We met with friends who flew down to Mexico and one couple drove their car, they had an uneventful trip down the coast.
They said it was interesting.
Going out to a restaurant last week, they had their first experience of instant traffic court.
Kaching, 500 pesos!
Their only error or lack of judgment was having California plates.... all while all the locals zoomed passed...easy pickings, So guess what, we got pulled over.
My friend immediately got angry , trying to convince us all he did nothing wrong. Maybe, but that is not the issue here and now.
I told him to shut up and act ignorant..... As the Law approached his vehicle my wife was appointed negotiator.
Luckily his Spanish was worse than the policeman's English.
Actually it was about the same.
The policeman said it was a grave violation and that we would either have to follow him to the office where the fine would be in excess of 1000 pesos. He went back to the car to confer with his associate......probably to talk about where they would take the family out to dinner that night.
My wife, got out of the car and approached their patrol car and was able to negotiate it to 500 pesos and we were back on the road.
He was mad so I figured I would let professor Tancho explain the world as it works, and works very well I might add.
Our friend immediately started to rant about the corruption, the unfairness etc. So it was time for a lesson in reality.
The difference from the states to Mexico.
In the states you get pulled over, you get a ticket.
Then you have a few options. The first is to pay the ticket, a 15 mile over the limit ticket is now about $ 350 dollars and it will raise your insurance between 100 and 250 dollars a year for at least 3 years.
Or you can take off from work, go stand in line at a government clerks office and hope that you can get a court date. Usually because the courts have shut down to only operate 3 or 4 days max a week they only allow the line of about 50 people. If you are number 51 you must return the next day hopefully earlier.
You then get a court date assigned and again take the whole day off to show up for court. It use to be that if the issuing cop didn't show up they would just dismiss your ticket. But it seems that since the money shortage they now offer a affidavit of the policeman presented by another policeman.
If you want to really try and argue the point the will reschedule it again. (day number 3 off of work) then you can ask the cop on the stand and play Perry Mason, usually with embarrassing results.
Then you will have two options. 90% of the time you will be found guilty, and now instead of the $ 350, they tack on all kinds court costs etc. So the ticket becomes about $ 500 and your insurance will still get points against you so it will go up too.
If you are lucky and you have had no other violations the last 10 years or so, the judge, if he is feeling particularly good will allow you to go to traffic school. If you are good and do not get another ticket in 2 years it will be totally dismissed.
That will be a cost of about $150 dollars to the school and usually takes a day, some jurisdictions allow on line schools at a little lower cost. But you will still have to pay fees and costs around
$ 200 to the court. All your money goes to the government to pay salaries, programs for the other people, etc.etc.etc. You lose, sorry. Not a win win situation.
In Mexico you pay the 500 pesos and you are on your way. The cop on his way home stops and has a few beers with his buddies, goes home and gives his wife some of the money to buy stuff for dinner for the family, maybe a pair of shoes, if he's really nice he takes the family for dinner at the local taqueria.
Everyone knows the police are underpaid and your contribution was well appreciated by him and his family.
You are able to continue on with your journey, you don't have to go to court, send in any payments, get your insurance raised or canceled, have your car towed, stand in line, go to traffic school etc.etc.etc.
That's what I call a win- win situation. You can call it whatever you want.
I am glad I have Mexico plates.