Who Decides?

On the long drive up to Los Angeles last week, I saw a lot of those overhead warning signs about using handheld phones while driving. There were at least four of them. There could have been more. The cost of the fine: $159. Why this price? Hmmm. Do they have a committee for these things? I pondered that until the next sign came into view. Why not round up? Is $160 less noticeable than $159? Does $159 sound like more? If it was $160, would people misread and think the total was $16?

This intrigued me. I know…she’s just a little bit crazy. ; ) But it’s a long drive and the music wasn’t cutting it, and there was a sandstorm, and I had to concentrate on the buffeting winds and poor visibility instead of creating new story outlines, or working on a current scene.

Driving with GPS Computer

I looked for the signs along the side of the freeway that threaten you with all kinds of disaster if you drive in the carpool lane without a passenger. You need to have at least one passenger, and that cannot be your dog, a stuffed animal, or a blow up doll wearing sunglasses and a wig. Those fines (not for the blow up doll but for breaking the rules) are $341, which is again a strange number. Who decides these things, and what are they based on? Why not $340?

Cars on Highway

All of these questions reminded me of a long ago boyfriend. He’d claimed if he just “knew the rules” then he would play by those rules. But, to not know the rules, for him, was very discomforting. Of course my answer was to give a sly smile and say there are no rules. Needless to say he did not last long and that is why he is an ex-boyfriend. I mean if you’re in your fifties and you don’t know the rules of dating…well hell.

Rules of the road are important. We all need to know those. But what are the rules on selecting a price for a fine? Inquiring minds need to know. And what about you? Do these things intrigue you? Do you not even notice them? Are you rules oriented and furnish your S.O. with a list?


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12 Responses to Who Decides?

  1. Janie Emaus says:

    I think the dollar thing is like on all those informercials. Everything costs $19.99 or $29.99. People tend to think it costs less. Our minds go to the 19 or 29 when really it’s just a penny to another set of tens. On another note, I love driving. It opens up my mind to all sorts of stories.

  2. ha ha – the fact that you told that guy there were no rules suggests to me that you weren’t interested in creating a relationship with him. (because there are definitely rules to dating! LOL) He took your hint. MHO. But you’re definitely right, if he didn’t have an inkling about “those dating rules” by his age, he’d never figure it out.

    My daughter got busted for looking at the GPS on her cell phone while driving to Irvine and received the citation for “using the cell phone” There are more fees than you realize – court fees etc. The first offense is supposedly cheaper than the others, but maybe they’re not messing around anymore.

    P.S. I’ve often wondered about pricing clothes and cars etc. it’s always __.99! I think us easily dooped folks only look at the first number (the set dollar amount) and think it’s priced cheaper.

  3. robena grant says:

    Yikes! I had no idea there were additional fees. Poor Emily.
    Yep, bargain boyfriends and bargain deals…hey, that should have been the title to this rambling post. : )

  4. Hmm, I guess I’ve sort of noticed the cost of fines, but thankfully haven’t met one up close and personal so I don’t really pay much attention. It is curious, though, those odd amounts. I’m picturing a group of people sitting around a table and saying, “Let’s make this charge 159 and that charge 243 and this one 347.” You know, just to be random.

  5. robena grant says:

    Ahhhh, random selection, huh Robin? I think they have a big money wheel and they toss a dart. Ha ha.

  6. Sam Beck says:

    I’ve seen the same $159.00 fine sign for the hands-free cell phone violation and I gotta say, there seem to be a lot of people on the roads of So. Cal. willing to risk $159.00! I like what Ellen DeGeneres had to say about driving while talking on the phone. “Something that requires both eyes and both hands? Chances are my brain should be in on it too!”

  7. robena grant says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Sam. I can hear Ellen saying that. : ) And I agree wholeheartedly.
    I drove the 10 Fwy through Cabazon the other day where everyone speeds up to 80 mph and beyond. A woman was chowing down on a hamburger (or something like that) doing at least 80 and weaving. I got the heck out of there.
    So cell phones, hamburgers, and putting on mascara…high on my list of no no’s.

  8. Nan says:

    You guys in CA have a lot more rules than we do here in the Midwest. Or maybe you just get reminded of them more often than we do… I try not to talk on the phone in the car. If it rings, I generally let it go to voicemail and call the person back when I’m stopped. I have to focus, particularly if I’m at Son’s and trying to drive in the Bay Area. Cripes! You’d better have your full attention on the road out there!

  9. robena grant says:

    I never remember to turn my cell phone on. *grin*
    I don’t know much about the bay area, but whenever I go into San Francisco downtown I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands. I never know which direction I’m heading. For some reason I get totally turned around.

  10. The price of fines is weird and I do wonder who decides and why. Things being 9.99 instead of ten dollars is supposed to make me think of it as less than ten dollars. It doesn’t. I see 9.99 and I think that costs ten bucks. I also get very irritated that whoever priced it is trying to be deceptive. Just charge ten dollars for crists sake.

  11. robena grant says:

    I agree, Judy. I hate that penny in change thing. : )