Saturday, August 6, 2011

My First Ticket for a Traffic Infraction

I received my first citation for a traffic infraction the other day.  Heading down Juarez on our ATV I made an illegal u-turn, then proceed to pull over at a nearby bank.  Almost immediately a traffic cop on foot approached, explained how I had made an illegal u turn and then just looked at me.  I think he was expecting me to apologize and/or offer him a "tip".  When I did neither he asked for my license and registration and told me I could go into the bank to finish my business and he would have a ticket ready for me.

After about an hour in the bank I exited and met up with the officer who had a traffic ticket waiting.  He then handed me a questionnaire which I was supposed to fill out grading the officer's service.  It asked a variety of questions including: Did he provide his name?  Was he polite?  Did he explain the offense?  I actually thought the whole experience was quite comical.  The officer just fined me and I am supposed to now provide an unbiased opinion of how I was treated?  You've got to be kidding me.

I tried to relay the humor to the officer, wondering if he understood the irony.  He sort of just shrugged it off, as if it was just part of the job.  I don't think he got it.  Regardless I gave him a glowing review being the nice guy I am.  After all I probably could have gotten out of the whole thing by just forking over $200 pesos to him for his time.  However, I wasn't willing to encourage corruption and I wanted to see if he really was going to give me a ticket.  And if he did, I was interested to see what the whole experience of paying a ticket in Mexico was like.

The fine was only about $20 USD in total, after a significant discount for paying it within the first 5 days.  Another notable highlight was the officer giving me the option of handing over either my license or my registration which they would hold until I paid the ticket.  I opted to forfeit my Mexican motorcycle license, which I did get back when I paid the ticket the next day at the police precinct on the Arco Vial, just north of town.

It seems kind of funny that me, someone who usually does abide by traffic laws, who never runs lights and almost never makes illegal turns gets a ticket the one time I do.  I guess it will just help to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I wonder if I wrote down that the officer did a horrible job whether or not he would have handed in the questionnaire?  What if I wrote he was handsome and gave him my number?

Overall the whole experience was harmless.  I paid about the same amount in the end, but I was without my license for a day and did have to spent about 1/2 hour paying the fine and picking up my license.  I think I'll opt for the ticket just for the humor of having to rate my experience with the officer on a questionnaire.  I'm glad law enforcement is seeking to enhance their image by using feedback from offenders placed on questionnaires.  However, the irony just kills me.

Mizi Playing Dress Up with Some Friends

Demi who is Always Happy