Recently, I wrote an article about my last speeding ticket. While that incident still burns in my memory, nothing compares to the crime spree I had about fourteen years ago. At the time, my youngest son was in a roller hockey league and his team had a two-day tournament in Taylor, Michigan. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back in 2005, I was still working at my old job in downtown Detroit. Having recently transferred to the day shift after nineteen years on afternoons, the morning and evening rush hour was proving to be a nightmare on wheels.
One day, during a particularly pokey afternoon rush hour, I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that the traffic bottleneck at I-75 & I-696 could be easily avoided if I took the Nine Mile exit and used John R road as a bypass. Unfortunately, the Hazel Park Police Department was way ahead of me. As I cruised down John R, marveling at my brilliance, I got pulled over for doing a whopping 33 mph in a 25 mph zone. However, the officer “took pity” on me and wrote up the ticket as Impeding, instead of Speeding. I later found out that this Impeding Scam was being used by other cities and towns all over the area. Since there were no license points for an Impeding ticket, people fumed and grumbled, but paid the ticket to avoid the points. I fumed and grumbled and paid as well.
Then, two days later, our family was on the way to Taylor, for the hockey tournament. As I pulled off I-94 onto Telegraph road, there was a little red car in the left-hand lane. He was going about 5 mph below the speed limit. So naturally, I sped up a little to get around him, and of course, a cop car was waiting for me in the Gardner White Furniture parking lot. I got pulled over AGAIN, and was given another ticket for Impeding! The Telegraph Speed Trap soon became infamous. The city eventually got into some trouble over using this tactic. When I sent in my ticket payment, I decided to sharpen up my writing skills by including a heated letter, detailing how I would never set foot in their God-forsaken City again. However, to this day, whenever I drive through Taylor on I-94, I make sure to stay below 70 mph. So I guess the joke is on me. Anyway, have a safe and happy summer, and try not to get caught Impeding!
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