Sunday, 17 March 2013

My brush with the law (or a traffic light camera)

I cannot remember if I was in my late teens and riding a motor scooter, or if I was in my early twenties and driving a car.

I do remember that I was pulled over for speeding somewhere in south Gloucestershire.  The policeman was not convinced by my assertion that I was a bastard son of the Duke of Beaufort, and was on my way to Badminton House to visit the ailing Duchess.  No sir.
So I was hauled before a very strict Beak at Staple Hill Magistrates Court and  found guilty.

At first he sentenced me to be hanged, with time off for good behaviour.

When I pointed out that would be a perfectly wasteful use of rope, he 
sentenced  me to be flogged and then indentured to the Royal Navy for seven years instead.

He relented after his lunch break.  He made me promise that I would never again impersonate a bastard, and issued a small fine.

And in all these more than forty years of motoring (no one says “motoring” these days, so I used the word instead of “driving”).  
“Motoring” befits a bastard son of the Duke of Beaufort ......... oh there I go again!  In all those forty years I’ve not gotten a ticket until now.
I thought that I could beat the traffic light.  Penne was in the back seat and I didn’t want to make a sudden stop, lest she fall off the seat.
I thought that I could beat the traffic light, turning left onto North Washington from Fruitville  -  but the all seeing “red light camera” thought differently.  I protest not, ‘cause I think that the cameras at busy intersections are a good deterrent to red light runners.
I was taken aback by the fine.  It was $158 (with no chance of opting for a flogging).  And if I do not make payment by eight days before the due date, the fine goes up to $264.  
(*It  frosts me a bit that the camera shots are processed in Arizona, and the fine is processed [for the City of Sarasota] in Cincinnati.)
By the way, there are no points for this offence, and it cannot be used to set my insurance rate.

Red light 1  Notice that as I was about the turn the red light time was 000.6 seconds
Red Light 2  Notice also that as I entered the intersection the red light time was 2 seconds!
Also note that  I was driving at 8 mph below the posted speed limit.

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