High Beams

Let me clarify that I’m not much of a traffic cop.  Even though I pull many people over, I don’t write many tickets.  Giving warnings is more my style.

A couple of weeks ago, in the late evening, I had to squint against the oncoming high-beams of an approaching car.  When the car failed to switch the beams from high to low after repeated flashing of my own lights, I made a u-turn and pulled the motorist over.

The driver was a woman (let’s not get into any jokes about female drivers, okay?  Remember I’m a female driver, too 😉 ).  She was very friendly and polite, but genuinely confused as to why I had pulled her over.  When I tried explaining about the high-beams, I knew she had no clue what I was talking about by the blank stare she was giving her dashboard.  Her hand reached out and plucked at the headlights lever, but all she succeeded in doing was turning the headlights off.

I pointed to the bright blue light in her instrument panel and told her what it was. 

She still didn’t understand. 

Then I had her turn her lights back on and reached my own hand into the car and toggled the switch back and forth while telling her to watch the blue light.  On-off-on-off. 

She nodded. 

Then I told her to look out of her windshield to see how the angle of the light coming from her headlights changed.  High-low-high-low. 

This time, she gasped and smiled.

“So that’s what that light means!” she said, clearly happy that I had solved the mystery of the blue light.

When I told her that by driving around the city with her high-beams on she was likely blinding cars coming towards her, she was very apologetic, saying she had never known what the light was for, and hadn’t really given it any thought.  I gave her a quick lesson on when high-beam use is appropriate, told her to have a safe night, and sent her on her way. 

Sans ticket.

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