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Those small victories


Anjuli_Bai
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The justly famous Calif. Driver's Manual, put together by the just as justly infamous DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) is 90 - count 'em....90 pages long.

 

A year ago in 2012,  a young officer on his motorcyle spotted what he considered easy prey - old and female - driving along on a trip of only one mile from her home to her destination.  He couldn't actually find anything she was doing wrong (she had an unblemished record of 44 yrs)- but he had a quota of citations to keep up (help with the city's empty coffers) and so with lights and siren blazing/blasting brought her to a stop. 

 

After several inappropriate questions (such as where are you going and with whom do you live) he got to the point and asked her where she was.   After answering him, he wrote up the citation indicating that she be re-tested: both written test as well as the actual driver's test including freeway driving.  And a $235.00 fine.

 

She was devastated (and furious) until she realized that while she had answered correctly the officer's question as to "where she was" - HE had writen the wrong city on the citation - obviously not knowing where HE was.  At that  point she knew she had him.

 

But she still had to pass both tests, however she could now see them as inconvenient - and even amusing with statements such as "It is illegal to stampede animals with your car horn." 

 

At the written test she insisted the word "traffic violation" not be used - she adamantly insisted she was "innocent before proven guilty" and therefore no assumption could or should be made that a violation had occurred.

 

Part of the driving test was to be able to talk and drive at the same time (like while negotiating a freeway interchange) - so she decided not to give this option to the testing officer - but to talk to him  - casually - conversationally - all the time.

 

She passed both written and driving tests with flying colors.

 

And I got my $235.00 back from the city. 

 

The offficer? - He refused to respond to my challenge.  I wonder if he knows now the correct answer to ;  "What city are you in?"

 

Sometimes we win a small victory ..very small...but important (in a small way)

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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Are you talking about a police officer,Anjuli ? I`ve recently heard some really scary stories about the way American police officers treat people. Professor Brian Cox`s wife,who originally is from Duluth,Minnesota,calls the police in the States "terrifying". Maybe it was controversial mentioning it here,I don`t know.

Edited by thequays
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I find most police from other countries more terrifying than their British counterparts......even though they are far from blameless on occasions of course!

 

I loved your story Anjuli seems a bit mean to put you through the test again though I suppose it becomes your word against his in the end.....nearly always onto a loser there unfortunately.

 

I believe there is a plan a foot to make all 70 year olds retake their driving tests here! I'd better start memorising the Highway Code now then!!

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Did he admit his mistake?  Well, of course not!  

 

He officially "did not respond."  And, thus , my word prevailed.  I automatically "won" - though I still had to go through the written and driving tests.  At least I preserved my clean record and got my  fine money back. 

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I don't understand anjuli what was the alleged 'offence'?

 

 

Well, that's it - there was no offence.  He assumed: she's old, she's female - she probably doesn't know where she is.  So, he stopped me and asked me.  I replied correctly  - it was HE who didn't know where he was - so he wrote the wrong city on the citation.

 

The young whippersnapper was confused - not the old hen. 

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Actually Anjuli your post is very timely. In the Sunday Times newspapers there is a big spread on can you trust the police?! (UK ones!)

 

Apparently the Police lying (an ongoing story here about what an MP said or did not say) may be more rife here than we realise!!

It's very sad really....one can accept one or two bad apples as they say but would hate to think its all going downhill in that direction.

I know they do a tough job sometimes but police caught lying should lose their jobs in my opinion.

 

The reason foreign police are often more terrifying is that they carry guns mostly. Carrying such a weapon immediately somehow separates them from us. At least in UK have resisted this so far at least.

My own experience so far has only been good(twice warned rather than fined re traffic probs no further action taken.....but they weren't serious) However I do know that in the time when younger men tended to wear longer hair the police were more likely to you stop you if you had it than not! And of course if you had a different colour skin.....but better not go any further down this line.

 

 

Taxi just don't get me started on hospital car parking it just makes my blood boil the whole situation in many places on this!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

An English friend I was with was the victim of a road traffic accident in Germany.  While the police were really nice about it, I did find it a bit scary that they were all carrying guns.  (This was 25 years ago, when the concept was a lot more alien to a Brit)

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  • 3 weeks later...

The police in Turkey carry guns.What I don't understand is how they stop people in cars randomly but ignore the motorbikes with entire families on them.Normally the man is driving with a helmet and the woman on the back with all her children and very young babies wear no protection.!

I have never experienced any problems with the traffic police but have been stopped for speeding a few times and fined even though I know I was not speeding.

Oh and red light means go for some people!

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You should see the size of the guns the police here in Northern Ireland carry. At least nowadays there aren`t hoardes of soldiers patrolling the streets as well.[And coming into your front and back gardens to look in your rubbish bin whenever they felt like it without asking your permission,of course.] And walking past one or two soldiers on your way to the local shop and them stopping you for your ID when they see you every single day and know full well you live in such a house on that particular street. And then stopping you again ten minutes later and asking for your ID all over again when they know full well its you [come on,my English accent is a dead giveaway I`m the same woman they`ve just stopped.] Bit of a political rant there.Sorry. But yes,the guns the police carry. Bit intimidating. Although it is the law now that the police here HAVE to recruit from 50 per cent of the Catholic/Nationalist population. Things here are a LOT better. Or else i`d still be living in Manchester otherwise.!

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