Today I get my first ever conviction for a traffic violation.
I roll through a stop sign at the junction of Longford and Harrison Drive at 20 kph. I slow down as I close on the stop sign, checking first that Longford is clear and then Harrison Drive is clear. I press the accelerator and swing round the corner. Then I notice the unmarked police SUV.
Police constable Taylor is waiting for me. He gets out of his car raising his arm in the air. Stop!
As I crawl past I look at him. He is well built with a light stubbly beard. You don't mess with this guy.
My heart sinks. I pull over.
I get out of my car and walk towards him. He tells me to get back in my car and roll down the window. He is now standing next to my car, talking to me through the open window.
He tells me I have committed an offence. I nod in agreement. Yes I have.
He asks for my driving licence, my insurance and evidence of ownership. I hand all this stuff over and he goes back to his SUV to check.
Constable Taylor is a model of politeness. I am genuinely impressed and I have no complaints. He says I don't have a record and he has a certain discretion. But he has reviewed the video in his SUV and he has no choice. He must book me. I agree.
I am to be fined $110. Fair enough.
He tells me this conviction will have an impact on my auto insurance "if you tell them".
I find this remark very curious. There is no question whatsoever that I shall tell my auto insurer that I have a conviction. I shall bear the additional cost, lose my three points, and not feel aggrieved. These are the rules and that's the way it is.
The next time I drive down to Toronto on the 404 with my cruise control set at 100 kph and see every second car zoom past at the speed of light I shall remind myself of the importance of obeying the law.