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Are you sitting down?

15 May

I’ve got some shocking news.

I had a day off.

And that day off was followed by ANOTHER day off.

I know, right?  Two in a row!  With a normal 40 hour week!  I’ve never felt so relaxed.

My paycheck came in last week.  The one that included all my overtime from a couple weeks ago?  19 hours over to be exact.  I’ve been thinking of ways to spoil myself with all the extra dough I earned… a new purse… a shopping trip for the boys… a shopping trip with Mario… new running shoes…

Then yesterday it came to me.  Literally.  It came to me in the mail.  And suddenly I knew what I was going to do with the extra money.

I’ll be writing a check to the City of East St. Louis for $240.

For the second time this week I cried.

I drive 100 miles round trip 5 days a week.  I haven’t had a ticket or a wreck or have even been stopped in over 27 years.  I am a cautious and conscientious driver and pride myself on it.  (Now’s not the time to bring up any past posts about my driving habits….)

For the past few months, the city has been “working” on the interstate going to and from downtown St. Louis.  For the past two months there have been cones blocking one lane in each direction.  For the past two months, I have seen NO workers doing anything on these roads.  For the past two months, most commuters have slowed down from the 65 mile per hour speed limit to about 55 miles per hour.  I tend to drive with the flow of traffic…..

Which led to receiving a picture of my car in the mail, with many other cars around me, and a notice to pay the hefty fine.

I wanna fight it, but I’m too tired.  I get that they’re wanting to keep the workers safe, but there’s NEVER any workers out there!  It kinda makes me feel like they’re setting us up… just block off some lanes and set up a camera and just like that, the city is no longer poor.  (One of my co-workers got a ticket as well…)

So that’s what I’m doing with my hard earned overtime money.  I’m giving it to a very poor community with the highest crime rate in America.  Perhaps I can write it off as a donation.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my horsey whoa-ed, and hoping I’m not trampled by everyone else.

And in a sick way, I’m hoping they’re all receiving tickets too…..

 

 

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18 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Blunders, Commute

 

Tags: , , , ,

18 responses to “Are you sitting down?

  1. Practical Parsimony

    May 15, 2014 at 4:06 am

    I would fight it. I, also, got a ticket for going the regular speed in a zone with workers. But, no one was working for the whole seven miles. Fight it. Make a few calls to city councilmen, write letters. It will be worth it to keep $240.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I WANT to. I guess I’m worried about making the situation worse. If I just pay the stupid fine, it’s over with. But then they win. ugh.

       
  2. agg79

    May 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Agree with PP. I’d try to fight it. Especially if there were no workers around. You could argue about having to go with the flow of traffic and not creating a traffic hazard. Those automated cameras are seen by a lot of people as something to generate revenue. Bummer on all your hard work and sweat having to go to pay a chunk of cash to the city. Do you guys have any defensive driving courses you could take to reduce the fine? Down here, if it is your first ticket, they will let you take a defensive driver’s course that could get the fine reduced to almost nothing. Of course it cost you a few bucks to take the class and it is an 8 hour class, but it gets you out of the ticket and keeps it off your insurance records.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      That’s the thing… it doesn’t go against my record. Does that spell money-maker or what? But if we fight it, they claim it can then become a moving violation and at that point, it can possibly go against my record. Worse, and I’m not sure why we ever did this, but the vehicle is registered to my husband, so it’s HIS record that would be tarnished and HE wasn’t even driving. Since he can’t afford a driving penalty in his line of work, we’re very afraid to fight it. double ugh.

       
  3. Rock Chef

    May 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Wow how frustrating! I know that over here a lot of drivers feel that they are being trapped and used as a cash cow. And your fines seem to be a lot higher than ours too!

    I say you should fight it too!

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I really want to. Hubby and I keep going back and forth about it. It makes us angry because the city is skirting around the law in order to do this, however, when we think about the work that’ll need to go into fighting it, and the possible penalty if we do, we’re leaning towards just paying the damn fine. I’ve never felt so helpless.

       
      • Rock Chef

        May 16, 2014 at 8:07 am

        Hm, maybe it is just one of those things to take on the chin, then. Maybe a letter to the local newspaper? Might find some others in the same boat…

        Or next time, drive at 30 as a protest…

         
      • shadowrun300

        May 17, 2014 at 1:45 am

        Yeah, I’m leaning towards taking it on the chin. Hubby’s already written a letter to the congressman who supported this, and he wrote back immediately claiming he meant it only to be in the city near school zones. Not on the interstate.
        And funny you mention driving extremely slow in protest… My husband said the same thing. I think I’ll try it next time I go in. 🙂

         
  4. lottajoy

    May 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    What a HORROR!! It came in the mail…….that’s a low blow and makes one afraid to go to the mailbox. That’s why it’s JOE’S job to go to the mailbox. I’ve had an aversion to going to the mailbox ever since my divorce 15 years ago. Whenever I saw the lawyer’s logo, my arms would go numb from terror. I’d MUCH rather be pulled over by a human than to be tricked with a camera. and that’s a lot of money. Honestly, it smacks of organized crime. I’m so sorry.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 16, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Being physically stopped by the cop doesn’t generate enough revenue. Uh.. I mean being physically stopped by a cop puts them in harms’ way… so instead, they put the camera to work and MANY of us are being subjected to the horror of finding our car’s picture in the mail along with a healthy fine.
      Thank you for your sympathy. It’s going to be a hard check to write.

       
  5. Abby

    May 16, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Well THAT sucks! And I agree with lottajoy, seems pretty wimpy to smack you with it via camera and mail. I’d be tempted to fight it too. If it was $50 bucks or so, I’d probably just let it slide, but $240 buys lots of shooz.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 16, 2014 at 5:46 am

      I was all set to buy a new pair of shooz. AND a new purse. AND a few things for the kids. I hope someday I’ll be able to see how E. St. Louis chooses to spend MY money.

       
  6. llcooljoe

    May 17, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Oh boy that sucks! I would fight it too. I remember once I did a gig, went back the next to clear up my gear and drove into the back of a car because I couldn’t see it with all my stuff in the car. Bang went all the money I made on the gig. I know that was my fault but it really did piss me off.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 17, 2014 at 2:18 am

      I STILL haven’t been able to part with my hard earned money…. but I will. If a cop had pulled me over for speeding and given me a ticket, I’d be pissed, but only at myself. To be fined this way, doesn’t seem right to me. They don’t even KNOW who was driving. How is it legal to just send a ticket to the car owner? A $240 ticket at that?!

       
  7. territerri

    May 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    That? SUCKS!

    All I can say is that a stroke of luck has to be heading your way soon. You’ve put up with too much stress lately. But I’m glad you had a “weekend” and normal amount of working hours. You needed a break.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 18, 2014 at 1:04 am

      The more I learn about how they’re skirting the law, the angrier I get. However, I don’t have the energy or the time to fight it, and I’m not sure it’s all worth it. I really just need to cut the check and move on.
      In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed a second “weekend”. Life is good. 🙂

       
  8. The Thin Lady Inside

    May 20, 2014 at 12:29 am

    First … WOW! That was shocking news! Day off? and then another? Awesome! You sure deserve it! … But the other part of your post… what? That stinks! I do understand how you feel… been there! I hope you do fight though! That is just NOT RIGHT! I am sorry shadow! 😦

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 20, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Yup. TWO days off. In a row. Shocking! 🙂
      I still get upset when I think about how it was delivered. If it really was a cop in a car who took my pic, and if I really was speeding in the construction zone, then he really should have pulled me over then and there and ticketed me. A pic of my license plate means nothing except that he took a pic of my license plate.
      aarrgghh!

       

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