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Speeding Your Way Into A Petty Dispute

, , , , , , , , | Legal | December 11, 2021

One summer, a friend of mine is going to the Jersey shore one day with his family and is driving along a highway that New Jersey state police are well known to patrol heavily. He makes sure to do the speed limit. Sure enough, a state police cruiser does eventually end up behind him. My friend thinks nothing of it. After a mile with the state cop behind him, a sports car suddenly passes on the left, doing at least ninety. The state cop lights up, of course, and my friend pulls over to let the cruiser pass. To his shock, however, the cruiser pulls over behind him instead, and after a short discussion, the officer hands my friend a ticket for speeding.

My friend fights the ticket, but despite his dashcam footage proving he was doing the limit the whole time and the officer even admitting my friend was doing the speed limit, the court sides with the officer and forces my friend to pay the speeding fine. Naturally, he is frustrated at first, but he then decides that if the State of New Jersey is going to be petty, then so is he. When he writes the check to pay the fine and court costs, he writes it for exactly two cents more than the total amount of the fine.

A month later, my friend receives a check in the mail from the State of New Jersey… for two cents. He gleefully puts the check through the shredder, knowing that the state’s checkbooks are going to no longer be balanced — or at least further unbalanced since other drivers have undoubtedly overpaid the state before him. He has also started taking a different, less heavily-patrolled highway to the shore, and hasn’t gotten another ticket since. The state continues to send him two-cent checks, which continue to go right through my friend’s shredder until the state stops sending them about a year later.

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