False Economy

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to try to stand upon your principles. About five or six weeks ago I was given a traffic ticket in a neighboring community. If I had chosen to mail in the fine, it would have been $57.50. Since I didn’t think I was guilty of the offence — failure to stop at a stop sign — I chose to go to the municipal court session instead, in the hopes that the judge would see my logic and throw the whole thing out.

Well, I learned fairly quickly that wasn’t going to happen. If I wanted to avoid having a jury trial — for a traffic ticket! — then I had to plead guilty with explanation. I explained that the officer had told me I had stopped at the stop sign but I was over the white line. It was late at night, dark, and I never saw the white line. I thought the fact that he stated I had stopped would carry some weight.

It didn’t carry enough. The judge decided to change the charge to illegal parking and charge me $65. That way there would be no points charged against my license. I would have done better to just write the check and mail it in back when I got the ticket.

I’m not so sure I saw justice being dispensed last night but I think I did see a community making money off the general public. There were lots of traffic tickets being dealt with resulting in various fines and court costs. I found it interesting that the court was willing to work out payment plans for those unable to pay up last night.

Oh, well, I can chalk this up to adding to my education. I suppose the fact that this was my first time in court is commendable since I was one of the oldest people — if not the oldest — in the courtroom.

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3 Responses to False Economy

  1. Susie says:

    A raw deal for sure, but since it won’t go on your record and affect your insurance, it is better than paying for SUPPOSEDLY not stopping. Twisted logic, and all in the favor of “City Hall”.

  2. Carole says:

    Revenue gathering for sure or maybe trying to meet quotas. And a judge who needs (in my humble opinion) to brush up on the legal defintion of parking – I assume that your car’s engine was still running, not turned off and that you were still in the car when you supposedly failed to stop.

  3. Ray says:

    You did ok. the $65 ticket is far better than the moving violation which means points, higher insurance or worst, traffic school. Live and learn, in the eyes of the law you are always guilty of a traffic/parking violation.

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