If the Truth Hurts

don’t cash it.

After motorist T. Allen Morgan got a speeding ticket in Coopertown — a town known for its heavy-handed traffic enforcement — he tried to pay his ticket like a good citizen.
But he added a little note on his check that angered Mayor Danny Crosby. The mayor refused to accept the check, sparking the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to launch an investigation Monday.
Crosby told Morgan that he had to either write another check that didn’t have the words “for speed trap” written in bold letters or face the charges in traffic court.
…”As mayor of this city, if I accept that check from that gentleman, I’m admitting we run a speed trap, and that’s a bald-faced lie,” Crosby said Tuesday.
Coopertown lies about 20 miles northwest of Nashville on a state highway used by motorists to travel between interstates 24 and 65. The town generates nearly 30 percent of its revenue from traffic tickets.

It’s a free country ~ he can write whatever he wants in that “For” section of his check, as long as it’s not threatening or obscene. The truth must be painfully obscene in the Mayor’s eyes, since it sure sounds like they’ve been cashin’ in to me.

13 Responses to “If the Truth Hurts”

  1. Dave J says:

    TINLA, but…if I were Morgan or his attorney, I might argue that by refusing to accept payment, the city had waived any other interest it might have, and thus that a court should dismiss the case for failure to prosecute.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    I agree, Dave. If a personal check is an accepted and legal form of discharging one’s debts, he has therefore done his part in discharging them. If the mayor asshat refuses to accept the check too bad; he loses the money.

  3. Ken Summers says:

    During one of our periodic energy crises some years back, people started paying their PG&E bills with checks made out to “Pigs, Goats and Extortion” and some variants. PG&E cashed the checks.

  4. Mike Rentner says:

    Well, don’t try that with the IRS. They’ll come looking for you if you put comments on your check to them.

  5. Ken Summers says:

    Not having travelled extensively in the south, I have to ask: are these kinds of towns as common as legend would have it? I’ve heard stories all my life and wondered if there was much behind them (and if it’s largely confined to the south).

  6. Crusader says:

    Ken, it is true. Just ask one of Major Dads Sgts (I think) about the lovely Norf Cackalackie town I live in and their Police farce….er….um….force. They even get you on the highways here, as he found out.

  7. I love how the AAA has changed their “speedtrap” category to “vigorously enforced”. I know they’ve had some richly deserved, devastating monetary effects on a couple of those towns here in Florida. Thanks to checking the list twice before they went on their vacations, people went around them. I think the towns threatened to sue, hence the technically true whitewashed change. But these little southern town sheriff/PO-lice just off the interstate (or the one alternate to the Interstate) are like Barbary pirates ~ they shove off in pursuit to plunder.

  8. The_Real_JeffS says:

    I can easily imagine the IRS coming at someone for making a comment on their check. Unfortunately, such elected officials are all too common, especially at the municipal level.

  9. The_Real_JeffS says:

    And, er, ummmm, unelected officials as wel, I should add. Heh!

  10. Ken Summers says:

    Somehow I doubt that any kind of slander, libel, or defamation suit based on being called “speedtrap” would hold up in court.

  11. The_Real_JeffS says:

    True, Ken, but it’s cheaper for the AAA to edit their publications a bit differently than fight multiple law suits. That might be their motivation. Unfortuntately.

  12. Nightfly says:

    Hey, I got snagged in VA on my way to FLA. I-95 drops from 65 to 55 for a couple of towns, for no discernable reason other than to fleece the ignorant at $136 a pop. “Driving While Jersey,” that was. Should have checked the list!
    And I love the guy’s ‘speed trap’ memo. That is sweet. I almost wish I hadn’t paid mine online so I could have done something like that.

  13. Nightfly says:

    OH – and did anyone vote in the poll? “Should you be allowed to write ‘speed trap’ on your check.” One of the choices is “No, he’s spitting in the eye of authority.”
    Well – why aren’t you allowed to spit in the eye of authority? And 1% of the respondents went for it! Buncha Tories.

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