Truth, Justice, Liberty For All—Including Teen Drivers

Wild Ride

 My teen loves his Audi. The moment the service light goes on, he calls to make an appointment to take it to the Audi dealership; it guzzles premium gas, is washed and vacuumed at least once a week; and he eagle eyes his passengers that insist on bringing food into his car. No top on that drink? No ride. Greasy food? No ride. Candy wrapper…pick it up. My van always looked like a band of terrorists had holed up in it after I delivered Cole and friends to their destination…but not the Audi.

Cole has the reputation of being a competent, safe driver and has earned the confidence of his friends’ parents, which makes him the designated driver of choice when they head out to do what teens do. I would much rather Cole drive than be driven by most of his friends who usually get tickets for the driving. The last story I heard was that his friend had met a lawyer from Florida Ticket Firm to fight off his ticket. He is not an occasional driver on the city streets; he drives every day to and from school, and he loves his car too much to take stupid chances. It’s all about the car. He does, however, have a heavy foot, and speed limits thwart his very existence. This past summer, he found himself on the other end of a speeding ticket after going about eight miles over the 55 speed limit. He went to court, admitted guilt, paid the fine and took the defensive driving course.

Right before Christmas, in the same suburb, he was stopped again for speeding. This time he insisted he was innocent. Since this was his second offense, I talked to police officer and lawyer friends, who all advised him to plead guilty. There was no way a teen was going to win in traffic court, they told me. I agreed.

Cole, on the other hand, saw it differently. He wasn’t speeding, and he wanted to plead innocent. I pondered: Do I remind my kid that in the eyes of justice system all teen drivers are guilty, or do I show faith in our justice system? After mulling it over, I told him to throw himself on the mercy of the court. Cole prevailed, winning me over with a rousing speech about living in a world that includes truth, justice and liberty for all—including teen drivers. Humming “God Bless America,” I agreed to support his plea of innocence.

After gaining my support, Cole planned his defense. He Googled “radar guns” and found out one of the most common traffic control errors was a cop focusing on the wrong car. Or something like that. He diagrammed exactly where the police officer was, noting his license plate and the unmarked Crown Victoria police car he was lurking in. His diagram highlighted the neighborhood school with children playing, and included the car in front of him that he believed contained the actual speed demon.

When our day of reckoning arrived, Cole was ready to present his case…while I was a basket case. Under my breath I chanted, “Flu, flu, flu” in hopes the police officer would not show up. No rest for the wicked or weary—the officer showed.

At last, our turn came and we were told to approach the bench. After the judge acknowledged me as the mom and thanked me for being there (I had a strong desire to ask, “I HAD A CHOICE?”) I stepped back and watched the case unfold. Cutting to the chase, my kid was awesome. The judge genuinely listened to Cole and did not dismiss his research and was impressed with Cole’s diagram and observations. In the end, the radar gun was the ultimate deciding factor; the judge agreed that radar guns are not infallible but are usually pretty accurate from the distance the officer was using it. However, while the judge did not find in favor of Cole, there was no conviction. It was the closest verdict to “not guilty” Cole could have hoped for under the circumstances.

After the case was dismissed, Cole thanked the judge and offered a handshake to the police officer. The judge was amused, the officer was surprised, and the mom fought back a relieved giggle, glad  their day in court was over. Hopefully, Cole will not be practicing his lawyering skills again for a long while.  The teen years are one wild, wonderful ride after another.

Fresno car accident attorney can be consulted to know important legal rights and other related information when struggling to get justice in a car accident case.

Truth, Justice, Liberty For All—Including Teen Drivers


7 thoughts on “Truth, Justice, Liberty For All—Including Teen Drivers

    • It looks like his interests lie on the path of industrial designer. I know you will find this hard to believe but he wants to design cars. His design skills are very strong and he is working on engineering (math) skills. I blame Waldorf (his school) for teaching to stand up and speak up. 😀 It is certainly not his demure mothers fault!!

  1. That’s some kid you have there, KB!
    When my little brother was a teenager he too had a lead foot and was stopped and ticketed quite often. If he thought the officers had done him wrong at all he would go to court and fight. Sadly, he never came close to a victory probably because he was somewhat of a fixture in traffic court!!
    Congrats to Cole for standing up and to you for letting him do so. I’d consider that a victory all the way. 8)

    • Thanks Diane. It is really hard to win in traffic court—it is to much of a revenue builder. Teenagers are an easy mark–because they often do push the speed limit and teen drivers have such a poor rap. I believe the stats need to be reevaluated. These kids have grown up with seat belts, zero tolerance for driving and drinking and most are very smart about texting and driving. They do lack experience but that does not mean they are a mence to the road. Ok. Off my soap box. I think it was as close to a victory as we could of hoped for and I hope we don’t have to go back!!

  2. i can see where cole’s thorough research & to the point presentation won him valuable points. in addition, cole was very respectful to the court & officer. that is invaluable. i applaud you for stepping & staying out of cole’s defense. smart move, mom! you weren’t there at the scene & really had nothing to add to truth, justice & the american way which cole apparently did masterfully. well done!

  3. Katybeth, pat yourself on the back for raising such a fine, outspoken, confident, thorough young man! I bet Joe would be proud of both of you! A kid this capable can succeed in whatever endeavor he plans to pursue!

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