June 1, 2010

More on Traffic - When You Get Pulled Over

Ha! I am gleefully reporting that I am NOT the first in our family to receive a traffic ticket here in Joburg. This is definitely going against the trend established during our previous moves, where I was (unfairly!) singled out for the most obscure traffic violations. This is Noisette’s story from the other night:

It was a Friday (duh!, he was later told by friends, Fridays are ALWAYS the days the cops are out, as they’re looking for a quick buck before the weekend) and as always traffic was backed up coming from the office. In an effort to get on the highway quicker, Noisette did what he (and on other days the other drivers) always does, and tried to sneak by all the backed-up cars on the emergency lane. That joyride ended quickly, as a police car emerged in front of him and he was waved to a stop. His dutifully presented International Driver’s License produced immediate frowns and the threat of being taken to some central Johannesburg police station to pay a fine. After all, he might just leave the country if issued a regular ticket, so payment that very night was necessary, he was told. Fine, he shrugged, take me there. But this is when it became apparent that the friendly officer really had no intention of taking him there. That would mean giving up his lucrative spot right there on the exit lane and being stuck in traffic himself. Did he not rather pay right here, Noisette was asked? Well, how much is it, he replied. How much do you have, the policeman wanted to know and proceeded to lean far into the window in an effort to supervise the money counting. Together they counted off five R100 bills, plus a fifty. Not one to give up easily, the officer then asked for his coins, so Noisette proceeded to pour those out as well. And wouldn’t you know, the ticket came to precisely R557.68!

I am making a mental note never to carry more than about R500 in my purse since the rule of the game seems to be that you will be relieved of whatever you have. Then again, maybe I should play dumb and just insist on being taken to the police station. At the very least, it will make for another interesting story for my blog!


Joe said...

Hey Sine! Wow, I had no idea you relocated. I hope all is well!
Interesting post. I'm looking forward to happier posts :)

Sine said...

Hi Joe - yes, if there is one thing you can count on it's my family relocating every few years! This time happens to have had great timing with the World Cup. Cheers from Joburg!

STK said...

Just stumbled on your blog...great stuff as I moved in Jan 09 from the US to Dainfern area as well.

To add to the traffic "fine" thing, I've been pulled over 3 times and just stood firm (with my US/California Driver's license) and merely say "I know the law, you write me a ticket, mail it to my po box and I pay. Here is a copy of my work visa.....". Usually it takes about 15 minutes for them to get frustrated and I haven't received one yet. Of course, the camera tickets are a different story...

Sine said...

Hi STK - you've been here longer than us! Love the traffic story, it's so true. I wrote another one where I waved the road traffic act in the guy's face. In fact, I seem to write many traffic cop posts. Which makes being pulled over a little more bearable, knowing it will yield a good story either way.

I checked out your blog and love the pictures, you've been to a few places in Africa! But looks like you're no longer writing?