Slow down or else - Tamara Boatwright

My husband called me early Friday morning with a laugh.

"Guess who just blew me off the road," he asked. "Your friend in the black Crown Vic."

Yea, you. You who drives the black Crown Victoria with the "city government" Clayton County tag. You who drive about 85 mph in a 55 zone. You who should know better. You whose license plate contains two 4s, a 1 and a 9, not necessarily in that order, and another number. You who live in either Lamar or Pike county. You who I, and those I love, are forced to share the road with.

The other Wednesday I spotted you ripping down the road. You whipped by me, changing lanes with nary a blinker blinking. I did something stupid and floored it just to see how fast you were going. When I hit 82 going through the Milner City limits I backed off. But not you. Far ahead I saw you whip into the Ingles parking lot. Great I thought, I'll go in to see who you are. But no, the "emergency" that prompted you to exceed the posted speed limit by more than 30 mph was a letter that you dropped in the mail box in the Ingles parking lot. Letter safely deposited, you whipped through the parking lot and down Ga. Highway 18.

I tried to follow. The joke was on me. I don't drive a Crown Victoria with an interceptor package so I was out of luck.

Now I suspect you are either a police detective or chief or a city employee who ranks high enough to have a car. I appreciate your dedication to either public service or public safety. What I don't appreciate is your driving skills.

I'm even understanding to a point. It's hard to keep within the speed limit on that stretch of U.S. 341 between Griffin and Barnesville. I drive it every single day and last fall a trooper reminded me of the speed limit. That's all it took for me to learn my lesson.

What's it going to take to slow you down?

After brewing on this for many weeks I broke down and called Capt. Tom Israel with the Clayton County Police Department Traffic and HEAT unit. I asked him if there were special rules for people who drive city-issued black Crown Vics.

"Traffic laws apply to everyone," he said. "Law enforcement should lead by example."

He went on talk about emergency calls and how it is important to be able to get to those calls no matter where you live. I completely agreed with him but added that I didn't think that dropping a letter off in the mail box in the Ingles parking lot was an emergency. He agreed.

I also spoke to Trooper Larry Schnall, spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol who said that it is important for law enforcement personnel (if that's what you are) to earn and keep the public's faith and trust in them. He also assured me that "speeding is speeding and it will not be tolerated."

So, when my husband called Friday and told me that he saw you pull out from the BP and blow down the road that was it.

Look, I'm not asking for a lot, just play fair. Take the lead out of your foot and use your blinker. Do that and this ends here. Don't and we'll have to see what happens next.

Tamara Boatwright is the managing editor of the News Daily and the Daily Herald. She may be reached at tboatwright@news-daily.com or at (770) 478-5753 ext. 272.