I never thought I'd start one of these threads, but I guess I'll join the club.
I went to the Pacers-Sonics game tonight with one of my friends who lives in Cicero. It was an entertaining game, even though the Pacers lost. So afterwards I drop him off at his house and start heading back to Ball State.
Now, let me preface this by saying I've heard horror stories about cops from Hamilton county before. I've heard warnings like "don't drive through there with anything but a 29 license plate." (I'm from Indy, btw) The friend that I went to the game with tonight has even warned me before about the cops in Cicero, more specifically. He and his step dad have been pulled over and ticketed for almost nothing before. (He's also originally from Indy, but moved to Cicero last year) Knowing this, I probably should've been extra careful with how I drove. But I consider myself to be a pretty safe driver. I've never been in an accident and I've never been pulled over before. For the most part, I use good judgment while I'm driving. So I never thought I would have to deal with this.
Anyway, I'm heading towards Ball State at around 11 PM. The roads are pretty much completely empty. I'm not speeding or anything. If anything, I'm going below the speed limit. But speed has nothing to do with this story.
I stop at a stop sign at the intersection of 266th street and state road 213. Below the stop sign is a sign that reads "cross traffic does not stop." I look both ways. No car in sight to the left, and to the right there's a car approaching that's a good 70 yards away. He appears to be at a safe enough distance, so I figure I can make it across the street easily. So I go ahead and drive across. I'm continuing on the road and about 15 seconds after I've crossed the intersection, I see police lights flashing behind me. The car approaching from the right was apparently a police car. So I pull over.
The cop approaches and says, "Do you want to explain to me what happened back there?" I honestly have no idea what he's talking about. "What do you mean?" I ask. "If I hadn't slammed on my brakes I would've been attached to your car." (Which is completely untrue. He was nowhere near that close to me. And I didn't hear any screeching or anything.) I say, "I'm sorry, I thought for sure you were a safe distance away." He asks for my license and registration and I give it to him.
Given the cirumstances (late at night with virtually no cars on the road, my first traffic violation and the fact that he was nowhere near close to crashing into me) I figured he might let me off with a warning. Instead, I was given a citation for "failure to yield." I have to pay a fine and go to the Noblesville courthouse sometime in March. I never knew failing to yield was a bad enough offense for you to show up at court.
What upsets me more than anything is the timing. If I had driven a little slower or a little faster, or if I had stopped to get some gas, I wouldn't even have to deal with this. I showed up at the same time he was on the road. If I got there a little earlier or a little later, I wouldn't have to put up with this.
I just wanted to vent and blow off some steam. If there's anyone with similar experiences or any advice, feel free to post. I know it's just a measly citation, but this just really bothered me.