Interesting traffic citation racket


This weekend, after delivering a bandsaw and a drill (metal content)
to a buyer in a neighboring state, I was stopped and fined by police
for driving 22 MPH over the speed limit. The reason for this is I was
not paying attention and the road was rather empty.
In any case, after posting the $130 fine, the officer told me that I
can avoid having a driving violation posted on my record, and I need to
talk to the chief of police. I called "the chief" today and he told that,
no problem, I can avoid it on my record if they convert it to a
"ordinance violation", with the fine for that beong $275 (over twice
more).
This is still better than having this ticket on my record, but I
cannot help but feel that this "downgrade" process is just a way for
that small town to shake down motorists.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus26236
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Here's another one: My 20 year old niece was driving in the rain. Truck in front of her was doing 55 (speed limit was 65). Cop was behind her. She changed into the left lane to pass the truck. Cop changed lanes as well. It starts raining really hard, so she slowed to 60. Cop pulls her over and writes a ticket for "obstructing traffic." She tells him that visibility was really bad because of the heavy rain. He says, "If you can't do the speed limit, stay out of the left lane." Then, my brother calls the cops, and they offer him pretty much the same deal Iggy got.
Now, my brother's something of a wimp about such things. Had it been me, I would have had newspaper reporters at the trial.
Reply to
rangerssuck
Well, in my case, I clearly was in violation, so I do not object to the original ticket. What I felt was a little disconcerting, was the fact that they were willing to not report my violation in exchange for more $$$.
In the case of "driving school", there is at least some fig leaf, but here, it is just "we will not report your crime if you give us money".
Mind you, I actually prefer this outcome to having my ticket reported, but I think that it is a corrupt policy.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus26236
I wouldn't be that quick to knock it - not too long ago, I got rousted with about 1/2 gram of pot in my pocket. They let me go to "drug and alcohol abuse" school (at which about 6 out of about 150 people were there for alcohol) for a mere $40.00, which is a HELL of a lot cheaper than the astronomical fine if I'd pled guilty, or for a lawyer if I'd wanted to fight it. I could have qualified for the PD, but that's a crapshoot - we all know who pays the PD's salary. =:-O
Cheers! Rich
Reply to
Richard the Dreaded Libertaria
That's exactly what it is. California does the same thing through "Traffic Schools". Those "schools" are privately run and in many instances, are completed online. California DMV and the issuer split part of the fee and the private entity keeps the rest.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
Take the offer and run. Our $150 fine here in NJ turned into a $600 "conversion"...
But the points and insurance surcharges would have made the $150 ticket a $1000 fine in the long run so it was worth it.
Wife got pulled over last year doing 32 in a 25... Long, straight, empty road in the only town around here that has ZERO houses under $500,000 and absolutely no business presence at all. i.e. high end living...
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
I hope you are not under the quaint illusion that this is about public safety. It's always been about Revenue Enhancement.
Reply to
RBnDFW
On the Interstate in Fabens, Texas, I was stopped by a cop coming the other direction on a curve with high bushes in the median. His lane was higher than mine, and he had the outside curve, so his radar would have been pointing out into space. He took my license and told me to follow him. I did. We went to a small town towards the Rio Grande. It looked like a set for "Fistful of Dollars". The "judge's office" was so small that there were two doors, a desk and three chairs. One could not walk around the desk, and he had to enter from the door on his side of the desk. The cop told his story. I told mine, mentioning the curve, and the trees and bushes. I was probably going 5 over at the time, but hey, a new Caddy with Nevada plates ............
GUILTY! Pay the fine. What if I wanted a trial? Pay the fine plus $250 as a guarantee that I would show up in court. I paid the fine, around $100, IIRC. NO CHECKS! CASH ONLY!
I live in a small town that has FOUR overlapping jurisdictions. The main drag is 40mph, and I do 38. A way for small towns to shake down motorists?
Pshaw! Surely you jest.
We do have a very nice park, though. New night lighted baseball diamond. New statue in front of new city hall. All the police vehicles are less than a year old. Main drag just repaved and repainted. I think it's some of the stimulus money, myself.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
"Ignoramus26236" wrote
Then make a big fuss, and be stopped every time you leave your driveway. It's shitty, but that is the way it works. I have family that are POs. I could tell you some stories. Once you get on their list, there's no getting off. Right OR wrong. They can stop you if they want to, if there's probable cause or not. "Sir, we have a person who has been conducting burglaries in this area, and I notice you are carrying a large amount of things in your trailer. Would you like to step out and unload everything so I can look at it?"
Sure, you may get it dismissed, or reduced, but now they got your number. Pay the fine, and watch the speedo from now on. They have made you an offer you can't refuse, pay some more and it doesn't go on your record. What are you going to do? 22 over? iggy .......!
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
These rackets are infuriating, but just for the sake of perspective, and not to diminish them, this was once the way entire towns along the SE coast used to finance their government.
There was one S.C. town in particular that was notorious. They ran a speed trap on Rt. 301, which, before I-95, was a main route south for NE snowbirds, and derived 100% of their municipal income from speeding tickets -- virtually all from northerners. The speed dropped from 50 mph to 30 mph right at the edge of town and you really couldn't see the sign. Cops would hide behind a billboard right next to the sign. The justice of the peace was open 24 hours/day and the only way you could stay out of jail was to pay cash -- lots of it. There was a Western Union office right inside the municipal police office -- no kidding.
This was 'late '50s and early '60s. One of the town's merchants paid for a billboard around 1/2 mile north of town that said, roughly, "WARNING! Local parasites ahead. Slow down NOW to 30 mph, or they will rob you blind."
Needless to say, it got a little hot for that guy until magazines all over America started covering the story. He got them to stop it, all by himself.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Oh, yeah, I remember that. We always had Allstate trip plans (my dad worked for Sears) and I was the navigator. Now I remember that little note.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Great, now you fit the profile of a drug dealer ;)
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes

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