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More Than $50 Wasted

This article was written by in Family and Life. 8 comments.


No matter how hard one tries to save money, unexpected things happen. The other day, I was driving to work and I was lucky enough to receive a traffic ticket.

I was at an intersection making a left turn, and the left arrow had just disappeared. There was still a green light, but according to traffic law, I should have yielded to oncoming traffic. To be fair, it was a quite large intersection and there was more than enough time for me to make the left turn before the oncoming cars would come close to meeting me. I followed the car in front of me who also turned after the green arrow was gone.

Police BadgeAs it happened, a police officer happened to be near the intersection. He pulled up next to me after I made my turn and motioned for me to pull over to the side. I let him pass and he also pulled over the car in front of me. This worked out well for the town’s police force; they managed to grab two cars with the same stop.

He could have given me a ticket with points on my insurance, but the officer was “nice.” He awarded me a ticket with no insurance points. Thankfully, I won’t be paying for this ticket for years thanks to an increased insurance premium and a surcharge to the state for the points.

Yet, I still had to pay $56. That includes a $2 “convenience fee” for the privilege of paying online with a credit card rather than finding time to stop by the municipal court. I guess I’ve never really had “good luck” with cars.

Updated September 28, 2007 and originally published March 13, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar fivecentnickel.com

Sucks to be you! At least you didn’t get any points, so it’s a one and done sort of mistake. Oh well… btw, credit card convenience fees are also one of my pet peeves.

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avatar S

I’m still not sure what you did wrong, if there was a green light and no oncoming traffic had to stop to avoid you….?

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avatar Moneymonk

I think cc convience fees are a million dollar business. For as the ticket. may be NJ police was trying to meet their quota. It happens!

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avatar Ben

Bummer! I’ve had more than my share of tickets so now I’m gunshy. My heart rate doubles anytime I see a police car on the road, whether I’m speeding or not. I think I’m scarred for life :)

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avatar Saving Advice

You’re correct…at least there weren’t any points involved which could have cost you with an insurance increase. Hate when those things happen.

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avatar dakboy

Sounds like more of a revenue-generating ticket than anything else, and had you pushed him a little, you might have gotten off with a warning.

A friend got pulled over a few years ago for going through a yellow light. Officer pulled her over, did the “do you know why…” routine and she said no. He told her that he observed her going through the yellow light. She asked “it didn’t turn red, did it?” He said no, she asked “so…it’s not illegal to go through a yellow light, is it?”

He said no, and then let her go. I think he was really just fishing for a quota or revenue for the city and realized that if he let it get to court, he’d lose in an instant.

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avatar dave

Ouch, that sucks. I live in NJ too and go to Rutgers right next to there in New Brunswick. I dont think I know anyone who hasn’t been the victim of a cop with nothing else to do in NJ. On a side note, isn’t it illegal for an entity to charge the customer a convenience fee for using a credit card company? I think you should report them to the credit card companies to have it investigated. I know they try to doctor up the fee as a “processing fee” or something like that, but it would be great if everyone were to send in complaints about this to Visa/MC/Amex just to see what happens.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

Although it’s not illegal, it’s usually part of the merchant account agreement. Credit card prices must be the same as cash prices if the rest of the situation is identical.

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