Monday, July 18, 2011

A post about driving, brought to you by Google Maps Street View

The intersection on 200 S and State Street in downtown Salt Lake is confusing.

Tim and I were driving there a couple of weeks ago. Imagine that we are that grey SUV in this Google Maps Street View photo; that's where we were. (P.S. Remember how we saw that sweet Street View car? New-found appreciation.) See how there's a divided lane there next to the SUV?

That divided lane merges with 200 South pretty close to the intersection with State Street. When it does, there is a "No Right Turn" sign.

But then you get to the intersection and see this sign. And you don't realize that you have two lanes now to the right of you, because they're separated by a divider.

So you turn right onto State Street.

And then you get a ticket.

(As you are being pulled over, you see someone else pulled over in the exact same spot, presumably for the same offense. When you drive around the block, you see at least three other people getting pulled over, too. Quota to fill, anyone?)

Just shy of two weeks later, you get online to pay the ticket (YOU MUST PAY OR APPEAR WITHIN 14 CALENDAR DAYS, the ticket says). The system says your citation number cannot be found. So you try looking it up by your license plate number. Nothing.

Then you call the phone number listed on the ticket and get connected to an automated "interactive voice response system" and struggle to talk to a computer. Your citation number still can't be found. They disconnect you. You call another number and talk to a real person who directs you to different department, where you talk to a different real person, who says the ticket number is not in the system.

"You just have to keep calling," she says. "Try again on Friday."

"But that's after 14 calendar days," you say.

"If there is a delinquent fine, tell them you talked to me," she adds.

Salt Lake City Justice Court, you suck.

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