Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Break the Law


I got pulled for speeding. It's been at least ten years since the last time it happened. But it always happens in a trap of some sort. Wide, new road... ridiculously low speed limit. This time, it was a school zone.

The good news is... even though I was speeding in a school zone, he gave me a warning! That never happens! The only other time I got a warning was when a cop tried to stop me late at night and I was alone and I wasn't speeding (although I might have been speeding before he actually clocked me... I slowed down before I was in range of him... but that's just between you and me, okay?) In that case, he actually stopped me because he checked my tags and they weren't in his system yet (it was a new car... well... new to me).

Anyway, that's the good news. Hooray! The bad news? He gave me a ticket for my expired tags instead! Dude! I had no idea my tags were expired. I have not seen anything from the DMV telling me to renew. I know this because I've been on a "clean up the paperwork" kick lately, and I've pretty much touched every piece of paper lying around the house in the last ten days... either to file it or throw it away. Or pay it, of course... if it's a bill.

I do, however, have two small children... the eldest of whom has been very excited to get the mail lately. So I'm guessing that something didn't quite make it from the mailbox to the mail sorter back in December or so.

Yeah... the tags were REALLY expired.

Now, I do really tend to follow the law. It was not my intent to have expired tags, and I take full responsibility. The cop said I could just renew online, but frankly, I don't want to drive around for a minute more with expired tags. So I went to the DMV, stood in line for a whole 30 seconds, and got outta there. Guess with all the online business, the DMV isn't such a bad place anymore. At least not for tags.

So now I have my fresh new 2010 sticker on my tag and a pretty piece of paper telling me to show up in court with proof I fixed it. I could just pay the ticket and be done with it, but I've been told that sometimes if you show how responsible you are, they'll waive the whole thing. And I can honestly use that $146 for something else.

The interesting, wacky thing? I got stopped for speeding in a school zone today... March 17th... my son's 3rd birthday. My court date was set for April 30... Athena's 5th birthday. Okay, okay, Karma! I get it! No speeding in a school zone! My children will thank me! Got it!


Zee said...

This happened to me and I don't have kids. I got pulled over (the cop was waiting at the library and followed me as I was pulling out). I was just on 64. He said my tag was expired by two months. I told him I had never received a mail notice; he didn't seem to care. When I went to the DMV to tell them this they informed me that the mail notices were a courtesy and not a requirement for them. She said it was my responsibility to keep up with it. If I received a mail notice great, but technically they don't have to do that. Hmm, it sounds suspiciously like something I tell our patrons who report they didn't receive a call or email that their books were overdue. Anyway, live and learn. I know what my date is now and mark it on the calendar. So don't blame your kids yet. I don't think my cat is able to open mail yet.

Jason said...

Don't be surprised if the fine isn't waived. The state is probably doing all sorts of devious schemes to raise funds and it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't mail out the reminders on purpose as part of a budget cut which results in increased fines.

Sophie said...

Jason - you are probably right. I was about to say that going to court is a good idea because they will most likely waive the fine, but in these hard times, maybe they're trying to scrap up money wherever they can. The tags thing happened to me, and it got waived.

eaf said...

I'll wear my Wake County employee badge prominently. Maybe they will appreciate that I am already a public servant who may be laid off during these hard times and cut me some slack. Unless I'm forgetting something... it's been 10 years since I got a ticket of any kind.