Heavy foot leads to near ticket scare

Heavy foot leads to near ticket scare

Brayton Laster, reporter

Being a professional race car driver, I thought I would have been pulled over multiple times by now for speeding; however, my luck ran out recently.

Coming back from Mooresville, I was driving up 37 going about 70 in a 55 zone. I was nearing Smith Valley when I saw a car parked between median strips. For a second, my heart sank. I knew I was speeding and immediately lowered my speed to match the speed limit. After driving another half a mile and not seeing any headlights pull out behind me, I knew I was in the good or so I thought.
I made it to Smith Valley and turned right, heading back towards Greenwood. But as I neared Morgantown Road, I noticed a bright white pair of headlights speeding towards me. The car got right on my rear bumper, and I realized it was a Dodge Charger.
The very next second is when my mirror exploded with vibrant red and blue lights; I was being pulled over.

I pulled into the Speedway and looked down at my smart watch. My heart rate was nearing 140 beats per minute as this was my first time being pulled over.

After what seemed like an eternity, I saw the sheriff open up his door, and I rolled down my window, turned on my dome lights and placed my hands on the steering wheel. He introduced himself and asked if I knew why he pulled me over. If I had to guess, I would have said speeding, but having watched enough crime shows, I knew I did not want to say anything. I did not know if he clocked me on 37 or Smith Valley; either way it would not be good.

The sheriff said, “I clocked you going 49 in a 35.” Although it was not good by any means, there was definitely a huge sigh of relief. The officer also pointed out that I had a headlight out, which I knew, and my license plate light was out, which I did not know. I could tell right away this would not be a cheap stop.

At this point, my heart was absolutely racing. Despite it being nearly freezing outside, I think I had a cold sweat. He asked me for my vehicle’s registration; I reached over to grab it out of my middle compartment when it hit me.

I had bought my car a month earlier and had yet to register it in my name. I knew at this exact moment that I was screwed. An 18-year-old kid speeding with a busted headlight, no license plate lights, and failure to register a vehicle at 11 p.m. I could see the headline in my mind. I slowly turned back to the sheriff and explained how I had recently purchased the vehicle, I did have insurance on it, and the plate was good as it went to my previous vehicle that had broken down which is why I bought a new vehicle. The sheriff stared at me, asked my license and went back to his car. At this point, I texted my parents to let them know and told them it would not be good.

After a couple minutes, the sheriff’s partner came up to my car. She stated she was copying down my VIN number and taking it back to see if the car is in their system. After waiting even longer, the original sheriff comes back, hands my license back, stares at me directly in my eyes and says, “I am just gonna let you off with a warning. You seem like a good kid, and to be honest seem a lot more mature and respectful than I would have thought for your age.”

I wish I had a dozen donuts to give to this sheriff because I think that was quite possibly the single greatest sentence someone has ever said to me. He went on to tell me to get the lighting issues fixed and get the car registered. I talked with him about some possible fixes and took a selfie with his car in the background to remember this moment. He let me on my way.
It goes to show what respect and maturity can accomplish in life. Being in a situation where I thought I was quite possibly screwed in every situation turned out to not be so bad after all.