Wednesday, 13 June 2012

{Brush with the law}

A few of weeks ago I had my first brush with the law... not something to be proud of, I know... and the most annoying thing is that I didn't do anything wrong! Just thinking about it now makes me really angry. Anyway, here's the story...

I was driving along, on my way to the local swimming pool, when I hear the police sirens in the background. So I pull over. Next thing, the van is behind me indicating, and I'm assuming they need into the entrance that I'm blocking so I move forward. Suddenly, the van is parallel to me and a police officer jumps out of the van and chaps my window, which I roll down. She asks me if I know why I'm being pulled over..... No, I reply. Turns out, according to the officers, I ran a red light (which I didn't!!). They inform me that at the previous lights, the car in front of me went through on red, as did I and the car behind me.

I'm asked to get out of my car and climb into the back of the police van. By this point I'm shaking - this has never happened to me before. I'm such a sensible person and anyone who knows me would back me up - I'm a careful driver!

Through my tears I managed to answer the officers questions... Yes, I have car insurance... No, I wasn't in a rush to go anywhere... Yes, I do have a lot on my mind at the moment. The questions were very leading and she had me believing that I didn't see the red light. However, I know for a fact that I went through the light as it was changing from green to amber. The police van was on a different road, so they didn't see my traffic lights - they were basing their accusations on the timing between me going through the junction and their lights turning green. (I've since discovered that the timing at this particular set of lights is really tight, and there is approximately 2 seconds between my lights going red and their lights going green and it's a wide, sweeping junction). As far as I am aware, it is ok for a vehicle to go through an amber light if they are already passed the white line or if stopping would cause an accident (which it would of as the car behind me would have potentially hit me!). I certainly would not go through lights on red, or even worse, go through lights on red after another car had gone through them on red!!

So there I am, in the back of the police van, and I'm crying so hard that my contact lens pops out!! I'm faffing about trying to find it, which I do thankfully, and then I have to sit through the legal spiel with my hand held out with my contact lens in it! Turns out there was no point in me trying to save it, as I was in the van for so long it dried up! What a palaver.

I managed to pull myself together a little and said I'd be very interested to see the CCTV, to which I'm told there isn't any. I'm handed a ticket, and I'm told I need to go to the court. I start wailing again (I'm such a wuss!) and ask if I have to stand in front of a judge... No, I'm told, I just need to go to the court to hand over my licence and pay the fine. And with that, I'm allowed to leave.

After it all sunk in, I went from being upset to being very angry. I did nothing wrong... how is it fair that I get charged and have points put on my licence for something that I didn't even do!?

I considered trying to fight my corner on principal, but without any evidence, it's their word against mine and the cost of legal representation would be so much more than the fine which I have now reluctantly paid. Boo!

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