The cop took my license and went back to his car to do whatever they do in there, probably look to see if I'm in the serial killer data base. I've got a good driving record, so I wasn't too worried. As I sat waiting for him, my mind wandered to a conversation we had in the doctor's dining room a few weeks ago. Several people had recounted their experience getting traffic tickets, and a couple told how they tried to use their physician status to get out of a ticket. One doctor, a radiologist, even admitted that he had lied to a cop and said he was on his way to an emergency at the hospital, when he wasn't, and amazingly the cop bought it and let him go. Personally, I find such behavior a little despicable, both lying and taking advantage of your M.D. status.
Now as I sat in my car, though, I wondered: would he go easier on me if he knew I was a doctor? I knew I couldn't lie and tell him I was on my way to an emergency at the hospital. For one thing, I could never pull off a lie like that, even if I wanted to, and for another thing, I was clearly heading into a shopping center - wearing shorts and a polo shirt. But still, could I use my status to somehow influence him to let me off without a ticket?
I pulled my hospital I.D. badge out and placed it in the center console, with my name, face, and the MD clearly showing in the path he would have to look into when he looked through my driver's side window. I felt a little funny about it, though, and chickened out in the end. When he started to walk back to my car I flipped the ID badge over, so he couldn't read it.
He gave me a traffic citation for an illegal lane change that costs 125 bucks. (What a rip off! When did tickets get so expensive?) He was nice, though, and implied that if I went to court for it he might let me off. I know I did the right thing by not telling him I was a doctor, but still, it was quite a temptation. Maybe I should wear my hospital I.D. badge when I go to traffic court....