Slowing down

Dear Editor:

Woe, woe unto those who receive a photo violation for speeding. There will be no hope of a reprieve, mercy nor clemency at the rebuttal hearing if you decide to waste your time. This is spoken from experience.

Recently I received a citation and filed a rebuttal and appeared before Officer Cooper on Monday the 26th of June. Since my last name begins with a “T,” I was therefore last, (the hearings proceed in alphabetical order) so this allowed me the opportunity to listen to each rebuttal prior to mine. It is a shame no one else there paid attention to what was being said. At least six times, the individual claimed it was their vehicle, but they were not driving at the time. Six times Officer Cooper stated in essence “unless you provide the name of individual driving you will be held liable.” You would think after the first two rebuttals using this excuse, people would get the hint! It just won’t work.

Three times the rebuttals were based on dates of when the program would officially start. Since the dates were incorrectly posted on Facebook and in The Review, therefore they should not be held liable. Seriously? Just because it is on the internet must mean it is true?! And no offense intended to The Review, but last I checked, they do not create nor enforce the laws, and sometimes mistakes happen. They only report the information they receive from those in authority, city hall, police chief, etc.

Folks don’t waste your time trying this approach.

What was truly amazing to hear was that five of the citations were issued to individuals in school zones. All I can say is you deserve that one. That was frightening to hear the excessive speed they were traveling during those restricted hours. During the hearings some became very angry and disrespectful — my friends you cannot argue your way out of a citation.

The hearing was professional and I was treated with the utmost respect. The process of rebuttal start to finish was a smooth process.

My complaint, disgust, frustration, with the process there was no taking into account and individual’s prior record. Personally, I have not received a citation in 15 years. There were others that also claimed this is their first citation. If this were the case wouldn’t it only take a few minutes to run a driver’s license number — after all we are at the police station. Shouldn’t this fact be taken into account? How many times has and EL Police officer pulled someone over and only given them a warning because of a clean record? Probably more than what they would like to confess to. Thank you to those officers who have issued warnings and given individuals second chances, your kindness is greatly appreciated by those of us who have received it. Was I driving 60 in a 50? It would be foolish to deny it. This brings me to the crux of the matter. Life is not fair, get over it. Yet, I ask myself, ‘self, why couldn’t the department, out of good will, issue a warning for the first offense?’

Why couldn’t the department tier the offenses? The first offense you are issued a warning, the second is a $50 fine, third is a $100 and each offense an additional $50.

I have learned my lesson to ensure I pay closer attention to speed limits. Does the department need the financial revenue from this system? Oh, yes. Does this allow the department to hire more officers? I hope so. Does this allow ELPD to purchase new equipment to make the officers’ lives safer? Please tell me so. Perhaps the guys/gals in blue will receive a raise? God knows they need it!

This is a good program, even though I am one who has felt the brunt, and $100 is a tremendous amount of money for those who are on fixed incomes, or working two jobs. People are actually driving the speed limit and not recklessly as in the past.

My plea is to the drivers … drive the speed limit and you won’t be issued a citation. If you are issued a citation you can try a rebuttal, but why don’t you sit in on a Monday night hearing so you can see nothing you say will change their minds. Besides it would be great entertainment for the whole family. And a learning experience for your teen driver.

To ELPD, police chief, and officer Cooper, if you are reading this (and I hope you are), could you still cut me a break? I haven’t had a ticket in 15 years. Please?

Nick Timms


(Editor’s Note: City officials inadvertently provided the newspaper with an incorrect start date of the program, and it was used in one of the original stories about the traffic cams. The date, later corrected by city officials, was used in subsequent stories appearing in The Review.)