It is actually fall around here, so for my birthday we were going to drive down to Folly Beach in an attempt to get a Moss Motoring Challenge photo of their fishing pier and to get some seafood for lunch on the beach.
We started our road trip today in the usual way, by going to the local DD and getting my coffee and Donna’s hot chocolate, when we left the parking lot it got slightly unusual. It was early, so there was very little traffic on the 5 lane Whiskey Road and it was still dark, so picking the spot to exit was easy. I waited out the two cars coming from the left that were close together and there were two more coming from the right that had a enough separation to get between, so I swung left, out between them and got in the far right lane because I was turning right at the next intersection about 200 yards away.
As I stopped at the light and prepared to make a right on red, that second car that I had got in front of, pulled to a stop behind me. It was a white car and I instantly recognized the headlight signature as that of a Dodge Charger, which probably meant one thing, city cop.
My blinker was on and the car behind me put his on. I turned right and moved to the left turn lane in preparation for my next turn. Sure enough the white Charger followed in step and when he got in the left lane, he lit ’em up. I hung another left into the back parking lot of the quick oil change place there.
We were in the Miata with the top down and as the officer approached the car, Donna “helpfully” told him it was my birthday and it was her fault we were going this way as she forgot something at home. I think our LEO was more nervous than I was because as he tried to explain why he was pulling me over he was stumbling over his sentences and was a little confused as to where I came from when I got on Whiskey Rd. He did get out that the reason we were gathered here together was that when making a left turn onto a multi-lane road you should enter the leftmost lane first before moving into the right one.*
I handed him my license, insurance card and registration and as he walked back to his car he said, “If everything checks out OK, I’ll probably send you on your way.” Well, of course everything checked out, so our friendly young officer reiterated why he pulled my over, then explained he was just giving me a warning, which generated the piece of paper he was giving me. He then wished me a Happy Birthday, told me to drive safe and sent me on my way.
I blurred out my driver’s license number in the image above (I didn’t do any of the rest of the info as it is already readily available elsewhere on this site.) I did change the name of our police officer** and blurred out his badge number as well.
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1424
*South Carolina Code of Laws, SECTION 56-5-2120. Required position and method of turning. Paragraph (b), Left turns … Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as the vehicle on the roadway being entered. I’m guessing that if I was to get a ticket it would be for a violation of that bit of very confusing legalese. It is the only thing in the vehicle code that I can find that is remotely on point.
**to the first name that popped into my head, it’s from West Side Story in case you were wondering.