austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

My race is not yet run / Every man must choose his way

I had my court date, at last. If you're following my life with more interest than I am you may remember I had a small accident at an awful traffic kidney bean (it's too squashed a shape to be a circle) (and it's verifiably horrible: when I told my insurance agent where it was she winced with sympathetic pain because it was an awful spot, and since their offices are nearby she likely knows from direct experience), where I thought the guy ahead of me was pulling out and he wasn't, and I hit my brakes yet we still tapped with all the destructive power of when you forget to put the car in park and the car jolts forward into the curb at the convenience store. If this seems like a pathetic accident to you, it seems like one to me as well, and well below the level at which it's worth bothering the police with a call. But then I'm not the person who called the police, and I'm not the one who made a claim of a neck injury that prompted the officer to mark down injury and property damage on the original ticket.

My meeting with the prosecutor started with a woman who was very agitated about whether the trooper who'd ticketed her was in court today. She had been asking everyone vaguely court-related if they knew where the trooper was, but since nobody knew who she was or what she was in court for they couldn't tell her. She started badgering the prosecutor for information, and the prosecutor told her a couple times that she didn't know who she was or who was scheduled to come in; when the woman kept demanding information and snorting about how ridiculous all this was, the prosecutor told her, ``I need you to shut up now,'' and told the bailiff where to put her if she didn't calm down. I hoped this wasn't a little stage act for us mere defendants to not think the prosecutor would be a pushover.

But I didn't need much pushing either. My father's attorney had advised that the prosecutor could probably be talked into offering something not requiring points, and I didn't really need an attorney for that unless I wanted to pay for someone who'd do the same talking I could do myself. The discussions amounted to her asking if I was pleading ``not guilty'' to careless driving because I wasn't guilty or if I was pleading ``not guilty'' because I was worried about points on my driver's license. I said what I was actually worried about was the ticket claiming injury and damage when the accident was just too slow for that to be realistically possible.

She noted the other driver had complained of neck pain, ``a very ... common ... complaint'', which is why the officer had written it down, and I agreed she had to do that given the complaint. But my traffic violation was changed from the accident itself at a traffic circle she agreed was bad (so now everyone I've reported to has agreed it's an awful traffic circle) to obstructing the flow of traffic after the accident. This has a marginally higher fine, but no points, and with a civil reservation placed on it I haven't admitted to anything that could be held against me should the other driver go after me in civil court. Paid in cash and now I've got this boring accident as settled as I'm able to make it.

Trivia: On 5-6 October 1923 Edwin Hubble observed three apparent novas in the Andromeda Nebula. Source: The Perfect Machine, Ronald Florence.

Currently Reading: Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky.


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