My Writing got Validated

I promised myself I would share this with all my thousands of readers (I can dream) once everything has been settled. In May I drove my sister to school. A month later I got a "Red light violation" for $100, because I supposedly drove through a red light.

I had no recollection of doing so, so I watched the video and analyzed it frame by frame like a referee. finally, I decided that I'd write them a contention.

This is the letter I wrote to them:

To whom it may concern:

I have received a ticket in the form of a “Red Light Violation”. Please note that although the vehicle is registered to -----, it is I, his son Dovid, who operated the vehicle and is contesting this violation. If memory serves me correctly, I was driving my sister to school that morning, letting our mother sleep in that day. Clearly, none of us wanted to be there in the first place (it’s way too early for me, and high school’s just the worst), so receiving a ticket for $100 (about 40% of my semi-weekly paycheck) was not a happy mail-opening experience for me.

What surprised me more is that I don’t remember driving through red lights. Even the ones without the cameras in the middle of the night when the street’s empty. I do not particularly enjoy driving, and I am definitely not comfortable enough to assert myself when driving. I’m a defensive driver; it’s how I was taught to drive. “Your vehicle is a weapon”.

When I saw the pictures printed on the violation notice, I saw the timestamps which were a single second apart. The distance the vehicle moved between the two photos clearly indicate the car never stopped; a minivan like that doesn’t have the power to start from rest and move that quickly within that short of a time. Something seemed off to me, so I went online to review the video.

The video footage all but confirmed my suspicions. The light was yellow precisely one second prior to the incriminating snapshot presented before me. I had already started my turn just as the light turned yellow. I had not sped up to “catch” the light either. The light had switched to red as I had crossed the large white line, indicating I had begun my turn.

Alternatively, let’s pretend I had stopped. There was a car behind me so I could not have backed up, and I know that it is better to go than to possibly obstruct the horizontal traffic, so the only option I had was to complete my turn. If a human patrol officer saw the situation, I know without a doubt that he/she would have let it go. It was the classic scenario where the light switched at the same moment that I had turned so it triggered the camera and automatically started the violation notice process.

According to the pictures, it does seem like I had violated the sign to my left (in the picture). However, I implore that you watch the full video and take this letter into consideration before you reach a verdict. The pictures were taken by a robot which automatically takes a snapshot as the light turns, but the video shows us what a person would see, and I do not think that the person would consider this to be a “Red Light Violation”. I would very much like to keep that $100, as I am sure most people would. Please reconsider the violation.

Sincerely,

Dovid Bulgatz

I recieved this in the mail:

I did it!!! Take that, "The Government"!!! Ain't no one gonna take my hard-earned cash, except Lego!

Maybe this is a sign that my writing is worth something. that letter is worth $100, who knows how much something else I write will be worth!?

Anyways, I wanted to share this with everyone, on the off chance that they need help contesting a violation like this one. Please use this as a guide if you need to, but maybe personalize it to match your own circumstances. I cannot guarantee that it'll work 100% of the time, but if you genuinely feel like you don't deserve to pay a fine, it is your right to contest it!

By the way, I have a Tumblr now. I'll talk about more of that in my next post.

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