I remember the day it happened – it was 4/29/08. I was running late for my very first tennis lesson and was stuck in traffic. In an effort to reduce my travel time, I attempted to cut a corner by turning left at an intersection with a “no left turn” sign. As soon as I turned the corner, I noticed flashing lights behind me. Sadly, it wasn’t paparazzi; rather, it was the APD. Worse yet, it was one of those annoying CHiPS motorcycle coppers. And he’d also pulled over a white SUV.
I figured I had two options as to I could handle this: play dumb blonde or suck it up and admit my guilt. I sorted through my purse to gather my license and other necessary identifications. “What should I do?” I asked myself frantically. As the officer approached me, he began to ask, “Ma’am, are you aware…” but I cut him off before he could even finish. I stuck my arm out of the car, driver’s license, Visa card, insurance card, and for whatever reason I also had my health insurance card in my hand and I stated, “I know, I know, I’m a dumbass. I turned left when the sign very clearly indicates that there are no left turns. I’m totally guilty. Do you take Visa?”
The officer started with a small chuckle, then burst out into laughter, “Does it look like I take Visa?” he asked, as he pointed to his motorcycle.
“Oh, I guess not, “ I replied, shrugging my shoulders.
He was still laughing and trying to contain his amusement, but he managed to tell me, “Well, I really appreciate your honesty. In fact, because you were so honest, I’m going to do you a favor. Instead of giving you a ticket for making that left hand turn, which would be 3 points on your license, I’m going to give you a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.”
“But I’m wearing my seatbelt!” I said. Obviously, I was confused by the officer’s kind gesture.
“Well, a seatbelt violation is only $15.00 and no points. It will not be reported to insurance. The left turn against the sign is 3 points and $175. Got it?”
“Got it,” I said and smiled coyly.
“See that white SUV behind you?” he asked. I nodded. “Well, that driver tried to pull the old ‘I didn’t see the sign’ story, so they’re getting the full points and fine. See, the Atlanta police aren’t so bad – we reward honesty!”
Wow. All I could think was, “Yeah, you reward honestly with dishonesty!!” But I took his offer, thanked him for his time, apologized for his error, and went on my merry little way.
I drove on to the tennis center, but my instructor had
forgotten about the lesson and blew me off. I guess things could have
been worse, but I was pretty pissed. I would have never cut that corner
had I not had a tennis lesson! Stupid tennis! But I did look awfully cute in my new tennis dress!
I noticed that my insurance premium went up from $151/month to $216/month. I immediately freaked out – OMG, I never paid my $15 seatbelt violation. Could this be the reason? After some investigation, I found there was no correlation. It was just a restructuring of the insurance company. But it did make me think, “OMG, I never paid that ticket.” I called the justice center and was told that I missed my court date and there was a warrant in process for my arrest!!! Additionally, my license had been submitted to the DMV for suspension. All over a $15 ticket.
But I was also told that I could go to the Justice center, pay a fine, and try to stop the process. Doing so would keep my record clean.
So I went to the justice center on Tuesday morning, paid my $15 fine PLUS a $100 court fine for missing my session, plus a past due parking ticket, and was given a paper to take to the DMV to withdraw the suspension. “Do I have to go to the DMV, or can I mail it?” I asked the clerk. He looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and advised, “Honey, you better trot your pretty self down to the DMV and submit this before it in process…”
I got the message.
So, I drove to the DMV, waited MAYBE 5 minutes, was called to a clerk, and submitted my paper. She looked at it, typed a few things in the computer, then smiled and said, “You’re not suspended.”
That’s it? All this drama so she can type a few things and change a code?
Oh, well. At least I was a clean driver again. So, I called State Farm and they have the same coverage for only $88.00/month!! Coolio!!
I had to go to Northside Hospital for yet another lovely test, and I was somewhat preoccupied about it. I mean, I still don't know what's wrong with me, and I'm tired of being poked/prodded/scanned/radiated.
While pulling in the dark parking garage, I smacked into the bumper on the car to my right, damaging both their bumper, my bumper, and my passenger side rear fender. Shit.
And I just started bawling. I mean, I was already upset about being at the stupid hospital. If I wasn't sick, I wouldn't be in this shitty spot in the first place.
So much for my $88.00/month insurance coverage! Maybe they should just take my license away!
Total unexpected car expenses this month: $600 tires, $1000 brakes, $750 CV boot covers, $135 seat belt/parking/court fine, and the $500 deductible for smacking some random car in the parking lot. This SUCKS!!!
July 22, 2008 06:39 PM PDT
you should move to a walking city. ;)
July 26, 2008 09:50 PM PDT
I need to move to Europe!
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