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Yeah, I knew that won’t hold water with a Nevada Highway Patrolman who lit me up on my way to work this morning, but it’s true.

Yes, I was pulled over this morning and issued a citation for piloting my Cavalier faster than the posted speed limit. Unfortunately for me, a broken speedometer doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to how fast I was going. It’s still the responsibility of the PIC (Pilot In Command) to ensure that the vehicle is operated within the limits of the laws and rules. I was the PIC and apparently failed in that responsibility.

Hit the jump for pics and more.

This is my first speeding ticket in fifteen years of driving and only my second ticket ever. My first ticket was for no left turn in Coronado. The sign in Coronado was obscured, but I paid it and took traffic school because I really did deserve much worse for all the bad karma I’d built up driving just outside the lines of the law at times. The same goes for this one.

And yes, I have known the speedometer in my Cavalier to have trouble on cold mornings every once in a while, but up until now it’s just stayed at zero for about 10 minutes before resuming normal operation. Today was different. Today it started to read much higher than the actually speed. What was worse was that it wasn’t a constant over speed reading and I had no idea how much faster it really was reading.

Here’s the money shots.

Actually going very slow in densely packed traffic
Above: Actually going very slow in densely packed traffic and about to merge

Almost as fast as the slow traffic
Above: Almost as fast as the slow traffic

Stopped with the engine off waiting for the ticket
Above: Stopped with the engine off while waiting for the ticket

Stopped in the parking lot at work
Above: Stopped in my parking space at work

Note the different indicated speeds while stopped :evil: .

I do have a remedy in mind – an inexpensive remedy at that, too :) ! One of the electronic gizmos I happen to own is a Garmin Vista Cx GPS receiver (link goes to the newer version) with moving map and a full trip computer 8) The only problem at this time is that I don’t have a way to mount it.

Well, even though I’m rather cash poor (OK, I’m broke), I’m going down to REI tonight to buy a mount for my car. There are two choices: suction cup mount for the windshield (like I have for my Sirius satellite radio :) ) or adhesive dash mount. The only trouble with the preferred windshield mount is that it’s not really legal in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia (where I happen to travel occasionally). The trouble with the adhesive version is that it occasionally hits 180+ degrees in my car in the summer out here in Vegas and I think it would likely fail.

I do have to say a few words about the stop itself and Nevada Highway Patrol Officer Lujan. I saw the car and the lights in my rear-view mirror, saw the lights come on, and knew it was for me, but not really why. I pulled over to the right side of the road, turned off the ignition, put the gear selector in reverse, set the parking brake, and waited with my hands on the steering wheel in full view. Officer Lujan asked if I knew why he had pulled me over and I answered truthfully that I did not. Officer Lujan then advised me that he had been traveling at 75 M.P.H. when I had passed him (didn’t even see him :doh: ) and that I had been weaving through traffic. I apologized and pointed to my busted speedometer which I knew wouldn’t do anything to prevent a ticket, but maybe he’d have a bit of understanding and sympathy. I did not contest the bit about weaving in traffic, but for the record all lane changes (not that many of them, either IMHO) were properly signaled and safely executed. Officer Lujan wrote me for 75 M.P.H. and I will take that. I really don’t even have a right to ask for that much consideration. Officer Lujon was as professional and courteous as anyone could ask of anyone doing his job.

I’ll post later with pics of the GPS installed and a scan of the ticket.

I think I’m going to go do some actual work now so that I can afford to pay the ticket :wink: Just kidding – I’m on break :P



  • Sifrona Cotton

    Yeah….and if you notice…there’s no way you’d be doing that high rate of speed at only 3K to 4K RPMs…I know from personal experience. Don’t ask….but I will mention that it was in a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire on a stretch of I-10 between DeFuniak Springs and Talahassee.

  • Little note here, Sifrona – the 3K to 4K was while merging into traffic in third gear – notice the arrow light on the right telling me to upshift :wink:

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