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This is Not Legal Advice. This is Pretty Much Crazy Speaking Crazy.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This is Not Legal Advice. This is Pretty Much Crazy Speaking Crazy.

I like to think of myself as a rule follower. I do what I'm supposed to, what is asked of me and for the most part, really don't like to get in trouble.

But sometimes it seems trouble finds me.

Back in November, right about the time I had a crazy trip to Chicago and also found out E needed tubes in her ears, I got a ticket.

Thinking about it tonight I did get one ticket way back in 2002 for speeding in Wisconsin that I promptly paid off but besides that I've been ticket free.

So I got pulled over on 94, along with half a dozen other cars, for failing to move over to the left lane when an emergency vehicle was on the side of the road.

Did you follow?

In case you're wondering, that, my friends, is the Ted Foss Law. Consider this your lesson in criminal justice and traffic laws today.

The law states: When approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle to the lane farthest away from the emergency vehicle, if it is possible to do so.

Did you know it was a law? Or were you, like me, thinking it was just the right thing to do?

Regardless of that (because ignorance may be bliss but is not the best defense), I was unable to move over to the left lane (along with the other half a dozen cars that were pulled over simultaneously) because of the heavy traffic on 94 that day.

Now, I definitely could have stopped, holding up traffic, but just after going under an underpass that happens to be under construction, I noticed the lights in front of me and then behind me and all around me as myself and, wait for it, the other half a dozen cars.

So after I was written a $300 ticket I was pretty fuming and knew that I would definitely attend my court date. Which I did, this morning.

I had no idea that there were that many interesting people in the county I live in, but oh dear, there are.

In the courtroom, I stood in line with the rest of those charged with petty misdemeanors right next to the line for misdemeanor and assault. Does that strike anyone else as funny? Because it was pretty darn hysterical to me.

When it was my turn to plea my case with the prosecutor, I felt hopeful, until he pretty much deflated my hopes for leaving with a fine of $0 and no record and instead offered me a deal of $150 and the possibility of having it on my record.

No, thank you. I said. And just like that a trial date was set. I am my mother's daughter, you know.

Two weeks from today, I will have to plea my case in front of the judge alongside the officer who wrote my ticket that cold November day.

The good news is while waiting for the judge to make a statute change on my violation and paperwork (since the officer that ticketed me wrote the wrong one. Again, hilarious, right?) I met someone else who was pulled over 20 minutes prior to me, in the same area, by the same officer. Our tickets are one digit apart. And get this, he was pulled over with a half dozen other cars too.

A trend?

While he got a better deal from his prosecutor than I did, he did offer to help me out with my trial since he was there same day, same place, same officer.

All this to say, I think I'm a magnet for crazy. I'm not sure if it's just the way I react to things or just my personality or what, but it seems that crazy things tend to happen to me more than the average person.

The less likely the odds, the more likely it will happen to me, or one of my kids.

What I would give for a week of no crazy. But then again, I might not have much to talk about.


Anonymous S said...

I sure didn't realize it was a "law" I just thought it was the right thing to do. But I sure can understand how in heavy traffic you could not pull over, especially on 94. Eeek. I would think that might have caused more accidents!
I am curious as to how this will turn out! Good Luck!

January 6, 2010 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I really hope that this goes well for you S. I can't believe that they weren't going to drop the full amount of the ticket, especially when the law states if it's possible. I guess what's running through my head is "sting operation". It will be interesting to see what happens.

January 7, 2010 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger The Fritz Facts said...

I knew it was law, BUT it says "If possible to do so". If there was a ton of traffic and no room to move then it wasn't possible.

I knew about the law because my sister in the criminal law area and told me. They did talk about it on the news though, especially because of who it was named after.

Good luck! I would have fought it too!

January 7, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think you are a magnet for crazy- BUT, the good thing is you handle it all well. I don't think most people would be able to handle or deal with the situations that you face nearly as well as you do. And, let's face it, most of us just give up and don't fight things. Good luck with the court date. Hopefully the officer won't show up!

January 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Just made my own court appearance about getting a ticket in a new zone which I was going 46 miles a hour, which apparently was 30 MPH no signs posted, only to have the new sign posted days later said 45 MPH!
Call me about this one!

January 7, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

How ANNOYING! Hang in the very least it should make for some interested blog posts. :(

January 7, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jenny and Kyle said...

I can attest, at least for a year in college, that crazier than average things happen to you. And I say- way to go, Samara! Fight it to the death!

January 7, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger darcie said...

I knew it was a law and it drives me CRAZY when people do. not. move. over! With a wide open road, why must people drive right along side the road where someone is stopped on the side? One quick second changes lives forever, someone looks down or over to gawk...or worse...texting, yapping on their phone, etc...
That being said, just this morning, it happened to me not once, not twice, but 3x on my commute to work...where I couldn't move over because traffic was just too thick on 35E. I cannot imagine being ticketed for not being able to move over. With a wide open freeway-definately...when it's not possible or safe to do so...that's just dumb!
Good luck babe! I hope you win this one!

January 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Rodman Life said...

Wow.. that's just crazy! But props to you for not just sending in the money!
Praying your honest voice is heard!!

January 7, 2010 at 3:27 PM  

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