Accepting Defeat by the Heavy Hand of the Law
I flip-flopped on whether to write this article because it was mostly my wife’s business, but since I was the one who got the letter in the mail, I’m taking full rights to the topic, and hopefully get some feedback from all of you AND educate you in the process.
So a couple weeks ago, as we were driving back to PA to sell our old Pontiac Grand Am, I drove the Pontiac while Stacie followed me in the MINI. We drove to the main highway via a certain route with both red light cameras and speed cameras.
As we were chugging along, barely 2 miles from our house, a big box truck cut Stacie off right before a stop light. I had made it through (I didn’t know the light was changing), but Stacie, not wanting to be left behind, followed the box truck through the light.
The light had turned red before Stacie went through the intersection.
She called me on the cell to tell me she went through a red light, and I recalled that that specific junction had a red light camera. Uh oh. Well, nothing we can do about it now, so we just continued on to Pennsylvania, and eventually I forgot about the infraction.
Until this past weekend when I checked the mail.
You’ve Won A Million Dollars!
Wait, no, wrong envelope. Ahh, there it is. The envelope containing the citation from the city for $75. And who is it made out to? Stacie? Try again.
Guess who owns the car……..Me.
So as far as the city knows, that little girl with curly hair is named Michael Dude, and Michael Dude is a bad, bad person for running a red light.
Oh, but wait, is that a green Pontiac Grand Am up ahead in the picture? Is that a tall man with a receding hairline driving it? Oh, that’s nobody. He didn’t run a red light so he’s a model citizen.
Ooh! I’ll fight this!
My first thought was “hey, they have a section to request a court date. I should fight it”. But then I recalled Stacie knowingly went through the red light. It wouldn’t be right to go into the court and waste the judge’s time trying to weasel our way out of a legitimate ticket. Would it?
My next thought was to call Stacie and tell her she needs to earn some extra money (which I did). No, I won’t force her out on the corner like a certain PF blogger. This is Stacie’s first infraction versus my 10-page rap sheet, so I wanted to needle her a bit about it. She got a kick out of it, only because it’s in my name. She doesn’t have to worry about her record!
But I’ll just pay the $75 and be done with it. First, it doesn’t go onto my driving record or ding me with any points (unless I don’t pay, I think). Second, it was a legitimate ticket. Third, I got one of these myself about 7 years ago in Virginia, and know it’s just easier to pay it than fight it (if you know you’re in the wrong and want to stay honest). However, my ticket was only $50. My how inflation has taken its toll!
Now if it was one of those speed cameras, I might be more willing to go to court. I personally don’t like the idea of a static photograph as proof that I was moving, much less speeding. I would want personal or video testimony about my driving, which a stationary camera doesn’t give.
So what are your thoughts? Should I fight it? Have you had success with fighting and winning in the past? Any tactics I should follow (or maybe my fellow readers should as I’m too honest 😉 )