Thursday, March 24, 2005

Detroit trip and a Speeding Ticket

Warning: My first lengthy post.

Here is the long delayed post. I went with my brother and sister-in-law to Detroit last weekend, it's about 5 hours from Chicago. The onward drive wasnt all that good due to a bit of snow and rain. Because of this and due to the bad traffic and thousands of detours on Interstates 96 and 94 (close to Detroit) it took us nearly 7-8 hours to reach Detroit. And as I said earlier, Detroit downtown is one of the dirtiest places that I have seen in the US. It made me think that Madras was a lot better. After we came back to Chicago (the return journey was a lot better without rain or snow, although the detours were still a hassle as the signs werent posted properly), I went over to my brother's place for some tea and my usual grocery shopping (thats where I seem to be getting my groceries from nowadays - whenever I go there I come back with food for the next week or two, these carefully prepared by my sister-in-law. One of the several advantages of being a bachelor).

On my way back to my apartment, I was fiddling with my Dell JukeBox MP3 player to change the playlist - this is where I lost the concentration on the road. I was driving at 65 mph (miles/hour) on a 45 mph zone and didnt even realize it. Usually that road is empty (and it was a Sunday evening too) and people do 60-70mph quite normally, so it wasnt that much of a deal. But I am usually quite cautious on the road and somehow sense the presence of cops quite often, this has saved me from a ticket for the nearly 5 years that I have been driving in the US.

I knew this was bound to happen someday or the other but when it actually happened, I was feeling a bit stupid for my carelessness. The cop's flashing lights went on and I moved to the right lane (the slower lane) and then he directed me from his loudspeaker to take a right turn and pull over, which I did. Then after the formalities were done, I told him that this was the first time I was speeding, he then seemed to understand and said "let me see", and went back to check my driving history. But when we came back, he came back with a ticket in his hand and gave me the directions for paying it. Then I thought it was a total "bulb" situation and took the ticket. From the moment I got the ticket, I have been checking my speed more than 5-10 times every minute and wherever I go, I seem to be spotting the cops' car instantaneously. I am controlling myself very consciously against revving up my engine when the signal goes green. I used to get a kick by moving past the slower cars at the signals - this habit might have to sit back and rest for a while. And a couple of days back I saw a young guy roaring up his Cobra engine when he was frustrated at the guy in front of him who was pretty slow. I was then laughing at myself and at him at the same time: at him because, I got the feeling that it wouldnt be too far off before he gets a ticket, and at me because, I should have done the same exact thing several times and someone else could have been laughing at me all along.

So much for a simple speeding ticket! The ticket is for $75 (plus $30) for the driving class (if you take this class you can avoid this ticket going into your driving hisory). And after getting this ticket, I happened to talk to a friend of mine from California and suddenly my $100 ticket didnt seem like a big thing at all, as he had just got a ticket for jumping the red light and he now has to shell out about $500 for it. All this for jumping the light by 0.2 seconds!!!

12 Comments:

Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

TG,
My wife skipped a red light and got fined 291 dollars. She also had to go to court twice..( She said she cried in the court).

She also went and took lessons ( to avoid getting into Insurance)
at the local community college..!!

In some place here in CA, fines are upto 500$.

Friday, March 25, 2005 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger Harish said...

Aint it a good enof reason to switch to an iPod! ;)

Friday, March 25, 2005 1:23:00 AM  
Blogger Akruti said...

LOL,And i know my friends who hate to obey rules in India,red light or not the car wouldn stop for anyone,and where is the cop,he must be taking a nap somewhere in the shade,I Love my India.rules r to be broken is the mantra here.
U takecare:))) and Happy Holi.
i downloaded that song "jaan meri jaarahi sanam" from Lucky.Thanks to the info on ur blog:)))

Friday, March 25, 2005 2:10:00 AM  
Blogger Sangeeta said...

I wish they were as strict here in India too

Friday, March 25, 2005 3:47:00 AM  
Blogger Vani Viswanathan said...

Happy Holi!!!
Hmm...so sad you had to get a speeding ticket after such a long time of a no-bad-history...anyways, guess they are a part of life..now you could be satisfied that you've got a speeding ticket once..and also you can try to make sure you never get another one, so it's like you've had a taste of everything!

Friday, March 25, 2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger JaganLee said...

5 yrs ticket vaangalaya??? oh my god thats bad for a bachelor....
BTW, i'm trying for a ticket from day one...till now havent got one. :-|
I always keep my speed 15mph more than the usual speed....but only when there is traffic.

Friday, March 25, 2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

Thanks to all for reading this extremely long post. :-)

To Mr.Narayanan
I would be taking my driving class soon :-)
But I dont see any logic with the steep fines in the West. Esp. in the California area there are a lot of people who come from across the border and stay mostly on a per hour salary, paying anything more than $100 seems a bit too much. No doubt there are a lot of celebrities over there, but this seems a bit lop-sided.

Harish,
I have thought about that myself several times, but this one works pretty well and I dont see any problems with it - the only thing that would pull me towards an Ipod is its sleekness, nothing else.

Neelima
I loved to drive/ride in Madras, although I was very careful about the choice of the roads esp. because I didnt have a license :-)

I havent paid too much attention to this song, until you mentioned it here. I have heard the "lucky lips" song, it was an alright song. This one is a slow and a nice song. Although I see tinges of Adnan's album music in this. The tabla in this song very much reminds me of his pop albums.

Sangeeta
It's gonna be a while before that happens. But we are slowly and definetely getting there.

Vani V.
Happy Holi to you too and everybody else. No, I dont think this will deter me from getting any further ones :-) I will probably cut down on it for sometime, but my real me will come out pretty soon :-)

Friday, March 25, 2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger saranyan said...

what just $75, you're damn lucky man. Mine was an expensive one (I'm not gonna say the amount, fearing some insurance companies might cathc me :). mail me if you wanna know :) ) but atleast I was charged just a point.

Friday, March 25, 2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Akruti said...

I dint hear "luckylips" for me the voice of female singer was amazing,the pitch at which she says "jaan meri jarahi sanam" it is really worth.and i dont hear adnan much,many of his albums have repetitive music.

Friday, March 25, 2005 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

To JaganLee
Well, it's not because I am a good driver, it's just that I was pretty
good at predicting where I would see them.

To Saranyan
Here in Illinois, the point system is not open, meaning they dont give
it out - although, I think internally they maintain something like that but usually nobody gets to know about their points - it's just in terms of tickets. And yeah, I know, California is very notorious for the steep fines.

Neelima,
The female singer in that song is the famous Anuradha Paudwal. The male singer is the Nepali, Udit Narayan. The music for this movie was by Adnan Sami Khan - that was the reason why I was referring to him earlier. I do agree with you on that fact that his music doesnt seem to have too much of a new element in them.

Friday, March 25, 2005 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger Me said...

One of my friends friend got a ticket for driving SLOW !!

Sunday, March 27, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

To Me
Thats a shame :-)

Monday, March 28, 2005 12:04:00 AM  

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