I remember when I first got my permit, I had to go to the DMV office and wait for about an hour before I was able to take the test. I also remember getting my license, the scheduling nightmare I ran into when trying to make an appointment for my road test. Lastly, I remember getting my first ticket for driving too fast for the conditions. As you may have guessed, traffic court was also a black hole of time; although the plea bargaining quickly became my only solace.
Throughout my years of driving I have accumulated a lot of tickets, some I deserved and others were a complete joke (backing out of a driveway). Each instance created a hole in my pocket and approximately 4 hours of my day shot; however, it was still comforting to know that my good old DA was always there to plea my charges down to a parking ticket, leaving me with 0 points and a lighter wallet. Unfortunately for me, my last traffic ticket was settled today, via the web. What an experience that turned out to be.
I received this ticket over one year ago while driving on the Long Island Expressway for the first time. I decided to change lanes and apparently was ignorant to the fact that there are HOV buffer zones which are illegal to cross unless in a designated area. Oh and it didn’t help that I was driving without proof of insurance. Since I am from the other side of New York State, this was a huge inconvenience.
I was able to reschedule my court date via the NYS DMV website. It was so easy to delay the inevitable; however, you are only allowed to reschedule traffic court once through the NYS DMV without paying bail. To my advantage, I was rescheduled 3 times: once because I requested it and two more times because of scheduling conflicts.
My First Two Points
It finally happened, my court date wasn’t being rescheduled again and it was time to face the music. I had a few choices: 1) Drive to Long Island and speak with the DA, 2) Ignore the ticket and have a suspended license, or 3) Use the DMV’s online transactions to plead guilty. New York State has made it so easy to not only pay them money but also add points to your driving record. I entered my ticket number, filled in my license ID and selected the ticket that I wanted to take care of. It gave me the total I would have to pay and the amount of points I would receive.
Through technology New York State was able to save people the headaches of time wasted at traffic court. However, I lost my solace: my ability to plea down to a parking ticket. Standing back and looking at this through the eyes of an IT professional, I can do nothing but give New York a standing ovation. They have used IT as a cost center now and I am sad to say, “Good job New York, thank you for my two points.”