Tuesday, March 12, 2013

- The Behemoth Govt. Finally Does Some Good

Maryland woman ticketed for driving too slowly in the fast lane.

As you all know, I think she should have been bull whipped, but I'll settle for a ticket.

Funny story, I was driving from downtown Minneapolis to Wayzata in the western suburbs, where our office is during the morning rush hour (if you can call it that there). I was rolling along in an empty left lane, looking for a place to get over to the right to make my exit. I saw a policeman in the center lane doing 54.5 mph, and all the other 'civilians' were keeping pace with him.

Being from NJ, I figured the appropriate thing to do (since I was in the left lane) was to go just a hair above the speed limit until I could fit into the fairly large opening ahead of the policeman, rather than causing driver anxiety by trying to squeeze into the tightly packed traffic behind him. So I rolled slowly past the policeman and using a right turn signal, politely turned in front of him at a reasonable and predictable pace, only to be immediately pulled over for speeding.

At most I was going 2 mph faster than he was. It wasn't like I was making some kind of Dukes of Hazzard run from it, and it was 7 in the morning so he didn't really suspect me of having been under the influence. But he saw me as flaunting his authority by not letting him serve as a disincentive, so he felt a duty to pull me over no matter how obviously reasonable I was being behind the wheel.

He wasn't really a bad guy. He saw I was in a rental car and was from out of state, so he let me off with a written warning. (Yes, apparently they still do those in Minnesota.) But I thought the main reas0n he did it was because he'd have trouble proving that I was knowingly speeding when I was only going about 56 mph, and he didn't want to have to go to court with a guy from NJ only to go through a few hours of my word against yours.

In NJ, I don't think any policeman would pull me over for what I did, and to be frank I was genuinely surprised when it happened in Minneapolis. But it does explain the passive aggressive way those people drive a lot more than the "Minnesota nice" concept ever did.


frithguild said...

I usually go for the 14 mph rule - speed limit plus 14 mph.

15 mph over the limit is 4 points and 14 over is 2 points. You can easily plead down a 4 point to a 2 point or unsafe driving, which costs about 4 times as much as a two point ticket.

With a 2 point ticket, you can plead to unsafe driving only. They are not as easy to plead out, so the cop may get caught having to prove a case at trial. That's why they'll pop you only if you are 15 mph or more over.

Matt H said...

I once got pulled over on I-95 in Philadelphia for pretty much exactly the same thing. I was 18, and I was deliberately flouting his authority, but I still thought I should get away with it. I mean, how precisely would the speedometers have to be calibrated to say for sure I wasn't going 55 and he wasn't going 54? Anyway, he found a way to make the ticket stick in court: it wasn't a traditional "speeding" ticket (i.e. X in a Y zone), but rather "speed unsafe for conditions". The conditions listed on the ticket? Clear. He explicitly told me he pulled me over for "making him look bad".

There's certainly no such phrase as "Philadelphia nice".

Tom said...

No certainly not... lol.