How to avoid a speeding ticket

On Rosh Hashanah the junior rabbi at our synagogue gave a sermon that included a detailed story about a speeding ticket. So that is the connection here from this blog's main focus to the article below.

Paris can learn a lot from N.J.
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maybe I've covered too many drunken-driving sentencings, but somehow I managed to withhold my outrage over the cruelty inflicted on teary, distraught Paris Hilton when a California judge, Michael Sauer, insisted that she serve all her 45 days in jail -- not in her Hollywood Hills mansion.
Sauer is the same jurist who didn't accept the heiress' defense for driving in violation of probation tied to an alcohol-related conviction. In case you missed her excuse, here it is: She misunderstood what her agents told her about her sentence.
Her reasoning ranks at the bottom of the excuse barrel with these Golden State contrivances uncovered on "Speeders," a Court TV reality show that tapes motorists at traffic stops:
"I washed my hair and didn't have time to hand-dry it."
"I'm trying to get home in time to take my fertility pills."
Surely, Californians can do better than this.
Like film acting, which began in Fort Lee, avoiding traffic tickets is an art form pioneered in New Jersey, where road warriors have embraced it as part of the culture. After all, ours is the state where the governor doesn't buckle up, where the attorney general comes to her boyfriend's rescue at a traffic stop, and where cops' friends routinely get off with warnings simply by showing a Policemen's Benevolent Association shield.
Attend municipal courts in the Garden State and you'll see lawyers and clients plying a dubious craft that gained momentum in 2000 when the unsafe driving statute was adopted. Pleading guilty to this violation, 39:4-97.2, allows motorists accused of such offenses as speeding and careless driving to avoid points by paying fines of $50 to $500 plus a $250 surcharge.
Lawyers and defendants who can afford $750 (plus legal fees and court costs) like this system because it spares them the bother and confusion of trials, during which each side offers conflicting testimony and celebrity heiresses run a risk of crying for their mommies when they lose.
So, take note, Californians, here are some of the sophisticated ways that New Jersey road warriors have been perfecting their craft, ideas that actually work on occasion:
Bergenfield police couldn't give a ticket to the person they found in the driver's seat in March when they stopped a car for allegedly running a stoplight. The reason: He was 11. But an adult in the car, Jose Morisete, was charged with allowing a minor to operate a vehicle and endangering the welfare of a child. Police said Morisete was under the influence of alcohol.
Passaic's Richard Doren avoided several tickets last year even though he parked illegally on Howe Avenue. The reason: He displayed a card that read "PBA Local 14." "I made it myself," Doren said, adding that he also got nailed for several tickets despite the bogus card.
(But consider this caveat: One former traffic cop remembered refusing courtesy to a speeder who handed him a business card bearing the name of "my friend," Patrolman Ronald Beattie. The reason: "Look at my name tag," said the cop. "I'm Ron Beattie.")
Another ex-policeman said he refused to give a female driver a speeding ticket even though she was going way over the limit. The reason: She was stark naked. "I had one year to go to get my pension," he said, "and I sure wasn't getting involved in that."
Jo-Anne Glock beat a Paramus parking ticket simply by showing up three times to municipal court. The reason: Court ended before her case was called the first time, and the judge couldn't hear her case on the second two court dates because of a conflict -- he once represented the policeman who ticketed her. "He begrudgingly dismissed my case," said Jo-Anne.
Inez Bisconti offered the strategy I liked best. The Harrington Park woman avoided a ticket with this simple, honest reply after rolling through a stop sign in Washington Township: "Yes, I know, and boy was I stupid," she told the cop.
So, guile, smart lawyering and persistence can sometimes beat tickets, but make room for honesty, too. It's far better than telling the cop: "I pay your salary!" Experts advise staying in the car and being contrite.
"Show the cop who's boss," said Glen Belofsky, whose parkingticket.com Web site is devoted to fighting parking tickets, "and the boss certainly isn't you."
If stopped, Belofsky recommends saying: "If you say I broke the law, I'm sure you're right, but if you look at my record, you'll see I'm a clean driver, so I'd appreciate any break."
Of course, this approach has its limits, like the time Patrolman William Barbieri pulled over a former high school classmate in Closter. The driver was too drunk to recognize him.
"Gimme a break," he pleaded. "I know Billy Barbieri."
"I'm Bill," said the cop as he placed him under arrest. After the driver was convicted of drunken driving, Barbieri figured he had sacrificed an ex-classmate's goodwill in a good cause, but he never calculated exactly how good a cause it was.
"I ran into him a year later and he thanked me," the cop recalled. "He said he was an alcoholic and the arrest changed his life. He hadn't taken another drink since then."
We can only guess what Paris Hilton might tell Judge Sauer in another year or two.

1 comment:

susanmeade said...

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