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My 3 Tickets

(With apologies to Fred MacMurray)

I’ve said it before and will say it again: We are often our own worst enemies.

Here are examples of my latest laps through Lake Stupid.

2 months ago:

I’m coming back from a sales call in the Elise. I have a job that pays me to drive the car sometimes.

I’m feeling pretty good, am on a nice country road about 20 miles from home. Every passing zone, I take advantage.

Valentine 1 is on and I’m doing about a bit more than the specified 50, but picking my spots, putting no one in any danger.

I see a police car coming in the opposite lane, but the cop doesn’t have his radar on. I instinctively slow anyway. (Even when at the drag strip, when I saw the State Trooper parked at the end, I’d lift; couldn’t help it.) .

Stupidly, I didn’t turn off the road and take an alternate route, which would’ve been, um, er, not stupid.

A few minutes later, the cop is behind me. About ½ mile later, the lights come on and I dutifully pull over. Cop asks for license, registration, ins card. Asks if he knew how fast he was going….the usual. Cop says he got me on radar about 20 over. Cop is nice, but rookie-ish.

I tell him that I’m not sure his radar was on, asks to see the readout (cop is not req’d to keep or show it in NJ, apparently). Cop says he didn’t save it. I ask if the radar is on now and what model number. Cops says radar is idling and goes back to his car, unhappily, but says it’s a K55. I again raise my doubts.

Now, it gets REALLY good:

Another car pulls up and guy gets out, hands a card to the cop and says, “I’m a retired police captain. Call me if you want a witness. This guy passed me like a bat out of hell,” gives friend a look and leaves.

Cop turns back towards me. I say that fellow was doing 10 under and I pass with alacrity & efficiency. Cop seems to accept this…sort of. Writes a ticket for 10 over. Visions of surcharges dance through my head.

Court:

I ask to speak to prosecutor, am told to wait, given a number. (But, they didn’t take away my name.) When he is ushered into small room, he finds himself talking to a uniformed officer (not the guys in suits), who nicely explains that he is authorized to plea bargain, but nothing else.

I smile and say,” May I put this down here?” and, getting an OK, lay down a manila folder about an inch thick with a big label that reads “XXXX Town Ticket”. Officer says, “Boy, you brought a lot of stuff.” Good.

I explain that radar couldn’t have been on, or was so severely out of tune it was unusable, about how maintenance and training records can be requested, etc, but calmly and nicely. Show pic of car, explaining that everyone always thinks it looks as if it’s going fast when it’s not, that it’s only a 4 cyl, etc.

I mention that I don’t want to pay ins surcharges, etc, can some compromise been met wherein town gets its fine and he gets no points.

Officer offers “operating in unsafe manner,” which is allowed to each driver twice and carries no points. I ponder for a nano-second and say “Deal.” I thank officer, go before judge, plead to it, pay about $400, am reasonably happy. I have won outright in the past, but this is fine. (pun intended)

BTW, the folder was filled with various printed out from the internets about fighting speeding ticket, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading those yet.


That’s not the moral of the story. This is: I should’ve turned off main road as soon as I saw the cop and should watch how/where I drive.


(NOTE: The only laws I ever break are speeding, as breaking the others would increase my odds of being caught and could put someone else in jeopardy.)



Last Month:

Late at night, coming back from an internet date with a woman with a great face and the body of the Crypt-Keeper.

Road is deserted (I thought), two lanes in each direction. Uphill, no intersections for driveways. I feed a bit of throttle, turn up the stereo. Scoot up to, according to qualified observers, 107 mph.

My theory for the last 43 years has been that there is almost never a speed trap uphill. Hah!

The speed limit, I’m reminded when I see headlights come on where there should be none, is only 50. Crap.

Police car makes U-turn, I am now going 49 mph….as if that will matter. Suddenly, it gets very bright behind me. I pull over, having practiced this.

Very young cop reaches my window. My stereo is off, engine off, hazards on, my hands on top of wheel.

To my dismay, I notice two things: He is furious and he’s from the town in which I live. I have broken a cardinal rule: Never speed in your town. Geography is another weak suit of mine.

He refuses to even look at the Policeman’s Ball card I proffer. “Not tonight!”

I tell him I had a high-speed miss and was only doing this speed for a moment and needed a higher gear. “Not tonight” I think. (I have no rancor for this guy doing his job.)

He goes back to his car to apparently write another chapter of “Moby Dick”.

Older policeman pulls up, apologizes sort of, telling me he can’t stop the young fellow from “doing what he’s going to do”. Older cop tells me to come over to his car, where he shows me clear pictures of a local kid who “borrowed” his dad’s Corvette, really sped around side streets, lost control, crashed and died.

I explain that if the older Vette didn’t have stability control and the kid lifted on the bump mentioned, how weight transfers, oversteer ensues, WHAM. Cop is grateful for the possible explanation.

It then occurs to me that I’m wearing a “Bertil Roos Racing School” cap. Maybe not the best choice in headgear. Too late.

Young cop comes over. I ask, “Do you shred my license right here or is that later?” No smiles coming my way.

