This was first ever cell phone use offense for Zenguy, and he explained the situation to the traffic officer, nicely that he was sitting in traffic and not driving, he called because his infant child's health issue and his action was not putting in anyone nearby in jeopardy. No matter what he said and nicely he asked, the officer did not budge or let him go with only warning, he got full ticket with court date and all. I am appalled, angry and frustrated at the whole thing, once I found out. How come, it is not okay to use quick cell phone while sitting in traffic and it is okay to eat, drink coffee etc., put on make up, shave and much more things that I have seen some drivers do?
Sometimes, some traffic officers have quota to meet, and traffic violations are big income generator for the state government. It has been really long time since we got any ticket so this was a shocker, while this was only cell phone usage ticket issue, (and not a speeding, or missing a red light or stop sign, Zenguy is careful and law abiding driver) it can affect some insurance carrier's price and ticket fees can go up to $150-$200 with assortment of various fees. I am starting to think how in world, some one who is unemployed or poor can afford this price? This is outrageous, to get an ticket like this and first timer should be given a warning and not the actual ticket, while there are real dangerous or drunk drivers are out there on the road. It is not about the price but also principle as well.
But getting upset, will not change the outcome, so we had to think about the whole situation in calmer manner. I am not sure, but I guess we are going to have to state our case to a judge and see how it goes. Do you have suggestion or story to tell?
Here are few tips to follow, whenever you are pulled over; Even if think, you are NOT at the fault.
1. If you see a police car flashing behind your car, pull over to a safe area. If you think safe, lighted area is little further, motion the police before driving slowly further until you find safer place, but not too far.
2. Some experts suggest to turn off the car and get keys out, so the officer won't think you will start driving all of sudden.
3. Leave your hands on wheels, where it can be seen.
4. Stay in car, don't search of license and registration until you are asked to do so.
5. Answer only what you are asked and not more.
6. Do not beg but ask politely for a warning only, explain situation.
7. If the officer, still gives you ticket and you think it is unfair, do not blast off, take the ticket. You can fight it in court later, fighting with officer will make things worse.
8. Write on blog and ask others, learn from others.
This is serious stuff, so counter balance I am sharing a traffic funny story that I found on the web! Enjoy and Drive safely.
A police officer pulls a guy over for speeding and has the following exchange:
Officer: May I see your driver's license? Driver: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle? Driver: It's not my car. I stole it.
Officer: The car is stolen? Driver: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There's a gun in the glove box? Driver: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
Officer: There's a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!? Driver: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver to handle the tense situation:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license? Driver: Sure. Here it is. It was valid.
Captain: Who's car is this? Driver: It's mine, officer. Here's the owner's card. The driver owned the car.
Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there's a gun in it? Driver: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told you said there's a body in it. Driver: No problem. Trunk is opened; no body.
Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glove box, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
Driver: Yeah, I'll bet that lying officer told you I was speeding, too.