Dear Officer


Dear Officer,
I wanted to let you know what has happened since you issued me a reckless driving ticket April 2nd on 3rd and Walton for turning right from a left hand turn lane.

I was pretty stressed that day. I’d shared with you that my 12 year old daughter was acting like only a 12 year old girl can behave, but I didn’t tell you that I’d returned from Little Rock only the day before where my other daughter had major surgery as a result of a critical illness last year. I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad…we always have stress in our lives, but I now realize that I didn’t respond appropriately to that stress. I wanted you to know two things that happened after you stopped me for the ticket. First, I turned around again (safely) and went ahead and took my daughter and her dog to the dog park. She’s been stressed, too, with her sister’s illness, and she was terrified and crying when you stopped me, especially because she was painfully aware that her behavior had led me to turn around in the first place. But what I wanted her to take away from my getting pulled over was that what I did was my wrong choice and not her fault. I wanted her to see her (recently angry) mother acknowledge that I’d made a mistake and reinforce to a future driver how important it is to drive safely. I wanted her to see me blame myself for my mistake, and not the police officer who was only doing his job. I want you to know that she was smiling and playing within minutes of getting to the park.

The other thing that I wanted you to know is that since the ticket, I have been a different driver. Though I hadn’t received a ticket or been in an accident in over 25 years, I had to admit that I’d become an aggressive driver. While I hadn’t been caught before Saturday, I’ve driven unsafely too many times. I’ve taken getting the ticket to heart and slowed down; I’ve become a more careful driver. As a mom, I know the stakes. While I don’t know if I can quite bring myself to be grateful for a ticket, I am grateful for your brave service to our city and for the wake up call that you gave me by doing your job.

Praying for your daily safety and for God’s love for you and your family. Know that what you do makes a difference.
Kelly McCleary

Sent to the City of Bentonville with the fine for the ticket.


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

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