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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Insult to injury

Tonight, I am filled with rage.

Well... it has dissipated a bit (the chocolate helped). But I'm still not very happy.

Remember when my parked car was plowed into by someone so intoxicated that he or she not only hit me hard enough to mangle both my bumpers, but to push the car in front of me into the car in front of it, and crack its front bumper? And then hit another car down the block when he or she failed to make the corner? And how frustrated I was because I didn't have any recourse?

Well, in that little incident, my front license plate was crumpled and nearly torn from the bumper. I finally pulled it off to avoid losing it somewhere in town, although, as it turns out, not displaying a front plate is illegal in Minnesota.* I discovered that today, when I was issued a $108 ticket for "fail[ing] to display current license plate/tabs"--despite the fact the fact that my tabs are current, and clearly displayed on my (thankfully undamaged) back plate.

So, the state, which failed to protect or in any way compensate me for the hundreds of dollars of damage done to my vehicle by a reckless and feckless drunkard, is now charging me ANOTHER hundred, as though this was my fault.

Oh, but this time, I do have recourse! After waiting on hold for 20 minutes, I was told that I could go to the walk-in hearing and fines department downtown and state my case to the hearing officer. I should take a magazine, because it would probably take at least an hour. I should also take my citation, my proof of insurance, "and a smile." If I am lucky, therefore, all this will cost me is, say, three hours of my time and lot of irritation. If I'm lucky.

It's one thing to feel screwed by life. It's another to feel screwed by the institutions that are supposed to be protecting me.

Oh, so this is what I did to reattach my plate, so as to avoid another meaningless ticket and the wasting of more of my time and resources:

Classy, eh? I figured if the state really wanted to see my plate, I'd make it as ugly as possible.

*As it is, apparently, in many states, despite the arguments advanced in this petition that front plates cost the state unnecessarily; that front plate brackets are no longer routinely installed on new cars; and that they increase damage in minor bumper-to-bumper collisions. Oh, and because tax dollars are going to issuing front-plate citations instead of protecting our streets. This guy says it's all about the red light camera money.


I Hope So said...

i am SO SORRY. i can't even imagine how infuriated i'd be. M%#HTY*@H#TIY!!!! good luck with getting it taken care of.

c said...

That is so horrible. Maybe you should carry the license plate around in your glove compartment, and if you're stopped again, ask the officer if he would mind figuring out how to attach it to the mangled bumper (is the bumper still mangled? can't quite tell). Your ugly way works, but this way you could say you were getting the law to work for you. :)

Sorry. Hope you get off.

Nothing said...

Man, when we lived in Arizona, they didn't even give you two plates. Only one...for the back bumper. I wonder if people from out of Minnesota get citations too? Sounds like some Minnesota cops wouldn't put that beneath themselves.

Curly Sue said...

Yeah. It's confusing to move between states with different license plate laws. Louisiana only gives you one. Who knew?

But that's totally unfair, considering your situation. You should definitely play up the Confused Female during the hearing. Sometimes that helps, and I say if it helps, do it.

strovska said...

i'm not sure if i would want to laugh or yell at being told to "bring a magazine and a smile". i think that guy might be on the right track about why they want front license plates.

i hope they don't make you pay, and that you don't have to take full advantage of your magazine.