TWO tickets; one for 107 and another for reckless driving. I mildly protest, but stop; Hey, he’s got a gun.


Court:

My friend and attorney knows the prosecutor and judge. Luckily, they also seem to know him.

He huddles with prosecutor, tells me what I knew: They could pull my license for 6+ months, usually it’s at least 90 days. Mine will be suspended for 30 days.

The Judge & Prosecutor are very efficient, seem very fair and the Judge is really funny. A well-run courtroom; I’ve been in a few. Actually, a lovely room as well.

I stand before the bench and plead guilty. Judge asks if I drove there. Hell, YES. He tells me I will get a provisional license giving me one hour to get home.

I ask, “Your Honor, “provisional”??” He says yes.

I ask, “Does that mean I can speed on the way ho……NEVER MIND.” Judge and courtroom break up.

Judge mentions I’ve got a really nice car in which to speed. “Thank you, Your Worship!” (No, I just thanked him)

Later, I tell a cop and my atty that “instead of a ticket for 107 mph, I would’ve really preferred two tickets for 53.5 mph each.” Big laughs, no help.

I slowly drive home. I will frame my provisional license as a reminder.


Postscript: I send my V1 to Valentine. They admit it was not receiving K-Band and fix it for free. Whoop-de-do, as they say.

In a bit over two weeks, I will get my privilege back. I won’t be speeding in NJ for a couple of years. Will take a Driver Ed course to remove two points.

I cannot tell you how embarrassed I am. I am mortified by my own stupidity.
:no::no::no:
 

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tough break, dont do the crime if you cant do the time.
no sympathy from me.
that $400 fine would cover 1-2 trackday(s) you know..........................

I guess paying high taxes is what you want anyway from reading your politcal rants, so this is really what you are Ok with anyway, the govt taking your money from your pocket to do as they want with it.
 

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I would have fought for much less than the "operating in unsafe manner" violation. You did 10 over, he didn't get you on radar or it was questionable, so I would have bargained for a seatbelt or equipment violation.



For the second one, I would have taken it to trial, but 30 days ain't so bad for 57mph over.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tough break, dont do the crime if you cant do the time.
no sympathy from me.
that $400 fine would cover 1-2 trackday(s) you know..........................

I guess paying high taxes is what you want anyway from reading your politcal rants, so this is really what you are Ok with anyway, the govt taking your money from your pocket to do as they want with it.
Geez, fish.

I am not looking for sympathy. I got caught fair & square. Did I blame anyone but myself? no.

The $400 is the least of it; it will be thousands in ins, surcharge, restoration fees, etc.

Fish, must you make everything political*? Get over it.rotfl

How else would you suggest the state deter people? Fines can work.

I have a feeling that sympathy/empathy were not high scores on your psychological profile test. (At least when I'm concerned. -poke-)

Thanks.

=gb=

* That is MY job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I once had 41 tickets in 90 days. Had a ticket contest going with my roommates. Suspended? No problem. Kept driving. There was a time you could act like that and not have to wear stripes.
NC - Thank you.

Wow. That is quite a bunch of tickets!

If that is your photo, I am surprised you got a single ticket.

Questions:

Did you try flirting? (They couldn't all have been policewomen, right?)

Didn't you have to pay a lot of fines?

What do you mean "a time you could act like that"? When was that, 4 years ago? You look pretty young.

Would you marry me?



BTW, I don't look good in stripes, plaids, solids, checks and especially not in see-through.

I have fewer mirrors in my house than a vampire.


Gee, maybe I shouldn't have added those last two lines after my proposal??!!

=gb=
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would have fought for much less than the "operating in unsafe manner" violation. You did 10 over, he didn't get you on radar or it was questionable, so I would have bargained for a seatbelt or equipment violation.

For the second one, I would have taken it to trial, but 30 days ain't so bad for 57mph over.
BM - Thx

I tried to do better on the 1st one.

His radar WAS working. My V1 was not.

I discussed trial with 2 attys, looked at a lot of techniques for trial. Was assured that 30 days was the likely outcome in each situation. Trial could've gotten me 9 months or so if I'd lost.

=gb=
 

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Wow ... Thank you for sharing!
Glad you still have the provisional license.
First ticket is kinda hokey - 2nd one ... welllll..... it is just too easy to loose track of the speed. I understand you are embarrassed; so was I:

I once got a warning for rolling a stop sign. Cop was right behind me & I knew it. I actually did not realize I did roll them/ not wait long enough. :eek: Now, years later I still check pretty much every stop sign! The funny part is that i just drove home from a defensive driving course, has my racing harness on and my Certificate of Completion on the passenger seat. rotfl


Not that I ever speed - but I have a V1 as well. It warns me of road hazards!
Many cops will put on thier radar in a dangerous spot while tening to a crash!
And other drivers will slam on the brakes and rubberneck when seeing / passing a cop who has someone pulled over or is enforcing the speed limit.TADTS
 

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I know how that feels.
I got a criminal speeding last fall, and I felt like the biggest idiot. If I would have paid more attention I wouldn't have been speeding in the first place, and thus not got caught.
Ticket was almost $500 and I now have a record. Insurance will go up, and have a bunch of points on my licence. I am just thankful I didn't lose it or go to jail.

