Anticipating 2010

Before the school year begins, my girls' school requires a head check -- I don't mean the paper that represents money but actual heads of hair . So I dutifully packed up my girls into the mini an on September 6th and drove them over to the school during checking hours listed for that Sunday morning. I took my usual route and turned left from Empire onto Reads Lane. Just after I made the turn, a police car came after me. I pulled over and asked what the problem was. The policeman claimed I didn’t stop at the stop sign on Empire. I know I did stop.What I really think is that he came after me hoping I hadn’t signaled or to find some other infraction like no seat belt.

After taking a very long time in his car going through the paper work and ascertaining that record was completely clean, he handed me a ticket. He told me I could try to dispute it in court, but he would still maintain that I had not stopped. The day after I got the ticket I return to the scene of the disputed crime to take pictures that show the view from within the parking lot is not unobstructed. I also printed out a copy of an email of one of the replies I received to my query about experiences of this sort. This one said that the policeman was parked in the Far Rockaway mikvah lot that morning and reading a newspaper -- not quite a model of alert observation.

The traffic court allows scheduling a hearing through the website. The problem was they kept offering me Friday afternoon times. I selected a different day, but that was also switched to a Friday even after I had received a hard copy confirmation. Once again, I logged in and settled the court date for Monday, December 21st at 1 PM. If you recall, we had a lot of snow that Sunday. So I left with plenty of time to spare and found nearby (FREE) parking. I waited outside my assigned room, then inside my assigned room, and then was told to proceed to a different room at about 1:30. Along the way I heard many other ticket stories.

Finally, it was my turn. I took all my papers up with me. But I didn't have to say a word to win. The judge asked the officer if the ticket was unaltered. It was. The judge asked how the officer could foretell a traffic infraction for September 6th 2010. That's right. The officer had written the wrong year. (Hence the title of this post.) While I had heard that error among the other cases, they usually wrote the prior year, i.e. 2008 instead of 2009. Somehow this policeman had written down the next year. And I got the not guilt vertdict I deserved but may not have succeeded in proving. That brought home the realization of what it feels liek to have Hashem yilachem lachem.


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