First of all, before I even get to the meat of this blog, I want to make perfectly clear that I do not condone vigilantism. Of any sort.

A woman in Gardiner, Maine will probably think twice before ever throwing out a cigarette butt out of her car window.

She was pulled over by someone claiming to be a state trooper, even though he had no ID and was driving a red pickup. He had a set of flashing lights on his dash that he used to pull her over with.

So the fake cop castigates the woman, gets back into his truck, and is now the subject of an investigation. Impersonating an officer is nothing to sneeze at. We can't have people doing things like this, however benign it might seem.

But this story got me to thinking...if you could be a cop for the day...in your wildest fantasies...what would YOU pull people over for??

Here is my list and it is by no means complete. I also include what my penalty would be.

Merging onto a freeway at 10 miles per hour instead of trying to merge with the flow of the stream. Penalty? $500.

Taking 15 minutes to drop your kid off at school instead of taking the 30 seconds or less that it SHOULD take you. Never mind that there are 100 cars behind you waiting for you to close the trunk and say goodbye for the thousandth time. Penalty? $1,000.

Cutting you off intentionally. Penalty? $1,000.

Cutting you off unintentionally. Penalty? $750.

Driving with a princess dog on your lap, or worse, a very big dog. Penalty? $5,000 plus the optional confiscation of the dog.

Smoking with children trapped in the car with you. Penalty? A week in jail in a glass cell with people blowing smoke in YOUR face.

Thinking you are the only one on the road and that the rules are meant for everyone but you. Penalty? The Supreme Court does not allow it.

Wow. This blog felt good to write. I just let go of a LOT of hostility. You should try it sometime.

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