So, this loser police officer decided to take my driver’s license and write me up a moving violation (the same that you would get if you blew through a red light in a car). As he drove away I wished ill upon his children. Smallpox, if I remember correctly. When I arrived to work upon hearing the story everyone laughed at me.
I figured there had to be something wrong about him taking my license. I found this online commuter forum and asked the bikers. As it turned out Chicago had, a few months back, made some law that said bicyclists had to obey the same traffic laws as motorists.
Since I have a perfect driving record I decided to go before the judge. I had never been before a judge and I have to admit, I was pretty excited.
At traffic court they congo-lined me up with a group I titled The Who’s Who of Societal Delinquents. Lots of great neck tats and not many suits. We were told that the judge would read our infraction aloud and he’d rule on the matter. You were not allowed to speak unless spoken to. There was one douche in the line who brought an attorney. He thought he was so cool. Me and the neck tats pointed and laughed at this puta madre.
If I forgot to mention, there were a lot of Mexicans in the group.
The process interested me. As each person went before the judge he never looked up from his papers once. He ruled, and you were dismissed. It would all happen within twenty seconds.
I was fifteenth in line. I know this because I counted and watched fourteen people all get ruled “guilty.” Then, it was my turn.
He started reading the citation…
Mr. Paris drove through a red light on a bicycle. Wait… A bicycle?
For the very first time since he had entered the room he looked up from the desk. He broke character and smiled. I could tell he wanted to laugh. But, being a judge, he couldn’t.
It was also clear he saw something he didn’t like on the paper.
Is the arresting officer here today?
Turns out he was. The cop was sitting just to the right of where I was in front of the judge. They all look the same to me, so I didn’t even notice him. In fact, with the first fourteen cases before me the judge had asked the same question. No officers were present.
One of Chicago’s finest stood and addressed the judge.
Uh, yes, judge. I’m here. Well… it seems I put the wrong infraction number on the ticket.
Oh… okay. Um… What do you want to do?
It was our mistake and…
Should I just give him back his license?
We no longer wish to pursue to matter, judge.
The judge looked me in the eye and again flashed a tiny smile. He handed me my license and I turned around to walk out. But before I made even one step, I said to the officer, “Wow – thank you! Thank you very much!” It was a subtle f-you and I wanted to anger him by suggesting that he was consciously doing me a favor. Then, I walked out. Triumphant.
I’m sure that I was the envy of the rest of the bozos.
What I assumed happened was that somebody who looks at tickets written by cops found the error and summoned the officer. Since he screwed up they probably told him to get his ass to court before I made a big stink about their mistake. Of course I had no idea they had goofed. It never occurred to me to check the violation number.
I’d love to say that I learned my lesson and have never blew through a red light again. But I did the very next day after I got my license back. I’ve been biking to work now for four years and I’ve never had a close call. 95% of my ride is along the lake on a designated path. I don’t like biking in the street and only do so when there’s no other route. I wear a helmet and all that nonsense.
So, that’s the conclusion. I fought the law. I won.
My record is clean and the city just sent me a “ten years without a ticket” sticker thing for the back of my license. I threw it away. I’m way too cool for that nonsense.
Sadly, still riding high from the ticket victory three years ago. I’m invincible!
A few weeks back I ordered this generic tail light from China. It came equipped with lasers that let everyone know I mean business. I haven’t yet turned it on because I don’t know that ground effects is the best look for me.