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December 3rd, 2000

Speeding Tickets

After over eight years with not even a traffic stop on my record, my streak was marred this weekend. And I’ve decided that speeding tickets suck.

At 3:30am I was driving to my parents’ house in NJ. I was on a pretty major highway (2 lanes in each direction) and there were maybe one or two other cars on the road. At one point I looked up and saw that there was a cop car immediately behind me without his lights on. I continued at the same speed I was going, since I was within a couple mph of the speed limit. He then flipped his lights on and I uttered a few choice phrases as I pulled over.

The cop played the stereotypical traffic cop perfectly. “May I see your insurance and registration please?” with the flashlight shining in the car. I avoided that “What seems to be the problem, officer?” line since I figured he’d tell me anyway. I was intimidated because I’d never been pulled over before and he had the more-lawful-than-thou attitude down, like I was transporting drugs across state lines or something.

“Back there I clocked you doing a 60 in a 45.” He looked at my license, insurance, and registration and added, “Is this your current address?” He then went back to his car to do write out the ticket and do whatever else cops do in the car for that ungodly amount of time.

60 in a 45. I was watching my speed and making sure I wasn’t doing over 55 in a 45, though since I was extremely tired (my eyes were absolutely bloodshot), I figured I must have creeped up a little higher than I expected at one point. He must have clocked me before I noticed I was going a little fast.

He came back to the car and said, “Even though you were going 15 over, I made it nine.” Oh, gee, thanks. Save me $10. “You have a right to contest this ticket if you wish. The court date if you choose to do so is December 28th.” He paused. “Do you know where you are?” Whether he asked this because I was out-of-state or because he was drunk, I’m not sure.

In any event, I’m now stuck with a $78 ticket (!!!) and points on my newly clean insurance record (I passed the 25 milestone a couple months ago). And what irks me is that he actually pulled me over for this…

  • Though I may have crept up to 60, he followed me for a while and must have seen that I dropped my speed. There were very few other people even on the road, but the ones I saw were all going as fast or faster than me.
  • I’m a defensive driver 95% of the time — I use my turn signals even if no other soul in the world is visible to me, I wasn’t driving erratically, and I never try to run red lights.
  • As an out-of-state person, I have a feeling that he didn’t even consider giving me a warning for this minor infraction. Why? Because he knew I wouldn’t pay $30 in tolls and taxes and spend eight hours driving three days after Christmas to contest a $78 ticket, even if I wasn’t guilty.
Now, I’m not saying I’m above the law or anything — I am guilty of driving nine mph over the limit — but I’m still irritated by the whole thing. Was it really worth stopping me? I guess so, to reach their quota and make the police department some cash. But I have a feeling that there were other people they should have been more concerned with (like the Dunkin Donuts truck that almost turned head on into me about three minutes later).

I guess I should have read this book (which I do own) a little more carefully. -ram

Posted in Cars

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday December 3, 2000 -- 2:24:35PM
Yes that cop should have been concerned with the Dunkin Donuts truck. I can't believe he and his fellow officers weren't hijaking it!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday December 3, 2000 -- 3:05:21PM
Ryan, first, my apologies. I have two speeding tickets in my history, but they're no longer on my record because it was just that long ago.

I have yet to meet a cop who came across as "I'm doing my duty" - instead they're more of the "I'm better than you are, you stupid punk" attitude (even the female cop that pulled me over.)

You probably got targeted because you were out-of-state. Maybe he recognized you from The People's Court.

FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Sunday December 3, 2000 -- 3:40:05PM
I think another factor was the lateness. There's not much else going on for officers to work on at 3:30 AM, so it's much easier to get pulled over at hours like that. I try to never go out driving after 10 PM or so.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday December 3, 2000 -- 9:11:51PM
Terry -- Yes, I try to avoid driving that late as much as I can, especially on the weekend, as it seems that the ratio of drunk drivers to non-drunk drivers would be worse at that time. But this weekend I was on the road Friday night and Saturday night (Saturday night I got home at 4:30am and took a 25 minute nap a rest stop). And on Saturday night, before I even got out of Medford I had passed six traffic cops... what really frustrated me was that one of them made an illegal turn and was driving 80 in a 50 as if the law didn't apply to him (no lights on, incidentally).

