i’d have to say that traffic court here in springfield isn’t so bad.

i wonder what it’d be like in LA – i remember going to the DMV, an entirely different thing altogether of course, but also having to do with driving – i was actually just getting a CA ID, because i drove around for many years with my illinois license – and i had to make an appointment to go there and it took quite a while and it was kind of a madhouse.  i picture the traffic court in LA also being a bit chaotic.

but here – besides being very pricey, the whole thing was very quick.  i was supposed to be there at 1:30 and showed up about ten after one.  there were a few people waiting already, and they let us in to the courtoom at 1:20.  the room wasn’t so full – there were around 50 of us.  about seven guys in suits were milling around in front.  i asked the guy sitting next to me if they were all lawyers.  he said one was the assistant state’s attorney, a couple others were with the state, and the rest were regular attorneys.  this guy, he had gotten a speeding ticket on the very same street (5th street just north of south grand), going almost the same speed – (he was going 45, i was clocked at 44 in the 30).  he said he’d been a truck driver for 19 years and had never gotten a ticket, and then when he started working in spfld, this is his second one.

i plan on getting no more tickets, because i plan on remembering to slow down, although it continues to be a challenge.

the judge entered at 1:35 – a young fashionable-looking woman with dangly black earrings to go with her black robe.  i wonder if she wears black earrings every day?  because really, you could wear absolutely any color earrings with the black.  but maybe that wouldn’t set a proper mood of decorum.

she explained that she’d take five (six?) people at a time, we’d line up against the wall, we’d come up one at a time, and she went on about pleading guilty or not guilty, and if you were stopped for no insurance and stuff.  she said she hoped to get everybody out in a half hour.  wow.

but things got off to a bumpy start – the very first guy had been involved in an accident and i couldn’t make out most of it but it sounded kind of complicated and she finally had him go outside and talk to the assistant attorney guy.  but then the next guy (who i don’t think actually had any top teeth at all, now that i think about it), he had all kinds of stories and stuff and had his license suspended but it wasn’t supposed to be or something and on and on…and she finally got him to go off and talk about it to somebody.  whew.  so already we were about 10 minutes into the 30.

the next people, though, boom boom boom, they were done pretty quickly.  i was the last one in the group, i walked up to the bench, she said “speeding?” i said “yes,” the assistant guy said “we offer you $190 fine and 30 day’s suspension,” i quickly said “yes,” and then i said “just trying to speed things up,” which she seemed to appreciate, and then that was it.

went downstairs (where the second guy in line was now deep in conversation with the person at the money window), paid my fine, out the door!  1:48.

i rewarded myself by going to the library and getting some books.

and then i drove slowly home.

ok then,

grace, free at last, free at last.