Friday, November 28, 2008

Just call him "Speedy"

On Tuesday, The Boy was anxious to get home from class. He could smell the popcorn. It was 9:30 in the evening and there was little traffic.

Except for that CHP officer.

The Boy got his first speeding ticket on Tuesday. As we all know, the system is set up to heavily punish teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, that get caught doing something they shouldn't be doing while driving. 

We don't really know how this will turn out. There will be a court appearance (I'm pretty sure there is no option to take a drivers safety course to expunge the ticket, but maybe...), there will be the fine, court fees, possible traffic school costs, possible revocation of his license, and who knows what else. Well, I know one what else thing - the insurance company is definitely going to get theirs.

This is going to be an expensive and potentially painful lesson.

I know it was for me when I first started driving.

When I was his age I got a speeding ticket in our small town's speed trap. I knew the trap was there, but after a bit you start to believe you are invincible. One ticket was not such a big deal in Colorado though, even for a teenage boy. Just be sure not to get a second.

Which of course I did, for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Another niggly ticket that I did not deserve. Completely not my fault. Mostly. It didn't matter what I thought though, the state suspended my license for three months. Boy, that got my attention! I had learned my lesson. I was going to make that little old lady that only drives to church on Sunday look like Dale Earnhardt.

A couple of weeks after I got my license back I got another ticket. I couldn't believe it. But that one finally did it, and I've only gotten one other ticket in the 30 years since then.

I paid for my checkered teenage driving history until I was well into my upper twenties in the form of insurance premiums. I still remember how the various insurance companies would laugh when I listed my driving history. There are special high risk companies that deal with the likes of me, and they get paid very well for that risk - I paid about four times the normal premiums for my insurance for a long time. 

So this is going to be an expensive lesson for The Boy. His motorcycle (yikes!) savings is going to take a big hit. But hopefully he has learned from this and will be MUCH more careful from now on. 

And yes, I am well aware that since I wrote this and bragged about my clean recent driving record that I will most likely get caught before the week is out. But I'll be extra careful. I always try hard to not be the fastest car out there - I like to get passed since those people will be more attractive to the CHP. But there are so many things you can do wrong, and, like the holding call in football, you break some law almost every time you get behind the wheel, and all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The picture up top is The Boy and his friend Yentruoc (not his real name) at the SF auto show yesterday. He took about 120 pictures of the event, and most were of cars that could easily top 200 mph.

Oh my.

That's it - move along...


mary ann said...

Oh, that IS an expensive lesson. I'm sorry that happened and of course we know it wasn't his fault, nor yours when you were a young whippersnapper.

notthatlucas said...

Well, you can come up with lots of reasons why it was unfair to get any ticket, but my third one (when I REALLY knew better) and his are our faults. He was driving WAY too fast, as was I.

We want our children to learn from our mistakes, but sometimes you have to make the mistake yourself to really learn anything. Hopefully he has learned something.

DAK said...

You have neglected to mention exactly HOW fast Speedy Gonzalez was clocked at. If it's more than 100, well let's just say he won't have to pay any more car insurance for awhile. I doubt it, though. Probably doing 50 in a 40.

notthatlucas said...

He was going 82 in a 65 on the 280 Raceway. An odd thing about speeding tickets in CA; as far as I can tell the amount you exceeded the speed limit has nothing to with the penalty - 1 MPH over is as bad as 40 MPH over. There are special rules for exceeding 100 MPH and they can always hit you with Reckless Driving, which is also more severe (and probably what would happen if you were driving, say 82 in a school zone).

He was going way too fast is the important thing. He cannot do this, or any other traffic violation, again or else it will go very badly and he will need to become intimate with public transportation.