Thoughts in Transit

Friday, October 29, 2010


“Convenience” is one of the big buzzwords about doing things online. Just this week the state Judicial Branch jumped in with a time-saving option: Drivers may pay the fines for motor vehicle and criminal infraction tickets online, according to the office of the chief court administrator. Go to, follow the directions and it’s done. A mail-in option has been in place for years, and it’s still possible to pay up in person.
What you might not know is that making a payment online and by mail is considered a plea of “no contest” (nolo contendere). In this instance, the state doesn’t assess points against the driver’s license. That’s great.
Convictions are noted as part of the driver’s history, which is not so great, especially where insurance costs are concerned and the fact that the state may impose sanctions.
Of course, drivers may plead not guilty.
To find out more, you can call 860-757-2270 or visit
Now that I’ve passed along this information, frankly I want to forget about it. I’m not up for getting a ticket. I’ve had a few parking tickets in my day, but the one and only speeding ticket I ever got was a stinger (change a letter in that word and you’ll know what I really think of it!).
For nearly a quarter of a century, I’ve been working in New Milford as an editor on the local paper, with the tarmac of five towns under my wheels as I go there and back home, so you can see why traveling is on my mind. A few years ago, heading uphill in third gear on a densely wooded road with no houses in sight, I was clocking in at what I thought was 37 mph in a last-gasp station wagon with nearly 200,000 miles on it. The trooper who pulled me over, after writing a $100+ ticket, said something to the effect that “in the 30s wasn’t 30,” the posted limit. My husband said afterward, “You got what?” But a friend wrested all indignation from my narrative by saying, “Think of all the times you might have gotten a ticket but didn’t.” Enuf said.
When the wagon died and I had to get another car, the thing that made me pick what I’m now driving is the digital speed display on the dash. Big and bold—there’s no missing what it says as I look over the wheel.
It has been a big boon every day that I drive down “chicken hill” (Prospect Hill Road/Route 67) toward the intersection with Route 202 and Grove and Bridge streets, the site of a major improvement project. If you’ve done it once, you know that there’s no anticipating what “road work” might be going on.
But I know who doesn’t like it: the drivers who hate being behind someone who is driving the posted speed limit!
My 42-minute drive to work takes me through several towns in The Housatonic Times’ coverage area, and there’s always something that makes me wonder or raises a smile. Not everything turns out to be a story, but there’s a lot worth mentioning, I’m sure, and this blog seems to be one way to share things of interest. If you want me to see something—by driving by or otherwise taking a look at it—send an e-mail to or call my office phone at 860-210-2146, ext. 139.
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Location: New Milford, Connecticut, United States

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