I should point out that the last time I drove down to give a talk to this group, I got nailed for speeding. Totally not my fault:
- The highway was on a downhill run. I suspect that the cops knew that when they picked the spot.
- The road was tack-straight for a whole mile to the horizon.
- There were no lights or other roadside features on this stretch of road.
- There were absolutely no other cars on the road, all the way to the horizon.
So what actually happened was that the car started to pick up a little speed when the downhill bit started. There were no visual cues of any kind to tip me off in advance of my next glance at the speedometer. And the speed trap was set up to nab vehicles near the top of the hill, not at the bottom.
An innocent error, and not even one that put anyone’s life at risk. Not even mine, I stress. And yet I got hit with like a $200 ticket.
I should contested it, but it was close to Macworld Expo and I supposed that the best I could do was get it knocked down a little and I wasn’t sure that burning five hours and $40 worth of gas was worth it.
Since then, I’ve read a pretty neat message thread on Fark.com that contained input from state attorneys who used to represent The Gummint in these hearings.
“I was usually inclined to cut a break for anyone who was honest about the circumstances around the citation,” a typical poster posted. “If you said ‘it was downhill and I don’t feel like I had enough time to notice my increase in speed’ I’d cut the fine and change the citation so it wouldn’t affect your insurance. The people I really insisted on nailing were the jackasses who had obviously visited some sort of website on how to beat a speeding ticket. These were the people who demanded to see the maintenance records on the exact radar gun that the trooper used on him. I was really motivated to make sure that those a*****s paid the full amount. At minum.”
On that basis, I kind of wish I’d made the effort. Oh, well.
Anyway, none of this reflects upon the fine men and women of the Connecticut Macintosh Connection. They took me out to a very nice dinner and everything. The December meeting is their big annual holiday party, which means there’s a fair-to-excellent chance of nog.