Friday, 12 November 2010

The Blue Light Special

Blue Light Pictures, Images and Photos

Trust me. I'm not talking about K-Mart and that mobile light thingy that they roll around the store with a blue strobe light alerting shoppers to a fast sale on some odd little item. Hell, does K-Mart even do that anymore? I haven't been inside a K-Mart in years. But when we had one locally years ago, I'd see that blue strobe start flashing and watch people run toward the light. Guess they didn't equate it with a near-death experience. But to me it was nothing more than several mini Black Fridays. Dangerous.

But what I'm talking about here is something far more dangerous AND COSTLY!

Yep, I'm pissed off. I've been trying really hard not to be, though. I've let this issue simmer since late August--August 25th actually. And then two weeks ago it hit just way too close to home. And STILL, I tried to wait out the pissed off feeling. But every morning and then afternoon, it gets stirred up again. I'm constantly reminded of just how pissed off I am and that makes me even more pissed off. It's like a wound that won't heal--just sits there festering. Oh, it's pussy all right. And no, I don't mean female genitalia--I mean pussy as in Pus-E. Having a pus-like appearance.

Now I have respect for the law in general. Although, I do think there are good laws and bad laws. I especially have issues with laws that try to dictate morality. But morality isn't at stake in this particular situation.

A new charter school was built last year about a half a mile from my house. Wonderful, no problem. Love it. Thought about sending my kid there but the NO SPORTS, little socialization thing turns me off so he remains where he's been. It's a good school and this is not the school's fault. But with that school came a school zone. You have to reduce your speed limit--and you should. I don't even have a problem with that.

My problem is this:

I live out in the country on a main highway. A very busy highway in which my house is set back from the road a pretty good ways in the middle of fifteen acres. People driving on this road are heading to work each morning and home in the afternoon just like everywhere else. But these people are going sixty miles an hour and have been making this trek daily for years and years--coming from other towns going to other towns. This road is also well-traveled by those going to other states even. So not everyone is familiar with the new speed zone, plus it's kind of hard to get used to a new speed limit when you've been traveling this road forever. LIKE ME. No. I didn't get a ticket--yet.

So they have the signs up. Check. They have part of the signs in bright neon green too. Check. And the zone is very very short--like maybe four or five hundred feet only--hardly seems worth it. And this charter school doesn't have a buttload of students so not a lot of in and out there to start with. But there's a golf course across the street and the addition of the school makes for a lot of slow downs. And I really don't mind slowing down. I don't want to hit a parent going in and out of the school with their kids for sure.

So what pisses me off? Every damn day since August 25th, every morning and every afternoon as I am taking my kid to school then coming home, then trudging back up the road that afternoon to pick up and back home again, I see two patrol cars on the side of the road with their blue lights flashing as they are giving someone a ticket. Now this occurs FIVE, count 'em, FIVE days a damn week. I guess we'll get a little relief over Thanksgiving and Christmas break. HA!

The fine for this ticket is $100. The court costs which you have to pay whether you go to court or not are a $150. So that's $250. And I only see two in the morning and two in the afternoon, but more people are pulled over than that. So let's do the math. A minimum of four people are pulled over daily (just what I see). That's $400 a day in fines that goes to the little dip shit town that is getting the money from these tickets. Not to mention the court costs--and what all that is for is beyond me.
So $400 a day times five days a week is $2,000 a week. And this has been going on for ten weeks. So that means those fines are now up to $20,000.00. That's twenty thousand dollars. A whole boatload of money if you ask me.

The officers in the patrol cars hide in this old lady's driveway. She is now a resident in a care facility--she's ninety--so she's not there to protest. And they also hide next to the golf course's entrance. Now if it were MY driveway, they would NOT be there. Nothing the old lady can do and it's obvious her family doesn't know or doesn't care--no skin off their teeth, of course. The golf course? Well, they can't say too much since the town piped water all the way out there to them for free so they could sell homes between half a million and a million bucks each.


IT'S A FREAKING SPEED TRAP. A HONEY POT FOR THAT LITTLE DIP SHIT TOWN. Everyone talks about it--we all know it. So WTF can we do about it? Not much it seems. You argue with the town about it and they'll come down harder. I thought about calling the newspaper and telling them to just go out there and sit and watch and take pics, but I haven't done it. YET.

In the meantime, you can see me slamming on brakes just as I remember that sign each morning and afternoon. I pray a lot when I do that because I'm terrified some unsuspecting motorist is tailgating me and I'm about to get rear-ended. I DID see something a week ago that made me laugh like hell. Seven big rigs--eighteen-wheelers--slowed down like a mile or so before the zone and crawled all the say through it---I KNOW that was their little message to those boys in blue laying in wait--"HEY, WE KNOW YOU'RE HERE MR. BEARS!" (I think bear is trucker jargon for cop.)

So why am I so ultra pissed off all of sudden and feel the need to blog about this? My oldest got a ticket. Yep, she did. Between fines and getting her an attorney? I'm about to be out $700 smackers. I honestly believe that was all the nudge I'll need to call the newspaper. God I need a bubble bath. Whiskey would be nice too.


allencurrier said...

Yes it is a nessaty to have the speed contolled around the schools. but the speed trap that is created is sometimes not cool. Then they put up signs that say"Speed reduced during restricted hours" but they don't specify the ime.If you go to court it comes out that it's when children are present. Now that could be a long peroid. I live in the samekind of area you do and it is the same here. It suck but needed.

Tess MacKall said...

Needed, yes, but other zones around here have flashing lights to warn of the school zone. Not so in this spot.

And I maintain that if there is an area that dictates handing out that many tickets--it's time to deal with it further as in the town needs to say: "hey, our police force is supposed to protect AND serve, and while we're protecting everyone from getting hurt in an accident, we also need to serve the community by fixing this situation so it there is no need for that many tickets."

