Yesterday, I got my first ticket in quite a while. A parking ticket. I’ve only had one other parking ticket before and that was the day that I forgot my government-issued ID badge for work and had to return home to retrieve it.
I double parked my mother’s car and ran into our building to get it and while inside I realized the time for fajr had come in so I stayed to pray before returning to my car. As I came out of the building, a police car was parked behind me and the officer was writing me a ticket. He hadn’t even finished writing it so I had to wait (patiently I think or maybe hope) for him to finish filling in the form and then I was off to work.
I was determined as always to fight the ticket in court so I returned the slip indicating that I wanted a trial and a date was mailed to me. I forgot about the court date and so the county without offering me any notice of judgment or sending me a bill sent my account to a collections agency and so the $50 ticket increased to $200. $50 for the county and $150 to the scam collections agency.
And then later that year, when I went to renew my vehicle registration tags online or by mail, I was told that I would have to do so in person because there was a block on my account. So I went to the local MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) and was told that because I has not paid my ticket in a timely manner that there was an additional $35 fee added to the standard fee of $128 for a 2 year tag. So all in all I paid $235 for double parking my mother’s car.
I almost always plead not guilty, plea bargain, or have my speeding tickets dismissed due to the non-appearance of the police officer.
My most unusual ticket was for “following too closely”, which I think is one of the more dubious and ridiculous citations. I was on my way to work and was driving at the speed limit in the left lane of two lane roadway. Most of the cars were slowing down because there was a police cruiser driving in the left lane. I tend not to slow down for police cars unless they have their radar out or their lights on to pass you.
So of course, I came up on the police cruiser and was apparently following too closely so the cop, brake checked me, flashed her lights, and was going even slower in the fast lane than before. She moved over to the right lane and then I passed her and she returned to the left lane to follow me and then pull me over. She and her partner wrote me a citation for “following too closely”. Of course I was a bit annoyed, we exchanged some words none too polite, and I called my work to say that I would be a little late. I requested a trial and prepared my words in advance.
I intended to tell the judge and the court the words that I had memorized of Abdullah ibn AzZubayr (May Allah be pleased with him) when he refused to yield or run away from Ameer al Mumineen Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him):
“O Ameer al Mumineen, I did not commit a crime to be afraid of you nor is the path tight so that I may make way for you.”
Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, neither of the police officers showed up and the case was dismissed without my having to say a word. Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen.
In sha Allah, I intend to go to court over the parking ticket. Any duas are appreciated.
London is also notorious for its aggressive “parking attendants” – or traffic wardens as they are still called. My observation is that most of them are foreigners and a lot are from west Africa – most likely because natives (of whatever colour) do not want the job. I was out of work for several months last year and nobody ever suggested it as a possibility.
As in other places, the collecting is contracted out to companies which hire the wardens, and among other things, some of the wardens have been found to be illegal immigrants! I have heard it alleged by a driver that one warden told him he could park in a given spot for a while, and when he returned he found that his car had been ticketed. The warden was round the corner chatting with his mates, and when asked about it he replied that he had tricked the driver for being a “white [b-word]”.
In much of London there just isn’t any short-term free parking, and I don’t see why I should pay to leave my car (or truck, as that’s what I usually drive) by the side of the road for a while to do some business or take a break from work. In fact, there just hardly anywhere for a truck driver to take a statutory break while doing a delivery shift in inner London, or anywhere near the suburban town centres. Councils see it as a way to raise revenue. I would ban the use of immigrant wardens – that way, if they cannot get natives to enforce their unjust laws or extort money for them, they will just have to change the laws.
I have an even better example of a totally unnecessary tickets. For left tire touching the yellow-line at 3 am out in clarksburg while delivering the Post. $100.00.
As salaam alaikum.
There is nothing that makes me more upset then getting tickets because of my own stupidity. It doesn’t happen often – alhamdulillah.
Once in the last five years — it cost me $100 dollar for parking in a loading zone.
Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
Yusuf: Strange, but I did not know about London’s parking attendants although if many of them are west African I can well imagine the spectacle. I prefer to use public transport in cities where there is little or exorbitantly priced paid parking.
Umm Binat: That’s ridiculous, I hope whoever received the ticket went to court over it.
Nuh: I agree that it is a little frustrating getting tickets that we probably could have avoided. I mean if I had thought about it a bit more clearly I might have made a different choice before I got this last ticket.
London’s public transport is pretty good, contrary to its reputation. There is an awful lot of it, and there is no social stigma in using the bus (contrary to Margaret Thatcher’s notorious declaration to the effect that if a man is still using the bus when he’s 30 or so, he’s failed in life) and no great disadvantage to not using the car. People of pretty much all social classes use public transport.
Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullah!
Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
Not sure I like this name for you. Arabic this weekend in sha Allah.
asalamu alaykum Apple, Umm Aadam’s sister wanted to join us in the carpool inshaAllah. You should call her.
