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  • A little harsh?

    I was recently pulled over in New Jersey for having an expired registration.

    My car is a brand new Dodge Charger which I bought in January. I had no idea that the registration would expire so soon, (it was 1 month expired). After contacting the dealership it seems it was their mistake and that new cars are supposed to have at least a year before the registration expires. They said they made a mistake in transferring over information and instead of getting a new registration date I was given the one from the car I traded in, which did in fact expire a month ago.

    Anyways, I was nice and curteous to the officer, and I told him I had no idea it would expire so soon and explained the situation. He told me there is no way I am going to drive this vehicle home. Then he told me to wait here for the tow truck. He drove off, left me on the side of the interstate at 8pm, and I waited there half an hour alone for a tow truck to come.

    I was charged 60$ for the tow, and since it was a Friday and the towing company isnt open during the weekend, I am being charged 100$ a day to keep my car on their lot despite the fact I would GLADLY go and pick it up now.

    On top of all this, I am going to have to mail in the expired registration fees.

    Does this seem a little bit harsh for something like this??

  • #2
    Personally, IMO, yeah BUT the owner IS responsible for registration. As for the towing, why didn't you have it towed home instead of the lot? It would've saved a bunch of money.........

    Comment


    • #3
      I understand your situation. However, try and understand it from the officer's point of view.

      Your plates have been expired for over a month, in Illinois that's the same as having no valid registration, the car cannot be driven on the street.

      Your beef is with the car dealer not the officer.

      The officer doesn't have control over the fees the tow company sets, I think you got a pretty good chance of getting your $$ back from the dealer.

      Ultimately, it's on you to make sure your up to date on everything.
      -------------------------------------------------

      They don't care how much you know, until they
      know how much you care.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have purchased a few cars in my day and the salesmen normally ask you during the deal if you want new plates or your current ones transferred to your new car. Go back and look at your paperwork and see what it says. If it said new plates, the dealer owes you some money. If not, your on your own.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've spoken to the dealer and they are covering the towing fees.

          But my main problem was despite the fact that it was an honest mistake, I was completely curteous, and have no prior violations, I was towed when it seems like I could have just gotten a warning or an order to get it fixed.

          The following is what gets me aggravated:

          A) I was forced to sit on the side of an interstate at night with only my emergency flashers to protect me for half an hour. We hear about all the time how dangerous it is for even officers to be out at night with their emergency blue and red lights on, let alone me just sitting there with pretty much no protection. Why wouldn't he have waited for the tow truck to arrive?

          B) The officer didn't care that it was just a mistake which I would immediately fix come the next business day. I had valid insurance, which I pay 900$ every six months for, why wouldn't I fork over the 30$ to get a valid registration.

          C) All the people at the tow truck lot had on NJ State Police jackets obviously given to them by someone. Are they just in the pockets of each other in business?

          D) I felt like it was practically cruel and unusual punishment.. I had to embarassingly wake my mom up from sleep to have her come pick me up, and explain to her why I was getting towed.


          Oh well, enough ranting. All in all I know that I am not entitled to any breaks or warnings, if I broke the law I deserve to be reprimanded for it. I guess just a little understanding and perhaps just a ticket instead of ticket and tow would have sufficed in this case...

          As for the officer who asked why I didn't have it towed to my house.
          Thats the same thing my mom requested, however the officer said is against the law because the reason he is impounding the car to begin with is because the plates on it are expired, which means until I go to the DMV, get the papers, bring the papers to the state police barracks, get the OK from the state police, then bring the OK to the towing lot, only then can I have the car.

          Lots of hassle, lots of wasted money, lots of wasted gas, and lots of embarassment
          Last edited by doublefifty; 06-22-2008, 01:58 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            doublefifty I have no doubt it was an honest mistake and that you were courteous with the Officer but one way look at it is the Officer deals with many people everyday who aren't going to be truthful or make up excuses for their actions, I'm not saying you did but you never know the B.S. he heard on the last traffic stop he did. As far as him not sticking around in my opinion he should have. If something happened to you he could have been liable.

            hemi Jersey is weird like that. I grew up there and had a buddy that got pulled over for no insurance. He lost his D.L. for a year AND got his car towed. I think Jersey has a similar law to 28-3511 only they've had it forever.

            Comment


            • #7
              We pull people over every single day who claim their violations are a mistake and they will fix it. After 15 or 20 years of hearing it every day, it gets old.

              You are the driver - you are responsible for checking the registration and making sure it is current. Don't rely on some polyester suit and plastic shoe wearing used car salesman to do your paperwork for you. He has no stake in getting it right.

