Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sneaky Bastards

That's what I call the City of Mesa's traffic division, and any other city in Arizona that uses those offensive, freedom-hating (to coin a Bush term), red-light/speed cameras.

As I have mentioned previously, we make a yearly pilgrimage to the Phoenix area to partake in Spring Training. I had grown to like Arizona from these trips. Until I discovered the asshole-ness that is the City of Mesa (home of the Cubs Spring Training field, Hohokam Park) and their placement of red-light cameras.

Now, if you don't already know, Cubs fans are everywhere. Much like Red Sox fans, if they had a game in Anchorage, Alaska, it would sell out. Because they are everywhere, or they will travel from everywhere to get this game in East Cuttybumfuck. So the stadium is always packed, and always, people drive to these Spring Training games. Mesa is hardly built to deal with the colossal amount of traffic that ensues during the parking and unloading of cars into the lot. After waiting for like an hour to get into the lot (my left knee was screaming in agony from having to push and un-push the clutch pedal, after 6 hours of driving from San Diego), we watch the game, and then commence the arduous "unload" process. I'm going down Country Club Drive with the rest of the folks leaving the game, so you can imagine, there's some traffic. I get to a light and it's just turned yellow, I am going about 20 mph right behind a truck, so I decide I'll make it through, and as far as I know, I did since when my front tires passed the cross-walk, the light was still yellow. I wasn't even aware it was a "photo-enforced" intersection (I hate that phrase, "photo-enforced"; how 'bout I "enforce" my foot up your ass).

I see the flash. The husband and I look at each other, and agree that it's probably the car behind me since it was yellow when I entered the intersection.

About a week after we get back I get the infamous photo of myself SMILING. Who smiles at the evil photo camera? I guess I do. Turns out City of Mesa are again, sneaky bastards, because the line they use to say whether you've entered the intersection is actually the end of the sidewalk which is a couple feet AFTER the cross walk. They have a special line after the cross-walk that I noticed in the picture. Total bullshit is what that is. And I'll bet they get lots of out-of-state spring training visitors who get screwed by this light during the month of March.

I almost succumbed to the horror that is a red-light violation (which is 2-points, mind you, on your record, and no amount of mind-numbing driving school will take that off). But something was weird to me. They had included a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return the paperwork. Really? Since when do they do that? Generally, it's "pay this, and pay your own damn postage, or your license will be suspended". Never has the California DMV given me free postage to send them money.

I did some Googling, and guess what? There's a loophole (yay for loopholes!). In Arizona, they have to personally serve you with a ticket. A human has to hand you a ticket. When you get pulled over, you get handed a ticket. When a camera takes a picture of you, no one is handing you shit. They can't prove you received it in the mail. What's more, I am out of state - and are they really going to send someone over to serve me the ticket?(Note: They do that to in-state residents, then charge them a $26 fee). So, I said, "fuck you," and waited the requisite 120 days and sure enough, it was dismissed. Besides luring you with free postage, they are even so sneaky as to have an online service where you can log-in and look at your photos - which, "ding!" proves you received the notice and you are SOL. I, thankfully, didn't do that.

So, if you are ever in Arizona and happen to get flashed by one of these totally bogus, unfair cameras, let them personally serve you. If they don't, you are scot-free.

No comments:

Post a Comment