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 12:53:24AM
Ryan by now you should know that Pigs are above-the-law. Just ask Steven Segal

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 9:39:32AM
Yesterday, my brother came dangerously close to getting a ticket on I-66E approaching Manassas. Luckily, the cop got some other poor soul. The worst part was that I told him to slow down as soon as I saw the cop car but he didn't listen. That would have made a great "I Told Ya So".

It's very easy to rip into cops for giving out tickets when they could serve us in so many better ways. But the heart of it is that they are just men and women expected to do a job. A heavy burden falls on them to have documentable evidence of them doing that job. And since we all know from personal experience that people DO go over the speed limit with regularity I'm not surprised to see that they camp out on the highways and wait to see whom they can catch in the act. (I drive well over the speed limit about 85% of the time but I've had the good fortune of never getting caught. Give me a few more years and I probably will have been under the MagLite as well.)

It would be nice if they would be out enforcing more important things like drunken driving but that might be harder to catch if you're moving around. And thus, they would be less likely to come back to the station with proof that they performed their job. I'm sure they hate busting people for something that really isn't that bad. But without that little bit of enforcement, who knows what chaos could result?

FROM: Tony
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 10:10:58AM
Feel lucky, I remember (since my father is a cop.) sitting in the station one night , just doing homework, (like 2:00am, dont ask) When I remember my dad fighting with a deputy, and taking his ticket book, after which he gave him 4 tickets to use, since the deputy had gone through about 3 ticket books the previous evening.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 11:21:11AM
Well, the whole speed limit thing is just an easy way to give tickets. Here are some links saying that speed doesn't kill; rather it's a nice pot o'money coordinated by the DOT, police departments, and insurance companies. It's far too tempting and far too easy to penalize people for driving fast.

In the meantime, there are drivers every single day violating more important rules of the road: shoulder driving when not permitted, not signaling, illegal lane changes, cutting people off, riding in the left lane, blowing stoplights, blowing stopsigns, reckless driving... yet it all goes unnoticed as more money is generated to keep speed limits at a level designed to make people slow down only when cops are around.

Speed doesn't kill. Crappy driving does.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 12:31:46PM
I shan't disagree, Paul. What was Nader's book called? "Unsafe at Any Speed"? I know that refers to something entirely different, but it certainly applies as far as crappy driving is concerned.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 1:33:49PM
Robert -- Agreed on your earlier point, they are just men doing their jobs. And like I said, I was speeding, but the punishment, IMO, does not fit the crime.

Paul -- I'd say that speed technically doesn't kill, but that it amplifies the crappiness of crappy drivers (since a small movement takes on a greater signficance). With that said, I reiterate what I just said -- a $78 fine for barely exceeding the limit is bad enough, but it also adversely affects your insurance premium (the gift that keeps on giving). It's just not appropriate.

FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 6:52:52PM
Holy cow, Paul, you posted a favorable link to the National Review. Surely the apocalpyse is near!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday December 4, 2000 -- 8:02:08PM
The apocalypse is scheduled for next Thursday. :)

FROM: Paul C
DATE: Sunday February 25, 2001 -- 2:20:07PM
Speeding tickets are absolutly pointless. id encourage anyone with balls to kill a cop. all cops are scum and should die; no exceptions

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday February 25, 2001 -- 2:34:53PM
Well, I don't know about that, Paul (C)... :)

FROM: George
DATE: Sunday February 25, 2001 -- 2:46:29PM
Speeding tickets suck. I have a little piece of advice: DO NOT GET A RADAR DETECTOR!!! I've had two in my life and they both were terrible. They go off at random times. If you follow them exactly, you'd find yourself slowing down every five minutes. Maybe I just got unlucky and mine weren't quality.......

Also, I got a speeding ticket while I was using a radar detector.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday February 25, 2001 -- 5:19:27PM
Paul C--What about Robocop? He was programmed to do only good.

