Friday, April 29, 2005

A Goddamn Racket, Part 2

So today was my arraignment for my traffic ticket. It wasn't too bad; I'm able to do traffic school to get rid of both charges. But there was one problem: I'm not able to pay for the ticket with community service.

See, all politicians are idiots. Perhaps that's overstating things, but I don't think so. However, there is one thing that politicians are good at: taking people's money. They're very good at it, and they make very elaborate systems to ensure that they get their money. For instance, I couldn't pay my fine in community service because the "fine" one has to pay for an infraction becomes a traffic school fee. And guess what? You can't pay traffic school fees with community service. So I had to actually pay the fine instead of working it off. It's really a elegant system designed to ensure that the state gets their money. I thought I'd be able to get out of this without paying anything, but I thought wrong.

But I suppose I should be happy the fine got cut in half. When all was said and done, The traffic school fee was about $157 instead of about $300. And then of course there's the real traffic school fee I'm going to have to pay for the actual traffic school.

On a similar but somewhat unrelated note, today I learned that if you plead not guilty to a traffic infraction and are found guilty in court, you're no longer eligible for traffic school. The judge is allowed to let the accused take traffic school to get rid of the point, but it's not guaranteed as it is if you plead guilty or no contest and meet the eligibility requirements. Which I suppose they do to keep you from pleading not guilty and hoping the citing officer doesn't show up to court.


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