I really like your new header image, ma sha’ Allah.
In sha Allah plenty of room in the car for everyone.
My last two header images have been courtesy of sister Orange Juice.
Yusuf: I love that quote and others by Margaret Thatcher, not because I agree her politics or worldview but just because it’s so bold.
C’mon people, parking tickets aren’t that bad…
they’re just “misunderstood” that’s all. when you really get to know them — they can be quite nice. i once new a parking ticket — it was just like you and me. to be quite honest, i have a lot parking ticket friends.
let’s not be biased toward parking tickets. only Allah (swt) knows what is in the hearts…so let us not judge parking tickets. think of parking tickets as just another way for the government to impound your hard-earned dollars. life aint a free parking space people!
they have feelings…just like you and me.
Abu Ameerah: I understand that traffic wardens (parking tickets are the bits of paper they put on your windscreen, BTW …) are necessary but in London there are too many of them and they enforce laws the people despise because they are unjust. If local authorities could not use foreigners to enforce these unjust laws, they would not be able to, because traffic wardens have such a dreadful name among the general population. Anyone who wants to be a traffic warden (or parking attendant, whatever they call them) should understand this before they take the job on.
Of course, people should not drive unnecessarily, but there are times when those of us who do drive by necessity, such as because it’s our job or because public transport is inadequate and/or the facilities we need are too far away, need to park. It is a fact that not everywhere with yellow lines (i.e. parking restrictions) actually needs restricted parking, at least on both sides; it’s a fact that people sometimes get tickets when parking up for deliveries that take a long time, and that a lot of drivers are self-employed and in any case the companies which require deliveries do not pick up the tab; and it’s also a fact that delivery drivers using heavy vehicles are legally required to take a 45-minute break, for which there are virtually no facilities in inner London.
Once, my brother and I got speeding tickets on the same day which of course cause much dismayed to our father because we were still dependents inspite of driving our own cars (big lol!).
So yes, we told him if he could make the ticket ‘disappear’.
He peered over his glasses and said “I have never favour nepotism and I will not start now, not with your mother, not with you both. You deserve that ticket because you drive with no respect for the law. Pay up or I will take your license away.”
I swear, i drove like a turtle from henceforth.
Good luck with the trial/court. I shall remember you in my duaas 🙂
Fi Aman Allah.
If I read of some woman who came to traffic court and pelted the judge, witnesses, other defendants, and onlookers with a selection of apples — I’ll know who it was.
I hope your travails are few. Take care.
Salaams… I have learned the hard way that you can get a ticket even without a radar gun! In my case, I was going with the flow of traffic, the cop was behind me, I was on my cell and didn’t see him, and he pulled me over for speeding. After he gave me the ticket, I got back on the interstate and had to speed again (at the same speed as before) or risk being run over. 😉
Anyways, good luck with your ticket! iA, the officer won’t show up and it’ll get dismissed.
speeding tickets are worse than parking tickets….
reckless Driving tickest are the worst!
i’ve had my fair share of parking tickets when living in the states, but here in madinah..i don’t think i’ll have that problem! wouldnt want to drive here anyway with the craziness. just think in places where parking tickets are warranted they aren’t given and when they are not, they are given.. subhanAllah..
and its pretty amazing that i come across this site today, because just this morning i was reminded of that quote..and then i come across this post..
Abu Ameerah: I disagree. I do not believe parking tickets have feelings.
Anneesa: Glad to see that your blog is still public. After I passed my driving test my parents added me to their insurance and it increased by 400%.
Bill: I don’t know what you’re talking about, I love apples too much to pelt anyone with them although I don’t like apple butter.
Huda: Once I was speeding during rush hour and a cop was next to me also speeding so I looked at him and he looked at me and then he made a motion with his hand for me to slow down, which I thought was a bit silly but nicer than getting pulled over for a ticket.
Suhaa: SubhanAllah, that quote is amazing.
huda, if s/he’s driving, s/he hasn’t clocked you. the burden of proof is on the state – s/he has no proof. i got out of a (wrongful) ticket that way.
I once got pulled over for going TOO SLOW!! I was actually exceeding the speed limit by a few MPH, but I was in the fast lane and being passed on the right. I had no idea why he was pulling me over and I was so scared! I was a new driver at that time. Fortunately, Alhamdulillah, I got off with a warning…
“I once got pulled over for going TOO SLOW!”
Purvis: lol, at moving too slow and the warning. I got a warning for speeding about a week ago, it was late and I was saying my adkhaar and then I sped by two police cruisers and the next thing I know I was being pulled over but I wasn’t overly concerned and kept making my adkhaar.
The police officer asked me if I thought this was the Daytona 500 which I did not respond to because I didn’t think it was funny, can’t stand NASCAR, and am definitely an F1 fan, but alhamdulillah he left me off with a warning.