A few days ago my name was unknowingly added to the already long list of traffic offenders with letters from the Manatee County red light enforcement program, located in Denver, Colo. I thought it was more junk mail and almost added it to my recycle bin.
The picture can't be denied. It was my car stopped in the turning lane behind the white line with my brake lights on.
My offense was clearly stated in bold print, but wait a minute, my magnifying glass proved beyond the doubt that I was stopped completely.
Surely, I can contest this accusation and not have to pay $158?
Then, with my magnifying glass zeroed in on the signals, I saw a blurred sign over my lane visible to only my magnifier.
Then I knew that is a "no turn on red" intersection. I was relieved. Not seeing that sign, I still broke the law.
I am guilty. I will be glad to pay the exorbitant fine.
Consequently, I read all the small print on the ticket and found I was charged with violation of three numbered Florida statues, but two of them were without a word of explanation.
Why? Only the charge against the first statute was printed on the front.
After an Internet investigation I learned what the other two statues were all about. One confirmed what I'd already seen with my magnifying glass: no turn on red, and the other, "disobeying a traffic control device" (which must be a sign).
My right to contest the first statute, thinking myself innocent, without knowing the wording of the other two, would have cost me a minimum increase of $264.
So what's this deceit about? Surely power gone to the head.
Woe unto us. Our officials are no longer servants of the people.
Betty L. Hollifield