Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Typo Trouble

I am a pretty law abiding person except when it comes to speed limits. Whether it is driving 25 mph through residential areas or cruising the 65 mph highways, I am usually going over those limits. I try to keep the speeding to a level where I'm going with the flow of traffic (a tip from a police friend), but also adhere to the philosophy that one must accept the consequences for behavior. Thus, I've always known that when I do get a speeding ticket I will deserve it.

My day of reckoning came June 7. The day was partly cloudy and the residential road clear. Upon sighting the police car I glanced at the speedometer and saw I was going 40 in a 25 zone. As soon as the police car started moving I pulled over and found my license. The surprise came when the officer stated that she had three things to discuss with me. 1. Speeding (no surprise) 2. the license plate sticker was missing (gee, this is the 3rd time a sticker has fallen off -- stick on more stickem, people) 3. the car registration is suspended. WHAT?

(As a side note, it should be noted that the officer was very nice throughout the discussion and that is much appreciated. In my limited dealings with police -- remember I said I am law abiding -- officers have been nice.)

Officer Laura of the Metro Police Department in Kimberly explained that I had an outstanding ticket from the Racine City Police. Hmmmm. I have never been in Racine but figured maybe the Milwaukee parking ticket I had forgotten to pay was handled by Racine. No, that's not really logical but bureaucracy works in strange ways. She gave me the number for Racine along with two warnings and a ticket: warnings for the missing sticker and speeding/ticket for driving after suspension. I figured I got off easily since she not only gave me the lower priced fine but wrote it up for Kimberly so it wouldn't go on my record. No points lost either.

I paid the Milwaukee ticket, emailed the DOT for a replacement sticker, and continued to merrily lead my life.

Not so fast. An email from the DOT burst my bubble and has me now acting in a criminal manner. The Department of Transportation and the local DMV (one of the circles of hell) refuse to give me a replacement sticker because I have not paid my Racine fine. I realize that at my age I don't always remember things that happen in my life but usually that involves misplacing keys, forgetting grocery items, driving past destinations. So, I called Racine Police Dept. to ask for clarification.

Lo and behold, a mistyped VIN number on a towed car has caused my registration to be suspended. A Pontiac was towed in Racine, the fine never paid, the registration revoked but I own a Subaru, it has never been towed, and I have never been in Racine. Vanessa, of the Racine Police, assured me she would work to rectify this situation. Officer Kurt Maurer from Racine called me for more information and also assured me he would not only get the suspension lifted but have Kimberly drop the fine.

This is all very good, but at this means that at this time I am driving with a suspended registration. And it also means I still must deal with the DOT/DMV for the replacement sticker.
In the spirit of civil disobedience I intend to continue this criminal activity and drive to the bank and post office today. (Does that mean it is criminal disobedience or would Thoreau/Emerson grant me poetic license?)

In the scope of life, this is all a minor inconvenience. I did receive the lessor fine which will turn into no fine, lost no points, and have people working to fix the issue. Plus, it makes a good story and this blog entry!


aelawton said...

oh mother!!
the day has come!
a speeding ticket.
i am so proud of you.

Holly said...

No no...I got a warning for the speeding. Still not speeding ticket! :)

Cheryle said...

Great story and a happy ending! What more could you ask for?

I'm a lead-foot, too, but I have escaped unscathed although it's been several years since I had a ticket. Just keep your eyes open!