I hadn't been to Las Vegas in YEARS. I was never much into gambling, and I don't drink. I only went with friends, and to eat my ass off at Buffets. I guess I ate my ass ON at Buffets. Anyway, last February, I finally went with my good Las Vegas loving friend. I was disappointed. I now know that I don't care much for gambling anymore. But I did play the Mega-Bucks, most of the time. It was the highest Jackpot it had ever been, at more than 34 Million dollars. Needless to say, I didn't win a Mega-anything. And though I did have some good Buffets, I can't eat as much as I used to, so I didn't get more than my moneys worth, which is the rule. Right?
With little to do, I decided to go see some sights. Lake Mead was only 30 minutes away, so I went.
BIG MISTAKE #1.
I got a speeding ticket in Boulder City, going back to Las Vegas. Now, now, don't Judge. After making the turn onto Highway 93/95 from Lake Mead Parkway, there were no Speed Limit signs. BUT, there were 2 separate "Slower Traffic Keep To The Right" signs. These signs are placed only for Large Trucks and Vehicles towing trailers, because they are limited to 55 MPH. That suggests that the posted speed limit is more than 55 MPH. And why not? A Highway in Nevada? 65 seems to be the minimum everywhere you look.
But, in the portion that cuts through Boulder City, it is 45 MPH. When you go to Boulder City via Highway 93/95 FROM Las Vegas, there are speed limit signs AND signs that state "Reduced Speed Ahead" just before you get to the Boulder City City limits. But no such signs exist from the opposite side, coming from Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area into Boulder City. There was only ONE 45 MPH speed limit sign about a half mile past the Boulder City border sign.
So, as soon as I saw that sign, I started slowing down. Too late, since I was well into the Boulder City limits, the BC Police Officer had Radar-ed me at 65 and then wrote me up for 50 MPH, probably the speed I was when he caught up to me, after I saw the 45 MPH sign.
I had told the Officer that I did not see any Speed Limit signs, and he told me that there were at least 3 of them. I didn't argue with him. The Officer was just doing his job, and he was very Professional about it. After giving me my ticket, I went back and retraced my route. I was correct, there were NO speed Limit signs, at least not 3 that the Officer mentioned. I took out my trusty Flip Video and recorded the whole scene, from Lake Mead Parkway, to where I was pulled over.
The reason that there were no signs, was because they were doing road work on the shoulder. I don't know the area before, so I am assuming that the Officer was telling the truth and there was at one time, Speed Limit signs. The important part was, they were not there at the time I was ticketed. I thought I had reasonable proof that although I was speeding, the lack of proper signage would vindicate my actions.
So, I decided to fight the ticket. Why not, I have nothing to lose, and the Officer may not show up and I'd win.
BIG MISTAKE #2 (Condensed Version)
They have a different Court procedure for traffic tickets in Boulder City. First you have a hearing. That's what I was appearing for, I thought it was Court. After going through all the DUI's and other citations, they got to me. They asked me how I would plea and I said "Not Guilty." So they asked me what day I would like to return. What? The Officer didn't show up, and all I was there for was to make a plea? Okay, I made a date. They gave me some paperwork, which I didn't read until today, and found out my Court date was actually a Pre-Trial hearing. This is where a Boulder City Representative and I meet, and negotiate plea deal. If a deal can not be made to settle the matter, THEN an actual Court date is scheduled.
So, I meet the City representative, a Mr Booker. He shakes my hand, smiles, and starts looking over the paper work. He tells me that it isn't so bad and he can reduce the ticket to something without any Points on my record, and I pay close to $200. I said, "That's fine. But I also want to discuss that fact that there were no Speed Limit signs. He tells me there are signs, and in fact, he drives that way to and from work every day, so he knows there are signs there. (Unless he lives in the Lake Mead recreational area, Hoover Dam, or the Hotel Casino near Hoover Dam, he doesn't drive this Highway everyday.) I tell him that I had just drove that same stretch, and the only signs up now, were temporary 35 MPH signs, leaning on Orange Traffic cones. He looks at me like I'm nuts. I tell him I have Video. He said, "I don't have to look at your Video, I know there are signs there." I say, "You won't look at my Video, even though I have proof there were no signs there?" He relents, and then tells me, "For a Firefighter, you sure are a pain in the ass."
I show him the Video, we discuss how and if 65 MPH is safe to drive on that street. He glances at my video every now and then, no signs showing up, and before it's even a quarter done, he says he doesn't have to look at it anymore, and that traveling at 65 MPH in that area is extremely dangerous and that I would "fall off the edge." I say, "Fall off the edge? What edge?" Then he throws a hissy-fit and says, "You want a Court date? You want a Judge to decide this? I'll get you a Court date, let's see what we have available."
Big Mistake #3
Probably, but who cares now. It's obvious to me by the un-professional manner that the City representative had, that I was going to get bent over no matter what. The ticket given to me wasn't really for speeding. It was because I was from out of State, and most of us would just pay the fine and go to Traffic School. Boulder City just wanted $187 extra dollars in their coffers.
Unfortunately for them, I can't go to traffic School because I have a Commercial license, all Firefighters in LA do. We have stricter limitations, even with Blood Alcohol limits. And I have the time to fight the ticket.
So here I am. Now my goal is to make Boulder City Nevada work for it's money. Someone will have to get off their ass and go to Court to go against me. Will I win? I doubt it. Boulder City is small. I bet that everyone knows everyone and their spouses, children, and pets too.
I would like some suggestions from you out there. Maybe you may know better than me.
Can I/Should I;
Ask for a Jury Trial?
Ask for the Traffic Speed Surveys for the Highway?
Ask for Statistics on Accidents there? The number of Citations given? How many are given to people from Out-of-State?
Anything else? You have until August 20 to let me know. That's my, hopefully, final Court appearance.
I'm not going to win. But Boulder City is gonna spend more money for this ticket than they are going to get from me. heh heh heh
The way things are going, I'll probably end up in Jail after my Court date. Probably for murder, or child molestation. In Jail, I'll probably waste away. Would some of you come to visit me? If you do, don't speed in Boulder City.
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