Sep 14, 2009

You probably have never heard of Dave VonTesmar, but he is my hero. It is possible that old Dave is crazy as a loon, but that doesn't disqualify him from my list of heroes. The geniuses in our state legislature thought that they had a surefire money-making, er, I mean public safety scheme when they signed up with some outfit to place traffic cameras on the State's highway system. The official line goes that the cameras are there to slow down traffic and save lives. Never mind that even the State's own studies show that traffic only slows down at the site of the cameras and then speeds up again. Anyway, in Arizona, the cameras snap a photo of the speeding driver and of the plate on the car. The photos, along with a speeding ticket are sent to the registered owner of the car. The vehicle's owner has to either pay up or send in a copy of his or her license to prove he or she wasn't driving the car at the time of the ticket. What old Dave did, was to put on a monkey mask each time he got into his car. Then, according to Dave, he drove to work on the Phoenix freeway system, traveling at the flow of traffic. Dave accumulated something like 90 tickets for speeding, almost all for going 10-15 miles per hour over the posted limit. Each time Dave received a ticket in the mail, he sent it back with a copy of his license, which clearly showed that he was not a monkey. Many, many of Dave's tickets were dropped because the geniuses running the program apparently agreed with his "I am not a monkey" defense. Ultimately, some eagle-eyed investigator at the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) stumbled on to the fact that Dave was messing with them and sought to put a stop to his monkey business. So, the DPS staked out Dave's house and caught him on camera putting on the mask in his driveway. Now, they vow to drag him to court and get their $6700 in unpaid fines. Meanwhile, about 75% of the people in Arizona who get these camera tickets are choosing to ignore them altogether. The law says that in order for the tickets to be valid, the State has to serve them in person. The State has banked on people voluntarily paying up, without having to be served in person. God, I love civil disobedience. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh EXCELLENT monkey story! I'll have to share this one.

Kurt said...

I accidentally breezed right through the fast pass lane on the bridge once, then waited patiently for my ticket, but it never came.

Megan said...

Dave is now one of my heroes, too.

Barbara said...

I just heard that Maryland now has fancier laser cameras that can get a good picture of every one of a clump of cars all speeding. I have learned (the hard way) where a lot of these cameras are in the DC Metro area. I pay up each time I'm on Candid Camera and commit to memory the location. In this area there is no way of getting out of the ticket even if you have a monkey mask.

Julia said...

But if you shared a car with your identical twin...

Karen said...

I got one of those tickets a while back. I ignored the ticket, but did rave to my husband about what a good picture I took...

Reya Mellicker said...

Pretty cool street performance art, oh yeah.

I had a friend in college who drove a hearse (she was enamored of Harold & Maude). When she got a ticket she always marked it "deceased" and sent it back.

But I think eventually she had to pay her fines.

Bella Rum said...

I do love me some monkey story.