Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Highway Robbery

to protect and to serve

To Serve, To Protect, To COLLECT


Have you received a speeding ticket lately?  Do you have any IDEA how expensive they are?!  

I was on my way home from after a 750 mile round-trip to visit my parents.  In the home stretch -- just 45 minutes away from home -- I was zipping over the Grapevine at 83 mph (in a 65 mph zone -- I know, I know) when I saw a cop ahead of me.  I slowed down to the speed limit.  The offending officer, Officer CALLAHAN (NO JOKE!!!!!), pulled me over anyway because APPARENTLY the po-po radar can detect speeders BEHIND THEM.  I had no idea!  D'OH!!!! 

speeding ticket from Officer CALLAHAN

Seeing as I haven't had a speeding ticket in 20+ years, I wasn't sure how much the ticket would cost, but I figured it would probably be $180 or $200.  Something like that.  Well SURPRISE SURPRISE, the ticket finally came in the mail and it was actually $367!  Plus $64 to attend Traffic School so that my insurance isn't adversely affected!  Plus the Traffic School FEE. Plus a $10 "e-Public Access service fee" if paying by credit card! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  Who can afford that?!?!?!??!?!?  HIGHWAY ROBBERY!!!!  I realize this whole stupid situation could have been avoided if I followed the rules, but CRIPES!  It just seems like the city, county, state and country are so BROKE that they find any way to fine the citizens as much as possible!  Blargh!

I was crying the blues about this situation to my co-workers when one of them asked me if I had heard about the newly revised parking ticket rates in the City of Los Angeles.  Of course I had no idea, but I was aghast when I saw this complete list of parking fines for my fair city.  Here are some of the new rates:

  • Obstructing handicap spot or misusing disabled parking placard: $363
  • Parking in a bus zone: $293
  • Red zone parking: $93
  • Street sweeping violation: $73
  • Overnight parking fine: $68
  • Parking on a bridge or in a tunnel: $68
  • Expired meter: $63

DRIVER BEWARE!  This city is flat busted (and your city probably is too) and hoping to make a dent in the city's $238 million budget deficit by collecting every cent possible from its citizens!  PROCEED WITH CAUTION!


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I had no idea. That is INSANE!!!!!!

Lorena said...

that's a minimum wage salary here !
I have not had a ticket in about 20 years.
MY ONE and only ticket was for parking on a one way street - the wrong direction :(
However I MADE MY MOM get a speeding ticket last year in CT while taking me to the train station and it was a fortune :/

Dancing Branflake said...

NO!!!! I would be sobbing!!!

ps... I'm going to visit LA this Spring and I want to visit you. This is happening (cue panic attack).

Felicia said...

OMG. When I lived in LA I accumulated more tickets than in my while life. And i was only there for like, six months!!! I think i got about 5-7, mostly that street sweeping bullshit!

Kana said...

And I was just thinking today about how I need to learn to drive and get a car...forget THAT.

Stoic Tia said...

That is insane! I haven't had a ticket in years. Thinking about tickets reminded me of my idiot younger brother who got 12 tickets in his first semester at college this year. 12! At $40 apiece! You would think someone would try to rectify the situation after the first 1, 2,even 3. But no. And to make matters worse, and solidify the fact the he will probably never graduate, he's already gotten 2 more this semester.

Jo said...

holy wow! that is insane! i'm going to be extra cautious. sorry you got nabbed. :(

Phoenix said...


In Pasadena my boyfriend got a $250 jaywalking ticket. Such, such bullshit.

I'm so sorry about your speeding ticket. That's so annoying.

girlunwinding said...

Aye carumba, Jane!! you need to break out the tin cup. That is nuts but you are so right about the man making private citizens fund the governing bodies mistakes. I feel for you , my sister, I really do.

Caroline said...

Holy fuck! That sucks! I got a $60 ticket the other day for have a clear plastic plate cover!!! Kidding me? But apparently, they are forbidden. FML.

Kathryn said...

It is a racket and has nothing to do with public safety, it is all all about the money and if you don't pay, they can suspend your driver's license so if you drive, they have you by the short hairs.

It costs even more to try to fight it. Don't believe it when they say if the cop doesn't show up it is dismissed, they can continue it as many times as they want and you are wasting 1/2 day or more of your vacation days from work.

I haven't had speeding tickets but two tickets for things I didn't even do and spent a lot more money and time trying to fight them than it would have been just to pay the ticket.

One was for not wearing a seatbelt, which I was as was my son after we saw the cop driving crazy on his motorcycle and he saw us writing down his license plate in the rear view mirror (I reported him anyway I got the impression when I called, despite what his supervisor said, I wasn't the only one that complained as the desk sergeant knew the name, groaned and was quick to pass me off to the guys supervisor). I hope I don't read in the papers where he has caused and accident.

The other was a summons a year and half later after allegedly pulling up in front of a handicapped parking space and I never received a ticket then, or end the mail.

At court I wasn't the only one, another woman was there with her daughter and they said her car had been parked in a fire lane two years earlier in front of a grocery store and she never had received a ticket either. There was no evidence, no pictures, no video, not even an actual cop - just a creepy "volunteer" parking guy.

Pretty soon we we probably have to start putting video cameras in our cars to protect ourselves from the police just like they do now in some foreign countries.

Shelley said...

That blows... In Orange County it seem like there are NO cops out lately. Parking in a red zone is one of my pet peeves. People park in the red to go to the ATM (parking spots 10 ft away), get bagels or coffee (15 freaking minutes in the red!)Argh!

Anne said...

These exorbitant prices have been around for a long time. At the traffic schools I attended 5 and 10 years ago the poll was around $400+ average. You'd think that kind of regular income would have made a difference for the city.

Jen said...

GURLLLL! Clearly you didn't flash enough boobage!! ;)

Trissta {Living on the Chic} said...

Oh YUCK! I have luckily avoided getting a ticket for over a year now (fingers crossed and knock on wood) but I have had my own series of experiences with lovely wonderful cops. YUCK. I could start telling you stories, but then this comment would end up being a novel and not a comment. Sigh. I'm sorry, I definitely understand how you feel. Luckily my tickets have never been over $100, but I have a feeling they're all going to start increasing. Since living in Oregon and having out of state plates, I've been EXTRA cautious not to get caught speeding. I go 65 everywhere I go now. No excuses.

Much Love,

Megan said...

I've had several speeding tickets in my day thanks to my lead foot. My last one was in 2011 when I took a one day road trip from Savannah to Athens, GA. It was a 4 hour drive one way and let me tell you, I was ready to be home at the end of the day so I put the pedal to the metal. Mr. Georgia Highway Patrol Man issued me a $167 ticket for traveling 15 miles over the speed limit. When I moved back to Seattle and applied for new car insurance in September, I "forgot" to mention my GA speeding ticket to the insurance agent. Every time I speak to him (3x so far), he brings up my damn speeding ticket. Every time. He knows I have a speeding ticket, I know I have a speeding ticket, and we both know that I can't get cheaper insurance until it falls off my record in another year. Gah!

Kitty Stampede said...

NUTS. I almost got a 400 something one last year. but luckily somehow the cop got me down out of the goodness of his heart to 200. holy highway robbery. ridiculous.
i am bit of a speed demon. i find the speed limits mostly ridiculously low.