Scams -- Dishonesty -- Abuse
They gave me a speeding ticket... and a discount !
Link Popular Mechanics: 10 Tips to Avoid Speeding Tickets
Did he pull me
over because of my Atheistic Fish emblem?
Some questions I'll ask the judge
Here is where I was pulled over; it appears to be a 35 mph zone, not 30 as on the ticket, yes?.
The hearing officer
The Hearing officer gave me a court date (below). He first tried to talk me out of appearing in court. He said
The Laser is very accurate, though not at right angles to the line of travel (I think that was my situation). He tried to convince me that the laser measurement could have been taken nearly parallel to my line of travel, by another policeman, who could have radioed the cop who intercepted me. I want to know how error-prone that is. Maybe they lasered a speeder but intercepted the wrong car.
I told him that I was amongst other cars, and he replied, sheepishly, "well they have to ticket someone.
I can't have a Jury trial because speeding is only an "infraction".
I tried to explain about the state-church violation aspect of the ticket, after all, the offered speed reduction was given because it's Christmas -- a Holy Day for Christians. He was not impressed.
The Hearing officer told me that it's indeed proper to record a lesser speeding violation than what actually occurred. He said this very common. I said that the ticket should not lie -- what happened should be recorded. He said it's OK for the ticket to record a falsehood. I told him that you can't change the violation from 15 MPH over to 15 MPH over, because one can't change the past. He said, yes one can change the past (sic).
I think if leniency is intended, it should be in the amount of the fine, and not in misrepresenting the facts of the case. So, I'm going to see judge Paul Tawasaki, who will decide.
Next, I'll see what I can do to make officers state correctly the events leading to speeding infractions.
The hearing officer almost intimidated me by saying that the judge could fine me $750 doe this infraction. This is not about the money. If I had been speeding I would pay, no questions asked. I wasn't speeding; I've never received a speeding ticket.
"I had tried to contact the defendant,
like, three times, his phone number
says something to the effect of
don't leave a message."
Paige Williamson, the Senior Assistant City Prosecutor
On the day before the trial, a prosecutor Holly Beringham (801) 535-7974 offered to have me enter a plea in abeyance*.
Fortunately, the officer who ticketed me had had a bad motorcycle accident and could not appear in court. So to save time and not to have to worry about the facts or about justice too much, the prosecutor wanted me to plead guilty, without a trial!
I think that if the officer is not there, the case should be dismissed. Instead, it was postponed.
* ... If one qualifies for a plea-in-abeyance and successfully completes this plea-in-abeyance agreement, there will be no conviction entered on one's driving record, but money must be paid. I say, no, the hell with it, let's see where this will take us, after all, I am in the right.
First The Court date
Recapitulation of testimony given by Ms. Chen Miao Jan 20 2005, Salt Lake City Justice Court
Ms. Chen Miao was sworn in and stated her name.
Defendant: (this part is paraphrased, I askedÖ) From where you were sitting, did you have a clear view of the speedometer?
Miao: Yes; I donít think we speeding, we go 35 not 40.
I saw the police car come form other road on right side, he turned on the ring [siren] and we went to move somewhere [pull over], it surprised usÖ I donít think we did nothing wrong, then police coming, say, youíre speeding 35 or 40.
We say weíre not because same time front us we have a many car; if we seeding, another car, everybody is speeding, this very important. Then the police coming, we just polite, we went to move somewhere [pull over]. Surprised us, (Defendant) asked whatís going on, he said you speeding. Then I donít think we speeding. He [police man] come and said, we need to consult. [about the mileage discount which he offered]. But we did nothing wrong, we donít need to consult.
Judge: (Ö stopped her lengthy explanation and asked...) Do you think you were going 35 or 40?
Miao: Yes, 35, not 40.
Defendant: So do you say I was speeding, yes or no.
Miao: No, I donít think we speeding.
Two months later the thing went to court again ... but first, the day before before my court date, I received a court ORDER which told me *not* to appear in court ! ... or did it?
Second Court date
I went anyway. The person who admitted sending this letter to me, Paige Williamson, the "Senior Assistant" City Prosecutor, in the name of judge Iwasaki, seems to be quite careless, or worse... Does the "S-word" apply here?
I'm invited to appear at 2:pm on the day (?) of month (?) of Year 200 [sic] in courtroom (?) The question-marks, above, are my annotation. If I'm invited to appear on a non-date, at an unspecified place; does this really mean that I'm not invited? It's our city tax money at work here. Viava la civil service!
Also my name is misspelled on every court document. It's difficult to respect this kind of sloppy work.
On the next day, the case was dismissed. Again, the officer was not available. This time, he was "out of town" Perhaps fishing in sunny Cabo San Lucas, I don't know.
Prosecutor: ...Your Honor, I submitted a motion to continue on Tuesday of a very short notice [sic] -- on that and part of the reason for short notice was that I had tried to contact the defendant, like [sic] three times, his phone number says [sic] something to the effect of "don't leave a message".
Prosecutor: I tried to leave one anyway
Judge: Well, what's the basis for this motion? I don't have a copy in the file.
Prosecutor: ah, I talked to, ah, Barbara this morning and she said Cindy had it.
Judge: Mah, Well...
Prosecutor: Ah, the officer is out of town, sorry I received a message...
Judge: This is the second time that...
Prosecutor: Yea, I will note that is it the second time.
Judge: All right, well, I'm not inclined to grant your motion to continue here Miss ...ah... Williamson. [Paige Williamson, the "Senior Assistant" City Prosecutor]
Prosecutor: I understand, your honor.
