After picking up my daughter from preschool, I was on a 4 lane, undivided highway (N and S bound lanes), on my way home. I was in a 25 miles per hour zone and was doing about 20mph at the time. I was coming up onto a traffic light and for whatever reason, I was so focused on not speeding that I accidentally passed a stopped school bus. I got immediately pulled over. I was shown no remorse by the officer and he told me (before he even ran my license) that I was getting a ticket for reckless driving. I was terrified. I started to cry--my kids were crying because I was crying and it was a very bad moment. When the officer returned, I had a respectful discussion with him about discretion. I said that when I drive I always try to have both my children and others in mind. But that I wasn't going to be perfect all of the time, and that I was going to make mistakes. I then said that sometimes its ok to tell drivers that they screwed up and give them another chance to do better. I stated that I meant no disrespect by saying that, but I was just saying it as a citizen. He told me that there were no second chances when it comes to passing a bus. I said that I understood and he told me to have a nice day and drive safely.
Here in Virginia, passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdeameanor. I have hired a lawyer and I'm hoping for the best. I've been driving for 18 years and I've never had a ticket. My record is clean. I'm a good driver, I just flaked out that day and I am so sorry for it!!!
Yesterday, the officer who pulled me over came down my cul-de-sac and checked out my house. We made eye contact through my window. It was weird. My lawyer asked me how that traffic stop went and I explained what I said and how emotional I was at the time. He said that police are used to drivers being upset and it shouldn't affect me at all. But I am very worried!!! Do you think that I did something wrong by having that conversation? I've never been in trouble before and I am so stressed over this whole situation. I'm really, really scared. I know what I did was wrong. I feel so badly about it, and I know it's not about intent, but I hope I left the officer with the impression that I was very sorry for what happened. What do you think?