They aren't serving the community.

C. Zampa said...

It IS for money.
All they really have to do is just show their faces a few times, then people will start to realize they need to take the speed limit seriously.

But to hide? It's not a speed trap. It's a money trap.

Faith said...

Several citizens will have to contact the town, then do the same with the county, and then contact the state. Everyone should sign the letter and have it notarized.

Speed traps are notorious in tiny towns.

Anonymous said...

It's done for the money. Hopefully they will use it to put in the flashing lights.

Sorry about your oldest getting a ticket.

Anthology Authors said...

In CA, it's supposed to be illegal to hide in order to catch someone speeding, but it happens anyway. I see it all of the time. And if they were really concerned about the students, they would install lights.

Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic, but I just love that cover for Black Cougar Curse. Every time I stop by, I just stare at it for a bit. *sigh*

Sarah Masters said...

Wow. I think they have enough money to buy some bloody lights now! That's a damn lot of money.


Tess MacKall said...

It's definitely a money trap, CZ. Bugs me to no end.

Tess MacKall said...

Organizing anyone to do anything about this would be damn impossible, Faith. Everyone is scared to get on the bad side of a cop they say. There are horror stories about that kind of thing. But I am definitely calling the newspaper. Just got back home with my kid and sure enough--two more were getting tickets.

Tess MacKall said...

That's what I say, if they were really concerned, they would have coughed up the money to put lights in to designate the area. After all this time, they had to have realized that the problem continues. If a problem continues, you do something else to fix it. But their idea of fixing it is to simply give more tickets. WRONG. Not the way to fix the problem or serve the community in general. And hiding? There are NOT words enough to describe how I feel about THAT tactic.

Tess MacKall said...

Casey...I keep waiting for the lights--maybe I'll see lights at Christmas? lol

And thank you with regard to the Black Cougar Curse cover. Dar Albert with Ellora's Cave is the designer for that. It's a beautiful cover and depicts an actual scene from the book. Nat and I are in love with that cover for sure.

Thanks again.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, that's a lot of money, Sarah. They have the money. They have the money anyway. The town is well known in these parts for having a major surplus in funds---they don't believe in spending--which is good, but goodness, this is necessary.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I'd call the newspaper and local TV channels. The cops get bad publicity, they'll have to stop. What they're doing is underhanded and should be illegal. I'd feel the same as you.

Maeve said...

Been there done that. What's that saying? There's no fighting City Hall. Which, by the way, will probably be able to redecorate with all the revenue that stretch of road is generating. Bubble bath and chocolate might help. In your current state, whiskey might just push you over the edge. :-)

Faith said...

Maeve, I have to say I'm with Tess. I still vote for whiskey, HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Kate Richards said...

I sure agree with you Tess. There should be signs! I work five miles from home, all city streets, and pass at least one or two schools no matter what route I take. They all have signs, some the ones that show your speed, flashing lights...The object is not to kill the parents and kids, not to make money for the local authorities!

Paul McDermott said...

Same meat, different gravy ...

Visitors to LIVERPOOL frequently arrive by car through a Toll Tunnel from the other side of the River Mersey.
Signs say "Turn right for city centre"
So far, so good: this is correct.
LESS THAT 50 yards from the tunnel exit you turn LEFT to head towards the main railway station ...
Flash, Bang, Wallop! You're suddenly in a lane reserved for BUS AND TAXI traffic ONLY.
You're caught on about a dozen automatic cameras.
Welcome to Liverpool, here's a £60 fixed penalty (no appeal procedure, the camera doesn't lie, does it????) oh and, by the way, have this 3-point endorsement on your licence while we're in a giveaway mood ...

Cushy cash-cow number, the police must be laughing all the way to the bank ...

Tess MacKall said...

Hiya Lisa,

I know the the officers involved aren't getting the money themselves, but it comes off as downright gleeful. Seriously. And I know that's a stretch too. I have great respect for the police.

However, they HAVE to see that whatever warnings they have in place ARE NOT working. So why continue to give tickets? Why not simply do something that will get the school zone noticed in such a way that they aren't giving out tickets. People want to abide by the law for the most part. And they will slow down. But for some reason, they aren't in this particular area. And it's got to be mostly those people who don't travel the road that often who are getting the tickets or the occasional local who simply forgets--like my kid. sighhhh

I'm definitely talking to the newspaper on Monday. Something needs to be done about this for sure. And I just love it when they put the blue light on someone and they have to follow them a ways down the road and end up in front of my driveway. Grrrrrrrr

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Maeve...yep whiskey might get me arrested. lol God, I can see it all now. Not good at all.

Bubble bath and chocolate. That can be pretty soothing. I'll give that a try before I ride back up the road. Meditate a bit on it all. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Oh HELL, the instigator is having her say. Faith and I are both longtime believers in the cure all of whiskey. LMAO

Tess MacKall said...

Oh Kate, you reminded me of something. They DID have a flashing thingy hooked up to one of the posts coming from my direction two mornings in a row. People saw it and slowed down. But after that second morning, it was gone and hasn't been back. WTF?

Tess MacKall said...

Oh Paul...that's between a rock and a hard place for sure.

Nothing you can do about it either I guess. Last week I was in a neighboring city where they have cameras and was in a quandary over a particular move I was about to make--traffic wise. lol

And my brother was with me. He was telling me to do one thing and I was thinking I needed to do another thing. There was a truly ODD traffic pattern to the road.

Thankfully, I didn't have to decide. The light changed and I was given the go. But sometimes, the signs/laws just don't help a damn bit.

Janice said...

Schools have flashing lights?

Well, maybe there, but not in California as far as I know.