Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Traffic Court, my experience

About three weeks ago, I was driving home from IUPUI's campus, avoiding the highway and just going via Lafayette Road. To get there, you have to go across a bridge on Michigan and turn past some railroad tracks, a hotel, and a school. As I was between the hotel and school, two state troopers pulled me over on their motorcycles.

I had noticed them already and knew I wasn't speeding.

But after "license and registration" (at the time, I couldn't produce my registration), I ended up with a ticket for "Improper wearing of safety belt". They could see how I was wearing it through my car because, well, they were really close.

Only after some looking at the law did I learn that "Click It Or Tick It" is very misleading, because it doesn't inform you on how to wear a seat belt (it's according to some federal manual) or about one of the 13 exemptions to the law, which I was under.

I have a cardiac pacemaker and the regular use of a seatbelt could be harmful to it. I've been wearing it under my arm while still strapped around my waist. Sometimes it's re-done by a plastic sealt belt adjuster.

Either way is illegal without a written doctor's note confirming it.

After remembering Paul Ogden's various entries on the traffic court, I decided to just pay the $25.

As Ogden has reported the traffic court blatantly violates the US Constitution and Indiana Constitution. Open courts and, under Indiana's, the right to not have unreasonable fines associated with a court case, are broken regularly. Multiple signs posted say that nobody besides the defendent is allowed in the court room. Other signs say that, if you lose the court case, in addition to the ticket and court fees, up to $500 can be added.

The Traffic Court's website says $1,000.

Neither are constitutional, and probably violate other laws and regulations too. Not to mention just plain common sense. In a regular day's activity, it isn't uncommon for someone to accompany you. Might be for business, for social activity, or something completely beyond your control. There's no reason to exclude them from what should be a public courtroom.

But that's not what I wanted to concentrate on, but rather, the building itself.

Nevermind that it's in an area not easily accessible by highway.

The parking situation is horrible. In the main entrance, two handicapped spaces are available. A third appears to have originally been placed in the lot too, but has almost completely faded and is now reserved for police.

As you enter, it's not clear which of three lines you should actually get into. Unless you ask, the only signs posted to explain the process are, coincidentally, by the cashier window, which would be the last stop.

The hallway is fairly small and I'd hate to see it if someone with a service dog or a wheel chair had to get through there.

And to top it all off, the first line I had to stand in ended right by a metal detector. Fortunately, it didn't appear to be on, but that's a clear violation of ADA. A building must be readily accessible to patrons, regardless of disability. It was only by luck that I was able to walk by it without my pacemaker malfunctioning.

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