Saturday, November 2, 2013

Free Electrons!

Woohoo! Looks like I can cross that one off of the bucket list sooner than I thought. Until now, I’ve always had to pay to charge up my Focus Electric. Kudos to the City of Beverly Hills for providing free electricity to go along with two free hours of covered parking in their municipal parking garage, for poor souls like me that drive so much that they’re bound to get an undeserved speeding ticket that begs to be challenged in court.

He said he clocked me at 50 in a 35 with his laser gun. From my perspective, I figure that he did this while mounting his motorcycle with his backside turned toward me. He must have had that laser gun strapped to his right butt cheek, pointing in my general direction. Or maybe there’s some newfangled speed sensing device that can detect the velocity of an object that’s not in line-of-sight. How else can he explain how fast I was going before we saw each other? I was coming over a hill and spotted him mounting his bike across the street, at the bottom of the hill as I crested.  Regardless, I can’t believe he pulled me over… I’m in an electric vehicle, for crying out loud…  aren’t these things supposed to be painfully slow? Shouldn’t he have seen the “Electric” emblem on my hatch while giving chase, then just back off and let me go since there was no way such a contraption could have been doing 50mph uphill? Unfortunately for me, that’s not how things went down.

BHFortunately we have California’s basic speed law, which in essence allows folks to exceed the posted speed limit as long as they’re going under 55mph and can prove that the conditions were not unsafe (i.e. clear day, no traffic). So I decided to challenge the ticket, and I’m glad I did, so far… got a free charge out of it, for starters. Then I got free admission to an impromptu comedy performance… the judge doing arraignments was hilarious and upbeat, commenting on how folks dress, telling us about her flu shot ordeal earlier in the day, and making fun of folks that were late or dozing off. If you ever get a traffic ticket in Los Angeles, ask for a change of venue to the Beverly Hills courthouse, then prepare to be entertained. Too bad the court is only used for arraignments.

One more thing I learned by fighting this ticket… the California Vehicle Code (CVC 22511) says it’s illegal to not practice basic charging etiquette, so long as there’s a sign posted indicating so (see picture).

How cool is that? A city that enforces charging etiquette, and a state that makes it easy for them to do so. Hopefully others follow suit.

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