19 January 2012

The 2000 rupee thank you note. Please change traffic ticket laws.

In summary, December hols, in SL drove to Kataragama. Got caught on speed gun doing 91 on a 70 stretch of Galle Road. Two cops on motobike. Wary smile. Theirs confident. I am informed of my lapse and my license asked for. Cop holds it firmly, the battle is won.
So ticket of 1,500 looms. The fact that they will keep my license in the Tangalle Police and I have to pay ticket at post office and then go claim the license from the Tangalle Police looms much bigger. Especially since I am on holiday for two weeks and it’s a Sunday.
No time or patience to argue, they are right, I was speeding. Wished the law were changed where they didn’t have to keep my license. Either I pay a spot fine, or they retain my details and issue me a ticket returning my license. Everywhere else I have got caught speeding, this has been the case. In England, just a photo of your car and your traffic infringement arrives by post.
I request that we reach agreement with satisfaction of all parties. I am informed that this kind of arrangement is completely up to me. I open wallet. Only bloody 2000 rupee notes reside in it. So one parts my company.
My license is returned. I say my goodbyes and proceed.
I am to blame more than they. But the law must change. When we know that thank you notes cannot be exchanged for said license we will be encouraged to practice far more honesty. The Police so mad that they will immediately be more diligent for they no longer can hold retaining the license over us the people.
I honestly would have paid the ticket, but to go through the hassle of going back to Tangalle and postponing my return to blighty was well worth the thank you note.
The rest of my holiday I ensured to have 500 rupee thank you notes always available in my wallet. Didn’t speed either.


cj said...

Machang the same thing happened to me a couple of years back. Not for speeding but for using the phone while driving. And once again I had only a 2000. I told the cop this is all I have as folded the note and palmed it to him. I was hoping he would take pity on me and give me some kind of balance. The bugger pats be on the shoulder and says it is ok. I think he thought it was a twenty rupee note. The biggest problem today is that the bank ATMs use large notes. And now that there is a 5000 note it is worse. Thank goodness the 5000 note had not come into circulation at that time this incident happened.

Thusitha said...

We were stopped three times from Kandy to Polonnaruwa. First, because the driver crossed the straight white line, he had to because there was a big truck parked, his choice was run in to the truck or cross the white line and overtake. Second time, he was actually speeding. Third time, the police had no reason to stop but thought of having some fun. Except for the speeding, the stopping was arbitrary and appeared to be because we had a 'white' in law in the front seat. The policeman accused the driver of 'transporting' tourists. The underlying message was if you are doing tourist business, you have to pay some thing to us. All three times, my Sri Lankan husband managed to extricate the driver from the situation.
The police need to have very clear rules. When they stand on the road the seem to be above the law and the driver is at their mercy. The police is not accountable to anyone on the road. Development must include getting the traffic rules up to international standards and I do agree with Dhammika that this would help both the police and the drivers to follow the law.

Julia said...

I'm sure we all had similar problems and besides our nerves that are very tight in these moments, a speeding ticket is also a waste of money.

The problem is when you're close to a license suspension and a cop gives you a ticket for driving 30 in a 25 area....it happened to me and I had to hire a lawyer to get me rid of this speeding ticket Toronto.....otherwise my license would have been suspended but luckily that lawyer knew some tricks that solved the problem.