DATE: Monday February 26, 2001 -- 9:47:05PM
Buy a _good_ radar detector and you won't have problems. The only time I ever got pulled over was when I didn't have my detector with me. 85 in a 65, $279. Took it to court, made a charitable donation of $75 to a veteran's fund and they threw it out. Saved me $200 + insurance costs. You have nothing to loose by going to court.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday February 26, 2001 -- 9:53:40PM
All of this talk about radar detectors is lost on those of us in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Thanks!

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Tuesday February 27, 2001 -- 11:30:56AM
Does the Virginia Highway Patrol really have radar detector detectors or is that a myth?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday February 27, 2001 -- 11:53:37AM
Fezz--I have no idea. What would they use need for anyway?

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Tuesday February 27, 2001 -- 1:51:54PM
Since radar detectors are illegal in VA, I heard they have a device (in addition to the normal radar gun) that detects if a vehicle has a radar detector signal emitting. A radar detector detector.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday February 27, 2001 -- 3:15:39PM
Fezz-Any good cop need use nothing more complicated than his eyes. Still, I would not be surprised if such a device did exist.

FROM: Chrissy
DATE: Thursday April 12, 2001 -- 11:19:19AM
I hope you went to court to do the drill.......
go to court
tlak to the prosecutor
since it is only 2 points they will drop it to a non moving violation which is no points
pay a higher fine
still retain a clean record
just make sure you don't get caught with a 4 point ticket because they will only drop it to 2 points.

DATE: Saturday July 7, 2001 -- 1:39:06PM
I agree with Paul C. All pigs are worthless shit and should die. They should be doing something more useful like solving murder crimes or helping the old lady that fell down the stairs. The paramedics dont dirve as fast as the cops do, so what good are they?

I have a very cheap radar detector (whistler 1630) but it does its job very very well. I would not buy another unless i got a valentine one. Yes it does go off for a lot for false alarms but i know where all of the false alarms are in my area therefore i never need to slow down randomly. Despite this i seems to have gotten my first speeding ticket with my radar detector on. I was passing an old fart in the who was in the left lane (i was in the right) who was holding everyone up on a 2 lane road. As i start to overtake it i notice a pig coming up on the other side of the road driving fast as balls. I was doing 72 in a 55 and was like PHEW! they didnt have their radar on cuz my detector didnt go off. a second after i said that my radar goes off full force and i see the pig slam on the brakes and throw a U-Turn. Now what the fuck kind of radar did he have? Invisible vaganiless radar?

DATE: Friday July 27, 2001 -- 9:42:42AM
Instant-on radars and/or lasers don't give you much of a warning with a detector unless you get signals from some else getting pinged.

DATE: Wednesday September 5, 2001 -- 2:01:08AM
hey, does anyone know if in the state of california a officer has to have some sort of light on when he is just sitting on the side of the road, or else they can't pull you over for a speeding ticket?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Wednesday September 5, 2001 -- 12:47:13PM
Rod--I think the cop needs to have a neon sign that says "I wanna bust your ass", otherwise it's not legal. Fight the good fight!

FROM: Wendy
DATE: Thursday November 15, 2001 -- 4:34:21AM
The some thing happened to me today. I am an Arizona resident travling on CA highway. A highway patrol office (actually two of them) stopped me for driving 84 in 65. Should I go to court?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday November 15, 2001 -- 9:06:25AM
How fast were you actually going?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday November 15, 2001 -- 7:48:42PM
Wendy: I don't think there are any lawyers here.

FROM: Logic 3:16
DATE: Sunday October 13, 2002 -- 12:57:38 am
They say the only sure way not to get a ticket is not to speed. WRONG. The only sure way not to get a ticket is if you don't drive! Speeding tickets are more intended for obtaining revenue than for promoting any kind of real safety, that's for sure.

