This past Thursday I was headed south down Hwy 75 just south of Sherman. It was about 8:30 in the evening, so starting to get pretty dark. As a crested a hill I saw taillights are far south as I could see. At the same time a TXDOT truck was stopped putting out orange "Incident Ahead" signs. Figuring it must be something major if they'd gone that far I quickly took the next (and last) exit before the backup started. Turns out it was fortuitous as it was one of those stretches where there's no exit for several miles. As a result I had to take the access road about 2.5-3 miles before I came to a cross road. Having witnessed the non-stop backup on the highway that whole way I thought it better to bail over to HWY 289 to get down to 380 and then over to Denton and eventually home.
Once I made it over to Hwy 289 I was shocked to see it was 75 MPH and congratulated myself for being so smart. Head south for about 10 mins and start to realize that I'm coming up on a town ahead. As a crest the hill I see a 50 MPH sign and realize that I must have missed an earlier sign stepping down from 75. At the same time I turn off cruise and hit the brakes as I'm running way too fast, still not thinking anything though. At that point, the flashing red and blues coming up from behind me (fast) broke that thought. As a pulled over I secretly hoped that they were en-route to something else, but as the police Tahoe pulled in behind me on the shoulder I knew I was the target. I pulled about 50 yards ahead and turned onto a side street with a small area I could pull well clear of the street. After stopping I turned off my truck, but the keys on the dash (in clear view) rolled down both driver side windows and turned on the cab light. By now I also had my TX DL and LTC out and in my hand. The officer (a small stature female) came to my window and said she was pulling me over for tagging me doing 64 in a 50. I told the officer I completely understood and apologized as this was the first time in at least a decade that I'd driven that route. She asked why that was and I told her the story about bailing off Hwy 75. At that point she asked for my DL, which I gave her, along with my LTC. She didn't comment on it, but at that point I did notice that her demeanor changed, she seemed less tense. Whether it was the LTC or the fact that I tried to do everything (vehicle off/windows down/interior light on/etc) I could to make her job easier I don't know, and quite frankly it doesn't matter. Either way she then asked for insurance, and joked as I tried to figure out how to get it to display on the insurance app. Once she saw that she said she was going to go back to her cruiser and would be back in a few.
Not two minutes later she was back with my DL and LTC and told me she was going to issue me a verbal warning. After that she proceeded to tell me about being careful going south as the speed limit fluctuates as you get closer to Celina and then further toward 380. I told her I'd be much more cognizant of my speed as a result. She then told me about having been down in my neck of the woods recently (Burleson) for active shooter training at BHS. That resulted in about 2-3 mins of small talk about the DFW area. As she was going to leave I commented that "I hope you hear this often, but if you don't thank you for everything you do out here, have a safe evening." She thanked me and wished me safe travels home.
All-in-all a very good stop. I was definitely in the wrong due to my inattention in an unfamiliar area. The officer handled it very professionally and was a great representative of what a good officer looks like.
Most CHL/LEO contacts are positive, how about yours? Bloopers are fun, but no names please, if it will cause a LEO problems!
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