Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Conversation With My Son

I went out to the mailbox a while ago.
Started looking at all of it.
One of them was in a plain, white envelope.
It's sender was the "City of Mesa".
I immediately identified that letter as a photo radar ticket.
I started thinking.  You know when you're caught by those
cameras cause' those lights that flash are bright.

But, I don't speed or run red lights through the City of Mesa.
I drive through there frequently in the semi, which is why I am
extra-cautious to make sure I am not breaking any moving-violation
type of laws.

So, I simply couldn't figure that one out.

Brought the mail inside the house, drew a deep breath and
opened the letter.  My old Buick.  Small type and small pictures,
so I go out the reading glasses. 4 pictures, 2 inches square.  One
with the license plate of my old Buick; second with a picture of my
son behind the steering wheel; third with the car just beyond the
crosswalk lines, not even yet turning; 4th about half way through the

He is following behind a pickup truck that undoubtedly also got flashed
and sent a notice.

Here's one case where I will say these cameras have an effect.  That's my
car with the notice being sent to me.  Apparently, whoever reviewed this
thing must have realized that a 48 year old man doesn't quite look like the
person in the picture, who is 18 years old.  It is a "notice" to identify the
driver of the vehicle.

Yes, well, the State of Arizona does NOT require you to identify the driver,
however, the picture was troubling.  He had obviously entered the intersection
AFTER the light had turned red.  I mean, the car was JUST beyond the crosswalk
lines and the arrow on the is clearly visible and clearly - red.

Yes, we had a discussion about this.  Driving is a learned skill, even an art.  You
don't get that sixth sense about things in driving after a year of driving.  Maybe 10
years, I don't really remember when that kicked in, probably after I started driving
semi's to be honest.  Whatever the case, the pictures paint a potentially dangerous
situation: your car in the intersection, making a left hand turn while the light has turned
green for traffic heading the opposite direction.  A car with an open lane travelling at
45mph slamming into a car turning in front of it?

That was my problem with this.  It's extremely dangerous driving and it's inexcusable.
You are risking yours and other's lives in making such a move.  It isn't worth it, saving a
few minutes of time.  And yes, we had this conversation and yes, I made my view of it
very, very clear.

It is not a ticket, I finally realized after getting past the picture part of it.  It was a request
to identify the driver of the vehicle with the statement that you are not required to identify
the driver.  I already knew that.  I am not going to, either.  I hope that our conversation
about getting killed or killing others might have an impact.

I do hope to not receive another notice like that, is all I can say about it.


Anonymous said...

If he does not pay YOU at least half the amount the ticket would be, what has he learned?


BenB said...

In all honesty, he may not have learned anything, though he said when it happened - the lights flashed - he talked to his mother about it. He stated that he had "panicked" and didn't know whether to stop or go.
Brake on yellow, stop on red. Old adage, put on signs all over the place, still true today.

The end story? He's an adult. A young one, yes, but if he has to learn the hard way, then that's what's going to happen. Hopefully not with his life. I made a very strong argument and case.

You may have misread, though: there IS no ticket. It was a notice asking me to voluntarily submit who the driver was to the City of Mesa.

I am not about to do that. I am opposed to the government having cameras all over the place, in public places, taking pictures of cars and their drivers and sending tickets in the mail. If you get pulled over by a cop, it does not necessarily mean you are going to get a ticket, as I can attest to numerous times over. Are they going to bring the camera in to testify against you? Where is your accuser?

Yes, there are cops that will write you up a ticket regardless, but plenty of them out there that won't if - whatever, I don't really know why one will write a warning and another will write a ticket for the same infraction.

I incurred no fine, if I did, I would definitely turn him in, let him pay for the offense.

Anonymous said...

Well, my understanding was (is) that by shielding whoever was driving...YOU get the ticket. So no, you don't have to tell them, but you, as owner of the vehicle, are then responsible, same as if you loaned your car to a drunk.

At least that's how it is in some places. Dunno about the Grand Canyon State tho.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...