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.