Recently, I’ve been issued a ticket. Now, while I admit that I occasionally speed (especially if I’m running late for work), otherwise I am a very cautious driver. When you’ve had repeated bad experiences with the police force (male officers physically searching a female minor, male officer spraining a wrist, and refusing to allow a minor to call their parents [and that was just one experience…), you tend to do everything you can to avoid more interactions with them.
And in that goal, I have been very successful with following laws and being as courteous to my fellow drivers as my personality will allow. It’s done wonders for avoiding issues with the local law, until recently.
So, the other day, I am driving to my second job of the day and see the local police parked on the side of the road near a disabled vehicle. Now, we all know that we have to slow down and move away from that side of the road, to maintain a safe distance from the professional individuals. Around here, they call it Scott’s law, apparently. (Didn’t know it had a name until the ticket came, honestly. Just knew that we are ordered to slow and move over for emergency vehicles on all the lighted signs on the local section of interstate/highway.) Pretty easy right?
I slowed to the typical construction zone speed of 45 mph, and with the hills and curve of our road, I only moved over half of the lane, instead of the full lane change. I am very familiar with driving over hills, I live in a hilly area of the States, and this area even included a no-pass zone (on one of the hills, and this one is within a half mile of a curve that people LOVE to speed around…). I felt confident that I had followed the scripture of the law. Yet, within five seconds of passing the officer’s vehicle, cherries and blueberries were flashing in my side mirror, but sure enough – they stayed behind me, instead of passing when I slowed down a second time. I was still issued a ticket (with up to a 10k fine, and possible suspension of my license), and was quoted by the officer that the required slow down is 25-35 mph, along with a full lane change (assumably required no matter the road condition, if we’re going by the amount of vigor in the officer’s statement to me).
Well, that confused me. How could it be so specific? There are far too many variables to consider to make it that specific. So, once I got home, I decided to let my angry anxiety fuel a long search for these exact details that I was quoted by our lovely agent of the law. I spent over two hours pouring over my state’s statutes from every possible angle.
It’s not that specific. I could go as far as quoting everything here, but I’ll keep it simple by saying that it definitely is based on road conditions, and I will be fighting this in court.
I’ve sent the little blue slip back to the court, I’ve typed out and printed a motion for discovery to gain the evidence I need, and am currently trying to improve my nerves for the inevitable court date.
I’m literally a ball of anxiety in my daily life so you can guess that I’m basically going to feel like melting into a puddle in front of the judge. (Even with good court experiences (for my certificate and whatnot), I still hate having to put myself in a spotlight, especially as a defense. There’s something about being forced to defend myself, especially against a rigged system, that is just utterly bone-chilling.
In all likelihood, I will go to the court date, and be told that the officer’s subjective view is basically God’s word.
I pretty much fully expect that.
But, in my heart, I hope to show that it was a desperate reach for a ticket (which leads to that all important revenue for the state/district/whatever), on the grounds that had I driven as requested, I would have been endangering myself. I’ll update on this after the court date, if I can still afford my internet bill…jeez that fine is terrifying.
Thanks for reading my rant, and wish me luck on that court date. Goodness knows I’ll need it.
Love and Peace
Update: Court Time Update in Part Two!