Friday, December 29, 2006

Traffic Court

While you were out stocking up on libations and recreational drugs for your New Year's Eve party, I was in traffic court.

On my way home from work several weeks ago, one of the sharp-eyed, shiny-booted officers who cruise the three mile stretch of road from the main highway to the Harley store in my town, noticed that my Jeep's license plate sticker was past its freshness date. I knew I was in trouble when the front end of his cruiser had its nose so far up my rear that it made my throat tickle. And those weren't Christmas lights blinking on the roof of his vehicle.

That's twice I thought I had until December, only to find out that I was supposed to matriculate in September.

"Yep, you got me," was the extent of my resistance. Then he parlayed that one little traffic citation into a two-fer when I couldn't find my insurance card in the glove compartment. Even better, I called my insurance company while he wrote me up only to discover that I was a month past due. When the shit hits the fan, it gets all over the walls. Plus he also had possession of my driver's license. Somewhere I had a Triple A card so I wouldn't have to relinquish it for the next five weeks.

Somewhere. But just where, exactly, I didn't know. I still haven't found it. The officer did say that for the low low price of $200 I could get my driver's license back, if I brought the cash to the police station before midnight. He actually seemed surprised to see me when I showed up after dinner to retrieve it. Duh. I need it to prove I am who I am. I also pointed out that it's hard to get through airport security using a traffic ticket as my i.d.  Flashing my passport just confuses people. "What's this for?"

This morning at 9:00 AM, many weeks later, I showed up in room 101 of one of the suburban locations that process people who forget that along with their driver's licenses, village stickers and auto emissions stickers, they also have to show proof of insurance and display a current license plate sticker. I guess three out of five ain't good enough for these nit pickers.

I might have forgotten some of my stickers, but I do have an oval black and white OBX sticker on my back window. HAH!!! Anythng with "X" makes it look like I have a membership in some kind of secretsociety,  I do. I'm one of a select group of people who have actuallyspent money on that sticker, which, for all its exclusivity, provides me with absolutely no immunity in traffic stop situations.

OBX, for the uninitiated, stands for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a long, very skinny strip of land that, when it isn't being hit by hurricanes, is a rather pleasant vacation spot.

I learned two things in traffic court today. First, I would get my $200 back. But, only after they took out $50 for my fine, $30 for court fees, and, get this, another $20 [or ten per cent of the $200] for the effort to send me my money back. That includes the stamp to mail it. They can't just give me change. Now I really have to find that Triple A bond card.

Secondly, I noticed that there were about fifty people in court. That's not very earthshaking. What surprised me was that there were only four women with tickets. Either that or the rest of them just sent in their fines. 

There was also only one female police officer, out of fourteen cops in court.  At least I think she was female.

What surprised me even more was the ethnicity of the people there to see the judge. Most of the names they called started with Vladimir, Boris, Alexei, and Dmitri. 

Apparently most of the traffic laws in my neighborhood are broken by Russian men. I've noticed that for some time, most of the taxi cabs in my town are also driven by Russians. In fact, the woman who does my nails is also Russian. Coincidence? I think not.


psychfun said...

Oh you poor thing! 10% geez...that is like the $200 hammer! I'd like to see the expense report that justifies that much to send it back! Where are they getting envelopes, stamps & how much are they making for 3 min to put it in an envelope & process? We should get after the Gov on this! Well, it could be worse in Naperville if you go around the block more than a few times in a short period of time you are looting or something like that! They have absolutely no parking & they do this! Primarily for the teenagers who are cruising but still! My neighbor got a ticket parking on the street without his sticker & so the next day he parked behind out building...they came looking & they found him & gave him another. Then after he had it he was in the driveway & I saw the cop come up & check! Ha! They are really desperate to give those tickets out.

psychfun said...

I just thought..."He with the most citations given out win" Ha! But what? Hmmm!

ladeeoftheworld said...

You should have offered the little shiny shoed man sex.  Right there.  

jevanslink said...

Nothing like rush hour traffic for having sex with a cop.  

Mrs. L

ksquester said...

Well Natasha your story has reminded me to throw my proof in insurance card into the car.  Anne

screaminremo303 said...

If he was that close he must be blind. You should have hammered the brakes and watched him rear-end your Jeep. When they ask you why you slammed on your brakes, tell them you were trying to avoid the rabbit. When he says he didn't see any rabbit, just tell him "Then I guess it's a good thing one of us was watching where they were driving."

Don't forget to include loss of consortium on the lawsuit. I'd hate to miss out on my cut.

gaboatman said...

What a rotten way to spend the morning, and costly, too!  Sorry you had to go through all of that.  At least you are up to date now with stickers, insurance and, if you find it, AAA cards.  

swibirun said...

Wow....I had heard about the Russian mob in stories on Sixty Minutes and Dateline, but I never realized that they were so organized that they had even gotten traffic offenses.  Is there no end to their madness?


suzypwr said...

No handcuffs? No mace? No tasers? Couldn't you get a little more entertainment out of this??