Seeing Red

A close up view of a traffic light illuminatin...

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Pop, flash! Pop, flash! 

The light was yellow when I crossed the intersection.  I saw it.  I swear.  No red in sight.  I did not see red!  And then the mail arrives.  City of Renton.  Photo Enforcement Program.  And there it is.  Red traffic lights staring right back at me.  The right front tire of my Honda dead center on the white line.  A closeup of my license plate. 

I also see this message of caution printed in bright red at the top of the page:  Read entire notice carefully.  You have rights.  Failure to exercise these rights will result in a waiver of these rights.  Huh?   So I read the entire notice.  Carefully.  Evidently, in addition to rights, I also have  my very own video and images which I can personally view at  A Kiosk is even available to view the video if I don’t have “the Internet.”  Conveniently located right outside the courtroom.  Man, this is a well-thought out system here. 

Still, I can’t see red.  And so I’m curious…and kind of excited in a voyeuristic way.  I must check out my first Internet video appearance!  I type in the URL.  It’s all so friendly.  “Welcome to  Here you’ll be able to pay a ticket, view how your traffic violation took place and find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.”  I’m starting to feel a little bit like a celebrity.  This is really the royal treatment.  I am even encouraged to enable JavaScript “to receive the best user experience from”   They’ve really got my back. 

The video is actually pretty interesting.  My car needs washed, but other than that we look pretty good.  Turn signal on, flashing nicely.  Good pacing on the left turn.  I even catch up to the car I was following into the intersection by the time we come out of the turn.   I play the video back a few times, rewind, step back, step forward.  I see that my partner in crime barely clears the white line and is just inside the touch down zone as the light changes.  I wonder if he gets a video, too. 

I don’t think I will be able to contest this evidence.  But what’s this?  I can download an “Affidavit of Non-responsibility” at  I see this is also not an option as my car was not sold, and is fortunately, not stolen.  That would really suck.  Have your car get stolen and see someone else driving it on the Internet.  Wait!!!  My car!!!

Maybe I can write a statement begging for forgiveness and a lesser penalty.  I’ve heard that if you take the time and make the effort to write a statement that the judge might give you a lesser penalty.  I’ve also heard that the judge might get pissed off  and give you a bigger penalty for wasting his or her time when you obviously did the deed and just don’t want to take fully responsibility.  Maybe the judge won’t have time to view the video. 

To do that, though, would mean that I’d be undermining the professional opinion of the police officer who carefully reviewed the electronic images and wrote a nice statement.  And, as an assistant principal who hears all kinds of stories that fly in the face of the evidence I just don’t have the heart.  He is trained.  He knows that this intersection is posted with signs indicating that the traffic signal is enforced with automated traffic safety cameras.  He also notes I was “facing a steady red.”  Guess that’s police talk for going through a red light.

Beside, I am well aware that I have already received the lesser penalty which is that no one, including me, was hurt as a result of my impulse.  I don’t need a judge to tell me that.  Or a video clip.  That’s okay.  I can guarantee that $125.00 later, I’ll be able to see red just fine.



This entry was posted in Confession, Humor, Journal, Life, Red Light, Traffic Tickets, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Seeing Red

  1. Wolverine says:

    Awesome! I just missed getting a ticket, but did get the experience of the brilliant flash of light behind me as I limped through that very same intersection last year 🙂

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