Bangor police “Missed Connections” post about a texting driver goes viral
Texting while driving is an incredibly serious safety issue, but that doesn’t mean it always has to result in a ticket. Sometimes, police can make their point without causing a bunch of hassle for a motorist, as one officer proves in a hilarious viral post.
The Bangor Maine Police Department shared a very amusing anecdote from one of their officers on the department’s Facebook page this morning. They titled it “Missed Connections,” like the well-known Craigslist board meant to help people find each other after a brief encounter in public. But this was a whole lot funnier than some guy and girl who giggled at each other over the lettuce selection at Whole Foods.
It starts, “You didn’t notice the light had turned green. You also did not notice that I had serendipitously been forced to stop directly beside you. I was going the opposite direction.” So the officer, who goes by the initials “TC” in the post, reveals himself. “I was the guy in the black and white car. We were three feet apart. I was listening to Fleetwood Mac. My door sticker read, POLICE. You did not notice.”
The officer writes that the cars in front of this person had pulled away once the light turned green, but the motorist remained, head down. And we can probably see where this is going.
“Were you sad? Nope, you were texting.”
Ugh. We’ve all probably been there. Stuck at a red light and suddenly, a text comes through. You aren’t moving, so what’s the harm in at least reading it? Oh, well, all I have to answer is “be there in five,” might as well tap it out quick.
Except, don’t. Because in most states, it’s illegal. And Maine is one of them.
Officer TC says the drivers behind our distracted protagonist were all pretty chill about the fact that the douchebag in front of them wasn’t moving due to his phone trance. TC is a very empathetic dude, trying his best to understand the motivation behind this citizen’s incredibly selfish behavior. “I am sure the message was important. I cannot question your motive for being 25 feet back from the green traffic signal. Stopped. Focused. Self absorbed.”
TC happened to be listening to the song “Tusk” and while waiting for his light to turn decided that observing this oblivious motorist was just the extra boost he needed. “You provided the much needed entertainment that Stevie Nicks could not bring me. If it had been Supertramp, I would have been singing and might have never noticed you.”
So, it was happenstance that the officer noticed the mad texter beside him. But instead of issuing him a ticket or blaring his horn to make him move, he decided to let things take their course. “I wanted our eyes to meet organically. With no loud noise to interrupt our Chi.”
Then, it happened. Their special connection. “When our eyes met, you were embarrassed. You knew exactly what I was thinking. You read my mind.” And this is why Officer TC’s story has gone viral. This moment right here.
“Yes, it is illegal to text while in traffic, even at a light. You blushed. I smiled. I mouthed he words, S-T-O-P I-T. You understood. You pulled forward and were able to get through the green light just in time for the two cars behind you to get to the red light.”
The officer says the police always hope for “voluntary compliance” because anyone who’s managed to dash off a text while driving or at a light knows it’s possible to hide it. Most people who do it aren’t caught, but that doesn’t make it any safer. He writes, “I hope you remember our time together.”
And you know what? That driver probably will. The officer showing understanding and mercy, giving a warning instead of a ticket, likely made a big impression. A wake-up call of sorts. Now, the driver can remember this officer giving him a chance to do the right thing from now on. To realize that if he doesn’t, he won’t get so lucky next time.
Yes, this story was pretty funny. But it also reminds us that sometimes, it’s best to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Now, instead of going through the hassle of paying for or fighting a ticket, this driver can instead tell his friends and family about the incredibly kind officer who let him off with a warning.
TC signs off saying, “Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another. We will be here.”
And the residents of Bangor are very lucky because of that.