Once you get your licence back is there any regulations in the chance that something else happens?(such as you lose it for a year)
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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I know how that feels.
I got a criminal speeding last fall, and I felt like the biggest idiot. If I would have paid more attention I wouldn't have been speeding in the first place, and thus not got caught.
Ticket was almost $500 and I now have a record. Insurance will go up, and have a bunch of points on my licence. I am just thankful I didn't lose it or go to jail.

Once you get your licence back is there any regulations in the chance that something else happens?(such as you lose it for a year)
Phx Cobra -

What the hell is "criminal" speeding? You now have a criminal (not traffic) record??

Pls explain, am confused.

Thanks.

=gb=
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow ... Thank you for sharing!
Glad you still have the provisional license.
First ticket is kinda hokey - 2nd one ... welllll..... it is just too easy to loose track of the speed. I understand you are embarrassed; so was I:

I once got a warning for rolling a stop sign. Cop was right behind me & I knew it. I actually did not realize I did roll them/ not wait long enough. :eek: Now, years later I still check pretty much every stop sign! The funny part is that i just drove home from a defensive driving course, has my racing harness on and my Certificate of Completion on the passenger seat. rotfl

Not that I ever speed - but I have a V1 as well. It warns me of road hazards!
Many cops will put on thier radar in a dangerous spot while tening to a crash!
And other drivers will slam on the brakes and rubberneck when seeing / passing a cop who has someone pulled over or is enforcing the speed limit.TADTS
Necro - No, the 1st ticket was valid; the V1 was broken.

Yeah, people slam brakes on when they see a cop having pulled over someone. Why? Did the people not remember police existed until they saw that one? :crazyeyes

Good thing about V1, with signal count and direction. I went thru 2 radar traps a mile or so apart, but knew this was coming. Lots of people got caught in 2nd one, assuming as we all sometimes do, that there isn't going to be another cops so close to 1st one.

Thanks.

=gb=
 

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Phx Cobra -

What the hell is "criminal" speeding? You now have a criminal (not traffic) record??

Pls explain, am confused.

Thanks.

=gb=
Yes I have a traffic ticket and also a misdemeanor on my record now.
Not like it affects me in any way, I have been offered 2 jobs that did background checks since then(probably different if the job required driving), but still not good.
It was for 30 over.
 

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I must be lucky.

Driving through Indiana I start to pass a truck that's hanging in the left lane. As I get next to him it looks like he's starting to drift over so I floor it and zip up to about 110. After passing the truck I notice a State Trooper behind me. Uh Oh, I start to slow down and he passes me and takes off.

Driving through Indiana again I'm cruising along at 100. Check my mirror and a Trooper is RIGHT behind me. I finish passing the car on the right and start to slow down. He pulls along side me and while pointing downwards mouths the words "SLOW DOWN".

One week ago I'm returning from the rifle range cruising at 90. I round a slight bend in the road and see the cop and the V1 goes off. I slow down to 60 in about 1/2 second. The car I had just passed flies by me. Cop just sat there.
 

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For some reason, I don't think the police in the Chester area don't like Lotus. I've been pulled over three times in my Elise and two times where in that area. Only one was for speeding, more then double over the posted, but they let me go. 20mph on a curvy twisty road where a semi truck could easily do 40mph. :shrug: Said if he ever sees me in that area again without a front plate, he's definitely coming after me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I must be lucky.

Driving through Indiana I start to pass a truck that's hanging in the left lane. As I get next to him it looks like he's starting to drift over so I floor it and zip up to about 110. After passing the truck I notice a State Trooper behind me. Uh Oh, I start to slow down and he passes me and takes off.

Driving through Indiana again I'm cruising along at 100. Check my mirror and a Trooper is RIGHT behind me. I finish passing the car on the right and start to slow down. He pulls along side me and while pointing downwards mouths the words "SLOW DOWN".

One week ago I'm returning from the rifle range cruising at 90. I round a slight bend in the road and see the cop and the V1 goes off. I slow down to 60 in about 1/2 second. The car I had just passed flies by me. Cop just sat there.
D - thx

You are lucky just the way I was...until two months ago.

Get this: I was a teenager in my '65 GTO racing some other kids. Beat them, but didn't notice the cop coming up behind them. They turn off.

Cop pulls me over. I am white, he is black, other kids were black, we were not in a good neighborhood.

I tell cop that the kids had been shouting at me and then were chasing me. He let me go.

I still feel 1/100 bad about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes I have a traffic ticket and also a misdemeanor on my record now.
Not like it affects me in any way, I have been offered 2 jobs that did background checks since then(probably different if the job required driving), but still not good.
It was for 30 over.
P - Thx. I didn't know a state could put speeding in misdemeanor category.

Name of my ex-wife when I met her: Ms. DeMeanor.

=gb=
 
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