Judge: Mr. [defendant],do you have any motion to dismiss?
Defendant: Yes, I do, your honor.
Judge: All right, well your motion to dismiss has been granted.
Defendant: Thank you.
Judge: You're welcome. Had this gone to trial, however, you probably would've been found guilty of this offense, I just want you to know that. You took testimony of your witness, and by the testimony of your own witness you were doin' 35... over 30 miles an hour over. If you recall.
Defendant: I do recall, your honor, but...
Defendant: Thank you.
The judge, having denied my entering as evidence the picture above, at the previous court session -- did not realize that my defense was based on the fact that I was pulled over in a 35 MPH zone, not in a 30 MPH zone. So, naturally, he thinks that I had been speeding, given the previous testimony of my witness. In my opinion, he turned a blind eye to relevant evidence.
I emailed this story to my witness. She replied:
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005
From: "Miao Chen" <miao @ yahoo.com>
To: nowsc @ yahoo.com
hi how are you feeling today. i'm sorry about it, story. it is my fault. I'm sorry but you know the police is bandit. so you are can't win it. I'm just sorry about it. but i hope you forget about it. tomorrow is another beautiful day. i want call you later. don't worry about me I'm ok. i hope you are take care yourself. i will give you support.
In my opinion, These people screwed up:
1. The police officer did not do his job right in measuring speed and in using religion as a ploy to get his victims to acquiesce to amore lightly punished offense. I would not be surprised to hear, sometime that he has had previous work deficiencies, perhaps he is on probation, that's why he does not come to court to testify.
2. The hearing officer did not do his job 100 percent correctly. For example., he was unable to bring up this web page to see what I had written so far -- he said his computer is down. Instead of taking my request to appear in court, he first tried to scare me by saying that I might be fined more than seven hundred dollars. When I told him about the invalid way in which my speed was lasered, he suggested that perhaps it was measured by a third police officer of whose existence I'm unaware, and that this officer might have radioed information to the officer who actually stopped me.
3. Prosecutor Holly Beringham tied to get me to do the plea-in-abeyance thing, even though I wanted a trial.
4. Paige Williamson, the "Senior Assistant" City Prosecutor can't type a meaningful, non-gibberish letter. And she spoke repeatedly into an answering machine which announced explicitly that her message would not be listened to, if she left one. She wasted enough time so that on the day before the trial she put in the mail a letter to me which contained confusing, contradictory and empty instructions as to when and where and if I was required to appear. In conversation before my trial, she admitted to me later that this is the normal modus operandi at the court.
5. The Judge refused to listen to my main point, not letting me present evidence.
That point is not my main point! The crux of the matter, to my mind -- the reason I chose to go to trial, is to voice an objection to the manner in which speed is inflated by police, and then discounted [sic]. Using a Christian Holy Days schema, victims are tricked by the police to the accept guilt -- and they are coerced into shutting up and just paying the fine. For me the money was not the issue, it is the goddam principle!
6. I failed in making my point about religion and speeding-discounts, in court or in any official way. This web page attempts to substitute for that failure. Endorsement of a particular religion by an official of government has no business in America. We are should be able enjoy our god(s)-given right of separation of State and church.
In the News...
Speeders' 5-10 mph 'free pass' costs lives, report says
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
Tue Jun 14, 6:57 AM ET
Motorists in most states get a free pass from police for driving 5 to 10 mph above posted speed limits, a policy that contributes to "carnage" on the nation's roadways, an association that represents state highway safety agencies reported Monday.
This cushion is hampering law enforcement efforts to curb speeding, said the report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
The number of speeding-related deaths is not declining despite major safety improvements in vehicles in recent years, including airbags and anti-lock brakes, the GSHA said. Speeding is a major factor in about one-third of the 42,000 traffic deaths a year in the USA.
"We should have experienced a significant decline in speeding-related fatalities, given the tremendous gains in safety-belt use coupled with the increasingly safe design of vehicles," said Lt. Col. Jim Champagne of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and chairman of the GSHA. "If we are going to reduce the carnage on our roadways, speeding must be given the same level of attention that has been given to impaired driving."
The nation's traffic fatality rate last year was a record low of 1.46 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the number of people killed in accidents each year has remained fairly constant as the number of vehicles and miles driven increased.
The safety report found that police in 42 states routinely let drivers exceed speed limits.
The study comes almost 10 years after Congress repealed the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph in urban areas and 65 mph in rural areas and let states set their own limits. The GSHA called for expanded use of radar guns, red-light cameras and other equipment to nab speeders.
The National Motorists Association, which lobbied for repeal of the national maximum speed limit, found the report "disappointing," said John Holevoet, the group's director of development. "All this report does is highlight how out of the mainstream many of our speed limits are. At best, maybe one-quarter of the people are following a speed limit at a given time. Practically everyone speeds. They're going to try and say this is causing highway deaths. (But) we are looking at the lowest fatality rates ever."
Links: How stuff works: Laser measures a car's speed
My email to Best Buy May 21, 2005
Today I went to your store in SLC
UT to purchase a Sony camera. Immediately upon entering I was accosted by
one of may police officers who wanted me to donate money to some good
cause. I don't like police. I told the officer so. I left
the store without my purchase, instead I bought it from
Amazon.com. Now you
know. I won't buy at
your store until you correct this.
Do these things suck? ~~ Unpleasant experiences with companies and organizations. Scams.