I Fought The Law, Or Someone With My Address Did

Posted by admin - 01/09/10 at 08:09 am

About two months ago, I got a bill for a toll from the Texas Tollways TXDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) folks.

The bill:
1) Didn’t list when the infraction occurred. I don’t remember ever driving on a toll road, and since I’m a cheap bastard, I doubt I did.
2) Didn’t list where the infraction occurred, no mention of where it happened or even which toll road it was on. The state is 268,000 square miles, I’d like a little more of a specific location than “Somewhere in Texas.”
3) Didn’t list the vehicle. There was no description, and no license plate. My car title note doesn’t even come to my apartment, it still goes to the old house, so I doubt it’s mine.
4) Didn’t have the correct name on the account. The bill was sent to my apartment for “Reid Jamie Elaine FloydFred Allen.” Only one of those names is mine, and it’s not even the important one.

I called the number on the invoice, and TXDOT couldn’t tell me when or where the violation occurred, on to what vehicle. The woman apologized, and told me to write a letter on the bill that explained that person wasn’t at this address and to send it back in.

I did that. Since then, I’ve received six more bills from TXDOT, each adding another dollar to my bill for an “Invoice Fee.” Right now, Mr. or Mrs. Reid Jamie Elaine FloydFred Allen owes the state about ten bucks.

I don’t know if anyone else has had anything similar happen, but it seems to me the great state of Texas isn’t using my tax money effectively. If this is how we’re going to pay for our roads, we might want to consider having a bake sale.

— Reid Kerr is a Highway Star.

2 Responses to “I Fought The Law, Or Someone With My Address Did”

  1. Ken says:
    October 12th, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Texas hasn’t changed much in its approach to such things. In 1964 I got a (deserved) speeding ticket while on the way to the Texas-Oklahoma game.

    The state trooper told me I could show up in court or send in the fine.

    When I got home I set about paying the fine. Alas, the ticket did not include the amount. I remember to this day that I wrote to Justice of the Peace Joe N. Brown, referring to the ticket, asking the amount of the fine, and promising to pay when I knew the amount.

    Several months later a state trooper showed up to arrest me for not appearing in court.

    Fortunately, he was understanding when I explained the situation. He explained that it happened all the time. Because Texas did not compensate JP’s for postage, they simply trashed such correspondence and subsequently issued arrest warrants for no shows.

  2. Ken says:
    October 12th, 2010 at 2:48 am

    I sure hope this doesn’t post twice. It didn’t show after I hit “Submit,” completely exited, came back, found the post, and saw “no comments.”

    Texas hasn’t changed much in its approach to such things. In 1964 I got a (deserved) speeding ticket while on the way to the Texas-Oklahoma game.

    The state trooper told me I could show up in court or send in the fine.

    When I got home I set about paying the fine. Alas, the ticket did not include the amount. I remember to this day that I wrote to Justice of the Peace Joe N. Brown, referring to the ticket, asking the amount of the fine, and promising to pay when I knew the amount.

    Several months later a state trooper showed up to arrest me for not appearing in court.

    Fortunately, he was understanding when I explained the situation. He explained that it happened all the time. Because Texas did not compensate JP’s for postage, they simply trashed such correspondence and subsequently issued arrest warrants for no shows.

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