My Traffic Tickets – My Defense
This is something that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, but I just haven’t gotten to it. Other things had been going on and this took a place on the back burner. But now it’s time.
Back in January, I was pulled over in Baldwinsville on my way home from work. The officer claimed that I was going 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. For those of you familiar with the area, I was heading toward I-690, southbound through the village, on Route 48. There’s a Chevy dealership on the right, just past the village limits, where the speed zone changes to 35. The officer was parked just before that Chevy dealership, not much more than 100 feet from the change in speed zones.
Now, to top off the speeding charge, my car was uninspected. So the cop issued me a ticket for a 41in a 30, and an uninspected vehicle. Needless to say, I was pretty pissed because of how deceptive the officer was by almost “tricking me into speeding.” It just seemed pretty unethical to me that a cop would use a speed trap so close to a change in speed zones.
I felt that it was my duty as a free citizen to dispute this travesty of justice. I don’t feel that I should be targeted as a criminal, as will be made clear in my letter, Exhibit A:
I am writing to you concerning 2 (two) tickets I received on the night of January 6, 2006. I was ticketed for traveling 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, and as a result of being pulled over, was issued another ticket for an uninspected vehicle. I wish to dispute the speeding ticket.
I have included a map of the exact location where I was, along with Officer Z., on the night of the incident. I was heading south on Route 48, passing through the Village toward I-690. Officer Z. was parked, as the map shows, just before the Chevy dealership. My claim is that I was unfairly ticketed because Officer Z. was not more than 150 feet from the next speed zone, which is 35 MPH.
I understand that this situation does not fit the legal definition of “Entrapment,” but I feel that these are, at a minimum, mitigating circumstances. Our legal system is, I believe, designed to rehabilitate offenders, to promote adherence to the law and to uphold certain standards of American life – to protect and serve the people. A traffic ticket is supposed to teach someone a lesson. I’ve had 2 (two) tickets in the past (3 years ago) for speeding, and from those I’ve learned a valuable lesson. But what this ticket has taught me is that while I’m on the road, I’m automatically considered a criminal and will be targeted and ticketed by any means possible. Even if it has to be on a technicality.
This ticket has already caused much inconvenience to my life. I had ordered a copy of my driving record abstract from the DMV website, and it never showed up in the mail. So, I had to go and spend another $10 to get another copy. My wife had to take time off work to be home with our kids so I could attend my first court hearing.
In closing, I understand that even in the 35 MPH zone, I would have been speeding by 6MPH. But it’s a much smaller offense than what Officer Z. is accusing me of. I am writing to ask that you please reduce this ticket.
I also have included a receipt showing that I had my car inspected a few days after my tickets.
Now, as a side note, on the ticket the cop is required to list the model of radar device used in the incident. In the fine print of the ticket, he wrote that I was traveling at 40mph and accelerated to 41mph. I did some research on the model he used, the “Kustom.” In order to work properly, the device must be mounted, not to be moved any more that 12”.
For the officer to be able to know that I accelerated from 40 MPH to 41 MPH, he must have been holding the radar in his hands – rendering an inaccurate reading. But I didn’t bring up that in my letter. I was planning on including my findings, but I felt that maybe it would render the letter very much accusatory, and not respectful of the court.
In any case, to conclude this entry, my tickets were reduced. The uninspected vehicle ticket was dismissed and the 41 MPH in a 30 MPH was reduced to a “Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.” Not sure what my fine will be, but it will be significantly less than what it would have been if I just gave in and didn’t retaliate at this ridiculous charge.
I’ll keep you all updated.
Read a book.