Monday, March 1, 2010

the speeding ticket

I tell my friend Paulette all the time, "you don't drive like you jam!". She is an absolute speed demon on a derby track, and I mean crazy amazing fast!, on the flip side, she drives like old people make love (I can't remember what movie I heard that line in, but it cracks me up!), she's slow and steady and maybe a little distracted even...kind of a boring driver, if you can imagine that.

P (as I call her, aka: The Iron Wench) likes to come back with, "you don't either!", here's what she is saying, I drive like she skates! (and no, I don't skate like she skates, sadly, and never ever will mind you, but that's ok, because very few humans ever will, I do however, skate vicariously through her).
However, get me behind the wheel and I become the Iron Wench in my VW. I am precise, fast, cunning, speedy, rarely if ever wipe out and I am perhaps a little cocky, yes, I said it, with years and years of driving under my belt from snow storms to hail and rain and you name it...I am a damn good driver! plus I can do an amazing 2 move parallel parking job into a vert tight spot, left or right, just saying.

So, there we were, early morning on a Friday at the end of January, Kicky, baby Tess and I, minding our own business on the way to the NY Gift Fair somewhere is nowhereville upstate NY, when suddenly, after driving behind a police cruiser for at least 20 minutes, he pulled over, pulled back out behind us and turned on his siren...DAMN! SHIT! FUCK!
Times are tough dammit, I do not want to shell out for some damn speeding ticket when I can use that money to do a little shopping! UGHHHH I have my priorities!
I promptly pull over and tell myself to "be nice" thinking that perhaps I can get us (and by "us" I mean ME) out of this little situation...apparently not.
The Ray Banned Officer asked me if I knew why he was there...it took all I had to not give him the sarah silverman answer "because you got all D's in high school?????", but I just said, - because I was following behind you? ( which he ended up quoting on the ticket! the jerk, do you know how stupid it sounds when you read it out of context?, oh, you do, don't you? you just read it! :-)
So, he takes my licence and registration and goes back to his cruiser for what seemed like a remarkably long time while Kicky and I keep saying back and forth to eachother- how can he possibly know how fast we were going when he was way in front of us?????- YES, and by US I mean ME!
He finally comes back, still Ray Banned and hands me a ticket (apparently my charms are not so charming) and in essence says that for the last 20 miles or so, I had been behind him- DUH, doesn't he know that I know?...then he says that when he would slow down, I would slow down...again DUH???? and then he said, when he would speed up, apparently I would speed up....whatever...he said that he went as high as 81mph and that is why the ticket reads 81 mph.
Definitely not a very nice man, I mean he could have stopped me at 71mph and said the same thing, but NO, he had to go to 81mph...well, I don't believe him. OK, I can hustle sometimes and I admit it, I am speedy, but I am NOT stupid, or blind. Bottom line? I SAW him, I was not out to win any cop tricking awards, I was NOT going 81 mph. no way, no how!
The date on the ticket said that I had to either show up (at a PO box apparently) on February 22nd at 10am or file a plea before this date. I realized on February 22nd that I hadn't done either, except bitch about the ticket ALOT.
I decided to take things into my own hands and figure out what I could do about this. I called a number on the ticket and got a very nice lady that told me that I needed to call the court clerk directly, call and ask for Christina the clerk. That was my first clue that this was a very small town, hmmmm, this could be interesting.
I called and asked for Christina the clerk and a nice older voiced man answered and said, - sorry, Christina just left to go to the bank with the court's money. I laughed and asked when she would return and he simply said, - maybe I can help you. I doubted it, but heck, I figured I would try.
Long story a little shorter?...the guy on the phone with me was the JUDGE!!! and he was telling me (in a nutshell) that he hated hearing that I might just plead guilty to "be done" with the whole ticket situation and that it was my RIGHT to fight this ticket and I should! He explained that the worst that would happen by submitting my NOT guilty plea would be an immediate offer to reduce the ticket, meaning rather than admitting to 81 I might be offered 75mph, this man was talking my language!
He told me to fax in the form, tick the NOT GUILTY box and I would hear from the court, he also asked that I not write his name at the top of the fax, which of course I didn't...
I will keep you updated on this one!
lesson #1...don't plead guilty to a speeding ticket, just DON'T! it seems that less than 3% of people actually plead NOT guilty and that you will at the least have your ticket speed reduced or maybe even thrown out...I am hoping for the latter.
Lesson #2...probably just shouldn't speed, but I am the IRON WENCH on 4 wheels!

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