Sunday, March 25, 2007
CHiPs: Ponch and John Would Be Very Upset At Today’s California Highway Patrols' Lack Of Integrity
Go ahead; ask me how my weekend was? It was going pretty well -- the weather was in the 70’s, my daughter just got a clean bill of health from the doctor on Friday (pneumonia is gone!) and I paid a visit to the accountant to do the taxes (we’re getting a refund… not a lot by any means, but hey! It sure beats OWING) Yup, things were good until I got a speeding ticket on the freeway.
I know this happens to good people (like myself) all the time - it’s a fact of life. But this is different, I’m actually angry! The California Highway Patrol Officer (Garner, I.D. No. 18233) COMPLETELY LIED on how fast I was going? Yeah, yeah, everybody says that – but in truth, this policewoman did!
O.K. I admit it, as I always have - since the age of 16 (what seems like a very, very long time ago), I’ve gotten 3 rightfully deserved tickets. The last one was about 4 years ago driving through the open Arizona desert around midnight going 85. When the good sergeant walked up, I pretty much told him “yup, I’m guilty.” The one before that, maybe 7 years ago, speeding on 'the 101' going 69mph (BTW- nobody goes 69 on ‘the 101’ unless you want to die!) I was cool with it. I was the idiot who didn’t slam the brakes like everybody else when the “B&W” appeared and moved-up slowly to the front of the herd. But again, I totally admitted it - that good officer wrote the ticket as 69mph in a 65mph zone and we both made a joke about the weather (it was a feel-good moment.)
Fast-forward to today, I’m going 72-73mph, on ‘the 210’ in Pasadena. I know this because I was using cruise control off and on. I get pulled over, (side note- a ‘sinister sedan’ was in the next lane over, going way faster – who gets pulled over? Scary car or the little bright red one with the white roof and prominent car seat in the back? But whatever, I got caught.) What was I saying? Oh, so the policewoman immediately asks for my info, walks away for 5 minutes, and comes back with a ticket that says 80mph!! Huh?!?
I asked if she paced me or used radar (very nicely) – she said she was following right behind me for awhile (which she wasn’t, I saw her jump over a few lanes.) but I signed the citation anyway. Then she told me very sternly to go to traffic school, which I would likely do anyways. But you know, I wasn’t going 80. The wife even knew that looking at the giant speedometer in the middle of the MINI dashboard. I want the truth to be written down, not some embellishment of the truth, then I’ll do traffic school. Why? Because I want police to be honest, is that too much to ask for?
I am seriously considering showing up on the court date to contest the speed, but after some reading it looks like it’s definitely a case of “he said, she said”, and 99% of the time you loose no matter what (unless of course, aliens plan to invade earth that day.)
I know this might be insignificant to some, but I really want the police to be truthful, especially with everyday unimportant things like giving speeding tickets because if they aren’t honest with the small things, how much of the big important stuff is embellished or (gasp) fabricated?! It’s things like this that makes regular people, like me, highly cynical of law enforcement.
I keep wondering why in the world would this Highway Patrol woman embellish the speed. Does this make her look cooler back at the base? Do they make more money off you for every mph over the speed limit? Or do they really want to make me look like a true ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ criminal speeder?
Has this EVER happened to anybody? Seriously I’m looking for advice. FIGHT ‘the man’ (or ‘the woman’) – I really want the POLICE to be trustworthy, people my daughter (and I) can have assurance in.
Or do I just shut up, pay the undisclosed fine (there goes that ‘tax-return’…), do some traffic school online or at the local comedy club, and hope somebody else deals with it one day?
On a light-hearted note- when the patrolwoman gave me my ticket, my daughter yelled out “THANK YOU!” The patrolwoman didn’t even react.