S got a ticket for excessive speed yesterday in a small town just north of our small town. I'm talking, really small town - population about 350.
She was allegedly doing 51 in a 35 zone, according to the Police Chief's radar.
Yep, she was pulled over by none other than the Chief of Police, in a white, unmarked, Chevy Suburban. He was wearing a white polo shirt, painfully stretched over his two-kegger belly, not a badge, uniform, or gun belt in sight.
S was gunned at a section of the main drag where the speed limit is still 35, however a sign no more than 50 yards ahead reads 55 mph.
Since no 45 mph section is posted between the two speed zones, drivers must apparently not exceed 35 mph, until the very moment they pass the 55 mph sign. Since S was attempting to get up to speed before she reached the 55 mph zone, she was pegged as an offender.
Tickets are a part of life and I've received my share of them -- all of which, I might add, I deserved to get.
However the bail amount of S's ticket - a whopping $215.00, seems excessive considering the offense. Small town councils and the state legislature determine the fines, however it's well known that the only way small towns can keep their doors open is to overcharge any and all lawbreakers that pass through their fiefdoms.
The last speeding ticket I received in So Cal, was for doing 50 in a 35 residential zone. Fine was $91, plus $25 for traffic school. However, Pasadena is a far cry from small town rural Oklahoma, and my ticket fees were only covering the admin costs of processing the paperwork associated with the ticket, and not buying bullets and Sonic slushies for the local Chief of Police.
The COP (chief of police) told S that she could appear in front of the judge (probably his brother or uncle) and appeal to not have the ticket show up on her driving record. Since S hasn't received a ticket in over 18 years (and never one for excessive speed), she may go in front of the judge, pay her fine, and get it off her record. OK does accept traffic school certificates as well, so she may just do an online quickie and be done with it.
BTW, the fine for 1 -15 mph over the speed limit would have been $115. She was clocked at 16 mph over the speed limit -- adding another $100 to the COP's slushie fund. How convenient....?
Oh and here's another traffic fine related display of the wisdom and hypocrisy of Oklahoma's red majority voters and lawmakers -- the state mandated fine for not having a child restrained in an approved car seat...$35.
Sure, Oklahoman's are pro-life, but after the fetus is born, their lives are only worth $35 once their chaw chewing parents take them home from the hospital in their rusted out Ford F150's.
Ignorance is bliss.