FROM: Jatsin
DATE: Thursday January 2, 2003 -- 3:59:04 pm
Got my first to day ( the day after newyears. That blows, at leats i wasent drinking I was one of thos speed traps :(

DATE: Wednesday March 17, 2004 -- 3:38:59 pm
I never speed because I hate getting tickets, or even pulled over (mostly because I don't want the insurance rate increase). However, just when I thought I was safe, I just got pulled over for blasting a red light--on my BICYCLE. 5:30 am during my usual morning fitness ride--no one else on the road. He came after me with the lights blasting and twirling, got in front of me and edged me over to the curb like I just robbed a bank. Then he yelled at me a lot but didn't give me a ticket. I don't think he had the authority to issue a ticket to a bicycle under the local ordinance, because he was such a jerk, believe me, if he could have he would have. But I I wasn't going to test my theory with some wiseass comments. A cop can always hit you with a disorderly citation and leave you to sweat in front of a judge. "Well, judge, it all started when I smoked a red light on my Huffy . . . " Must have been a slow morning for traffic duty.

The worst part is, now I don't enjoy my morning bike ride as much. I feel like that overzealous jackass is watching me at every stop sign.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday March 17, 2004 -- 3:39:30 pm
The above was from Joseph (forgot to put my name)

FROM: Meredith Pecorale
DATE: Sunday April 17, 2005 -- 11:35:56 am
I know the feeling .. I've never had a ticket in the 15 years that I've had my license and one day I was coming home from work and this car pulled out from a side road and then a state trooper pulled out behind him. I was coming down the straigh of way behind another car and another car about 5 car lengths behind me and moving up when all of the sudden the state trooper flips his lights on and the car in front of him pulled over. I was in a 55 mph zone and was doing 64 according to my speedomoter and I had my cruise control set. All of the sudden he points out his window at me and points to the side of the road. So I pulled over. My co-worker was sitting in the passenger seat and said...what's he doin? I told her I didn't know. He hung a u-turn and pulled up behind me. The other car that had pulled over that was infront of him was still sitting on the side of the road also. He approached my window and I put it down. He asked if there was any reason I was doing 67. I said no sir according to my speedomoter I was doing 64 that's what I had my cruise control set at. He said liscence and registration please. I handed it to him and he went back to his car for what seemed like hrs but it was 20 minutes. When he returned I looked out and the other car that had pulled over first finally decided to leave. He handed me a ticket and a warning(I forgot to sign my registration card). So now I have a $125.00 ticket including court costs when I couldn't have been going faster than the car in front of me and the car behind me was still approaching. How does he know which car was doing what speed. According to my uncle who is a retired police officer a radar gun says someone is speeding but can not determine which one. So I see the situation as the cop chose process of elimination and pulled me. Now my 15 year unblemished record has a speeding ticket that I got for not speeding at the rate of speed he said I was. And because of this my current job which is a bus driver for the school system may be in jeopardy because you're not allowed to have any tickets or points on your liscense. Thanks to the state trooper of NC who pulled the wrong car. Job well done.(definately NOT)

FROM: anadil
DATE: Sunday May 22, 2005 -- 2:41:41 am
i got my first speeding ticket today in a 65 mph zone and i would like to know if any of you guys know how much it will cost. i was doing 81, at least that is what the officer said. bye the way, it was in california, if that makes a difference in any way.

FROM: Alan
DATE: Saturday October 1, 2005 -- 10:28:14 am
you people are pathetic! I was doing 64 and he said i was doing 67. Something that every truck driver knows is that a speedometer is off by a few miles an hour out of the factory. Usually three or four. If have done anything to your vehicle, changed the tires or etcetera then it's even more off. I have seen up to 15 miles per hour off. You people cry and complain and i bet you have NEVER had your car put on a dynometer. Slow down and you won't get a ticket. and plus you don't save much time and you waste more gas.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday October 1, 2005 -- 12:10:03 pm
We're laughing at you....

FROM: Jermaine
DATE: Saturday February 11, 2006 -- 12:58:55 am
America has become a nation full of law breakers. In the absence of moral law enforcement, a people is destroyed by unguied self-indulgence. I would not want to live in a place where their is no significant enforcement of just laws. After driving on the highways of New York, I have come to realize that some people have no respect for lives. Many were travelling well beyond the speed limit. Even the cops were tagging along; they did not pull anyone over. Speeding in this country is actually a way of life that when someone obeys the actual posted speed limit, he or she is considered a threat and a danger to the society. The truth of the matter is if we all practice selfcontrol and obey the speed limit, then the only tickets, if written, would be unjust and immoral. To say that no one obeys the speed limit is a lie, because I DO OBEY IT. It was a little hard at first, but after convincing myself that I can, I am overjoyed to say that it is more profitable and enjoyable to obey the limit. As a result, I get nearly an extra 150 miles per tank, have not gotten a ticket in about 2 or more years, and have become quite concerned for the saftey of our law enforcement officers and the other lives on the roads. If you learn to practice selfcontrol, you will not find fault in one of the occupations that you pay for with taxes.

