Stories about breaking the law!

Share The Road, People!

, , , , , | Legal | April 19, 2021

When my son is about sixteen, he gets hit by a car when crossing a road — for once when he had the green light — on his bike. He gets T-boned by a car coming from the same direction and turning right. He doesn’t remember the hit itself, just standing behind the car, dazedly holding the boot of the car. Thanks to some martial art training and sheer luck, he went up and over the car and the car went over the bike.

The police office is not far from the accident, and both the driver and my son are brought there. As he is a minor, we are called and all parties are brought together in a room to figure out what happened.

Driver: “He ran a red light and I could not avoid him.”

Police Officer: “At that crossroad, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians have green at the same time, so if he ran the red light, so did you.”

Driver: “No, no, he was on the sidewalk.”

Police Officer: “Okay, so he was on the sidewalk when you hit him. What were you doing on the sidewalk?”

Driver: “No, I mean he was at the crossing.”

Police Officer: “So, you didn’t see him?”

Driver: “Yes, yes, I did see him.”

Police Officer: “It was on purpose, then?”

The driver did try a few other variations but could not think of a scenario where she wasn’t at fault. We took my son for a checkup and all he had to show for the accident was a small but complicated fracture that healed well, so no long-term consequences. But it doesn’t stop there.

Remember how he went over the car, probably executing a martial art roll, and the car went over the bike, damaging both top and bottom? The driver worked for a garage annex repair shop and did not mention the accident NOR the damage. As this was a work-issued car, the insurance contacted her employer, as she was at fault, and any damages to the car were not covered. She lost her job over it — not due to the accident but by not owning up to it.

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This Lesson Really Stings, Part 3

, , , , , , | Legal | April 17, 2021

I have submitted a few stories about my father-in-law, including this one. My father-in-law is a pretty smart man, especially when it comes to anything construction, and the company he has worked with for several decades really values him.

My father-in-law is tasked with transporting a rather large piece of construction equipment to another part of the state down an old highway. It has to be loaded on a heavy-duty tractor-trailer; it’s huge, tall, wide, and expensive. My father-in-law prefers traveling late at night where there isn’t as much traffic and there’s a lower chance of ending up in an accident. Because of the size, he is required to contact the state Department of Transit (DOT) and get permission to go down the highway so as to make sure it can safely pass under the bridges on the way. My father-in-law takes time to measure the height and width at least three times.

So, he starts off. About four hours in, around 2:00 am, he comes upon one of the lowest bridges on the route. The bridge has a sign on it saying the height is 13’6″, which is about 6″ higher than the equipment he is hauling. He knows it is going to be a tight fit but feels confident he will make it. You already know what happens. Yep, he crashes right into the bridge. He calls the state police who show up with a DOT inspector, who just happens to be an old friend of my father-in-law.

Inspector: “Man, [Father-In-Law], you did a number on that old bridge. I am awfully sorry, but I am going to have to hit you with a number of fines and this could affect your license.”

Father-In-Law: “No, no, don’t apologize. This is my fault. I screwed up. You gotta do what you gotta do. I just don’t understand it. I measured carefully and I usually don’t mess up like this. Thank God there weren’t any other cars around. There is at least $20,000 in damage to the equipment and I don’t even want to think about the damage to that old bridge.”

As they are inspecting the damage, my father-in-law notices that one of the state troopers almost falls off the side of the road because it is high up. He begins looking up at the bridge and down at the road. He turns to one of the state troopers and asks him if he would mind measuring the height of the bridge from the road.

He does, and it comes out as 12’11”, a whole 7″ shorter than the measurement on the sign and the paperwork the inspector has. My father-in-law points it out. The state police begin measuring all along the road under the bridge. It comes out the same. The inspector is completely confused. My father-in-law calls him over to the edge of the road.

Father-In-Law: “I think I know what happened. Look at the road here and the layers of asphalt.”

The inspector comes over.

Inspector: “Looks like fresh asphalt. Yeah, they just repaved the road, but that doesn’t add 7″ to the road.”

Father-In-Law: “Yeah, but how do they normally pave a road?”

Inspector: “They scrap up the old pavement and…”

He trails off, rolls his eyes, and lets out a cuss word.

State Trooper: “Could y’all let us in on it? What’s the problem?”

Father-In-Law: “The way you are supposed to pave a new road is you tear up the old pavement and then put down the new asphalt. It’s what they do on the interstates, but this is an old highway that’s been here for over seventy years and they tend to not be as thorough.  They just lay down new on old and…”

State Trooper: “…build up the height of the old road.”

Father-In-Law: “Yeah, it’s not uncommon on these backcountry roads and this one has about seventy years’ worth of layers on it. I just have never had an issue before now.”

The inspector and state troopers stated that my father-in-law was not at fault. However, from then on, my father-in-law sent a lead vehicle two hours ahead of him to measure every bridge he had to go under to make doubly sure that it was safe.

