This morning I headed up to the always fabulous Worcester, MA to dispute a ticket I got back in March.
On the morning I got the ticket, I was on my way to work. It was early (6:00 a.m.) and I lost control of my car on I-290, hit the guard rail, went across three lanes of traffic, hit the opposite guard rail, and came back and hit the original guard rail where I came to a stop.
A nice man pulled over to help me and he also called the police, who apparently had already been notified.
When I explained to the police officers that I wasn’t sure what had happened, they asked what I was doing at the time. Flustered, shaken-up, and overwhelmed, I responded that I didn’t know but I also mentioned that I had my phone in my hand.
“Were you texting while driving?”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you not know? I need you to be honest. Were you texting while driving?”
An hour later, after being asked at least another three times if I was texting, I climbed into the tow truck to take my totaled car down to CT so my mechanic could look at it. (My mom was convinced that the car could be saved. It couldn’t.) Before pulling away, one of the officers knocked on my window and handed me a ticket for a lane violation and–you guessed it–texting while driving. The fine totaled $200 and I had the right to appeal it. So I did.
As the hearing date got closer, I regretted trying to appeal it. I really just wanted to put the accident behind me. But when I went into the room and spoke to an officer representing the state and the clerk, I felt confident. I had my text message transcripts sent to me by Sprint. I had my phone record. I wasn’t talking on the phone, nor had I sent or received any text messages.
The clerk then told me that my records could not be used, as there was no proof that they actually corresponded to my phone. I felt defeated.
After telling my version of what happened that day, making small talk about where I went to college and the exciting job interview I have tomorrow, the clerk deemed me not responsible for anything on the ticket. Apparently, the officers were too vague on the police report and there was nothing to prove that they were right or wrong.
The final damage done:
– 1 clean driving record
– $200 kept in my bank account
– no major injuries on my part
– no one else got hit or injured
Add it all up. What do you get? Winning.