How not to deal with a speeding ticket

By Bob Martin, Columnist

Congratulations to Road Law’s Jeff and Jim. This issue of Land Line features their 100th column for OOIDA’s magazine. Their work puts me in mind of a story.

To this day I’ve never gotten a ticket in a four-wheeler. But in my youth, I had enough tickets and warning tickets in a semi to paper a two-holer outhouse.

This won’t work anymore. With the states all hooked up via computer, it’s all going to count. In the past, two tickets on your license, no big deal. You could still get a job. In today’s market, you don’t even want one ticket because the hiring requirements of today’s carriers are much higher than they used to be. Bottom line, even a legitimate ticket, get a lawyer to make it go away. Anything can happen. You could get one you didn’t deserve a week later, and now you’re half a foot away from being out of business.

Getting a ticket you didn’t deserve is the hardest to swallow. I had a couple but, to be honest, I know they had me a few times and pulled over the wrong truck so I guess that would be a push.

I’ll tell you about the one that got the best of me. My wife, Geri, and I had been out awhile and were 10 miles from the house. It was early Sunday morning, and we were ready for some home time. Here comes Smokey from his hiding place, and he wrote me on what I thought was a cheap shot. Probably technically right, but still a cheap shot.

I completely lost it and went berserk on the officer, screaming and cussing. He would have been within his rights if he bagged, gagged, cuffed, stuffed and hauled me to jail. I didn’t care. 

I sent the ticket to a lawyer, and he sent it back with a note that read: “Can’t help you.”

I went to a second lawyer, same result. Finally I went to see a lawyer I went to school with … didn’t like him but I knew him. I asked, “What’s going on here? It’s just a simple speeding ticket; make it go away.” His response: “I saw the police report and I won’t touch it.”

So I went to traffic court. I paid the fine and took the points.

The rest of my driving career, if I got a ticket, I took my lumps, got a lawyer, and it disappeared. It’s called learning to keep your trap shut. LL