Busted! What My Son Thought About My Speeding Ticket

I wasn't even in a rush. I was driving down Pelham Road on a Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago. I was waaaay ahead of schedule for where I needed to be. There were no cars on the road, which is probably why I didn't realize I was going about 57 in a 45. In fact, the first time I noticed my speed was when I saw the blue lights in my rear-view mirror.

The officer was polite and gracious (being my first traffic violation, he gave me the minimal penalty), and I was soon on my way. And for the record, I was still ahead of schedule.

When I got home and explained to my wife and kids that I was pulled over for speeding, Elijah (about 5 years old at the time) was shocked, exclaiming, "How come you're not in jail?!"

I explained that you don't necessarily go to jail whenever you break the law. Sometimes there are other consequences, like having to pay a fine.

Here are some others things that I explained to my son:
  • Mostly, I was thankful that by my lack of attention to my speed, that I didn't hurt anyone, or get hurt myself.
  • I reminded my son that the police officer did a good job in his role. My son thought that the job of the police is to "catch bad people," but their ultimate role is to keep people safe. They only need to penalize others when they put someone's safety at risk.
  • I told my son that I respected and submitted to the officer. There was no used complaining or defending myself. I did wrong, and I had to accept the consequences. The only thing I could control was my attitude in how I accepted them.
  • There had been plenty of times in my life that I sped and didn't get caught. It doesn't make sense to complain about the one time that I did get stopped for it.

The biggest win in all of this was that God let me use this experience to teach and model to my kids what it looks like to submit to authority. (And, also for the record, I did actually have a good attitude through this experience -- not flippant, but also not whining. I wasn't just faking it.)

We cannot just preach the truth to our kids. We need to model what it looks like to live out submission to Christ and His commands in the Bible.

Related Links:

image courtesy of TALUDA via sxc.hu


  1. Your son is a killer, you know that? Well, at least you taught him well to obey the law. This time you really deserved the traffic ticket, but you managed to deal with it in one of the best ways possible. You also caught the police officer in a good mood, so you can say you've got off easy this time. You're a really good model for your kid, keep it going!

  2. It’s good to hear how you took everything positively and responsibly, despite having to pay the penalty. Others would have already gotten pissed had it happened to them. But instead, you willingly submitted yourself and accepted that you committed a mistake. Good job!

    Norma Richards @ Just Bail Bonds