              There is nothing you can do about this time, but learn from it so you don't wind up in the same fix again.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                We pull people over every single day who claim their violations are a mistake and they will fix it. After 15 or 20 years of hearing it every day, it gets old.

                You are the driver - you are responsible for checking the registration and making sure it is current. Don't rely on some polyester suit and plastic shoe wearing used car salesman to do your paperwork for you. He has no stake in getting it right.

                There is nothing you can do about this time, but learn from it so you don't wind up in the same fix again.
                OK, thats fine and completely acceptable. But write me a ticket for it.. Don't write a ticket, and then tow me on top of it...

                Unless a ticket for expired registration simply comes hand in hand with a tow 100% of the time as per the law, I feel it was unnecessarily harsh.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It sounds like your car cannot legally be on the road in IL with the expired reg....therefore it must be removed/towed. Why is it that when there is a law broken (wether intentional or not) everybody seems to think they should only get a warning? If you get a warning then you get a warning....its your lucky day. If you get a ticket then you committed a violation and received a ticket. The public needs to understand that not everyone gets a warning?

                  I give people warnings all the time for reg type issues......and then a month later I stop them again with the same violation because for some reason that "please fix this as soon as possible" didnt carry much weight and now they get a ticket. We run into these people all the time so there are times that instead of that warning you get a ticket for the first time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't know about Jersey, but in California, if your registration is expired by six months or more, your vehicle can be towed, and you will be cited as well. The citation is to get you into court for the judicial part of it. The tow is because your vehicle cannot legally be on a public street if it is unregistered. One is criminal, the other is administrative.
                    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Im not one to argue what that officer did as I was not there and I am only hearing your side. But with what you said, if that is all true, I MORE THAN LIKELY would not have had your car towed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Fuzz;1298002]Why is it that when there is a law broken (wether intentional or not) everybody seems to think they should only get a warning?

                        QUOTE]



                        I stated multiple times in my post that I do not expect warnings. I without a doubt expect a ticket every time and will hold no grudges if I am given one. The extent of my displeasure was the fact I was given a ticket and a tow. As such, my question asked if this was just standard precedure, or an officer being a bit harsh. It hasn't been answered yet in NJ and I can't find anything about it online.

                        But about your question, I don't know why most people expect warnings. On the other hand, if you read many threads about officers being pulled over, you will notice that not many officers post and say "I expect a ticket when I am pulled over for speeding." It seems quite the contrary, with pretty much every officer in agreement that whether the pulled over officer is on duty, off duty, or retired, they deserve a warning.

                        THAT may be why many members of the public are so aggravated when they are not given a warning, because the situation is completely hypocritical.

                        All in all I feel like there is way too much discretion involved in traffic stops. First you have the officer who can let you off or write you up for who knows what. Then you have the prosecutor, if you're his nephew, congratulations you can get off free or you can get your license suspended. Then you have the judge, who can also dismiss at will, or punish within the limits.

                        A much more fair system, would be a system in which discretion was almost zero, and a system in which the people who enforce and ticket by the law, are also enforced and ticketed by the law.

                        But life isnt fair

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As has been noted, you're the driver, you're responsible. In all liklihood, I would have handled the situation a little differently, but that isn't helping you. It's equally true, that we're hearing only your side of the story. It's possible that your side is totally accurate, but at the end of the day, it was that Officer's decision that effected you. You can rant- I understand that, but it's still not going to change what happened. You mentioned that the dealership is going to cover the towing fee. Guess that's something.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You are mailed a registration renewal form months in advance from NJ MVC, but they have made mistakes in the past. I may or may not have ticketed you, but if towed, I am required to stand by until the vehicle is removed. As far as the towing fees, I would check into that. I do not think that the tow company would be allowed to charge $100 per day storage. Towing fees and storage are set by contact and I believe certain state laws. I personally know that our contracted tow companies get $75 for the tow, but $25 per day for storage.
                            Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can't speak for your state, but where I come from 1 month=ticket. If it was really the fault of the dealership, then go to court (with proof). Your paperwork should show that wether or not you agreed to keep the current registration from your trade or get new. If they slipped up, you MAY get some "consideration" from the judge. In the end, you as the owner/operator are responsible. IF found to not be responsible, the dealership should cover all costs. The tow is what it is, some places may have arrested you and forced a bond out of you (although not common for registration in my experience). I don't work in, nor am I familiar with NJ but in most places you CAN'T drive a vehicle with an expired registration. He MAY have been compelled to tow it due to policy (again, I don't know the rules there).

                              As far as discretion, much to the dismay of my bosses, I "issue" far more warnings than citations. I spend more of my time "fishing" for felonies rather than traffic citations. But again, a month expired will get you a ticket from me 99.9% of the time.

                              Comment

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