Anyone who’s watched an episode of The People’s Court already knows that a staggering number of people are compelled to make absolute fools of themselves when standing before a judge. “But that’s TV,” you say. “No average human being would be so brazen in traffic court!” In a perfectly intelligent world, you’d be right. Unfortunately, this is the world that brought you the Kim Kardashian phone app and a $5 bowl of mashed potatoes, fried chicken, gravy and cheese. As such, traffic court is full of delightful dunces.
These geniuses really take the cake:
- Ray, the babe magnet speed demon
TruTV show Speeders brought the world the fantastic court proceedigs of one Vernon Raymond Ward (“Ray”) in the case of a speeding ticket. In his defense, middle-aged “bad boy” Ray explains that he had attracted a car full of wild college babes chasing him for his shirtless bod, and that he was merely trying to escape. He also opined that a ticket for his 15 mph overage was an insult, and that most of his tickets had been for speeds in excess of 50 mph (quote: “I’ve got a reputation to maintain”). It didn’t help that he flirted with the female judge throughout his explanation and eventually flashed his abs and offered a striptease. Verdict: FAIL.
- Two tickets don’t cancel out (no matter how hard you try)
A man from Connecticut was pulled over for speeding earlier this year, clocked at 112 mph in a 65 mph zone in Vermont. When officers asked the age-old question of why he’d been driving so fast, the man told them he was trying to get somewhere on time. The place? Traffic court, to resolve a previous speeding ticket. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with either the officer on the scene or the judge waiting for him in Vermont. Not only is being late to traffic court an automatic fail, but being late to traffic court because you’re getting another ticket? That’s just comedy gold. Time to pay up, speed racer.
- The pantomiming road rager
A 50-year-old California woman named Dierdre Orozco stood accused of multiple road-rage charges in 2014. In one of the incidents, Orozco was caught on video swerving in front of a car with two terrified young women inside, continually forcing them off the roadway and impersonating a highway deputy in an attempt to get them to open the window. The woman’s madness didn’t stop there; when in court for her actions, Orozco was seen making faces, steering and honking on an invisible wheel, and pretending to smoke and drink. She also chimed in when it came to setting her bail, telling the judge to “put it at $100.” It’s an obvious traffic court fail, and a reminder that road rage might be a sign of serious mental illness or substance abuse. In fact, after the accident, Orozco had gone to vandalize a friend’s house and threaten the lives of the people inside. Yikes.
- Going Medieval
Traffic court stupidity isn’t restricted to the U.S., as the case of 60-year-old English motorcyclist Leon Humphreys shows. In 2002, Humphreys had been fined £25 (about $39) after failing to notify local driving authorities that his motorcycle was no longer on the road. Instead of simply paying the fine, Humphreys decided to claim his “right to trial by combat” and challenge an agency clerk to a fight to the death using a choice of samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers. As this is planet Earth and not Mortal Kombat, the magistrates denied his request and upped his fines to £200 with £100 in costs (about $463 total).
Avoid becoming one of these shining examples of stupidity at all costs. if you’ve received a traffic violation (or want an insurance break), you can enroll in traffic school or a defensive driving course. If you’ve been issued a ticket, your local traffic court may allow you to complete traffic school to dismiss the citation and avoid having points added to your record. Bonus: if you enroll voluntarily, your car insurance provider may award a safe driver discount!