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Life in Retirement: Speeding ticket tales

Speeding tickets come for many of us in Alberta
Sandy Bexon. (File photo)

If you’re following along, last week I wrote quite boastfully that I have an accident-free driving record after nearly 50 years behind the wheel. Glad I didn’t say it was a completely clear driving record, because that would be an alternate truth. I’ve had my share of parking tickets and a couple of speeding tickets, and perhaps a yellow light infraction from the days of yore. But I was astounded to be caught in a speed trap twice in the last month at the very same spot. Apparently, I’m a slow learner.

When I got the second notification in the mail and saw it was a new misdemeanour, and not a reminder of my tardiness in paying the first, I felt indignant. I uttered, loudly, a sort of grown-up version of the quintessential childhood declaration ‘It wasn’t me.’ Kind of hard for that response to get any traction, since the ticket clearly captured a photo of my old car and the back of my curly head, along with all the annotations about time, place, speed.

Well, I was still dumbfounded, so I piled into the car to drive back to the scene of the crime. Both tickets indicated I was going 59 km/hour in what I was convinced was a 60 km/zone. This had to be cleared up before I would open my wallet to such an infraction on an infraction. But, alas, I turned the usual merge loop onto the main road and there before me was a large kebob of a sign. The tall steel fixture held a string of four signs in a row, one on top of the other, which indicated: 50 km / Speed Zone / Camera Patrolled / Red Light, with a mirror image of the full signage protocol directly across on the other side of the one-way street. Yup, perhaps it was me.

That wasn’t the strangest speeding ticket experience I’ve had, though. That one, which still causes great chuckles, was the one I received when I truly wasn’t the person driving. It was my brother-in-law, who is incredibly helpful with pretty much everything. He had just changed the winter tires on my car and had taken the car ‘for a spin’ to attain the required mileage so that he could torque the wheels before I headed home on the highway.

Yup, it was during that spin that he went quite fast through a speed zone. The proof was in the ticket I received in the mail a few weeks later. I looked at the hefty fine, the photo of my car, the date and details, and knew what had happened. I spent the next several days pondering whether to mention it. On one hand, I ‘owe’ him many multiple times that amount for all the work he has done for me over the years, and I could just keep quiet about it and simply pay the fine. On the other hand, it was a lot of money! The money equation won out and I told him, and he was glad I did.

I paid the fine, he paid me back, and we all were more cautious about our speed. Until this current series of unfortunate events that landed me two back-to-back tickets back. Does it suffice to say the cheque’s in the mail?

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