This Officer Learned the Hard Way That Sometimes Asking for Proof Backfires

I don’t know much about the world of over the road trucking, but apparently there are pretty strict rules for how to log your time, when and how often you have to stop, and the like. This guy doesn’t like having to pull off the highway every time he has to use the restroom, so he’s devised a different sort of ritual that works.

A little bit of background for anyone, like me, who needs it.

This malicious compliance has brought to you by my trip from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA.

Background: I’m an over the road truck driver and most of the time, it’s more convenient for me to do my “business” on the highway shoulder. I don’t have to drive around & around just to park to use the restroom. Just a quick 30 second emergency stop, do my business (either on the side of the road or empty bottles that I’m saving up [gotta do what you gotta do when you’re on the road]), then off driving again. I’m sure I’m not the only over the road truck driver who have done these, it’s very common.

Side note: According to FMCSA, by law, we have to carry log books to calculate our driving & on duty time. This is relevant to the story.

He either pees on the side of the road (if no one is about) or pees in an empty bottle and stores it to throw away later. Every time he stops he logs his time off the road, as required, but the quick stops don’t add up to as much down time, allowing him to travel further without a break.

On to the story:

This happened just a few hours ago somewhere in I-40 WB in New Mexico. I was suddenly in need to relieve myself badly, so as usual, I pulled over to a clean, wide highway shoulder, then I put my log book to “Off Duty”.

Note: this isn’t my first time today doing my business.

I have a habit of being very meticulous with my driving time. Which means, when I’m not doing anything, even for 30 seconds, I put my time in off duty. I tried to save as much driving time as possible, those multiple 30 seconds can add up to a lot to avoid doing 34 hours reset too soon.

I looked at the passenger side window & sees multiple cars passing by. Turns out, there’s a road where cars drive by on the side of the highway. Doing my business on the highway shoulder, nope! Instead, I did the alternate route, do it in a bottle, seal it, and stow it for trash later.

On one of these stops, an officer pulled him over and asked to see his log book, so the trucker, of course, complied.

Just as I finish doing my business, I heard a knock on my passenger door. Very weird, because this is at the highway shoulder, where no one should randomly be walking around. I stow away the bottle and go look who it is and it’s a cop. I was thinking, crap, this isn’t happening.

I switched my log book to “On Duty – Inspection” and go answer the cop. Before I could say anything, the cop asked me to see my log book (it’s part of their job to check whether we comply to the rules or not) so I show it to him. The graph looks like a heart monitor, as I was relieving myself probably 4 or 5 times per day (tiny bladder problem).

The officer had some questions, namely that the trucker was stopping for 30 seconds to a minute every hour. He was suspicious that he was falsifying his records.

The trucker explained that he had a small bladder that required more pit stops, but the officer wasn’t buying it, and asked for proof if the trucker wanted to avoid a ticket.

The cop questioned why I was off duty for 30 seconds to 1 minute every 2-3 hours almost everyday (electronic log book can be backtracked up to 14 days). I explained to him that I have to relieve myself every 2-3 hours, give or take. The cop didn’t believe me and assume that my truck had a problem, that’s why I have to stop every 2-3 hours. I repeated myself about my bladder issue but the cop still didn’t believe me. Instead, he said:

-Cop: Unless you have proof that you’re actually relieving yourself, I’m afraid I have to give you a ticket for false usage of log book.

Cue malicious compliance.

Proof, the trucker had, though the cop wasn’t expecting the exact form it would take.

I told the cop to wait a moment and went back inside my cabin. I grabbed every single bottle of urine that I’ve been collecting today and the previous day (I haven’t had the chance to throw it away), put it in a plastic bag, and for extra measure, grabbed the newest one out of the plastic bag (it was still warm). I showed the whole bag to the cop, plus the warm bottle, told him it’s the newest one I just did a few seconds ago, and asked if he would like to hold it for further inspection.

The cop had the mixed look of disgust & horror. He was literally gagging, so I put back the evidence back inside my truck so he can recover.

The rest of the conversation went about as well as expected, since the guy didn’t end up getting a ticket (and he got a laugh, instead).

Then the cop says:

“I was expecting doctor’s note or something like that. What you showed me was disgusting!”

-Me: But you asked for proof that I was, in fact, relieving myself.

I was holding back my laughter so hard that my cheeks started to hurt. Then he gave me back my log book and told me to have a good day, then drives off. Have a good day, indeed!

I took an extra 1 minute on the shoulder to laugh until I’m satisfied, then I’m off to drive again.

File this one under: be careful what you ask for.

Or maybe: always remember to think ahead and keep a little proof on hand, just in case.

Either way, thanks for the giggles, good sir! Safe driving!