Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Would You Do?!? - Speeding With A Pregnant Wife.

[Editor's Note: This story originally ran yesterday and was pulled for the Giffords open thread.]

Having experienced the joy of childbirth twice now, I'm familiar with the mad scramble that occurs when you finally realize "it's time". Thankfully in both cases, we were well prepared, the hospital was a short drive away, and weather wasn't an issue (my kids were both in August and October). Still, the stereotype of the man rushing his in-labor wife through traffic to make it to the delivery room persists, probably because it's so often portrayed that way on TV. Sure, you hear about the occasional "baby born on the side of the road" story, but more often than not, the journey to the hospital is a routine, mundane experience.

Not so much for a New Hampshire Couple.
A New Hampshire man says he's going to fight a speeding ticket he received after rushing his wife to the hospital when she was in labor.

State Police say John Coughlin hit a speed of 102 mph on Interstate 293 on Sept. 18 as he rushed to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester with his wife Angela.

The Coughlins called 911 after a trooper tried to stop them and said the baby was about to be born. The trooper turned the pursuit into an escort to the hospital.

WMUR-TV says baby Kyle was born six minutes after the Coughlins reached the hospital.

John Coughlin says the trooper congratulated him on the birth of his son and then gave him a ticket.
I've seen this guy making the rounds on morning news shows talking about the case, and to be quite honest, he sorta sounds like a tool. Maybe that's why I could be less than sympathetic in saying this, but he's dead wrong.

Driving 102 miles an hour under any circumstances warrants a ticket. Period. Sure, he was trying to get his wife to the hospital, but doing that speed puts his family, as well as other families on the highway at risk. He's lucky he caught the right cop on the right day (and apparently in the right state), cause I'm sorry, but I don't see it going down like this for all of us. Again, this could have turned out far worse for all involved parties.

In this situation, I prolly would have either called an ambulance, or called 911 prior to leaving the house and requested a police escort. Even if I'd managed to pull off what Coughlin did, I'd also probably just let the ticket slide. I mean, seriously, the baby arrived and is apparently healthy. Why overshadow that beautiful moment by griping about a ticket? Sometimes, standing on general principle is just generally stupid.

Pay the fine, kiss your newborn, and move on. But that's just me.

Question: What would you do if placed in a similar situation. Go all NASCAR, or call an ambulance?!?

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