I presume most people driving a vehicle have been punished for a minor traffic violation – conscious or inadvertent- at some point or other. It was certainly inadvertent when I lost my way on miller’s road yesterday and spotting a group of traffic policemen, decided to ask them the way hardly realizing I was turning into a one way street to go and meet them. Walking into the arms of Law as it were with outstretched arms to be cuffed! “You should have seen the sign board” I was told and further “where are your seat belts?” – So the fine was 600!
I explained that I had just removed the belt when I had got out to ask for directions before turning and the fine still stood at 300! Very gently but firmly and with a smile as a bonus, I was told that there was no getting away without a fine for entering a one way street even if it was to meet the policemen! And very politely and helpfully they gave me the directions for my way back with the receipt for the fine collected.
So I paid but felt very ashamed and angry. They were not rude and the amount was not huge but it hurt – it hurt to be considered an offender, to be punished with a fine! A youngster told me that he and his friends routinely pay fines for jumping red lights and driving on one way streets and that it was no big deal! “Happens all the time!” I was told.
I don’t know what it was about the values that were given to us by our parents and teachers that makes us squirm even about small deviations like this and we are unable to “Chill” when these happen.
I wonder what we have missed passing on to the younger generation that they can hit people sleeping on the footpath while driving under the influence of alcohol and still plead “not guilty” based on some loophole in the law.
You may say I am talking extremes here, but you get my drift I am sure…