My First Guam Mango Moment!
It’s a Saturday morning and there is nothing special going on, so my wife suggests we go to the gym for an early morning workout. Then we could pick-up some groceries on the way home. So I had a cup of coffee, drank my protein breakfast and we were out the door at 0730 (that’s 7:30 am for all you land lubbers). Now because I have already had bad luck with the local police stopping me 3 times since arriving on Guam, I always drive either with the traffic flow or just a bit slower. I have not had as much as a parking ticket since, well… I can’t remember when.
We got to the gate of the Navy Base and we presented our ID’s for entry. As I left the gate area, I travelled less than one block before being waved over by a Navy Security Policeman, and I honestly had no idea why. I was even slowing down for a speed bump before I noticed him standing there with the radar gun and waving me over. When he arrived at my door, we exchanged pleasantry’s and I asked him what was wrong? He said “I clocked you speeding… license, registration and proof of insurance please.” I complied and he returned to his vehicle, opened his door, got in and closed the door. That was not a good sign as I just knew I was getting a citation. I thought “Speeding? How is it that the driver immediately in front of me did not get pulled over? How fast could I have been going behind someone who was apparently doing the speed limit?” Fifty questions raced through my mind as I have always been a safe driver and I normally mind all driving laws… well, except when in the Philippines (when in Rome! Right!!!).
The officer returns to my car, hands me back all my documents PLUS a citation. I asked him how much this was going to cost me and he said “Oh, this is not a monetary thing. We go by a point system here on the base and when you exceed the allowable number of points, you would lose your Base driving privileges for the remainder of the year.” I thought “whew” as I don’t need to be shelling out any money (I need that for my beach beer! he he).
Anyway, you all are probably wondering how fast I was going? I was caught red-handed doing 24mph in a 15mph zone. I mean it’s not like I was breaking the sound barrier or anything. Can you imagine that… a speeding ticket for driving 24mph! (In realty, I think I was only doing 22mph!) Now ask yourself – have you ever driven that slow? Personally, I feel that if you drive any slower, you would be going backwards! Then the nice policeman offered up some simple advice: “If you happen to lose your driving privileges for exceeding the allowable number of points, don’t worry, the points will reset at the end of the year. Until then, your wife can drive!” Huh?
I think I’m gonna drink two beers tonight and blow off a little steam. Maybe I will learn to slow down.