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  • Posted January 22, 2017

If speeding ticket never arrives, am I off the hook

Q Unfortunately, I recently received a speeding ticket. Please don’t yell at me. It’s the first I’ve had in 45 years!
Dave Miller
San Jose

A Me yell? Not for one ticket way back in 1972 for going 54 mph in a 40-mph zone.

Q I received it Dec. 5 and still haven’t received anything in the mail. A news article the other day described the backlog of entering tickets. But do I have to do anything? Do I just wait for the info in the mail? Or should I go stand in line? I don’t want to be penalized, but I also don’t want to waste my time and gas driving to Santa Clara. Can you advise me?
Dave Miller

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A That I can do. This is a courtesy notice but if it’s late or doesn’t arrive, the burden is on you to pay the fine or otherwise resolve the ticket. If it was me, I’d head to the courthouse and take care of it. One poor sap got hit with a $722 fine when he failed to do this after rolling through a stop sign.

All traffic tickets are processed through the Superior Court in the county where they were issued. But information on fines, court dates or traffic school options would not be available until that ticket’s information is manually entered into the database by the court. If you search for it before the ticket information is entered, there will be no record on file.

This from Steve-the-CHP-Man: “The best advice I can give is to look at his copy of the ticket. At the bottom of the ticket are two important pieces of information: first, the contact information for the specific court that is processing the ticket, and second, the ‘promise to appear’ date. If he is getting close to the appear date, contact the court immediately on how to proceed. There is no standard amount of time given until the appearance date, as it varies from court to court based upon their projected processing times. If there is still a significant time until that appear date, continue to check online and hopefully the information will show up online.”

Q While driving on the New York Thruway I noticed that all the rest areas have been renamed “Text Areas,” with other signs encouraging drivers to park and use their cellphones there. I wonder if the New York people have any evidence that this has helped. The reminder that a text area was coming up in 12 miles actually gave me pause on wanting to check my phone. Interesting concept.
Ed Jacklitch
San Jose

A New Yorkers say it has helped, but so has an intensive crackdown using unmarked SUV patrol vehicles. After text zones were installed at 91 locations, there was a 365 percent increase in tickets issued in summer 2013 for distracted driving compared to summer 2012.