The Warning

It was somewhere along the State Route 215 near San Bernardino, that I learned what makes Californians different from the rest of the nation. It’s in their approach to driving and a highway patrol officer pointed this out to me.

The 215 at that point is a stretch of three-lane freeway. I was in the center lane doing 70 miles per hour. In the back of my truck I had a rotor tiller strapped down. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon.

On either side of me, traffic was whizzing by me at a faster pace than the posted speed limit. However I was doing the posted limit, so  I felt I was okay.

Suddenly and without warning I saw the unmistakable sight of a black and white unit pull in behind me . Seconds later his lights came on, beckoning me to pull to the side of the roadway, which I did.

This nice youthful officer approached me, asking for my driver ‘s license, registration and proof of insurance. I had that all available for him before he got to the truck’s window.

Be inspected them and handed them back to me .

Then he said, “Mr. Darby, do you know how fast you were going?”

I politely answered, “Yes, 70 miles an hour, the posted speed limit.”

The nice officer responded, “Yes sir, you were, but in the center lane.”

By this time he could see that I was confused. Be went on to explain that the posted speed is for the right lane, the center lane is for those vehicles traveling 75 miles an hour or faster and that the far left lane is for the 80 plus crowd.

“Oh,” was my only comment to this.

“I pulled you over,” the officer finally stated, “because you were going too slow for the flow of traffic.”

He let me off with just a warning.


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