Teen Gets Speeding Ticket, Officer Blasts Him on Facebook (to Educate Others)
Police officers play a vital role in the safety and well-being of the public — they help maintain order. But, at what cost? Most people think that these brave heroes get up every morning to catch criminals, patrol the roadways, and do paperwork. But another one of their job roles is often to deliver the heartwrenching news of a lost life. At the North Ridgeville Police Department, one officer had an encounter with an 18 year old teen driver who they ticketed for speeding. The driver was going 100mph in a 64mph area. Where speeding in general is dangerous and puts other people at risk, if the teen had crashed, it would have likely been a death sentence to themselves and whoever they hit.
Inspired to share their experience and insight on the matter, the officer wrote a Facebook post “to the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10.” In the post, the officer talks about mortality, right and wrong, and emotional outcomes of making bad decisions while driving. Take a look at the full post below.
“You should have been scared that you were trying to kill yourself. I know you’re invincible. I know that you can’t even fathom your own death.”
When we’re young, we believe that we have years and years ahead of us. We don’t think that something bad could happen to us, which is why younger people tend to make riskier choices. The officer acknowledges that the driver was scared when they were pulled over. But it wasn’t for the right reason. The driver should have been scared that they would hurt themselves or someone else, not that they would be pulled over.
Right vs. Wrong
“Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter.”
The officer explains that the driver did know better — it was clearly a poorly made choice that they made to speed. After all, when you travel in a car that fast, you will feel the bumps on the road more sharply and you’ll feel the gust of wind from cars as you pass them. The officer explains how in his line of work, they deal with situations like this all the time. But unfortunately, by the time they get to the scene, it’s already become a tragedy. Even though the officer is blunt to the teen in this part of the post, he said that the teen looked like they were a nice kid who made a bad decision. The post was really meant to serve as a plea for people to think about the consequences that can happen when you make a bad decision. The post addresses a big concern — recklessness and the blatant disregard of life. But, it comes from a place of care and love.
“I don’t KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day they say ‘Be careful. Drive safe.’ Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe.”
Police officers have high-stress jobs, and one of the worst things they regularly have to do is go to someone’s house to sit down with someone and tell them that their son, daughter, spouse, or parent isn’t going to come back home — that they died in a crash. The post talks about how the officer has had to deliver this news, and has had to come across the scene of one where the person was entirely unrecognizable. It is so important to consider the outcomes of our actions. They are far-reaching… a tragic car crash affects the families and friends of the loved ones involved, as well as the brave men and women who patrol the roads and emergency personnel who provide emergency aid at the scene.
Although the post is focused on the decision to speed, any bad decision you choose to make while you drive could have the same deadly results. Drunk driving, distracted driving, and texting while driving are all examples of decisions that could affect you and the people around you as a driver. It’s just not worth it.