Good grief - it's been so long since I've gotten a ticket that I could hardly remember what they look like anymore. For those of you who aren't from around here, THIS is what they look like in MN.
I haven't gotten a speeding ticket for many years - since before we got married almost 14 years ago. (Prior to that time, however, I got them with some frequency). Let me tell you, the cost of going 40 in a 30 zone has gone up! I figured the ticket would be about $40-$50 - was I ever wrong! Going 40 in a 30 will cost you $142 in these parts today.
To make it even worse, the cop who stopped me was so dang nice I couldn't even be mad at him about it:
"Wow - you got all the way up to 40 MPH in just this short distance from the corner."
"Did you slow down when you saw my car or did you just realize right then that you were going too fast?"
"I'm not sure what you want me to say. I slow down when I see a police car whether I'm going 20 or 70. It's a conditioned response. I think seeing you was probably what prompted me to look at my speedometer."
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to cite you."
"Well, you don't HAVE to cite me ... A warning's good! I respond very well to warnings. My last warning was about 5 years ago and I haven't been stopped at all since then. If you warn me I should be good for about another 5, right?"
"Were you wearing your seat belt when I stopped you?"
"Yes! I took it off so that I could reach inside my bag to get my driver's license."
"I'm not accusing you or anything - I'm sure you were wearing it if you say you were. I was just hoping to find something a little cheaper to cite you for and just give you a verbal warning about speeding."
(no response. He goes back to his car and comes back to mine a couple minutes later.)
"You've got three weeks to pay this. Sorry to ruin your drive to work, ma'am."
Ma'am? Did he just call me ma'am? I'm thinking he's got ten years on me and he's calling ME ma'am? Getting a ticket was bad enough ...
Ugh. Oh, well - The good news is that if he'd stopped me two blocks further up the road I'd have been in a school zone, to the tune of $209. The better news is that a speeding violation of only 10 miles over the limit won't affect my car insurance.
Happy Monday to me.