02 April 2008

perhaps it's just time to pay

I recently heard a phrase driving urgently used as a way to describe someone who was speeding. I'd like to adopt it. But the truth is, I knowingly speed. Perhaps not more than the average person. I don't say that to justify it, but I do say it as a qualification. Most people likely do not look at speeding as breaking the law in a way that they would change their habits. But that is another post. Today I want to talk about tickets.

I recently received one. The officer approached the car and said, "Ma'am, I've pulled you over for your excessive speed."

And after I glanced at the speed listed on the ticket, I had to agree. I was traveling over 20 miles over the limit. Now, I'd like to debate that I was in unfamiliar territory, and that the speed had just changed from 55 to 45 on what seemed to be a highway. But the truth is, even at 55, my speed was over 10 miles over the limit.

Perhaps you'd care to read my experience with tickets. I've received three in my driving lifetime.

I received one in my first year of driving, in between my junior and senior years in high school, while on a six week mission trip in California. I was clocked at 48 in a 35. Being pulled over for speeding was a complete shock. I was told "the speed limit is 55 everywhere except for in town. Then it is 35." Being a city girl from Seattle, I equated town to mean city. But we were in a rural area, and town meant something different than my perception in those parts.

I fought the ticket, though, mostly because it demanded I show up in court at a time when I wasn't going to be in California. The judge let me off.

My second ticket was three years later at college. I fought that ticket, too, and it was also eliminated.

About four years after that I was pulled over for speeding when I lived in Holland, Michigan. When the cop asked how fast I was going, I told him that I must have been going nearly 50 (it was a 35 zone) because I had just shifted into 5th gear. After spending some time in his cruiser, and after several "God, I know I don't deserve this, but please have mercy," he came back and offered me a warning.

So you can see, I've experienced an incredible amount of grace.
But I've also "fought" every single ticket.

And that was my plan for this experience. I was ready to argue that it was a speed trap, for starters.

But you know what, it's one ticket in twenty years of driving! And the truth is, I was speeding, no matter how I might like to argue.
I decided, perhaps it's just time to pay.
And so I did.
The check is literally in the mail.
(I still hated sending it though!)

Yours sincerely,
A struggling speeder


Sabrina said...

Um I got 2 speeding tickets in 1 week on the same strip of highway when i was 18. I didnt pay them. I got a letter in the mail warning me. I got another letter saying ok, you now have a warrant out for your arrest. I laughed. Then one summer day i was doing 60 on a 30mph country road when i spied a cop. I prayed as ernestly as i ever could, Please dear Lord do not let me go to jail!!! His mercy was definetly new that morning, because the cop didnt pull me over! I paid the fines promptly after that.

Jewels said...

Gracie - They don't give out warnings like they used to - don't worry, it's not because you're getting older. :)