Related:
This Lesson Really Stings, Part 2
This Lesson Really Stings


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Ten Times…

, , , , | Legal | April 15, 2021

I am the minister of a city-centre church in the UK. This means that we have a good number of down-and-outs and other needy people come to us, and we rarely turn people away. Unfortunately, this also means that we are often targeted by scammers trying to get money out of us.

Some years ago, we had a rash of men claiming to be oil rig workers from Northern Ireland who needed money to get back home due to an emergency. These were scammers. One even pulled an elaborate scam on a generous couple in the congregation to get over £200 out of them. The tell-tale sign was that not only were the stories similar, but in many cases, they were verbatim the same, as if memorised.

After a morning service, a visitor asked to speak with me. I went into the back of the church with him, and to my horror, he began the whole, “I work on an oil rig, I’m from Northern Ireland…” spiel.

“Let me stop you there,” I said. “You are the tenth man to stand there and tell me the exact same story. Get out, now.”

He left in rather a hurry, and he was not only the tenth but also the last man to stand there and tell me that exact same story. It seemed there was a community of scammers, and once I had told one to get out, nobody else tried it. There are quite enough genuinely needy people in this city to help, without scammers taking the resources of a small church.

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Gosh, Is There Anything That Isn’t Fraud Anymore?

, , , , | Legal | April 13, 2021

I work for a construction-related carded system in the inbound call centre that sells the cards. All cards have qualification requirements; some are one-day courses and others are full university degrees and multi-year NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications). We have access to a database of individuals that work within the construction industry or have taken construction-related courses.

I’ve informed this caller that he doesn’t have any of the qualifications on his file needed to get a gold bricklaying card, and I ask if he’s done anything more than his carpentry NVQ 1 qualification.

Caller: “No. I’ve only done the carpentry one. But I need the gold brikkie card.”

Me: “I wouldn’t be able to do the gold card, then, sir, just the green carpentry one. The system doesn’t allow overrides; it has to be in the file to produce the card.”

Caller: “Can’t you just… add one in? One of them NVQs, level 3?”

Me: “No, sir.”

Caller: “Why the h*** not?!”

Me: “That’s fraud, sir.”

Caller: “I won’t tell anyone, sweetheart.”

Me: “The calls are recorded, sir.”

Caller: “Oh.”

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What A Doggone Fool

, , , , , | Legal | April 11, 2021

I am walking my family’s two dogs a little later than usual, when the streets are busier and more people and animals are around. One of the dogs spots people walking their dog and starts barking her little head off, so I do my best to pull her and our other dog away without causing issues for the other dog walkers. Just as we put more distance between the other dog and us:

Man: “HEY! LADY! EXCUSE ME!”

I turn around and there is an elderly man approaching me, spitting mad.

Man: “How dare you let your dogs go crazy like this?! If you cannot keep them controlled, you should keep them muzzled since they’re clearly aggressive!”

One of the dogs has been calmly sniffing trees around us and the other one is eyeing the man distrustfully and lightly growling since she dislikes raised voices.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t see the other dog as we were turning a corner, and I did my best to control the situation—”

Man: “I don’t care! Your dogs are a danger and you’re an awful dog owner! I’ll call the police on you!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry—”

Passerby: “Hey, man, leave the girl alone! It’s not a big deal, and you’re causing more chaos at this point.”

Man: “NO! She needs to be punished! I’ll call the police on her! She’s disturbing the peace!”

This goes on for a few minutes before I get fed up, apologise to him again, and turn away to continue walking the dogs, with him shouting after me about how he’ll call the police on me for having aggressive dogs, But I think nothing of it, because hey, what police officer would go out because a dog barked at another dog?

Later, as I go around the block and start heading home, I see a police car pull up behind me and two officers get out. Surprised, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

Me: “Oh, don’t tell me he actually called the police on me!”

Police Officer #1: “We got a report about aggressive dogs in the area. Do you know anything about that?”

I recount the story as best as I can, starting to shake a bit from anxiety over this. While I’m telling the story, one of the dogs is gladly taking the chance to lay down and the other is making friends with the officers and getting petted by one of them.

Police Officer #2: “Well, clearly, this was a pointless call, as your dogs are clearly friendly and not aggressive at all.”

They gesture to the dog who’s basking in their colleague’s attention.

Police Officer #2: “Carry on, miss, and have a good day!”

Me: “Thank you! You, too, and I’m sorry for the trouble!”

Shaken, I returned home and told my mum about what happened. She was understandably upset, and my dad helped me walk the dogs the next few days, just in case the crazy old man came back again. The kicker? I remembered seeing the man before that day when I was retelling the story to my mum; he had come up to me to ask for directions a few weeks before and had even admired how well-behaved the dogs were, petting the very same dog he deemed “aggressive and dangerous”! Thankfully, I haven’t seen him since then, but I do hope he’s nicer now.

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