FROM: Brent
DATE: Friday March 24, 2006 -- 5:30:14 pm
So, the National Highway Safety Administration spends millions of tax payers dollars to try to find ways to make driving safer. We kill more people o=in one month with accidents then all those who have died in iraq. So the govermnment says speed...even just 5-10 MPH over the speed limit is the biggest single factor in fatal accidents and tells all the sates to focus on speed enforement. Statistics show that tickets have a better impct than warnings so you went too fast and got a ticket. You are not suposed to like it. Pay it and try not to speed again.
You even said you were not sure if you were going as fast as he said because you were very tired. Driving while tired is just as bad as driving under the influence...we call it divided attention impairment: Like the inability to drive straight and monitor your speed correctly. This was not the cop's fault. You don't have to be happy about getting a ticket but be a man about it.

FROM: jason l
DATE: Wednesday April 19, 2006 -- 6:28:01 am
i am a va state trooper, yes we have radar detectors (vg2). they work quite well. the department does not get any of the money that is collected from our tickets, so if i write 1 or i write 100 i dont see a dime, just a heavy court docket. when i go to work i just want to do my job the best i can. i dont feel like im better than anyone or above the law myself. i have to abide by the same traffic laws that everyone else does. most people dont understand what we do on a daily basis so therefore i suggest that you get with a local agency and do a ride along. then you might have an understanding of what my life is like everyday. i dont make the laws i just enforce them. thank you for your time

FROM: Phillip Fergenson
DATE: Wednesday July 19, 2006 -- 7:04:22 pm
I got hit with a ticket for going 70 in 45 mph zone. The cop was on me before I got to the 45 mph zone, Article 21/ 201 of the Md Code says no tickets if the speed limits signs are covered with vegetation, and it was Howard County, home of the most stupid cops in Maryland. Turned out he was parked on the Marriotsville Road Bridge over I-70. The speed gun was accurate, he was trained, and he needed one more ticket. He pointed the money maker onto I-70 and got a 70moh reading and did not wait for me to get to Marriotsville Road. It I had continued at 70 I would have rolled the car because the off ramp had a tilt to it. Forty guilties and I had the only nonguilty. The judge took the cop's confession but did not even tell him not to do it again. But hey, that judge will see that cop again. I can understand cops not having an easy time but Howard County is unique. I got stories about them. I was a cab driver there and knew about how Howard County had a drug problem but I am afraid having anything to do with them. I had something which was not a accident as my cars was still cherry and the other car was totaled and the cop tried to accuse me of causing the accident when I was stopped and the other guy was rolling down the wrong side of the road. I should have feigned serious injury and screamed I was in deep pain and had to go to the hospital.and left. I lnow lots of really decent Muslems but there are Muslems who murder so stop with the cops are great people bushwa already.

FROM: Michael Ferguson
DATE: Monday July 31, 2006 -- 6:35:23 pm
I would recommand you get a RADAR DETECTOR.

Lawrence December 29, 2006, 3:16 pm

Police Departments DO NOT have quotas….the only stats that matter are lock ups and a large majority of lock ups come from traffic stops because of suspended drivers, drugs, guns etc. Police Departments also DO NOT make money off of traffic tickets…the department gets 1/10 of 1% of the fine on every traffic ticket. Research a topic before you form an opinion based soley on what you hear. Stop adopting other peoples ideas as your own before looking at all the facts. Not having a mind of your own seems to be an epidemic with liberals. Liberals are not stupid…just many stupid people are Liberals.

kayla April 16, 2007, 9:16 pm

I got pulled over twice this weekendin indiana. the first times ever! and got a speeding ticket both times.. 39 in a 20.. and 77 in a 55. do you think my license will be suspended? bad weekend 🙁

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