Last Tuesday, I received a citation from a Prince George’s County police officer for “following too closely,” which I think is one of the more bogus citations a person can receive especially if there no was resulting accident because clearly the vehicles were both able to maneuver and operate safely.
I was on my way to class, behind the police officer for a while on Powder Mill Road for those of you familiar with my section of Maryland. There was a farm tractor on the road, moving slowly of course, and I wanted to pass it but didn’t feel comfortable because that would have meant that I would have had to pass both the cop and the tractor and I’m sure the cop could have found some other excuse to pull me over. So a back up of cars formed behind the tractor, the cop, and I, as no one was willing to try to pass the cop.
Then we moved onto 197 (another roadway) still behind the cop, going slower than the usual rate of speed for the road. At the flashing red light, left turn onto the campus, the cop stopped for an exceptionally long time before proceeding and then I stopped and pulled into campus. Then he pulled me over.
Cop: “You seem to be in quite a hurry this morning.
Silently, thinking to myself, “Yeah, I was trying to be on time for my class at 9:30.”
Cop: Is there any reason why you were pushing me down the road?
Me: I was not pushing you down the road.
Cop: You didn’t stop at the flashing red light.
Me: Yes, I did stop.
Cop: No, I stopped and you stopped behind me and then I went and you went as well.
Me: No I stopped behind you, and again after you went.
Cop: Well, I had you under visual observation the whole time.
Silently, thinking to myself: Oh really, as you were driving forward towards the campus, you were looking in your rear view mirror and could see the stop line and gauge whether I came to a complete stop or not. We’ll see how that stands up in court.
Me: Well, I believed I stopped.
Cop: License and registration.
After a few minutes the cop, came back with a $110 citation for “following too closely”. None of that bogus not stopping at the flashing red light business.
Hopefully, the cop won’t show up in court but if he does, maybe I’ll get to use the defense quoting Abdullah ibn Az Zubayr (May Allah be pleased with him), which I learned in my first AlMaghrib seminar, Conquest: History of the Khulafa that I had prepared a few years ago when I got my only other “following too closely” citation. You can read about that here: Parking Ticket
Prayers and duas always appreciated.