May 31, 2011
Sunday, a state trooper stopped me for a chat along Interstate 81. Mr. Trooper congratulated me on sparing the driver just ahead of me from getting a ticket.
After checking my license and registration in his car, he returned to say that apparently I am a good driver (thank you, for once, Big Brother), so he was going to give me a break: instead of writing a ticket for speeding, he was charging me with “failed to obey the instructions of an applicable official traffic-control device.” This would mean a fine of half the fine for speeding, and a points-free license and preservation of my safe-driver insurance discount.
An hour later I looked at the citation. I owe Magisterial District No. 21-3-04 either a return visit to plead not guilty, or a check for $110.50. Here’s the breakdown:
$10 Emergency Medical Services Act
$30 Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund
$10 Judicial Computer Project/Access to Justice
It’s been many years since my last roadside chat with a trooper. That one was a lot simpler and cheaper.
So, my haste to get back to Baltimore apparently will benefit Pennsylvania’s health care and judicial systems. Considering how many other drivers were pulled over, the commonwealth should easily balance its budget.