Today, I happened to be in the Long Island town of Lake Success, at an intersection I won’t specify given that this story involves my presence as an almost-involved observer, a cop, and a guy/gal driving a beautiful Lexus. It also includes an often-absent substance called “justice for traffic violations.”
I was approaching a major traffic artery, what I believe was the Northern State Parkway. Immediately before this highway’s entrance ramps, on my right-hand side of a single-lane-each-way street, there is a small avenue which leads to some residential neighborhoods. It’s more than just polite to leave some space between your car and the one in front of you in the event you cannot clear the whole gap: It is a requirement of the law. I did exactly this, leaving some space between the fellow ahead of me and myself. This was all well and good, and in fact quite normal. Someone coming towards us from the other direction (in America, that’s on my left-hand side) would be able to turn left into the side-street if necessary.
This is a common habit of mine, but fortunately for me I saw a guy in a car quite similar to this one lurking at the edge of the side-street like a lion waiting for a gazelle; like an underpaid writer glaring at a chunky over-used metaphor:
So, this fine gentleman was waiting for any potential trouble-makers, and I was conspicuously not making trouble. I might say a lot of interesting things, but I most certainly don’t make trouble! I’m waiting for there to be enough space in front of me to advance towards the ever-unpleasant spot of congestion where a relatively thin traffic tributary merges with an Amazon-ly strong river, and I notice this good public servant just before I notice the room to advance.
Naturally, I did!
As I was approaching the car ahead of me, I realized the officer was pulling out behind me! My eyes blinked. I hadn’t done anything wrong! Well, an instant later I saw a beautiful, brand-new silver Lexus pulling around me on my left side, cutting me off! I blinked. This is a one-lane-road; he’d jumped through traffic.
A second later the officer is straight behind the guy cutting me off, his lights on and running. He flicks his signal light on, and when there’s room ahead of us I politely let the officer seize his quarry. They roll forward about thirty feet, right to where a second lane opens up. I delicately pull around them, making sure to follow each-and-every safety rule I can think of.
In short: I can’t presume to know why this guy felt it necessary to cut me off. Maybe he had an emergency to tend to, and it was significant enough to put safety in the sidebar. Maybe he was just having a bad day and wasn’t thinking, trying to escape from the forces which had overwhelmed him. Maybe he’s simply a jerk, thinking he had better things to do with his time than wait in traffic like non-luxury-car-owners. Whatever his reasoning is, I got justice. I was amused!