Dreaded Tuesday

Tuesday, February 21, I have to go to downtown Los Angeles to fight my first traffic violation. In my 10 years of driving, I've never been pulled over for anything. That was until November. I was minding my own business following at a safe distance behind a police officer on the 170. The car behind me was beginning to get a little too close to me, so rather than tail a cop, I moved into the adjacent lane.

The officer slowed down and got behind me, which is when I knew I was in trouble. I moved over again. So did he. Repeat that one more time. I had about two more exits until I needed to get off the freeway. He was still following very close behind me. Once I got on the off ramp, he flipped his lights on. Needless to say, I became immediately irritated.

When he came up to my window he asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I said I had no idea. And he informed me, "It's unsafe to travel so close behind another car." I almost laughed. I couldn't believe he would be serious and I was quite convinced he'd pulled me over because he'd seen a blonde singing in her car.

I told him I was running late to a voice lesson (mistake number one), so he proceeded to take my information and make me 20 minutes more late. (All my police officer friends have told me they love making people more late than they would be if they'd not been pulled over.)

When he came back to the car, he told me he wouldn't suspend my license for going over 85. I was speechless. There was no way I was going anywhere near 85. In fact, I'm buying a new car because I don't think my current one could even reach that speed without losing engine parts.

But the story doesn't end there. When I was looking up the cost of my citation later, I had to enter the citation number and department. It was then I realized he was an LAUSD cop. A school cop pulled me over on the freeway. On a Sunday afternoon.

My fear in fighting this ticket is perfectly reasonable. I'm a white, blonde female and will be well dressed. I nearly lost a law suit and had to settle for a ridiculous amount of money for the same reason. (A drunk hit me and totalled my car, resulting in numerous injuries for me and his insurance didn't want to pay for my medical bills.) The attorney later told me he thought I was too presentable. I've resolved that, like Bush, I cannot win.

I'm worried a judge will see entitlement coming in not wanting to be accountable, which couldn't be further from the truth. If I had done something wrong, I'd pay the ticket. If anyone has any suggestions for beating a ticket a creepy cop gave you, I'm all ears. I'm hoping he won't show up and it'll get waived. But if not I'm worried I'll lose and it will go on my record.

And for the record, I "back the badge," so to speak, except when they do things like this.

Posted by Portia at February 17, 2006 11:14 AM | TrackBack

Yikes. This isn't good, and I gotta tell you, it's one of the few times in life being hot won't help you, Em. ;-)

Check out:






Posted by: Muzzy at February 17, 2006 12:29 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to be a smart-alec. After reading the material linked above, it looks like requesting a continuance is a good idea. But read thru those links. Good luck, keep us posted.

Posted by: Muzzy at February 17, 2006 12:32 PM

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know what to put in the URL space.

Love your blog dear Lady.

Maybe the cop by SOP was required to have had his video camera on and if so it would show that he was following you too closely for a considerable distance and then acting out of malice to charge you with his offense against
you. Ask the court that it be played.

God bless you.

Posted by: Bruce Whaite at February 17, 2006 07:47 PM

It is hard to fight a ticket that is "his word against yours." Despite innocent until proven guilty, all too often it is whatever the cops say is true.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at February 19, 2006 04:12 PM

Yes it does sound like the guy just made up an excuse to pull over a pretty girl...I'm glad you are not acting like a victim (or a dumb blonde). I'd like to believe the courts are too busy with LEGITIMATE infractions to bother with this. I bet if you bother to show up to dispute the ticket, the officer may not even appear. But then again, maybe he has nothinbg better to do.
Good luck!

Posted by: ljmcinnis at February 19, 2006 09:24 PM