Disclaimer: Running without a front plate, for aesthetic reasons, is a violation of law in 2 plate states, and I acknowledge the legal risk of doing this.
Since I purchased the Vette in ‘09, I’ve passed staties, county police, big city po-po, sheriffs, all without incident. Last week, I received my first missing license plate ticket.
Oh, I always knew
it could happen, but it was the circumstances
of the ticket that got me steamed.
There is a podunk little town in my metro area well known for 60% of the municipal budget coming from traffic citations. The city has been ranked in the top 2 or 3 highest top traffic ticket towns in Missouri. They are known for hiring LEOs that are shiny new, or LEOs that have employment problems with larger, more professional departments. The last police chief was a controversial figure, acquitted in civil cases of sexual misconduct and tried on a misdemeanor charge of employing an unqualified officer.
Last week I was in a hurry to get to a client, and took the shortest route - forgetting I was passing through traffic revenue enhancement central. So when I was pulled over I was perplexed at first. I was doing 34 in a 35mph, good driving habits, etc.
So this baby LEO walks up. He told me why I was being stopped. Ok, got that
. But he returns with an electronic ticket with a fine schedule. “Unsecured load” $112.00!! WTF?!!
Then I lost my temper, and without swearing, I told him that he was nothing more than a uniformed tax collector. Having recently read in the local paper an article about another of their officers that lost his license, I pointed asked baby LEO how long he thought he was going to keep his license!
! I could tell that last comment hit the mark! What could he say but a terse “Have a nice day” and stomp off!
The rest of the day I was
as I thought about a missing front plate citation being written for a more expensive “Unsecured load” violation. (About a 40% increase in fine $$) After the 2-day waiting period, I called the court clerk to find out what the court costs were for fighting a ticket. Yes I was polite - the court clerks have a thankless job.
Guess what? When I mentioned I was planning to contest a expensive “Unsecured load” charge on a Corvette, she “checked on something” and said the charge was now a “Missing license plate”! Now you all know that was not because of my sterling performance. You all KNOW
that court challenges are not handled over the phone - by clerks! Someone in the office may have figured that they were not going to get a fine for an idiotic violation.
In conclusion, I paid the proper fine for a missing plate the next day, and will not drive the Vette through that municipal revenue trap again. But it was what the first egregious violation the officer tried to charge me with, and the general unprofessional conduct of the entire municipality that is a sad issue.