Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ticket to the Future

So, this weekend The Lady and I were down at Belmont Brew Co. enjoying a delicious beer after a day of errands (she had the Marathon, I had the Oktoberfest). Well, we parked in the adjacent (you know, the one in front of those moldy-ass ocean-view condos) and failed to see the payment machine on the other side of the lot. Who knows what we were thinking, but for whatever reason we didn't think it strange that there were no meters.

Anyhow, after we left BBC we discovered a crisp, neatly packaged parking ticket under The Lady's windshield wiper. Oh well, we had a brain fart and we'll pay the price.

I opened it up to see:

"Time limit exceeded. Fine: $46."

Forty six fucking dollars for a half an hour of parking?


That shit is outrageous!

And today while driving on Harbor in Costa Mesa, I saw a motorcycle cop pulling over an Escalade. My first thought was, "Bummer for that dude. Wonder what he did."

After running a few errands (I know. More errands. I've been traveling a lot which means a grip of errands when I'm actually home) I headed down Harbor in the opposite direction. Lo and behold there was another motorcycle cop driving down the street.

And the only reason I know it wasn't the same officer is because that dude was on the other side of the street pulling over a Buick now! So you basically have at least two motorcycle cops doing hot laps on Harbor all day issuing tickets to as many drivers as possible.

I no longer had to wonder what the guy in Caddy did to get pulled over because it didn't matter. That poor son of a bitch was getting a ticket no matter what.

Because with tax receipts hitting all-time lows, cities have no other source of revenue.

So expect fines for minor street sweeping tickets to become outrageous, more speed traps, more chickenshit fees, more utility surcharges, more cash cow red-light cameras, and more motorcycle cops assigned to busy thoroughfares for no other purpose than writing tickets. Don't worry, taxes will eventually be hiked too (the sales tax already went up to close to 10%) to pay for budget and tax receipt shortfalls, but for now I would prepare for more attempts to bilk taxpayers for hard earned cash that they already have less of these days.


  1. I will attest to the street sweeping fine: $60 in Los Angeles. It's ok though, because the day I'm moving in to my new home is the day the public works department decides to come and fix the curb that's been cracked for at least the last several months (I'm told by the seller). To my delight, they fix a concrete curb (right in front of my home) with an asphalt patch. Oh, what great timing for a house I just closed on a week earlier. Good to know my $12,000 per year property tax, along with all my income tax payments are going to good use. What's another $60 to the City of LA parking enforcement office?
    Anyway, I know this is a real estate website and I just wanted you to know El Bee that I am a big fan. You put into words so eloquently what I had been thinking the last several months while doing much of my real estate shopping online. The descriptions and photos by some of these RE agents are truly pathetic. It's good to see someone keeping an eye on and putting these lowlifes in their place. Keep up the good work, and I will continue too be a faithful reader of your sight!

  2. Welcome to the socialist life. Until people get their heads out of their asses, and stop voting for all these left-wing socialists, then go ahead and enjoy what the result is.

    People are afraid to speak out against PC liberal crap, but yet somehow it's ok to rant and rage all day about anything conservative.

    I'm open minded, but I think the agenda of these socialists in our state office, as well as in federal office, is quite clear.

    And I think people need to wake up.

  3. El Bee and all of the LBHB faithful,

    We aware of the many CHP in and around the Santa Barbara area. They are very heavy on the 154 and 101 between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. That is wine tasting country, so it's very easy prey for the CHP. I knew that it would have to come to this once Calif ran out of money. It's gonna get much worse before it gets better, but there is always hope down the road, even though the road is Figueroa! Blog On!!

  4. As gomer pyle used to say, surprise! surprise!
    My Father-in-law got one of those "your're screwed" intersection camera tickets for left turn on red for a whopping $465! That is pretty hefty for a minor traffic violation in which he was behind a big truck and couldn't see the light until already committed... as they say on hill Street Blues... be careful out there, they want your f**kin money!

  5. mrkgard,

    $465?! That's fucking ridiculous.

    I heard that if you get caught in the intersection and the cameras start clicking, you should immediately stop the car, turn on your hazards, pop the hood, and let the camera take a few shots of you tooling around under the hood and getting people to help you push it out of the intersection (and out of the view of cameras for when you restart it and drive away). It sounds like a pain in the ass, but it's about the best shot you have at getting out of one of those "you're screwed" tickets.

    I don't know about you, but $465 for that bullshit is a lot of money.

  6. Got a street sweeping ticket a couple of weeks ago...$47!
    Even the "Fix It" tickets are no longer free.

  7. I moved to the OC and it's no better here. I see a motorcycle cop on almost a daily basis. There's one that hides in a shopping center area and pulls over people. I still can't figure what the F for! I'm sure I only will if I get pulled over.
    By the way I got hit a few years ago in Los Al for one of those camera lights. For around $300 or so. Guess it's gone up since then. The only good part was I sent a link to all my friends who had a good laugh of me going through and the flash lights going off.

  8. This is what I'm talkin about...

    You go up to Wine Tasting Country, trying to spend a little money, enjoy life a little, ie CONTRIBUTING TO THE ECONOMY.... and the socialistic government is robbing you. They might as well be Mexican police in Tijuana. That's what it equates to.

    I can tell you, I'd be PISSSSED if I were taking a vacation, cruising around 80mph on an isolated highway, and got a ticket.

    This was a few years ago, but one time I got pulled over by some punk cop, who was sitting on a residential street at 6 in the morning, where there was ZERO traffic........ he gave me a ticket for not coming to a "complete" stop at a Stop sign, when there was fuckin ZERO sign of life. I mean there wasn't anyone out walking, and there weren't any other cars.

    Before it was done, dude was on his radio calling for back-up.

    Damn right I made him sweat.

    I saw right through the bs games, so why should I have respect for a little piece of metal on your jacket, as though you are acting in the interests of the community interest.

    Anyways, I fucking hate CHP, ticket giving little weanies. They are the lowest of the low.

    Handing out tickets to honest tax paying citizens, most of the time for "offenses" that aren't having anything to do with any real road safety.

    All they REALLY are is Tijuana police, out hunting to extort money to fill their coffer.

  9. A couple comments:

    - The 101 between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria has been a speed trap since I moved here in the 1970s.

    - One of the ways officers can "enhance" their income on traffic duty is to write tickets at the end of your shift. Lots of agencies end their night shifts at 6:00 am. The sketchier the ticket the better. Most pay time-and-a-half or double-time for court duty.

    - If you think your tax bills are bad now, wait until the bills for pensions start hitting. There are 10s of thousands of baby boomer "safety" workers that will be cashing in 6-figure pension demands in the next 10 years. Pension obligations basically doubled for these folks in 1999 (CA SB 400) when Calpers thought the stock market had become a printing press.

  10. Hi EL BEE and friends,

    Believe it or not, I have a friend who was
    too impatient to wait for a left turn
    signal to change so he decide to just make
    the left turn when it's "red". The Sheriff
    was near and wrote him a ticket. Since it
    was one of those busy intersection where traffic sometimes back up because of slow entry into the plaza near-by, my buddie was
    savvy enough to convince the Judge that it
    was caused by a "non-existing" big bus
    that obstruct his view to the light.

    The moral of the story is always fight
    the ticket in court (50% chance the police
    might not show) and judges are humans too and
    they don't have quota to fill unlike some other civil servants.