first tickets

first tickets

There is no feeling like getting pulled over. Seeing the lights and hearing the sirens usually make stomach’s drop and hearts sink. 

Senior Mackenzie Daugherty knows just that feeling. 

“My stomach was in knots and I felt like I was going to throw up. I was freaking out because I’ve never been pulled over before and I didn’t know what to do,” Daugherty said. “I was driving down Yorktown road and got pulled over for a rolling stop.” 

Senior Matthew Jones knows the feeling for a different reason. 

“I got pulled over on Main Street by the fire station last year around Christmas,” Jones said. “I was going about 25 miles per hour over but the cop only put 10 mph over on the ticket.”

Mrs. Kim Neely, had a similar experience the first time she got pulled over. 

“I was speeding coming back from The Spaghetti Factory trying to make my curfew, and I ran a red light. There was a group of us, and I was the last car in the group so I went through a red light. An IMPD officer pulled me over and only gave me a ticket for speeding and not the red light,” Mrs. Neely said. 

No matter how nice the police officer is, a ticket is still a ticket and can be costly. 

“I got my ticket in the fall of 1985, and it was only $90,” Mrs. Neely said. 

$90 does not sound like a lot, but factoring inflation in, the ticket would cost about $215 today. Tickets today can cost an easy $200, just ask Jones. 

“My ticket was about $140 or $150, but I did the deferral program that made it about $210,” Jones said. 

The deferral program is a program the court offers to first time offenders that gives offenders the chance to keep a clean license at the cost of an extra fee. 

“The deferral program basically says, if you  plead guilty to the speeding violation, then you join the program, you agree to not get another ticket within a year, and they won’t assess any points to your license,” Greenwood Police Officer Randy Eck said. 

Points on your license are important when it comes to insurance rates. 

“The points are what insurance looks at, so the more points on your license, the higher the insurance rate,” Eck said. 

While nice police officers help, the whole experience can be terrifying. Arguably worse than talking to the police officer is talking to parents about the ticket. 

“When I told my mom, she flipped her lid. I was grounded for at least a month from my car, phone, and bike,” Mrs. Neely said. 

What your parents do not know can not hurt them, at least in Daugherty”s case.

“I did not tell my mom until about three months after I got the ticket. The officer was nice and gave me 90 days to pay it instead of 30 so I just paid it myself. My mom thought it was funny by the time I told her,” Daugherty said. 

Innocent or guilty, having a good attitude will get you a long way with an officer. 

“A good attitude will get you a long way with any police officer. Stay calm, keep your hands on the steering wheel when the officer comes up, be polite with him and he is going to be polite with you unless you give him an attitude, then he is going start with his attitude,” Eck said

No matter what you have done to end up with law enforcement behind you, just remember license, registration, and a good attitude. 

“The best thing I can recommend is have a good attitude and know what your registration is. A registration is something they do not teach you in driver’s education, but talk to your parents and ask them where the registration is at and what it looks like,” Eck said.