A Driver Thanks Us For a Traffic Ticket

HaglundI have said it many, many times:  traffic tickets are about changing driver behavior from unsafe to safe.   Traffic tickets are not supposed to be about revenue enhancement (although I know that they are seen that way by some drivers and by some courts and municipalities).  Tickets are a way to get people to drive better making our roads safer for everyone.

We got a letter this week from a driver who gets it.  He told me that this expensive lesson cost him $150.

Here is what he said:

Dear Officer Haglund:

I thought I should drop you a note and probably be the first person ever to thank you for a speeding ticket.

You gave me a ticket on January 16th on Updike [sic] near Walton after watching me driving like an idiot.  I was in my new Audi S7 and acting like I was 16 again with just about as much thought.

Why the “Thank you”?

My wife told me I was driving that car too aggressively, my son did too and I knew it but for some reason didn’t stop.  Although you probably witnessed the worst of it, I wasn’t driving like I normally do.

For some reason, I needed that ticket and the encounter to get the message through: amazing that it would take this for a 72 year old, driving about 35,000 miles a year and receiving 2 tickets in 43 years.  Anyway, it did and I needed it.

Finally, you were a complete class act.  I appreciate the lecture but I appreciate even more what I perceived as a genuine concern for my safety and welfare.  Your parting words were something like, “it’s a nice car but you can’t enjoy it if you are dead.”

You delivered the message well and as I told you at the scene, I’m reverting back to my old habits.  I have and I will.

That day, you accomplished something good for society and something good for me.

So, thank you and take care of yourself.  You’re a good man and credit to your profession.

I would agree. Office Haglund is a class act.  Nice to know that someone else sees it too. These days it seems that no one finds the good in what cops do to create orderly societies.  The vast majority of officers in millions of police contacts yearly do things right.  And make the world safer.

Haglund at the mall
Ironman wanted a photo with Officer Hagland at the mall.

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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.

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