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Friday, May 29, 2009

For $199 I will help you beat any speeding ticket.

Some of you may remember that I was issued a traffic citation on the tandem a couple of months ago. On moral grounds, I felt obligated to fight this injustice. I had my day in court today.

While waiting for my name to be called, I prepared an elaborate (and likely losing) defense:

1) Your honor, I have not been issued a ticket in the last 19 years of driving.
2) When we are on tandem bicycle, I obey nearly all traffic laws:
a) I never speed (pause for laughter)
b) I stop at red lights
c) I stay to the right (I had actually written down "left" in my notes...still dreaming about New Zealand.)
d) We use hand signals (I was having trouble deciding between "we" and "I" for all of the above.)
3) Occasionally, I check for other cars/bikes and just slow down at stop signs.
4) At the intersection in question: On a (signed) bike route in San Clemente, there was minimal traffic, and no cars approaching the intersection. I slowed down to about 8 MPH, saw that the intersection was clear, and continued through.
5) Something about Bill McCready's proper method. (I was thinking I would blame the stoker for pedaling us through while I tried to stop...)
6) Your honor, I've learned my lesson...I have not run a stop sign since. (This last point has made it impossible to ride with other cyclists--it is impossible to convince people who have not yet been hit with a $202 ticket that running a stop sign on a bicycle is a ticketable offense.)

As luck would have it, the ticketing deputy did not show up. Eight of us (including two other cyclists) had our cases dismissed. (The two other cyclists had been with a group of twenty. They claimed that they were at the front, and would have stopped, but they were getting bumped from behind. All twenty of them were issued citations.)

So after watching two hours of traffic cases, I am confident that I can beat any speeding ticket. Either that, or the defendants were so poor at defending themselves that the cops did not bring their A game. Please note: I said speeding ticket. There seems to be very little defense for any other moving violation (red light, stop sign, littering, marijuana possession).

1 comment:

Mrs. Nicole Lasko said...

I'm fairly certain that the stoker is never wrong.