I Fought the Law and the Law Won

Yes. Yes. Yes. It has happened again. I have had yet another brush with the law – on Veterans Day. Okay, stop laughing. Before you start judging/lecturing me, let me explain. I did not get pulled over for speeding. I got pulled over for making a right turn. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? I should probably add that there is a sign by the intersection that says, “no right turn from 7am – 6pm”. But wait, there is more…

Here is the scenario. I was heading over to an event on campus, but since there was construction I could not drive through campus to get to my destination. So, I made the first right turn I could to make my way down a regular road to the building I needed. Sure enough an unmarked car immediately pulled me over and gave me a ticket. No warning…just a ticket. I tried to explain that I hadn’t seen the great big sign indicating I couldn’t make a right turn, but the cop was not buying it. Either that or he saw my recent driving record and decided that I was a menace to society and needed to be stopped.

So, after I cooled off after a couple of days I called about the amount of the fine and I could almost hear my jaw hit the floor. Are you sitting down? $210 dollars. Yes, two hundred and ten dollars! Seriously?!! For a wrong turn onto a road?! I have since learned that the aforementioned sign has been present for 11 years because of a law that got passed as a result of community members complaints about students driving down that road (that has about 5 houses on it). Apparently just recently the city is cracking down on violators. All of this I would have known had I read the issue of the Carroll News that was published the day before my transgression. Yes, the irony is just too much to bear. And get this – my colleague warned me the morning of the day I got my ticket that she had recently gotten pulled over after making that same turn. Oh, and don’t worry – she only got a warning. Okay, now you can laugh.

But you want to know the very best part of this whole story??! While turning right onto this road is against the law and is equal to making a pact with Satan himself, you CAN turn left onto said road. So in order to comply with the law and be good citizens, JCU people coming from campus simply make a U-turn and turn left. Yes, that sounds like a much safer alternative.

Epilogue: I submitted a letter to the court asking for the judge to waive the fee because of all kinds of good reasons. They called me back and explained that I would need to submit a fee in order for the judge to review my case which may result in a pre-trial hearing with more fees. In the end I could pay a bunch of court costs and still have to pay the original ticket fine too. Um, yeah, totally not worth it. So, yeah, I’ll be submitting my $210 to the fine court of Shaker Heights this week. Merry Christmas to me. If you want to read more about this riveting story, you can read the Carroll News article that I missed here.

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