A while back I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about irresponsible credit card usage. Apparently some people didn’t particularly like that approach, especially when they were in denial about their own credit card mistakes. I didn’t mean to offend anyone, but I guess certain people are just overly sensitive. It seemed to be a good topic though as I recently saw another blogger cover the same topic with the exact same angle.
Well I decided I should continue my appreciation for other people’s mistakes. I’m a pretty thankful guy after all. This time around I want to thank you all for something that I’ve been guilty of plenty of times in the past…speeding. Ok not just speeding itself, but I want to thank all of you who have sped, got caught and had to pay some pricey ticket.
My Speeding Ticket Experiences
Just so nobody feels like I’m picking on them, here’s my own story about speeding violation tickets…
My first incident was back when I was growing up in a small town. To get an idea of how small it was, we literally had to drive 40 minutes to the neighboring town if we wanted McDonalds or 7-11. We did have convenience stores, but for burgers it was pretty much just Dairy Queen.
So one night my buddy and I were looking for something to do. One of us had the bright idea to go for a drive to catch McDonalds before it closed in 30 minutes. It sounded like a better plan than hanging out at the local gas station and figured we could shave the 10 minutes off the drive easily at night.
Halfway there we were making pretty good time, maybe too good time. In my rearview mirror I noticed the telltale red and blue flashing lights. I don’t remember how fast I was going, but I know it was quite excessive and would’ve been very expensive.
Luck was on our side though. It happened to be the one female cop in town and she was particularly nice…and rather good looking lol. She laughed at our reason for driving so fast and I think she felt too bad for us to slap us with the expensive ticket. Unfortunately that prevented me from really learning my lesson.
Later that summer I was camping at the lake with some friends. Rather than eating more campfire food for breakfast, we decided to drive into town to search for something good something to eat. Being young and foolish, I was again driving way faster than I needed to.
This time around though it was a police officer from the neighboring town that caught us. It happened to be one with a reputation of being notoriously strict. Just like that I was down $345. I think I was 2 kilometers above the limit where the fines double. No break at all this time. It was probably my most expensive ‘purchase’ at the time.
I would say those two incidents taught me my lesson, but I’ve been caught speeding a few times since then. I still have a hard time driving my vehicle less than 10-20 km/h above the speed limit. I do a better job of not getting caught though.
Why We Should Be Thankful
Obviously driving fast enough to get a $300+ speeding ticket fine issued to you is very unsafe. So yeah there is the side of getting caught helps keep the roads safer for everyone.
The other side is that those speeding tickets go a long way for paying for various policing and government resources. Depending where you live the money might go to different areas. Regardless where it goes, that’s less money that needs to be collected via income tax, property tax and other taxes.
So each time someone gets a speeding ticket, it is ultimately saving everyone else money. With the high price of speeding tickets, that must add up to a whole lot of money.
If they did start catching less speeders, the likely scenario is that they would beef up their efforts and start pulling over people that are just barely speeding. Personally I like the small buffer they usually give where you won’t get a ticket. I’d hate to see that to disappear. Then again, those borderline tickets are likely easier to fight in court since radar guns tend to have a degree of possible error.
Next time you see someone pulled over speeding, give them thanks. They voluntarily made the mistake and are now paying more than their share of legal taxes to the state.
Also think twice about warning other drivers of a radar trap. In most areas it is probably illegal to do so anyway. I know it used to be common to get the high-beam flash from other drivers when there were cops ahead. I won’t incriminate myself and say whether I did this myself, but I do like to help people out. I look at it a little differently these days though.
Have you had any bad experiences with traffic tickets? Do you feel bad when you see drivers pulled over for speeding by traffic officers?