Sweet Justice

By Bill Lee

How many times have you been in a traffic situation, say driving south on US 301 entering  Latta’s well marked school zone when this speeding vehicle passes you in a blur, absolutely oblivious of the overhead blinking lights and the impossible-to-miss signs warning of the school’s  speed limit zone?  For obvious reasons you yourself know the importance of this speed restriction and dutifully slow down to the posted speed as any normal driver would.  But your sense of outrage is directed toward the law-breaking motorist who seemingly even deliberately ignores the warnings for whatever reasons, perhaps late for an appointment, not paying attention or somehow unaware of the possible danger a speeding  vehicle could pose for a congested school area.
 Perhaps your first thought is to wish you had a badge, gun  and a siren, then the irresponsible driver would get a hefty traffic fine and secondly, you think just maybe there is a patrolman lurking around the school zone waiting for Mr. Speedy but as he fades into the distance, you realize this is not going to happen. But once in awhile, there is Sweet Justice for a witnessed violation. 
 I was a guest at as popular dining spot recently, a small shopping center that fronts a local yet major traffic artery and a rather spacious parking area, large enough to accommodate more cars that would ever have need to park there.  The area is well designed with signs and highly visible, distinctive markings showing where parking is limited even forbidden (fire zone).  This is for the benefit of the businesses and more especially for the safety, at times for the heavy pedestrian traffic.  The normal walking distance from a parked vehicle to the business would take less than 30 seconds.
 Waiting for my dining order, my view of the parking lot was suddenly blocked by this vehicle that parked directly in front of the door of the business, separated only by the adjacent sidewalk. 
My initial reaction was that the driver had parked there, although illegally, to enter the business briefly to place an order.  I was wrong.
 He left his late model sedan, took out his cell phone and commenced to talk while entering the business.  I thought to myself that he was taking a big chance in parking there, a chance that would cost him dearly should a policeman come by.  But I dismissed that possibility yet mentioned it to my friend.
 In a few minutes, we left to visit another business in the area, noticing the still illegally parked car.  The driver was waiting inside for his order to be prepared, still talking on the phone.  In order to enter or leave the business, patrons had inconveniently to walk around the automobile. We took care of our business and as we exited the store, we noticed that the red car, illegally parked, had company. 
Behind was parked a Crown Victoria with a bank of blinking blue lights and as we neared, this black uniformed policeman was heading toward the illegally parked car.  Leaving his squad car, he confronted the driver of the red car who, by his gestures and actions, was perhaps already preparing an excuse for his traffic infraction.

 I noticed as I passed by that the Unit 21 officer had already straightened his hat, removed his pen from his shirt pocket and was possibly opening his citation book. The fine would be $237.50.
 I hated that the motorist might be fined, but in a perverse way, it was Sweet Justice.  Mark one up for the majority who obey the law and for those few who are sorry they didn’t.
Bill Lee
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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