Monday, April 26, 2010

Traffic Citation

So, it was Wednesday afternoon. I was taking off work on Thursday and Friday for us to go to Florida for one last family visit before we can't travel anymore for a while. I left work at 4 like usual. Wednesdays are pretty busy days because of church. It's been a good run (like my entire life), but I received my very first traffic citation on Wednesday afternoon on my way home from work. Oh wait, silly me, it wasn't actually on my way home, it was actually leaving the PARKING LOT OF MY BUILDING BEFORE MY LONG COMMUTE - no, I am not kidding. Apparently I blocked an intersection as I was leaving. Here's how it went down:

Bethany pulls up to stop sign leaving work parking lot. Bethany sees that a cop has someone pulled over near the parking lot. She makes sure to stop fully at the stop sign and immediately gets ready to turn right (with her blinker on, of course) at the light. There is one car in front of her. When the light turns green, traffic is backed up in the lane she and the car in front of her are trying to turn into. The car in front of her can fit....and she just wants to fit too - the commute is so long...Bethany does not want to miss this light! So, she pulls into the intersection and wedges the car behind the one in front of her. The light behind her changes and that traffic begins to move. Clearly, the left lane is clogged, but people in the right lane seem to be getting by okay. Then...all of a sudden...
Policeman (over loud speaker - no I'm not kidding): Ma'm, please pull over to the left. Pull over to the left.
Bethany pulls over to the left into the turn area that would be great if they finished sometime this decade since because there's no special turn lane to turn left, traffic backs up really bad.
Bethany rolls window down.
Policeman (after walking to car): Is there a reason you were blocking the intersection?
Bethany (who in the past has never gotten a ticket for things she probably should have gotten one for... and was always honest): Well...that light is just so short - I really wanted to get through it! I thought I was enough through the intersection that cars could get by...but I knew it was close.
Policeman: May I see your driver's license?
Bethany: Sure. It takes me a long time to get it out of my wallet though (because it's one of those fake wallets from Chinatown so it's not made well and my driver's license always gets stuck in it).
Policeman: No problem, I can wait.
He then proceeds to take the driver's license back to his car, and Bethany waits what seems like forever. After deciding she is either getting a ticket or getting arrested....the policeman returns with a clipboard and a paper and a pen.
Policeman: Ma'm, you are receiving a traffic citation for blocking an intersection. Please sign here. You may call in 5-10 business days to see what your fine is.
Bethany: Thank you (didn't know what else to say to him).

Okay, that's it. This is a sample traffic ticket. Who knew that in the state of Georgia (or really could be anywhere - I didn't know since I'd never had a ticket) that there apparently is not a set fine for things - maybe they will just decide if they like my name or not....or maybe if I have a long name it will cost more...or maybe it's just how someone is feeling on some particular day...but apparently, I have to call to get my fine. Um, right. Wouldn't you think blocking an intersection would just be a set fine? And, what are the odds that after not receiving tickets for things that I should have received them for, that I would get one now....while I'm pretty big pregnant. Cold, dude, cold. I'm not saying I didn't deserve the ticket - I think it was pretty nit picky since the cars could get by me - but I know I was squeezing in. No grace, man. I have a long commute, I have church that night, and now I have a ticket. I thought it was funny at first, then I wanted to cry, then I was mad. Now, I'm just resigned. I got my first ticket. I'm 28 years old. I was honest about what I was doing. I've heard it's going to be pretty expensive because I got it in Fulton County. We'll see. It just happened Wednesday so the 5-10 business days aren't up yet for them to decide what my fine will be. I'll keep you posted.

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