeks later I did receive a fine in the mail for my unlicenced driving, though.