Thursday, July 9, 2009

Traffic Court: The Shakedown

In my second [recent] experience with the legal system, I had to go to traffic court for a red light ticket.  Overall, it was a pretty easy procedure, but it's still a hassle to have to take time out of my day to drive downtown, find parking, and then talk to the judge and traffic cop.  In my last trip to court, I observed numerous people talking with the cops to arrange a fine payment without points.  With every case, there was a deal made for a point-free offense as long as the person was willing to pay a fine.  It was no different in my case.

My parents seemed to think I could have fought the ticket, but that really isn't worth my time and it just annoys all parties involved.  Why do I want a pissed off judge and cop?  It would probably mean a higher fine if I lose or a cop that's out to get me later with another ticket.  My whole experience does lead me to think that the whole ticketing thing is a fundraising scheme though.  There are a helluva lot fees (EMS fee, fire department fee, administrative padding fee, cost recovery fee, civic salary fund fee, alien invasion fee, etc.) tacked on to the basic fine; when everything is said and done, the original fee for the traffic violation has increased five fold.  The ticket seems to be less about public safety than the Benjamins.

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