Written by Gregory Monte.
I recently came across an article in the New York Times about a woman who was arrested for not paying a traffic ticket: Handcuffed and Arrested for Not Paying a Traffic Ticket
Obviously, the fact that this story had something to do with traffic tickets caught my attention – after all, that is what I write about on this blog all of the time.
However, the story that the woman related hit closer to home for me, because I actually went through a similar situation almost 20 years ago in New Jersey. Fortunately, I was not “fingerprinted and locked in a cell” like Ms. Coakley was, but my car was impounded, I was handcuffed/shoved in the back of a police car, and held at the station until someone came and picked me up.
No doubt this incident was embarrassing and humiliating, but I have to admit that I had brought it upon myself by not paying several traffic tickets when I lived in Jersey City, NJ. Back then I was a naive kid (although in my mid-thirties) and knew nothing about how to FIGHT traffic tickets rather than just let them accumulate. There is no way today that I would fail to show up in court and hope for the best.
Looking back, I think that the first “seed” of my current crusade to find ways to beat traffic tickets was probably planted on that night. To continue the analogy, the “plant” germinated several years later when I got a ticket in New Jersey for speeding in a “school zone” at 3:40PM – long after the school was closed.
Fortunately, I found the National Motorists Association (NMA) which provided important information which helped me when I went to trial on that speeding charge. After that success, I got hooked on the idea of fighting traffic tickets – I have contested each and every one since then.
In a way, I see my website as a much-needed addition to sites like the NMA, because I provide more targeted suggestions about how to contest tickets. But in any case, if you have never checked out their site, you definitely should. You will, of course, find resources about fighting tickets there, but there is so much more – including a daily blog that covers a wide range of issues.
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