Tip to motorists cited for moving violations: Don’t bother telling the judge that you’re “a good tax-paying citizen” who “shouldn’t be getting a ticket in this speed trap.”
That was one of the losing defenses in a recent study by USC researchers of 375 cases in L.A. traffic courts.
Communications professor Michael Cody and graduate student Margaret McLaughlin found that the defendants who beat the rap most often--75% of the time--were those who came armed with photographs or other physical evidence. (The overall not guilty rate was 23%.)
The study also reveals the creativity of L.A. drivers, whose colorful alibis included:
“I was driving a new Mercedes that was shipped from Europe. It doesn’t show your speed in m.p.h.; it shows it in kilometers.”
“I was asking directions from a woman at the bus stop and had no idea she was a prostitute. I was not on the sidewalk (but) had pulled into the gas station.”
“I left my curling iron on, and was rushing to get home to turn it off before the house burned down.”
The judge’s verdicts on the above three:
Hah. Hah. Hah.
Tom Benecke of Thousand Oaks spotted a sign that warned in a corridor of an L.A. courthouse: “Quiet Please--Electronic Recording Equipment in Use.”
“What are they recording?” asks Benecke, pointing out that the sign is in front of the men’s room.
While you’re pondering that one, maybe you can provide an explanation to Sara Meric, who showed us an envelope that she had mailed to “City Hall, Santa Monica.”
It came back stamped, “No Such Address.”
This just proves once again that, in The People’s Republic of Santa Monica at least, you can’t find City Hall.
When cholesterol warnings were sounded a few years ago, sales of eggs fell faster than you can say Humpty Dumpty. But now, the California Egg Commission has kicked off a hard-boiled campaign stressing new studies that show eggs contain 22% less cholesterol than previously believed.
Home economist Cathi Hofstetter, dressed like a policewoman at a Culver City press conference, set Egg “free” because it “had been given a bad rap all these years.”
No word on when Egg’s cellmate--Bacon--might be pardoned.
Only in L.A. List of the Week--City ordinances passed in 1850 after L.A. had come under American rule:
Article 6--"Every citizen . . . shall, as a duty, sweep in front of his habitation on Saturdays, as far as the middle of the street.”
Article 10--"Every shop or tavern shall close in winter at 8 o’clock and in summer at 9 o’clock at night.”
Article 13--"Whoever shall walk the streets in a scandalous attire or molest the neighbors with yells, or in any other manner, shall be taken to jail.”
The 1,000-member International Flat Earth Society, which contends, among other things, that the manned missions to the moon were hoaxes, is based in the Antelope Valley city of Lancaster.