Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Traffic School...and How to Get Out of A Ticket

I was leaving a parking lot on the UC Irvine Campus after catching up with an old friend and enjoying Boba Tea: possibly the weirdest beverage ever concocted. It's basically flavored iced tea with giant tapioca balls in the bottom that you suck up through a straw as big as your mouth. You either love it or hate it. I happen to be a fan.

Thoroughly satisfied with my venture into beverage bizzaro-world, I got in my car to head back to San Diego. When I got to the parking lot exit, the intersection was wide open. No light. Just a simple right or left turn. Right takes me into campus - as much as I enjoy hanging out on dead college campuses, I decided to pass. Left takes me to the freeway...BINGO!

As I start going, I notice a little wrench in my genius plan to turn left. A "no left-turn" sign.

I had already started moving into the intersection, so backing up would've been silly. I suppose I could have veered and made a right turn, but then I would've ended up deep in the UCI campus...who knows what kind of violent gangsters hang out there.

Screw it. I'm GOING! The road was completely clear.

As I pull up to the light, I notice a cop pull up behind me. At this point I'm thinking "Ooh, better be careful now!"

As the light turns green, I slowly and deliberately accelerate into the intersection abiding utmost safety...

BOOM! Lights on, siren whaling....damn.

Lousy, Stupid, Unforgiving Cop: "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
Me: "No sir"
Lousy, Stupid, Unforgiving Cop: "No left turn sign"
Me: "Sorry, I didn't see it. This is my first time on UCI campus and...."
Lousy, Stupid, Unforgiving Cop: "License and Registration"

He didn't even let me try and work the sympathy. I was going to test my acting and see if I could squeeze out a couple of tears. If that didn't work, I was gonna take a water bottle, pour it in my crotch, and tell him I really had "to go" bad and that's why I made the turn. The embarrassment of a grown man giving his pants his own personal hose-down should be enough to avoid the ticket, right?

Instead he returned with a scribbly written up ticket.

Me: "Is there any way I can be let off with a warning today?"
Lousy, Stupid, Unforgiving Cop: "Sorry man, I already wrote it."

Sorry? SORRY!?! Oh Paaalease, you're not sorry. If you're so damn sorry you would've given me a chance to see if my rebutal was worthy of a warning!

So I got a ticket. Big deal. All I have to do is pay the fine and do the joke that is known as online traffic school to keep my insurance status quo, right?

Welp, conveniently, Orange County is like the ONLY freaking county in California that doesn't allow online traffic school. Instead, I have to do eight hours...yes EIGHT HOURS of classroom traffic school! And to add insult to injury, I have to PAY EXTRA just to go to the damn class.

I hate no left turn signs.

So the last two nights, I attended traffic school. It's amazing how many people don't think they deserve to be there. Pretty much how everyone in prison insists on their innocence. Honestly, sure my ticket was ticky-tack, but I am technically guilty, so I couldn't really claim to not deserve to be there.

Well, that's the price to pay for being a dangerous rebel with no regard for the law, like me!

As people were sharing their "alleged violations", I started feeling like a cream puff. There were people who had multiple violations with WEEKS! I was surrounded by red light runners, repeat offenders, and people caught going 50 mph over the speed limit, and here I am with a measly left turn at a no left-turn sign.

It's like being in a prison surrounded by murders, kidnappers, and rapists when all you did was shoplift. I couldn't let them think I'm soft or else I could be a target! I had to come up with something fast! I had to be a hardened traffic violator that they wouldn't mess with!

Somehow, nobody believed my story of being in a high speed pursuit down the California Coast in my Toyota Corolla.

Traffic School was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be though. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to have to attend an actual class, I'd recommend doing it through My Improv Comedy Traffic School.

Basically, my class was taught by a stand-up comedian. His name is Tony Scaduto and he used to work in Vegas and has actually done a couple of mediocre movies no one's ever heard of back in the 70's. He was pretty darn funny, and made the class go by a lot faster. He also shared a couple of VERY interesting facts.

Fact 1: If you want to avoid a ticket, drive in the number 3 lane on the freeway. 60% of tickets are issued to drivers in the number 1 lane ("fast" lane - big surprise, I know). 30% in the number 2 lane. 6% in the number 4 lane and a whopping 4% in the number 3 lane. Play the odds and you should increase your chances of being ticket-free.

Fact 2: Never admit guilt when the officer asks you if you know why he pulled you over. They take notes, so in case you decide to fight the ticket, he won't have anything to use against you, such as an admission of guilt.

Fact 3: Statistically, bright cars (red, yellow, etc) are ticketed way more often than neutral ones purely because they standout more. So if a pack of cars is speeding, the brighter car is usually the one that's caught and ticketed.

Fact 4: This is a BIG one. Wanna know how to get out of a ticket? This one works for surface roads. When you go to court, during the hearing, ask the officer if he has a copy of the city code speed regulations for the street where you were ticketed. This is information anyone can obtain from City Hall.

Why is this important? Because streets many times have codes that allow different speed limits at different times of the day. The posted speed limit is always the lowest speed limit of them all. Theoretically speaking, you could have been going within the speed limit if the regulation for that time of day allows for it.

The beauty of this is, if the officer does NOT have a copy of the official speed regulations for that street in court with him, he can't prove you were breaking the law. Even if you WERE breaking the speed regulation for that time of day, if he doesn't have a copy of the code, he can't prove you guilty, and since we're in the good ol' USA, you're INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. It doesn't seem likely that he would have a copy with him (although I've never been to traffic court).

Of course, this is all moot if you're going over 60mph on a surface road.

So I actually ended up learning something new (and here I was thinking I knew it ALL :)

This probably won't benefit me though since I'm not really a speeder. I used to, but I decided to make an effort to SLOW DOWN with things in general and not be in such a rush all the time. It's great. Now I just cruise around, stress free, not having to worry about changing lanes too often, getting great gas mileage, and never having to worry about the Po-Po.

I still think going on a "hot-pursuit" would be super fun, but I guess I'll wait until I get a Lamborghini before doing that :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, great article Arun. For those people that CAN take online traffic school, there's a place I found after doing an INSANE amount of research for price, ease of use, how fast it all goes by, and no extra charges. cost me LESS than $13 here in California and that's BEFORE I had the discount code to give me another discount on top of that!

AND they also ship out your certificate of completion FREE to the court.

So here's the info! You lucky peeps, don't forget to use the discount code on top of their already cheap price:

Discount Code: OK - I searched around a LOT on the net and found at traffic school that's not only the cheapest, but also one of the easiest to complete. Nice, fun interface and they send your certificate of completion to the court for FREE.

My traffic school cost me less than $13 and that's before I knew about this discount code-

Use this DISCOUNT CODE and get another $2 off online traffic school: XMC-399-E7E

Can it get better than that!?!?

Discount Code: XMC-399-E7E