Imagine you’re driving down a country road with your two best friends, the music is blaring, the sun is setting, and you are rushing to get your friends home before curfew. In order to get home on time, you speed down the road, and all of a sudden, you look in your rear-view mirror and see red and blue flashing lights. In that moment, millions of thoughts are rushing through your head, and you start to panic. What did I do? What is going to happen? What are my parents going to think? Suddenly your mind is flooded with all of these thoughts, and then the officer comes to your window.
Delainee Zacharko described,“The officer came to my window and asked me some questions about where I was coming from, and then he asked me if I knew why I had gotten pulled over, and I said no. I got pulled over because my license plate lights were out. I was extremely scared and really shaky after the police officer left.”
Zeke Abbott described his experience, “When I got pulled over, I was super nervous because I couldn’t think of what I did wrong. My driving was good, but I didn’t have my headlights on. The officer told me to turn them on and let me be on my way after that.”
Joslynn Clark added, “When I got pulled over, I didn’t know how to feel because I was trying to go to my family Christmas. The guy was very rude, and he gave me a ticket for going four miles per hour over the speed limit. I was so scared to tell my mother about it, and that is how my Christmas break started.”
On a typical teenager’s 16th birthday, walking into the Secretary of State and getting a driver’s license is a dream come true. Most teens look forward to their 16th birthday because they are finally given the opportunity to have freedom while operating a vehicle. The thought of driving without an adult in the car gives a teen relief and freedom to do whatever he or she pleases, whether it be jamming out to some favorite music or simply taking a calm drive to school in the morning. Once teens pass their road test, they think driving should come easily to them. However, being a new driver on the road comes with many responsibilities and requires focused attention and skill. If teenagers aren’t following the rules of the road, the possibility of getting pulled over by the police is high.
Chloe O’Boyle stated, “I drove by the police on the side of the road and he noticed I was traveling at 72 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. At that moment, I knew I was getting pulled over, and it was the scariest thing ever.”
Dylan Head added in, “I got pulled over for speeding and the officer took forever to hand me my ticket. I was going the same speed as all the cars around me, but for some reason, she picked me to pull over.”
Brooklyn Aikens commented, “It was the first and only time I’ve ever been pulled over. I was 16 years old and I was speeding because I was running late for school, and then all of a sudden, there was a cop car behind me with its lights on.”
At St. Louis High school, there are students of all ages who have been pulled over for various reasons. On the other hand, there are also a handful of teachers at SLHS who have been pulled over too.
Mrs. Biehl was asked what her reaction to getting pulled over was, and she replied, “What time?”
Ms. Everitt added, “I was pulled over once with my kids and a friend of theirs because I had a headlight out. The officer asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I said, “Yep. I have a headlight out and my registration is expired.” He let me go and told me to get them both taken care of.”
Police officers are able to pull people over for many odd reasons including, license plate lights are out, driving speed was too slow, and even for going only four miles an hour over the speed limit.
At SLHS, many students and teachers have been pulled over for various reasons and as more students turn 16 years old, the amount of teens being pulled over will surely increase.