04 December, 2008

Learn Something New Every Day

Well, I admit it, once in a while, I'm a scofflaw. Corozal does have some signs (barely legible) on 4th and 5th Avenues, stating that parking on one side of the street is illegal from the 1st to the 15th of each month.

I've always ignored it. And for a year and a half it's worked pretty well. Till today. I got my comeuppance to the tune of $25.00 BZD.

Oh, sure, I knew the rules and knew that they were enforced. In fact, a parking ticket is responsible for us finding a place to live at Tony's. Mae had gotten one of these parking tickets, and had gone down to pay it. There, she had run into Tony. They talked, and he had said he wanted to find someone to stay in his house while he and Nellie were in Holland for six months. Mae told him, she had just met this nice couple (Dianna and me) who were looking for a place to live for a while, and had, in fact, just bought a piece of property from her and Craig.

So, like I said, I knew someone enforced it, but over a year and a half, I had grown somewhat lackadaisical , y'might say.

I had just gone down town to hit the ATM at Scotia bank. Of course, I couldn't get my Scotia ATM card to work, so I used my other one. That little delay, gave the enforcement officer all the time he needed to catch me in the act.

As I came out of the ATM kiosk, I saw him diligently writing in his "little white book" (sounds like a song...). I hollered to him - "Aw, sh**, you caught me!

He said, "Yes. I caught you. Didn't you see me when you pulled up"?

I answered that I hadn't. Anyway, he finished the form, tore it out of the book and gave it to me. Then he asked if I knew where to pay the ticket.

I said that I thought at the Town Hall. Wrong. That is when I found out Corozal has its own Transport Department. They're located down by the Civic Center, about half way down on 5th Avenue (I think it's 5th) in a three story green building.

The fine, he said, was $25.00 BZD. If it went unpaid longer than 30 days, there was "a fine of $5.00 per day, compounded daily" - his exact words. And after 6 months, you go to court. "Welcome to Hattieville" was not a phrase I wanted to hear, so I jumped into the Isuzu and headed down there.

After finding the building (I've driven by it maybe a hundred times or so), I went in and presented myself at the front desk. The uniformed officer pointed me to the cashiers cage, so that's where I went.

Upon paying my fine, I became the owner of a nice paper receipt for $25.00 BZD, complete with the requisite rubber stamp from the Corozal Town Council Transport Authority.

My lesson, other than that I should obey posted no parking signs, is that Corozal has its own transport department, complete with quasi-police officers. Uniforms and shoulder patches, no guns, but formidable ticket books nonetheless.

So, let that be a lesson to you. Scoff at laws all you want, but just be aware, there is a time when you have to pay the piper.


Anonymous said...

Only you Dave can make a parking ticket seem exciting and adventurous.

Vivien said...

Do you have any idea what the reason is for alternating sides of the road for parking? I am interested in knowing.

Dave Rider said...

Anonymous - Why, thank you. That's nice to hear.

Vivien - The only thing I can think of is that since the two streets are fairly narrow, they tried to come up with an equitable way to ensure two-way traffic was maintained without hindering business on one side of the street only. Since it's just the downtown core that's affected. That's my guess.

Richard Lawry said...

25.00 BZD, That's just about like paying to park. :)

I will keep that in mind if i ever get to Corozal

An Arkie's Musings

Dave Rider said...

Arkie - Trouble is, you live here for a while, the Queen looks good on money, and greenbacks start looking like Monopoly money... And, before you know it, $25.00 BZD seems like a real hit in the wallet for being on the wrong side of the street.