The next time you aspire to take defensive driving as an alternative to paying for a citation and as an effort of maintaining a clean driving record, you may want to think twice. About two months ago on my way home from taking the last test in my college algebra class, I was pulled over and issued one ticket for speeding and another for failing to wear my seatbelt. After letting off some steam when I got home, and coming to terms with the fact that I was, without a doubt, in the wrong, I accepted the consequences of getting busted and proceeded to take care of this important legal business as soon as possible. Although I paid the $102 for my seatbelt fine, I concluded to try to save some money by taking defensive driving for the most expensive speeding ticket. Two months later, I conclude that I would have been better off just paying the $160 fine. After forking out $62 for the course itself, $30 to rent the video, $10 for an access fee for my driving record, and two months of being treated like a convicted felon, I began to understand why many Americans despise their local police authority and court system. After my defensive driving class was fully paid and successfully completed, in the next weeks that followed I must have received ten letters in the mail informing me of a warrant that has just been issued for my arrest for an unpaid traffic ticket. Calling the court house to clear up this urgent situation only caused for more irritation. The lady on the other end of the phone insisted that I go up there and talk to the judge about my complaint (yeah, right…please take me to jail) and when I told her that I would certainly not be doing that, she concluded that I still owed them $10 and proof of my defensive driving course.
August 31, 2002