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New car, loud music and a ticket

I am sure everyone has their memory when they got their first car. It’s like you are on top of the world. That’s the feeling that atleast I had for some time (precisely one week, when I also got my first ticket too). I was 24 and my first car was Toyota Corolla 2010, silver colour with a temporary plate of Chicago. I have had the license for six months but really never had a chance to practice car in US. After driving in India for 6-7 years one can imagine its “peanuts” for anyone to drive in US , (and to some extent its true too )except for you have to get accustomed with changing lanes , as in India we really don’t have any lanes :).

The story actually begins here. Its exactly one week after I got my car, January’30th (anyone not familiar with the demographics of Chicago , it snows heavily in the month of January ) and the wind can actually penetrate your bones and there is not much you can do no matter how much layers of clothing you put . So its 8 o clock in the morning and I am driving back from Milwaukee to Chicago after the weeks work (a 2 hour drive). It must have snowed the previous night as there were trucks all over the highway blowing salt on the roads (to melt the ice). Of course I am very excited about the new car, driving and I put up the music on full volume. The toll is paid and then singing with the music starts. Being a Saturday morning time in winters there is not much traffic on the road.  It seems completely fine until I turn my head on the left and see that a guy is pointing his toward me and telling me to stop the car. Soon realizing it was a police car.

My first reactions were blank and could not understand whether it was towards me. Later realizing there was no car in the vicinity pulled my car to the left side (which was supposed to be the right side).The police car stops behind me and comes to my window. Here’s how the whole conversation go

Police: Did you know why I stopped you?

Me: No

Police: You were way above your speed limit.

Me:What’s way above?

Police: You were on 85miles/hr*

*(speed limit on the highway 65 miles/hr)

(He actually followed me about a mile with his siren on but thank to my loud music I could not hear a thing. Finally he had to come over my side and wave me to stop me)

Me: I am sorry, I got the car one week back, I am new on the roads here, I wont repeat it.

Police: Even my19 yr old son knows the rules he just got his license.

Police: Give me your license (hands over the license)

The policeman goes to his car and starts checking something. He does not return for a while. This is where it goes really interesting. Not knowing much about the rules I get off the car and starts walking towards the police car.

Me: Please let me go this time I won’t repeat it.

Police: Did I tell you to sit in the car don’t come here.

Police: Go back in your car.

The policeman comes back and gives me a ticket of $100 🙁

Later my American friends had a good laugh about the story specially the part where I get off and try to convince the policeman not to give me a ticket. In Indian version “theek theek laga lo bhaiyaa , kuch aisa karo aapka bhi faayda ho humara bhi

Lesson learnt : Never get off your car when you are pulled over In America .Its considered next to a crime and a threat to the policeman life.

0 01 September, 2011 Other Stories September 1, 2011

About the author

After doing engineering I pursued a masters degree in financial engineering from IIT, Chicago. I was working as a pricing analyst before returning to India.

View all articles by Farhina Sherwani


  1. S.R.Ayyangar

    Traffic rules are stringent in US and people are FORCED to abide by those rules failing which they have to pay hefty fine of their life time. My son in law had to pay a fine of $300 for not following the speed limit at a place! All the roads are monitored by NOT ONLY CCTV but also by radar, so there is no way offence is not detected. In our country, there is dire need to hike the fine amount steeply so that traffic violations are curtailed if not completely stopped.

  2. Ambi

    You didn’t hear the sirens… fine… you didn’t notice the lights in your RVM or SRVM?

    Consider yourself lucky that you didn’t get tackled to the ground or got pointed at by a gun.

  3. Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

    I’ve been pulled over by a cop in the US on the interstate. I think you were rather disrespectful, to say the least. You certainly shouldn’t be getting out of the car — thats even in the little booklet of rules. Its exactly stuff like this that gets asians branded as bad on the road.

    Don’t you know better than to drive at 85 in a 65 zone?

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