This morning I was pulled over by a member of the Wichita Police Department for allegedly speeding. I was pulled over on Rock Road between 13th and Central…an area notorious for speed traps, which is frustrating because they have turned this section of road into a dangerous hazard because we Wichitans spend more time looking at our speedometer than the road thanks to years of WPD’s meeting their month-end quotas at this very location. This is the very reason I will be forced to waste my time fighting this ticket as I am 100% sure I was NOT speeding as I constantly am checking my speed at this very location. Last month my wife was pulled over in another notorious spot (Eastborough) and was oddly singled out of a group of cars all doing the same speed on Douglas between Woodlawn and Edgemoor…that is called “Driving a Mercedes At Quota Time.” Both tickets were at the end of the month. Quota time. Its bullshit…I call bullshit and feel completely wronged by this. The WPD (and any officer anywhere) should have to say when pulling you over “We pulled you over for speeding and because it is the end of the month and we set up the speed trap to meet out quota.”
My officer was very snippy with me, namely because I’m not going to be happy and polite when I am wrongfully pulled over…I’m going to call you on your bullshit. I asked him why he and his buddy chose to setup a speed trap on Rock Road the day after Memorial Day at the end of the month. He said it had nothing to do with the end of the month and that I was speeding. I explained I was not and asked to see his RADAR gun. He then got all technical and explained it was LIDAR. I explained I had “Lie-DAR” as well and that he should own up to the fact that it was the end of the month and they were out here trying to meet a quota. This is usually the part where Kate blushes and shrinks down in her seat…luckily she was not with me.
I argued with this “Servant of the People” and eventually accepted that I was going to have to play “the game.” I hate “the game.” “The game” is when we are asked to sign the ticket not as an “admission of guilt” when that is exactly what we are being made to feel like…guilty. I’ve been pulled over, scolded, talked down to, and issued a fine…but I’m not guilty. Now I have to determine how much time I am willing to waste defending my not guiltiness by deciding if I want to pay the fine, argue the charges, apply for diversion, etc. I have not had a speeding ticket in Kansas for almost 20 years! I have not had a speeding ticket elsewhere in over 10 years. I’m a safe driver…but I was told by my officer my “past driving record has nothing to do with speeding today.” So now I have to go downtown and fight this ticket, and yes I will fight it, via our glorious moving violation system (where you are “not guilty” mind you). I will have offers, deals, plea bargains, etc. thrown at me from the system and judges that completely belittle the entire process. When I show up to fight they will try to reduce the ticket to a non-moving violation so it doesn’t get reported to the state and thus my insurance. Why do they do this? Because this has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with money. “Just pay us something.” That is why the system is a sham and I why I encourage all of you to always fight your tickets…unless you are wrong…then you may want to consider a plea of guilty or go for a reduced fine or diversion. Here are the facts:
- Every ticket I have pleaded “not-guilty” to in the past 10 years I have been cleared of all charges and paid no fines
- I have pleaded “not guilty” to every ticket I have been charged with in the past ten years
- Wait to go to the courthouse for as long as possible*
- When selecting a date delay your appearance to as late a date as possible*
- Later, ask for an extension and delay your date again*
- When you do appear – do not plead guilty…never plead guilty*
- Once a hearing is set delay the date as much a possible again*
- Again, ask for an extension and delay the date*
- At your hearing fight for your rights and be prepared*
- If convicted you can “appeal” if financially reasonable*
Speeding tickets are a sham, so fight for your rights and remember you truly are “NOT GUILTY,” until proven otherwise. When and if a sweet deal comes your way that you feel will be your best option – take it. Paying a moving violation ticket violation will be easier and less time-consuming upfront but it will affect your insurance down the road and in some states accrue points on your license. Paying a reduced ticket that is now a non-moving violation is like paying the city, it will not affect your insurance and will only hit your wallet once. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.*
*The writer of this article is not a lawyer. Points made in this article are generalizations from life experiences that are journalistic opinion only and not fact. The intent of this article is for entertainment purposes only and are not in any way legal advice. Should you require legal advice hire a licensed attorney.